Monday, September 10, 2018

Free from the Stronghold of Rivalry

Rivalry and jealousy walk hand in hand. We see a competitor succeeding and we begin to have thoughts of anguish in one way or another. Some of these thoughts of anguish are jealousy thoughts, some are fearful thoughts, some are greed thoughts, and much more. When a spirit of rivalry comes into our thoughts, our thought-life gets complicated.
If these thoughts are not checked immediately they can and will lead to a stronghold that will bring us down completely. We can lose more than our businesses when we give ourselves over to the stronghold of rivalry.

Rivalry is a thief. When we become obsessed with its dominion we are headed down a path to destruction. A spirit of rivalry will take our peace, it will kill our ambition, and it will destroy our relationships. This spirit or stronghold will steal our future.

We will always have competitors–people trying to get an advantage over us, over the market or anything in life. Competition is good if it doesn't become an obsession. When we compete we strive to perfect our work. However, if we spend time obsessing about our competitors we will invite a spirit of rivalry into our minds that can become a habit that may have dominion over us forever.

Definition: A rival is a person or thing that tries to defeat or be more successful than
another, one of two or more striving to reach or obtain something that only one can possess, or one striving for competitive advantage.

When a spirit of rivalry enters our lives we may set ourselves up against the word of God. So how can we defeat this stronghold and get right with God, since God does not accept rivals and inviting a spirit of rivalry becomes a rival itself between us and God’s blessings?

Five biblical tips to help us overcome a stronghold of rivalry:

1. Don’t allow your thoughts to drift long enough to compare yourself or your business to others.
 Thinking about your competitors or ‘rivals’ will disconnect you from the will of God. Any thought you allow to linger that sets itself up against God or the word of God will hurt you in one way or another.
Jeremiah 17:9 “The human mind is the most deceitful of all things. It is incurable.  No one can understand how deceitful it is.
2. Take advice only from the word of God–not from the world. Worldly advice can create jealousy and rivalry.
James 3:15-17 That kind of wisdom doesn’t come from above. It belongs to this world. It is self-centered and demonic. 16 Wherever there is jealousy and rivalry, there is disorder and every kind of evil. 17 However, the wisdom that comes from above is first of all pure. Then it is peaceful, gentle, obedient, filled with mercy and good deeds, impartial, and sincere.
3. Become familiar with the words of Jesus Christ. When you know his will and his word you can distinguish thoughts that are not from him, particularly when you learn of someone in your own situation or when someone is doing something you strive to achieve.
John 10:10 A thief comes to steal, kill, and destroy. But I came so that my sheep will have life and so that they will have everything they need.
4. Choose the life of a servant. A leader is always expected to do more, give more, accomplish more, and be a servant to those he/she leads.
Mark 9:33-35 While Jesus was at home, he asked the disciples, “What were you arguing about on the road?” 34 They were silent. On the road they had argued about who was the greatest. 35 He sat down and called the twelve apostles. He told them, “Whoever wants to be the most important person must take the last place and be a servant to everyone else.”
5. Pray for God to take a corrupt nature from you so that you can see clearly what God’s will (God who gave you life) is for your life.
Galatians 5:19-21 Now, the effects of the corrupt nature are obvious: illicit sex, perversion, promiscuity, 20 idolatry, drug use, hatred, rivalry, jealousy, angry outbursts, selfish ambition, conflict, factions, 21 envy, drunkenness, wild partying, and similar things. I’ve told you in the past and I’m telling you again that people who do these kinds of things will not inherit the kingdom of God.
Written by Christian author, Pola Muzyka.

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