He ate and drank, and then got up and left. So Esau despised his birthright. (Gen. 25:34)

ESAU HAD IT ALL. He didn’t have to work to prove he was worthy of his father Isaac’s blessing. He didn’t have to be smarter, stronger, or more righteous than his brother. His inheritance, the covenant promises God gave to Abraham, authority over the entire family, and even a special place reserved for him at mealtimes were all his simply because he had been born first. All he had to do was accept his birthright.

Instead, Esau showed contempt for this gift. As we might say today, he “blew it off.” We don’t read of him saying to Jacob, “You must be crazy! Why would I do such a foolish thing?” You’d think he might have even tried to overpower his “quieter” brother. Wasn’t Esau the mighty hunter? Couldn’t he have just threatened Jacob with a pop in the jaw? No. Unwilling to protect his precious gift, Esau traded his birthright for a meal.

Likewise, we have been given a gift from our heavenly Father. The indwelling Holy Spirit provides everything believers need to live a holy life. He convicts us of sin, He reminds us of what we’ve learned, and He even prays for us when we don’t know what to say. And Romans 15:16 says we are “sanctified [set apart for holiness] by the Holy Spirit.” We simply have to accept the help He offers. In our pursuit of holiness, may we never “shrug off” the precious gift of the Spirit.

Listen for the Spirit’s voice today, reminding you to be holy!

Mary McNeil Blackford is a full-time student and freelance editor. She and her husband, Rick, live in Erie, Pennsylvania, with their three dogs.