“The night is far spent, the day is at hand. Therefore let us cast off the works of darkness, and let us put on the armor of light. Let us walk properly, as in the day, not in revelry and drunkenness, not in lewdness and lust, not in strife and envy. But put on the Lord Jesus Christ, and make no provision for the flesh, to fulfill its lusts.” Romans 13:12-14 NKJV
Envy is actually the devil’s poison, designed to turn love into hate and to immobilize faith in your life.
It is an experience we have all shared at one time or another. It is so common that most people think it is no big deal. They tend to see it as a harmless emotion.
Actually, envy is ‘natural’. It is part of what the Bible calls the ‘natural’ or carnal’ mind.
It’s a mind programmed by the devil to be in direct opposition of God. The Word also refers to it as ‘the flesh.’
Envy is listed as ‘works of the flesh’, in Gal. 5:19-21, along with many fleshly companions: adultery, fornications, uncleanness, lasciviousness, idolatry, witchcraft, hatred, wrath, strife, envying, murders, drunkenness, impurity, selfishness, fits of rage….whereby the Word states that those who practices these fleshly ‘emotions’ will NOT inherit the kingdom of God.
Most believers would never purposely engage in any of those fleshly emotions. So how does envy enter into our lives?
Envy means: ‘a feeling of discontent and ill will because of another’s advantage, possessions or success.’
Envy can sneak in unannounced. It is something the devil tries to pressure you into receiving.
He uses envy and strife to interrupt the flow of love in your life. The minute love is disrupted, your faith stops working too, because faith works by love. (Gal. 5:6)
Many believers don’t understand God’s principle of love. So they struggle with strife, envy, offenses and unforgiveness with others, all the while their faith is not producing results.
In order to walk in the power and blessings of God, you cannot allow envy or strife in your life.
James 3:16 confirms this as truth to us, “For where envying and strife is, there is confusion and every evil work.” (KJV)
In other words, envy and strife gives an open door for Satan to enter into your life.
Envy is sin. It is the opposite of love. It is of Satan and if we let it stay in our lives, it won’t be long until we yield to the evil spirit that governs it.
There are many examples of envy in the Bible, here’s a few:
Psalm 106, “Dathan envied Moses and Aaron. He was swallowed up by the earth.
Joseph was sold into slavery by his brothers.
Haman envied Mordecai in the book of Esther.
Cain killed his brother, Abel, because he was envious that his brother had God’s approval and he didn’t.
As believers we are not sinless. In Rom. 7:17-18 Paul says, “As it is, it is no longer I myself who do it, but it is sin living in me. I know that nothing good lives in my, that is my sinful nature.”
It is good to be aware that sin can still dwell in believers and thus even believers are not without jealousy, envy and strife.
Unless we care for the ‘garden’ of our heart by walking in the Spirit and obeying God’s word, we can manifest these works of the flesh at any moment, just as an untended garden brings forth weeds.
“Since they thought it foolish to acknowledge God, he abandoned them to their foolish thinking and let them do things that should never be done.
Their lives became full of every kind of wickedness, sin, greed, hate, envy, murder, quarreling, deception, malicious behavior, and gossip. They are backstabbers, haters of God, insolent, proud, and boastful. They invent new ways of sinning, and they disobey their parents. They refuse to understand, break their promises, are heartless, and have no mercy.
They know God’s justice requires that those who do these things deserve to die, yet they do them anyway. Worse yet, they encourage others to do them, too.” Rom. 1:28-32 NLT