04 Oct Keeping A Muddle-Headed Spirit At Bay
Brothers and sisters, I guess we all have moments where we have been muddleheaded. And usually, when we are still in the midst of it, we do not realise it till after it has happened, and we get regretful about it. The bible has given us a good example of it and it is from the story of Esau. In Genesis 25:29-34, it says “Once when Jacob was cooking some stew, Esau came in from the open country, famished. He said to Jacob, “Quick, let me have some of that red stew! I’m famished!” (That is why he was also called Edom). Jacob replied, “First sell me your birthright.” “Look, I am about to die,” Esau said. “What good is the birthright to me?” But Jacob said, “Swear to me first.” So he swore an oath to him, selling his birthright to Jacob. 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.” And in Hebrews 12:16-17, it says “See that no one is sexually immoral, or is godless like Esau, who for a single meal sold his inheritance rights as the oldest son. Afterward, as you know, when he wanted to inherit this blessing, he was rejected. Even though he sought the blessing with tears, he could not change what he had done.” Everytime when we read the story of Esau, we might think that he is really foolish to have given up all his inheritance and blessings to a bowl of soup. We do not wish to be like Esau. But in fact, Esau has reflected the state of muddle-headedness that many of us may experience at some point in life.
Some are not just doing it in a moment of folly but have been so all along.
Now let us ask ourselves, did Esau do it in a moment of folly? It may not have been so, because he could have been like this all along in his living, not discerning and weighing out what is important and what isn’t. He might not have valued his birthright right from the start because at that moment, it was not something he could use or get a sense of its benefits. Therefore, Esau only cared about the present. In other words, his view towards life is quite narrow-minded. The book of Hebrews also mention that Esau is very worldly and in Genesis 26, we also see that Esau married a Gentile woman, causing his parents to be upset about it. In all these, we can see that he is not very faithful towards God and often meddles with matters of the world. If Esau were to be like Jacob, valuing his birthright, he would not have been so easily deceived. But of course, we believers will have moments where we may be weak and muddle-headed, but what is consoling is to know that, our loving God will not punish us that severely based on our moments of foolishness. However, if one is continually hardened in the spirit, living loosely, loving the world and losing sight of God over a long period of time, God will eventually judge the person severely.
How do we prevent ourselves from falling into a foolish spirit?
Beware of “exaggerated needs and emotions”
Now, while Esau was being deceived of his birthright, he said: “I am going to die”, when he was in hunger before Jacob. This is an exaggerated statement. No matter how hungry a person may be, missing a meal will not cause death. But the desires within Esau’s heart is too strong, causing him to magnify his needs. Sometimes, when we are too tired, too hungry, too lonely, in need of entertainment, our emotions and needs may be exaggerated at that instant, making us impulsive and even willing to sacrifice certain things to get what seems more precious. We have to be alert to such instances.
Be wary against the heart that wants to be quickly satisfied
Next, only young children or someone who is immature would always want to be quickly satisfied and get whatever they want immediately. They are impatient and not willing to wait on any delayed form of joy. Actually, God has a timetable for all the beautiful things that He will bring to pass, but Satan loves to trigger our hearts into distrust of God’s love, wisdom, timing and guidance. However, let us not neglect our true needs because of our current needs. It is important to note that what men really need is not the successes, wealth and health of the present life, but our eternal salvation and a close relationship with God. If we were to give it all up for the momentary satisfactions, we would be letting go of the communion that we have with God and that would really be a great waste. Therefore, let us not be impatient or impulsive, because these are usually traits of the foolish ones. When we are impulsive, we usually do not have a clear head of things, and much less the right heart to seek and pray to God, resulting in bad decisions and regrets. This is like how at times when we wake up in the morning, instead of praying, we immerse ourselves into scrolling through our phone or spending too much time preparing, even though we may be satisfying our needs or flesh for a little while, we are really losing a bigger stake. If we do not start the day on the right pedestal, in prayers and restoring our heart in faith, we will be leaving a foothold for Satan and it will be harder to guard our spirit throughout the day. Therefore, let us not go down the foolish path because we want to satisfy some momentary needs.
Rid off an arrogant heart
Also, the bible lets us see that when one is arrogant, they will also reveal their foolishness. When we assume that we are wise and get prideful, it is also the beginning of foolishness. As it says in Romans 1:22, “Although they claimed to be wise, they became fools.” Men are most foolish when we stop relying on our Creator and submit to the Lord, going our own assuming ways, following whatever path we deem fit. The principle on which God has created men is that <John 15:5> “apart from God, we can do nothing.” If we have a prideful heart and wants to be our own king, this in itself is a state of foolishness and will lead to more foolish decisions and actions.
Gain wisdom from God’s word and cling onto an eternal perspective
Finally, God’s word is the one that directs us to the ultimate truth and direction in all things we do. It tells us what is the path to wisdom and happiness. Therefore, following the way of God’s way will never be foolish. Also, we need to continually choose the wisdom in God, training ourselves to go to the truth of God as our first response and decision. The more we are used to turning to God’s wisdom, the lesser we will fall into foolish plights. Also, no matter how much wealth, blessings men’s love one may accumulate in life, we will eventually leave this world and face God. When that day comes, God will not be asking how much money we have made or how many people like us , but the important question God will ask is, “Have you truly admitted to your sins, repented, accepted Christ and lived your life according to My will? Have you been a loyal and kind servant?” Our temporal 70 to 80 years in this world can never compare to our eternal salvation and spiritual crown. Therefore, let us not be foolishly deceived further.
Brothers and sisters, may God use the sharing today to remind us to guard our hearts and minds so that we do not remain in a muddle-headed spirit but live a life that wants to know God deeper and submit to God’s wisdom day by day. God bless.