A Jealous God - His Desire is to Love and Shelter Us through Life

Have you ever sensed spiritual resistance, as though some power much greater than you was deliberately opposing your success?

We often assume it is the devil who is fighting us. Allow me to suggest that, on some occasions, what is standing in your way may not be an enemy at all; it may actually be the jealousy of God.

Is the Almighty jealous for us? Yes.

The Lord describes Himself often in the Bible as "a jealous God" (Exodus 20:5, 34:14; Deuteronomy 4:24, 5:9, etc.). We should expect He would be jealous since we have actually been created for His pleasure. While His covering, nurturing love accepts us as we are, a time comes when He begins to confront the false gods, the idols, which rule in our hearts. Indeed, anything in us that denies Him full access to our souls, that stands between our hearts and His, becomes His enemy.

The revelation that His jealousy will fight against our hidden idols can be frightening if we are intent upon sin, yet it can also be liberating if we desire intimacy with Him. For He will not allow us to find enduring fulfillment in something apart from Him.

Listen to His command in Exodus: "Watch yourself that you make no covenant with the inhabitants of the land into which you are going, lest it become a snare in your midst. But rather, you are to tear down their altars and smash their sacred pillars and cut down their Asherim--for you shall not worship any other god, for the Lord, whose name is Jealous, is a jealous God" (Exodus 34:12-14).

Oh, let us hear God's heart in trembling fear. The Lord's very name is Jealous. Jealousy is central to His nature. Indeed, it is an abomination that false gods should occupy our hearts, for we are the temple of God.

A Land Of Idols

Israel committed many sins, but the worst of them involved idol worship; idolatry, beyond all others, tried God's heart. How does that relate to us, you ask? We don't have other gods in our society. Yes, we do. Though they are not standing openly in our city squares (usually), the idols in our land are just as demanding. In fact, our nation is full of false gods that influence both our actions and our thoughts. Since we each were created to worship God in focused purity, God must confront the idols in our hearts. Indeed, from His view, idolatry is unfaithfulness.

Recall the Lord's word, "No one can serve two masters." One of the most dominant idols in our culture is obsession with wealth. Even though our currency says, "In God We Trust," it is more often the dollar we rely upon, not God. In fact, while billions of the world's poor starve, we are addicted to spending our wealth selfishly upon ourselves.

Jesus said in Matthew 6:24, "You cannot serve (bow before) God and mammon." God, not money, must be our master. If we tithe, give to the poor, and do not let money rule us, wealth can certainly become our servant, and thus a blessing to us and others. But if we allow finances to rule us, mammon can easily become a false god adding stress and greed to our existence. Yet, remember: Jesus did not say we couldn't have money; He said we couldn't serve money. The voice of mammon must be subdued if the Lord alone is to be our Master.

Betrothed To One Lord

Consider the powerful influence that entertainment, sports, fashion and the drive for success and materialism have over American society. If the Lord has to compete with our passions, then we are harboring idols in our hearts. Fear also is a powerful idol that rules many souls, especially during these times.

We must see God's jealousy as His desire to love and shelter us through life. He is without the dark, evil elements that human jealousy has. But even with our finite understanding, we know jealousy is a response to unfaithfulness in a loved one. Once human jealousy awakens, it easily can become a consuming fire. If this has happened to you, then you know somewhat how our unfaithfulness affects the Lord's heart. Paul certainly was thinking about this when he wrote, "For I am jealous for you with a godly jealousy; for I betrothed you to one husband, that to Christ I might present you as a pure virgin" (2 Corinthians 11:2).

James 4:5 says, "He jealously desires the Spirit which He has made to dwell in us." Yet, James also said, "You adulteresses, do you not know that friendship with the world is hostility toward God? Therefore whoever wishes to be a friend of the world makes himself an enemy of God." (James 4:4).

The Lord jealously desires our spirit; He calls us into oneness with Him, where we live fearlessly and radiantly as His Bride in the earth. Sometimes, as I seek the Lord, I call Him by His name "Jealous." It has a profound effect on my heart. I know He knows me and loves me. As I surrender to Him, I actually advance deeper into the secret chambers of His love. Yet, should I pursue other things at the expense of my time with Him--even this writing itself--I feel the fire of His jealousy. I am hemmed in and unable to advance successfully anywhere except toward Him.

The Idol Of Wanton Immorality

We've discussed the idol of mammon, and we've mentioned other idols such as fear and worldliness. But let me also speak candidly about another false god: the powerful idol of unbridled sexuality.

Remember, in Exodus 34 we previously read the Lord's command to cut down the Asherim. The Asherim were fertility goddesses worshiped in the ancient pagan countries surrounding Israel. They were demons that had infested human sexuality and perverted it until sex actually became a central object of worship.

Today, in America, we may not have Asherim or fertility poles on the street corners, but certainly the realm of human sexuality has been exploited by the demonic realm. Sexuality is the bait used to sell a myriad of products that, in themselves, have nothing to do with sex. It's a demonic power in our world that is corrupting millions of people.

Let me be very plain: If you're watching movies or looking at other media that glorifies wanton or perverted sexuality, you're serving a demonic idol. My friends, don't compromise with immoral entertainment. Don't compromise with the sensuality that oozes from most of the fashion and music industries. Put an Internet filter on your computer so you won't stumble. Get rid of the cable movie channels that bring immorality into your home. One thing leads to another, and you will soon be under the power of a corrupting and addicting influence that will literally consume your soul.

The Lord created sexuality for the purpose of natural reproduction. Reproduction is God's design, yes, but satan has manipulated God's purpose in order to bind people to their fleshly identity. Once bound, we find ourselves trapped in an almost irresistible and insatiable hunger for increasingly perverse forms of sexuality, none of which have a purpose in reproduction or marriage fulfillment.

Beloved, don't tolerate open doors to immoral filth. Capture the first inclinations toward sensuality, for it leads to seduction, and many a life has been destroyed by this idol. If you fall, get up, repent, and rise again (see Micah 7:7-8). Remember, God wants you to destroy the idol of wanton sexuality, not have it destroy you. You must be aggressive and stand up and fight!

Before we pray, let's recap: God jealously desires your heart. He is looking for people who are faithful to Him in their spirits. And, He calls us to tear down and destroy the inner idols that hold influence over us.

Let's Pray: "Lord Jesus, I submit my heart to You. I want a heart free from idols, free from false gods, free from demonic masters. Father, I repent for allowing idols in my heart. In Jesus' name, I take authority over every unclean spirit that has gained access to my life through my compromise. Lord, be Thou the only God who sits in the temple of my heart."

Francis Frangipane
Ministries of Francis Frangipane