Water for the Thirsty
Weekly Devotional

Water for the Thirsty

Do you have a bowl of stew?

Weekly Devotional

‘As the deer pants for streams of water so my soul pants for you, O God’. (Psalm 42:1)
‘…Jesus stood and said in a loud voice, "If anyone is thirsty, let him come to me and drink”…’ (John 7:37)

Who in their right mind would give up their whole future for a bowl of stew?

Seems ridiculous, doesn’t it? But that’s exactly what Esau did,

‘Once when Jacob was cooking some stew, Esau came in from the open country, famished. He said to Jacob, “Quick, let me have some of that red stew! I'm famished!” (That is why he was also called Edom.) Jacob replied, “First sell me your birthright.” “Look, I am about to die,” Esau said. “What good is the birthright to me?” But Jacob said, “Swear to me first.” So he swore an oath to him, selling his birthright to Jacob. Then Jacob gave Esau some bread and some lentil stew. He ate and drank, and then got up and left. So Esau despised his birthright’. (Genesis 25:29-34)

For Esau his birthright was no big deal. Chosen son? - Who cares? Leader of the family? - Overrated.

He was more interested in the momentary satisfaction of stifling hunger pangs than his entire inheritance.

To Jacob, it must have seemed like the steal of the century. In an instant, Jacob rose from just another son to the son.

When his father Isaac died, Jacob would assume the leadership role of the family, receive a double portion of the family’s wealth, and provide spiritual direction for his relatives.

All this was his for a bowl of stew.

Well it’s easy to pass judgment and view Esau as being a bit thick. But, in reality, he simply acted on a natural appetite God gave him.

The problem, however, developed when Esau allowed that God-given desire to rule him. He sacrificed the future by letting a temporary need take control of his life and, as a result, ruin his potential.

Sadly, we are all prone to doing the same thing.

We all have natural appetites that we abuse. It might be money, friendships, intimate relationships, or how we spend our leisure time.

Everyone has God-endowed appetites for these things, but when those needs aren’t tempered by the Holy Spirit then we’re destined to lose self-control. And when we lose self-control and are ruled by our appetites then we are apt to make very foolish decisions.

No doubt temptations will come our way, they certainly did for Jesus (Luke 4:1-13), but notice Paul’s words to us,

‘Don’t you realize that in a race everyone runs, but only one person gets the prize? So run to win! All athletes are disciplined in their training. They do it to win a prize that will fade away, but we do it for an eternal prize. So I run with purpose in every step. I am not just shadowboxing. I discipline my body like an athlete, training it to do what it should. Otherwise, I fear that after preaching to others I myself might be disqualified’. (1 Corinthians 9:24-27 New Living Translation)

Every single day we have a choice to either protect our future or sacrifice it for the pleasure of the moment.

By choosing to follow Christ, we’re empowered by the Spirit of God, who speaks to us and indicates when a desire may be spiralling out of control.

So, when you’re making a decision - any decision - stop and listen to that “still, small voice.” What is He saying?

Do you have a bowl of stew in your life? – Some physical thing you are putting before Jesus and the wonderful future He has prepared for you?

Take some time to think about it.

Is there a God-given desire that you sense may be out of control?

Has it taken priority over Jesus, over what you know is right?

The only way to protect your future is to take control of that misguided need and direct your attention toward Jesus.

It may not be easy, but through the empowerment of the Holy Spirit, it is possible.

Don’t let a bowl of stew destroy your future.

Have a good week valuing your future with Jesus,

Pastor Barry

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