Deliverance: How to Cleanse Your Temple
In Matthew 21:12, Jesus made a profound statement through his actions at the Temple. This sacred place, was a symbol of God’s presence among His people. It was designed for worship and prayer, inviting not just the Jews, but all nations, including the Gentiles.
A Flea Market in God’s Temple
Over time, the Temple’s Court of the Gentiles was turned into a marketplace by the religious leaders. Booths were set up for the exchange of goods, turning a place of worship into a complete flea market. But Jesus, upon entering this part of the temple, disrupted the status quo. He overturned the tables and drove out the merchants, cleansing the temple of activities that desecrated its sanctity. This act signifies what deliverance is all about – Jesus purifying His temple (Matthew 21:12-13).
Deliverance Always Disturbs the Status Quo
When Jesus cleansed the temple, it created a disturbance among the religious leaders. We often see this happen today, where people would rather criticize those doing deliverance rather than deliver the demonized. Deliverance disrupts comfort zones.
Note that in Scripture, we don’t see that Jesus cleansed tombs; instead, He resurrected the dead. Similarly, spiritually dead people need more than just a clean-up; they need a spiritual resurrection. They don’t need a mere behavior modification but a complete transformation, brought about by the indwelling Spirit of God. Just as Jesus cleansed the temple, He continues to cleanse believers, His living temples, today (2 Corinthians 5:17).
An Unclean Temple is Still a Temple
Jesus never disowned the temple even when it was defiled. He came to cleanse and purify, reaffirming that His people are “a chosen generation, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, His own special people” (1 Peter 2:9). Demons might operate within, but they don’t own the real estate of your soul.
The challenge lies in our tendency to normalize what God wants to neutralize. We often adapt to living with what we are anointed to conquer. We cannot be free as long as we make the demonic a part of our everyday lives. As the people of God, we need to recognize the abnormal and deal with it, not by accepting it, but by addressing it through deliverance.
The Journey of Deliverance:
Here are five key aspects of deliverance that we can see from Jesus’ cleansing of the temple.
- Deliverance from Demons: Just as Jesus drove out the merchants from the temple, He wants to expel the demonic forces that do not belong in His people, His temples (1 Corinthians 6:19-20).
- Breaking Mental Strongholds: The overthrowing of the tables signifies breaking down mental strongholds that hinder our spiritual growth. Deliverance isn’t just about casting out demons; it also involves renewing the mind (2 Corinthians 10:3-5).
- Emotional Healing: The healing of the blind and lame at the temple points to the emotional healing that follows deliverance. Freedom from demonic oppression often paves the way for emotional restoration (Psalm 147:3).
- Restoration of Prayer and Praise: After deliverance, Jesus wants to restore a lifestyle of prayer and praise. The purpose of deliverance isn’t merely to free up time for worldly pleasures but to enable us to worship God in spirit and truth (John 4:24).
- Dominion, Not Just Deliverance: Deliverance doesn’t mean the absence of conflict. On the contrary, it empowers us to exercise dominion. God didn’t create us to live in constant need of deliverance, but to live victoriously, exercising dominion over our spiritual enemies (Genesis 1:26-28).
In conclusion, the story of Jesus cleansing the temple paints a vivid picture of the process of deliverance. Deliverance isn’t a one-time event but a journey toward spiritual maturity and dominion.
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