Zeal for His House: You

“His disciples remembered that it is written: ‘Zeal for your house will consume me’” (John 2:17 NIV).

Remember this story? Jesus got so zealous about the purity of God’s temple that He did a housecleaning. He drove out the money changers, upsetting the tables of those who were turning His house into something that it should not be.

He later passionately proclaimed, “My house shall be a house of prayer!” (Luke 19:46, ESV). So close to Jesus’ heart was the holiness of God’s house, that He actually performed this kind of cleansing twice. Once was towards the beginning of His ministry (John 2), and the second time was towards the end (Luke 19). Clearly, Jesus’ heart was burning with intensity about this matter.

Yes, His heart was burning. It burns still. Indeed, “Our God is a consuming fire!” (Heb. 12:29, NIV). Jesus is the image of the invisible God. He is the exact representation of His nature. He shows us what our Abba is like: our Father is ardently interested in keeping His house clean.

“Do you not know that you are God’s temple and that God’s Spirit lives in you? For God’s temple is holy, which is what you are.” (1 Cor. 3:16-17 NET).

In the Old Covenant, God’s temple was a building. In the New Covenant, we His children have become His temple. You and I are the dwelling place of God. His zeal for His house has not lessened. He is the same yesterday, today, and forever. Our God has never been anything less than passionate in His pursuits. His heart burns with intensity in His zeal for you.

Zeal for His house continues to consume Him. You are that house. If you have given yourself to Him, He will perform housecleanings. Don’t be afraid! The wonderful news is that we have the opportunity to fully yield ourselves to His cleansing. The more quickly that we do so, the better that it goes for us. How many seasons in the fire have been prolonged over the centuries by believers resisting the Holy Spirit’s desire to purify them? By the same token, how many unnecessary trials have been avoided by those giving their “Yes!” to Jesus upon His first call?

God intends to live in a house that honors Him. He is faithful, and He will complete the work that He began in you and me. He will sanctify us in body, soul, and spirit until the day of His return.

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Have you been aware of the Lord wanting to work in your heart through circumstances in your life that are uncomfortable?

28 thoughts on “Zeal for His House: You

  1. So timely. I have been praying through a decision that is set before us as parents, looking for the arrows of God’s Word. And this has given me the words to pray and a request for prayer to send to my friends for God to make a Way, where there seems to be no Way. Oh how I long for that fire of His zealous love to blaze in and through me to warm hearts frozen in pain (including my own). Oh LORD Jesus have Your Way in us, Your beloved Body and church. Let Your tremendous love and compassion and Your fearless forgiveness become so visible in us all and draw all around us (both near and far) to You.

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    1. Poignant and powerful! Thank you so much for sharing it.

      Also, Anna, I just now went to email you, now that I am finally home and getting some time for my correspondence. And I couldn’t find your email address! I know I made a note of it, but it’s not where I thought I had put it, and I can’t find it. Would you please send it to me again? I apologize!

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  2. Just SO incredible!! So many answers to prayers are flooding in and God fully destroyed a stronghold I have so longed to have lifted away. HE has done it and I can now see how all along He was working in all the tiny details to bring about what happened today. Oh Jennifer; you have no idea how amazing this is and how much I have been thanking and praising God for you – for this sweet connection with Him through His Holy Spirit breath in you.

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  3. One thing I just had to add is that I am coming to see that even that yielding is a work of the Holy Spirit. I could have learnt much more quickly than I did, if I had followed every prompting in my life to yield. But rather than condemn me, when I didn’t, Jesus worked patiently behind the scenes to reveal His love and compassie to me, which empowered me to trust Him and yield to His will and even today He is still patiently working in that way to lift each accusation of condemnation against me. Even in your post that comment about some paying for not yielding more quickly had me reeling at first: condemning myself for my lack of trust. But Jesus arose to remind me what I had walked through and why He had shown and still is showing such mercy to me, as He roots me more deeply in His love.

    I listened to TD Jakes speak of this too and the interviewer spoke of some people seeing the wilderness season / fire / storm in a wrong way: as God’s punishment. TD Jakes began to explain why he was able to yield quickly in his life: because he had grown up as the baby in a family surrounded by people who adored him. He then proceeded to explain to the interviewer why others need more patient and tender mercy and compassion to learn to trust the love of Jesus for them. He explained that some have walked through absolute horror and struggle to believe that God is for them. In that case we cannot expect them to yield quickly: for God, being the loving Father He is, will move to root them in His love more gently and gradually than others – He knows just what they need and withholds His wrath against them, to grow them in grace.

    I am experiencing that in my life. I was bathed in love as a little girl, but in that love, I yearned to know the grace of God deeply and wholly (and I was right in thinking I didn’t). So, God walked me through multiple traumas, exposing a lack of trust in me, as the way other believers (including my parents) treated me and those I love became the way I saw Jesus: as a God lacking compassion and mercy for the weak and vulnerable.

    So, God took me on a journey (blind) as He did Saul/Paul. Showing me His love and mercy and compassion through Prodigals and their families – and proving His Word to me that those who have given their hearts to Him are sealed by the Holy Spirit unto eternity, no matter the abuse they walk through and their struggles to trust the love of Jesus. That is now enabling me to love the Prodigals and elder brothers in my life tremendously and forgive them fearlessly, as God continues to cleanse my own heart from sin – uprooting bitterness, unforgiveness, selfishness and pride in me.

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    1. Wow. I never heard it put that way before. Yielding is a work of the Holy Spirit. Allowng that to sink in, along with such wonderful, deep wisdom from Him through TD Jakes. Again, thank you SO much for sharing. Blessed!

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      1. I can only say that because I know it so deeply. I didn’t come home as a Prodigal: Jesus picked me up out of the thorn bush and carried me home, right when my Mama confessed the sin that became a stumbling block for me as a kid (God allowed her to experience exactly what my traumatized little brother did through the brain cancer she had and led her to study counseling in her final years, thinking it was for her to bless others but she realized it was to heal her and give her compassion and mercy for my little brother: although I know she helped so many too). Why did He wait so long to come get me was always my question: until He began to show me what He had been up to through all those years – for my Mum, for my Dad, for my little brother, for me, for my (future) husband and his Prodigal family and SO many others our lives were only weaved together with because of all the hard things that happened along the way. And He showed me how He had never left me and had continued wooing me unto Himself all those years. Now those years I walked blind are such a gift to me because they fill me with hope and faith as I walk beside Prodigals in my own life. I SEE so much Jesus hidden in them that the Holy Spirit is uncovering piece by piece.

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  4. It all reminds me of something I think Spurgeon said about it not being our trust in Jesus that saves us, but Jesus’ trust of His (our) Father that is at work in us, yielding us to the Father’s will, piece by piece by piece.

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  5. And BTW the stronghold broken for me recently came as I saw that I had been the elder brother toward my parents and others – condemning them for their lack of mercy toward those who are dear to me. But I suddenly saw how God has been walking me through what they walked through in their younger years (parenting/ministering to rebellious Prodigals and elder brothers) and how He has been exposing my own lack of compassion/mercy too – to humble me to receive His compassion and mercy, that I might give it away.

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    1. And the thing is I forgave them a long time ago, also seeing all they went through and why it was so hard for them to love my little (adopted) brother, but I forgave them from a pedestal – not from a place of withness in humility.

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      1. I love this! Thank You, Holy Spirit, Thank You, Jesus. Thank You Papa. Keep showing us Your increase, Your purposes unfolding all around us and embolden us to take Your hand and walk into these purposes no matter how crazy they seem to us or others around us.

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