by David Brenneman
Have you subtly moved from the path that God intended for you?
Have you been more interested in your desires, finding your pleasures in life than you are in what God has for you to be doing?
In the story of the Prodigal Son, his leaving his Father began a long time before he physically left the property of his Father. His attitude, his disposition, shows that he really cared not for those things his Father saw as important. Disobedience to his Father began long before we see it.
His Father, for his part, allowed him to find rock bottom. He knew enough that if he kept him from finding it he would never have his son back again.
Scripture says to bring up a child in the way they should go and when they are older they won't depart from it. Proverbs 22:6.
They indeed may go away for a time but through prayer many return.
The Father, for his part, daily, watched the horizon for his son's return. He obviously prayed and was expecting God to do something in the life of his son.
This too is Scriptural. Micah 7:7-8 NASB "But as for me, I will watch expectantly for the LORD; I will wait for the God of my salvation. My God will hear me. Do not rejoice over me, O my enemy. Though I fall I will rise; Though I dwell in darkness, the LORD is a light for me."
Mark 11:24-26 NASB "Therefore, I say to you, all things for which you pray and ask, believe that you have received them, and they will be granted to you. And whenever you stand praying, forgive, if you have anything against anyone, so that your Father who is in heaven will also forgive you for your offenses. But if you do not forgive, neither will your Father who is in heaven forgive your offenses.”
Do you pray and essentially walk away from your initial deep concern for someone? If such a person was important enough for the Spirit to bring them to mind, doesn't that warrant our attention?
We are not called of God to be part-time Christians. Part-time Believers. We are not taught to make room for some new teachings on how to live and not let go of what we've been doing. We are not to think of a life in Christ as something optional.
Paul taught of putting off the old self and its practices. That is the ways we did things, how we behaved, how we thought.
We read that once what he thought about living life was stripped away, only then did the son realize the truth and only then return to his Father.
Sometimes it has to be that way. That we lose so much that we finally understand.
We also see another truth. Jesus is a single decision away from our return to God. One choice to turn and He is there.
We who are truly in Christ WILL see sanctification happen in our lives. Willingly or not so willingly it will happen.
The character of Christ Jesus will be what replaces our character. Our thoughts will become as He thinks. Our desires will change.
Have you turned from God? Let today be that day you go back.
Have the things of this world become too attractive and you're ensnared? That too is a decision away from freedom.
We must choose to obey. We must choose to make whatever is important to Jesus important to us.
We must be persistent in prayer. We must not be the one to decide what is trivial to bring to God in prayer.
We must not think we know enough about others or ourselves to stop praying concerning both.
We must not at all think that we're safe and have arrived.
We must not give up in seeking first His kingdom and His righteousness.
We must not give in to cowardice, we must pray for boldness.
We so quickly forget that we too came to Christ because of someone else's persistent prayer. The Father persistently prayed and watched the horizon for the Godly answer.
Not just the answer that he wished for but the Godly answer.
If you have even in a small way turned from God, turn back today. He's ready to run to you. He's ready to do all the work if we but choose to return.
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