Athlete, Consider What Provokes Jealousy from God
Ezekiel 8:3 (NIV)
The Spirit lifted me up between earth and heaven and in visions of God He took me to Jerusalem, to the entrance of the north gate of the inner court, where the idol that provokes to jealousy stood.
Have you ever been provoked to jealousy? Have you ever had someone’s wonderful attention, strong devotion and great loyalty only to watch it threatened, compromised, weakened and walking away?
Did someone choose another team or another mate after being with you? Did your jealousy burn? Did you hurt badly?
If so, you understand the heart of God. Our idols provoke His jealousy. He waxes hot for our love and devotion. So anything else that moves in on Him and His turf gets Him incensed.
An idol is anything that subtly rivals or clearly usurps God’s rightful place of first and foremost in our lives. It moves in on God’s territory in human hearts and makes us believe that having Him is simply not enough.
Most of the time an idol has something to do with power, approval, comfort or control. These four come in all different forms and snakebite people all the time. They constantly offer us things they are powerless to fully deliver.
They get us bowing down and Him burning up.
Like Ezekiel, God exposes idols in our world, in our lives. He does it because He’s beautifully jealous. God reveals our spiritual adultery and pursues us still. Building something super special in us and through us remains His aim. His Spirit sees to it.
Reflect: Does God’s jealousy for you move you deeply? Does your jealousy for God stand alone, unrivaled? What competing idols might you be entertaining right now?
Are any of the following possibly personal idols or symptoms of idols: winning, work, sex, popularity, fame, money, title/entitlement, independence, specific possessions, certain relationships, coveted positions?
A prayer to consider: Spirit of Christ, lift me up so I can see what provokes my Father’s jealousy. It’s everything else I put on a pedestal with You or whatever I build altars to besides You. Help me eliminate the idols of my heart and believe that to have You is to have enough.
Forgive me, Father, for chasing worthless things. There is always stuff that needs toppling in me. May Jesus live unrivaled in my heart, chaste and pure, full and whole.
Thank you for loving me so jealously, relentlessly, passionately, perfectly. You alone are best! Amen.