As I've mentioned before, I use Lysa TerKeurst's "Made to Crave Devotional" a couple of times a week, and the last section I read was eye opening (Thanks, Lysa!). Lysa briefly shared that Esau and Jacob experienced a major life change that centered around a campfire and a pot of stew. Gotta love a Bible-based food issue, right?
I went back to Genesis to read the story for myself with fresh eyes, so here's the synopsis (full story found in Genesis 25:29-34). Esau and Jacob are brothers. Esau is the oldest and entitled to the biggest and best blessing from dad. He's also the big burly guy in the fam, super hunter, etc. One day after an unsuccessful hunting trip, Esau comes home famished and happens upon brother Jacob cooking some stew. He asks for some; well, demands is a better word. Jacob, in typical little bro fashion, wants to trade up for his cooking efforts. He agrees to give Esau some stew if Esau will trade him the eldest birthright. Esau declares that he's "about to die" of starvation, and thus agrees to the trade. This trade affects the future of nations (yes, plural). Esau sold his future for a bowl of lentil stew and bread! Darn those carbs!
He traded the long-term for short-term pleasure. I realized that I can totally relate to Esau and have placed myself in the same position many times. As with any food issue, the deeper issue was the desire for instant gratification and the focus on a flesh craving. How does this happen? Why do I do that? How do I stop?
As I contemplated those questions and prayed for understanding, the Spirit reminded me that God set eternity in our hearts (Ecclesiastes 3:11). When we elevate our flesh cravings, we lose sight of the eternal craving in our hearts for God. Not only did God put it there, but it's always been there and always will be, unlike an afternoon carb craving. Our God craving is how we know we need Him.
So why is our flesh craving often louder than the eternal calling that is ever present in our hearts? Perhaps, because it is constant, we manage to sometimes drown out the eternal, like a mom who tunes out her child on a road trip when the question comes, "Are we there yet?"
We need to embrace the eternal call daily; amplify it! Give it a microphone and crank up its volume. Knowing that it is the highest calling, we should live in such a way as to magnify that craving so that we always seek Christ more.
Esau is a classic example of a microphone in the wrong hands. He chose to amplify the call of his stomach over the eternal call of God. The same is true for me. If I spend too much energy focused on a chocolate craving, I end up taking the microphone out of God's hands and giving it to my flesh, or the candy bar in my desk drawer. And along with the microphone goes the spotlight. When I put the spotlight on the temporary craving, that craving takes center stage and throws God into the background scenery.
This is a total misplacement of values! When we elevate the value of a temporary craving over the eternal design God has for our lives, we choose to be last in line for the Father's blessing, just as Esau did.
Lord, forgive me! Let me not squander that which is eternally precious for a temporary satisfaction that ultimately steals my joy! Re-value my value system! Here's the mic, Lord! Take center stage!
And flesh... you can exit stage right!
Faithfully, fluffully His,