In Touch Daily Devotional
by Dr. Charles Stanley


August 31, 2007 – Spiritual Shortsightedness – Genesis 25:19-34

            Esau sold his birthright for a bowl of stew. He was so focused on his stomach’s immediate needs that he ignored the future blessings meant for a first-born son: authority over the family and a double portion of his father’s wealth. Esau’s foolishness is a lesson for us to avoid spiritual shortsightedness. We, too, can be tempted to think of today’s needs at the expense of future blessing.

            God created us with legitimate appetites for food, sleep, pleasure, and intimacy. We tend to think if a little of something is good, then more will be better. But the Lord knows that too much of anything is detrimental to our body, mind, and spirit. That’s why Galatians 5:22-23 lists self-control as spiritual fruit. God Himself gives us the strength and wisdom to remain within the boundaries He’s set for these desires.

            When we’re spiritually shortsighted, we ignore the Spirit’s promptings and allow our appetites to rule us. Believers cannot afford to live according to what feels right or looks good. Focusing on immediate gratification will yield only temporary fulfillment. Lasting contentment is the result of pleasing God instead of self.

            You can probably think of at least one temptation that Satan tells you is necessary or deserved. Watch out. That’s your “bowl of stew.” Neglecting your spiritual well-being and losing a future blessing aren’t worth getting a taste of that temptation. Keep resisting. That bowl of stew will never compare with your birthright as a child of God.

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