The enemy knows full well how dangerous we can be to his kingdom when we walk as children of God and grow into maturity in who our Lord thy God is in us. There is nothing scarier to the Devil and his evil spirit! So he has carefully crafted ways to subvert us and to keep us from that understanding. One specific way is through deception from the spirit of envy and jealousy.
Why contentment is important
As children of God, it is important for us to be content in our own journey and to develop a trust in our Heavenly Father that He has our own best interests in mind. An envious and jealous spirt won’t let us come to that place of trust. It will divert our attention from our Father’s gentle leading to get us focused on other people, what they have, where they are at spiritually, how successful they seem, what positions they hold, and the list goes on.
But godliness with contentment is great gain. 1 Timothy 6:6 KJV
We have to come to terms with the reality that everyone has their own unique journey. The Lord thy God is growing them into the specific position that He’s created them for in His body. When we see another person who has found their place and is thriving in their calling, do we compare ourselves to them? The spirit of envy and jealousy is a sneaky trap because if he can get us to become so focused on another person’s success or position, we can never grow up into the position that our Lord God created us uniquely for.
For as the body is one, and hath many members, and all the members of that one body, being many, are one body: so also is Christ. For by one Spirit are we all baptized into one body, whether we be Jews or Gentiles, whether we be bond or free; and have been all made to drink into one Spirit. For the body is not one member, but many. If the foot shall say, Because I am not the hand, I am not of the body; is it therefore not of the body? And if the ear shall say, Because I am not the eye, I am not of the body; is it therefore not of the body? If the whole body were an eye, where were the hearing? If the whole were hearing, where were the smelling? But now hath God set the members every one of them in the body, as it hath pleased him. And if they were all one member, where were the body? 1 Corinthians 12:12-19 KJV
This isn’t just personal. The enemy hates God! You can see through this scripture how if the enemy can divert any body member from their designated roles, he can actually sabotage the body of Christ! Spiritually speaking, we are no longer just battling this principality for our personal health and welfare but for the wholeness and the unity of the body of Christ!
Spiritual disease in the body of Christ
The spirit of Envy and Jealousy can create a sort of spiritual disease in the body of Christ. Here is what the enemy would love to do. He will cause the members to look at other members and get sidetracked from their own roles. He will bring in comparison and cause them to covet what someone else has. Then bitterness will come and convince them that another person really doesn’t deserve what they have and it should be their own instead. Here come spirits of division, accusation, and strife that will take the opportunity to tear apart the unity of peace in the church.
Another tactic the enemy might use is to cause a person to compare themselves to others and try to conform themselves into the image of another person instead of the image of God. In this case, instead of that person growing up into the wholeness of who they were created to be, they try to act as if they are a different part of the body than they are. Therefore, the member that they were created to be is missing from the body.
How Envy and Jealousy can affect our body
Not only is the body of Christ suffering through this but the individuals who are caught up in this trap are suffering as well. The spirit of Envy and Jealousy brings real and serious side effects. It brings breakdown and disease in the body. The Word says this:
A sound heart is the life of the flesh: but envy the rottenness of the bones. Proverbs 14:30 KJV
We’d love to think that this is just a creative play of words but at Be in Health, we’ve noted, through many years of observation, that the spirit of envy and jealousy can actually cause some serious diseases specifically in the health and strength of a person’s musculoskeletal system. According to our observation, we have noted that the spirit of envy and jealousy can be a contributing factor to diseases like osteoporosis, arthritis, teeth problems, and multiple myeloma, to name a few.
When a person has an issue with accepting themselves in their identity, the spirit of envy and jealousy joins them. Then, rejection and bitterness towards themselves and others follows. As a result, they may experience physical breakdown in their body in response to this spiritual dynamic. Envy rots the body from the inside out.
The physiological response to envy and jealousy
There are two types of cells within our body that have to do with our skeletal structure.
- Osteoblasts are bone-building cells.
- Osteoclasts are bone-removing cells.
There is a fine balance between these two cells that must be maintained. Osteoclasts are always removing bone that is then rebuilt and replaced by osteoblasts. If we have too many osteoblasts, we can have a disease called Paget’s disease in which too much bone growth occurs. If we have too few osteoblasts, the osteoclasts remove the bone, and it is not replaced, which is Osteoporosis.
We know from Proverbs 14:30 that thoughts of discontentment with the things that we have or our position in life that lead to envy and comparison to others can disrupt the fine balance between these two cells. In this case, envy destroys osteoblasts. When we repent from discontentment, envy and jealousy, the balance is restored between osteoblasts and osteoclasts. Then we need to ask God to help us reprogram our way of thinking to be content and trust in Him to give us what we need when we need it.
How to combat envy and jealousy
So how do we combat a principality that has, in many cases, become so familiar to us that it easily flies under the radar and doesn’t often receive the attention necessary to defeat it?
Firstly, we need to reestablish our trust in God and the Holy Spirit; in His goodness and His promises. If we don’t trust God that He has the absolute best plan for our lives and if we don’t believe that when we line ourselves up with His will and His ways we will find the completeness of satisfaction in who He created us to be, or if we don’t believe that we are accepted and acceptable just the way we are but think that somehow we fall short or are some sort of accident, we can never experience the wholeness of His plan for us. There will always be something missing. We’ll find ourselves striving and performing and searching without finding because we are looking everywhere except to God and the Spirit, who is our source, to fulfill our longing for belonging and identity.
What does the Word of God say?
If the Word says that every good and perfect gift comes from Jesus Christ and our Father, we need to believe that with our whole heart. Anything that says otherwise needs to become the lie.
Every good gift and every perfect gift is from above, and cometh down from the Father of lights, with whom is no variableness, neither shadow of turning. James 1:17 KJV
If the Word says that God is faithful to complete the things that He has started in us by the renewing of our mind with the Word and the Spirit, we need to believe it. We need to put down the reigns and submit to Him in humility and meekness so that He can do the work that He needs to in our hearts.
Being confident of this very thing, that he which hath begun a good work in you will perform it until the day of Jesus Christ. Philippians 1:6 KJV
Faithful is he that calleth you, who also will do it. 1 Thessalonians 5:24 KJV
You are accepted!
If the Word says that we are accepted in the beloved, why are we striving to be something or someone else? Why are we striving or performing to be anything other than who we were designed to be?
To the praise of the glory of his grace, wherein he hath made us accepted in the beloved. Ephesians 1:6 KJV
And if the Word says that we are thoughtfully and wonderfully made and that God knew us before He even placed us in the womb, how can we think that we are an accident or a mistake?
I will praise thee; for I am fearfully and wonderfully made: marvellous are thy works; and that my soul knoweth right well. My substance was not hid from thee, when I was made in secret, and curiously wrought in the lowest parts of the earth. Thine eyes did see my substance, yet being unperfect; and in thy book all my members were written, which in continuance were fashioned, when as yet there was none of them. How precious also are thy thoughts unto me, O God! how great is the sum of them! If I should count them, they are more in number than the sand: when I awake, I am still with thee. Psalms 139:14-18 KJV
Can you accept yourself?
God wants you to accept yourself as His son or daughter and to begin to walk in confidence in Him, right where you are at, not in what you do, or how you look, or how well you perform. That stuff is of little importance to your Father in Heaven. What He treasures is a heart that desires to seek Him, to love Him, and to be like Him when we grow up. He needs teachable children, not children who are running around trying to be or do something important. Not children with selfish ambition, envy and jealousy.
There is an incredible peace we can find when we realize that we are enough. When we stop looking around, stop striving, stop beating ourselves or others up because of what we are or aren’t. We can just rest and trust that He will do His work in us as we open our hearts up to Him in love, relationship, and fellowship.
Don’t let envy and jealousy separate you from God!
The spirit of envy and jealousy will work to separate us from our Lord God, ourselves, and others. It will drive us away from the course that has been set before us and make us believe that another one seems more desirable. Don’t you think your creator knows best what you were designed for and where you will be most satisfied? Do you think that the enemy could have any good plan for your life?
There may be things in our lives that have joined us generationally or through the course of time that are not of our Holy God. We may see those things, those flaws and hate ourselves for them. We may see others who are free from that stuff and wish so desperately to be more like them. That is how subtly the enemy can divert us from keeping our attention on Jesus Christ and our loving Heavenly Father.
Growing up into spiritual maturity
As we grow up to be more and more like Him, He will help us to separate ourselves from those things that are not from Him and to peel them off and overcome them. We will not overcome any of these things by performance or control or by trying to be like another human being. We don’t have a clue what’s going on inside their hearts, for all we know, we may just be seeing their own mask that hides the things that trouble them within. The only true and surest foundation is found in God who does not change, who is all-knowing, and all-powerful. He knows us better than we know ourselves. He sees us separate from these things that bog us down. What God sees is the son or daughter that He created from the foundation of the world and He is looking forward to helping us realize our own potential.
The Be in Health Team
Would you like to read more articles related to the spirit of envy and jealousy?
Is Jealousy a Sin? – By Pastor Donna Wright – Eye-opening insights into how jealousy ruins relationships, lessens your blessings, and steals your identity. Plus: 6 Steps to Overcoming Envy and Jealousy!
How to Overcome Fear of Poverty – The fear of poverty or financial loss will keep us from being able to trust God for our provision. It may also include a spirit of envy and jealousy that causes us to compare ourselves to others rather than allow God to lead us in wisdom with our finances.
Misplaced Hope – Anything that we place our hope in that is not God can fail us. But when we learn how to get our eyes off of things, circumstances, or others, and kept them fixed on God we will find new confidence and God can help us establish our faith. A spirit of envy and jealousy does not want you to understand or practice this principle in your life!
This resource has helped many others overcome a spirit of envy and jealousy:
Envy and Jealousy by Dr. Henry W. Wright