|Just like a Lookout - God see's All of You - The Good, The Bad and The Ugly. Nothing Comes as Surprise to Him.|
Although we may not realize it, one of the choices we can make is to remain bound by the choices of our past. That actually is one of the devil's biggest tricks. You see, if you are bound by your past choices you can't move forward. You are stuck in the mire of you. What are you going to do?
I don't know how long the prodigal of the Bible was stuck in the muck of the decisions he made, the Bible doesn't tell us how long he stewed in his own mess, but at some point he chose to move forward. Luke 15:17 simply says that he came to his own senses. It was then that he decided to humbly make the trek back home.
Prodigal, the point is that he came to his senses and he made the trek back home. Remember that Jesus is the one who is sharing this parable. The choice was always the prodigal's to make. He could remain in the messy mire he had created for himself or he could choose to go forward.
Are you feeling stuck? Are you feeling despair? Alone? Like you just can't get it right? If you have come out of your prodigal situation, are you constantly beating yourself up for whatever choices you had made? Nothing you have done has surprised God. Here is the thing you need to remind yourself when that mire tries to crawl back into your mind and make you bound by it. God loves you. HE LOVES YOU - RIGHT WHERE YOU ARE. Right here as you read these words - He's loving you. He brought you to this blog, He wants you to know how very special you are to Him, regardless of the choices you have made in the past. He is the God of the past, the present and the future and each day that He gives you, He is telling you by giving them to you - that today is a new start. A fresh new sheet of life to write upon. He is giving you another chance. If God can give you another chance - don't you think YOU should give YOU another chance? Put the past behind you. Talk to God. If you are feeling bound, tell Him. He knows it already, but just like when you know someone loves you - isn't it still nice to hear them say it? Tell Him. You know, sometimes I think God wants us to share what is in our heart not because He doesn't know it already, but He knows that by verbalizing certain things, it helps us. It helps us to put things into perspective, especially if we have been mulling them over in our own heads.
I don't often share what I did in my prodigal time. What it was that made me become a prodigal. I guess its because I don't know why I chose to do the things I did, how I got to the point of doing them in the first place... It's also that its not something that I ever thought I would become or an experience that I'm proud of, however I can tell you that becoming a prodigal is not an "overnight" experience. It starts with your thought process and then an action and before you know it, it has snowballed into an experience you never thought you'd ever go through or experience. The important thing is not how you became a prodigal, but whether or not you decided to remain one. There is no degree of sin with God. Sin is sin, but the great thing is this - Jesus died on the cross for forgiveness of our sins. Our way out of being a prodigal is nothing other than Jesus. There is no other way out. The pathway back home is Jesus. He is the way, the truth the life, the only way to get to Heaven. He is the one who breaks whatever bondage you have been in, extends His hand out to you - and in doing so the only thing you need to do - is take it. Simply take it. He is the pathway back home to the Father. And the beauty of it is that once you take His hand and allow Him to pull you out of the mire - He will walk with you all the way back home if you allow Him to not only back to the Father, but for all the days of your life. The choice is yours.
And it doesn't end there. You see, good can come out of bad. Once Jesus leads you back home to the Father, and you become an "ex-prodigal" God can/does use your experience if you allow Him to to help someone else. I felt lead to share my prodigal's experience with a Christian I had just met and I thought in doing so, that they would judge me, that they would be disgusted with me, that they would distrust me - but much to my surprise, I had found out that they had just gotten out of the same type of prodigal situation themselves and that my willingness to be open and transparent with my own walk, was helping to strengthen their own. In sharing with them my prodigal experience, it helped me to be able to verbalize (put in to words) something that I was never going to tell anyone, it was just a whisper to God, because I know that God is omnipotent and sees ALL. Sometimes part of the healing He has us go through not only for ourselves, but for others - is to share the experience and that truly helps us to put it behind us and to move forward.
The Bible tells us:
"He will throw our sins into the sea of forgetfulness." (Micah 7:19)
God's Word is not a book of lies - but of truths. God wants you to be whole and healed. God is in the habit of working through people and His desire is for you to be that vessel that can be filled with His Holy Spirit and poured out so that others will know His love. I am almost certain that the prodigal, upon returning home and being moved and humbled by the outwardly show of his Father's affection (afterall the story tells us that his father met him half way!) What better way for the prodigal to make amends and move forward with his future than to humbly share his experience with others so that they would not make the poor choices he had made? Or perhaps he was able to help extend the right hand of fellowship to those who had made poor choices so that they would not emotionally be stuck in the mire or bound by the decisions that they had made?
Tomorrow (should God choose to give us the gift of another new day) what choices are you going to make? Once a prodigal does not mean "always" a prodigal. Think carefully now and remember that Jesus willingly gave up His life for you. He obviously thought you had worth or He wouldn't have done it. Isn't it time YOU thought you had worth? Move forward, it's time.
"For I know the plans I have for you," declares the Lord. "Plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future. Then you will call on Me and come to pray to Me and I will listen to you. You will seek Me and find Me when you seek Me with all your heart." (Jeremiah 29:11-13)