When we look at the achievements of others and compare it to ours, we can either be envious or encouraged. Envy brings frustration, depression and resentment. We are to rejoice with, and for, others. We can be encouraged because we have the same Heavenly Father and believe that He is no respecter of persons. Whatever He is doing in our lives is wonderful, more than we know!
Our success in the Lord is not based on what is seen, but on what is unseen: what He does in us and through us. Comparing ourselves with others is walking by sight and not by faith. We are to know others by the spirit, not by the flesh. Our love and compassion overrule fleshy emotions. Others do not define who we are, God does.
When the temptation to envy others come, we should thank God for what He is doing in their lives, pray for them and bless them. We also thank Him for our lives. Praise keeps our heart filled with joy and peace, and our focus on the Lord. When we lift Him up and when we lift up others, we are lifted up, from glory to glory!
2 Corinthians 10:12 “For we dare not class ourselves or compare ourselves with those who commend themselves. But they, measuring themselves by themselves, and comparing themselves among themselves, are not wise.”
Satan led Eve to focus on the one thing she couldn’t have, the one thing she couldn’t do, the one thing out of her reach. This one tree became huge in comparison to all the other trees she could eat from; the only one that mattered. Our adversary tempts us the same way. He twists things around to get us into being discontent because of what we don’t have, what is not working, or what is lacking in our lives.
The opposite actions shift discontentment and discouragement in our lives. We count all our blessings, all that the Lord had done, all of His transforming glory, all of Him! Our temptation to pay attention to what we lack is overcome by the abundance we recognize we possess in Christ. If we concentrate on what is missing, we will never be fulfilled.
We do pursue what He leads us to reach for as He leads us, not in our own strength. Our contentment is in Him, and we delight in whatever He brings our way. We focus on the presence of the Lord with praise and thanksgiving. His glory fills us with hope in His glorious workings, from glory to glory!
Genesis 3:2-3 “And the woman said to the serpent, “We may eat the fruit of the trees of the garden; but of the fruit of the tree which is in the midst of the garden, God has said, ‘You shall not eat it, nor shall you touch it, lest you die.'”
Marvin couldn’t handle the fierce battles anymore. His marriage, job, and health were under fire. He couldn’t catch a break. He began to withdraw himself from his surroundings. To isolate from his loved ones brought him security, like when a turtle retracts its head into its shell. Discouragement and depression became his retreat companions. It lasted months before the Lord pulled him out of this pit of despair.
Satan uses defeat to cause us to retreat because he knows our faith in the opposite, the victory we have in Christ, enables us to press through any trying situation. We don’t give in to lies, defeat, discouragement and hopelessness. We surrender to God and resist satan; not the other way around. By faith we move forward, no matter what, with our eyes upon the Lord. No other options.
To empower us, the Holy Spirit leads us to retreat to the Lord. We withdraw to a quiet place and receive His loving care, refreshing and refilling. In Christ we walk victoriously, empowered to move hindrances out of the way. We do not retreat; we advance, from glory to glory!
Matthew 6:6 “But you, when you pray, go into your room, and when you have shut your door, pray to your Father who is in the secret place; and your Father who sees in secret will reward you openly.”
When the Egyptians set taskmasters over the children of Israel to afflict them, they wanted to hinder the Israelites’ growth. They assumed that their hard labor in building cities would stop them from building their own families. They believed the children of Israel would be so tired, so wiped out, so weak they would not be healthy; and therefore, unable to bear children.
The enemy causes warfare in our lives to stop us from being fruitful and multiplying. We become weary, lose motivation and passion. We sense our fire is diminishing. Our first thought often points to ourselves. We wonder what is wrong with us; why we are not more motivated; why our passion isn’t there; and so on. But it’s not us; it’s the continual warfare that wears us out so we would quit. But at that moment, the opposite happens!
The Holy Spirit quickens, strengthens us and brings restoration. This scripture tells us that the more the taskmasters afflicted the children of Israel, the more they multiplied and grew. We too grow like a palm tree. The more the weight comes upon us, the more we grow! Our fruitfulness and multiplication are unstoppable. During persecution and afflictions, we flourish, from glory to glory!
Exodus 1:12 “But the more they afflicted them, the more they multiplied and grew. And they were in dread of the children of Israel.”
As we grow in the Lord, we learn to depend on Him in all circumstances. We know we can wait on Him. As we look eagerly for Him, expecting His mighty works, we mount up with wings like eagles. Every trial takes us higher in our faith, higher in Him, and teaches us to soar.
For an eagle, a storm is an opportunity to soar. Eagles can catch the wind of any raging storm and rise above it. They use the air pressure to ascend higher as they lock their wings and rest, weathering the storm from a place above it.
In whatever storm we are facing, we receive the strength of the Lord. We soar above the dark clouds. As we wait upon the Lord, the weight of His glory increases. We enter a rest that is unexplainable. We call upon other eagles and unite with them.
We find we can soar higher than we did in the past. We discover that in the waiting we received more of Christ’s anointing. In Him we can seek those things that are above and not beneath. In Him we can conquer those things that are beneath. In Him we abide; we rest, and we are victorious, from glory to glory!
Isaiah 40:31 “But those who wait on the LORD Shall renew their strength; They shall mount up with wings like eagles. They shall run and not be weary, They shall walk and not faint.”