By Samuel Clough
I have been deeply moved the last few days over the issue of Jealousy for the Lord and for His name. Are we truly jealous for the name “Jesus” and the demonstration that are attributed to His name? As the world continues to use that precious name as nothing more than an expletive and ministers use it for their own purposes, I wonder if we are truly jealous for His name or if we have slowly become desensitized to it all. Recently I have watched some videos of various ministers and ministries that have simply made my heart sick. The antics on stage, if not blasphemy, were probably as close as you can get and yet the crowd loved it. In all of this I wondered, where are those that are jealous for the Lord and for His name? As I noticed the crowd laughing and taking it all in, I wondered where are those jealous for the bride? I mean this is Jesus’ wife we are talking about and these men are making a spectacle of the Lord before His own bride and she is drinking it all in. In a dream I had recently there was both a deep anger and a deep weeping over things.
Something within is burning and asking the deep question, are we not jealous for Him? I understand there are differences in ministry styles, personalities, and giftings and we have to give grace to different members of the body, but I was observing things that were clearly demeaning to the Lord and His people and they were being opening attributed to the Lord and His Spirit. They were allowing the Lord, His name, and His Spirit to be demeaned and mocked by men claiming to be ministers. Where are those who will stand and separate the holy from the profance? Where is the holy jealousy that caused Jesus to overturn money tables?
As I considered this issue of jealousy, I began considering what a pure and holy jealousy really is. After all, many are “jealous for the Lord,” but what they often mean is that they are jealous for their ministries, or their own perception of how things should be. Often “jealousy for the Lord” is really the desire to criticise and tear down those you do not agree with. Seeing then as jealousy for the Lord is an urgent need in our time and, at the same time, there is much jealousy that is not truly jealousy for the Lord, how are we to discern the difference?
I believe we can discern if our jealousy is pure or not very simply. When you feel that burning within you to defend the Lord’s honor and name, especially publically, there is one quick test that will determine the authenticity of your jealousy. Before you express your jealousy for the Lord publically (note this means others, not just the pulpit), make sure you have passed this private test.
The way to determine if your jealousy is a pure one is to examine the issue of jealousy and yourself. Oh, I know you may be jealous for the Lord’s name where it regards that other man or ministry you cannot stand, but are you jealous for the Lord’s name in your own life? Have you examined your own life, both your inward and outward life, and considered just how jealous you are for the expression of the Lord and His name in you.
You see it’s easy to see where all the others are wrong, but it is also easy to overlook things in your own heart. When you do this, you can quickly give yourself over to a zeal that is superficially for the Lord, but also rooted in a zealousness for things that are more related to your own self, ministry, or church.
We must become jealous for the Lord within us. It must begin to grieve us how the Lord’s name is demonstrated in and and through us. Do others see a consistent witness of Jesus in you? Are you jealous for those things in your life that defame His name? I am not just talking about the “big sins,” I’m talking about all the little things that you are quite comfortable with, but are not to be found in His nature. Beyond the visible things that others can see, what about the issues of the heart?
Do the things that you allow in your mind, heart, and imagination demonstrate a jealousy that the Lord would be demonstrated in you? Are you jealous for your own heart and spirit? Do you weep for your own sin that His name might not be defamed by your own actions? Do not deceive yourself that your outward righteousness is enough to honor the Lord. Jesus brutally attacked the Pharisees on the issue of outward versus inward righteousness. If our inward thoughts, fantasies, and motivations were broadcast for all to see would it bring honor to our Lord, or would there be reproach on the name of Christ since we call ourselves Christians? We must become jealous for the demonstration of the Lord in our secret things as well as public things, as the secret things are what truly make the man.
Do not forget that all those little things that men do not see, all those little illicit imaginations you taste inwardly, may not be visible to other humans around you, but they are known in the spirit realm. While humans may see you one way, the kingdoms of light and darkness know you as you really are. We must be jealous for the demonstration of Jesus and His name, not only among flesh, but also among the powers and principalities that war against our Lord. We are an embarassment to the Lord before the heavenly hosts (both light and dark) when we live inward lives that are not jealous for the expression of our Lord through us.
The powers look to see if we are demonstrating the Lord or not. Saints, we must become jealous for the expression of Jesus within us before we can become jealous for His expression among others. We must be honest with ourselves that we might be those who demonstrate an authentic Jesus both among men and among devils.
How many of us have a burning jealousy that Jesus be revealed in us in a way that is pure, holy, and complete? To be perfectly clear, I am not talking about a burning that Jesus work through us in power or ministry, I am talking about the demonstration of His person, His nature, and His character in us. It would do us well to sit down and read very slowly through the first verses of Matthew 5. Are we jealous that these characteristics are our own? Do we pick one or two that we feel good about or do we embrace all of them in their totality? Do we cry out that we might not just demonstrate Jesus in a few areas, but that He is demonstrated in totality within us according to the measuring stick that He set forth in the Sermon on the Mount.
Saints, we desperately need spokesmen of righteousness. We desperately need prophets who can stand against all the foolishness that is going on in Christ’s name in this hour. We need those who will risk reputation, ministry, and personal comfort because they are jealous for the demonstration of the Lord among His people. They are jealous that only that which is authentic is named of Christ. They are jealous for that name that must be reverenced above all. We must speak out and rescue the bride from those who are ravaging her.
These bold, burning spokesmen are an urgent need of the hour, but we must first go to the place of preparation if we are to be this kind of spokesman. There is a progression of preparation we must endure. First we must, as mentioned above, begin burning with a jealousy for the measure and purity of the Lord that is in us. What are we demonstrating to the seen an unseen world and how jealous are we that it be pure and offer no reproach to our Lord?
Secondly, we must first weep for things that are currently defiling the bride and bringing reproach to Jesus. No man should speak out before he has wept over these issues. The place of weeping and brokeness brings the proper character and removes the strength of pride that would otherwise find its way in our rebukes, no matter how religious they may appear. We must have both sides of God’s heart over the issues and He is both grieved and angry to see the enemy plunder His people.
God desperately needs those who can pass these tests of preparation. I am looking for a generation of those who are burning with a fire in their heart for the honor of the King. I am looking for those who can separate the holy from the profane that an authentic bride may emerge in this hour. These are desperately needed, however they can emerge only after they have passed through this process. The issue is one of honor and the only ones who can defend God’s honor are those who have renounced their own personal honor and made His honor, not just the issue of the church, but the issue of their own personal lives.
Such messengers will be of the calibur of John Baptist, but do not forget the lessons of his life. Preparation may well exceed ministry. Your ministry and speaking must move aside and make way for the exaltation of Jesus Himself, not matter what the personal cost. Finally, the earthy end of one with great jealousy for Jesus and His bride may not be a pleasant one.