He Admits It…
Dr. Gary Collins wrote that, for many years Sir Walter Scott was the leading literary figure in the British Empire. No one could write as well as he. Then the works of Lord Byron began to appear, and their greatness was immediately evident. Soon an anonymous critic praised his poems in a London paper. He declared that in the presence of these brilliant works of poetic genius, Scott could no longer be considered the leading poet of England. It was later discovered that the unnamed reviewer had been none other than Sir Walter Scott himself!
There is a distinction between jealousy and envy. To envy is to want something which belongs to another person. "You shall not covet your neighbor's house, his wife or his servant, his ox or donkey or anything that belongs to your neighbor." In contrast, jealousy is the fear that something which we possess will be taken away by another person. Although jealousy can apply to our jobs, our possessions, or our reputations, the word more often refers to anxiety which comes when we are afraid that the affections of a loved one might be lost to a rival. We fear that our mates, or perhaps our children, will be lured away by some other person who, when compared to us, seems to be more attractive, capable and successful.
When it comes to jealousy, God is jealous for us. In the purely human sphere that we operate, we often try to hide our feelings of jealousy. In fact, being called jealous is not a very flattering thing to have said about us. We don’t like to admit when we are jealous because it makes us appear weak or vulnerable to the actions of others. We struggle to admit that we have this jealous insecurity. We are even embarrassed to be known for this particular trait and particularly so if it is regarding someone that we struggle to like. We would never want that person to know that they are the object of our jealousy.
In Galatians 5:19-21, jealousy is identified as one of the characteristics of our sinful nature. Yet there is a kind of godly jealousy that we are mostly incapable of exercising apart from the Spirit of God. A jealousy to have more of God is altogether different. One of the reasons that we see so little of the movement of God in our lives and in our culture, I firmly believe, is because we do not long for more of God. The scripture says of God, “you will find me when you seek for me with all your heart.”
But there is also another kind of jealousy. It is the kind of jealousy that God expresses toward us… and get this, while we hide our jealousy, God admits His! That’s right, He admits it! It is a holy jealousy for our hearts and devotion. Exodus 34:14 explains it this way… “for you shall worship no other god, for the Lord, whose name is Jealous, is a jealous God,” Jesus said it another way… “No man can serve two masters…” Both of these statements remind us of God’s exclusive demand that we be singularly devoted to Him. When our affection is given to the world, or anything else other than God, biblically speaking, He becomes righteously jealous at being subservient to these other gods in our life. In most cases, it wasn’t and isn’t our intent to replace God as Lord of our lives, but time and routine have robbed our devotion and while we may not even be aware, God certainly is, and He desires that we return to Him as our “first love.”
We all want to see God move! But, if we would see the move of God on our lives, our church and our nation, then we must deal with the other gods, because His “name is Jealous” and it is all about His love for you. Remember, God is always trying to take you someplace new. I love being your Pastor!
For God’s Glory Alone,