Ask God to orient or reorient you to Himself. Confess any known sin. Thank Him for His forgiveness. Be still and reflect on Jesus and His sacrifice for you. Ask the Holy Spirit to open your heart and mind to God’s Word. Pray for others in your life that they, too, would know and love God today.
Psalm 73: 4-12
“4 They have no struggles; their bodies are healthy and strong. 5 They are free from common human burdens; they are not plagued by human ills. 6 Therefore pride is their necklace; they clothe themselves with violence. 7 From their callous hearts comes iniquity; their evil imaginations have no limits. 8 They scoff, and speak with malice; with arrogance they threaten oppression. 9 Their mouths lay claim to heaven, and their tongues take possession of the earth. 10 Therefore their people turn to them and drink up waters in abundance. 11 They say, ‘How would God know? Does the Most High know anything?’ 12 This is what the wicked are like— always free of care, they go on amassing wealth.”
Envy is something that can disorient us from reality if we’re not careful. In these verses, Asaph’s thoughts go back and forth with the truth of what he is seeing and what he is thinking. On the one hand, he describes the wicked as some type of super-human being (4-5; 12). Then, on the other hand, he has a moment of clarity in verses 6-10. Disorientation comes when he looks at the outside appearance; he gets a false impression of what is really going on. Asaph begins to believe that the wicked don’t struggle at all; they have perfect bodies, they’re strong, and free from sickness. In fact, they are not plagued by human ills. Everything is going their way! It’s easy-street for these people; they’re free from common human burdens. In fact, he believes that they don’t have to do anything and yet keep amassing wealth!
If we’re not careful, we can find ourselves doing the same thing that Asaph was doing.
To be honest with you, I’ve done it before. There was a time in my life when the pressures of life seemed to be pressing in on Patty and me. Money was tight, work was demanding, kids were being kids, and unexpected expenses kept coming out of nowhere. I was tired of it. I wanted God to just ease up the stress and take the pressures away.
Then one day when I was driving home from church, I noticed a guy washing his motorcycle. I thought, “Man, I’d like to have that bike.” When I drove a little further down the road, I passed a couple who were outside getting their boat ready for the lake. I thought, “Man, I’d like to have a boat.” Finally, I pulled up in the drive just in time to see my neighbor polishing his brand new, bright and shiny Ford pickup truck. “That must be nice!” I thought. Then, I found myself becoming mad. I thought, “How do these people afford this stuff?” I was working hard every day and I felt like I didn’t have anything to show for it. Then, I thought to myself, “If I wasn’t tithing, I’d have the money to buy some of that stuff.”
Do you see what was going on? I was becoming disoriented; I was only looking at outside appearances. I was letting envy distort reality and it was beginning to build anger up inside me.
Thankfully, like Asaph, I caught myself before I slipped!
Think about your own life. Is envy at work on you?
Ask God to reveal the ways envy may have taken ahold of your heart and then confess it. Don’t let envy cause you to slip.
Rest secure in Christ.
(Personalize this prayer today; make it specific to the circumstances that face you.)
Ask God to lead you through His Spirit as you go through your day. Ask Him to bring to mind the truth of the gospel and its implications for what you will encounter today. Tell Him “Yes” to His will and ask Him for His power and protection to live this “yes.” Ask God to create and reveal opportunities to proclaim the good news today. KEEP PRAYING THROUGHOUT YOUR DAY.