“But seek first his kingdom and his righteousness, and all these things will be given to you as well.” Matthew 6:33 (NIV)
The jealous are possessed by a mad devil and a dull spirit at the same time. Johann Kaspar Lavater. This is a fascinating quote that shows the human perspective on jealousy. Quote after quote that I read about this trait showed it in a negative light, and apparently all we are supposed to do to cure this ill-fated curse is to throw in a little love. The reason why we feel this way is because human jealously tends to consist of coveting someone’s belongings, positions, beauty, etc., which usually ends in some kind of anger, bitterness or betrayal. This makes it hard to understand the purity of God’s jealousy.
My daily Bible readings have been taking me through the stories of the Old Testament. I believe one of the qualities of God that always strikes me the most as I read through the details of the offerings and cleansing ceremonies is His holiness. Our defiled bodies can’t even be in His presence without a sacrifice of atonement, yet He always provides a way for us to be cleansed. Hence why we needed Jesus. God knows that our greatest joy can only be found in Him. Therefore, God is jealous for us to experience Him to the fullest. That is an honor.
I think God’s jealousy is not often thought of on the support-raising journey, yet the distractions are great—busyness, laziness, lack of funding, pride. How ironic that money and deadlines take top priority and become the all-consuming force on our path to be used by Him. When this happens we become very inward focused. Our prayers become self-serving—Lord, help me to get the money fast. Our motivation in conversations is to see how much money we can get and are disappointed if it doesn’t go our way. It isn’t because we are worshipping ourselves when this happens, but we’re certainly not worshipping God either.
God is still jealous for our attention no matter what we are doing. It is for our own good, and we are to seek Him above everything. He knows when other things pull our focus off of Him, then we become stressed and begin to doubt. We must trust God in the path He has laid out for us and glorify Him. That way, no matter the outcome, our eyes are on our trustworthy God who loves us enough to do whatever it takes to get our attention.
- List ways to keep your focus on God and practice it when you find yourself becoming stressed.
- Trust God who loves you and who is jealous for you to experience His goodness in all areas of your life.