KEY SCRIPTURE Genesis 33:8b-9:
8b: And he said, These are to find grace in the sight of my lord.
9: And Esau said, I have enough, my brother; keep that thou hast unto thyself.
Are you too snug for your own good?
Our key scripture is about a short but revealing conversation between Jacob and his brother Esau. Jacob was returning home after twenty years away and thought he needed to appease Esau. God was not enough for Esau, but comfort and gratification were.
We can become too comfortable in this life and miss our callings. Our comfort and hope must remain in the spiritual realm and our path the same Strait-Gate Way as our Saviour, Jesus Christ. But this world's comforts erode our astuteness, slowing us down and diverting us from the One-Way life.
Our key scripture shows that Esau had ample of what his heart really desired. His white-hot hatred for Jacob twenty years earlier for supposedly stealing his birthright and blessing—his calling—was gone. That calling no longer entered his thoughts. The fake luxuries had taken hold.
Our spiritual callings can go the same way when we hold strong desires for this world's goods and solutions. Our ardent following of Jesus turns into something more casual, and we awake one day to find He doesn't even register in our thoughts. We've gone through half a day before we realise we haven't even prayed or said good morning to Him.
Is your life a representation of Esau or Jacob? Or a bit of both? Does your mouth parrot Jacob's desire and passion, but your life more resembles Esau—my needs are met, I'm comfortable now?
Fake luxuries enter our life like refined sugar, which is now in almost every product on the supermarket shelves including manufactured bread. We've taken our eyes off the goal of knowing what is needed and let a refined life in which slowly kills us.
What stopped Jacob from pursuing God? Nothing! He wrestled an angel who dislocated Jacob's hip. He worked for years with low pay. He suffered a marriage deception when given the wrong wife. But no obstacle was big enough, no hurt deep enough, and no betrayal too painful that could move his resolve from ardently following his God.
Esau sneaks up on us. With today's lovely homes and society's safety nets, we can't help living comfortable lives. But our heart's fire must still burn the coals for our Saviour. That drive must keep us moving forward, our bodies and minds energised by the Holy Spirit and our human zeal. God calls us to push through comforts, blast obstacles out of the way, climb over or under problems, and find a way around hindrances and everything that slows us down or makes us spiritually slow or lazy. We're snow ploughs pushing everything out of our way to keep the path straight and walkable.
By doing this, we will enjoy the fruits of our labour, and our hearts will daily revive and sing, "as the deer panteth after the water brooks, so panteth my soul after thee, O God". Psalm 42:1
Let's make this year a mighty one for our Lord. Let Him take great pleasure in seeing us run the race. If we put God first in all we do, nothing too big can rise up again us. We will shake off relaxation like dust and burn the candle again in prayer, praise and rejoicing.
What a wonderful life we live when we give all to our Saviour.
Dear Lord, at times I have been too comfortable for my own good. My spiritual life falls into a relaxed mode and needs kick-starting again. Please help me stoke the fire of passion hot enough to run the distance.
Photo by Graham Holtshausen