spirit of jealousy
Look out, for the spirit of Jealousy

In order to serve in the body of Christ and bear good fruits, we must overcome the works of the flesh and let the spirit reign in us. Only God can help us do so by giving Him our all without holding back.
Galatians 5:19-22 gives a good contrast of the fruits of the flesh and those of the Holy Spirit.

Jealousy is one of the obstacles that believers should overcome completely in order to serve God. Jealous is the feeling of envy or covetousness of someone’s perceived achievements or possessions. When you are jealous, you begin to think that someone else is more advantaged than you are in a certain area and you are not happy about it. Why are we strongly warned against jealousy?

Genesis 4. The first death on earth occurred out of jealousy. Cain was envious of His brother Abel, whose sacrifice pleased God. Cain probably thought that by killing Abel, God would have no choice but to accept his offering. Unfortunately Cain ended up cursed. Instead of killing his brother, Cain should have sought after his brother to learn why his sacrifice had been accepted while his was rejected.

1KINGS: 21
Jezebel had Naboth killed so that her husband could acquire the beautiful vineyard owned by Naboth. Jezebel was an idol worshipper and had no reverence of the Almighty God. Jezebel also ended up curse and so was Ahab and His children.

Exodus 20:17
The 10th commandment warns against coveting you neigbhor’s property.

Jealousy is a tool that satan uses to distract Christians and he knows that it is very effective. Having been an angel of God, he was jealous of the power of God and wanted everything to himself. His jealousy saw him kicked out of the kingdom of heaven and now roams around bitterly on earth looking for believers to deceive.

When you let jealousy mislead you, you cease to see the wonderful things that God has done for you. Jealousy and malice work in tandem. When you are jealous of someone, you always find a way to bring them down. You may do this by speaking words that could hurt their reputation or sabotaging their effort in everything they do. Jealousy drags you back into sin and prevents you from growing spiritually.

Our gifts should work together for the good of the body of Christ. Caption this; the first four books of the New Testament all give an account of the life of Jesus Christ. While Matthew starts by proofing the lineage of Jesus, John starts by quoting the book of Genesis and sounds more like an eye-witness. All the writers gave an account of the life of Christ as lead by the spirit and in different styles. None of the writers is less than the other.

Equally, can your finger be jealous of the hair, or the hair jealous of the stomach? All the body organs work together, each created for a specific purpose. So are we in Christ. We focus on our purpose in Christ as we grow spiritually. The more we focus on him, he increases us even in material wealth. If we lose focus and begin to pull each other down, we inhibit growth.

Matthew 5:8
Blessed are the pure in heart for they shall see God.

Jealousy corrupts the purity of heart. God blesses those who are pure in heart and uplifts them like he did with David.
Sometimes we miss God’s blessings simply because our hearts are filled with envy. If we take jealousy to the altar, we risk destruction of our own works.

Rejoice with other members of the body of Christ when they achieve great things. Mango trees and orange trees all bear fruits but in different seasons. When your season has come, you will bear fruits in plenty.

How, do we overcome jealousy?

As earlier stated, it’s only God that can help us overcome the spirit of jealousy through the Holy Spirit. It is important to read and meditate upon the word of God every day. This will help us renew our minds and re-align our thoughts with the will of God. The word of God is a seed. When we plant it in our hearts we need to cultivate and take care of it so that it grows and bears good fruits.

It is also important to practice the art of congratulating those who are ahead of you and those who achieve great things. The will of the devil is that he distracts you and blinding you with jealous. He knows too well that it is the nature of men to always want more and to be recognized. God wants us to have a spirit of contentment. Contentment does not mean that you are not focused. Instead it shows that you are happy with what you have as you wait for God to move you to the next level.

The greatest commandment of all is love. We are commanded to love our neigbors as we love ourselves. We cannot claim that we love God if we do not love those that are around us. Equally, we cannot claim to love God or our neighbors if we are jealous of what they have or what they have achieved. We must always see the good in others just as God sees us.

The fruits of the Holy Spirit work together in us to overcome the temptations of the flesh. We therefore must completely surrender to God and let the Holy Spirit take control so that we are able to overcome the temptations of the flesh. We are helpless on our own. Let us therefore, work to make sure that our minds remain conscious to sin, that we may strive to be just as Christ. Temptations will come but it is the will of our father that we are able to overcome.

As our Lord Jesus taught us to pray, “ lead us not to temptation, but deliver us from evil.” We trust God to deliver us from all evil and temptations for the glory if His name.S

Secrets of shinning your light at your workplace.

Working close to or over 40 hours a week for a good part of your life is a hill high enough for you to stand on and shine the light of the lord. I know many have ever asked themselves how can I be a light to my coworkers as the Lord expects of me? If this is you, then you are at the right place. Having a job where I have to spend over 1/3 of my day with people who don’t know God, knew God a long time ago, or even don’t want to know him isn’t somewhere you want to cower under your shell of faith. Humans constantly influence each other, and logically for most of us think odds aren’t on our side. 

I would pray the same prayer Elisha prayed for his servant; “may he open his eyes to see that more are they that are on our side than them that are theirs.” If Jesus is in you, then you have the backing of heaven. It’s your willing to be used by the lord that is going to make sure you are not influenced by your colleagues but instead, you will draw them to the kingdom. Jesus advised as you are out there, be as wise a serpent yet as humble a dove. It’s by this humility and obeying the skillful leading of the holy spirit that will guarantee even more results. 

A lot of times, as Christians we are pushed against the wall in a lot of matters in life but unless we ask ourselves “what would Jesus do” in the situation we have no clue what to do then there might not be so much hope for us. The holy spirit act as a reminder to pull what is written in our hearts and give us that divine wisdom in time of need. Apostle Peter when advising employees on how to relate with their bosses said in 1St Peter 2;18 “Slaves, in reverent fear of God submit yourselves to your masters, not only to those who are good and considerate but also to those who are harsh.” It reminds us we all have one master in heaven, Jesus Christ, so it doesn’t matter if you are a master here on earth or not. What we need to do is know what is expected of us in the lord and do exactly that, for he rewards and punishes justly. 

As we serve our employers or masters here on earth, we always ought to do so as if we are doing it for the lord. It’s difficult submitting to a harsh boss who is not considerate at all but as Christians, our language should always be, ‘ not my will but your Lord.’ Jesus gave us a good example of suffering for sins he committed not. We are called to walk in his suffering so that we can earn the entitlement of sharing in his glory. Our small cross being our workplace peter in other scriptures in the same chapter goes in-depth to explain how our endurance to suffer for wrongs we didn’t commit earns us an eternal reward not mentioning it makes our light in Christ shine brighter. 

We are asked to never pay evil with evil, but with good all the time. This is one virtue which we as a Christian should never compromise.. There are a lot of good opportunities to shine your light through such an action such as if you have a secular job, or even if you live in this beautiful world of god… At times your colleagues will provoke you into a bad attitude or anger, it’s for your glory to overlook an offense as Solomon puts it. At sometimes words that will surround you aren’t words to exhort or glorify God, but words filled with filthy language that shouldn’t fall from lips the holy spirit uses to bless others with. May your fountain stay undefiled by not letting out any offensive or abusive word that will stand against you in the day of judgment. 

Subtle ways you can use to fuel your light to shine brighter and longer are things like rocking a t-shirt or hoodie with bible inspired phrase or something promoting the kingdom. A popular forefather of faith went by the slogan, “if it advances the gospel, use it,” I endorse. Another keyway to shine your light is to be the least, just as our master Jesus was. Be a servant of all, go out your way to help a friend. Stay up late to assist the new hire with his project, smile all the time, check on colleagues, don’t underestimate even the small talk. People open up slowly. 

Pray for and cultivate friendships with your colleagues. It’s okay to hang out occasionally on your days off. Assist a colleague with a home project, invite a friend to a church special service. Try to build a friendship where they can share their problems, ask for prayers, or pray for them if they don’t. Look for opportunities to share your testimonies to build their faith. We overcome by the blood and the words of our testimonies. Testimonies go a long way; they even shake kingdoms of darkness. 

Don’t forget you are also a human. Be real to your coworkers. God hates hypocrisy. If you make a mistake, don’t cover-up. Admit, repent, and be hopeful to be forgiven. We can learn something from David lusting, committing adultery, murdering, and then taking someone’s wife. If we will not break the chain of sin, it will never be able to end. And most importantly also give credit where it’s due. Instead of joining your friends in tearing down the lazy coworker and attacking the mean Team lead, appreciate one another. Thank a brother for help given, tell a sister how much of a backbone she is to the team. It’s by these small things that travel deep into our spirit, stirring the goodness in us for every man craves to be complimented again and again. 

I know we can’t exhaust ways the holy spirit can use to help us shine our light just as we can’t limit him to only the above-discussed ways. We are unique for a reason, discuss with brothers and sisters in faith ways that have worked for them or failed as you encourage one another and open up to the holy spirit for he never runs out of new secrets for every situation. 

The lost virtue of Integrity.

As Christians everyone expects from us to walk and shine our light to the world just like our Lord Jesus Christ did. We are often faced with challenges that require us to make decisions that uphold our integrity as Christians or conform to the ways of the world. Our true character is revealed when we are at liberty to do whatever we want, and the environment allows us to do so. With this information, we would therefore ask, “what is integrity?”

 

Integrity is the quality of having strong moral and ethical principles that one follows at all times even when nobody is watching. This means you are the same person in private and public. You do not change your character. You, therefore, portray the same virtues in church, at work, at home, and with friends. A person with integrity is gracious, trustworthy, hardworking, responsible, patient, and keeps promises.

 

This does not mean that one is perfect, but we strive to be at our best. Our minds are keen on maintaining these virtues at the same time. For example, given a choice, anyone would want to take a nap or skip a day at work especially when you know the boss is not around but is that the right thing to do? When working with an intern, one would feel tempted to burden them with all the work instead of helping them learn more. It would feel right with the excuse that you are helping them learn more, but is that right? To uphold our integrity, we need to often think about how we would want to be treated if we were in the other person’s position.

 

It is wrong for a Christian to respect his/her pastor and disrespect members of the church or other people outside the church. Every person is God’s creation, and they deserve respect. Equally, God expects you to act right in and out of the church. God is everywhere. You should therefore do right according to his word even when no one is seeing you. He sees in the dark and He knows the meditations of our hearts.

 

Matthew 5:14-16 We are the light of the world and that means we shed light on non-believers. We show them the way in doing right. In all our ways, we need to show the true values of Christianity. One of the biggest challenges that many Christians face is honesty in business and paying tax when no one is watching. We are tempted to trade our goods and services for more than we should and pay less tax than we should. We feel justified by the tough economic times. While other people may not know, our God in heaven is watching. In Matthew 22:21 we are commanded to obey our legal duty of paying taxes. As Christians, we need to honor the teachings of our Lord Jesus Christ.

 

What about in a family set up? Our integrity is first tested in how we treat members of our family. We are expected to be kind and loving towards each other. In the same way, you cannot shout at your boss at work, do not raise your voice at those you live with. Help each other out with chores. Be patient with one another. In this way, we help the young children grow up holding close Christian values. In a nutshell, we can say that integrity is about ‘being real’ in the Christian faith. Living right with God. Doing what pleases Him.

 

Our Lord Jesus lived according to the teachings he taught. He treated sinners with the same love that he treated his disciples. He defended a sinful woman from being stoned to death. He also allowed a sinful woman to wipe his feet and anoint them. He washed His disciples’ feet during the last supper. He treated children with the same compassion as he treated adults. In his ministry, sinners were as important as believers and he wanted them to see the light.

 

The opposite of integrity is hypocrisy. In his ministry, our Lord Jesus taught against the hypocritical behavior of the Pharisees. They were more concerned about their image in public. They taught things that they barely followed, and they were keener on destroying the ministry of Jesus. They craved public recognition more than they wanted to do the right thing.

 

How can you tell if you are a person the upholds integrity?

If three different people from your family, workplace, church, and random friends were asked to describe who you are, would their description of you be the same?

 

How can we improve on our Christian integrity?

 

Reading the word of God daily and allowing it to make a change in our lives helps us uphold our integrity. We cannot uphold Christian values without the help of God. We need to understand what is expected of us through bible study and prayer. We also need to develop the discipline to do the right things even when we are tempted to do the wrong things. Make a list of the virtues that you have a problem upholding. Make sure you look at them every morning. Ask God to help you uphold them. Look at the list in the evening while meditating upon them. See if you have made any progress.

 

Let us therefore strive to do the right as the Holy Spirit guides us. We cannot live right on our own but when we surrender to God, He gives us the grace to overcome challenges and temptations.

 

Hangout with seasoned destiny helpers. 

These also are the chief of the mighty men whom David had, who strengthened themselves with him in his kingdom, and with all Israel, to make him king, according to the word of the Lord concerning Israel.”-‭‭1 Chronicles‬ ‭11:10‬ ‭

When the lord releases a prophetic word towards your future, Next to none are the times you will get to your destiny alone.
You will need destiny helpers and men whose destiny is either partially or fully connected to your destiny.
Men willing to give of themselves to see the prophecy come true.
Pray for such people before you even see them and open your eyes as you trust the lord to do the connections at the right timing.

In David’s scenario he had 3 men that stood out to the extent they could risk their lives just to see his desire met.
One day he longed to have drink of water from a well which was by the gate of Bethlehem and this men broke through the host of the philistines just to get David a drink. ( see 1 chronicles 11:17-18)

It will be to your great blessing if God can put such men into your life.
Men ready to put their lives into jeopardy just to see you are okay. (and is this not what we see In Philippians 2:3,4) “Let nothing be done through selfish ambition or conceit, but in lowliness of mind let each esteem others better than himself. Let each of you look out not only for his own interests, but also for the interests of others.”

In another instance is when Jesus tells us that greater love is a friend ready to lay down his own life for a friend… John 15.13

But whenever we are blessed with such men may we not take them for granted but contain the humility that we still see in David.
“…and brought it to David: but David would not drink of it, but poured it out to the Lord, And said, May God forbid it me, that I should do this thing: shall I drink the blood of these men that have put their lives in jeopardy? for with the jeopardy of their lives they brought it. Therefore he would not drink it…”‭‭1Chronicles‬ ‭11:18-19‬ ‭”

It is evident that David had a great and honorable relationship with his destiny helpers.

Not many would be this selfless, to either risk their lives to meet the desires of another or say No to a desire met through the risking of another’s  life.

On your way to fulfill your purpose the devil will strategically put stumbling blocks that are meant to either delay you or kill your destiny.

When you are busy fighting your Saul there are other enemies you will need your close associates to battle for you.

In that line of thought,  let us look at : “Jashobeam( 1 chronicles 11:11) in one time he lifted his spear and slayed 300 men, or Benaiah who the Bible tells us he did very many acts including slaying two lionlike moabites, killing a lion in a pit when it was snowing and also battled a giant Egyptian. 5cubits high(= 2.29meters/7.5 feet) who had a spear but Benaiah was able to snatch it from him and slay him with his own spear. ”

If you look at “1 chronicles 11:10- 47” there are plenty of heroic examples of the mighty men who went out of their way to help David.
The Bible from Genesis to Revelation is full of battles everyday, same case is your life from beginning to the end.
Some battles you might never see them or experience them for God’s angels battle them for you. But when you are busy walking up to your destiny you need people who can daily intercede for you to strengthen those angels, you need people who can fast with you until you see the next result on your path manifest.
You need a good relationship with your mentors and fathers to watch over you and guide you.
May we not deceive ourselves that we can slay Saul, the lion when it’s snowing, the giants and also the 300men all by ourselves.

And most importantly we need Jesus, we need a close relationship with him, a daily one. The goal being him to take over the wheel as we enjoy the back seat for he is the one who wants and is able to do everything for us. He wants us to die to self and live by the slogan to live is Christ. And he is also the same person who will bring your Jashobeam, Benaiah and your other destiny helpers/ guiders for if he doesn’t do it, it’s a sad truth to embrace, it can’t get done.

The Right Attitude for Reaching Your Friends for Christ
The Right Attitude for Reaching Your Friends for Christ

The Right Attitude for Reaching Your Friends for Christ

The Right Attitude for Reaching Your Friends for Christ

If you are a Christian, then you want to see your friends follow the Lord Jesus Christ too. Certain attitudes can push them away from, rather than draw them to, Jesus. Take a few minutes for an attitude check to see if you are on the right track.

Do you have an attitude of discipleship-oriented witnessing rather than decision-oriented witnessing? Some Christians are so concerned about getting their friends to bow their heads and make a decision for Christ that they don’t first prepare the hearts of their friends.

They emphasize the result rather than the conditions that will lead to the results. Because they are so decision-oriented, they create two barriers. First, some Christians push their friends to make a decision before they are ready. If the friends refuse, they have damaged their relationship with them.

Second, some Christinas shy away from witnessing to their friends because they have been taught that they must aggressively press for a decision. However, you should think of winning your friends to Christ by influencing them in three steps:

  1. Pre-conversion: witnessing
  2. Conversion: accepting Christ
  3. Post-conversion: Christian growth

 

You can influence your friends to receive Christ by witnessing to them: “You shall be my witnesses” (Acts 1:8). Witnessing is sharing your faith with your friends, but does not necessarily include leading them through a plan of salvation and pressing for a decision.

Witnessing is sharing what you have seen, what you have heard, and what you have experienced. You can tell your friends how much you enjoy praise and worship or specific examples what the Lord has done for you, yet not push them to make a decision for Christ. Witnessing is putting salt on your friends’ tongues and making them thirsty for the water of Life.

Because friends share things with friends, you should share your faith with your friends, especially with those who do not know Jesus. This is pre-conversion witnessing.

When a Christian does something for a friend, especially if it is in the name of Jesus, it may not win the friend to Christ immediately, but it may soften his or her heart to the Gospel. Every conversation you have with your friend about Christianity and every time you relate a Christian experience can actually move your friend closer to Jesus Christ. Just being with your friends makes them comfortable with you, and hopefully, comfortable with your Christian faith.

This process is called stair-stepping your friend from a negative rejection of Christ to a neutral position, then to a positive belief in Christ. Stair-stepping uses the natural relationship of friendship to influence a friend to Christ. Just being a friend and talking about your faith moves them up the stairs closer to salvation.