Wednesday, January 12, 2011

R.E.A.L. Women Devotional - Fast Food

We have heard for years that fast food is unhealthy. Even though we know this, many of us, due to schedule, still eat it. Some claim to be healthier than others because they use vegetable oil rather than lard. Whatever the case, if we are in a hurry or have skipped meals and end up feeling starved, we'll drive through our favorite fast food restaurant for the quick convenience of it.

Genesis 25 begins the story of Esau and Jacob. The twin brothers were complete opposites. Esau was a "man's man" and loved to hunt. Jacob, on the other hand, preferred to help out around the house and cook. Even though they were twins, Esau was in line for the "birthright" because he had been born first. Jacob, who's name means supplanter which means to take the place of through force or scheming, wanted that birthright. Genesis 25:29-34 reads, "Once when Jacob was cooking some stew, Esau came in from the open country, famished.
30 He said to Jacob, “Quick, let me have some of that red stew! I’m famished!” (That is why he was also called Edom.) 31 Jacob replied, “First sell me your birthright.” 32 “Look, I am about to die,” Esau said. “What good is the birthright to me?” 33 But Jacob said, “Swear to me first.” So he swore an oath to him, selling his birthright to Jacob. 34 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." This "fast food" moment definitely was an unwise choice of Esau. Maybe this "fast food" didn't kill him literally, but it killed the blessing on his household and future generations to come.

I started thinking about these verses in a spiritual context. I find it interesting that I'm reading this as I began a twenty-one day fast. Often times when we are spiritually starving, like Esau who said if he didn't get anything to eat was about to die, are willing to eat anything to fill us up. We'll be so spiritually famished, but rather than get into the Word of God or listen to some teaching podcast or even go to church, we'll fill up on "junk" food. Junk food is referring to anything that does not have any Godly edification. We'll watch the television and possibly pass by a preacher who is speaking, but won't stop to listen often because we don't care for his style. I admit I am guilty of this, but somehow, if I stick around there for a few minutes, more than likely the Holy Spirit uses that moment to speak to me. Instead, we'll turn on some mindless program that does nothing for us except pollute us with information that isn't even important. Those empty calories.

Esau in this passage, allowed his flesh to overrun his moment of need and in one bite of food, sold his blessing for eternity. What I am saying here is that we have to be more cautious of becoming spiritually famished. Many times we are "spiritually starving to death" for the thing that only Jesus can give us, the bread of life. Often times we'll choose the "fast food" to fill us. Fast food only ends up leaving us more hungry and sometimes can lead us to sickness or death. For example, watching some of the "positive thinking" lectures on television is like eating french fries. We convince ourselves that it's okay because french fries are made from potatoes and it is a vegetable. We know it's fried in oil that is full of additives, but give ourselves permission to because it's satisfying for the moment. Those "positive thinking" lectures are similar in the fact there is some truth, but it's coated in man's wisdom. Fast food can lead to the clogging of your arteries or adding unwanted pounds, so is it when we take in spiritual fast food.

When we chose Jesus as our Savior, we immediately received the birthright. That birthright can never be taken from us as long as we choose Him. When we took that birthright, our spirit became alive and has to be fed properly. We can never live a healthy spiritual life if we aren't feeding our spirit regularly the Truth. There have been some who claimed Jesus as their Lord, but didn't feed their spirit properly and became spiritually famished. When that happened they no longer had a taste for Truth but for junk and therefore turned away from Jesus. Just like when we turn to the potato chips when we're physically famished instead of carrot sticks. Eventually we lose a taste for healthy food.

It is said that people who eat small portions more often throughout the day stay full. I can say that is true when I have tried this way of eating. But when we skip breakfast, we end up eating more in the afternoon and it is usually unhealthy food. That quick bite to tide us over can eventually be harmful. I too can say this from experience. This can be true in our spiritual life. It is better to start the day off with, a Proverb or Psalm and listen to some teaching podcast, a little worship, and conclude the day with a good meal of the Word. You will be amazed at how you good feel. Yes, there will be days that it's like eating salad. It's was good for you, but not so comforting. Then there will be days that it's like eating Filet Mignon and will be so filling and comforting. My point is, don't turn to the "spiritual fast food" it's about being filled not famished. Otherwise you might end up like Esau, full but nothing of value in your life.