Message Series // Empty Part 2
Message Date // May 17, 2020 (Scotty Priest)
Over the past couple months, life has been turned upside down for almost all of us. The pandemic has led to a season that has required things of us we never expected. Parents have had to adjust to a life of managing homeschooling and work. Business has changed, leading to new work environments, and even potential job loss. For some life has ramped up, and for others life has come a boring halt. We have been living differently, and in a lot of ways we are tired. We are feeling dry, depleted…EMPTY. Along with all the empty streets, stadiums, schools, offices, and bank accounts…our souls are empty too. The weight of uncertainty and the mundane of the messy middle has left us depleted. We had plans, we were motivated…but days have turned into weeks and weeks have turned into months…and we’ve grown tired…EMPTY. Where do we go from here?
”Make sure that no one is immoral or godless like Esau, who traded his birthright as the firstborn son for a single meal. You know that afterward, when he wanted his father’s blessing, he was rejected. It was too late for repentance, even though he begged with bitter tears.” – Hebrews 12:16-17 (NLT)
When we look at the culture we live in, one word that can describe it is “instant”. We value looking for instant relief. We want things…and we want them NOW. In what ways do you see this desire for “instant” in the world we live in?
Take a look at a real-life situation between two fraternal twin brothers named Jacob and Esau by reading Genesis 25:27-34. In this story, we understand that Esau sold his birthright for an instant bowl of stew. This was a very unwise decision on Esau’s part because a birthright was everything to a firstborn son…double-portion of the family inheritance, future tribal leader, and one’s ultimate destiny. Esau sacrificed the FUTURE for the IMMEDIATE. If we are honest, we can find ourselves in the place that Esau was. In other words, when we are running on “empty” in life, we might not be the best decision makers. When we are on empty, it clouds our decision-making. How many times in your life could you tell this sort of story? Share some stories in your past where emptiness and weariness impacted important decisions you made.
We need to understand the decisions we are making today will impact the future. No matter how small they are, they can determine the direction of this one life God has given us. Read Hebrews 12:16-17 and learn from Esau’s decision. God’s heart is that we are wise in not trading the ULTIMATE for the IMMEDIATE. No matter what stage of life we are in, why is it so vital that we filter every decision we make through this principle…especially when we are living life on empty? How have you personally experienced the blessing of making a decision through this filter?
If we are not careful, we could be trading something ultimate for something immediate. What is a current situation you find yourself in, especially if you are feeling empty or weary, that you need to be aware of or change course? How can your small group help you? Don’t make big decisions on empty. Remember…it’s only a bowl of stew.