An oft asked question in life is why people end up doing the things they do. What is the underlying catalyst for the decisions that are made in life? Actually, I believe the answer is rather simple; it comes down to the matter of the heart. In short, we make provision according to the desires that lurk within our heart. In fact, this is Biblical and there are warnings that we as believers need to take seriously in the challenging days before us.
Eze 14:7 For every one of the house of Israel, or of the stranger that sojourneth in Israel, which separateth himself from me, and setteth up his idols in his heart, and putteth the stumblingblock of his iniquity before his face, and cometh to a prophet to enquire of him concerning me; I the LORD will answer him by myself:
The above verse is sobering and should serve as a wake-up call. God will answer us according to what is in our heart if we come to the place of taking him for granted. It’s time to take inventory and honestly assess our spiritual appetite. There is the danger of complacency in thinking we can simply serve the Lord as it is suitable to us. The modern church conveys a striking parallel to the reign of the Judges. Israel’s up and down relationship revealed the shallowness of their appetite for God; it was self-serving as evidenced by the indicting summation of this period. “Every man did that which was right in his own eyes” (Jud 21:25).
So where does that leave us today? How can we effectively gauge our level of hunger for God? It’s one thing to know scriptures that address this subject but is it personally applied? Do we truly hunger and thirst after His righteousness; is God a priority (Math 5:6)? The day is at hand where I feel we are going to be tested on this point. It is a serious matter and one we best be prepared for. It all boils down to the question as to how much of a priority God represents in our life. Make no mistake, we will be tested and that day of testing is at hand.
What Profit shall this birth right do to me?
Do you recognize the above statement; do you know who stated it? Esau was the grandson of Abraham and the one in line to carry forth the blessing and responsibility of the firstborn. Can you imagine being the grandson of Abraham; to have the privilege of carrying forth the legacy and eternal promises of his father and grandfather? Surely, there could be nothing that would prevent Esau from fulfilling his date with destiny and promise. There is no greater treasure than the birth right blessing and we can be sure that someone like Esau would not let go of it cheaply; or would he? Ok, we know the story and how it turned out but let’s not be too quick in thinking that we are somehow immune from doing the same thing.
Let’s again ask the question; how hungry for God are you? Is God really a priority or are we also willing to sell out? In recent weeks I have heard many complaints from Christians concerning the unfairness of life. I have also heard statements similar to what Esau vocalized. Let’s paraphrase his words in modern day language. What good has Christianity done for me? It’s no longer worth following the Lord etc etc. These kinds of statements tend to materialize in times of frustration and testing. At the end of a long day or week is it still within us to go to church? If our appetite has diminished for God we will opt to fill that void with the modern day version of beans or pulse. In other words we value temporal appetites as being of greater value than God and His eternal promise. Esau esteemed the hunger pangs of his stomach more than that of the presence of God. The blessing and privilege of the firstborn was quickly jettisoned for a quick meal. This was an absolute abomination to God resulting in Esau being banished from His presence. There was then the added judgement of being able to find no repentance.
Heb 12:17 For ye know how that afterward, when he would have inherited the blessing, he was rejected: for he found no place of repentance, though he sought it carefully with tears.
Let’s think about this for a moment. God made no provision for repentance for Esau even though he sought after it with tears. It is a horrific judgement due to his lack of regard for God. As members of the body of Christ we have been given a unique blessing in being able to live in these days. Do we fully appreciate this blessing? Do we understand the significance and responsibility that is being afforded? The wonderful exploits of the men and women of faith are not complete without the contributions of the last day generation of believers (Heb 11:39-40).
The sobering reality is that today’s churches are filled with modern day Esau’s. The excuses people make give evidence that God is not a priority; appetites that reflect the world and its values serve as the means of satisfying one’s hunger. God is sought after only when convenient and needed. The Bible records the sad result of those who lightly esteem his person and presence. Esau not only lost the privilege of the birth right he also forfeited the opportunity to repent (Heb 12:17). The children of Israel not only lost a battle against the Philistines, they also lost the Ark which speaks of the presence of God (1 Sam 4:11). This is the fruit of taking the presence of God for granted. Let’s not make the same mistake!
God is after our heart and desires that we have a similar pursuit towards Him. In writing this article I am reminded of a charismatic song from my early Christian years. It is a song that can be sung as a prayer:
Oh Lord Jesus, I hunger and thirst after you; Oh Lord Jesus, you are the breath of my life.
Oh Lord Jesus, without you I can’t run the race; Oh Lord Jesus, I long to see your face.
This is where our Appetite should be as it relates to our walk with God. These are exciting days but we best be warned; God will begin answering us according to the appetite that resides in our heart. The words of Esau are haunting due to the short term appetite demands of the modern church.
A key in coming into a place of truly knowing the Lord and having an appetite that never abates is in knowing Him as the broken bread; knowing Him as the one who took our sin as the Passover lamb to the cross. A personalized revelation of what was accomplished at Calvary should result in an everlasting love and pursuit of the Lord; nothing else will matter. This should be our goal. What is the state of your appetite concerning the things of God? Are you willing to take an inventory for an honest appraisal? It’s time to know Jesus as the broken bread of life.
Joh 6:35 And Jesus said unto them, I am the bread of life: he that cometh to me shall never hunger; and he that believeth on me shall never thirst.