Some Christians can’t stand being “outstripped” by someone who appears to be more holy or righteous than they. They see a brother or sister being honored of God – and it enrages them!
There is great power in godliness and great authority in holiness. Yet both are despised by Christians who will not pay the price – people who once had the touch of God, but now, because of compromise, no longer enjoy His blessing. When someone comes along who is esteemed more holy and more devoted, they become envious of what they’ve lost. They give place to a jealous hatred – and they will not rest until they see that godly person ruined or destroyed!
Face it, beloved: Nothing is more hated than the power and spiritual authority that accompany a holy life. And no one will be more hated, slandered, envied and maligned than the Christian who radiates holiness.
Yet, if our hearts are right with God, and we see great devotion in a fellow believer, we will rejoice in the power and authority God has bestowed on him. And we will allow that brother’s consecrated life to challenge and provoke us to attain a deeper walk with the Lord.
Yet many believers refuse to let go of an evil jealousy in their hearts. Consider these examples:
- I rode along in a car once with a brother who was going through incredible financial hardships. Another brother came up in our conversation, someone whose finances had been greatly blessed by God. The man in the car with me suddenly grew red with rage. He sputtered, “Every time I think of him driving that new car, owning that big home, enjoying all those blessings – I can’t stand it. It burns me up! I’ve suffered so much. When I see all the things he’s getting, it really gets to me.”
Huge veins popped out of this man’s neck. His jealousy and rage had boiled over!
- When Cain saw his brother, Abel, blessed and approved by God, a jealousy rose up in him to the point that he committed murder. He was envious of his brother’s close walk with God!
David is an example of a believing man who schemed against another. He laid a snare for Uriah, an officer in his army, after he’d gotten Uriah’s wife pregnant. He called Uriah home from the front lines and ordered him to spend time with his wife. He was hoping Uriah would be intimate with her, and in that way cover up David’s sin of adultery.
But Uriah didn’t go home to his wife. Instead he said, “How can I enjoy my wife when the army of the Lord is out there suffering? I’ll stay here and suffer as they do.”
That must have been an awful rebuke to David. He then laid another snare for Uriah. David ordered him to come to a big feast at the palace, where he filled Uriah full of wine. David thought, “If I can just get him drunk, then he can be led home in a drunken stupor and be put to bed. That way, he’ll think he got his wife pregnant.”
But that night Uriah slept outside his house, still refusing the comforts of his wife.
Having failed again in his scheme, David plotted to place Uriah on the front lines in a hopeless battle, knowing he would be killed. And that’s just what happened.
David’s sin in scheming against Uriah was laid to his charge as his most grievous sin in the eyes of God. “Why?” you may ask. “Didn’t David also sin in committing adultery with Bathsheba? And doesn’t the Bible say he sinned, showing a lack of faith, when he fled to the Philistines for protection from Saul?”
Yes! Scripture also tells us David sinned in his rash decision to kill Nabal, until Abigail came and changed his mind. David sinned as well in numbering the people, a sin of pride and covetousness.
David also sinned in not exercising control over his children. He never spoke a word against Absalom – and the young man rose up and usurped his father’s throne. That sin of a father’s negligence eventually cost David’s son his life.
There were many sins in David’s life. Yet when we look at what God’s Word says on the subject, the only sin mentioned is the snare David set for Uriah: “…David did that which was right in the eyes of the Lord, and turned not aside from any thing that he commanded him all the days of his life, save only in the matter of Uriah the Hittite” (1 Kings 15:5).
This verse doesn’t name Bathsheba. It doesn’t name any other of David’s sins of disobedience. Rather, it says the one thing in which David turned aside from God was when he laid a trap – when he plotted against an innocent man!
What an awful price David paid for his scheme against a fellow believer. What great troubles it brought down upon him and his family: His daughter was raped. His son Amnon was killed in a drunken stupor at the hands of Absalom. All Israel forsook David and flocked to Absalom. And his wives and concubines were defiled by his son, who now ruled over the kingdom.
David was forced to walk up and down and go into hiding to save his own life. Worst of all, the Bible says, he lost the joy of his salvation: “Restore unto me the joy of thy salvation…” (Psalm 51:12).
The joy of the Lord was gone from David’s life.
Beloved, God is showing us His contempt for this sin of setting snares for a fellow Christian. You pay a terrible price – and your family pays an awful price – when you lay a trap for another believer!
God help the Christian who clings to his jealousy of a brother or sister. If that kind of spirit is in your heart, Satan will surely lure you into some kind of demonic plot. He’ll deceive you into joining a vengeful scheme against that person – but you’ll only heap troubles upon yourself and your household!
If you are slandering your boss or putting down a coworker…if you are involved in vicious gossip…if you take part in a conspiracy of any kind…if you blacken someone’s name in any way, then you are laying a snare. And God abhors it! He will remember your scheme. And He will cause you to fall into the pit you helped to dig for another!
Article by David Wilkerson [Copyright 1999 by World Challenge]
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