Skip to main content

Prodigal



In the story of the Prodigal Son, the father represents God the father, while the prodigal son represents those of us who have strayed away from God and come back home. It teaches us that no matter how far away we stray, God will always be there waiting for us to return. It also teaches us the relationship with God is what He longs for.

We know that the prodigal son represents a person who is already a Christian. How do we know that he represents a Christian? Ephesians 1:5 tells us that God "predestined us for adoption to sonship through Jesus Christ." (NIV) Romans 8:16 says that, "The Spirit himself testifies that we are God's children." (NIV) So when we are His children, we are heirs of God and co-heirs with Christ. (Romans 8:17 NIV) This lets us know that the Prodigal Son was indeed representative of a Christian--not someone who doesn't know God.

When the prodigal son went his own way, he broke off the relationship with his father. He did horrible and degrading things. He squandered his entire inheritance. At his lowest point, he ate the food of what was considered one of the most unclean animals. He realized that even the servants (not sons) of his father lived better than he was living. He was so ashamed and distant, he was willing to trade his son-status for that of a servant. He just wanted to be back in the presence of his father, even if that meant he didn't have a relationship with him anymore. He never thought he would be worthy to continue being his father's son or be in relationship with him. He had just done too many horrible things.

At what point did he stop being a son? He never did. He always remained a son. What he lost was relationship. Upon his return to his father, he was greeted with compassion, hugs, kisses, and a feast. He was immediately provided a robe (the father's protection), a ring (the father's authority), and sandals (the ability to go and do the father's work). He never stopped being a son, and he re-gained the relationship when he was able to humble himself and turn away from the pigsty.

So how does this look to us in the 21st Century?

It's the same picture. We fall away, we do degrading horrible things. We sin. We have sex outside of marriage. We drink. We do drugs. We're selfish. We're arrogant and narcissistic. But we never stop being sons or daughters. However, we are out of relationship with the Father. God deeply desires the relationship with his sons and daughters. James 5:8 says, "Come near to God, and he will come near to you." (NIV) We are heirs of God and co-heirs with Christ to the kingdom of heaven, yes, but God wants the relationship with us, too. We only have to humble ourselves and turn away from the pigsty. That's the key. The son decided to leave the pigsty. He had to leave the sin behind. He had to take action. He didn't know how it would turn out--but we do. When he returned to his father, he knew he couldn't live in both worlds. He had to leave the sin behind to be in his father's presence and to live as his son. Do we? Do we try to live in the pigsty of sin, sex, drugs, selfishness, lust, gluttony--but then turn around on a Sunday and all of a sudden be in His presence? We have to humble ourselves and leave the pigsty behind.

Special Thanks to Greg Jenks for co-writing this one with me.

Comments

Popular posts from this blog

Jesus Would Advocate for Civil Disobedience

In March, executive orders from governors across the country forced us to stay home, to close schools and churches and to shut down private businesses. Businesses were classified as either "essential" or "non-essential." All businesses deemed "non-essential" were forced to close. This included markets, clothing stores, boutiques, dine-in restaurants, and beauty salons. State parks, city parks, beaches, walking trails, lakes, and other wide open spaces were closed as well.

Many people feel that the "social distancing," as it has come to be known, and stay at home executive orders violate their constitutional rights, such as our first amendment right to freely exercise our religion, our right to peaceably assemble, and that we shall not be deprived of life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness. Some of the people who feel their rights have been violated have decided to exercise their First Amendment right to protest. Some have even chosen to defy…

Covert Red Flags: The Real Things You Should Be Looking Out For in Relationships

Your relationship with your spouse should be the closest human relationship you ever have. As we are dating, we are assessing whether or not that person could potentially fit into our inner circle. This causes us to be on high alert for red flags. Most red flags are obvious--lack of communication, anger issues, irresponsibility, controlling behavior, abuse, etc. A quick Google search will bring up list upon list of red flags we should look out for. Being rude to waitstaff, not making your relationship public, not caring about XYZ, stone walling, gaslighting, and more can all be found on most lists.

But what about the covert red flags? Those things that are less obvious. My first marriage taught me to look out for the overt red flags like the ones found in every advice column. My second marriage taught me to look out for covert red flags, ones that I never even realized were red flags until I could look back. The entire time we dated, I kept looking for the overt red flags, and there …

Because of Who I Am

Someone posted on Facebook the other day the following:
Why would you fight for someone who clearly doesn't want you? Please let them go. You are valuable, just not to them. I thought about it for a minute, because I indeed fought for my husband when he clearly didn't want me. I fought for our marriage, even when he had zero interest in making our marriage work. He had already checked out and told me point-blank that he just didn't want to work on our marriage, but yet I fought on my knees before the Lord.

Throughout the first few months of our separation, I prayed day-in and day-out. I beseeched the Lord to intercede. I rebuked Satan, and I prostrated myself before the Lord God Almighty. I went to therapy, and I watched sermons online. I listened to every Jimmy Evans podcast I could find. I journaled and devoured God's Word. I wrote my husband scriptures and prayers daily. I soon filled a 100-page journal front and back.

Shortly after he left in June, God told me tha…