The Trading Post
When I was young, I remember The Trading Post would come on the local radio station every day at noon. There was always someone selling something at a reasonable price. In fact, some of the items that were called in were hard to pass up.
Along with The Trading Post, my dad would take us boys to the Flea Market. There we would find the cool things; swords, knives, chinese stars and crazy sunglasses. We'd find what we wanted and try to negotiate a price. Sometimes the seller would give in and take our offer and sometimes we would give in and pay the price he asked for. Either way we were satisfied in the end since we both got what we wanted.
Whether it's The Trading Post, Flea Market, Bargain Barn or Swap Shop, there was always something there for everyone. If you had your heart set on something, your chances were pretty good that you find it there.
Believe it or not, there was something similar to that in the Bible. It's recorded in all 4 gospels. In these passages, Jesus makes His way to the temple only to find people buying and selling in there. Filled with anger he drives the men out with a whip he made, flips the tables over and says "My house shall be a house of prayer, but you have made it a den of robbers".
I've read this time and time again and one day while driving down the road, I saw a church sign and it said, "My house shall be a house of prayer". Then it hit me and I didn't like what I had to face. From that moment, The Lord began to deal with me heavily. You see, the word "house" is also defined as "property". Well, we read that if we are a follower of Christ, we are not our own; we are bought at a price. So, if I'm bought and paid for, and my body is a temple of the Holy Spirit who dwells within me, my heart should be a heart of surrender to God. But, there lies the issue we're talking about. You see, The Lord showed me that I set up shop in my own heart. A Trading Post, a Flea Market, a Bargain Barn, a Swap Shop if you will. I could see myself hard at work wheeling and dealing to compromise on this and that and settle in this area to get what I wanted.
In Jeremiah 17:9 it says "The heart is deceitful above all things, and desperately wicked: who can know it?" In John, Jesus chose not to reveal himself to some because He knew what was in their hearts. Since He's the same yesterday, today and forever, He still knows what's in a man's heart today.
With this revelation standing before me, I was faced with having to make a decision and had no choice but to close up shop and hang up my "out of business" sign. This, my friends, is something that I have to revisit often. God knows my heart better than I do so I have to surrender it daily to Him. Otherwise, I go back to peddling.
What about you? Have you set up shop in your heart? Have you turned it into a thriving market place of buying and selling to your heart's desire? If so, it's time to close up shop and give The Lord the key to the door. I know it's hard, but with second by second, minute by minute surrender, it can be done.
Remember, with true surrender comes true obedience.