Tending the Fire Part 3: Making Rehoboth

Tending the Fire Part 3: Making Rehoboth

In March of 2021 we had week of revival services where many gifts of the Holy Spirit were poured out. It left many with questions and thoughts about what happened during that week. These three messages are Pastor Christian’s response and follow up to tend the fire that the Holy Spiri poured out. If the notes are not enough and you’d like to see the full video of Pastor Christian’s sermon please email the church (clccedarrapids@gmail.com) for a private link.

Introduction

Genesis 26:18-22 ESV  And Isaac dug again the wells of water that had been dug in the days of Abraham his father, which the Philistines had stopped after the death of Abraham. And he gave them the names that his father had given them.  (19)  But when Isaac’s servants dug in the valley and found there a well of spring water,  (20)  the herdsmen of Gerar quarreled with Isaac’s herdsmen, saying, “The water is ours.” So he called the name of the well Esek, because they contended with him.  (21)  Then they dug another well, and they quarreled over that also, so he called its name Sitnah.  (22)  And he moved from there and dug another well, and they did not quarrel over it. So he called its name Rehoboth, saying, “For now the LORD has made room for us, and we shall be fruitful in the land.”

  • I had intended, this evening, to preach a sermon about the place called Bethel, or, the House of God.
    • It was there that Jacob saw angels ascending and descending on a ladder from Heaven.
    • And I was going to talk about how much of a powerful experience that was…
      • Yet Jacob did not stay there, he moved on…
      • And he had more experiences with the Lord, but never again had that exact same experience…
        • He never saw the ladder again…
    • And I was going to preach a whole message about how important it is for us NOT to seek after the experiences that God gives us…
      • But to instead seek after the God of those experiences…
      • How important it is for us to worship the Holy Spirit… but not worship His gifts.
      • How important it is that we don’t stay in this moment of Revival, but that we take it for what it is, and then move FORWARD with what God has given us.
  • And I think there is a powerful message in there… and I had every intention of preaching it…
  • So I studied… and as I was studying, I decided to read the who account of Isaac and then of Jacob…
    • And wouldn’t you know it, it wasn’t the story of Bethel that jumped out at me…
    • Instead, it was the story of the three wells that Isaac dug.
  • So as I went to pastors prayer and as we were praying I felt this stirring in my spirit over these three wells, so I presented it to the pastors…
    • And pastor Dick told me that He once studied these wells and prayed fervently about them… and felt that God told him that Isaac was prophetically symbolizing the Holy Spirit in this story…
    • And when I heard that I knew that it had to be part of this message, and as I prepared the Lord had me move on from the Bethel topic and focus entirely on these three wells, so that is what we are going to do tonight… let’s talk about the well of Esek, the well of Sitnah, and the well of Rehoboth.

Point One – The Spirit Does not Dwell in Contention

Genesis 26:20 ESV  the herdsmen of Gerar quarreled with Isaac’s herdsmen, saying, “The water is ours.” So he called the name of the well Esek, because they contended with him.

  • I have three points this evening, so we are going to go quickly to get through them before 8 o’clock.. first up is point one…
  • Isaac was so blessed and so abundant, that he needed a place to stay… a play for him, his family, and his servants…
    • Just a few verses before this we see how blessed Isaac was being…

Genesis 26:12-14 ESV  And Isaac sowed in that land and reaped in the same year a hundredfold. The LORD blessed him,  (13)  and the man became rich, and gained more and more until he became very wealthy.  (14)  He had possessions of flocks and herds and many servants, so that the Philistines envied him.

  • Yes Lord, I want that kind of blessing!
    • So he is looking for a place, and there are these wells that have been dug up by the philistines… and he is re-digging these wells.
    • And if you have been with us for a while, you know that God has put in our heart as a church to “Return to the ancient paths”… another way of putting that is to re dig wells…
      • And as I was writing this I felt the Holy Spirit take over and this is what He told me, for this church… “Re dig the wells of blessing, the wells of teaching, the wells of tradition, the wells of worship that are of old, for they are still full of Living Water…”
  • It’s why we pray the Lords prayer every Sunday, and why I bless you with the Aaronic Benediction after every Sunday service…
    • It is why we are pushing more into Passover and looking to celebrate other feasts…
    • It’s why we will continue to sing Hymns along with singing new songs…
    • And its why we are thrilled that the Holy Spirit is moving in this congregation just like he moved throughout the Apostles in the New Testament, especially after the book of Acts.
  • And much like Isaac, the Holy Spirit is looking at our church and wondering “Is this a place where I can dwell”…
    • You know we sing that song “Holy Spirit you are welcome here…” But do we mean it and does He receive it?
  • And what I think the Holy Spirit wants us to know is this… it’s like He is saying:
    • “Good job digging up wells, but if this is a place of contention, I will not dwell here”.

Genesis 26:20 ESV  the herdsmen of Gerar quarreled with Isaac’s herdsmen, saying, “The water is ours.” So he called the name of the well Esek, because they contended with him.

  • Man! How greedy of the Gerary Herdsmen!
    • Can you imagine how BLESSED they would have been to live alongside Isaac in Peace…
      • They ought to have joined with Isaac, and thanked him for digging up the well… instead, they wanted it all to themselves… So they contended… and Isaac left.
  • And so it is with the Holy Spirit and CLC…
    • He has dug up this well of gifting and power! Hallelujah!
      • But will we be greedy and contentious with what has been given?
    • Will we try to keep the gifts to ourselves, never using them as they were intended, to bless others and bring others to the Kingdom.
    • Will we care more about our experiences, and our feelings, and our own emotional highs then we do about leading people to Christ.
    • Will we contend with other brothers and sisters in the faith because they don’t see the spiritual gifts in the same light that we do.
    • Will we take our discomfort for a teaching we disagree with, or don’t understand… and turn that into strife and contention and arguments…
    • If so, church, do not be surprised if the power of the Holy Spirit moves on from this place.
  • And listen, let me make this personal…

Romans 8:9 ESV  You, however, are not in the flesh but in the Spirit, if in fact the Spirit of God dwells in you. Anyone who does not have the Spirit of Christ does not belong to him.

  • You are the dwelling place for the Holy Spirit… more so than these four walls! IF YOU HAVE A CONTENTIOUS SPIRIT… DON’T BE SURPRISED IF THE POWER OF THE SPIRIT DOESN’T DWELL IN YOU.
    • So what do you do when you are frustrated, when you don’t understand, when you feel like something is wrong… All you have to do is SEEK ADVICE!

Proverbs 13:10 ESV  By insolence comes nothing but strife, but with those who take advice is wisdom.

  • Seeking advice is good, being contentious or argumentative is bad!
  • I have had a handful of meetings with people since Fire week… people who disagreed with some of the things said and done…
    • And you know what we did, we opened the Bible and we studied and we found truth together.
    • Because truthfully, the Bishop said some things I wouldn’t have said, and took some verses out of context…
      • But if our response to that is always getting in a huffy puffy spirit… then the Holy Spirit sees that contention and says “no thanks”.
      • But if our response to that is “Let’s talk about it and seek to understand” then we grow and the Holy Spirit rejoices in our unity.
    • Don’t get me wrong…
      • If someone preaches a false gospel…
        • Or if the intentionally blaspheme…
    • Then yes, RUN AWAY…
    • But if they make a mistake, give them grace and seek to understand…
  • To be frank… don’t have a contentious spirit!

Point Two – The Spirit Does not Dwell with Enmity

This brings us to point two, the Holy Spirit Does Not Dwell with Enmity

Genesis 26:21 ESV  Then they dug another well, and they quarreled over that also, so he called its name Sitnah.

  • The term Sitnah means “Enmity” or “being at odds with” or “Being an enemy of”.
    • And guy’s, when I wrote this message I was on empty… completely dependent on the Holy Spirit to help me…
    • So when I read this verse about Enmity the thing the Spirit brought to remembrance in my mind was this…

James 4:4 ESV  You adulterous people! Do you not know that friendship with the world is enmity with God? Therefore whoever wishes to be a friend of the world makes himself an enemy of God.

  • Let me be clear and bold… CLC WILL NEVER BE FRIENDS WITH THE WORLD!
    • We will not have worldly event’s here.
    • We will not rent our space to the world.
    • We will not play the worlds music or entertainment.
      • These speakers are God’s speakers.
      • These walls are God’s walls.
      • These projectors are God’s projectors…
      • These chairs, praise God for these chairs, these chairs are God’s chairs.
      • Even the WiFi is God’s WiFfi…
        • WE WILL NOT USE ANY OF IT FOR WORDLY THINGS.
  • How could we play filthy worldy music on Saturday and then expect the Holy Spirit to fill this place on Sunday?
  • Think about the Temple… and how Holy that was…
    • It was so holy that if you walked into the Holy of Holy’s with sin on you God would strike you down…
    • Now can you imagine if the Levites and the priests were like… “Hey we don’t really use the Holy Place on Thursdays, let’s invite that awesome Philistine band to come and rock out on Thursday and maybe it will get some people to come in and convert…”
    • Or if they were like “Hey, I saw a really great play by the Babylonians… we should ask them to come and use the altar as their stage, it would be so much fun!”
  • NO! That would never happen! Because the Temple was holy!
    • And God’s church ought to be Holy!
    • But it happens all the time…
      • Amanda and I went to a supposably Christian show at a big church in town, and in intermission DJ came out and started playing secular music.
      • He put on the song “Party in the USA” and told everyone in the church pews to raise their hands and dance…
    • I tell you what, If I was the pastor of that church I would have marched up on that stage, unplugged the DJ’s kit, and told him to leave…
      • I almost did just that as a visitor!
  • If the church is friends with the world, it is enemies with God. And if it is enemies with God, don’t expect the Holy Spirit to dwell there.
  • And the same goes for you saints, you living temples of the Holy Spirit.
    • You can’t go out partying on Saturday then come to church on Sunday and expect the Holy Spirit to work in your life.
    • You can’t go on sinning and think that you can operate powerfully in the gifts…
      • Yet I see it all the time… people stuck in EGREGOUS sin… wanting to lead worship, or preach, or prophecy…
      • In their private life they sin sin sin sin…
      • But on Facebook it is all scripture and faked holiness.
    • Listen, friendship with the world is a quick ticket to losing the power of the Spirit in your life…
      • Turn away from the world and turn back to Christ.
      • If you sin, repent and turn back to Christ.
      • If you have an addiction, you keep sinning and can’t seem to stop, then get help. Confess and ask for help, guidance, advice, and healing…
        • This is what Holy Spirit empowered Christians do…
        • We don’t live double lives, we live for Christ alone… and when we do the Spirit works in us and through us!

Point Three – Let us Make Room for the Spirit.

That brings us to the final point of the evening… make room for the Spirit.

Genesis 26:22 ESV  And he moved from there and dug another well, and they did not quarrel over it. So he called its name Rehoboth, saying, “For now the LORD has made room for us, and we shall be fruitful in the land.”

  • I want to be fruitful in the land, amen…
    • I want to be fruitful in the land of Cedar Rapids…
    • I want to be fruitful in the land of Sapparo Japan…
    • I want to be fruitful… and not in a physical or financial sense… I WANT THIS MINISTRY TO BEAR FRUIT.
    • I WANT CLC TO BEAR FRUIT! THE FRUIT OF SALVATIONS AND DISCIPLES AND CHURCH PLANTS.
      • And the Bible says that God has given us the Holy Spirit to helps us in these things…

John 16:7-11 ESV  Nevertheless, I tell you the truth: it is to your advantage that I go away, for if I do not go away, the Helper will not come to you. But if I go, I will send him to you.  (8)  And when he comes, he will convict the world concerning sin and righteousness and judgment:  (9)  concerning sin, because they do not believe in me;  (10)  concerning righteousness, because I go to the Father, and you will see me no longer;  (11)  concerning judgment, because the ruler of this world is judged.

  • The Holy Spirit comes to help bring conviction to those who need to come to Christ.
    • Not condemnation, but conviction…
    • The Holy Spirit is our helper in this… are we making room for Him.
  • The name of this well, Rehoboth, means “Room enough”…
    • “Room enough for us to dwell”
    • “Room enough for us to work”
    • “Room enough for us to prosper”.
  • But my challenge to all of us today is this: Are we making room enough for the Holy Spirit to move…
    • That’s why we are making some changes at CLC…
      • Wednesday service is going to be more structured…
      • We want it to be an hour on the nose of preaching and worship.
        • But wait a minute pastor… you are having a MORE structured service?!
      • That’s right, because I want to make room for the Holy Spirit to move!
      • So if we are going to be here until 9pm, or 10, or 11… that ought to be because the Holy Spirit has  been moving for an hour, or two hours, or three hours… not because the preacher couldn’t wrap things up…
      • Not because the worship team wanted to sing three more choruses of Reckless love…
      • But because the power of the Spirit was moving so mightily that people didn’t want to leave.
      • And listen, I don’t know if you have ever had this experience… where the guy taking up offering takes 30 minutes to do so, the guy giving announcements takes 30 minutes to do so, the guy doing communion takes 30 minutes to do so, the worship team leads worship for 45 minutes and the preacher preaches for an hour and 45 minutes…
        • Then after you have been in service for 3 hours… with no potty breaks… THEN the pastor starts and altar call…
          • Something about THAT doesn’t seem like Rehoboth…
          • Something about that doesn’t seem like room enough…
            • It can be, from time to time… but I want ever Wednesday to have ample time for the Spirit to Move should the Spirit so desire…
            • I want to make room enough for prayers of healing… for tongues, for prophecy, for miracles, for WHATEVER…
    • So that’s one thing we are doing… in fact, the preachers on Wednesday will be preaching through the book of ACTS praise God, so we can learn more about the Holy Spirit and His power as we give Him room to work in this church.
  • But what about YOU saint?
    • Are you giving the Holy Spirit Rehoboth in your life?
      • Does He have room enough to work in your life.

Jude 1:20 ESV  But you, beloved, building yourselves up in your most holy faith and praying in the Holy Spirit,

  • Are you spending time praying in the Spirit… spending time to build yourself up? Or are you too busy?
    • I have it in my calendar… time to pray in the Spirit every week…
      • Because I want to make room for the Spirit.
  • Are you making room for Him in your prayer life… steeping out in boldness to pray for miracles, for faith, for healing… for His SUPERNATURAL will to be done?
    • Or are you just praying the basic, just enough to get by prayers.
  • Are you making room for Him in your studies… not just studying God’s Law… but also His Holy Spirt?
  • Are you making room for Him in your mind? Or are you so closed minded that you even reject the Scriptures about the Holy Spirit that are so plan to read…
    • You know I find it so funny, some of the most bible minded people are the ones who reject the things of the Spirit because it seems so strange and foreign to them…
      • I am like… “Don’t you believe God spoke the universe into existence?”
      • Do you believe he formed us out of dust and breathed life into us?
      • Do you believe in a literal flood and a literal ark?
      • Do you believe an actual giant fish actually swallowed Jonah then spit him up days later?
      • Do you believe there was an actual giant who was slain by a shepherd?
      • Do you believe that God turned the Nile river into blood as a plague against the Egyptians and then later split the read sea?
      • What about when Jesus spit into dirt to rub into a blind mans eyes… and heal him…
        • Or when Jesus called a dead man out of a tomb… they said he would stink and be rotten… but Jesus did it anyway… do you believe that?
      • Do you believe Jesus died and rose again on the third day?
      • And that he has a place in a city of Gold waiting for us?
      • And in that city you will have a new name written on a white stone that only you and God knows…
    • You mean to tell me you believe ALL of that… but praying in a language that only your Spirit and God knows… that’s to strange for you?
    • Praying for healing… that’s too outlandish for you?
    • Believing in physical miracles? THAT’S where you draw the line?
    • COME ON CHURCH! Tell your brain to stop being a hypocrite, open your Bible study the Spirit and make room for Him in your life…
  • Then ask… ask and you shall receive.

Conclusion

Conclusion here

  • Gospel Call

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