God Sees Us at all Times
God Wants Us To Be Content in Him Alone
"Jealousy is the rage of a man." (Proverbs 6:34a)
"I the Lord thy God am a jealous God." (Deuteronomy 5:9b)
When the Bible talks about jealousy, it means envy, discontentment, being mad about someone else's "good luck," and, even a hatred against that other person. Have you ever discovered that you were jealous of someone? Maybe there was something you wanted and did not get get, but your friend did get that thing. How did you feel? Maybe you know people who are very popular, or very good looking, or very talented in sports, or very rich. And maybe sometimes you wish you could be like them. We live in a world where it is easy for us to be jealous. Commercials on television make us want to have whatever they are advertising. When people show off what they have, it makes us feel left out.
Remember, there is no such thing as "good luck," and God does not play favorites with people. The Bible says that "no good thing will [God] withhold from" the person who walks uprightly (trusting and obeying Him). We start to think we deserve to have whatever we want, instead of being content with what God has been good to give us. When we start to feel like that, we need to remember that, if God has withheld something from us that we want, and we are trusting and obeying Him, then that thing that looks so good to us must not be the best thing for us to have.
Why is it wrong for us to be jealous? We were all created by God, and we could never earn any of the good things He has done for us or given to us. When we complain, or when we long for something God has not decided to give to us, it is basically saying that we are not grateful for His wisdom and His timing and His gifts. When we are discontent, we are not glorifying God. When we desire more things, or when we seek to get other people's approval of us, or when we want anything other than God and His good gifts, then we are showing that we do not trust God. We are showing we do not trust that He knows what He is doing in the way He takes care of us. We are showing that we want more than God, and that God is not enough for us.
It is wrong for us to be jealous. But did you know that it is right for God to be jealous? He is the only One Who has any right to expect to own anything He wants. He is the only One Who has earned honor and approval and adoration. He is the only One Who deserves our worship and attention. When God spoke about being a "jealous God," He was revealing that He wants our complete loyalty. He does not want us to trust in things or people. He does not want to share attention. He wants for us to desire Him more than we desire money or talents or anything else.
One of the very first stories told in the Bible is a story about how jealous Cain was of his brother Abel. Cain was not happy when God rejected Cain's offering, but accepted an offering that Abel gave Him. Really, though, Cain had given the wrong kind of offering, against God's instructions. But Cain was mad. The jealousy that developed in Cain turned into a rage, and Cain ended up killing his brother Abel. This was the first murder ever, and it was caused because of jealousy! (Genesis 4:3-8)
Do not let yourself become jealous. God wants you to be content and thankful for what He has given you. He is jealous for His glory, and He wants you to know that He loves you and will take care of you according to what He knows is the best way, not just the way you think is best. Are you content with the circumstances and friends and abilities that God has decided to give you? Are you content with God? He wants you to be content in Him and Him alone. Galatians 5:26 says, "Let us not be desirous of vain glory, provoking one another, envying one another." Philippians 4:11b says "I have learned, in whatsoever state I am, therewith to be content."
Jealous for His own glory, God wants us to be content in Him alone.
» Do I view God as the Giver of good things?
» Do I view God as wise in His timing and choice of gifts?
» Am I trusting and obeying and finding my happiness in God alone?
Truth In Real Life
"I don’t need explanations from God. I simply believe Him and accept whatever comes my way.”
He crouched at the starting line of the Olympic track, waiting nervously for the starting gunshot to go off. He was competing in the Paris Olympics of 1924, but his chances for winning were very poor. The 400-meter race was not his strongest run, and he knew it. The 100-meter race was by far his best chance at a gold medal, but 100-meter had been scheduled for a Sunday. That was no good. Eric Liddell always refused to run on the Lord’s Day.
Born on January 16, 1902, Eric Liddell was the son of missionaries to China. Spending most of his younger years at school in Scotland, he was known for being both humble and athletic – a rare combination in most athletes. He loved races and rugby; and he excelled in them so much that he was encouraged to enter competition for the Olympics!
He trained hard, and it was a long journey to become an Olympian athlete. He and his teammates were very disappointed when they arrived in Paris to learn that “his” race, the 100-meter race, had been scheduled for the one day he could not – would not – run. Liddell’s conscience felt compelled to honor God by resting and “not doing his own thing” on God’s special day. He wanted to do whatever he could to bring attention to God’s glory. He understood God’s nature and that He is a rewarder of those who diligently seek Him. Liddell’s motto was, “He who honors Me, I will honor.”
So Liddell had a race in front of him now that was 3x longer than the one he was accustomed to running well. The gunshot sounded and the race began. In his signature style, he threw back his head and ran with absolute abandon, giving it everything he had for all 400 meters. When he crossed the finish line, the crowds thundered with shouts and applause. Not only had he finished the race, but he had finished first! He had also broken the previous record! God gave Eric Liddell a gold medal after all that day.
After those Olympics, Liddell returned to China as a missionary. He learned the difficult Chinese language and told everyone he met about the Gospel. Whatever he did – running, preaching, living out the Gospel – he was faithful and gracious. People were attracted to his determination and humility and wanted to know more about his God. His life story pointed all kinds of people to his Savior. There was even a movie made about his story (Chariots of Fire).
Do your decisions and priorities make it clear to everyone around you that you love and value your Savior more than your own fame and reputation? Have you ever risked losing something you really wanted because you felt God would be displeased with you for going after it? Are you truly humble about God’s gifts to you? Do people praise your talents and your gifts only, or are they able to see beyond them to the One Who gave you what you have?
Isaiah 40:31 – But those who wait on the LORD shall renew their strength; they shall mount up with wings like eagles, they shall run and not be weary, they shall walk and not faint.