The heart of God is to bless His children. The plan of the devil is to steal that blessing. Make no mistake about it, lust does steal blessing—but the goodness of God is better than the badness of sin.
Lust Robs Us
I remember one time I was struggling with temptation when my neighbor called. Despite being one mouse click away from a fall, I answered the phone and went to their house to help them with something. When we were finished, they began to ask questions which ultimately led to the ability to share the gospel with them. Afterward I remember realizing that if I had gratified the desire to lust, that blessing would have been stolen—a precious moment with eternal consequences gone, possibly forever.
We may not be aware of all that has been sacrificed in our lives on the altar of this sin. At the very least we have lost precious time. Proverbs 6 warns us, “For by means of a harlot a man is reduced to a crust of bread; and an adulteress will prey upon his precious life. Can a man take fire to his bosom, and his clothes not be burned?” (v.26-27). God warns that we will reap what we sow (Galatians 6:7-8).
Luckily, the law of blessing in Christ is greater than the law of cursing through sin.
Breaking Esau’s Yoke
Many are familiar with the story of Jacob and Esau. In Genesis 25, the older brother Esau is famished from hunting and “sells” his birthright, the greater inheritance, to his brother for a pot of stew. We can all relate to the sacrifice of greater riches for temporary physical comfort.
In chapter 27, Jacob then poses as Esau to steal the blessing from their blind and infirm father—and Esau weeps bitterly then at the blessings that were lost. Most people stop teaching at this point, focusing on the negatives; but the story doesn’t end there; far from it. You see, God still had a blessing for Esau with a very telling promise: “when thou shalt have the dominion, that thou shalt break his yoke from off thy neck.” (v.40). The word translated as “dominion” in the KJV carried the meaning: when you are lord over your restless, mournful spirit, you will break the yoke.
Don’t Despise Your Birthright
Most of us relate to God, not from what we HAVE already in Christ, but from a mournful, restless feeling of lack. But the Bible teaches that we already have all spiritual blessings in Christ (Ephesians 1:3). Every blessing in the Bible after Christ is past tense! So why do we act as though we are spiritual paupers and orphans?
God knew what Esau needed to walk in blessing. Esau was living below the inheritance God had for him. It was his heart, not his actions, that stole his blessing. Like the Prodigal Son who squandered his blessing before “coming to himself”—to who he really was and who he was destined to be—Esau had to learn a few things before he was postured for the blessing.
We look at Jacob and think, “How could God let him steal the blessing like that?” But in his heart, Esau was trading the blessing before Jacob ever stole it. The Bible says that Esau, though he wasn’t even aware of it himself, despised his birthright. We also are called the sons of God, co-heirs with Christ, kings and priests. When this isn’t the reality of how we see ourselves, we have traded our blessing and birthright in our hearts long before we ever get to the place of sinning. What you do, flows from who you are in your heart (Matthew 15:19,20).
When next we see Esau in Genesis 33, he is blessed beyond measure. His story didn’t end with a stolen birthright. God didn’t plan for him to wallow in the mire for the rest of his life. God needed to show him that he was a favored, beloved prince in order for him to treat his life as such and value what he had. Beloved, we need this confidence before God.
Knowing Your Identity in Christ
If you really know who you are in Christ, you can never sell your inheritance for something so cheap. But if you relate to God out of shame and lack, you will fold like a two dollar suitcase when temptation arises because you already see yourself as dirty.
God is waiting, not for you to get it all right, but to trust that His goodness is better than your badness; to know that who you are in Christ is greater than the old, dead man you used to be. Run to Him and find that He is waiting with open arms, with grace in abundance to restore you to the fullness of your Heavenly identity and destiny.