Summary of sermon by Friedel Stegen, 02 Nov 2014
“For the zeal of Thine house has eaten me up …”
We get so used to things in this world and on Sunday we go to church because it’s our tradition to do so. Is my heart such that I go to be blessed or to have a meeting with God and come into the presence of the Lord expecting Him to speak to my heart? Now we know the Lord doesn’t have a house built with bricks. It is built by you and me – we who call ourselves Christians.
There are so many in the bible who had this zeal in their hearts. A certain woman came to my mind and that is Rebekah. Listen to what she said when she wanted the blessing for her child. It was something beautiful. When she heard her husband was going to bless her oldest son, she said. “My son, Jacob, must take it. He must have the blessing.” What did she do? She came to him and said, “Now therefore my son, obey my voice according to what I command you” (Gen 27:8). Here was a woman who wanted the best for her son. Do we have such mothers in our midst? She commanded him. She didn’t say you can choose whether you follow the Lord or not. You are old enough you can decide who you will serve. She had a zeal in her heart and she commanded him and he had to do it. When she heard that her husband wanted to bless the older son, she immediately said, “That the blessing must come upon my younger son” and she said, “You must obey what I command you to do.” May God raise mothers again who have authority and say you must do what I command you to do. Mothers, is that your life? That you command your children and they do it?
Have you come for that blessing or haven’t you? That my life changes into something that will benefit the church. Jacob was of that type. He knew that his oldest brother had a birth right and he said that he wanted it. He said no matter what happened he wanted it and he waited for an opportunity to get that birth right. Esau was out hunting and that was Jacob’s chance. Esau was hungry and Jacob said, “I will give him to eat but he has to pay a price.” Jacob said, “You can have this to eat if you sell me your birth right.” To Esau it wasn’t a problem. He was hungry and thirsty and to him the birth right wasn’t precious and it was easy to give it away. To him it wasn’t important to have the birth right. I am still the son of my father and mother. I have nothing to lose. If we look at our lives, aren’t we like Esau? There isn’t that where you say, “Lord Jesus I need you.” I have got all the blessing I want. I am a Christian. I have everything I need and we are satisfied with that. There is no zeal in our lives to get more. My sins are forgiven, what more do I need. I have no fire in me or zeal in me. I just do what I am supposed to do. I go hunting and find meat. I get up and pray and there is no fire in me or longing for God to work above what we think of. I am not losing anything. I sell my birth right to my brother. I have a home and I am satisfied. But Jacob wasn’t satisfied; he wanted the birth right. At birth he clung to his brother’s heel. There was a zeal in him. All run the race but only one received the prize. Jacob wanted to be first. I want the birth right and blessing of my father. He obeyed his mother and did what she told him to do. We all know and have read how Jacob went to his dad who was blind and could only smell his clothes and we know what Jacob and Rebekah did. That is what I tried to say in the beginning. Why did I come today? Was it just to come because I am used to it and we walk out and we miss the blessing? Is that cry in my heart – come and walk in our midst so that our lives are changed. That is the danger with us Christians. We get used to things and there is no zeal any more. There is nothing wrong with the preaching or the bible. It is a part of us but there is no fire or zeal any more. David says, “The zeal for your house has consumed me.” That is important. In Revelation 3 it says that we should hold fast what we have so that no-one takes it from us. Revelation 2:10 says that we should be faithful to death and He will give us a crown and that we should hold onto what we have and not lose it.
There is only one desire in my heart – more, more about Jesus so that I may be transformed into the image of Christ. I should walk and talk as Christ did. I should have compassion as He did and my life should reflect the beauty of Jesus. God should speak to me and change my very nature. But no, we are satisfied even if we are unfriendly and we walk out and nothing has changed. The young people stay the same and haven’t experienced the blessing of God. I have one desire in my heart and that is whoever sees me will seek God with all his heart because they want what I have. How many people have I been able to lead to my Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ? May I not waste time. May I have compassion that people may see the Lord Jesus Christ.
There are so many who do not know the Lord Jesus Christ. Who do I represent? What does my wife see in me? Does she see a hard ruler or does she see Christ see in me? What does your husband see? Does he see the glory of Jesus in you? What do the children see in us? What do we see in our children? I have a zeal in my heart to be like Jesus. That is why I want to seek God with all my heart. I can’t be satisfied until I have that. May God be merciful to us. We have come here that God may bless us. May that be so in my life.
Isaac said, “Go to your mother’s country to find a wife there” and Jacob went to Laban to find a wife. In Genesis 28:6 Esau saw that Isaac sent Jacob to find a wife. So Esau looked for a wife and so he took the daughter of Ishmael. Do you see once again that Esau did his own thing. He didn’t repent but when he heard that Jacob had to find a wife in Haran, he took a wife from his step-uncle. You see how the devil imitates, and he just fulfills the law of his father but it is not the same. It was Abraham’s family and Esau goes and marries one of them. He makes as if everything is in order and he is obeying his father. There is no repentance. He just carried on in his way. No wonder God hated Esau. We need an ear to humble ourselves and that we don’t do our own thing. When God sent Jacob back to that country, he went with trepidation because Esau wanted to kill him. Esau didn’t humble himself and say, “I am not worthy to have received the blessing.” Do you see what happens if we can’t be the least and fight for our rights. Hatred comes into our hearts. Instead of humbling himself in the beginning he fought for what he thought belongs to him but Jacob was otherwise. His heart was set on one thing – more of Jesus. He had a zeal to seek God with all his heart. He had only one goal. I must get that. I want that blessing. I want to be a partaker of that what God has for me. That wherever God speaks, I want to be there and get that blessing and that is why I go to a church service on Sunday expecting that blessing. Wherever Christians meet together, I want to be there and to be a part of it.
I remember in 1966, there was only one desire. I want to be a partaker of that blessing and I want Jesus in my heart. Everything else fell away. We did a lot of sport but those things became strangely dim because we wanted Jesus. They had no meaning to us anymore. We had one desire – Lord we need that blessing. I want revival. We didn’t have time for our wives, children or business. We had one thing in mind – we are seeking God. I ask myself that question – is that fire still burning? The fellowship of Jesus – that when He speaks that I obey him. The zeal for your house has eaten me up and I seek thee with all my heart. The Lord looks at our heart. Are we seeking God with all our hearts? Young people who are you seeking? Old and young are we seeking God with all our heart? The Lord said there were 99 sheep and one was missing. There were supposed to be 100. The Lord left the 99 and went to look for the one lost sheep until he found it. Is that my life?