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You Decide

“You will live away from the richness of the earth, and away from the dew of the heaven above. You will live by your sword, and you will serve your brother.”

(Gn 27:39b-40a)

Life can drive us away. Away from all that is wholesome and good.

“But when you decide to break free, you will shake his yoke from your neck.”

(Gn 27:40b)

But God has a way of placing before us someone who will say “But when you decide…” Placing before us hope, empowerment . . . responsibility.

There can be deliverance . . . but we must first decide.

We must decide we want it. Because sometimes we “live away” of our own choosing.

I can say this with experience behind it. Trying to flee an unhealthy environment—desperate to get far, far away—I merely chose another one.

Then, what drives us away keeps us away. Often without realizing it’s our own blinding bitterness that does so.

The world provokes plenty of bad influences that claim its hostages:

  • Like fear that traps someone in an abusive relationship

  • Guilt can chain someone in co-dependency

  • Anger can anchor our hearts in a pit of unforgiveness

  • Maybe peers shame you into a corner

  • Or you’re held captive by spiraling, errant morals or false values

Captivity keeps us from the goodness of God. Even when it’s self-imposed.

There was a time in my life when I labeled myself a victim. I ostracized myself from others—thinking I did not belong. I chose to “live away.” I had to allow God to break that yoke and decide to re-enter the fold.

But it began with a decision.

That was the case for Esau. We read of Isaac’s blessing for Esau in Genesis 27. His “yoke” was his hatred toward Jacob. His blinding rage and thirst for revenge had a grip on him.

But somewhere before his reunion, in Genesis 33:4, Esau laid the yoke of hostility aside and broke free. He reached a point when he decided he wanted to be free from it.

I remember precisely when I came to that deciding moment. It was as an awakening. Literally. I remember waking up one morning with a clarity that I wanted to “go back.” I was done running. Being “far away.” I wanted to be free of those things in the past that gripped me.

“But when you decide….” The hope Isaac held out to Esau is a hope held out to all.

When you decide to turn to the Lord for freedom. For healing. For deliverance.

When you decide to . . . because you decide you want to break free.

When you decide to look to the Lord with a desire to forgive. Forgiveness cannot be had without much prayer. And the power that comes with forgiveness can demolish enslaving strongholds.

It’s a choice.

Would you rather “live by the sword”? Be subservient to one you’ve given power to hold you captive?

Or break free from that yoke that binds . . . suffocates?

Forgiveness and truth can set you free. But only after you decide.

So decide.

Come back to a place where heaven’s dew refreshes.

Plant your feet on the Solid Rock.

Persevere in prayer.

And break free.

You decide.


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