What are you willing to trade for your birthright?
I’ve struggled with weight issues my whole life. There were times I told myself I was keeping the weight on purpose, because I knew it was a deterrent to a type of relationship that I wasn’t quite ready to think about. When I was ready, I lost 75 pounds and promptly went in the other direction (too many relationships). This left me with the feeling I couldn’t trust the smaller version of myself to be moral and decent. So after I was happily married again, all the weight came back and the struggle continued.
Over time my relationship with the Lord grew and I was visibly encouraged by results in my path of sanctification. I was able to understand and have confidence that as long as I remained close to the Lord, fears of immorality were being replaced by desires for oneness and purity. But I was still fat. And not just in the light of today’s culture. So my immediate thought and goal was that I needed to lose weight in order to become more healthy.
Recently I was involved in a study where we were reviewing the fruits of the Spirit (Galatians 5:22-23). I might have taken a bit of comfort in thinking I had been steadily improving in each one, except I knew there was one in particular that I still constantly struggled with. Self control. Oh I had made great strides in some respects, that’s for sure! But I knew in my heart of hearts it was the weak link in my chain.
That’s when it hit me like a ton of bricks. I love to eat and very often have no self control over my choices or portions, nor did I have much of a desire to. Especially when it came to butter! For me, it shouldn’t be about losing weight with a goal of becoming healthy (although that is a nice side benefit). No, I knew the Lord was speaking to me about submission, and yielding my rights for His glory. I don’t want to be an Esau that trades my birthright for a bowl of stew. I can deny my flesh and in the process gain so much more spiritually than I ever have before.
So I’ve made up my mind to enjoy fruit of a different kind. Spiritual fruit. Once years ago I had the notion that I was going to “tithe” my meal portions back to God. I remember being laughed at. I guess the notion does seem a bit funny, but self control is my initiative. God won’t force me to do it. It is something I have to will to do. Filling up my plate in the usual manner I’ve become accustomed to, and then taking a portion off of the plate to set aside in honor of God may just be the start I need.
Are you struggling also in the area of self-control? What do you trade on a moment by moment, day by day basis for your birthright in Christ? What are you choosing to give up in order to have that moment of satisfaction? The bible tells us in Psalms 84:10 that one day in the house of the Lord (or in His courts) is better than a thousand elsewhere. To me this symbolizes in His presence. I want to live, to dwell, in His presence both here on earth as well as for eternity in Heaven. I want everything He has in store for me. I want my birthright!
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