I’m touching a subject that we are all aware of: the spirit of comparison. Even if you don’t find yourself currently dealing with this, at one point or another, you will. None are exempt from this battle. Our flesh loves to compare itself to those around us. Think about it. Our flesh is something that we fight against due to the result of the fall. The fall took place because Satan compared himself to God and wanted things that were never meant for him to have. This led to Adam and Eve taking what wasn’t rightfully theirs. And, now, today, you and I, who are born into sin, can easily become entrapped by this working of the flesh.
Every day is a battle between the spirit and the flesh. This is why we must submit our flesh into God’s hands EVERY single day. Galatians 5:16 states, “I say then, Walk in the Spirit, and you shall not fulfill the lust of the flesh. For the flesh lusts against the Spirit, and the Spirit against the flesh; and these are contrary to one another, so that you do not do the things that you wish. But if you are led by the Spirit, you are not under the law.”
It goes on to say that the works of the flesh are evident. One of those works of the flesh is envy. When we begin comparing our lives to those around us, we can easily become entrapped by envy.
Each of us, at one point or another, will find ourselves in this position. I think especially so when we are fighting difficult battles in our personal life. We begin to compare our unseen life to the perfectly seen “highlight reel” of those we follow on a screen. But, social media (for the most part) doesn’t tell us the battles they are facing. It doesn’t reveal the tears that have been shed in the prayer room. Because, more often than not, the greatest battles are being fought in places that no one sees.
Comparison is an absolute trap. We are all susceptible to get caught in this trap of comparison. The reason I call it a trap is because a trap is a device that keeps someone captive to an unseen captor. The enemy will use whatever device he can to make us captive by something that we are unaware of. But, the trap is faulty. However, there is something that can shatter this device every single time. It’s learning how to activate the living Word of God in our lives.
In Exodus 14:14, Moses reminded the Israelite people that, “The LORD will fight for you, and you shall hold your peace.” He declared these words to the Israelite people after they had just left Egypt, as they were getting ready to cross the Red Sea. Their own flesh cried out, “have you taken us away to die in the wilderness?” And, Moses replies with these words, “Do not be afraid. Stand still, and see the salvation of the LORD, which He will accomplish for you today.”
If Moses wasn’t submitted to the Spirit of God, he could have allowed the voices of the flesh to discourage him and keep him from seeing God’s promise and victory that was before them. This battle between the Spirit and flesh is real. It is an every day battle. If we don’t start our day submitting our flesh into the LORD’s hands, we can easily become entrapped by thought patterns and emotions that are contrary to what God has for us.
Like the Israelites, we all have days where our flesh isn’t submitted to the Spirit. And, then, something in our personal life comes our way and we, like the Israelites, are responding in a similar fashion. The Israelites became so discouraged by their circumstances that they were willing to go back to their captivity. My, my, my. That’s a whole another post for another day.
Back to the original thought of this post.
You shall hold your peace when you stop comparing yourself and your circumstances to those around you. Life sends things our way that can easily produce weeds (envy, fear, bitterness…) in our lives. It is a daily life that is in submission to God and His Word that will uproot the things that do not belong.
In 1 Peter 2:1, we are told to put away all envy and to desire the pure milk of the Word of God. Milk is a sustenance. In this context, it is the Word of God that sustains us and satisfies the spiritual hunger within us, that which we may not even be aware of. Joshua 1:8 states, “This Book of the Law shall not depart from your mouth, but you shall meditate in it day and night, that you may observe to do according to all that is written in it. For then you will make your way prosperous and then you will have good success.” This was the LORD’s commission to Joshua, who took up Moses’ position. Joshua came to realize that it was through daily meditation on God’s Word that he would be able to be courageous and stand strong in the confidence of the LORD, no matter what was to come his way.
For a quick moment, I want to speak to the church at large. If you’ve followed this blog long enough or are a close friend of mine, you’ve heard these next words. But, I think they are a good reminder to all of us. Several years ago, God spoke so clearly to me and said, “Anointing comes with a cost. Don’t ever envy someone’s anointing. You don’t know what it cost them to get it.” Ministry comes with a cost. Anointing comes with a cost. Blessings come with a cost. There is a sacrifice that is paid that no one sees. There are difficult circumstances that people have walked through that becomes the very thing that produces the anointing and life that others may come to desire. As the church, we cannot get caught in this trap of comparison. It is a working of the flesh that tries to bring about emotions that do not belong. It brings jealousy and envy, which if left unchecked, can lead to a great loss for the church at large. We must pray and fight against the spirit of comparison in our day. We must understand that everyone is fighting battles that no one else sees. All of us are living in a fallen world. And, until Jesus comes back for His church and takes the final victory, we need, more than ever, to be praying for one another, supporting one another, uplifting one another, and pointing one another back to Jesus. Let our focus be on building deep root systems in His Word. Because when our foundation is rooted in His Word, when the works of the flesh try to confront us, we have the authority to slay it, in Jesus name.
Sometimes, it is really difficult to understand why we go through certain circumstances when others do not, but God doesn’t want that to be our focus. Instead, we can take out the Word and meditate on what we do know. And, we know, when we surrender our lives into His hands, He will work all things together for good.
“Have you not heard? The everlasting God, the LORD, The Creator of the ends of the earth, neither faints nor is weary. His understanding is unsearchable. He gives power to the weak And to those who have no might He increases strength.” Isaiah 40:28
“Trust in the LORD with all your heart, And lean not on your own understanding; In all your ways acknowledge Him, And He shall direct your paths. Do not be wise in your own eyes; Fear the LORD and depart from evil. It will be health to your flesh, And strength to your bones.” Proverbs 3:5-8