Holy Envy

I say then, have they stumbled that they should fall? Certainly not! But through their fall, to provoke them to jealousy, salvation has come to the Gentiles. Now if their fall is riches for the world, and their failure riches for the Gentiles, how much more their fullness! For I speak to you Gentiles; inasmuch as I am an apostle to the Gentiles, I magnify my ministry, if by any means I may provoke to jealousy those who are my flesh and save some of them. (Ro 11:11–14)

Paul is talking about Israel and how he wants to ‘provoke them to jealousy,’ that they may seek more of what God has for them.  It’s that phrase that I want to focus on in this morning’s devotion.  Is God provoking you to jealousy or ‘holy envy’?

When we think that we’ve arrived, know everything, or have exclusivity in our faith, we are in danger of missing out on the ‘more’ that God has for us. I have always been part of a Pentecostal denomination;  and for the past twenty years, my particular flavor of Pentecostalism has been Wesleyan holiness. In the past ten years, however, I have found myself looking at some of the other practices within the Christian family and yes, wishing I had some of what they have in my life, and why not?

Paul wanted the Ephesian Christians to know that ‘more’ in their lives too.  He wrote, “God would grant you, according to the riches of glory, to be strengthened with might through the Spirit in the inner man, that Christ may dwell in your hearts through faith; that you, being rooted and grounded in love, may be able to comprehend with all the saints what is the width and length and depth and height (God). (Eph 3:16–18)

If we think that God is one-dimensional, then we can missout on so much. So, in my Christian life, I have incorporated the eucharist of the Anglicans, the liturgy of the Lutherans, the Lexicon of the Methodists, the prayer and contemplation of the Christian mystics, the prayer-life of the Celtic Christians and the Spirit of the Pentecostals.  If God wants to create ‘holy envy’ in me, then I’m all in.  It doesn’t make me any less of a Pentecostal; in fact, it has only added to my experience.

Published by Terry Threadwell

Dr. Terry Threadwell has thirty five years ministry experience. Author, educator and Director of the Institute of Progressive Pentecostal Studies.

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