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February 24, 2020

I have found an amazing two-word prayer that has the potential to bring national revival.

When a nation is on the verge of a great revival, there has been a level of success in the congregations and ministries. The number of people is growing. More donations are coming in. The spiritual leaders are becoming well-known, influential, sometimes even wealthy and famous. This level of blessing gives the Ecclesia the tools that could affect a national transformation. This is a necessary stage, like a woman who has come to full term in her pregnancy. Yet the very success itself contains within it the obstacles that can at the same time hinder, and even halt, the growth of the kingdom of God.

God’s blessings carry with them the inherent temptation to turn away from God and concentrate on the blessings. People can become lazy, carnal, entertainment-oriented, greedy, prideful and rebellious. Moses referred to this syndrome as “Yeshurun became fat and kicked” – וישמן ישורון ויבעט – Deuteronomy 32:15. The temptation to worldliness is dangerous for any human being. Yet there are two dangers that are particularly dangerous for spiritual leaders: ENVY and COMPETITION.

Philippians 1:15

Truly there are those who proclaim the Messiah out of envy and competition, but there are those who preach from good intentions. Spiritual leaders can try to out-do one another. Instead of working together to bring a revival to the whole nation, they begin to pull against one another. Instead of seeking new territory and new people to touch for the kingdom of God, they become protective of their own resources and accomplishments.

Envy and competition then lead to the leaders speaking negatively about one another; criticizing the others to make themselves look good in comparison. In essence, they unwittingly begin to curse one another in the guise of “spiritual discernment” and “warning the flock”. This leads to division and destruction among the people of God.

When Paul wrote this, he was in jail. All of the work he had done was being taken over by others (some with good intent and others not). Some were becoming famous and speaking badly about him. He was lonely and suffering. However, instead of looking at the problem, he chose to see a blessing in it.

Philippians 1:18 So what? The result is that one way or the other, whether from deceitfulness or from pure motive, the Messiah is being proclaimed, and in this I rejoice and will continue to rejoice. There it is, the two-word prayer that can bring national revival: “SO WHAT!” If all the leaders would ignore feelings of envy and competition towards one another, and just rejoice that someone else’s work is growing and affecting many, the whole kingdom of God would leap forward.

This is a necessary purification of the heart for every spiritual leader. Paul dealt with it concerning Apollos (I Corinthians 3). Peter had to deal with it concerning John (Yeshua challenged Peter not to compare himself to John, even if Yeshua asked Peter to be crucified and John to live forever – John 21).

I have seen this challenge in almost every country where the work of God is growing and blessed – USA, Far East, Africa, Brazil, Europe, and certainly here in Israel. It seems insurmountable, yet by God’s grace, it can be overcome. Let us put away all envy and competition. Let us pray for the other groups’ work to be even more successful. Let us see one another as one family of faith, even though we are totally different. Someone else seems to be growing more than you? So what! As long as more people are being touched by the love of God, that’s great! Someone is getting credit for something you did? Someone else is working out of selfish ambition? So what! We put aside all comparisons. When one is blessed, we are all blessed. We are one family.

Let’s pray this great two-word prayer for victory over competition and envy. “SO WHAT!” And let the revival begin.

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