Green with Envy.
Psalm 73:28 “But it is good for me to draw near to God: I have put my trust in the Lord GOD, that I may declare all thy works.”
There are many relatable portions of scripture. Parts that reveal my heart’s desire to know God, to be clean, to have His presence and to hear His voice. In reading Psalm 73, I found a voice from Asaph, that spoke of something a bit more real than I cared to admit.
Apparently, Asaph was not getting blessed as he thought he should. Others around him were getting more than their heart’s desire in possessions and blessing and his cry to God was ‘What about me?’
Our eyes of envy reveal themselves in some obvious ways – when another brother or sister is blessed with answered prayer or surprised with a gift and we wonder, ‘What of MY needs, O God?!’
We see others receive possessions, promotions, elevated and praised and what of us? The blinders of selfish, covetous, greed overcome our thoughts and we become self-centered until it becomes a cry to God for Him to rightly answer.
We see the blinders come off as the psalmist meditates on eternal things and the destination of those he sought to be like. Can’t you hear the voices? ‘You deserve to be blessed. You’ve worked hard and no one appreciates you. Is it worth it to continue if I don’t see blessing, praise and honor like others see?’ And little do we know that the forked tongue that is speaking, knows full well what the envy of a heart can do when it is full of self.
Isaiah 14:12-14 “How art thou fallen from heaven, O Lucifer, son of the morning! how art thou cut down to the ground, which didst weaken the nations! For thou hast said in thine heart, I will ascend into heaven, I will exalt my throne above the stars of God: I will sit also upon the mount of the congregation, in the sides of the north: I will ascend above the heights of the clouds; I will be like the most High.”
Commonly known as the five ‘I wills’ of Satan, this passage ought to scare us. To hear our own voice declare such desires with such prideful audacity should make our hearts tremble! Yet, we are more like Lucifer than we would ever care to admit. Asaph saw things through selfish eyes with himself as the focus. Satan’s focus as Lucifer, was upon himself and not the God whose throne he was responsible to protect; whose music he was to lead and whose worship he was to give.
At the heart of this thought comes the attack of our enemy. If he can get my eyes off of God, he can begin to plant seeds that will rise in rebellion to the very God who promises my protection, power, provision and eternal destiny.
With one simple question, he beguiled Eve into thinking that disobedience was more desirable than centered in God’s will and way. Adam’s lack of responsibility for the woman he was given was his. Both plunged the whole human race into sin. If we would be able to, in our meditations, think through completely with eyes that see through to the eternal, we would wind up like Asaph – Psalm 73:17 “Until I went into the sanctuary of God; then understood I their end.”
Not only was Asaph’s mind changed, his place and position had changed as well. He had to physically move from where he was – watching the prosperity of the wicked – to where his eyes could be put on the things of God. The ‘sanctuary of God’ does not have to be the church house – though that should be one place we feel and know the presence of God.
When my day starts on Facebook instead of in God’s Book, my heart takes a while to get righted. Coming into the presence of God privately should be a practice all saved, born-again children of God should covet.
Psalm 42:1-2 “To the chief Musician, Maschil, for the sons of Korah. As the hart panteth after the water brooks, so panteth my soul after thee, O God. My soul thirsteth for God, for the living God: when shall I come and appear before God?”
Do we thirst for God like we ought? Or do we find ourselves in the place Asaph was at the beginning of this Psalm?
Learn to know what it feels like to come into the presence of God alone; in your secret place at home.
Psalm 5:3 “My voice shalt thou hear in the morning, O LORD; in the morning will I direct my prayer unto thee, and will look up.”
Take example of those who have gone before us. Practice the presence of God in our life so that envy has no room to plant it’s seeds! Be soul conscious and think about the eternal destiny of those we envy. We have the cure for them and in turn God will bless us – He promised!