A Prodigal’s Perogative

I Know Better

Read Luke 15:11- 24  And he said, “There was a man who had two sons.  And the younger of them said to his father, ‘Father, give me the share of property that is coming to me.’ And he divided his property between them.  Not many days later, the younger son gathered all he had and took a journey into a far country, and there he squandered his property in reckless living. And when he had spent everything, a severe famine arose in that country, and he began to be in need. So he went and hired himself out to one of the citizens of that country, who sent him into his fields to feed pigs. And he was longing to be fed with the pods that the pigs ate, and no one gave him anything.

 “But when he came to himself, he said, ‘How many of my father’s hired servants have more than enough bread, but I perish here with hunger!  I will arise and go to my father, and I will say to him, “Father, I have sinned against heaven and before you.  I am no longer worthy to be called your son. Treat me as one of your hired servants.”’ And he arose and came to his father. But while he was still a long way off, his father saw him and felt compassion, and ran and embraced him and kissed him.  And the son said to him, ‘Father, I have sinned against heaven and before you. I am no longer worthy to be called your son.’ But the father said to his servants, ‘Bring quickly the best robe, and put it on him, and put a ring on his hand, and shoes on his feet.  And bring the fattened calf and kill it, and let us eat and celebrate. For this my son was dead, and is alive again; he was lost, and is found.’ And they began to celebrate.

The prodigal son had had enough of “this provincial life.” He wanted more.  He wanted to plot the course.  He was ready to strike out on his own.

Or so he thought.

How often do we think we know better than God?

In Luke 13:34 we read how God loved His children, but they did not want Him.  “How often I wanted to gather your children together as a hen gathers her chicks under her wings, but you were not willing.”

God has a plan for each of us.  But He won’t force it on us.  He desires to gather each of us to Him, but He allows us to choose if we want the shelter of His protection.

That shelter price can be costly: it requires we yield our hearts’ desires to Him.  Choose His path for our moments, our days, our lives.

When we yield to God’s plans, we are also under His protection.  When we follow His laws and openly repent when we don’t obey, our hearts, our attitudes, and our actions will show our sincerity.

He knows our hearts.

When our hearts are in tune with Him, He will protect us.

But when we turn from Him, we are willingly rejecting that protection.

In the story of the prodigal son, he needed to truly hit bottom, physically and emotionally.  He was tired, hungry, and cold.  Tired enough, hungry enough, and cold enough to drop the prideful swagger and meekly return home to admit, ‘I didn’t know better.’

And yet, his father saw him in the distance and came running to meet him.  He didn’t need to walk that last mile back alone.  And neither do we.

God does the same with us.  He knows when our hearts are turning and He’s ever-ready to welcome us back, celebrating our return.  But, he lets us choose when we are ready to surrender to His open arms.

Reflections:

 Monday:  When did I think I knew better?  What did I learn from that experience.

Tuesday: What is my attitude toward God?  Do I currently think ‘I know better?’

Wednesday:  What am I not yielding to Him today?

Thursday: Reflect  on a time when you did yield to God, although it was hard.  What was the end result?  How did you view the outcome?

Friday: Reflect on a time when you had to ‘hit bottom’ in order to truly surrender.  That last mile back is always labeled the hardest.  Yet, did you sense God coming to carry you that mile?

Thanks for reading!  Please return by next Monday, August 19, for the next post.

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