man praising God at sunrise
Spirit and Soul

What it Really Means that God is Jealous for Your Worship

Five times in the Old Testament the Lord refers to Himself as “jealous“. In Exodus 34:14 God said that one of the names He is known by is “Jealous” (Exodus 34:14). That is a powerful revelation. God is jealous for your praise, but why? If praise belongs to Him anyway, why is He so jealous for the praises of His people?

In Isaiah 42:8 He said, “My praise I will not give to another”. But why is God jealous for worship? He wants your praise and your worship because He loves you and He desires the intimate fellowship and communion that praise and worship facilitate between your spirit and His.

“You will worship no other God,” the Lord commanded in Exodus 20:3. Was that because He had to have praise to feel powerful? Does God need praise? Of course not! The sacrifice of praise, worship and thanksgiving are methods by which your spirit connects with the Spirit of God and builds a closer relationship through that spiritual dynamic. Praise creates a place for His Holy Spirit to draw nearer to you more intimately.

God is Jealous for Your Praise – so is the Enemy

Psalm 78:58 says that under the Old Covenant, God’s people whom He had set apart, “…provoked Him to anger with their high places; they moved Him to jealousy with their idols.” The commandment to praise only the Lord wasn’t for His benefit, but for His people – to keep them close to Him, under the shadow of His wing and safe from the attacks of the enemy of your soul. (Psalm 91:1-7)

Under the New Covenant, the Lord doesn’t require praise anymore, He desires it.

Satan, the Adversary of God, is jealous for your worship too- and he is an expert counterfeit. He seeks only to “steal, kill and destroy”, (John 10:10) and devour (1 Peter 5:8), but he is very cunning and subtle. Most believers would recognize a full frontal attack, but many miss the the ways in which the enemy twists God’s Word to lure hearts away from the Lord.

…the fact is that you can’t help but worship because you were created to worship… That is why God is so jealous for your praise- because you have a choice.

~Alicia Purdy

Your protection from these attacks is to remain in the Word of God, to sing praise and worship that is rooted in His Word and in your testimony of what He has done, to give glory to Him and Him alone, to keep your spirit close to Him through prayer.

If you’re not actively living a life in which you intentionally build in the time to praise and worship the Lord, you’re exposed to the enemy and he will come to devour, steal, kill and destroy your faith.

God is jealous for your praise because the fact is that you can’t help but worship because you were created to worship. You will worship something or someone. That is why God is so jealous for your praise- because you have a choice and He wants you to choose Him for your own benefit.

Satan is going after your spirit too, using his own form of “worship” to do it, to lure away your attention, your affections, and your focus. If you spend more time listening to secular music than you do worshipping the Lord you are investing in the wrong relationship!

If the songs you fill your spirit with aren’t rooted in the Word or are more focused on you and your own journey, issues, needs and experiences than on who He is and what He has done, you’re drifting away from true worship in spirit and truth.

God is Jealous for You and He Fights to Win

The Lord has proven that He will do whatever it takes to meet you where you are, even sending His own Son to die, and all He has ever asked for in return is your worship, and not for His own benefit. It’s for yours. True worship is God-focused and built around ministry to the Lord through thanksgiving.

God fights for you and desires a relationship with you not because He needs you, but because He knows you need Him and He will do whatever it takes to draw you closer.

~Alicia Purdy

Satan wants to steal, kill and destroy you, but God sent His Son to die for you. That is why He wins every time!

It’s clear from Scripture that God is jealous, a “consuming fire”, (Deut. 4:24) and He fights for you not because He needs you, but because He knows you need Him and He will do whatever it takes to draw you closer. James wrote that God, “…jealously longs for the spirit He has caused to dwell in us.” (James 4:5. Worship facilitates that connection and Satan wants nothing more than to break it, because he’s jealous for you too- and willing to fight as well.

True worship is not about you, although because God is faithful, the benefits of His presence always cause a shift in the natural and spiritual realms. That is when you start to see changes in you and around you. However those benefits are not the point of praise and worship. They are the natural outflow, but the point of worship is ministry to the Lord. He’ll take care of the rest.

Jude, the brother of Jesus said, “…build yourselves up in your most holy faith…” (Jude 20) Your lifestyle of worship is built upon time spent each day praising the Lord, offering the sacrifice of praise, singing a new song to the Lord, thanking Him, acknowledging Him, lifting His name high. “Forget not His benefits,” the Psalmist wrote. (Psalm 103:1-2) Remind yourself, stir it up, make the time. Do you believe or not?

Your commitment to God’s Word, prayer and praise is what separates people of victory from those who endlessly experience defeat. The supernatural power of praise goes far beyond any human resources and protects you from harm as the enemy attacks.

Satan wants to steal, kill and destroy you, but God sent His Son to die for you. That is why He wins every time.

~Alicia Purdy

God is jealous for praise because He is jealous for you. The Lord doesn’t want your love and worship because He’s needy or weak or arrogant. It is because He knows the true, supernatural power of praise to keep you strong and close to His protection and power. He desires your praise because He made you and He wants to be closer to you – at your invitation.

He delights in you. (Psalm 149:4) He wants you to have every advantage in this fallen world, and praise is a weapon that will help you win the battles in your life!

Thought for today: God is Jealous, but You Still Have a Choice

The power that praise holds in the lives of God’s people is directly linked to the time you spend in His presence. Praise creates a holy dwelling place for the Lord. (Psalm 22:3) When it comes to the “worship” of the world and their music, it’s important to use discernment and to remember that your spirit will hunger for what you feed on.

Did you know that “Tehillah” is the only word for “praise” that the Lord refers to in His Word as “Mine”? God is jealous of your “Tehillah”, your “new song” specifically. Why? Because it is truly yours, unique to you through the testimonies of His power in your life. That is the true power of praise – your gratitude expressed in worship to Him.

God is jealous for you because He loves you. He loves you because He made you. He made you to be in relationship with Him. And yet, He will not command you to worship Him. Under the New Covenant, the choice is yours and the benefits of praise – as well as the ravages of life apart from Him – are yours to accept or reject.

There is a battle that wages endlessly for you. If the Enemy can’t have your soul, he’ll come for everything else so stay close to the Lord and build your life upon Him. Worship will keep you connected, and the God who calls His name “Jealous” will destroy anything that comes to harm you so you can have the future and hope He has promised you!

God’s Passion for Your Praise Means Power in His Presence!

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