Fresh Hope – 18th February 2019

I stood at the door to my boss’s office in the upstairs of the restaurant, and nervously knocked and waited. It was my second job and I was about to break the news that I was about to resign.

I ran the whole restaurant, but it kept me out of church.

After his initial choice words and expletives, he turned it around and promised me the earth if I would stay. It was a major juncture in my life as I came face to face with a potential trade off – my future for his demands.

Was I willing to trade off my future for his offer? NO!

Everyone one of us will be faced with any number of trade-offs during our lives.
The trade-off will especially knock on your door as your devote your life to God’s plan and will ask you to make your choice of your way or God’s way.

My question to you is: will you hold fast or will you trade off your destiny?

Trade offs come in lots of different disguises…Money, sex and power to name but a few, but they all say the same thing – Sell your soul for what’s on offer.

Genesis 25:21,24,27,29,31-33 (MSG)
Isaac prayed hard to God for his wife because she was barren. God answered his prayer and Rebekah became pregnant. But the children tumbled and kicked inside her so much that she said, “If this is the way it’s going to be, why go on living?” She went to God to find out what was going on. God told her, Two nations are in your womb, two peoples butting heads while still in your body. One people will overpower the other, and the older will serve the younger. [24] When her time to give birth came, sure enough, there were twins in her womb. The first came out reddish, as if snugly wrapped in a hairy blanket; they named him Esau (Hairy). His brother followed, his fist clutched tight to Esau’s heel; they named him Jacob (Heel). Isaac was sixty years old when they were born. [27] The boys grew up. Esau became an expert hunter, an outdoorsman. Jacob was a quiet man preferring life indoors among the tents. Isaac loved Esau because he loved his game, but Rebekah loved Jacob. [29] One day Jacob was cooking a stew. Esau came in from the field, starved. Esau said to Jacob, “Give me some of that red stew—I’m starved!” That’s how he came to be called Edom (Red). [31] Jacob said, “Make me a trade: my stew for your rights as the firstborn.” [32] Esau said, “I’m starving! What good is a birthright if I’m dead?” [33] Jacob said, “First, swear to me.” And he did it. On oath Esau traded away his rights as the firstborn. Jacob gave him bread and the stew of lentils. He ate and drank, got up and left. That’s how Esau shrugged off his rights as the firstborn.

Esau was the first born. He had the birthright of special privileges, a double portion of the inheritance, dignity and future blessings but he also had a ravenous appetite. In a moment of wanting instant gratification, he was willing to ‘sell his soul’ for a bowl of stew.

For a moment, he was completely satisfied, but his future was sacrificed. That’s how quickly it can happen to you too.

Here are 5 points to consider before you trade off your future for instant gratification.

1) Identify what your future is worth. Don’t trade it for anything.

2) Am I willing to trade off a permanent promise from God for a temporary fix from man?

3) When you are having to convince yourself to convince yourself, then you know you are in danger.

4) It doesn’t have to be illegal or immoral for it to be wrong.

5) Never do anything that you wouldn’t be happy explaining to your children, family or friends.

Finally…when am I most likely to be vulnerable to the temptation of a trade-off?

– when hungry for success, recognition, satisfaction and power.

– when you need a quick fix – time is passing you by.

– when you’ve just accomplished something great for God – I deserve this. God owes me.

– when my appetite is inflamed. Sex, money, fame and power.

– when you’ve lost your way.

– when you’re tired.

Make the decision before you ever get to considering a trade off of your destiny. Decide that God’s way will always take first place over my way. No regrets.

Proverbs 3 v 5-6
Trust in the Lord with all of your heart and lean not on your own understanding. In all your ways acknowledge Him and he will make your paths straight.

Pastor Mark

A daily devotion for a better way of living.