What can cause a man to relinquish the ownership of a striving family business and the notoriety of become the next patriarch for a plate of lentil stew?
Pretend you are the the eldest son of Steve Jobs been groomed to take over the most valued company in the world. One night after you come home from a long day, you meet your crafty little brother who has never shown an interest for hard work cooking some spare ribs on the grill. The smell overwhelms your senses, causing you to feel that unless you get some you will starve to death. Seeing your vulnerability, little Jacob decides to take advantage of your weakness by proposing the most daring trade: your right to the company for the ribs!
It wouldn’t take long for any disciplined person to calculate the return of such a trade. The answer should be a loud NO. But for some reason, the ribs are more valuable then the inheritance promised to you. No one would make that mistake, right?!
Think again. Essau was weary, tired and hungry. It seems amazing to me that because of one’s natural needs for rest and food one could give away a kingdom to fill one’s own need. Being weary makes you do crazy things.
Like David against Goliath, it is needs versus inheritance, selfish versus selfless. Your life versus the God’s life in you. It seems ineffable but so tempting when you are tired and weary. After all, who would sell the promise of an abundant life for the daily need for food? Could you make that trade?
In Matt 6:25-33, Jesus candidly addressed such trade to give up the natural needs we have for the abundant life of God’s kingdom. These needs are not only physical but emotional as well such as the need to be appreciated, loved, supported and safe.
When our eyes are focused on fulfilling our own needs, however legitimate they are, we enter the danger zone of trading the Kingdom for the temporary satisfaction. This is especially true when we focused on ourselves rather than God. Weariness will set in, and the ineffable desire to circumvent God’s provision and give up our inheritance for a plate of spareribs will become so tempting.
Staying focused on the Kingdom and your Father in heaven will take care of all your needs, even the ones you think He doesn’t care about. Often times we don’t think God our Father really cares about us, which causes us to walk alone and isolated, thinking that if God doesn’t care then, His people will not care for us either. If we take our eyes off of Him, we are going to grow weary and tired. Jesus tells us that the provision for all these things come when we seek first His kingdom and not the other way around. Too many times we forgo the promises of the Lord when we don’t feel like our basic needs are met. The main reason is caused by our orphaned, survival attitude telling us that unless we take care of these on our own, no one will really care. We grow weary of people, ourselves and ultimately God. The result is a sellout of relationship, promises we have received in the past, and spiritual inheritance for a quick fix.
If you are tired and weary, be careful not to give the preciousness of the Kingdom for the sake of filling your needs on your own. Wait on the Lord and your strength shall be renewed (Is 40:31). Don’t give up an opportunity for God to demonstrate that He cares for you by filling these needs. I know He seems to be late very often when it comes to the immediate needs we have but we are often impatient. And remember this, the Lord has put people in your life that really care for you, even though your needs are telling you otherwise.
If you decide for God, living a life of God-worship, it follows that you don't fuss about what's on the table at mealtimes or whether the clothes in your closet are in fashion. There is far more to your life than the food you put in your stomach, more to your outer appearance than the clothes you hang on your body. Look at the birds, free and unfettered, not tied down to a job description, careless in the care of God. And you count far more to him than birds. Has anyone by fussing in front of the mirror ever gotten taller by so much as an inch? All this time and money wasted on fashion—do you think it makes that much difference? Instead of looking at the fashions, walk out into the fields and look at the wildflowers. They never primp or shop, but have you ever seen color and design quite like it? The ten best-dressed men and women in the country look shabby alongside them. If God gives such attention to the appearance of wildflowers—most of which are never even seen—don't you think he'll attend to you, take pride in you, do his best for you? What I'm trying to do here is to get you to relax, to not be so preoccupied with getting, so you can respond to God's giving. People who don't know God and the way he works fuss over these things, but you know both God and how he works. Steep your life in God-reality, God-initiative, God-provisions. Don't worry about missing out. You'll find all your everyday human concerns will be met. Give your entire attention to what God is doing right now, and don't get worked up about what may or may not happen tomorrow. God will help you deal with whatever hard things come up when the time comes.