Most of us, if not all, are familiar with the parable of the Prodigal Son. The most common teachings of course being:
·The prodigal representing those who turned to a life of sinfulness after having known Christ but then return with a truly repentant heart and our received by the father with open arms
·The legalistic brother representing those who have never stopped serving God to live out worldly pleasures feeling much like him – “Why haven’t you done for me what you have done for him when I have been faithful? How can he be your son and worthy of your blessing?”
Could I suggest one more possibility? Is it possible to be a Prodigal that has never left his father’s house? I thinks so; please stay with me as I try to explain.
The prodigal son decided to do things his way. He didn’t believe that living in his father’s house, serving him, doing things his father’s way and being under his protection were necessary. Waiting on his father’s timing for his inheritance was too long. So he decided to do something about it. He asked his father for his inheritance. The father knew this was not good for him and that he may loose his son. But the father also knew that this child could not be reasoned with as he was stubborn, determined and right in his own eyes. Therefore, the genuine love and trust the father desired from his son could only come through and from the lessons, trials and sufferings the prodigal son would experience. So in his wisdom, which no one could comprehend, he gave his son his inheritance and gave him the freedom to choose.
Now many of us have never fully strayed from God or from “the church” so to speak, which is why we haven’t realized that we may have indeed left. However, when the great famines hit our lives, such as financial crisis’, marital problems, career failures and/or difficulties, rebellious children, sickness and death, we like the prodigal instead of turning to The Father we begin a journey to another land. No longer under our Father’s protection we squander our spiritual inheritance and end up in the enemy’s pig pen. Unbeknownst to us, as we tend to the pigs in the pen we begin to long for the slop they eat and ultimately begin feeding on it ourselves. How?
The enemy is the father of lies. When disaster comes our way we have two choices:
1. Believe God
2. Not believe God
When we choose to entertain the doubt that begins to pour into our minds like a rushing river the minute our circumstances become difficult, is the moment we have started off to our distant land. At first they are thoughts. But the bible is clear “For as he thinketh in his heart, so is he…Proverbs 27:3 KJV. As we continue to ponder these doubts they begin to influence our heart, mind and emotions. Once our emotions are fueled by doubt and we begin to believe what we see and feel instead of the truth of God’s word we are taking our inheritance and throwing it away just like the prodigal.
God’s word is the greatest treasure in the world. It is full of promises and hope to whomever seizes it. His word can not return to him void or empty; it must accomplish what it has been set out to do because God watches over his word. Therefore, God’s word is dependable and trustworthy. His word IS; not has been or will be but IS. His word is powerful, alive, active, operative, energizing and effective. His word brings life, healing, comfort, strength, hope, wisdom, knowledge and peace. His word is the bread of life and springs of living water. His word is a sword with which we fight and can with certainty overcome the enemy. It’s invaluable –it is our greatest treasure! The minute you entertain doubt confusion floods in. You are exchanging the gems of God’s word, which is eternal, for the counterfeit.
Your mind now full of doubt, confusion and lies leads you straight into the farmer’s pig pen. Unbelief leads you to think you have no choice but to starve and settle for the lies of the enemy – God has abandoned and forsaken me, things will never change, I can’t live through this or after this, I’m not good enough, etc. You ultimately begin to desire and long for the slop – more of the lies you have entertained. The reality you are living becomes your reality and for the moment, hopefully, you forget that at your father’s house there is plenty for everyone. Meanwhile you have defiled yourself. You feel hopeless, trapped, alone, unworthy and you begin to feed off the slop.
Have you become a prodigal? Have you tossed your pearls to the pigs? Have you been feeding on the slop of the enemy and find yourself starving to death spiritually? Have you left your father’s house? The Father in his great wisdom gave you the same freedom to choose. In his great and awesome sovereignty he knew that the circumstances He has allowed to touch your life would produce in your life the genuine love and trust He desires from you. He knew this love, devotion and complete surrender could only come through and from the lessons, trials and sufferings you would experience.
Will you like the prodigal come to your senses, get up and return to your Father’s house? The minute he sees you he will run to you, wrap his arms around you and kiss you! He will dress you in the finest robes of righteousness, the ones purchased by the blood of the lamb. He will give you his ring and celebrate with a great feast at your return!
I know. I was that prodigal. I never left his “house” to live for worldly pleasures but I stopped believing. Unbelief is a land that strips you of everything and leaves you destitute and broken. But now I am his child who was dead but is now alive!!!!!!!!!! Come home beloved, The Father is waiting with great longing for your return.