This Week’s Quiet Times: April 2-6, 2012 The Envy TrapMONDAYTo understand the commandments is to understand human nature. God revealsour weaknesses through them “for he understands how we are formed, heremembers that we are dust” (Psalms 103:14). Read Exodus 20:17. We are allguilty of one form of covetousness or another andneed to understand it so that through Jesus Christ wecan overcome! First look up the word covet orcovetousness in a dictionary (the Nelson’s IllustratedBible Dictionary has an especially clear definition in it).Write the definition down. Now list the things Godspeaks of in the commandment that we are covetousof. Remember that the word neighbor includes everyone! Which of these thingsdo you struggle with the most and why? Bring your sin to the Lord in prayer andask for forgiveness and deliverance. He will hear the prayer of faith and he willanswer!!TUESDAYToday we are going to look at the result of a covetous heart. Remember whenGod issued the commandments to his children he also promised that those whoobeyed would inherit the promised land (a land flowing with milk and honey--Canaan)!! Read Joshua 5-7. Here we see God in his awesome power fulfilling hispromise to the Israelites. He is delivering a great and powerful city into theirhands in order to give them the promised land. God clearly shows them that heprovides everything they need. Take note of 6:17-19. He specifically tells themthat all the silver, gold, bronze and iron in Jericho was to be devoted to the Lord,they were not to take these as personal possessions. What was Achan’s sin?What was the cause of this sin? Do you see how dangerous it is to follow thedesires of the heart? What was the consequences of Achan’s sin for himself? Hisfamily? And all Israel? If you read chapter 8 you will see how foolish Achan wasto take what God had not yet given him. The next city God gave to Israel wascalled Ai and with this city he allowed them to take the very articles that Achancoveted. He just was not patient enough to let the Lord provide for him.Understand that God is to be revered and that we will also die if we submit tocovetousness as opposed to the Lord!! Truly “the fear of the Lord is the beginning
of wisdom” (Prov.9:10). Write Matthew 6:21 on an index card and commit it toheart! Make sure that the Lord and his kingdom are what you treasure above allelse!!WEDNESDAY Read 1Corinthians 10:1-13 and you will see that everything written in the OldTestament was written as an example for you and me! Now turn to 2 Kings 5.What motivated Gehazi to lie to Naaman? What was it that he desired? Whatwas the result of his sin? Apply this to your own life. Are you honest with yourbrothers and sisters about the things you are pursuing and want or are you likeGehazi, pursuing these things and then trying to hide it? Is there anything you aredoing (coveting) that you do not want to be open about? Understand that youare called to live in the light (1 John 1:5-7). Confess your sin to the Lord and toanother brother or sister who is able to pray for you, advise you and help you (seeJames 5:13-16)! Remember that in the Lord “we are more than conquerorsthrough him who loved us” (Romans 8:37).THURSDAYHopefully you have already been convicted about the sin of covetousness in yourlife, if not, prepare for today’s quiet time! Let’s read James 4:1-10. Do yourecognize the desires that battle within you? What are they? How are you atcontrolling them? What is the answer to your struggles? Write verse 7 on anindex card, and carry it with you until you memorize it! Make signs withscriptures to hang in your room or on your refrigerator which will help youovercome your struggles.FRIDAYUnderstanding who and what we really are and where we stand before Godrequires spiritual maturity. Read Romans 7&8 and learn from the apostle Paul.What did sin produce in Paul? How did Paul view himself in v.18? Why did heview himself this way? How do you see yourself in relation to God? According tochapter 8 what are we obligated to live by? How can we accomplish this? Taketime to reflect on what it means to live according to the Spirit. What are somethings you will do today to please the Spirit as opposed to pleasing the flesh?Call a brother or sister and share these things with him or her! Praise the Lord forthe fact that you are able to overcome covetousness through Christ, seePhilippians 4:13!