By Rodney W. Francis
In the Book of First Samuel we have the account of the rise and fall of King Saul, the first king of Israel. David had become a servant to Saul ~ but after David had accomplished the marvellous defeat of the giant Goliath (1 Samuel 17), the women rejoiced and publicly sang “Saul has slain his thousands, and David his ten thousands” (1 Samuel 18:6-9 & 29:5), Saul got angry and allowed the spirit of jealousy to enter into him. Yet if David had not conquered Goliath Israel would most likely have been turned into a servant nation by the enemy. But instead, from that time on things changed in Saul’s relationship with David. He set about to remove and even destroy David so he would not become God’s chosen king. This is very sad because instead of Saul and David working together to defeat the enemy, the battle became an inward one within the camp of Israel.
How often this happens today in church circles ~ instead of our working together to defeat the enemy (Satan), jealous leaders have turned on those who are accomplishing something greater than them in the Kingdom of God and tried to manipulate and control them. This should not be so.
We are supposed to be workers together for the extension of God’s Kingdom here on earth.
“True unity is birthed in the Spirit, not imposed through a structure” ~ David Tait (Webuye, Kenya).
WHAT IS JEALOUSY?
Jealousy is something we rarely hear preached on in pulpits these days. Yet it is such a destructive force. The meaning of being jealous is: “To be inflamed; applied to a warm, violent affection of the mind, either for or against any one” (Wilson’s Old Testament Word Study); “any eager vehement passion” (Bullinger’s); “afraid, suspicious, or resentful of rivalry in love or affection; intolerant of disloyalty” (Oxford Dictionary); “to be envious” (Strong’s).
When we are fulfilling God’s purposes for our lives we have no need whatever to be jealous of someone else.
In God’s purposes all Christians are equally important!
David endured the persecution of Saul, and on at least two different occasions he had opportunity to take revenge on Saul, but he would not because he saw him as the Lord’s anointed. Jesus taught us this: “But I say to you who hear: Love your enemies, do good to those who hate you, bless those who curse you, and pray for those who spitefully (“ill will, malice against a person” – Oxford) use you . . .” (Luke 6:27-28). Whether we like it or not, there are (sadly) those among us who would love to take us out of our ministry and calling if they could (we have faced this several times over the years). It is at those times when we have to practice forgiveness and pray God’s blessings on them. That releases us from harbouring any hurts, anger, bitterness and resentment against them ~ those things that can destroy us if we do not practice forgiveness and release them to God.
God protected David’s life against jealous King Saul, and David went on to become the King of Israel.
The sad thing is that Saul did not recognize what his jealousy was doing to him.
It robbed him of everything worthwhile in his life.
At one stage he was so bewildered that he sought out a spiritualist medium for answers (1 Samuel Chapter 28), as God was not speaking to him! How deceived can a leader become!
These things destroyed him in the end.
Saul was very aware of the hand of the Lord being on David. He should have been encouraging him and commending him for his great faith in standing up against Goliath and defeating him. David did that when no one else in all of the Israelite Army, including King Saul, would stand and face the enemy’s challenge (even David’s own natural brothers turned against him and made false accusations against him – 1 Samuel 17:20-58). When we stand up above the negative unbelieving believers, we face the same accusations; people try and pull us down to their level. We must be strong and stand against that kind of criticism.
It is only people of faith who believe in the God of the miraculous that prevail in those negative happenings.
God brought David through all those times and caused him to triumph supernaturally. Hallelujah!
God still does the same for men and women of faith who are believing Him and seeking to fulfil His will in their lives.
Let us all learn to recognize jealousy for what it is, especially when it rears its ugly head amongst church leaders against us.
KNOWING THE WILL OF GOD IS VERY IMPORTANT
This is why knowing the will of God for our life is very important. When we know the will, purpose and calling of God for our life then we know what to say “Yes” to and what to say “No” to. So many Christians are ‘experts’ at knowing the will of God for others (so they think); yet they do not know it for themselves. It has amazed me at the numbers of times that other well-meaning Christians have tried to tell us that The GFM Ministry is not of God; that I should be doing something else, etc. They do not know that this Ministry is what it is because God spoke and called me to it. As we have listened to God over the years He has expanded and developed it to become a Ministry that is today impacting multiplied thousands of lives around the world. It is a total faith venture and we see God’s hand at work in supplying our needs from month to month in wonderful ways. It could not survive if God did not provide for us!
It can be the same for you. God is no respecter of persons, and if you will get to know God’s will and purpose for your life, and do what He asks of you, then you will have a testimony of what God can do in and through you. And like David of old, no matter who tries to discourage, criticize, attack and try and take you out of and away from God’s will for your life (because of jealousy ~ which no one admits to), God will protect, lead, guide and bring you through into even greater victories than you have known before!
ALL TRUE CHRISTIAN MINISTRIES WILL BE TESTED
Our relationship and experience with Jesus should be more real and greater than all the opposition that tries to discourage us and take us down. All the great men and women of the Bible faced opposition of various kinds ~ and we would be naïve to think that we can fulfil the purposes of God in our lives without any criticism, negative accusations, etc. Let us realize that God does use opposition to refine and mould us more and more into His purposes, so that our lives and ministries will be even more impacting in the days ahead.
When others are jealous of us, or are trying to discourage us from the purposes of God, then know that those times can become a “stepping stone” (and not a “stumbling block”) into even greater things in God. Be encouraged to focus on the fact that it is God Who has called you, and that is the highest honour anyone can have this side of eternity. Consider what it will be like, when standing before the Lord on that day, to hear Him say to you: “Well done, good and faithful servant; you were faithful over a few things, I will make you ruler over many things. Enter into the joy of your Lord” (see Matthew Chapter 25). What a glorious day that will be! Hallelujah! I encourage you to keep faithful to Jesus, and you will be a sure winner in time and throughout all eternity! God bless YOU!
You cannot lose for winning when Jesus is Lord of your life!