Beware of Jealousy

Jealousy and envy truly is the green eyed monster. I want to warn you to take jealousy seriously and do not allow it to have any place in you, your family or your church. It is extremely destructive and there should be no place for it in the body of Christ.

If the spirit of jealousy is allowed to influence believers and ensnare them then it will cause division, strife and can also cause physical sickness.

This is what I want to warn you about today and make you aware of the dangers of jealousy.

Jealousy leads to mistrust, division, confusion and strife in the body of Christ.

James 3:16 “For where envy & self seeking exist, confusion and every evil thing is there

Jealousy comes from a fear of losing our place.

Losing our place in someone’s affections, losing our place of influence, our place of authority, our place of importance, our place of favour.

The fear arises- Someone else is going to take my place or someone else has taken my place.

If that wrong thought takes hold then the person will be jealous of the one that they believe has taken or is going to take their place.

It could be a place in ministry or in leadership in the church or group that they think should be theirs. In their mind it belongs to them.

If someone is jealous of you then they will usually struggle to hide it. It will manifest itself in some way – either in malicious gossip or criticism behind your back or if they are very bold then viciously to your face – it’s more likely to be poison spread to others but if the person is very bitter then they will do their utmost to pull you down by direct attacks on you.

If they are doing it all very subtly behind your back then you may be oblivious to this attack on you and its source. If this is happening to you then you may well be suffering problems in one way or another from the spiritual attack on you. It can manifest as sickness, physical pain, extreme fatigue or tiredness in your body.

If you are suffering from extreme tiredness, headaches, neck or back pain and there is no obvious physical cause then I urge you to pray about it. Ask the Holy Spirit, who is the spirit of truth, to reveal whether this is a spiritual attack on you. Pray for discernment.

If someone is jealous of you then the fiery darts of the enemy are being aimed in your direction. If they are finding their mark then they need to be dealt with.

When the attack comes from a brother or sister in Christ then it will generally hit you in your back and the spirit of jealousy will go for your head which is why often there can be a face, neck or back pain as a result. Our backs are the unprotected part of us because we are supposed to be there for each other – standing back to back with each other. Attacks are not supposed to come from each other within the body of believers.

If you discern that a spirit of jealousy is afflicting you then pray with a trusted friend. Rebuke the spirit of jealousy and break off its effects on you in Jesus name and in the authority of His name, pray for healing and restoration in your body and forgive and bless the person who is jealous of you. It does not matter whether you do or do not know who it is – bless those who curse you. Pray for them.

If reading this you have recognised that you are a jealous person and have been jealous of someone then I urge you to repent of it – ask the Lord’s forgiveness and pray for and bless that person instead. Pray for healing for any hurts that you have caused through your jealousy whether physical, emotional or spiritual. Rebuke the spirit of jealousy in Jesus’ name and pray for release of its hold over you. Pray that the Lord will strengthen you to submit this area of your mind and emotions to the Lord and to resist the enemy from having this stronghold in your life. Pray that you are also healed from the effect of jealousy in your heart and body.

A sound heart is life to the body but envy is rottenness to the bones – Proverbs 14:30

There is no need for jealousy amongst believers because we all have our unique place in the body of Christ. There is a place for you, a place for me and a place for each of us.

Psalm 55 – Betrayed by Friends? Trust in God

If you have never read Psalm 55 then I recommend a read. It is an amazing Psalm. David just pours out the hurt, pain & anger he feels over being betrayed. You can really feel the pain behind the words. It is raw and real. He puts his broken heart out there and the emotion is tangible.

Why this Psalm is enlightening is that it’s not just any betrayal though.. it was the betrayal of a very close friend and equal. Someone David trusted completely who went to the temple with him. They worshipped together. Spiritual companions. They were of the same heart & mind as David or so he thought. David found out the truth though. His friend was not really his friend. He was out to destroy him. It cut him deeply to be betrayed by someone he trusted completely. As David said, if it was an enemy he could have coped with it. You know your enemies are against you but you expect your friends to have your back.

Imagine as a Christian being betrayed by your closest confidant at church. You have been going to church together for years, perhaps you came to faith together, walked the journey together, you think you know them, trust them, you have shared your heart with them and then you find out it was all a pretence. They weren’t your friend at all, they didn’t have your best interests at heart, they were actually working against you all the time. The shock, the pain, hurt, anger…you would feel it just as David felt it.

I believe Holy Spirit is warning us that we are going to see more of such betrayal being revealed in the body of Christ. We need to prepare our hearts. You may have already experienced it. Jesus warned believers about it in the last days that brothers & sisters etc. will betray each other, How will we deal with it if it happens to us and not compromise our faith. For our own sakes we can’t allow such betrayals to crush us and destroy trust of others and impact future Godly relationships. We can’t give into revenge or thoughts of revenge. David certainly wanted God to take vengeance. You read it in this Psalm. He gives voice to those thoughts.

The pain and hurt of such betrayal needs to be acknowledged and poured out to God. It will fester otherwise. It is important to guard our hearts so that bitterness and resentment do not take root and cause us and others even more trouble. Choosing to forgive others as Jesus forgives us is the test. God can help us to forgive through the power of the Holy Spirit working in us to do this. Without the Holy Spirit, I think it is impossible as our flesh will want to lash out and cause hurt as we have been hurt. We can trust God though to bring healing to the wounds and for justice and truth to be outworked. He is our shield and protector.

We can’t allow these painful experiences to drive us away from fellowship with other Christians. David wanted to just run away – verse 6 “oh that I had wings like a dove, I would fly away and be at rest.” and these things will want to make us run away too…run from everything even those people that truly love us and want the best for us. Betrayal can be a doorway for shame especially if someone has betrayed things about us to others that will cause people to judge us or treat us differently. Running away is not the answer. We won’t find any rest by drawing away and isolating ourselves. There will be a true godly friend who can draw alongside you at these difficult times. Help is there. Don’t reject those who want to help and love you at these times out of fear of the same thing happening. Learning to trust again.

There is something else I believe in this Psalm though that the Holy Spirit also reveals. In the midst of David’s brokenness & outpouring I read in verses 20-21 a prophetic word inspired by the Holy Spirit about the anti-christ and how he will operate and it’s a similar story.

“He has put forth his hands against those who were at peace with him; He has broken his covenant. The words of his mouth were smoother than butter, But war was in his heart; His words were softer than oil, Yet they were drawn swords”.

Anti-Christ will pretend to be a close friend & ally of Israel who will deceive Israel into making a peace treaty which will prove to be a deception. He will break that treaty mid way through and betray them. This is prophesied in other parts of scripture about a seven year peace treaty. Israel will feel utterly betrayed. Anti Christ is a flatterer and a deceiver. War and not peace is his true intention. The betrayal of David by a close friend shows us I think how anti christ will operate. Is Anti Christ a fellow worshipper or spiritual person? I don’t know but it provokes me to think about the possibility.

Why have I also flagged these verses. To show that God can still use us in such situations despite our brokenness and work through us for His glory. He can use you still. Don’t give up and allow the pain of betrayal to consume you. Instead rise up, believe in the gifts He has deposited within you and the ministry He has called you to. You are a gift to the body of Christ. Don’t let the enemy rob you of it and destroy your future.

There is an answer and hope in v 22 “Cast your burden on the Lord and He will sustain you. He shall never permit the righteous to be moved”. This promise to sustain you also means to nourish, bear, hold up, protect, support and defend you. God will do all this for you – give him the burden of betrayal and trust in His unfailing love.

Blessings to you in Jesus name.