God can never be put into a box. When you think that a story is over or God has done all He can do in a situation, He reminds you that He has plans for us that we could never think, dream or even imagine.If you remember from the previous two posts,
there was a pastor and cattleman. The pastor lived a godly life. The cattleman lived life like Esau:
desiring to be the best, be the manliest, having the most and grabbing all you can from life because "you only go around once." He lived a life of sensuality. The cattleman wasn't a bad man, he just slightly missed the mark.
God was working in the cattleman's sons' lives. One of the cattleman's sons finally came to himself.
He had experienced heartache and sadness from his father, his siblings, his wives and his children. All of these heart wrenching experiences finally brought him to the point where he realized that the way he experiences life leads to moral, financial and spiritual bankruptcy.
This man became what God desired of him. He found comfort in being with the family of the pastor, visiting them frequently and enjoyed having them to his home. There was a real change in his heart.
There was a tenderness that he had never experienced before as he let God have more and more of his past, present and future.
Life continued to be difficult for the one cattleman's son. He still had the pain of his upbringing to deal with. Some of his behavior had become so automatic that he still found himself grabbing for two pieces of bread and challenging the pastor's sons in manliness, but now, he was listening when the Holy Spirit reminded him that he was a new man.
He still had to face his siblings and he worked hard to break down the Esau spirit
in their relationships. His own children, who experienced the pain of his lifestyle, finally were able to see that their father had truly changed. He was now working tirelessly to make up for lost time and become more of what God desired for him all along.
The cattleman's son's life is not over. His life is not what it should have been but it is becoming what it could have been. He learned an exciting principle in which he is applying to his life: it is never too late to do the right thing.
So, as we conclude this three-part story of living like Esau, I ask you for two things:
1) Will you take a moment and pray for this cattleman's son? Ask God to continue to mold this man into being the man of God that he can be.
2) Consider your own life. Do you live like Esau? Are you looking out for yourself and looking for the best, seeking sensuality and the immediate gratification of your desires?
If so, it is never too late to do the right thing.
Ask God to change you. Become the man that God knows you can be. BE HOLY.BE A MAN.
(Continued from yesterday)
As the sons of these two men grew up, they each went their respective ways, moving to various parts of the country. The difference was, the pastor's sons wanted to return to see their father.
The sons, all leaders in their own right in different parts of the country, enjoyed their father's advice, steadiness, humble strength and faith in God. The cattleman's sons did not want to see their father. In fact, they did their best to avoid him.
Unfortunately, when they would visit their father, it wasn't uncommon for the cattleman and his sons to physically as well as verbally fight each other. They would argue over cattle, land, money, food. The cattleman's sons also had trouble in staying married to their first wives. They and their children experienced the pain of separation, divorce, remarriage, anger, suspicion and the like.
So, now, we are getting to the end of our story. What happened to these two men?
These men chose different paths for themselves and their family experienced the consequences of these men's choices.
The cattleman died. He didn't experience a long illness. Just one day, he was no longer part of this earth. The world woke up one morning and he did not. The land and the cattle that he once owned were divided and sold. His sons avoided each other. The sensuality that the cattleman pursued, led to disjointed, isolated, marginally spiritual offspring. His children rarely got together. When they did, peace did not rule their relationships.
The pastor lived a long life. He outlived the cattleman by a good 20 years. His children stayed faithful to their spouses. Interestingly, the years after the cattleman died became very rich for the pastor. God's blessings increased exponentially.
God increased his faithfulness with abundance. The pastor enjoyed his children, his grandchildren and quite a few great-grandchildren. The pastor had made several, quiet, steady investments over the years and he found that he was experiencing the most financial success he had ever had. He needed nothing. God gave him all he needed and more.
More importantly, the pastor enjoyed the spiritual success of his progeny.
Several of them followed in his footsteps and went into full-time ministry. The other children became integral parts of their respective churches, supporting God's work both inside and outside the church. All became leaders in their community/profession. The pastor was able to see his heritage for several generations. God blessed him with the opportunity to see that his steadiness, and his pursuit of "God first" paid off with eternal rewards.
You see not only did this pastor and his progeny do well, but many of the people who were affected by his ministry over the years were blessed by this pastor's steadiness and quiet confidence in God's ability to care for his children.However, just when it seems like a story is over, God does something amazing. Just when you think you have God all figured out, He moves. Tomorrow we will discuss Esau Redeemed.BE HOLY.BE A MAN.
Once there were two friends. One man wanted to be a pastor. The other wanted to be a cattleman. These men both had a desire to please God. As they aged, studied their respective interests/calling, married and had children, God blessed them. However, as God is
wont to do, He did not bless them equally, or so it seemed.
The cattleman felt sorry for the "poor pastor" who was raising his family on a very meager salary. The cattleman quickly became wealthy. He acquired land, cattle, fortune, and family. In joking with the preacher, the cattleman said, "you know, I'm gonna end up taking care of you and your children. With my wealth, you will be cared for."
Nevertheless, the preacher stayed the course, doing what he believed God wanted him to do. After the preacher married, the doctor gave him bad news, "I don't believe you'll ever be able to have children." However, as God is wont to do, God doesn't have to listen to doctors.
So, it wasn't very long afterwards, they had their first child. And then another. And another... It was tough, living on a pastor's salary with so many children. There were times that they couldn't afford coats for these children to wear in the harsh winters of that region. Yet, God did bless. Miracles occurred in the pastor's family as they learned to rely upon God. The pastor's family learned that God does, indeed, take care of His children.
Meanwhile, back at the ranch, the cattleman lived well. However, there were a few noticeable, glaring aspects to the cattleman's character. The wealthier he became, the less he needed God. He could easily provide for his family.
Also, the cattleman lived a life of sensuality. Much like Esau,
he became a rather coarse fellow, using brash language, not delaying his gratification. He gave himself whatever his heart desired. This lifestyle led to tension within his own family. His children saw that even though the cattleman was a Christian man, what he said often did not match up with what he did. His children strayed from God's best for their lives. However, they did not stray too far. They frequently went to church, they proclaimed Jesus as their Savior but they always had Esau's seed in them. They, too, could be brash, insensitive, living in their own sensuality. Like their father, they were not bad people. Just edgy. Slightly missing the mark for what God desired for them.
When these two families got together on special occasions, the cattleman's sons challenged the pastor's son to games of strength and daring, often berating their manhood. "Come on, be brave! Don't be such a wimp!" were words the pastor's children often heard when challenged to do things that were marginally safe, sensual, just a bit edgy.
The pastor's sons noticed, also, that the cattleman's sons would grab the biggest or choicest pieces of food from the table, when offered one piece of bread, they would take two, drink the most iced tea, all without giving thought to others. The cattleman's sons weren't bad men, they just lived more sensually than the pastor' sons. However, they were missing the mark of God's standards for holiness.(Tomorrow, we will discuss part two of this story)BE HOLY.BE A MAN.
Has porn taken you down a path you can't talk about? What about lust, envy, pride? Do you find yourself wallowing in the mud?
You WERE a prodigal eating old cobs of leftovers in the pigsty. To restore your relationship with your Father, you had to get out of the mud and start walking home. You didn't have to clean yourself up first, but you did have to make that first step. On the road ahead, the Father would be waiting with a ring, a robe, shoes, and everything else an honored son is meant to have. But, FIRST, you had to come to your senses and take your first step toward home --toward purity--toward holiness--to being a REAL man--by making that covenant with your eyes.
"I made a covenant with myself to never undress a girl with my eyes" Job 31:1
Before long you may have felt a new light and lightness in your soul. Your sexual sin had brought a darkness so deep and smothering that when it vanished, the difference was so real you could practically touch it. You are loved and approved by God.
Along with inner peace comes an outer peace that affects your daily life. Now is the time, say a quick prayer asking for God's strength to leave your sin and your pigheadedness. BE HOLYBE A MANadapted from Every Man's Battle