Overcome the Spirit of Competition: Rejoicing for Revival!
Sunday morning I woke up with a quick vision. All I saw was “Philippians 1:12.” I was super spiritual about it and went right back to sleep, but when I did get up, I remembered it, grabbed my Bible, and read Philippians 1:12-18. It was clear to me that God was releasing a real clarity to me on how we must overcome the spirit of fear that unleashes the spirit of competition in the family of God. These verses tell us that some preach out of envy and strife and others from goodwill. It identifies the motives of preaching from envy as selfish ambition or rivalry, a spirit of competition. It identifies the motive of preaching from goodwill as love.
Now here is the place we seem to stop in the family of God. We finish up at verse 17 after we discern someone’s motive, or think we do, and decide that if the motive is wrong we will not receive from that person. Better yet, or should I say worse yet, we encourage others not to receive from that person or participate in their ministry. The Word tells us not to “go on passing judgment before the time, but wait until the Lord comes who will both bring to light the things hidden in darkness and disclose the motives of men’s hearts...”(1 Corinthians 4:5)
I am not writing about disclosing a spirit of error here, but rather the motives of men’s hearts. Who will disclose these motives? Not me! If, or should I say when, I pass judgment (and we all do it) on the heart motives of others, my own ambitions have great likelihood of clouding my judgment.
The clarity that came to me in Philippians 1 was through Paul’s response to the preaching of the gospel from various motives, good and bad. He says, “What then?” I read that again hearing “What then?” more like “What should I do about this? How should I respond to this? The answer follows, "…in every way, whether in pretense or in truth, Christ is proclaimed, and in that I rejoice.”
I heard this loud and clear. Is someone else preaching from envy or a spirit of competition? So what! Christ is proclaimed and in this I rejoice. This is what overcomes the spirit of competition in me. I am not responsible for disclosing a spirit of competition in anyone else, only in me. If I refuse to play into that spirit, no matter who else is operating in competition, that spirit cannot operate in me or between me and the other person because I have refused the competition. It takes at least two competitors for there to be a real competition. I choose to stay free from the spirit of competition by this; when Christ is proclaimed, whether in pretense or truth, I will rejoice!
Do we really want revival? Really? Then it is time to radically rejoice in one another’s blessings and ministries. Is there something “off” or perceived to be “out of order?” Then it is our responsibility as a part of the Body of Christ to speak life and blessing and release truth over that in intercession so that the whole body can come to maturity. We need to acknowledge that we don’t know it all, in fact that we “know in part.” (1 Corinthian 13:12) If we have a part someone else is missing let’s release it to them through our prayers and relationships. If they have something we are missing, let’s ask the Holy Spirit to reveal that to us.
As for me, I am Rejoicing for Revival!