Stolen Worship

Read Mark 11:15-19

A woman told me recently that she finds it difficult to worship in church because, “I can’t stand the way people dress when they come to church.” She continued sharing that worshipping at church has become a challenge because of the numerous distractions.

As she talked, I was reminded of when Jesus entered the temple area and confronted the money-changers and those selling animals for sacrifices because they had invaded an area where people would gather to worship God. After He overturned the tables, Jesus admonished,

“Is it not written, My house will be called a house of prayer for all nations? But you have made it a den of robbers.” (Mark 11:17)

This situation is less about exchanging money and more about robbing people–and God–of a worship experience.

What’s the difference between a “house” and a “den”? A house is a safe haven; a place of rest and nourishment and gathering with family. A den, on the other hand, is where people or animals go to hide. Be aware of hidden distractions that lurk in the corners to pull our attention away from God and put it on trivial issues. When this happens, everyone suffers loss.

While we can’t control what other people do or wear or say in church, we can control our own thoughts and motives.  We just need to purpose that nothing and no one will invade our space and steal the gift of worship that actually belongs to the Lord.

What hidden things distract you from fully worshipping the Lord when you congregate with other believers?