In our daily lives, we envy, we wish for other people's life styles, we wish to be at a more successful place, we look at our friends, people around us wishing to be in their positions, wishing to have their image, their popularity, their career, their attention, their wealth and many more things.
I, personally sometimes look at my life and the friends I attended school with, I look at where they are now and the routes I have taken in life and where it has brought me. A lot of my friends have travelled overseas where I have never been before, I look at their updates on Facebook of them getting engaged, married and having kids where everyone has always thought it would be me before all of them, I look at their figures wondering why I am dying, trying to get there, I look at their success and try to figure why I am still wondering about, not knowing where I am going, I look at their families and wonder why they share such close relationships with their sibling when I have fought and cried many tears to share the same closeness, there are many things I envy daily but just the other day God brought light to my life and cleared up all my confusion, which is something I felt upon my heart to share with all of you today.
Dear brothers and sisters, your friend may drive the better car or even just have a car, may have the better figure, the most successful career, they may have the most loving close family, all attention on them as they enter a room, be blessed everyday of their lives, they may have the partner that you could only dream of having in your life, they may have all the popularity the world has to offer, they may live in a beautiful house that you greatly wish you could afford, they could have all of your fleshly desires in the world. I bet you're thinking, “ahhh she understands” and I do, but my advise to you is that you should be rejoicing with them, you should be wishing more blessings upon their lives an STOP your envy!!! YES, you read right, God does not want you to envy those surrounding you for He is the eternal gift, He doesn't want you to live like royalty in this world (He never promised us this, stop listening to false preachings telling you this!!!!), He does not want you to sit at the right hand side with the prince of this world. He wants to bless you in much greater ways, ways that most people take a life time to realise it was right there in front of them, Jesus was there waiting with open arms for them all of the time!!!!
Why would I rather have Jesus? Jesus is the breath of life, you say, well we can breath, I say not the eternal breath that the Father has to offer. Jesus is love, you say, well we have love in our lives, I say not the true, not the most forever forgiving, forever merciful, not the pure love that overwhelms you everyday of your life and not eternal undying love. Jesus is the truth, what will you say to me then? Jesus is the light, what light can you see in this dark, evil, sick and corrupted world? Jesus is the way, you may say that there are many ways, I say, my dearest brother and sisters, you are right, there are plenty ways BUT there is only one way to God the Father and that is through Jesus!!!! Did you notice that in every answer I gave you, I mentioned “eternal”, God is eternal, this world is NOT, everything that He has to offer you is eternal, what you desire and envy of people in your surroundings is NOT eternal.
Brothers and sisters, wealth, image, love in this world, material things, status, success and all your fleshly desires in this world can fail you in a flash, it can rip you apart, break you down and bring you to your knees. What you need to ask yourself is will you get back off of your knees and try it all out of your own will again OR will you with faith stay on your knees and cry out to Jesus and ask Him to take you at your weakest, most broken and ripped apart moment? Will you trust in Him with all of who you are to bring you to where His will for your life is? He NEVER wanted to see you broken, hurt, He NEVER wanted you to feel unloved, lost, confused or unworthy. He wanted/ wants the very best for His children, He wants to show you beauty, He wants to love you with a love that you never knew existed, love that brings tears of joy to your eyes by just the thought of it, He wants to comfort you through your daily prosecutions, He wants to show the world the beauty within you, shining without you, that no matter what anyone has ever made you feel, no matter how for so long you looked at yourself in the mirror wishing you could change a bit of this and a bit of that, IT WILL BE NO MORE, you my friend will feel beautiful when He lives within you, you will hear of this glowing beauty as you grow in Christ, people will question you about this radiance, people will be drawn to you, you will feel a warmth and joy in you that when you look at how you now look in that mirror you have wanted change in for so long, you will see Him and you will know what I mean. He wants to give you what is Not of this world, He wants to bring you to life, turn your hurt into joy, He wants you to do royalty work (For Him), He wants to make you feel worth this world could NEVER make you feel, He wants to give you, your hearts desires, but that of what He knows you need but also spoil you, knowing that you would not appreciate it in flesh but for His glory. My brothers and sisters that is just a few things that I have mentioned to you, God has a many more things He would like to do for you, He knows each one of us individually and He knows and hears our cries daily.
You read the above and question my last line “Well if He hears our cries daily, then why am I still where I am, without”. Its's simple my friend, I expected you to question that. Have you ever asked yourself that question instead of asking God? Have you ever looked at how you have been living your life and how you have been serving the Lord? In all honesty, before responding with a justification for peace of mind, just take a moment and give it some good thought. If we do not live a godly life and we live in the world, can we ask and expect to receive? Jesus out of great love told us that if we ask in His Name, we will receive but that in, we live not of this world. For He said that those who are luke warm (half with God and half with the world), He will spit us out. A beautiful and simple way that my dad (Johann Gerhard van der Hoven) put it “In step with the world, out of step with God. Out of step with the world, in step with God. Who's tune are you dancing to?”
In saying that, I want to make sure that you understand what I mean by the above. Being a good person does NOT mean that you are a Christian living a godly life, calling yourself a Christian is a dead title, IT'S LIVING IT. I know many would like to believe your good deeds make you this wonderful Christian and that many people like to attend churches that preach this watered down gospel but my friend you need to wake up and realise that you need correct those ways fast and stop living that lie. A very good verse that I would like to use in this case is (James 2:14-26), which I have put at the bottom of this note along with some others. What this verse states is that many people are trying establish their own righteousness and hoping that they succeed. Their propose is to make themselves better by good works, by doing and not doing certain things, doing charity works, being a good neighbor, not harming people, giving to the needy and many more “good deeds”. But this does not make us righteous. God’s righteousness is the standard and we can never reach that by our efforts “good deeds”.
We spend our lifetime envying all these things not realising that we have been passing by all the wonderful blessings and opportunities God has for us along the way. We never saw it cause we were so blinded by envy, we were deceived. Where did it all start? It started with Satan, He was the most beautiful angel, He was dearly loved by God, he was perfect in beauty, a mighty angelic guardian. But his heart became filled with envy. He hated what God had granted His son. Satan wanted honor and praise. He wanted to be worshipped, he was not content with his status, he created confusion and rebellion. Satan wanted to overthrow God. He wanted the angels to believe that God was unjust and unfair and this is the same lie he has been preaching to humans until this day. This may very well answer your thinking, in why you are questioning God when you do not understand most things in life.
Every time you envy you draw away from what God would like to bless you with, you give satan delight in questioning God, in having bitterness in your heart, in wishing others badly for doing well, in feeling worthless thinking that you do not deserve having what your heart desires, in turning from God and doing your fleshly will cause you could not wait upon God's timing. Satan has caused more sorrow, pain, and death than any other individual in the history of the world. He delights in destruction. Satan would like to destroy every person on earth. He is stealing your blessings!
Brothers and sisters, do not envy any longer, it is easier said than done but practice makes perfect. Every time you feel envious just say to yourself “I'd rather have Jesus”. I do this every time I feel that envious feeling come upon me and I start smiling, I tell you not a word of a lie, I have such peace overcome me, I have such excitement and joy bubble within me with the Lord's assurance running through me. I have never been blessed the way I have this year, things have really turned around for me. My eyes have been opened to many worldly things that have blinded me, no I haven't received all my hearts desires, I have received so much more than I could ever have thought to ask for, cliché line but we have a God of goodness and He always takes us by surprise with His wonderful and loving mysterious ways, I am not ONLY content, I have MORE than I ever thought I could have. As for my hearts desires, I wait on His timing, for it is perfect.
The scriptures below have guided me a lot in changing this worldly trend followed by many. Make that change and may God bless you with this beautiful eye opener.
I'd rather have Jesus!!!
(Proverbs 14:30)-A tranquil heart gives life to the flesh, but envy makes the bones rot
(Romans 12:21)-Do not be overcome by evil, but overcome evil with good.
(Exodus 20:17)-“You shall not covet your neighbor's house; you shall not covet your neighbor's wife, or his male servant, or his female servant, or his ox, or his donkey, or anything that is your neighbor's.”
(James 3:14-15)-But if you have bitter jealousy and selfish ambition in your hearts, do not boast and be false to the truth. This is not the wisdom that comes down from above, but is earthly, unspiritual, demonic.
(James 4:2-3)-You desire and do not have, so you murder. You covet and cannot obtain, so you fight and quarrel. You do not have, because you do not ask. You ask and do not receive, because you ask wrongly, to spend it on your passions.
(1 Corinthians 10:13)-No temptation has overtaken you that is not common to man. God is faithful, and he will not let you be tempted beyond your ability, but with the temptation he will also provide the way of escape, that you may be able to endure it.
(John 14:6)- "I am the way, and the truth, and the life; no one comes to the Father but through Me.
(John 8:12)- Then Jesus again spoke to them, saying, "I am the Light of the world; he who follows Me will not walk in the darkness, but will have the Light of life."
(1 John 4:8)- Whoever does not love does not know God, because God is love.
(John 3:16)- “For God so loved the world, that he gave his only Son, that whoever believes in him should not perish but have eternal life.
(1 John 3:1)-See what kind of love the Father has given to us, that we should be called children of God; and so we are. The reason why the world does not know us is that it did not know him.
(Jeremiah 29:11)-For I know the plans I have for you, declares the LORD, plans for welfare and not for evil, to give you a future and a hope.
(Psalm 136:26)-Give thanks to the God of heaven, for his steadfast love endures forever.
(1 John 4:16b)- God is love, and all who live in love live in God, and God lives in them.
(1 John 4:8)- He that loveth not knoweth not God; for God is love.
(James 2:14-26)- 14 What good is it, my brothers and sisters, if someone claims to have faith but has no deeds? Can such faith save them? 15 Suppose a brother or a sister is without clothes and daily food. 16 If one of you says to them, “Go in peace; keep warm and well fed,” but does nothing about their physical needs, what good is it? 17 In the same way, faith by itself, if it is not accompanied by action, is dead.
18 But someone will say, “You have faith; I have deeds.”
Show me your faith without deeds, and I will show you my faith by my deeds. 19 You believe that there is one God. Good! Even the demons believe that—and shudder.
20 You foolish person, do you want evidence that faith without deeds is useless[a]? 21 Was not our father Abraham considered righteous for what he did when he offered his son Isaac on the altar? 22 You see that his faith and his actions were working together, and his faith was made complete by what he did. 23 And the scripture was fulfilled that says, “Abraham believed God, and it was credited to him as righteousness,”[b] and he was called God’s friend. 24 You see that a person is considered righteous by what they do and not by faith alone.
Good deeds without faith are dead, being a good person with good deeds in this world means nothing, it makes us no better than the sinners of the world.... :
(Romans 10:2-3)-"They have a zeal of God, but not according to knowledge. For they being ignorant of God's righteousness, and going about to establish their own righteousness, have not submitted themselves unto the righteousness of God."
(Romans 3:10)- "There is none righteous, no, not one."
(Isaiah 14:13,14 )-"I will ascend to heaven and set my throne above God's stars. I will preside on the mountain of the gods far away in the north. I will climb in the highest heavens and be like the most high."
(Ezequiel 28:17 )-"Thine heart was lifted because of thy beauty, thou hast corrupted thy wisdom by reason of thy brightness"
12 "You were the seal of perfection,
Full of wisdom and perfect in beauty.
13 You were in Eden, the garden of God;
Every precious stone was your covering:
The sardius, topaz, and diamond,
Beryl, onyx, and jasper,
Sapphire, turquoise, and emerald with gold.
The workmanship of your timbrels and pipes
Was prepared for you on the day you were created.
14 You were the anointed cherub who covers;
I established you;
You were on the holy mountain of God;
You walked back and forth in the midst of fiery stones.”
(Ezekiel 28:6)-"you have set your heart as the heart of a god.”
"How you are fallen from heaven,
O Lucifer, son of the morning!
How you are cut down to the ground,
You who weakened the nations!
13 For you have said in your heart:
'I will ascend into heaven,
I will exalt my throne above the stars of God;
I will also sit on the mount of the congregation
On the farthest sides of the north;
14 I will ascend above the heights of the clouds,
I will be like the Most High.'”