“We demolish arguments and every pretension that sets itself up against the knowledge of God, and we take captive every thought to make it obedient to Christ.” 2 Corinthians 10:5
I used to live in the dungeon of envy. You know the place? It was nested deeply in the root of insecurity and slithered around my lack of worth. It would rise up uninvited just long enough to awaken doubt and nudge fear to join in. Envy took root on my wishbone and tried to launch a weak attempt at celebration for the person or thing that awoke this whole mess. This green-eyed monster wanted to take up permanent residence, it was comfortable in my dungeon. As I started to realize the more Christ was my identity, I saw how jealousy was robbing me of my destiny.
Envy – a feeling of discontent or covetousness with regard to another’s advantages, success, possessions, etc. (dictionary.com)
Escape into contentedness and out of the dungeon needs to be rooted in who we are in Christ. What does this mean you might say? It requires these things;
- Acceptance of His forgiveness
- Aligning yourself with God’s truth
- Childlike Faith
- Repentance – Agree with God that you have sinned and turn away from it
- Interrupting thoughts and deliberately taking them captive to Jesus
- Peace – with yourself, others and circumstances
I realize these aren’t all easy places to get to but it is part of the process to get free from this entanglement and hindrance in your walk with God. I hear a lot of teaching lately about taking our thoughts captive and how we need to be aware of the thoughts that pop in to our head. We do not need to entertain every single one of them. It really is a re-training and in some cases unlearning of old patterns of thinking. Audrey Meisner taught it this way, that our old thinking is like a well paved highway that has created a neurological pathway or wrong thinking. Be intentional about interrupting those thoughts.
The renewing of your mind really needs to happen in God’s strength, it does take our cooperation but we cannot do it just by willing away the negative things. Only God can do this. We need to take them and say this does not line up with truth, this is the truth and ask Jesus to take them and as they go to do as the Word says, “Finally brothers and sisters, what is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable–if anything is excellent or praiseworthy–think about such things.’ Philippians 4:8
Our circumstances may not immediately change but how we think about them will. God often transitions our heart before outside change happens. After all His desire is for our heart. He wants all of us. He is relentless in His love for us and that we know Him.
Changing our patterns begins with our recognizing that we need His help. My heart transition about envy, jealousy and their sister comparison has been happening for some time. Seeing it was killing my creativity was more recent and gave me a new urgency to be free from this spirit. God showed me that I wasn’t made to do what others are doing because I am uniquely made for His purposes. It is a new freedom place to celebrate others genuinely from the depths of me. People long for authenticity and the true heart of God is to love others right where they are at. An even greater challenge from Bill Johnson is to love people where they are at even if the mess they are in is self-inflicted.(Soak in that a while)
Sometimes our healing surprises us. Recently I was able to sit and listen to a dear amazing friend share how God worked in and through her and I spoke how honoured I was to listen to her. It never struck me until she thanked me that I truly realized God has done an incredible work in my heart. His love in me for people continues to deepen and I want to share it and remind them how special He has made all of us and there is a purpose for their life. We were made to celebrate each other and cheer them on and we cannot do this if we are pressed down with envy or comparing apples to oranges. Healthy community needs to be rooted in holding each others’ arms up because navigating this life is a hard enough journey.
Now will those thoughts pop in and try to get me to go down that well grooved highway of envy again? Probably, the enemy doesn’t really have new tricks, just ones that have worked before. I am learning as the thoughts come to bless the person that I am comparing to or wishing I was like or had what they had. I bless and pray and bless and pray, sometimes sending a note to encourage them and submitting my thoughts and feelings to Jesus. It sometimes still is an acrobatic workout to keep my mind stayed on Jesus but it used be like a marathon, so we are making progress God and I. Please join me in changing this world upside down like Jesus did by joining hands and seeing ourselves as we are in Him. Through this lens we can do what we were created to do, as we are.