Have you ever been provoked to jealousy? When I first think of the word “jealousy” I think of something that needs to be quenched, done away with, or removed from me. It connotes a lack of harmony and inner turmoil. On the surface, it’s something I just want to get past, but like any emotion—toxic or otherwise—it points to something deeper. For this reason, jealousy is a gift in the spiritual realm.
There are heroes of the faith and anointed individuals who have wisdom, understanding of truth, and relationship with God that often provoke me to jealousy. There are people you can read about and personal writings you can study from these people that display a closeness with God that stirs up something in my spirit to yearn and pine for my own experience of closeness with God. It causes something in me to refuse to settle for a life lived less than near to God. It makes me jealous.
Some may decide that this restless feeling needs to be removed and do all they can to suppress it and say that it is gone, but that’s not healthy. Jealousy should provoke you to action. The blessing of jealousy is that, when channeled properly, it is not a dead end race—it is the beginning of the pursuit, “Ask and it will be given to you; seek and you will find; knock and the door will be opened to you.” (Matthew 7:7) Jealousy is the beginnings of hunger pangs, and to hunger for God is a blessing. If you do not hunger, you will never know true satisfaction.
This is also the beauty of God’s expansiveness: there is so much of Him that the more we know, the more we are awakened to the increasing depths of Who He is. Spiritual hunger increases with the knowledge of God as does our experience of satisfaction.
Sometimes we are awakened to the reality of our own parched state. The landscape of our soul is dry and barren: then we hear of the deep things of God in and through the life of another. We are provoked to jealousy for their flourishing land. The hope in this situation is that you don’t have to conquer the territory of another to have it for yourself: God will meet you in your own land and bring you to flourish in your own walk. All you have to do is ask Him to.