In 2 Chronicles 22:10 – 24:27, we read the story of Joash. Queen Athaliah was evil through and through, but King Joash looked good and acted good. Athaliah had taken the throne by killing all the king’s seed but Joash escaped thanks to the actions of his aunt. He was hidden for 7 years in the temple with the family of Jehoiada the priest. Jehoiada was a Godly man. After 7 years, he initiated the coronation of Joash and oversaw the destruction and death of wicked Athaliah. Whilst Joash acted respectful of the authority of Jehoiada the priest, he behaved Godly and righteous.
However, his true heart was exposed when he listened to the flattery of demonised voices (24:17). He had become KING. Position had stolen his head and heart. He lost his appreciation for being saved from death. All that was required was a bit of flattery and he was gone. He turned against God and worshipped other gods. He was challenged by the new priest Zechariah, the son of Jehoiada, with whom he has spent his childhood. His response was … how dare you tell me what to do, and he had Zechariah stoned to death.
Knowing the heart of man, I suggest he envied the son’s relationship with his father, something he had never had himself. He had everything but he wasn’t satisfied. He wanted what he’d never had and couldn’t seem to get. He wanted what the son had, and besides it’s a good thing to seek, he told himself. His actions flowed from this hidden envy. You can seem to get away with envy because it’s a hidden emotion, but eventually it will be exposed.
How did Joash express his appreciation to Jehoida?
Joash showed his appreciation for being saved from death by Jehoida by killing his son. That’s not love and it’s surely not an expression of any appreciation. His actions in the beginning may have seemed good, but I suggest he was just trying to impress Jehoiada. The envy of his heart fed the desire for position and puffed him up. If you allow your heart to be envious you’ll strive to position yourself above those you envy and you’ll lose your soul.
You can separate yourself from this story and say I wouldn’t do that, but the truth is, the moment you judge your fellowman, you have done it. You can’t say you love God and put yourself up above your fellowman. That’s not love. In fact, God calls it murder (1 John 3:15).
God is love (1 John 4:8)
You can only have a relationship with God on the basis of love. Without faith, which works by love, it’s impossible to please God (Hebrews 11:6), and whatever is not of love is sin (Romans 14:23).
Goodness is not necessarily love
Love is not expressed by good deeds or generosity. Anyone can fake that. It has to flow from deep appreciation first, without envy. You can’t get the Father’s love by trying to be good enough; that’s selfish.
Love flows from your deep appreciation for what God did when he sacrificed His only Son for your salvation. This love is expressed by your appreciation for his sacrifice. From this appreciation flows generosity and good deeds. Without the appreciation your good deeds are bad, not good.
The heart of man wants position and value
Ever since the Garden of Eden, the heart of man is born in sin. It’s born under the influence of Satan. This heart has to be replaced with a new heart of love, not goodness. You can fake goodness. If Joash truly loved God he would never have turned against Him and worshipped other gods, nor killed the son of the man who saved him. In the same manner, if you truly love God you will never allow your heart to envy your fellowman. You have to daily fight yourself to do this otherwise the voices will deceive you into evil.
Like Joash, we’re all susceptible to the demonic voices of guilt and flattery. Listening to demonic voices will turn your heart. You can act loving, but sooner or later demonic voices will expose your true heart.
Most people measure themselves by their good
Most people think that their goodness is love. The problem is, most good is selfish and therefore evil. Most people do good so they feel valued in themselves and valued in the eyes of others. They do good so they will be liked for their goodness. They do good so you will be good to them. They do good because it’s the right thing to do. They do good so they won’t be punished for doing bad. Their goodness is manipulated by fear, pride and greed. Their good is rarely motivated by appreciation, and if it is, it’s usually contaminated with self-value.
You don’t do good to get good things in return. That’s not good; that’s greed. That’s why Santa Claus is a lie. You do good as an expression of appreciation for God’s sacrifice.
So how do we know if our good is love based or selfish based?
1 Corinthians 13: 3, 4
Love is not envious. Love is not puffed-up. Love does not vaunt itself. Love is not measured by helps and generosity (v.3); it’s measured by how you view your fellowman.
Jesus gave up His position to save you and me. He suffered an unjustified death for you and me, and if you love Him for doing that then there’s no need to envy. Envy proves you are faking it.
How do you express your appreciation?
If you love God, you love to do what He instructs. You can’t say you love God and envy your fellowman; that’s opposite His instructions. You can’t say you love God and puff yourself up with your own importance. You can’t say you love God and seek position. You can’t say you love God and disrespect authority. You can’t say you appreciate everything He’s done for you and abuse His sabbath or commit adultery in your heart.
If you truly love God, you won’t let your heart lust after its own selfishness.
Love follows the character of Christ. He humbled Himself and became a servant and obedient unto death (Philippians 2). If you practice goodness with a hidden agenda of position, then you’re opposite to Christ and not of Christ.
Love the Lord with all your heart, soul, mind and strength and love your neighbour as yourself.
Your expression of appreciation for God’s love towards you is measured by your judgment of your fellowman. Why? If you love God then you will automatically value and respect His creation, your fellowman. That means you won’t envy your fellowman. You won’t want what he has or who he is, or how high up the ladder he becomes. If you do good to your fellowman without the love of God, it’s not good; it’s actually selfishness.
If you’re a true pastor you have to be willing to suffer like Jehoiada and Zechariah
Time and time again, as a pastor, like Jehoiada, I have shown the love of God to many people. As a general rule, these people show their appreciation with helps and generosity; that is until I challenge them about their true heart.
On many occasions, I’ve invited people into my family to save their spirit. In time, I’ve had these same people say to my face … if you’re my pastor then I expect you to treat me with the same love and value as you love and value your daughter. This is not a sign of loving appreciation, but demonic control.
You can’t say you honour the pastor but then behind his back you envy his love for his son and want it for yourself. You can’t say you respect the pastor and then behind his back you envy the love he has for his wife and want it for yourself. You can’t say you cherish the pastor and at the same time wish you were loved the same as he loves his daughter, and in the same way, you can’t say to God that you love Him and behind His back envy His love towards someone else.
Love doesn’t envy. Love doesn’t puff itself up. Love shows its appreciation by thanking God for blessing other people and not expecting it for myself.
Satan wants Jesus’ position so he can take God, the Father’s, position. When you do the same you show your true heart is with Satan. Anyone who practices love with envy is under the control of a demonic lying spirit … looks good on the outside, but rotten within.
James 3: 14-18
James 3 declares that where bitter envy exists there is lying and demonic, confusion and every evil work. Eventually, like Joash, the true heart of a fake Christian will be exposed at a point of correction and they will no longer be easily entreated, but resistant to correction and thus be exposed as a bastard (half in the family and half out).
Love doesn’t practice envy; it’s too engrossed in gratitude to consider it. But, the irony is, when you practice God’s love, your fellowman will hate you because you’ll have something that they want and haven’t got.
For God’s sake, God’s remnant must learn to suffer the envy and hypocrisy of fake love from so-called Christians under the influence of Satan. That’s His secret plan.
Pastor John Cormack