Don’t Be Envious of the Wicked

Psalms 73:1-3 ESV

“Truly God is good to Israel,
to those who are pure in heart.
But as for me, my feet had almost stumbled,
my steps had nearly slipped.
For I was envious of the arrogant
when I saw the prosperity of the wicked.”

We who are followers of Jesus Christ still live in flesh bodies. We still have a propensity to sin if we should decide to give way to sin. Sin should no longer be our master, but Jesus should be our only master, but daily we have to put that flesh to death, by the Spirit. For Jesus said if we want to come after him that we must deny self and DAILY take up our cross and follow (obey) him. This is called “walking by the Spirit.” (Rom 8:1-14; Lu 9:23-26)

So, this takes spiritual discipline to keep ourselves from falling back into sin. We can’t just go about life casually, giving God 5-10 minutes of our day while we do our own thing the rest of the day. We have to guard our hearts against the wickedness of this sinful world by walking with Jesus daily, one step at a time, casting aside all that would lead us into sin while bathing our hearts and minds with all that is of God and that is wholesome.

The world and its trappings can be very enticing if we let them. And since the invention of the television and then the internet and then the home computer and then the smart phone, we who use technology everyday are being bombarded daily with all sorts of propaganda and advertisements and allurements to go after the desires of the flesh and of the world and to crave what others have that we don’t have. So, we have to guard our hearts.

Psalms 73:10-11 ESV

“Therefore his people turn back to them,
and find no fault in them.
And they say, ‘How can God know?
Is there knowledge in the Most High?’”

The prosperous wicked are described as those who appear to have no troubles, who are well fed, for whom all things seem to go well, who appear to not have trials and tribulations like the rest of us, who are filled with pride, who are violent, who are lustful, whose hearts overflow with follies (foolishness, recklessness), who speak with malice, who threaten oppression, and who are blasphemous against God (Ps 73:4-9).

And it appears here that the meaning of verses 10-11 is with regard to God’s people turning back to the wicked and finding no fault in them, and then denying the truths of the Scriptures in order to walk in the ways of the prosperous wicked. And we are seeing this happen in our day and time in abundance, for many professers of faith in Jesus Christ are deserting the way of holiness to adopt a gospel that permits them to sin against God.

Many professers of faith in Jesus are adopting the ways of the world into their lives and are living not much different from those who make no profession of faith in Jesus. Some of them are even being taught in the gatherings of the church to immerse themselves in the culture and to blend in with the world and to not behave righteously and to not talk about Jesus to their friends lest they offend them with the truth of the gospel.

And many are going after feel-good messages which do not tell them that they must forsake their sins, but which coddle them in their sins and which give them carte blanche to continue in their deliberate and habitual sins. And many are also following after the “health, wealth, and prosperity” false doctrine to their detriment, because they are envious of the prosperity of the wicked, and they want what they have more than they want Jesus.

Psalms 73:23-26 ESV

“Nevertheless, I am continually with you;
you hold my right hand.
You guide me with your counsel,
and afterward you will receive me to glory.
Whom have I in heaven but you?
And there is nothing on earth that I desire besides you.
My flesh and my heart may fail,
but God is the strength of my heart and my portion forever.”

The Psalmist confessed that he was envious of the prosperity of the wicked, but when he thought how to understand this (verses 16-17), it seemed to him a wearisome task until he went into the sanctuary of God. Then, he discerned their end. He then realized that, even though the wicked may seem prosperous and without a care in the world, one day, if not sooner, God is going to judge them, and hell will be their eternal destination.

And if we get our eyes in the stars and if we get our minds going a wrong direction, and if and when we are tempted to follow after the thinking, the philosophies, the attitudes, and the behaviors of the wicked (verses 21-22), we must immediately go into the sanctuary of God in prayer and in the reading of God’s word, and we must seek the face of God, and repent of all wrongdoing, and then surrender our hearts once again to the Lord.

And then we must walk in the ways and in the counsel of the Lord via his written word and via the witness and counsel of the Holy Spirit who dwells within those of us who belong to God by faith in Jesus Christ – a faith which dies with Christ to sin and is resurrected with Christ to walk in newness of life in him, created to be like God in true righteousness and holiness. And we must say “No!” to ungodliness and fleshly lusts daily by God’s Spirit.

We must trust our lives into the hands of God and walk in his ways no matter what befalls us. All these trappings of the world may appear attractive to the flesh but they all end in disaster. Jesus is to be the only one we bow to and worship, not any preacher or politician or nation or government or church denomination, etc. Jesus is our only hope and our only joy and he is the only one who can give us eternal life with him.

So, we must leave the ways of this sinful world and follow Jesus with our lives wholeheartedly. We must guard our hearts and minds against the trappings of this sinful world. And Jesus should be our desire, not the things of the flesh. For if we walk according to the flesh, we will die in our sins no matter what we profess with our lips. But if we walk according to the Spirit, in obedience to our Lord, we have the hope of eternal life with God.

[Lu 9:23-26; Jn 6:35-58; Jn 15:1-11; Rom 6:1-23; Rom 8:1-17; Eph 4:17-24; 1 Pet 2:24; 1 Co 6:9-10,19-20; 2 Co 5:10, 15; Tit 2:11-14; Jas 1:22-25; Rom 12:1-2; Eph 2:8-10; Php 2:12-13; Col 1:21-23; Gal 5:16-21; Eph 5:3-6; Gal 6:7-8; Rom 2:6-8; Heb 10:26-27; 1 Jn 1:5-9; 1 Jn 2:3-6; 1 Jn 3:4-10; Matt 7:21-23; Rev. 2-3; Rev 18:1-6; Rev 21:8, 27; Rev 22:14-15]

Broken and Contrite

An Original Work / May 13, 2012

I come before You, Lord, my Savior,
With humble heart and crushed in spirit.
I bow before You, I implore You,
Heal my broken heart, I pray.
Love You, Jesus, Lord, my master,
You are the King of my heart.
Lord, purify my heart within me;
Sanctify me, whole within.

Oh, Lord, I long to obey fully
The words You’ve spoken through Your Spirit.
I pray You give me grace and mercy,
Strength and wisdom to obey.
Father God, my heart’s desire,
Won’t You set my heart on fire?
Lord, cleanse my heart of all that hinders
My walk with You, now I pray.

Oh, Jesus, Savior, full of mercy,
My heart cries out for understanding.
I want to follow You in all ways,
Never straying from Your truth.
Holy Spirit, come in power,
Fill me with Your love today.
Lord, mold and make me;
Your hands formed me;
Live Your life through me, I pray.

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