Envy, Pain transfer and Other Faith Killers that Hinder your Greatness.


Envy, Pain transfer and Other Faith Killers that Hinder your Greatness.

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The capacity for great things to happen in, through and for the follower of Christ is too marvellous for words to describe. Biblical examples make current examples look like comedy. When you read the story of untrained Gideon who led 300 casual men against thousands and delivered his country from oppression, you realize that Leonidus’ 300 is just what it is; a movie. If a youth can rally up his confidence in the Lord and bring a giant down with a sling and a stone, you conclude that the giants we face are merely dwarves. And what of the new figure 8 queen who won the beauty pageant to be the King’s wife but now has to throw it all away because her people will be killed and she may die for trying to stop it? If Queen Esther is not a hero then no-one is. What of the prostitute who believed in the God of the approaching nation and trusted that if she hoped in him despite her sinfulness, she will be fine in his arms? And that’s how Rahab became the great descendant of Christ Jesus.

Faith with power

When Christ said that our faith if as small as a mustard seed can move mountains, I always imagined a believer like The Last Airbender moving Mount Kilimanjaro from the Mara and toppling it into the Indian Ocean. Then I thought of the tsunami that the mountain would cause and displace lots of innocent people and I dismissed the idea. However, Christ’s analogy depicts a power in the believer that may just be unparalleled to none. It’s the power that can cause a repentant prostitute to become the descendant of Jesus Christ. It’s the kind of power that can cause rain to cease for three and a half years upon the words of Elijah. It’s the kind of power that splits seas with the touch of a wooden stick. It’s the kind of faith that kills giants from practicing with bears and lions.

Is that power available today?

Ever wondered, if my faith can move mountains why can’t it move my nosey neighbour? Or if my faith is as great as God says it is why am I still in this rut? Why do I run after the same boyfriends that use me? Why do I still struggle with this addiction even after praying with faith that it will go? Why am I still at point A when I feel my promotion time is here and should take me to point X? Why is person X succeeding and I’m still where I am? I believe, right? I pray, right? Where is my breakthrough?

Heartless faith

The problem may not be your faith. Maybe the problem is your heart. You see, faith will open doors but obedience will walk you through those doors. Obedience is a heart issue. Faith will bring the breakthrough but patience will wait to receive it. Patience is a heart issue. Faith will show you that there is a way out. Character will choose to walk out. Character is a heart issue. Faith is not acted upon, Jesus’ brother tells us, it is dead! (James 2:27). Every time we have the right heart in moments of faith, we prove that we love God. When we wait patiently on God’s timing, we prove that we love God and our faith pleases him. When we endure all kinds of trials and tribulation and are still kind to people, we express love to God. Without the heart (love) our faith may be huge but amounts to nothing. Paul said it himself:

If I have a faith that can move mountains, but have not love, I am nothing. (1st Corinthians 13:2c)

With time, you will discover that faith without love i.e. (joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, gentleness, faithfulness, self control) is a dead faith. A dead faith is no faith at all. It is wishful thinking. A dead faith prevents you from leading your 300. It prevents you from killing your bears and lions and consequently killing your giant. You can’t handle giants if bears are problems. Your dead faith will keep you in the bear-zone. And when all the sheep are eaten, the bear’s only next lunch is you.

Here are a few heart issues that deaden your faith

Comparing yourself to others- Insecurity
When people younger than you achieve great feats, it is very easy to compare notes and grow weary. God asked Abraham to believe he would get a son at age 99. On the other hand he asked Mary mother of Christ to believe that the bump in her stomach was a baby and not food poisoning. Abraham had no sign of a child. Mary had a very clear sign of a child. Imagine if Abraham and Mary were contemporaries. Abraham would look at Mary’s bump and say, “Oh gee! Her baby is coming where is mine? Where’s my breakthrough?” He may even feel threatened by the fact that Mary is only 16 years old and he is 99. He may freak out and stop believing in God’s promise of a child. What would happen is that God would maybe push Abraham’s age to 199 until he stopped comparing his life with others?

Reflection
·      Are you insecure in the fact that there are people doing better than you?
·      Do you constantly compare what you’re good at with other’s achievements?
·      God is writing your story, stop comparing it with others.
·      If you compare your situation with others, you will always find reason not to trust in God.

Your faith cure verse
Philippians 4:6-7

Symptom summary
Find your identity and confidence in Christ Jesus.

Comparing yourself to others- Pride
The flip side of the comparing coin is pride. You compare your situation to others and you perceive that you’re better off. You even silently rejoice that things are going well for you. Your breakthrough came on time or your sign came clearly. Be warned beloved. Pride comes before a fall. Remember the parable of the Pharisee and the tax collector. The Pharisee’s prayer was as dead as his faith because he compared himself to the sinful tax collector. He saw that he had a pretty neat record and counted himself lucky. You wanna know what God does to such a person? He humbles you. And terrible it would be that he humbles you in front of the person you consider worse off than you.

Reflection
·      Pride comes before a fall.

Your faith cure verse
Philippians 2:3-4

Symptom summary
Your breakthrough will never come until you stop finding your identity and confidence in the fact that you’re better than others.

Envy
They say that the body of Christ is the only army that kills it’s wounded. I think it’s because many believers want the spotlight. Anytime that spotlight is stolen (especially by a fellow believer) they go up in arms (even silently in their hearts with pasted smiles on their faces). It’s green, invisible and rhymes with Humvee. Yep, it’s envy. It lurks around every time you see that girl with a body like Beyonce’s yet you’re trying so hard to lose a few pounds. Or when all your friends are dating and you’re the only one left out. You begin to talk ill of relationships and if given opportunity talk ill of those friends in relationships. It lurks around every time your siblings get opportunities that you may have missed. It lurks around every time that person younger than you beats you in the work place. You find yourself making fun of them instead of congratulating them. You rejoice when they fail. You snigger happily when they don’t succeed. You constantly try to put them down to feel better about yourself. Envy. You find a reason to say something nasty about what they have that you don’t have! If in authority, you stifle their growth and make sure they don’t progress. You would move planets to stop their success if you had to. You find frequent opportunities to embarrass them and put them down. Your envy deadens your faith big time.

Reflection
·      Is there someone/people you envy?

Your faith cure verse
Proverbs 14:30

Symptom summary
Your envy will superglue you to your status quo.

Blame Game
So when Adam and Eve sinned, Adam invented the blame game. God asked them what cut and here is what Adam did. He drew a pie chart and allotted blame. He portioned 72 % of the blame on the woman for giving him the fruit. He gave Lucifer 10 % for his cunningness. He gave the snake 8% blame for helping Lucifer. He portioned 5 % of the blame on the weather. He attributed 3% to God for placing the tree there in the first place and giving him the woman. Then he took 1% for himself and left the remaining 1 % to miscellaneous probabilities. There are people who pie-chart blame. They make a very good point at making sure everyone knows their problem but never want to accept their own responsibility. Many men become Adams. I have a friend who once fell into sexual sin with his girlfriend. He blamed her for not being spiritually strong to resist. There you have an Adam! Have the guts beloved to accept that you are responsible for your life beloved. People who play this game stay in their rut for too long. They believe themselves better than others and deem to have the right to others how they messed up. Jesus summarized this in a classic teaching. Look at the log in your eye first before you remove the speck in your brother’s. The thing with logs is that, even after you remove them from your eye, you still have lots of sawdust specks left behind. You really have no time to edit your brother’s speck.

Reflection
·      Do you find fault in someone else each time something goes wrong in your life?

Your faith cure verse
Philippians 2:3-4

Symptom summary
If you keep pie-charts of blame, you will miss the full measure of grace (from God and others).

Pain Transfer

I was bullied a lot in high school in my first year. The older kids who bullied me had this reason for their actions, “It happened to us in our first year so it must happen to you too.” That defeatist mentality is what keeps many victim. It’s called the pain transfer. Chances are that when you are hurt, you will hurt others. Pain transfer is fuelled by bitterness.  Anyone who walks a path after you should not be pricked by the same thorns that pricked you. If you were pricked, remove the thorn and cast it away from the path. Why leave it on the path for others to experience the same pain you did? It’s evil and it will never progress your life beloved. Do you treat your kids terribly because your father treated you terribly? Look closely. You may discover that you are. Or even better, ask your kids. Do you ruin your friend’s day when you wake up on the wrong side of bed? You know what, ask your friends, especially the one you’re envious about. Pain transfer is the devil’s chief business. He says to himself, “I was kicked out of heaven but I’m not going to hell alone.” And he won’t. Every child of his who practices pain transfer will accompany him.

Reflection
·      Holding onto bitterness is like taking poison and expecting the other person to die.

Your faith cure verse
Matthew 5:43-38
Micah 6:8

Symptom summary
The Lord detests injustice. He thwarts the plans of those that are unjust.

Impractical

The final faith killer is the impractical believer. Each time an opportunity presents itself, they don’t seize it. They pray about it. I’m sure God looks from on high at times and shakes his head at the impracticality of this beloved of his. If you’ve been praying for income and an opportunity to get paid for babysitting arises at your doorstep, what do you do? Do you pray about it? It sounds very spiritual when we say “Let me pray about it.” However, for the most part it is simply impractical. Moses split the Red Sea. He didn’t pray about crossing it.

However, it may be true that we need to ask God for grace to go through with a decision or we need confirmation, like Queen Esther. That’s okay. It’s actually very wise. I pray however that you may possess a discerning spirit and differentiate the Lord’s voices that say, “Go!” or “Tarry!” If he says go, do go ahead. Don’t put answers in God’s mouth because of your fear to act or because of a lazy spirit. The world is waiting for shrewd believers to change the world. An ungodly passivity will kill your faith.

Reflection
·      Do you tend to postpone doing something great?
·      Do you cover your fear with the excuse of prayer?
·      Do you cover your laziness with the excuse of prayer?
·      Promotion is for the prepared.

Your faith cure verse
Proverbs 6:6-8

Symptom summary
Don’t embarrass the faith you have. Act on it.

Are there any other heart attitudes you know that deaden your faith from doing great things?

ION: My wife, Turi and I celebrate the release of my novel, THE HUMAN TEMPLE. You can now purchase a copy from BOOKS FROM US by clicking here. Also like it while you're at it :-) Thank you!