What do we do when we struggle with an inner Goliath? There's a foe raging inside our hearts, just as Jesus explained in Matthew 15:19 (NIV): "For out of the heart come evil thoughts—murder, adultery, sexual immorality, theft, false testimony, slander." Even when we become Christians, we still struggle. In fact, I believe we're much more aware of our struggle against our sinful nature at that time. There's one particular evil that reminds me of Goliath sometimes.
Proverbs 27:4 (NIV) tells us what it is. "Anger is cruel and fury overwhelming, but who can stand before jealousy?" The Merriam-Webster dictionary defines jealousy as "a feeling of unhappiness caused by wanting what someone else has". It can come with emotions such as anger, resentment, inadequacy, helplessness and disgust. At Victorious By Design, we want to light the path to your next level of unprecedented success, but what do you do while others are becoming successful and you aren't as yet?
It's not like we might be walking around feeling jealous all the time. But there are definitely some triggers that can stir up feelings of jealousy within our hearts, when we see others succeeding. Can you relate to any of them?
We're struggling with feelings of fear and self-doubt about our own purpose.
We don’t have the capital to invest in an idea/business.
We don’t have anyone to support us.
Someone is succeeding in the area of our greatest failure.
We don’t even know the first step to take, and it seems like it’ll take years before we see any form of success.
Next thing we know, we're moping and feeling sorry for ourselves. We don't want to do anything all of a sudden--but wait a minute! The story does not have to continue here. We can flip the script because we have the power of the Word of God and prayer! Let me take you through two strategies for maximising these weapons.
The Power of the Word of God
We can take the promises in the Word of God and practise gratitude to the Lord. The best time to do this is when we're not struggling with feelings of jealousy. So we can write them down and keep them handy. Here's one you can use right away:
Thank You Lord for giving me Your Holy Spirit who produces the fruit of love, peace, kindness and goodness in me (Galatians 5:22-23). Thank You for being the source of my love, enabling me to show love to others (1 John 4). I believe You are ordering my steps in Your timing (Psalm 31:12 or Psalm 37:23-24). I thank You that You’ll complete the good work You started in me (Philippians 1:6). Thank You for Your plans for me (Jeremiah 29:11). I know You're teaching me how to be patient, faithful, disciplined and teachable so that I can carry the responsibility He has for me.
When our focus is turned to the Lord and what He's doing in our lives, there's no room left for self-pity, helplessness or sadness. Remember that God is always up to something!
The Power of Prayer
So the first strategy was for us. This one is for the person we are feeling jealous of. We can get creative and pray for them in some of the following ways:
Pray that their Christian witness and testimony will continue to stand (and that they won't backslide!)
Pray for the souls that they are reaching in their side of the vineyard, that they will grow continually.
If they have a business, pray that they will manage their finances successfully to enable them to cover their expenses, compensate their staff and remain profitable.
If they have a family, pray for their marriage and children because the enemy would want to find ways to attack these areas of their lives.
Pray for them to remain humble and obedient to the Lord and not be swayed by their fame or following.
The list could be longer, but all of a sudden, there’ll be nothing to be jealous about when our hearts are in a posture of prayer, and we are reminded that we are fighting against one common enemy.
We have every reason to be encouraged. The same God who equipped David with the strength and wisdom to fight Goliath on the outside, is the same God who arms us to overcome the Goliath on the inside.
Project Manager & Managing Editor, VBD Magazine