“And Isaac his father said unto him, Who art thou? And he said, I am thy son, thy firstborn Esau. And Isaac trembled very exceedingly, and said, Who? where is he that hath taken venison (hunted game), and brought it me, and I have eaten of all before thou camest, and have blessed him? yea, and he shall be blessed. And when Esau heard the words of his father, he cried with a great and exceeding bitter cry, and said unto his father, Bless me, even me also, O my father. And he said, Thy brother came with subtilty (deceit), and hath taken away thy blessing. And he said, Is not he rightly named Jacob? for he hath supplanted me these two times: he took away my birthright; and, behold, now he hath taken away my blessing. And he said, Hast thou not reserved a blessing for me?” Genesis 27:32-37
I remember sitting in church listening to preaching and being convicted of my sin. I felt like the preacher was staring at me, and at times he made me uncomfortable with what he was saying. I squirmed in my seat and felt relieved when the message ended, and I was able to go to the altar and get things right with my God. I loved my pastor and I loved that he cared for me. He would smile at me when I would pass him, and he would even shake my hand. I recall my pastor singing “How Great Thou Art”, looking up as he sang to God, and you could see a tear roll down his face as he worshipped his God to whom he was most grateful. My pastor was a godly man and someone I aspired to be.
I grew up wanting to be like him, and even as a little boy, I was convicted by the truth he preached from God’s Word. I recall passing out gospel tracts to my neighbor and trying to do the right thing, even though it seemed like I was always in trouble. I was determined to go my own way, but I always felt horrible inside when I did. I soon hit the teenage years and there were long spells of rebellion that were lightly dotted with times I sought to do right. I wasted those teenage years in sin and before I knew it, it carried me into my young adult years as well. Then God started to become real to me even though I did not walk with Him. I started to realize that I could deny Him all that I wanted, but it did not change the fact that He was real, and I saw Him do things that changed my life.
Rebekah and I got married and we went to church, but I would not say I was doing right or living for God. I had one foot in church and one foot strongly secured in the world. I played church but I did not get real with God as I should have. I listened to the beckoning of the Devil and followed him without much help. God started to really work in my heart when I was in my late thirties, and I realized that I had to be all in living for Him. I think of Revelation 3:16 which states, “So then because thou art lukewarm, and neither cold nor hot, I will spue (spit) thee out of my mouth.” I was definitely spit-worthy, but I was tired of being half in and desired to be real with God about the things I struggled with. I grew tired of the sins that easily ensnared me, and I desired real change and victory. It is amazing what God will do when you fully surrender to Him, and when you don’t hold on to the things your flesh desires. I was much like Esau when I cried out that I missed out on the blessings of walking with God because of my vain pursuits and ungodly lusts.
Esau missed out on earthly blessings from his father because of his brother's deceitfulness, but in truth, he sold his birthright prior to Jacob ever stealing it. We sometimes blame our consequences on others, but we are responsible for our actions. We miss out on God’s blessings because we pursue the "stew" of sin, and we seek that which never satisfies. Esau bemoaned that Jacob had twice taken away his blessing, but Esau never acknowledged that he sold his birthright under his own will and desire. He was willing to give anything to satisfy his immediate need, and only after he realized what had taken place, did he cry out because there was no blessing for him. I missed out on the blessing for many years of my life, and I cry to think what God would have done through me if I was fully surrendered to Him. Satan is the great deceiver and he desires to rob all the good God would have for you. John 10:10b states, “The thief cometh not, but for to steal, and to kill, and to destroy:”
What are you selling your blessings for today? Are you pursuing a life that is pleasing to God, or are you entrapped in the enthrall of sin? Do you seek to satisfy your flesh at all costs without realizing you will one day cry out to God and regret missing out on what He would have for you? Is it worth it to you to miss out on God’s blessing for your life? May we pursue that which is pleasing to God and may we not regret the wasted years that we allowed Satan to take away.
Stay in the fight!