Monday, January 30, 2017
Give Me My Stew!
“Esau came in…famished. ‘Quick, let me have some…stew! I’m famished! Jacob replied, ‘First sell me your birthright.’ ‘Look, I am about to die,’ Esau said…So he swore on oath to him, selling his birthright to Jacob…He ate…So Esau despised his birthright’ Genesis 25:29-34.
There have been several seasons in my life when I was completely famished…hungry for the season to be over… starving for a resolve in a situation…looking for anything that would fill my bowl of satisfaction...sure that I would die before the circumstances would change. It was a time when my will be done instead of God’s will being done. I exchanged my birthright for stew…embracing my will in the situation over that thing that God wanted me to learn in that season. God appoints certain birthrights at different times in our lives. Our birthrights are those things that God wants to make right in our heart. Our birthrights will never appear in bitterness and earthly things. They begin to take shape when we pursue the holiness of God.
James McDonald defines holiness as the absence of everything that causes turmoil, pain, restlessness and fear. He goes on to explain that ‘we pursue holiness not perfectly but increasingly.’ When we are hungry, we must add the ingredients of humility, grace and prayer into our stew. When our spiritual stomachs are growling, we must continue to stir in Scripture. When the world offers us comfort and convinces us of entitlement we cannot eat even a spoon of that offering. How do we know when we have exchanged the things of God for temporary satisfaction? We can be sure when there is division within a family or a lack of concern for someone else’s opinion. We can know that we have despised our birthright when we continue to do the same behavior over and over that has caused disrespect to someone we love or to God. We can embrace the truth that God has appointed us to go through certain adversities to give us certain birthrights…those unlovely attitudes in the heart that He wishes to set free. Or we can choose to submit to our self-made plans…our ways…our timing…the stew of the flesh.
I have been guilty of despising my birthright during certain seasons of my life. It led to destruction and a lack of holiness…the presence of turmoil, pain, restlessness and fear. Over the past few years, I have finally submitted myself to God and laid down the things that have gotten me nowhere. He has dug up rooted habits and attitudes that were producing unlovely fruit. While my holiness is far from perfect I am reminded this morning that my pursuit of holiness doesn’t have to be perfect…just increasing.
‘Holiness is just to be free from myself for a moment.’ C S Lewis