Welcome P31 “Encouragement for Today” friends and my everyday bloggy friends. I am thankful we get to spend these few minutes together today. Please leave your prayer requests in the comment box at the end of this post. If you’re reading this through your email, you’ll want to pop over to www.LysaTerKeurst.com .
Today, my P31 devotion is about God’s provision and how hard it is to understand what some people are going through in this economy. Whether our struggles are the lack of finances or another kind of ‘lack’ we must be aware that desperation breeds degradation.
In other words, when what is lacking in life goes from being an annoying feeling to a more desperate feeling we run the risk of compromising in ways we never thought we would.
I find it interesting that a verse many of us know and quote, how the devil prowls about like a roaring lion looking for someone to devour, is tucked right after the verse that says, “Cast all your anxiety on him because he cares for you. Be self-controlled and alert,” (1 Peter 5: 7-8).
You see, if we get wrapped up feeling anxious about whatever is lacking in our life and forget to be self-controlled and alert, we are prime targets for Satan to usher us right away from God. We start doubting God, doubting His ability to really be able to provide and justifying our way right into sinful patterns. We lower our standards in ways we never thought we would. That’s degradation.
Yes, desperation breeds degradation.
A person who thinks they would never steal, gets into a financial bind and suddenly finds herself skimming money from the register at work.
A person who thinks she’d never have sex before marriage, feels physically pressured by someone she desperately wants love from and suddenly finds herself in bed with him.
A person committed to getting healthy, forgets to pack her healthy snacks and suddenly feels it’s urgent to zip by the vending machine and grab some chips and a candy bar just this one time.
Be aware and be on guard sweet sister. Know that these are devised schemes to lure you away from your commitments. And find a friend who can speak rationality into your irrational impulses. A friend who will hold you accountable, speak the truth in love, and pray for you.
Look at a great example of how desperation breeds degradation in the story of Esau from the Old Testament in the Bible. Esau was the older of two twins. He was a skillful hunter while his twin Jacob was more of a homebody. The Scriptures say:
29 Once when Jacob was cooking some stew, Esau came in from the open country, famished. 30 He said to Jacob, “Quick, let me have some of that red stew! I’m famished!” (That is why he was also called Edom. [a] )
31 Jacob replied, “First sell me your birthright.”
32 “Look, I am about to die,” Esau said. “What good is the birthright to me?”
33 But Jacob said, “Swear to me first.” So he swore an oath to him, selling his birthright to Jacob.
34 Then Jacob gave Esau some bread and some lentil stew. He ate and drank, and then got up and left.
So Esau despised his birthright (Genesis 25: 29-34).
The thing that strikes me about this story is how much Esau gave up for just a few moments of physical satisfaction. He sacrificed what was good in the long term for what felt good in the short term. He gave up who he was in a moment of desperation.
Had a true friend of Esau’s heard this interaction with Jacob, surely he would have spoken some rationality into his irrational impulses.
Oh sweet sister, if you don’t have a friend who can speak truth into your heart, let me be a voice of reason and encouragement today.
Remember who you are. Remember whose you are. And never compromise.
I’ll be spending time praying for every request left in the comments below today through the weekend. It would be my honor to pray for you.