July 4, 2010
A Jealous God
James 4:5 Do ye think that the scripture saith in vain, The Spirit that dwelleth in us lusteth to envy? (KJV)
In the King James Bible the word lust means a strong desire for something, about which a person’s life revolves.
The NIV gives us a little more insight into this verse. It reads like this:
James 4:5 Or do you think Scripture says without reason that the Spirit he
caused to live in us envies intensely?
The word envy means to feel resentful or painful desire for another's advantages or possessions. When we look to other sources to meet our needs, God can only stand by and be envious of that source we are looking to and wish we were giving HIM that opportunity in our lives. He is envious for our sakes, the position that we have given to something or someone other than Him. It is our legal right to look to whatever source we want for fulfillment and it is only when we give HIM permission by acknowledging Him that HE can step in and meet the need. He loves us so much and He realizes that whatever, or whoever it is we are looking to, can never meet our needs the way He can.
God’s life revolves around us, meeting our needs and caring for us. We can’t even imagine how much HE loves us and wants to care for us. Did you know that He thinks about you all the time. Psalm 139:17,18 tells us: How precious also are thy thoughts unto me, O God! how great is the sum of them! I should count them, they are more in number than the sand:
One example of what I’m talking about above is a person’s finances. A person’s job is not what supplies their financial needs any more than a hammer builds a house. God IS our source of supply and the job is only a tool in the hands of the Master builder used to provide our finances. We work because God created us to. He created us with a nature to be productively employed and it fulfills us when we are. The first record of man working was before the fall.
Genesis 2:25 says: And the LORD God took the man, and put him into the garden of Eden to dress it and to keep it.
So we see our work is only a tool in the hands of God, who Himself is meeting our financial needs as well fulfilling us productively and He expects us to recognize that. That’s what he was talking about in Colossians 3:23: And whatsoever ye do, do it heartily, as to the Lord, and not unto men;
If we consider our job as our source of supply we are on a limited income but if we acknowledge God as our source of supply our income is according to His riches in glory through Christ Jesus.
If you are sick or injured it is not the Doctor, hospital or the medicine that makes you well. God is the healer, He is your source of supply and these are only tools He may use.
Isaiah 53:5 tells us:
But he was wounded for our transgressions, he was bruised for our iniquities: the chastisement of our peace was upon him; and with his stripes we are healed.
When that Roman whip cut across His back He paid an incredible price for the right to be our Physician and the least we can do is give him that place in our lives. If for whatever reasons He decides not to heal us in this life, it is His right, and He wants us to still trust Him. He has reasons for everything in our lives that many times we cannot fathom, but there is an overwhelming truth and that is “He loves us and intends for everything that comes our way to be for our gain and not loss”
Romans 8:28 tells us:
And we know that all things work together for good to them that love God, to them who are the called according to his purpose.
I’m not saying, not to go to doctors or take medicine. I’m saying that in any illness or injury to acknowledge Him as the Great Physician and to pray first for healing and direction and then act accordingly, with the knowledge that He is in control of the situation and will direct your steps as He sees fit. When healing comes, regardless of how, recognize that God as the Great Physician brought it to pass and give Him glory. If it doesn’t come, acknowledge His rights in your life and praise Him anyhow. You can trust Him completely. What I’m talking about is a life attitude.
If your marriage is falling apart, a marriage counseling session is not what will heal it. God wants to be the mediator between you and your marriage partner. A counseling session may be a tool that God uses to help fix things but don’t give it the credit. Give the praise where it belongs, to the God who created the institution of marriage and performed the first wedding between Adam and Eve. I once read the story of a young wife whose husband ran off with another woman and then sued her for custody of their child. She went to the Lord in fervent prayer. The Lord spoke to her and said “Give him your son and I’ll give it all back to you”. She decided to trust the Lord, even with her son, but she said signing those custody papers was the hardest thing she ever did. Several months went by and then she got a call from her ex. He had left the other woman and wanted to come home and try again, this time with the Lord in their relationship. God was faithful, He did as he had promised. He gave it all back and then some.
Finally I would like to mention, that one the most significant ways of acknowledging God as your source of supply is the act of giving. The act of unselfish giving, out of a generous heart toward God, is literally your signature on a legal contract between you and God making Him your source of supply.
I once read the story of a family that lived near railroad tracks during the great depression. They had little to eat and the father couldn’t find any work. The lady writing the story said railroad tramps would always knock on the door and want something to eat and the family would always share with them whatever they had. The day finally came when there was nothing left but a little flour and the mother cooked it up into a gruel and put it on the plates. As they sat down to eat, there came a knock on the door and there stood a tramp. For the first time the father was tempted to turn him away but he didn’t. He scrapped some off the other’s plates onto one for the tramp and they sat down and ate it. After eating, the tramp mentioned it was a beautiful day and asked them to take a walk down the tracks with him for a little way. They did, and when they returned and the mother began cleaning off the table, there under the tramp’s plate was a $20 gold piece. Where a tramp came in possession of a $20 gold piece they would never know, but the next day the father found work and it was up, from there on out. At the conclusion of the story the writer said, “I know the story well, it was my home, and the family was mine”.
I could make a list and it would go on endlessly covering every aspect of our lives. God is a jealous God, but that jealousy is not to satisfy Himself like man’s jealousy. That jealousy is directed toward your profit and His great desire for the very best in your life that can only be provided by Himself.
God wants us to look to him for everything. He wants to be acknowledged as our total source of supply and in the act of doing so we are giving Him permission to be it.
Proverbs 3:5,6 says: Trust in the LORD with all thine heart; and lean not unto thine own understanding. In all thy ways acknowledge him, and he shall direct thy paths.