Kingdom Venture 21/20 -Day 9
*Adapted from 21 Days of Fasting and Prayer Devotional from James River Church available on the YouVersion App and www.bible.com
What are you hungry for? Probably not a fun question eight days into the fast, but it’s an important question for you to answer. Fasting is all about appetite. It’s not about making a list of all foods you are craving but deciding what you are most hungry for.
The writer of Hebrews says, “Watch out for the Esau syndrome: trading away God’s lifelong gift in order to satisfy a short-term appetite” (Hebrews 12:16, MSG).
Genesis 25:19-34 NIV
“This is the account of the family line of Abraham’s son Isaac. Abraham became the father of Isaac, and Isaac was forty years old when he married Rebekah daughter of Bethuel the Aramean from Paddan Aram and sister of Laban the Aramean. Isaac prayed to the Lord on behalf of his wife, because she was childless. The Lord answered his prayer, and his wife Rebekah became pregnant. The babies jostled each other within her, and she said, “Why is this happening to me?” So she went to inquire of the Lord. The Lord said to her, “Two nations are in your womb, and two peoples from within you will be separated; one people will be stronger than the other, and the older will serve the younger.” When the time came for her to give birth, there were twin boys in her womb. The first to come out was red, and his whole body was like a hairy garment; so they named him Esau. After this, his brother came out, with his hand grasping Esau’s heel; so he was named Jacob. Isaac was sixty years old when Rebekah gave birth to them. The boys grew up, and Esau became a skillful hunter, a man of the open country, while Jacob was content to stay at home among the tents. Isaac, who had a taste for wild game, loved Esau, but Rebekah loved Jacob. Once when Jacob was cooking some stew, Esau came in from the open country, famished. He said to Jacob, “Quick, let me have some of that red stew! I’m famished!” (That is why he was also called Edom. ) Jacob replied, “First sell me your birthright.” “Look, I am about to die,” Esau said. “What good is the birthright to me?” But Jacob said, “Swear to me first.” So he swore an oath to him, selling his birthright to Jacob. Then Jacob gave Esau some bread and some lentil stew. He ate and drank, and then got up and left. So Esau despised his birthright.”
The story of Esau is one of the saddest stories the Bible. In Genesis 25, we read that one-day Esau came home, famished from hunting, only to see that his brother, Jacob, had made a stew. Esau demanded that Jacob feed him. Jacob responded by offering a trade – Jacob would give Esau his stew, if Esau gave Jacob his birthright (note: a birthright was the right to inheritance and the spiritual leadership of the family). Here’s the crazy part, Esau gave Jacob what he asked. It seems so strange that Esau would sacrifice something so valuable for a bowl of soup, but he’s not the only one who has surrendered God’s blessing because of a craving for something less.
Hebrews 12:16 NIV
“See that no one is sexually immoral, or is godless like Esau, who for a single meal sold his inheritance rights as the oldest son.”
There are some blessings from God that we will never receive unless we dethrone what the Bible commentator, Matthew Henry, called, “King Stomach.”
So, what are you hungry for? What is more important to you than what your stomach is craving? Fasting is all about appetite.