Earthly Wisdom:Jealousy and Selfish Ambition - David Mitts

Who among you is wise and understanding? Let him show by his good behavior his deeds in the gentleness of wisdom. But if you have bitter jealousy and selfish ambition in your heart, do not be arrogant and so lie against the truth. This wisdom is not that which comes down from above, but is earthly, natural, demonic. For where jealousy and selfish ambition exist, there is disorder and every evil thing. (James 3:13-16 NASB)

To continue the Breakthrough Empowerment Spiritual Training, we want to tackle head on the attitudes of the heart that keep us from truly listening and acting on the Word of God and entering into our inheritance.

Listen to Earthly Wisdom: Jealousy and Selfish Ambition

Most of the false voices are from our own experiences.  They are the voices of selfish ambition and jealousy and they are from the kingdom of darkness.

James tells us that every evil thing comes from these voices.  This week we are going to allow the Lord to reveal the voices of untruth in us and next week we are going to work on coming into harmony with how we are uniquely equipped to hear based on our unique temperaments.

Let’s first examine selfish ambition and jealousy.  Where do these voices come from in us?  What is the feeling in the heart that sources these perspectives?

What is ambition? The dictionary defines it this way:
“A strong desire to do or to achieve something, typically requiring determination and hard work”
Is there something ungodly about ambition?  No!  It is selfish ambition that James is speaking of.

What makes ambition “selfish” ambition?  The key I believe has to do who is sourcing the vision of our lives.

God is pro-ambition, but not selfish ambition.  I think the second piece of jealousy is the key.  What is the root of jealousy?

Jealousy is rooted in comparison. I compare some attribute or accomplishment of another person against my own attributes or accomplishments.  Jealousy says to me: “I don’t have _________ and you have it and I want it”
So it’s fundamental worldview is lack, which identifies its spiritual owner.
Jesus said: And He said to them, "When I sent you out without money belt and bag and sandals, you did not lack anything, did you?" They said, "No, nothing." (Luke 22:35 NASB).
The disciples went out without any provision, money belt, bag, or even sandals, but everything was provided for them.

The kingdom of God is a Kingdom of abundance.  The kingdom of darkness is a kingdom of lack.  Lack mentality is its foundation stone.
Yeshua said: "The thief comes only to steal and kill and destroy; I came that they may have life, and have it abundantly. (John 10:10 NASB)

Lack is the world view of thieves who come to take from others.  It is the position that there are winners and losers and I have to be the winner so you have to be the loser.  It breaks down love and lives in lust.
Jealousy and selfish ambition require lack to operate in us.  We have to feel deprived and insecure in our feelings of deprivation. 

This place of lack causes in us feelings of pride and ego.  We isolate and become loners because fundamentally we are threatened by other people.  We lose accountability in our lives and become very crystalized in our self-defined habit patterns.
“But if you have bitter jealousy and selfish ambition in your heart, do not be arrogant and so lie against the truth.”

James warns us not to be “arrogant” or “boastful” and so lie against the truth.  Wow! What a powerful statement.  He is basically telling us that the words that we speak when we are in the place of bitterness and jealousy and therefore in selfish ambition cause us to lie against the truth of God’s Word and His promises.
We lose the eyes of faith. We instead operate with sense reasoning.

For this reason I too, having heard of the faith in the Lord Jesus which exists among you and your love for all the saints, do not cease giving thanks for you, while making mention of you in my prayers; that the God of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of glory, may give to you a spirit of wisdom and of revelation in the knowledge of Him. I pray that the eyes of your heart may be enlightened, so that you will know what is the hope of His calling, what are the riches of the glory of His inheritance in the saints, (Ephesians 1:15-18 NASB)

If I am insecure and operate in lack then the only place I can go for strength is my own cunning derived from my past experiences and what secret knowledge, occult power I have grabbed for myself.  I don’t trust in the Goodness of God.  I don’t really know Him and how great His plans are for my life and so I operate with the reference point of what I have learned.  This knowledge is my own “wisdom”.  This place causes my speaking to be grounded in competition and winners and losers and in that place there is no humility, no Godly wisdom.

Lies become the source of our wisdom.  Lies are the conclusions that Satan has thrust into our belief systems when we were in experiences that caused us pain.  This is carnal, sense based wisdom.  It is manipulative and controlling.  It is the power behind the form of “godliness” with no true power of the Holy Spirit.  I say a form of godliness, because it is idolatry.  We derive how we see the world from it.  We judge ourselves and others through the lens of pain.  Now I cannot build a team in my life because I can’t truly trust others.

I lose my resourcefulness and I don’t really trust others to be used of God.  I can’t dream big because I am limited by the jealousy.  When others succeed big in my life, instead of drawing faith and encouragement from their success as a training ground for my success, I resent them for it and formulate a doctrine of what’s wrong with their success.  (Example of Joel Osteen).  I need to repent for my selfish ambition, my resentment and jealousy!  It is polluting my heart, where the most precious treasure lives, my childlike expectation my faith.

Godly wisdom is:
But the wisdom from above is first pure, then peaceable, gentle, reasonable, full of mercy and good fruits, unwavering, without hypocrisy. And the seed whose fruit is righteousness is sown in peace by those who make peace. (James 3:17-18 NASB)

It brings forth a purity of heart.  It is the wisdom that is based in truth, the truth of God’s perfect love.  It is grounded in abundance. It recognizes the truth that we are all part of a greater vision which needs all of us to succeed! In that place there are certain characteristics:
Peaceable, gentle, reasonable, full of mercy.  These are qualities that come from a heart that is secure in abundance and not in lack.  There is a graciousness that comes from the reality of abundance.  This is in contrast to selfish ambition and jealousy.

Now I can celebrate life and the giver of life!  This wisdom recognizes that I am fearfully and wonderfully made!

For You formed my inward parts; You wove me in my mother's womb. I will give thanks to You, for I am fearfully and wonderfully made; Wonderful are Your works, And my soul knows it very well. My frame was not hidden from You, When I was made in secret, And skillfully wrought in the depths of the earth; Your eyes have seen my unformed substance; And in Your book were all written The days that were ordained for me, When as yet there was not one of them. How precious also are Your thoughts to me, O God! How vast is the sum of them! If I should count them, they would outnumber the sand. When I awake, I am still with You. (Psalms 139:13-18 NASB)

We come into life with an assignment, a problem to solve, an invention to create a life to heal.  We have a destiny and there is a wisdom in that destiny.  Today we want to clear away the blocks, the words spoken that have revealed a heart that is jealous and selfishly ambitious.  This is not an identity issue but a destiny issue.  This is NOT about your past but how your past will limit your future.

First let’s read James 5:
Therefore be patient, brethren, until the coming of the Lord. The farmer waits for the precious produce of the soil, being patient about it, until it gets the early and late rains. You too be patient; strengthen your hearts, for the coming of the Lord is near. Do not complain, brethren, against one another, so that you yourselves may not be judged; behold, the Judge is standing right at the door. As an example, brethren, of suffering and patience, take the prophets who spoke in the name of the Lord. We count those blessed who endured. You have heard of the endurance of Job and have seen the outcome of the Lord's dealings, that the Lord is full of compassion and is merciful. But above all, my brethren, do not swear, either by heaven or by earth or with any other oath; but your yes is to be yes, and your no, no, so that you may not fall under judgment. Is anyone among you suffering? Then he must pray. Is anyone cheerful? He is to sing praises. Is anyone among you sick? Then he must call for the elders of the church and they are to pray over him, anointing him with oil in the name of the Lord; and the prayer offered in faith will restore the one who is sick, and the Lord will raise him up, and if he has committed sins, they will be forgiven him. Therefore, confess your sins to one another, and pray for one another so that you may be healed. The effective prayer of a righteous man can accomplish much. (James 5:7-16 NASB)

So again we are going to pair up and first confess what the Lord has shown us about jealousy and selfish ambition.  When did we rely on our cunning? When did we operate in lack trusting in ourselves and NOT in the goodness of God’s plan for us?  When did we lose patience?  When did we give up hope?  When did we settle for the crumbs of this life?  When did we judge the success of others?

Next we will prophetically pray a blessing over each other declaring God’s provision and plan for good and not for evil.  We will pray and prophesy abundance and favor and the wisdom to know what to do by the voice of the Lord who loves and when!


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