What do you want in life? A Happy Marriage, well-behaved kids, financial comfort… What does envy mean? Envy happens when you have something I want and I spend my time thinking about it that way. It’s easy to get sucked into the envy game with social media where we get a window into the highlight real of life. It’s hard to not envy other people. How do you fight envy?
So Far in the Series, we’ve seen:
- God will fight for us so we can Be Still
- God knows best so we can Be Still
- Meditating on who God is will help us Be still
- If we stop trying to take God’s job we can Be Still
Today, in this 40-Day Fast to Be Still and know God, we will see how to keep our eyes on God and the path He has for us instead of envying other people’s life. (More on Envy hereMore on Envy here)
Psalm 37:7 Be still before the Lord; wait patiently for Him and entrust yourself to Him; Do not fret (whine, agonize) because of him who prospers in his way, Because of the man who carries out wicked schemes.
The Context of Psalm 37:7
This is yet another Psalm of David. The fact that he circles back to this concept makes me feel better that I need to be reminded often to Be Still. How about you?
Observations from Psalm 37:7
David had much opportunity to envy others. He spent so many years waiting on God to fulfill a promise. He had been anointed, told he would be king, only to spend years on the run for his life.
How many times must he have asked “Why”. Why am I hiding in a cave for fear of my life? Did I really hear you right that I would be king? This seems like a crazy path to becoming king, are you sure that’s what you are up to God?
It's Okay to Question God, to ask God questions and wrestle through your doubt. God is big enough to handle our questions, answer them or help our heart heal through them! Click To Tweet
David often begins writing with questions for God, accusations at God and general depression. I can’t blame him because when life is hard those are very real normal places to be.
What I love about David is that he never stays there. David brings his big problems to God and is then reminded God is bigger than those problems.
What is the problem you are facing in life today?
Has life not gone the way you expected?
Are you not as far along as you planned? Are other’s doing better financially or in relationships?
David is struggling here because of people prospering who are evil. Can you relate? I understand the idea that those who don’t follow God’s ways seem to get farther financially and enjoy life more than. (Read some of my testimony here to see how I turned away from God for a season for just this reason.)
We should not envy ungodly people because they have no eternal future. So life is hard today, you have eternity with God ahead. They deserve our pity, prayer, and witness - not envy. Click To Tweet
Do Not Envy Other People, Be Still and Commit Your Way to the Lord
Application of Psalm 37:7
How do we actually live a life free from envy? David tells us in Psalm 37: 3-6
- Trust the Lord; rely on Him; have confidence in Him.
- Do good, even if others are cheating and lying to get ahead.
- Delight in the Lord. Love Him, spend time with Him, seek Him more than anything else.
- Give Him the freedom to change your desires, replacing anything that He does not desire.
- Commit your way to the Lord. Decide that you are going to do life God’s Way no matter how others are living.
- Trust the Lord to do what He promises (to guide you, protect you, provide for you and so much more).
- Be Still,
- Wait patiently because His timing is not our timing.
- Entrust yourself to God because He has a plan and a way that is best.
- Do not whine or complain in the waiting because you are looking at others on different paths.
Final Thoughts on Psalm 37:7
I love the plan! Give me a Seven-Step Plan to Be still and not envy other people and I am set. LOL, but that is easier said than done! Right?!?!?!?!
Notice that not one time did it say look around at what others are doing and try to live like them. God didn’t tell us to mimic the preacher (even if he’s a great guy). He didn’t say life like the saints, even though they died martyrs. He says Trust the Lord, live like the Lord says to live.
Keep your eyes on the Lord, not on other people.
I get this wrong more days than not. My friends have nice clothes, seemingly perfect marriages, well-behaved kids, and so on and I look at them and wonder if I’m on the right path.
God said to stay at home and raise my kids but I wonder if I heard Him right because one income does not stretch far enough.
God said live with grace, submission, and gentleness in my marriage but some days I wish I could just rail about the unfairness of it all.
Why is this path so much rougher than my friends’ paths?
Why has God allowed chronic Illness and Chronic pain to become part of the path?
Does God really have me going the right direction?
If I were God I would increase the income here, change a heart here, heal a sickness over there…
But I am not God and when I look around instead of looking up envy steals my peace, stirs up fear and anxiety and I can not be still. Click To Tweet
A Prayer to Be still and Not Envy other people
Precious Lord Jesus,
Oh, how I long to delight in You instead of longing for comfort. I want to want to commit my way to You but then the control freak inside rears her ugly head and I fall short. Forgive me of the envy that lives deep inside. I don’t like to admit it is there, but it really is.
Teach me how to really desire the things You desire. Replace this white picket fence dream of comfort and prosperity for a Kingdom-focused dream and desire of life.
I give you this fear, that I am not on the right path because the path is hard. Here is the worry that You will not step in to provide and protect in time. I surrender the anxiety of not understanding Your way, Your time and Your end purpose.
Help me Be Stil and live Your Way one step at a time. Teach my mouth to stop whining and complaining about waiting. Remind me that others have struggled as well, even if I can’t see them. Convict my heart to pray rather than envy other people, Father.