Jealousy is such an ugly heart posture, and if we are all honest with ourselves, we can all look back at a time when God stirred us up so He could uproot this behavior.
I have seen and felt this jealousy rise in others when it comes to ministry. It is so destructive to the body. This jealousy causes us to undercut, steal, and destroy others. We fail to recognize that we don’t get to choose who God picks and when He picks them. We think we know best because of a calling we’ve received, an anointing over our lives, or a piece of paper we earned. This is a dangerous perspective rooted in pride.
As I reflected on my short time in ministry, talking with the Lord, I was reminded of God dealing with my heart early on in 2021. It was an exciting time for me, spiritually. It was the first time I had felt such a sensitivity to the Holy Spirit, and I received things with clarity like I never had before. I often used the saying “divine strategy” because the Lord was pouring His purpose for my life into my spirit. He was revealing so much divine strategy into my mind to accomplish the task He had laid out.
I didn’t know that God was going to use my excitement and willingness to share with everyone to teach ME an important lesson…
His divine strategy doesn’t belong to us, and He will do with it as He wishes.Mikhael Armao
When I received this in my spirit, there was a deeply hidden pride in my heart that was exposed and for me to be the leader God needed, He had to uproot it. It manifested on the surface as offense and jealousy. Yuck! But, looking back, it is so true.
The lesson God was teaching me was two-fold:
- God’s spiritual gifts do not belong to us.
- Not everyone is meant to walk with you.
Maybe you have heard in Christian leadership, “The higher God takes you, the lower you must become.”
The gospel of John says it like this:
God had brought me to this beautiful place of purpose, and He was pouring out such stunning revelation through me. He was giving me my voice. A powerful and mighty voice that I had never known. The warfare in my life at this time was extremely intense. I was having weekly dreams of the adversary choking me, preventing me from saying the name of Jesus. During this same time, I did not know who was meant to walk with me and who was not. I was sharing my experiences and revelations for Worthy Women with everyone.
That was when the offense and jealousy began to rise. I can’t tell you how painful it is to go through such immense warfare to receive a revelation, to watch someone else put their stamp on it and walk away, leaving you wounded. But this, my sisters, is a part of becoming a true leader for the Kingdom of God. We will know a true called and anointed child by their ability to pick up their cross to follow Him. There is no other way.
God had to allow this to manifest so I would truly walk in His purpose for me with open hands. To this day, you might find me in church praying with open and empty hands facing upwards. It is a powerful sign between God and I, that I am willing to surrender to His plans. My life is no longer my own. I will receive whatever He wills for my life because I trust His plans are good.
As the Holy Spirit began to counsel me so I could fully receive this lesson, He gave me a vision. I was praying in my living room as I began to see myself on my knees in the middle of a busy street. People passed by, bumping into me, sometimes kicking me and elbowing me in the head. Clearly, I was disrupting their path, and not one of them stopped to say, “excuse me.” Some even spat and yelled at me for being in the middle of this busy street. In my hands were just a few pieces of small bread. I had loved ones who were hungry, yet the Lord had me holding my hands open and facing upward in the middle of this busy street.
I stared at that bread, thinking, “if I could just take it to someone hungry,” but God would not allow me to move.
It felt like an eternity…
Then, I saw two rich rulers passing by who had been on a long journey. Their servants were worried because they did not pack enough food for their king.
It was evident, even from a distance, that one of these kings was very angry. He was shouting from his chariot at his servants. Then, I noticed one of the mad king’s servants catching a glimpse of me kneeling in this crowd holding the bread. Without any thought, that servant rushed towards me and snatched the bread out of one of my hands…
It was clear that I was just a woman with no status to him, plus he was feeling pressured by his king’s anger. He emotionlessly snatched the bread as if it were his own without one word or thought of a kind gesture or “thank you.”
Tears began to roll down my face as I watched this self-righteous servant deliver the bread, the same bread that people I loved were starving for, to his angry and hungry king, who had a feast waiting on Him just a few miles ahead.
The anger and jealousy welled in me as I watched this King feed himself. Every painful emotion ran down my face into the dirt beneath me. A man of wealth and power who would survive skipping a meal while others were starving to literal death…
It was enough pain to drive a person mad.
Yet, there God had me with open hands…
As I looked through the crowd, I noticed something different about the second king. I could see gentleness in His countenance, even from a distance… He was scanning the street for a table selling food to send His servants to buy. Then He noticed me as I remained knelt, hands open, with tears rolling down my face.
He said something to His servant that I couldn’t make out and pointed in my direction. I just knew I would be scolded or worse for sitting in the street… what was I going to do with no bread to feed the hungry people? Still, I sat there, hands open, remaining obedient to God.
His servant came to me and touched my empty hand, looking over the one with the loaf of bread in it. “The King has been looking everywhere for someone selling bread, and He would like to speak with you. Would you be willing to come with me and speak to Him?”
This servant saw me…
The servant grabbed my hand and helped me to my feet. As I walked up to the chariot, I tried to hide my face from his king due to the tears and shame.
The King placed His open hand under my chin, lifting my face towards His. “I have ridden miles searching for someone who had bread, and you also looked like you were waiting for something…” He began to wipe my tears and continued.
“If you will spare this bread so I can have the strength to continue this important journey, I will give you work in my kingdom so you can provide for the ones you love forever. Will you come with me?”
I will never forget this vision. That King knew my tears were for the ones I loved most… who were starving… dying.
I didn’t have to explain a word. This king saw value in ALL people.
I finally realized that the bread in my hand had been given to me by God, and it was meant for that moment.
“What wasn’t mine exchanged for something I didn’t deserve.”Mikhael Armao
But not before the discipline of obedience amid being kicked, hit in the head, yelled at, and robbed and, in return, given protection and abundance by a gentle, honorable, and loving King.
Later, I would find out that God would have me continue to serve bread to the angry King whose servants had stolen from me, and I would learn to do it with a heart of genuine kindness. These would be my anchor of humility.
During this revelation, the root of offense and jealousy was ripped out of my heart, making me fit to lead in the Kingdom. I am so thankful He kept me there to learn this lesson…
Joyce Meyer says it like this
“Until you can be happy for someone who got what you wanted, you’re never going to get yours.”Joyce Meyer
The bread we are given to share as servants/leaders in God’s kingdom is not our own. We do not get to choose who receives the bread as we remain kneeled with our hands open and do not get to hold offenses against those who rob us.
As we wait patiently, learning lessons from both, God will send the people we are meant to work with. None of this can come from a closed fist of jealousy, resentment, or control.
God cannot work with a closed hand, and we are given free will. When our hands are closed, we may rob ourselves of the people who will see us and provide us with rest, protection, and work to support the ones we love most.
Open your hands, leader. Let God teach you and give you His blessing.
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