THE EVIL SPIRIT OF ENVY AND JEALOUSY

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!

RSL 30

MY PIKIN DE CALL ME BLESSED 

“Her children rise up and call her blessed” (PV 31:28)
I came from Europe where most women feel unhappy about their looks. They struggle so much to look beautiful. Getting old is seen like a punishment. But in Nigeria (where I live and do ministry), things are very different. Thank God! In my experience, the older people here enjoy life more than the young ones. Getting older is seen as a life promotion. After a certain age, people are free from any bondage feelings of self-consciousness. I am a witness that people here believe that all mothers are beautiful, no matter their size, color, social status, financial status, fashion sense etc… If a young man wants to describe what love and beauty means, he thinks of his mother. He says: “My mama? I no de take am play! My mama? Na the best mama! She don suffer for me. I love am well-well…”

I am blessed to live here, where, in the eyes of my husband and our children, I will be beautiful forever! I am not joking… Can you imagine the greatness of such a blessing? As a mother, I am free indeed! Happy mother’s day to all mothers who read this post! God bless you! With love, from Nigeria…

(This picture was taken in 2013, when we were building our sanctuary. My husband and I traveled for a short vacation. When we came back, the brethren surrounded us with loud greetings, like we have not seen for ten years! This is me and them, happy mother and happy children in Christ! This is original joy! Is Jesus not wonderful?)

FH 2013

(The sweet word ‘pickin’ in ‘pidging’ local English means ‘child”)

SISTER, YOU ARE BEAUTIFUL!

PRAYER REQUEST
“I praise You because I am fearfully and wonderfully made; Your works are wonderful, I know that full well” (Ps 139:14)
 
A beautiful daughter in Christ, a godly wife and mother wrote this message. She is beautiful inside out. She is in her late thirties. She is a worshiper in her church. She is hard working and very kind. I know her and her parents. I remember that as a teenager she was always self conscious because of her pimples. Her husband is born again, a kind hard working man. He loves her very much. I was a little surprised when she sent me this note. Dear brethren, please pray for this sister. Encourage her with words from your heart (she will read your comments). Words have power. Prayers move mountains! God bless you all!
 
I use her story as a pint of contact to encourage all other young women and men, children of God, who feel that they are not beautiful (handsome) enough!)
“Dear Malia, Lately I’ve felt not very pretty. I feel like my skin is the first thing I see. So today I was washing my hands in the bathroom and thought, look at your eyes… over the years, I’ve trained myself to look at my skin, the bumps, the imperfections… but I don’t often look at my eyes, my lips, my eyebrows… they look like my children, and I think they are the most beautiful people in the world… so I must change my own perspective of my natural beauty. I never take or post pictures of myself because I think who wants to see bumps… but there are other things to my face and also, those bumps are a part of my story. Malia, thank you for your encouragement!”
Black shy girl
 
(The picture is taken from the internet. It is not this sister. I thought that it is helpful to have a picture to imagine her)

TESTIMONY OF GOD’S PROVISION -THE BEGINNING OF FATHER’S HOUSE BIBLE CHURCH

My husband and I are pastors in Nigeria. This is the story of how we built our present sanctuary. I took the first picture exactly ten years ago. We started a church in our former hospital (Lily Clinic). But the space became too small. We tried to do two services on Sundays but everybody was against it. Even the children said that they cannot go home at 10 am. That we must worship God ‘full time’. We prayed about building a house for God. My husband and I thought that we are too old for such a major project. But as usual, God prevailed! We were led by the Holy Spirit to buy this piece of land along Effurun Sapele Road. During the raining season the land was always flooded with water. Everybody thought that there is a subterranean spring of water. That is why nobody bought it. The Holy Spirit said to us: ‘This is the place where I want you to build a sanctuary for my name!’ We bought the land and we build the house of God.
The journey from beginning to the end was truly miraculous. We did not take any loan from the banks. We did not manipulate the congregation to bring money. We did not have a building committee. Nobody died and nobody was seriously injured. The church’ people volunteered their time and resources. Pastor Richmond Leigh, my husband, was the ‘spiritual engineer’ at the site. He was there every day, rain or shine, until the work was done. Many people come to admire the beautiful building and the sanctuary. They ask us: ‘Why did you build this fine church in Effurun/Warri? You should have build it in Lekki or Abuja… This church is too good for Warri!’ Our answer to all is that we did not chose the place, the time or the design. It was God who told us what to do! To us, this is another proof that God’s ways and our ways are not the same. To God alone be all the glory for Father’s House Bible Church Effurun/ Warri! Jesus is Lord!!!
If you are a witness to this testimony share your feelings and the lessons you have learned along the way. And don’t forget to give God all the glory! For He alone is worthy!
 
(I took both pictures from the same spot. This first one is in 2009 and the second one in 2014, when the building was almost completed and we were doing the parking lot). Only God could have done this!!)
FH 2009
FH 2014

SURROUNDED WITH SONGS

“You are my hiding place; You preserve me from trouble; You surround me with songs of deliverance. Selah” (Ps 32: 7)
Three days ago I woke up without my voice. I was not sick but I could only speak in whispers. On Friday we had the Women’ Fellowship in our church. I was too much ‘on fire’ to keep quiet. I used the little voice I had to preach and to pray. I shouted in whispers!!!! The Holy Spirit compensated my weakness with His mighty anointing. I am sure 100% that testimonies of miracles will follow. Yesterday, we had our prophetic prayer meeting. My voice was better. I could ‘manage’ to preach and pray. The Holy Spirit was faithful and gave us the ‘push’ to make progress.
 
Today, Sunday morning, I woke up with my voice still not strong enough. I am a pastor. I needed to worship the Lord and to exhort the brethren. I prepared a good word. But as I stood up on the altar, microphone in hand…waiting… a little worried about how will I speak… They were many visitors and strangers. They may complain that this ‘oyibo’ cannot talk well… I waited… Suddenly, the Holy Spirit encouraged me. He told me that today, there is no need to preach to the people. I should worship Him alone!
 
So I lifted my heart and eyes to heaven and I worshiped God. In a hall full of people, I sang to my Lord alone. I saw no one. I heard no one. Only Jesus! Only Jesus! I forgot about people’s opinions or my ‘cracked’ voice. I went straight into the Holy place and gave God my best. Men may complain… but God always encourages me. He never rejects my heart’s broken pieces, my limping dance or my out of tune voice. I was desperate for a fresh touch from my Lover. I got more than a touch. I got an embrace and a lifting of my head. The Holy Spirit accepted my sacrifice of praise! The voice was so-so. But the heart was right. God looks at the heart! How wonderful!
 
People did not know how much I struggled this morning. Thru the labor of love, a testimony of grace was born. God’s fire surrounded me. His grace covered me. His Spirit filled me. The fire was so much that I grabbed one of our daughters in the choir and we sang together a song of deliverance. There was an impartation. This was church for me this morning!
 
“My very heart bows in adoration, Lord…”
SLL 95

BOASTING: CHRIST’S POWER RESTED ON US! 

TESTIMONY

For reasons beyond our control, we could not hold our women’ fellowship for two months. We were all eager to meet again to pray. The Holy Spirit gave me the ‘push’ and the word for the Women in our church. Yesterday we were to have the fellowship. I was ready to confront the evil spirit of Jezebel (also known as the Queen of heaven, Mammy water or Ogbanje). I was also ready to lead the prayer session. This was so that all the sisters who will come to church may be inspired to follow the lead and pray deliverance for themselves and their families. A leader must lead! The only problem was that yesterday I woke up without my voice. I could only speak in whispers. That made me even more angry with the devil!

The Holy Spirit gave me a word from Jeremiah 44. The people of God refused to listen to the Prophet Jeremiah. The women were leading in the stubborn rebellion. They decided to ‘relocate’ to Egypt. God has told Jeremiah that His people shall be sent to Babylon, to live in exile for 70 years. This will be so that they will become humble. But God promised to be with them throughout the journey, to Babylon and back. There shall be grace in this loving chastisement. But some of the people of God, led by some women, decided to go to Egypt where God did not send them. Over there, they publicly declared that since they stopped serving the Queen of Heaven and decided to serve only Jehovah, their lives have become worse. They are now poor, sick and depressed. Based on what their eyes see, they decided not only to go back to Egypt to live there, but they shall go back to serve the Queen of Heaven. They decided to backslide so that they lives will be better. This is complete nonsense! The women were leading in this foolishness and their ‘mumu’ husbands agreed with them. Of course, God was angry and told them so thru the prophet Jeremiah. They rejected God, His prophet and His words. God said that His people who were sent to Babylon shall be brought back. But the Jews who went Egypt by themselves, shall all perish there. Like we say in Nigeria: ‘If God no sent you, you are on your own. Anything you see, you take am’. It is true that both Babylon and Egypt and worldly countries. But there is a difference!

What is the lesson for us? If God sends you to a difficult place, His grace and presence will be with you there. The process is to humble you so that the same God will bless you at last. But if you decide to ‘punish yourself’, to a false humility, without the presence of God, no place can be a paradise on earth. It is the presence of God that marks the child of God and not the location! For example: many Nigerians I know who live in Warri tell me that their dream is to live in New York. But without the presence of God, New York will be hell for them. But when God is with you, even Warri becomes the Garden of Eden (I am a witness to this!).

This was the word God gave me to share with the women. There was fire on my bones. The only problem was that I could only speak in whispers. Jemine, my daughter asked me ‘Malia, how can you preach without a voice?’ I told her that ‘even if I have to preach with my nose, I will still go there to encourage the women to fight for their souls and families’. After we praised GOD and shared testimonies, it was my time to stand and talk. I took the microphone and I started talking in a whisper. But the more I talked, the more the anointing increased. In my weakness, God proved Himself strong on my behalf. After some minutes, my voice got stronger. The prayer session was so powerful!!! The Holy Spirit helped all of us to stand, pray, prophesy and reject this demon. Like we say in Warri ‘pidgin English’, ‘mammy water shocked in’. I Christ, we are free! We have the victory! I expect great testimonies of healing, deliverance and breakthroughs at all levels. To God be all the glory! ”

This morning I woke up happy and strong. And guess what? My voice is back! “Jesusssss….”

“Three times I pleaded with the Lord to take it away from me. But He said to me, “My grace is sufficient for you, for My power is made perfect in weakness.” Therefore I will boast all the more gladly about my weaknesses, so that Christ’s power may rest on me. That is why, for Christ’s sake, I delight in weaknesses, in insults, in hardships, in persecutions, in difficulties. For when I am weak, then I am strong” (2Cor 12:8-10)

Ngozi Chiemeke