Tuesday, January 11, 2011

Appetites pt 2

A few days ago I wrote appetites part 1. I really liked this sermon and interestingly enough my pastor asked the question "What did you feed your soul this week?" and in my own notes I wrote that down and added, "which appetites did you feed?" I love when what God teaches me during the week lines up with what my pastor teaches on. Proves my "I don't believe in coincidences" statement : ) 

So here I go with part 2 of the appetites topic. If your a recent follower then you are unaware of my love for the story and character of Jacob. You see I am a combination of a Peter and a Jacob; I constantly talk before thinking and my name, like Jacob's should be changed to Israel, which means "he who struggles with God." So when Andy Stanley said to turn to Genesis 25 I got excited. I did not, however, expect for the emphasis to be placed on Esau.
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!” 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
 Here is a little background information about this story. First, Jacob and Esau are twins however Esau is the firstborn. Back in biblical days being the firstborn was definitely an advantage.The firstborn is who received the birthright, which was basically like an inheritances but the firstborn got way more then any of the other siblings. Esau's dad, Issac, was rich, really, really rich. Not only was he rich but God had made a covenant with Esau's granddad, Abraham, that one day the Messiah would come through his family. Esau was set to inherit a lot of wealth plus a covenant from God Himself.

Take a look at the passage, Esau was hungry and wanted some of the stew Jacob had cooked. Jacob was happy to oblige as long as Esau traded him his birthright for a bowl of stew. Doesn't that sound absolutely insane??? What person in their right mind would do that?????

Stanley says you would... I would, after all people do it ALL the time.

Remember point #3 from the last post... the one that says your appetite always whispers NOW, never later. This is what is happening here. Esau is hungry, nothing else but feeding himself is on his mind. He does not stop to think, he just does whatever it takes to settle his appetite. Stanley does an interesting thing at this point and we will see if I can do it justly.

If only at this point in the story could a person appear from the future and have a conversation with Esau, you know like one of those movies such as my fav, The Empires New Grove, when the devil and angel appear on Kronk's shoulders to "help" him make a decision. Esau could of used one of those at this point.

Because if Esau could of looked into the future he would see that Numbers 23:10 could read,  "Who can count the dust of Esau, (not Jacob). And the book of Psalms would be filled with verses that say the God of Esau instead of the God of Jacob. And that one day, hundreds of years later a book called Matthew would list Esau in the genealogy of the Messiah, not Jacob. And that Messiah would, out of His own mouth, call Himself the God of Esau, not the God of Jacob.

But that didn't happen, in fact Obediah 1:18, says this about the brothers,
"Jacob will be a fire and Joseph a flame; 
Esau will be stubble, 
and they will set him on fire and destroy him. 
There will be no survivors from Esau.
The LORD has spoken"
Because of that one moment, that one choice. Esau lost everything.

Psychology uses the term focalism to describe a situation/appetite when our mind is able to focus only on one thing and everything else is blurred out. Another psychology term that Stanley used is impact bias, which takes a simple appetite and magnifies it out of proportion. Basically it tells your brain that whatever the appetite is it will be satisfied, and exaggerates the experience. And all that to say this:
Your focus changes when your appetite is inflamed.
The reason Esau lost, or rather gave away his birthright was because he could not harness an appetite.
Your appetite only knows one word- more.
So do you know what your appetites are? What are the ways you feed them? Do you rule them, or do they rule you?

I, myself do not know the answer to those questions.... but you bet that I am searching to find out. I want to recognize those appetites so that nothing stands in my way of being all that I can be for Christ. 

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