Image courtesy of Ania Chen
By Lisa Cherry
Do not let your heart envy sinners,
but always be zealous for the fear of the LORD. Proverbs 23:17
I recently returned from a wonderful ministry trip to Edmonton, Canada. Wow, what a beautiful group of devoted Christ followers I met! The ladies at the Victory Christian Center women’s conference welcomed Kalyn and me with open arms of kindness and remarkable generosity. We sensed the Lord’s presence powerfully as we shared time in His holy word.
But something strange happened to me as I drove down the highways of the city from the hotel to the church and airport. The billboards and business signage were so curious to me. Some looked familiar, like Denny’s Wendy’s, PETCO, and Burger King. But others were names I didn’t know and wasn’t sure how to pronounce.
What I saw was mile after mile of prosperous commerce. Fashion pictures that exuded class and style. There was no evidence of poverty or lack. Affluence and comfort seemed more the cultural image that jumped out to greet me.
Hey, I like this, I sensed my heart cry. I want this, trailed my next thought. I wish I had this kind of wealthy lifestyle, another thought snuck through. And bam! My heart routed to a nasty clash with envy. Almost instantly. Certainly effortlessly.
Wow, where did that sin come from? my spirit mused. Lord, here I am ready to preach the word of God and suddenly I am being enticed in my flesh to envy what is not mine! Help me, Lord, I prayed silently.
After service that night I sat down with my new Canadian friends to get better acquainted. We discussed what had happened to me in the car, and they explained, “Lisa, our challenges here in Canada are not the same as your challenges in the states. We have a socialist government system that keeps even our poorest quite well cared for, while most of us are living in economic abundance beyond the level of just comfort. So we, as a people, think we don’t need God. We’re OK. We are self-sufficient, and in fact, only 6% of Canadians even claim to be Christian.”
Bingo. That is what I encountered in my strange car ride. I was hearing the sounds in the spirit realm. “Build on wealth and you will really live,” that voice had claimed.
So that next morning, I countered the voice of Folly calling to me from the highest point of that city. I preached even louder the voice of Wisdom and reaffirmed my fear of the Lord. It was great and awesome.
Two voices. Two kingdoms. Two choices. Lord, the choice to me is obvious. I choose Your kingdom. Completely. Whole-heartedly. Zealously. Passionately. This time and every time!
Will you choose the same?
Let’s take 30 seconds to meditate on this verse: Do not let your heart envy sinners, but always be zealous for the fear of the LORD. Proverbs 23:17
Wisdom Wednesday posts are inspired by a verse from the chapter of Proverbs that corresponds to the posting date.