Tuesday, February 24, 2015

Holy Lust (Jacob, part 2)

Please note...this is "Jacob, part 2."  I encourage you to scroll down and start with "Jacob, part 1." 

Do you lust for the things of God?

From cradle to grave Jacob is determined to get ahead, at all costs, grabbing his older brother by the heel at birth, earning the name Jacob, which means “supplanter.”  A supplanter is a person who bumps you out of the way in order to get what he wants.  And Jacob soon lives up to his name as the story unfolds:

28 Now Isaac loved Esau, because he had a taste for game; but Rebekah loved Jacob. 29 And when Jacob had cooked stew, Esau came in from the field and he was famished; 30 and Esau said to Jacob, "Please let me have a swallow of that red stuff there, for I am famished." Therefore his name was called Edom. 31 But Jacob said, "First sell me your birthright." 32 And Esau said, "Behold, I am about to die; so of what use then is the birthright to me?" 33 And Jacob said, "First swear to me"; so he swore to him, and sold his birthright to Jacob. 34 Then Jacob gave Esau bread and lentil stew; and he ate and drank, and rose and went on his way. Thus Esau despised his birthright.”

Let me give you a little background music here-the birthright was a special blessing from God, to be given to the oldest son. It was a double portion of the inheritance, as well as the position of honor and leadership in the family. And Jacob wants this birthright BAD!  Esau, in contrast, trades it away for a bowl of lentil stew, gaining the infamous nickname, “Edom,” or “Esau the Red.” The testimony of scripture is clear: “Jacob I loved, but Esau I hated” (Rom 9:13).  Check this out...

Jacob is never corrected for wanting too much.

In the quiet moments of life, when I am able to slow down the rpm’s of my heart, I find in me a strong, passionate desire...I want victory over my sin struggles, I want blessings in my life, I want growth in my ministry, I want intimacy in my marriage, I want depth in my friendships...you get the point.  I WANT.  I want nothing less than the ABUNDANT life Jesus came to give us. 

To be honest, I WANT IT ALL.

Yet desire is a dangerous thing.  It can be incredibly destructive and self-serving.  And yet, if you think about it, desire also fuels almost everything godly as well. Men and women get awakened from their unholy contentment with the world.  They get delivered from their apathy.  They get freed up from the false idea that everything that happens is God’s will.

“Thy will be done on earth as it is in heaven” reveals that God’s will is not done on earth; that’s the point.  We should crave it, desire it, long for it. 

And if there is one character in the Bible who is ambitious after the blessing of God, it’s Jacob.  In fact, his ambition is so great, nothing comes close to describing it other than the word “lust.”  Lust, of course, is usually connected to unholy sexual desire, but it can also describe an ardent enthusiasm for the things of God, a prevailing hunger, a “must-have.”  Jacob had a holy lust.

Again, desire is a dangerous thing.  Living from desire WILL, I promise you this, lead you into risk, confusion, and disappointment.  We just don’t always get what we want.

But we can allow God to be God.  And we can allow ourselves to face disappointment.  Living from desire is so much better than living from apathy, helplessness, and unholy contentment.

Our desires are the arena into which God moves.  

I firmly stand with C.S. Lewis, when he wrote, “If we consider the unblushing promises of reward and the staggering nature of the rewards promised in the Gospels, it would seem that Our Lord finds our desire not too strong, but too weak. We are half-hearted creatures, fooling about with drink and sex and ambition when infinite joy is offered us, we are like ignorant children who want to continue making mud pies in a slum because we cannot imagine what is meant by the offer of a vacation at the sea. We are far too easily pleased.”

Are you ambitious after the blessings of God?  Or have you settled, like I have so many times, for whatever life has to offer, something equivalent to a bowl of lentil beans?  

I find myself provoked by Jacob

deeply stirred in some unseen place in my heart

that I must meet God in the space that He chooses

Not in my unholy contentment

But in a most passionate expression of faith



Blog writing ®John Hever. Unless otherwise stated, photos are not the original creative works of John Hever. To access the website of h2o church, go to www.h2ochurch.org.

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