We all know that the bible speaks strongly against envy (or jealousy). In 1 Peter 2 and Titus 3, we are told that even though this is a natural condition of fallen man, as soon as we get saved it is among the first things that must go. As the Holy Spirit comes upon us at salvation by faith, He begins to convict us and empower us through grace to cast out every “vain” imagination and few imaginations are as “vain” as envy. In Fact, according to scripture, the one thing that gives jealousy access into your heart is “vain glory”, or “a desire for attention”.
“Let us not be desirous of vain glory, provoking one another, envying one another.” – Galatians 5:26
When the devil sees someone desiring attention from anyone for any reason, he sends the spirit of jealousy to watch for an opportunity to enter, and yes jealousy is most definitely an evil spirit as stated in the book of Numbers chapter 5 verse 30.
When the person desiring the attention eventually at some point doesn’t get it and someone else does, that spirit gets in their ear and tells them all the reasons that person didn’t deserve it and all the reasons they did. At this point the believer needs to rebuke those thoughts and rejoice for the blessings of others because as soon as you choose to agree with that spirit, you give it access.
“Be ye angry, and sin not: let not the sun go down upon your wrath: Neither give place to the devil.” – Ephesians 4:26-27
Once you have given Envy access it then begins to work at your heart, mind, and emotions until what’s in your heart eventually reaches your lips and all manner of gossip, slander, guile, lies, bitterness, malice, manipulation, contention, and devision comes out and begins to tear down and defile others around you. Having been allowed to go this far, what has come out of your mouth then begins to drive your actions through pride into snares and entrapments making you the very tool of Satan against others and setting you at odds with God as you sow seeds of hatred and offense among His children. If allowed to continue, envy can go all the way to physical murder, even though spiritual murder (a far worse crime) has already been committed as you have caused others to stumble from their steadfastness in the faith through your planting of contention, offense, and bitterness in them.
“A good man out of the good treasure of his heart bringeth forth that which is good; and an evil man out of the evil treasure of his heart bringeth forth that which is evil: for of the abundance of the heart his mouth speaketh.” – Luke 6:45
“But if ye have bitter envying and strife in your hearts, glory not, and lie not against the truth. This wisdom descendeth not from above, but is earthly, sensual, devilish. For where envying and strife is, there is confusion and every evil work.” – James 3:14-16
This one seed of envy truly, if allowed access into your heart, can grow into every other sin imaginable and the thing that draws it to you is a desire for attention so guard your heart from this always and be content in faith in whatever God has given you, where ever God has placed you, and with whoever God has placed you with.
“Let your conversation be without covetousness; and be content with such things as ye have: for he hath said, I will never leave thee, nor forsake thee.” – Hebrews 13:5
“Keep thy heart with all diligence; for out of it are the issues of life.” – Proverbs 4:23
Now for the faithful and humble servant of the Lord who has faced the viciousness of envy’s wrath coming against them from others for no cause, I offer you this hope and revelation. Because that envy is brought on by a desire for attention (or vain glory), it will ALWAYS rise up against those who have the favor and anointing of God on their lives, and because it is incited by an evil spirit, the attacks often come before the victim themselves even sees the manifestation of that favor, yet the devil knows it is there and “envies” it.
We see this through out scripture in the lives of Joseph, as jealousy drives his own brothers to attempted murder, then to sell him into slavery. What were they jealous of as the boy had not yet done anything of notoriety, but for the favor and anointing of God on his life that would later lead to greatness was the devil envious through them.
We see it in David’s life as Saul recognized God’s favor and anointing on him and grew envious to the point of harassing, hunting, and seeking to kill David out of jealousy.
We see it in Daniel’s life as the politicians in the Kings Court grew jealous of God’s favor and anointing on his life and conspired to have him thrown to the Lions.
We see it in Jesus’s life as God’s favor and anointing on Him caused jealousy to rise up in the pharisees to the point of having him crucified.
Make no mistake, it was envy that hung Jesus, an innocent man, on that cross, and it is envy that will rise up against all those who will follow in His likeness and living Godly, humbly, and sacrificially, attain the favor and anointing of God themselves.
“Yea, and all that will live godly in Christ Jesus shall suffer persecution.” – 2 Timothy 3:12
“Then said Jesus unto his disciples, If any man will come after me, let him deny himself, and take up his cross, and follow me.” – Matthew 16:24
We forget that one of the fruits of the Spirit is “longsuffering“. Many modern translations have change this word to “patience“. While patience is surely a virtue, the original word “long-suffering” is far more fitting, as “patience” only implies waiting, but “long-suffering” implies faithful and humble endurance of great trial, tribulation, and suffering. You see, the problem is this, those that have a desire for attention are focused on self, therefor they cannot please God. However, when they see someone who’s desire was to obey God in faith (which does please God), they become envious of that persons closeness to God. They desire their mantel but have not (or will not) take on their sackcloth and ashes, their waiting, their sacrifice, their long suffering.
Everyone wants the double portion but few are willing to go through a Job experience to get it, so they envy those who have. Don’t be like Job’s friends, don’t become Joseph’s brothers, don’t be a Pharisee or a Saul, don’t be jealous or desirous of vain glory. Trust that God sees what you do not, has been there through what you have not, and is rewarding what you cannot understand with a just and faithful reward. Therefore, rejoice for those who have through much longsuffering attained favor, take the lowest seat, and patiently await your own reward by selfless faith, in due time.
“Humble yourselves therefore under the mighty hand of God, that he may exalt you in due time: Casting all your care upon him; for he careth for you.” – 1 Peter 5:6-7