The Craving That KillsJon Burgess
“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! Iʼm 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.” Genesis 25:29-34
Esau hadn't planned ahead so he planned to fail. He didn't bring enough supplies with him for the hunt. If his stomach had been full when he returned home he wouldn't have been so desperate as to sell his birthright for a bowl of stew. The enemy knows when we are most vulnerable and that's when he offers a short cut, an immediate solution, instant gratification- but it always comes with a heavy price. The cure for any craving is to feed on the right things. That's true with natural food as well as spiritual. The cravings will come but they lose their power when we plan our response ahead of time. In Matthew 4 Jesus had been fasting forty days and forty nights. No matter how hungry Esau was there's a good chance Jesus felt overwhelmed by hunger pains even more. Just like Jacob with Esau, Satan was cooking up a delicious alternative to obedience to God. Would Jesus make the trade for that which fades? Jesus was victorious when Esau fell victim to his own appetites because Jesus was feeding Himself on that which Satan could not see: "People do not live by bread alone, but by every word that comes from the mouth of God." (Matt. 4:4)
Nothing kills my cravings faster then fasting. It's a slow deatht though. For nothing reminds me of how fierce my flesh is then when I tell it "no"! I'm planning my response now for the cravings that will come when we kick off the "21 Days To Fast & Pray" this Saturday, January 14th. It's not a matter of if they will come, but when. When I say no to social media I will encounter the Fear Of Missing Out and be tempted to check in. When I say no certain foods I have no doubt I will be invited to various dinners and handed delicious treats. I'm saying no to my flesh to increase my hunger for Jesus and His Word! Let's declare war on the cravings that kill our dreams. The want that won't wait is the craving that kills. The insatiable hunger that demands immediate gratification is the craving that kills. The appetites that have you abdicate your authority are the cravings that kill. The temporary emotion driving your permanent decision is the craving that kills.
We put to death our flesh and come alive in You Jesus Christ! We declare You are Lord over every craving and appetite. We pray our hunger for You and Your Word would increase as never before. We plan ahead for the temptations of the enemy by feeding ourselves on Your Word!