August 1, 2011

Everybody has made a bad deal or a bad trade in their lives. Somewhere along the way I'm sure you gave up something hoping for a payoff or at the very least hoping that there would be no negative effects. But sure enough, down the road you were burned by your trade.

In Genesis 25 we find perhaps the worst trade in history. A guy named Esau traded away his birthright for a bowl of soup...lentil soup, not exactly the most scrumptious thing ever served up. For a bowl of this amazing culinary delight, Esau didn't just trade away wealthy & authority, he forfeited the spiritual implications of his birthright. Esau's family wasn't just any family; it was the family God chose to use in order to make Himself known to the world. For some soup, Esau forfeited the part he could play in God's plan.

This sounds ridiculous, but we do it all the time. We trade God's plan for a momentary desire & the temporary feeling of fulfillment that comes from feeding the desire, but guess what? That desire will be back, & we will again be faced with the temptation to sell out in order to feed the desire. We have to learn from Esau that the thing we are throwing away might be the very thing we need most.

What is your bowl of stew? What desires in your life threaten the plan God has for you? Are there places where you are already compromising God's design for your life & leadership just to satisfy a temporary desire? Here's one question you can ask about four areas in your life in order to reframe that desire:

What story do I want to tell...
     -About my faith & journey/relationship with God?
     -About my marriage?
     -About my relationship with your kids?
     -About my legacy & influence in this world?

When the tension arises, & you are tempted to trade God's eternal , unchanging plan for your temporary, ever changing plan, ask this question. Once you know what story you want to tell, you can backtrack & map out how you can get to the ending you would like for your story. Live in a way that is consistent with the story you want to tell, & you will set yourself up to live the life that God desperately wants for you.

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