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Spiritual Jealousy

Spiritual Jealousy

Words of Faith 6-10-2020

Dr. Jeffrey D. Hoy © 2020

Jeff.Hoy@faithfellowshipweb.com

Faith Fellowship Church - Melbourne, FL

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Numbers 11

    [24] So Moses went out and told the people what the Lord had said. He brought together seventy of their elders and had them stand around the Tent. [25] Then the Lord came down in the cloud and spoke with him, and he took of the Spirit that was on him and put the Spirit on the seventy elders. When the Spirit rested on them, they prophesied, but they did not do so again.

    [26] However, two men, whose names were Eldad and Medad, had remained in the camp. They were listed among the elders, but did not go out to the Tent. Yet the Spirit also rested on them, and they prophesied in the camp. [27] A young man ran and told Moses, "Eldad and Medad are prophesying in the camp."

    [28] Joshua son of Nun, who had been Moses' aide since youth, spoke up and said, "Moses, my lord, stop them!"

    [29] But Moses replied, "Are you jealous for my sake? I wish that all the Lord's people were prophets and that the Lord would put his Spirit on them!" [30] Then Moses and the elders of Israel returned to the camp.

 

      As religious people, we humans get jealous over the strangest things.

      God was doing a remarkable work among the Israelites.  He had saved them from slavery, given them the Law, and fed them in the desert.  The Lord was about to do another great work that would astonish them. 

      In preparation, the Lord put His Spirit upon the seventy elders of Israel so that the leadership burden might be shared. The only problem was that two men who missed the “meeting” also began to prophesy in the Spirit!  Joshua was upset that Eldad and Medad were ministering in the Spirit without connection to Moses. He urged Moses to stop them.  Moses refused saying that he wished that the Spirit would be upon all the people.

       Joshua was probably concerned that the prophetic utterances of Eldad and Medad were not “official” because they occurred away from Moses.  This was probably the very thing that God wanted to communicate; His Spirit is not subject to one leader or person!

       We actually live in the time Moses longed for when the Spirit of God is poured out upon all people. Remember the day of Pentecost in Acts chapter 2?   

    " 'In the last days, God says, I will pour out my Spirit on all people. Your sons and daughters will prophesy, your young men will see visions, your old men will dream dreams.  Even on my servants, both men and women, I will pour out my Spirit in those days, and they will prophesy.  (Acts 2:17-18)

        The Spirit of the Lord is not restricted to one group or class of people.  The work of the Spirit is not limited to one structure or religious organization.  Authority is given by the Lord alone.

        As religious people, we are sometimes tempted to separate ourselves from others where God is working.  Clearly, the Spirit of the Lord is doing a variety of things in a myriad of places.  All these works of the Lord will not be done in exactly the same way.  We must be careful not to reject the work of the Lord in differing movements and locations just because we do not know them.  We are connected to the work of the Spirit by the Spirit.

        One of the most foolish assumptions that we humans make is that another Christian group is our “enemy” just because we are not directly related to them. One of the great struggles in the early church resulted from jealousy in the synagogues as the Spirit worked in the mission fields of Asia and Europe. 

         In Jerusalem, Peter and the other Apostles were brought before the Sanhedrin, the ruling body of 70 elders.  These religious leaders were very upset by the preaching and ministry of the Apostles.  But one old Rabbi named Gamaliel shared these words of wisdom-- “In the present case I advise you: Leave these men alone! Let them go! For if their purpose or activity is of human origin, it will fail. But if it is from God, you will not be able to stop these men; you will only find yourselves fighting against God" (Acts 5:38-39).  There is a lot of wisdom there.

       Do you find yourself jealous at times?  Jealous of other churches or other works of God?  Jealous of other organizations that seem to be having success.  The truth is that they are not the enemy.  The Spirit of the Lord works when and where He pleases.  We are on the same team.  The real enemy is the Enemy Satan, who wants to steal, kill, and destroy.  The other enemy is our flesh-- our human nature that finds itself jealous.

 

       Lord, forgive me for the times I have had spiritual jealousy.  Forgive me for being envious of what You are doing in the life or in the ministry of another person.  Give me faith to trust that You are at work in many places and in many ways.  In Jesus’ name. Amen.

 

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© Jeffrey D. Hoy 2004, 2020

Dr. Jeffrey D. Hoy - Faith Fellowship Church (EFCA)       

2820 Business Center Blvd.

Melbourne, Florida 32940 (321)-259-7200

Jeff.Hoy@faithfellowshipweb.com

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The Words of Faith devotion is published five days a week by E-mail excluding Federal holidays. Please feel free to forward this devotion to a friend who might be blessed by this devotion. Unless otherwise noted, all Scripture is quoted from the New International Version (R) of The Holy Bible. Copyright (c) 1973, 1978, 1984 by International Bible Society. Used by permission of Zondervan Publishing House. All rights reserved. Words of Faith (c) 1997, 2010 Jeffrey D. Hoy. All rights reserved. Permission is granted to forward this copyrighted material or use portions of it with appropriate notation of the source for non-profit purposes.