The Enemy’s Weapon of Envy:
“Other people don’t have a problem with us believing in the blessing of the Lord until we begin to prosper.”
“Envy is a tool of the enemy. It is ‘a feeling of discontentment or covetousness with regard to another’s advantage, success or possession.’”
“My heart has gone out to my brothers and sisters of faith who quit, let go of the Word and settled for less. They chose to accomplish what they believed they could do instead of what God called them to do. As I reflect on the wickedness I have witnessed, I realize there’s a common thread: Each incident is a tactic of the enemy to stop God’s people from doing what He has called them to do and receiving what He has provided for them.”
Ephesians 6:11 says, “Put on God’s whole armor [the armor of a heavy armed soldier which God supplies], that you may be able successfully to stand up against [all] the strategies and the deceits of the devil” (Amplified Bible, Classic Edition). As we complete the missions God has for us, we must be prepared and stand strong with our armor— the Word of God. If we’re going to be successful against Satan’s strategies—and yes, they are specific, targeted strategies—then we must make sure that we abide in the Word and the Word abides in us.
We are where we are today because we have relied on the Word of God in the past…but we can’t rest. We must continue to hold on to God’s Word, and protect ourselves and protect the blessing in our lives.
Obedience and Blessing
One of the enemy’s weapons that can prevent us from walking in all God has for us is envy. In Genesis 26:1-6, we read: And there was a famine in the land, beside the first famine that was in the days of Abraham. And Isaac went unto Abimelech king of the Philistines unto Gerar. And the Lord appeared unto him, and said, Go not down into Egypt; dwell in the land which I shall tell thee of: Sojourn in this land, and I will be with thee, and will bless thee; for unto thee, and unto thy seed, I will give all these countries, and I will perform the oath which I swore unto Abraham thy father; and I will make thy seed to multiply as the stars of heaven, and will give unto thy seed all these countries; and in thy seed shall all the nations of the earth be blessed; because that Abraham obeyed my voice, and kept my charge, my commandments, my statutes, and my
laws. And Isaac dwelt in Gerar. Notice that Isaac’s obedience gave birth to his blessings. Meditate on that a moment: Obedience gives birth to blessings. God will bless His people when we are obedient to Him and His Word. In this example, God told Isaac to leave his home, pack up his family and everything he owned, and move. He also told him not to go to Egypt. Instead, God directed him to the land of Gerar. Isaac obeyed, and guess what? God blessed him.
But let’s keep reading: “Then Isaac sowed in that land, and received in the same year an hundredfold: and the Lord blessed him. And the man waxed great, and went forward, and grew until he became very great” (verses 12-13).
Isaac planted in that land and he received 100 times as much as he planted.The Lord favored him with blessings.
Take a moment and receive that rhema word for your situation. Isaac walked in obedience, and God blessed him. He walked in the blessing, and that same blessing is still available to you, me and every other covenant believing, faith-walking, Word-speaking man and woman. Whatever is happening in this world is not strong enough to stop the operation of the blessing in your life.
Seeing the Stuff
“For he had possession of flocks, and possession of herds, and great store of servants: and the Philistines envied him” (verse 14). Notice that none of them had a problem with Isaac until they saw his stuff.
The same happens with us. Other people don’t have a problem with us believing in the blessing of the Lord until we begin to prosper. When that happens, we have to make up our minds.
Either we can handle the manifestation of the blessing, or we can back up because we don’t want anyone talking about us.
If no one is talking about you yet, it’s only because the blessing is still developing roots. It’s working, but like a strong tree, the roots have to grow before the branches and leaves flourish.
From personal experience, I can tell you that when the blessing becomes visible, the haters show up. No one was gossiping about me when I was only pastoring eight people. No one was tweeting lies about me when I was holding services in the Kathleen Mitchell Elementary School. And no one was writing negative articles or jumping out of corners demanding interviews. But when they could see the effects of the blessing—when they could see the stuff —they got mad. They became envious. – Creflo Dollar
Envy and Jealousy
Envy is a tool of the enemy. It is “a feeling of discontentment or covetousness with regard to another’s advantage, success or possession.” It’s that sick feeling that comes when one sees another’s success. It’s similar to jealousy, which the enemy also uses to create confusion and destroy relationships. To be jealous is to resent what someone has or what has happened in his life. Like envy, jealousy wants to have what someone else has.
Look at what envy caused the Philistines to do in verse 15. “For all the wells which his father’s servants had digged in the days of Abraham his father, the Philistines had stopped them, and filled them with earth.”
They envied Isaac and wanted to deprive him of what he possessed. If you continue reading in that chapter, you’ll see that Isaac moved and dug new wells, and those new wells flowed. In a land where it was often difficult to find water, Isaac’s wells flowed. The Philistines couldn’t stop the blessing. The envy of others couldn’t keep the blessing from Isaac…and it can’t keep the blessing from you.
Eventually, the Philistines admitted that Isaac was, indeed, blessed. They told him, “We saw certainly that the Lord was with thee: and we said, Let there be now an oath between us, even between us and thee, and let us make a covenant with thee; That thou wilt do us no hurt, as we have not touched thee, and as we have done unto thee nothing but good, and have sent thee away in peace: thou art now the blessed of the Lord” (verses 28-29).
There will come a time when those who hate, envy and try to deprive you will admit you’re blessed. Now, that’s good news!
Envy is not some simple, innocent emotion. It keeps seriously destructive company. Galatians 5:19-21 says, “Now the works of the flesh are manifest, which are these; Adultery, fornication, uncleanness, lasciviousness, idolatry, witchcraft, hatred, variance, emulations, wrath, strife, seditions, heresies, envying, murders, drunkenness, reveling, and such like….”
These companions were apparent in Acts 13 when the Jews began speaking against Paul. “And the next sabbath day came almost the whole city together to hear the word of God. But when the Jews saw the multitudes, they were filled with envy, and spake against those things which were spoken by Paul, contradicting and blaspheming” (verses 44-45).
Envy moved the Jews to speak negatively, contradict and blaspheme. The Jews wanted to deprive Paul of the blessing that fl owed through his life and ministry. If you are in ministry, then
envy will move others to try to stop you from preaching the gospel, too. That’s the enemy’s ultimate goal. He wants to do whatever he can to stop the gospel from going forth and changing lives.
Recognize and Stand
As men and women of faith, we must stand against envy with the Word of God.
We must recognize when envy is coming against us and even when the enemy tries to infect us with it. First Corinthians 3:3 says, “For ye are yet carnal: for whereas there is among you envying, and strife, and divisions, are ye not carnal, and walk as men?”
To have a carnal mind is to have a mind that opposes the Word of God. That is not us. We’re changed. We’re saved. We’re spiritual. We have a Kingdom mindset. Who is a wise man and endued with knowledge among you? let him show out of a good conversation [lifestyle] his works with meekness of wisdom. But if ye have bitter envying and strife in your hearts, glory not, and lie not against the truth. This wisdom descendeth not from above, but is earthly, sensual, devilish.
For where envying and strife is, there is confusion and every evil work (James 3:13-16).
Some Christians take envy lightly, thinking, it’s not such a big thing. But if it can be a foundation for every evil work— and if it can block the blessing—then you don’t want to tolerate it for one moment. You have authority over it by the Word of God and in the Name of Jesus. Romans 13:13 says, “Let us walk honestly, as in the day; not in rioting and drunkenness, not in chambering and wantonness, not in strife and envying.”
Right now, take a moment to consider the situations in your life and even to examine your own heart. Is envy a motivator? If so, take authority over it. If you’ve been persecuted for it, stand in faith against it. If you’ve been a perpetrator of it, repent and receive forgiveness.
Don’t let anything keep you from God’s goodness. He’s ready to explode the blessing—and all that it brings—into your life. Recognize this strategy of the enemy—in those around you and even in yourself. The blessings of God are running over. Don’t let anything prevent you from receiving them!
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