Thursday, February 21, 2013

Soup for your birthright?

The second week of Craving Him More has now come and gone. We read the introduction and first chapter of Made to Crave and walked right into the heat of the battle.

We started our time with a study of Genesis 25:27-34 where Esau willingly forfeits his birthright for a bowl of soup. That sounds so daunting just to type. Didn't he realize the impact of what he was doing...really realize? Was he in his right mind? We looked at the core of the story:
-Esau had a need - to eat
-Job 31:7 He was led away by his senses. Aren't we often led away by what our eyes see and what our noses smell and what our tongue desires to taste. We crave what we see (in food and in others). Do not allow your feelings to manage your behavior. One of my graduate school professors used to regularly say, "Feelings are like children. When they are good, they are really good. But, when they are bad, don't let them run your house!"
-Esau EXAGGERATED his need (v. 32). It is so easy to criticize Esau here, but we do the SAME thing every day. We are just adults now and can easily satisfy our desires. If we want something sweet and it is not in the house, we go buy it. We even suggest that we are starving. As the mom of three kids who HAVE starved before, I can honestly say, "I may be hungry I am NOT starving."
-Esau wanted his needs met IMMEDIATELY (v. 30). Instant gratification is our enemy. We do NOT have to eat what we want when we want it. Everything needs to be laid before the Lord...EVERY thing.
-Esau was willing to give up the end result (inheritance) for the temporary gain/pleasure
-A bowl of soup for his birthright??? What are we giving up today for the temporary pleasure of food/lack of exercise? For far too long, I gave up my own health and the health of my children. I allowed my own indulgences and desires to be forfeited at the feet of our future. No more.

Then, we looked at the temptation of Jesus in the desert in Matthew 4:1-11. We do not face any temptation that Christ Himself did not face as well. He was 100% divine and 100% human. His body worked just like ours. And, yet we see that He had fasted for forty days and was able to stand firm against the attacks of the enemy.
-Jesus was led by the Spirit. When we lay a "blank check" (as David Platt says) on the table before the Lord, food/health/exercise is a part of that check. Take every food/meal/plan before Him and see where He leads. Ask the Lord before you put anything into your mouth...that allows for much more time with the Lord, first and foremost. And, it gives us the much needed time between our desire and filling that want! We must follow Him and not our feelings or desires.
-Jesus was alone (same as Eve). Accountability is essential to our journey. No hiding. No excuses. Be honest with those who are going to hold your feet to the fire...brutally honest.
-Jesus was hungry. We are NOT alone in our desire for food and the need to eat. He ate. He wanted to eat in this passage. But, His craving for God was MORE than his desire for food.
-Satan takes advantage of our OUTWARD condition. When we are hungry or bored or sad or happy, the enemy will attack our weak areas. Be constantly aware of his tactics.
-How did Jesus react? He quotes Scripture (Deuteronomy 8:3)! Spending time in His Word allow us to fight the battle daily.

Do we BELIEVE that God is enough?? Do we believe that God’s Word can fight our battle against undisciplined physical lives, laziness, gluttony and mindless eating?? Do we LIVE it?

Next we discussed the first parts of Made to Crave and highlighted these concepts:
-It is easier to make excuses than to make changes
-The rich young ruler in Matthew 19 - he goes away sad and unchanged because he refuses to give up the one thing that he craves more than Jesus. We think this applies to riches, but God is talking to us. Give up unhealthy food, easy choices, laziness, lack of exercise, gluttony, secret eating, etc. and follow me.
-How does this journey really affect us? (1) Spiritually - what we eat is of spiritual importance. God says to honor Him in our bodies.
(2) Physically - admit the truth that what we eat and how we exercise matters. My weight is a direct reflection of my choices and the state of my health. (3) Mentally - have to admit that we are tired of compromises and need to change
-My resolve is strong until the next time I get hungry
-God made us to crave - Psalm 84:1-2. Satan wants to replace our craving for God with ANYTHING else!
-The more saturated we are with truth, the more powerful we’ll be in resisting temptation.

Join us next week as we open God's Word to see how the Israelites put God to the test over FOOD...and we will review chapters 2-3 of Made to Crave. This is hard, and we all know it. But, the end results will be lasting, and it will be good.

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