August 29, 2011

Envy Revealed (part 2)

So after the Lord gently reminded me of the Great Mercy I enjoy, He told me a few stories.  I had heard them before...Many, many times.  But the Lord has a way of telling a story to make it's application so personal.

The first story was Jonah and the Whale.  Click the link to read it all. It is short.  I could hear the still small voice of God tell my heart "Laura, you are just like Jonah.  You would rather endure a great storm than to have someone that you hate enjoy my mercy.  That is greed.  That is envy."

Oh my goodness, I was surprised by this revelation.  I always thought Jonah was so wicked in his disobedience.  I judged him harshly, thinking "Jonah, how could you wish all those people dead?"  But just as it says in Romans 2:1 whatever I judge in someone else, I am guilty of the same.

I hadn't really gotten the full affect of this revelation before my Lord was speaking to me again.

This time it was the story of The Prodigal Son. I stood in the place of the elder brother, angry.  God, my father came out to meet me, to entreat me.  My response?

"No Lord.  I don't want to celebrate his homecoming.  I have been here working hard for you, obeying, serving.  He has wasted all my time.  I could have had a happy life, but he has made it miserable! Now you want to celebrate!"

Gently, always gently, "Laura, my daughter, thou art ever with me, and all that I have is thine." Luke 15:31 Does God take away his blessing from one child to give to another? No.  He is big enough. 

I was starting to cringe a little at this new idea of me being a greedy envious person ~ wanting all of God's blessing for myself and maybe for the "deserving" people too.  But everyone?  My enemies? Hm.

And finally, there was a third story.  This was the clincher.  This was the pounding gavel that declared, without question, my envy.  It was the parable of the Householder who hired laborers for his vineyard. The Lord showed me that I was standing in the shoes of the workers hired early in the day.  After all, I have been a Christian for many years. 

Payday (the blessings of knowing the householder) was coming.  The thought of my enemy receiving the same as me...

There is a reason why the Bible is full of verses like Proverbs 14:12, which reads "There is a way which seems right unto a man, but the end thereof are the ways of death."

Deep in my heart I knew that my obedience to God might actually help my enemy to be saved.  He might not only hear the gospel message, but see it in my life.  I refused to obey.  I thought I wanted to forgive.  I thought I wanted NOT to hate anymore.  But God was trying my heart...revealing what was REALLY there.

Ugh.

Gently, yet Firmly, he said to me, "'Take what is yours and go your way. I wish to give to this last man the same as to you.  Is it not lawful for me to do what I will with mine own? Is thine eye evil, because I am good?" Matthew 20:14

For all that is in the world, the lust of the flesh, and the lust of the eyes, and the pride of life, is not of the Father, but is of the world. 1John 2:16



So what was I envious of? My neighbors beautiful house? Her easy life? Nope. I was envious of the blessings of God. Not willing to share them with people I didn't like or who I thought ought to suffer. Now that I am typing this out it makes me think of how the Jews treated the Samaritans in Bible times. Wow.

Now I know. I have looked in the mirror and seen the truth. Will I be a hearer only? Or will I be a doer?

A doer. I must. God is faithful, he will not leave me here unfinished.

3 comments:

  1. Oh my goodness! My pastor has been preaching on the parable of the Vineyard owner for the last 3 Sundays. I really enjoyed this post!

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  2. Wow...Us girls just talked about exactly this after dinner last night! I really want my family to read your post. Thanks for sharing!

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  3. Laura, we are all that person, we are all that (spiritually speaking) stained and black and hideous, needing God's cleansing from His blood. None of us is righteous, no not one! The only religious righteous people of Jesus day were told by John the Baptist that they were vipers (poisonous snakes) and sons of the devil by Jesus. This was so they would recognize their sin and repent humbly...Joseph of Arimethea was one, He was one of the highest Pharisees, of the Sanhedrin (top 70 Pharisee rulers). He knew Jesus was right and fought to take Jesus body to lay Him in his own tomb. If any one of us was as holy as we want to make ourselves, then Jesus died in vain, because then it would be possible to "do it yourself" and would make His sacrifice redundant. But the Bible says Jesus is the way truth and life an NO ONE comes to the Father except it be through Him.

    That is amazing grace. :) I am truly thankful, and yet I still struggle with holding grudges myself. You are not alone there. God have mercy on us all. <3

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