"What leads to strife and how do conflicts originate among you? Do they not rise from your sensual desires that are ever warring in your bodily members? You are jealous and covet (what others have) and your desires go unfulfilled; (so) you become murderers. You burn with envy and anger and are not able to obtain (the gratification, the contentment, and the happiness that you seek), so you fight and war. You do not have, because you do not ask. Or you do ask God for them and fail to receive, because you ask with wrong purpose and evil, selfish motives. Your intention is (when you get what you desire) to spend it in sensual pleasure. You (are like) unfaithful wives (having illicit love affairs with the world and breaking your marriage vow to God!) .....Or do you suppose that the Scripture is speaking to no purpose that says, The Spirit Whom He has caused to dwell in us yearns over us and He yearns for the Spirit (to be welcome) with a jealous love. But He gives more grace (power to of the Holy Spirit, to meet this evil tendency and all others fully.) That is why He says, God sets Himself against the proud and haughty , but gives grace (continually) to the lowly (those who are humble enough to receive it.) ~James 4:1-4, 4-6 Amplified
Does that living word cut into your heart and bring to light any thought and intentions that were hidden deep within its recesses?
A couple of week's ago I was lamenting with a friend that while I feel called to write and teach I do not feel like it is going anywhere. The desire to encourage and comfort.women in their Christian faith is a fire burning in my belly. However, I often struggle with envy. There it is that green, ugly word- ENVY. What else can I call it? When I see other bloggers grow without measure, their ministry exploding- I want that for myself. I want to have thousands of readers hanging on my words, be asked to do radio shows, and television cameos. But why? Is it so that thousands of women are comforted and exhorted or so that I can feel more important? I have to admit that it is both. But therein, lies the struggle and warring within myself. The battling between my heart and mind and my logic and desires.
"Why do I have such a strong desire to share the abundant Life in Christ?" I answer myself, "Because I want to see them living it too." I have prayed for more open doors, more opportunities to write and teach. Time passes and things remain idle.
A shadow in the background of my heart whispers to me, "Then why can you not rejoice when others are doing well and being used mightily by God?" Ugh! I know the creed of the Upside-down-blogger: I write for One and leave the fruit of my labors for Him to grow. I know not to compare myself with others. I known that we are each unique individuals with a unique work. Then I visit blogs, read the books, hear of their news and I turn green.
The battle! That is what it feels like, a tug-of-war within my soul.
I confess this to a friend. I pray and ask God to help me be glad about other's success. I remain aware of my sinful heart, but trust that He will help. Still. I expect a Divine scolding, a reprimand, and a pruning.
The next day at our church service I am asked to lead the Women's Retreat. I am floored; humility cloaks me. "You want ME?" I feel so honored. And in that moment I had a fresh sweet taste of God's goodness. He was saying to my heart that He purifies my motives, He hears, He gives me my desires, and He has me right where He wants me.
Can you feel the comfort in that? The release of selfishness? I am in awe that my Father granted my desire and opened this door. That Goodness humbles me. In this moment I am content. I am gratified.
I am happy for YOU. May YOU who are writing be blessed mightily.