SERMON PREACHED BY MY HUSBAND, PASTOR RICHMOND LEIGH OF FATHER’S HOUSE, EFFURUN/WARRI!
This Sunday service, Pastor Richmond Leigh preached from the Book of Galatians. “Now the works of the flesh are evident, which are: adultery, fornication, uncleanness, lewdness, idolatry, sorcery, hatred, contentions, jealousies, outbursts of wrath, selfish ambitions, dissensions, heresies, envy, murders, drunkenness, revelries, and the like; of which I tell you beforehand, just as I also told you in time past, that those who practice such things will not inherit the kingdom of God” (Gal 5:19-21; NKJ).
Pastor Richmond Leigh said that envy is one of the works of the flesh. Envy is defined as a strong feeling of resentment, anger, bitterness, dislike or hatred, mixed with a desire to have a quality, possession or a desirable thing belonging to someone else. Jealousy on the other hand, has a slightly different meaning. Jealousy is defined as a negative feeling, fearing that someone else takes what belongs to you. In the Bible, envy and jealousy are used interchangeably. They are a twin spirit. The operate together. Bringing the two definitions together, it works like this: ‘I want by all means to have what that man (woman) has. I don’t care if he loses all he has so that his property becomes mine’. Envy is a strong sentiment, synonymous with covetousness. This twin demons are from the pit of hell.
What are the main characteristics of this demon of envy?
*It is a familiar spirit. This demon operates mostly in the families, among friends, classmates, members of societies, fraternities, sororities, communities, tribal groups etc and even in the Christian church assemblies. Every time people gather, this demon is present. Leah was fruitful, her sister Rachel became angry and envied her (Gen 30:1). Because of his coat of many colors and because of his dreams, Joseph was envied by his older brothers (Gen 37:3-11). They wanted him dead. David was King Saul’s personal musician, armor bearer, army captain and son in law. But Saul envied David and tried to kill him (1Sam 18:6-9). Jesus was referring to this demon when He said: ‘A man’s enemies will be those of his own household’ (Mt 10:36).
*It is a secretive spirit. This demon stays quietly and unnoticed in his host until something happens that triggers him. It is secretive because it does not want to be detected. Generally, it is considered a shameful thing to envy another, to desire to harm a family member and take his property. That is why this demon is always embedded deep in the heart! What is it that triggers this demon to the point that it becomes active and it openly manifests? The answer is that Good news coming from the will be victim announcing his or her promotion or prosperity! For example, when you announce that: ‘I am promoted! I am getting married! I am pregnant! I am building a house!’ Any good news that shows that you are about to be elevated or that you are already elevated or any news that gives the impression that you are prospering more than the predator, will trigger and provoke this demon into action.
*It is a hypocritical spirit! It does not fight openly or publicly! But in the secret, it fights ferociously! For this reason, envious people end up resorting to the occult. They do not want you to know that they are your enemies. They pretend to be relatives or friends. “For where envy and self-seeking exist, confusion and every evil thing are there” (Jam 3:16). If this demon has to manifest and fight openly, it will make sure that you are alone and there are no witnesses. If you go to the peoples court to make any accusations, it will be his word to your word (that is if you are alive to tell the story). For a long time King Saul hid his jealousy for David. But one day it manifested. He tried to kill David with his javelin but David escaped the attack and ran away (1Sam 19:10).
*This demon hides behind a friendly attitude! It hides behind a friendly smile. In order to cover up the hatred, the bitterness and anger. Jealous people try to come closer to you, to become your friends. In this way they become even more dangerous. Suddenly, they become generous and offer help to you. But their help is never enough to solve your problem so that you do not become better than them. King Saul promoted David to become a captain in his army and even promised to give him his daughter as a wife. This was done to conceal his envy and so David can be killed by the Philistines (1Sam 18:13-17).
How do you know that you are under the attack of this twin spirit? The answer is this: it is difficult to know it! It may take a long time before you identify this demon. The most important thing to know is this: You need to be born again and be Spirit filled! A child of God who is sensitive to the Holy Spirit will also be sensitive to the presence of an unholy spirit. A great asset in this matter at hand is the gift of the Holy Spirit called ‘discernment of spirits’ (1 Cor 12:10). Pray to receive this gift! Of course, once the demon manifests and starts ‘throwing javelins at you’, you will know for sure who is hiding inside your relative or ‘friend’.
How do you deal with envious people? Keep them at arm’s length! Isolate them! Stop being over friendly with them! Do not tell them about your progress in life! Do not hate them but be wise! Conceal important information about yourself! Love your enemies but be careful! Jesus said: “Behold, I send you out as sheep in the midst of wolves. Therefore be wise as serpents and harmless as doves” (Mt 10:16). Fast and pray! God will help you!
How do these people end up in life? Except they surrender to Jesus, repent of their wicked deeds and become born again, they never end well. They shall go deeper and deeper into the occult, without any hope for eternity. If you can, pray for them!
Finally, it is good to be reminded that as a child of God, you are safe! These wicked people may succeed to hinder your progress for a while, they may torment you with sickness and anxiety, but they cannot destroy you! This is the Word of God: “We are hard-pressed on every side, yet not crushed; we are perplexed, but not in despair; persecuted, but not forsaken; struck down, but not destroyed” (2Cor 4:8, 9). Worship the Lord!