How To Battle A Jealous Spirit


Now when they had passed through Amphipolis and Apollonia, they came to Thessalonica, where there was a synagogue of the Jews. And Paul went in, as was his custom, and on three Sabbath days he reasoned with them from the Scriptures, explaining and proving that it was necessary for the Christ to suffer and to rise from the dead, and saying, "This Jesus, whom I proclaim to you, is the Christ." And some of them were persuaded and joined Paul and Silas, as did a great many of the devout Greeks and not a few of the leading women. But the Jews were jealous, and taking some wicked men of the rabble, they formed a mob, set the city in an uproar, and attacked the house of Jason, seeking to bring them out to the crowd. And when they could not find them, they dragged Jason and some of the brothers before the city authorities, shouting, "These men who have turned the world upside down have come here also, and Jason has received them, and they are all acting against the decrees of Caesar, saying that there is another king, Jesus." And the people and the city authorities were disturbed when they heard these things. And when they had taken money as security from Jason and the rest, they let them go.— Acts 17:1-8

At this time, Paul passes through a couple of smaller cities and comes to the larger port town of Thessalonica. You will notice we hear about Paul and Silas, but not Luke and Timothy, who were also traveling with them, so we assume they both stayed back in Philippi. It actually makes sense to leave them at Philippi since they could offer some ongoing support to this young church.

But in Thessalonica, we notice that four things happen in regards to the presentation of the gospel. They reason, explain, prove, and preach about Christ from the Hebrew Scriptures. And for three weeks, they persist at a Thessalonican synagogue until there is a growing agreement that Jesus is the Messiah. And a significant following results including Jewish men, Greek men, and prominent women.

Yet again, controversy arises. It results from a small group of opponents within this local synagogue. And they are divided over doctrine, which turns emotional.

I cannot tell you how many times as a man, husband, father, and leader have experienced moments like this. Where I am divided with someone over an issue, and it becomes emotional. And left unregulated, these emotional responses escalate to hateful responses. Thus I, just like you, end up saying and doing things that I regret.

In this situation, this is precisely what happens. Just note the progression of the jealousy:

  1. They are incited with a jealous spirit.
  2. Then they conspire with mischievous people.
  3. Then they attempt to hunt down the instigators (Paul and Silas).
  4. Then they demonize people who were associated with them.
  5. Then they spin the message to garner support.
  6. Then they extort money from the opposition.

The lesson today is this. Let your life at all costs be regulated by the truth of the Bible and the Spirit of God, not the jealousy within your heart.

The human heart is devious. So much so that a simple jealous spirit has the potential of leading us down a path that is hurtful to others. Godly men need to learn to regulate this. This is where the battle is fought. It is fought within our hearts. We are not fighting a battle with people but with sin that escalates from a jealous spirit within our hearts. It is instigated by a jealous spirit within us. And great men know how to kill a jealous spirit within them before it ends up killing others.

So lay aside that jealous spirit within you today. Instead, be led by the Holy Spirit and nothing else.

ASK THIS: What jealous spirit do you need to surrender today? (Share below).

DO THIS: Let God's Spirit be great in you today.

PRAY THIS: God, fan the flame of your Spirit within me. Rid me of jealousy and any evidence of the spirit of the world.

PLAY THIS: Come Holy Spirit — Vertical Worship.


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How To Battle A Jealous Spirit

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5 thoughts on “How To Battle A Jealous Spirit

  1. John Comstock says:

    I need to stop being jealous of those who have or had a better job than myself. I need to realize that my job is serving not man, but God. Help me understand my role better and may I serve God fully and to the utmost. Help me focus on what I need to do and not be jealous of those who have it better than myself. Let me serve you with honor and glory

  2. Cory B says:

    I may be jealous of my less Christian friends who seem to do well without having discernment or discipline. I tend to fall fairly quickly back into that life when I am with them.

  3. Sam says:

    I am definitely envious and proud at the same time, of those brothers who able to walk the walk as I continue to falter in mine.

  4. rick says:

    Wow ! Did I need to hear this today …I am not sure if I have a jealous spirit within but an angry spirit is what I need to let go of… Dear God, fill me with Your spirit today and let me share it with my family.

  5. Jack Dellinger says:

    There is a great need in me to be right, because it protects my identity. Jealousy arises from the flesh to protect me. If as I say, I am identified with Christ, then my flesh has nothing to do with the battle, for the battle belongs to the Lord. David’s defeat of Goliath shows this perfectly. David found his identity in God, and he saw Goliath as the enemy of the God of Israel. My challenge for today is to be a man of God and not a Godly man.

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