Joseph Herrin (08-09-2012)
The hearing ear and the seeing eye, Yahweh has made them both.
Suppose you have a very good friend that you wish to meet with to share some very intimate and important matters. What type of environment would you choose to meet at? Would you arrange to meet at the food court at the largest shopping mall in town where people are constantly streaming by, where dozens of conversations are being held, and distractions are everywhere about you?
Suppose you were at home watching a television program and your spouse came in with a very serious expression upon their face and said they needed to speak with you. Would you not turn off the television, give instructions to your children to not interrupt you, and give your undivided attention to your spouse?
If we truly want to HEAR someone, we must provide an environment that is conducive to listening.
In the gospels we read accounts of Christ driving the merchants and moneychangers out of the Temple. Every event of Christ’s life serves as a spiritual parable. When the Bible states of the Messiah that “zeal for My Father’s house has consumed Me,” we should not assume that it was a building of stone and wood that had arrested the interest of the Son of God. The Temple in Jerusalem built by Herod was merely a symbol of the true temple in which Yahweh dwells, a temple built of living stones. The people of God are that temple. You and I are the dwelling in which the Spirit of Yahweh abides.
I Corinthians 3:16-17
Do you not know that you are a temple of God and that the Spirit of God dwells in you? If any man destroys the temple of God, God will destroy him, for the temple of God is holy, and that is what you are.
Yahshua declared that the Temple was designed to be a house of prayer. It was to be a place where men and women could enter into quiet communion with the Spirit of God.
And He said to them, “It is written, ‘My house shall be called a house of prayer’…”
It is not the physical building in Jerusalem of which Christ spoke. That building served only as a type and symbol of the true house of God.
II Corinthians 6:16
For you are the temple of the living God. As God has said: “I will dwell in them and walk among them. I will be their God, and they shall be My people.”
You and I have been created to be houses of prayer. Our souls are to be quiet; places of solace in the midst of a hectic world that has gone mad in the pursuit of trade and commerce. Satan has made it his chief work to defile the sanctuaries of God through an overabundance of trade in the things of the world. The prophet Ezekiel wrote of the fall of Lucifer, the covering cherub, from his place in the heavens.
“By the multitude of your iniquities, in the unrighteousness of your trade, you profaned your sanctuaries.”
Thou hast defiled thy sanctuaries by the multitude of thine iniquities, by the iniquity of thy traffick…
Satan continues this defiling work to this very day. He is very effective at causing the people of God to focus an inordinate amount of their time, thought, and energy on trafficking and trading in this world. Day after day the saints’ minds are focused upon their next acquisition, on how to generate enough income to pay for all of the material things their souls lust after. Satan floods the world with advertisements, commercials, and promotions of the next great thing, seeking to persuade men and women that they must have some trinket or treasure of this fallen world.
Consider the daily life of the typical Christian. Many get out of bed in the morning with just enough time to shower, get dressed, grab a quick breakfast, and then head out the door to work. Neglected is time spent in the presence of the Father. The best, most productive hours of their day is given to this world system. They spend themselves in labor for an earthly employer that provides them a paycheck so they can purchase those things that their neighbors have.
At the end of the work day the Christian will return home to take care of family responsibilities, or to meet with friends, or to engage in the endless activities that their church sets before them. Some may remain home, and turn on the television as soon as they get off work, leaving the television playing until it is time to go to bed.
Day after day Christians fill their lives with idle pursuits and vain activities. They have embraced the rat race of mankind, deceived by Satan and preachers of prosperity to believe that this is what life is all about. In the process they have failed to safeguard the temple of their body as a quiet sanctuary and a house of prayer. They have fallen from their chief calling in life to commune daily with the Father.
It is with purposeful illustration that Yahshua manifested great zeal in driving the merchants and moneychangers out of the Temple. As individuals, the saints of God have invited the spirit of merchandising into their lives. They have embraced the love of money and all it can buy. Multitudes are trying to serve both God and mammon. Consequently, the still, small voice of the Spirit of God has been drowned out by the incessant noise that arises from trafficking in the things of the world.
Few Christians have discerned how radically different the life of Christ and those who would be His disciples are from the pattern of this fallen world. The character of Christ is contentment. The disciple is content with whatever shelter, food, and life experiences the Father chooses for them. In contrast, the worldly man or woman approaches God with a shopping list of all the things they would like God to provide for them. The worldly man or woman has a great many desires and expectations. They want a certain type of home to live in. They desire nice furnishings to fill it with. They want various features in a car. They expect to have a nice set of appliances, and beyond this they want many of the entertainment products offered by this world; televisions, stereos, computers, game consoles, board games, sporting goods, smart phones, and all the must have gadgetry and conveniences that are continuously set before the public mind.
If a Christian were to take inventory of their home and the possessions in it, it would become quickly apparent that most have departed from the attitude described by Paul when he wrote, “having food and covering, with these we will be content.” Christian’s lives today are full of clutter. The noise of trafficking in the world, and the constant energy devoted to pay for everything, to maintain a comfortable life with many entertainments, has led to the profaning of their sanctuary. The still, small voice of God is drowned out by the constant drone of worldly pursuit.
In 1999 the Father led me to a radical departure from that life I had formerly known. My life prior to 1999 was similar to most American Christians. I was the fat, materially satisfied, possession driven Christian. Although I was very active in my church, even serving as a minister, my life was not one of quietness. I hit the ground running in the morning, and in the evening, if I was not engaged in some church event or social activity, I was on the computer, or watching television. I was employed as a computer professional. I made a good salary, and as my income increased so did my possessions, my level of debt, and the time I spent taking care of all that I owned.
No one in the church ever censured me for living such an encumbered and busy life. No one ever cautioned me that I was too much involved with the world and the pursuit of it. My life was no different from every other believer I knew. Yet, it was far from the pattern shown forth in the life of Christ and that of His disciples.
When the Spirit brought me to surrender the life I had chosen for myself, and to embrace whatever He would choose for me, the first thing He did was perform a major house cleaning. He stripped me of a lifetime of accumulated possessions. It was a difficult process not only for me, but for my wife and children. They too had grown accustomed to to a worldly life, focused on material things.
Yahweh had us surrender, or sell, most of the possessions we had. House, furnishings, entertainment items, a second vehicle, appliances, games, knickknacks, and many vain acquisitions were stripped away. When the process was complete Yahweh had reduced the possessions of our family of four to a 20 year old 28 foot long motor home and what would comfortably fit in it, towing a small car behind.
An amazing thing happened along with this tremendous reduction in possessions. As a family we were brought closer together (literally). Being in closer proximity to one another encouraged more personal interaction. We also all discovered that we had more free time. There was no longer as much time required to clean rooms, mow the yard, perform upkeep to the house, etc.. I found that I had a lot more time to commune with the Father. I was enabled to spend hours a day speaking with God, reading His word, and listening to His voice. I became more contemplative, more meditative, for the trafficking in the things of the world had been brought to an end. Christ had come in with a whip made of cords and cleansed the temple once again.
That was 13 years ago. To this day I have continued to be content with whatever living arrangement the Father chooses for me. I have not gone back to a pursuit of the world or the things in it. I have been content with far fewer possessions than I used to have. My life is simpler, quieter, and the voice of God is much easier to hear.
I John 2:15-17
Do not love the world nor the things in the world. If anyone loves the world, the love of the Father is not in him. For all that is in the world, the lust of the flesh and the lust of the eyes and the boastful pride of life, is not from the Father, but is from the world. The world is passing away, and also its lusts; but the one who does the will of God lives forever.
I ask you, does your life differ significantly from that of the members of the society around you? Or are you pursuing the same possessions, engaged in similar activities and entertainments? Did things radically change in your life when you became a Christian? The apostle Paul stated:
And do not be conformed to this world…
The church today is by and large conformed to the world. They are pursuing material possessions to the same extent. Entertainment is given just as much time in the life of the Christian as the non-Christian. The soul continues to be the source of direction. These things should not be. It is little wonder that the voice of God is heard so seldom among the Christians of this hour.
The following words of the apostle have never been more urgent:
I Corinthians 7:29-31
But this I say, brethren, the time has been shortened, so that from now on those who have wives should be as though they had none; and those who weep, as though they did not weep; and those who rejoice, as though they did not rejoice; and those who buy, as though they did not possess; and those who use the world, as though they did not make full use of it; for the form of this world is passing away.
What will become of those saints who remain conformed to this world system? When the Son of God appears they will not be ready. They will be pursuing the things of a fallen world.
“And just as it happened in the days of Noah, so it will be also in the days of the Son of Man: they were eating, they were drinking, they were marrying, they were being given in marriage, until the day that Noah entered the ark, and the flood came and destroyed them all. It was the same as happened in the days of Lot: they were eating, they were drinking, they were buying, they were selling, they were planting, they were building; but on the day that Lot went out from Sodom it rained fire and brimstone from heaven and destroyed them all. It will be just the same on the day that the Son of Man is revealed.”
Busyness, an engagement with this world system, and a pursuit of personal happiness and satisfaction, will render Christians deaf to the voice of God. The signs are around us indicating that the appearing of Christ draws nigh. The earth is about to pass through birthpangs and great tribulation. Hearing the voice of God will be absolutely essential in order to walk victoriously in this hour without suffering great spiritual loss.
If you would be ready for that hour, if you would hear the voice of God resonating clearly in your ears, then you must cleanse your temple of the spirit of merchandising. You must bring an end to trafficking in the things of this world.
I challenge you to read the following account from the gospels from the perspective of seeing the Temple as your own life. If Christ approached you today would He find a house of prayer, or a noisy center of worldly traffic?
And He found in the temple those who were selling oxen and sheep and doves, and the money changers seated at their tables. And He made a scourge of cords, and drove them all out of the temple, with the sheep and the oxen; and He poured out the coins of the money changers and overturned their tables; and to those who were selling the doves He said, “Take these things away; stop making My Father’s house a place of business.”
Simplify your life. Surrender your possessions to Christ to be disposed of as He directs. Don’t be conformed to this world. Put on the mind of Christ. Be content with whatever the Father chooses for you. I am confident that you will find that the life and path Yahweh will choose for you will afford you much more time to commune with Him. He will permit you to have a contemplative, meditative life.
Start your day with the Father. Give the best of your strength and energy to Him. Remember the lesson of the manna. The manna had to be gathered early before the Sun grew hot, or it would evaporate. So too must we seek God early.
In the morning, O Yahweh, You will hear my voice; In the morning I will order my prayer to You and eagerly watch.
If you have over-committed yourself to labor for the things of this world, if you are engaged too much in entertainments, then you will surely find that you are staying up late, and rising in the morning with inadequate time and energy to seek the Father. As a disciple of Christ you are called to live a radically different life from that of the world around you. Let the worldly give their energy to a pursuit of the world and all that is in it. Let your pursuit be God. If you make Him your pursuit you will surely find Him.
“You will seek Me and find Me when you search for Me with all your heart. I will be found by you,” declares the Yahweh.