Don't Sell Your Birthright
Have you ever wanted something so badly you could feel it in your bones? Or, have you ever eaten a whole bag of chips just because of some stressor in your life? You know, that stressor that needs attention NOW and must NOT wait!
In our society, we’ve been conditioned to believe that we need everything instantly. From credit card spending to one day shipping, it’s all too easy for us to give up something of eternal significance for the sake of feeding our temporary appetite. When reading about Esau, (Genesis 25) who in his voracious hunger sold his birthright to Jacob for a measly bowl of lentil stew, immediately what comes to mind is instant versus delayed gratification.
To attain delayed gratification (something that is lasting, something that is rewarding, something that builds our character and pushes us towards our destiny), we may need to turn down what feels good now (instant gratification) in order to have what would be better later. God loves us so much and it is important to remember that His infinite masterpiece is always better than our finite drawings.
Scripture tells us that Jesus makes a way out for us whenever we are tempted. It’s super beneficial to know there is ALWAYS a way out, but it is also up to us to find the ways out that Jesus has already provided for us! Otherwise, like in Esau’s case, giving in could rob us of our rightful inheritance, hinder the call placed upon our lives, and quench the power of the Holy Spirit.
No temptation has overtaken you except something common to mankind; and God is faithful, so He will not allow you to be tempted beyond what you are able, but with the temptation will provide the way of escape also, so that you will be able to endure it.
– 1 Corinthians 10:13 (NASB)
Temptation happens to all of us. When we try to fulfill fleshly cravings instantly just to get rid of the hunger/pain/hurt/struggle/anger/anxiety or anything else that besets us, we end up falling under the burdens that we try to carry on our own, instead of casting our cares unto Jesus.
It is essential to look at the situation, the trauma, or like Esau “simply the craving” at hand and recognize it for what it is. If we numb the pain, we allow the enemy to put up a wall in front of us and— therein lies a disconnect to our eternal significance, and for some, harmful habits and addictions. It becomes a temporary fix, not a lasting solution.
The consequence of Esau giving into his instant craving, was not only losing a birthright, but it also caused he and his brother to be divided by hurt, bitterness and fear. Thankfully, in the end, there was restoration and forgiveness. If in the past we have regrettably done something in the moment, let’s come to Jesus. He is always forgiving— always loving. While we do suffer consequences, God is redemptive and makes all things new.
All of the actions we take matter, even the tiny ones that seem like they won’t make a “hill of beans difference” to anyone else. One helpful action we can take in these everyday situations is to ask good questions in the moment of choice. Questions like, “Does this food heal or hurt?” or “Will this action harm me?” and “Am I glorifying God in this choice?” Checking in to see where our hearts and minds are before trying to gratify our instant desires, can change not only our lives, but the lives of those around us in a beneficial way.
When we ask ourselves these questions in the moment, it helps us take inventory and to clarify if we are 1) becoming a slave to our wants and desires and living as a part (OF) the world or 2) truly living (IN) the world with a mindset of eternal value.
To save us from unnecessary heartache, let’s learn from Jacob and Esau. Let’s stop and wait on the Lord and take time to look for the way out that He has provided for us— so we can walk in the fullness of His plan for our lives.
This post co-written by Rose Ward and Evangeline Njelesani
Evangeline and I are creating beautiful gift baskets for people in need. We are working with a registered charity to bring hope and encouragement to others. You can check it out @ www.livingseeds.ca. Join us in bringing JOY, HOPE, and the GOSPEL to others!