‘For this son of mine was dead and is alive again; he was lost and is found.’ Luke 15:24
Earlier this week I was encouraged to ‘invite’ God in and ask Him to do a work in my life. I’m not against, necessarily, these kinds of requests, from the pulpit and other platforms. I have grown up with and under invitations like this and many more. The fine print communicates a distance between a and b, the reason why and the number of miles required to span the gap. The scenery is familiar as I have been “a long way off” before.
Truth be told, the void is not on God. The missing link does not rest at the feet of my Lord and Savior. I am the one who runs in a different direction when Jesus calls my name. I am the one who doubts water can come from the rock. I am the one who discourages the unknown from the known. I am the one who denies Him ‘three times’ in front of my peers. I am the one who placed the crown of thorns on His head and I am the one who mocks the phrase ‘king of the Jews’. I am the one who demands proof that the nails really punctured His skin when God shows up to save me from my predicament. I drew the map, defined the legend and purposely pinned my location a safe distance from the responsibility of true accountability and refinement. The distance is on me.
But, as I grow and get older, I am challenged to think differently. To lead my heart towards a different view of the canvas. Having grown up in a world of ‘doing things for God’ I am now able to comprehend just what happened at Calvary. As I pray for wisdom bits and pieces from the third and ninth hour fall to the ground, opening my eyes to the actual message preached from the Cross that sultry evening.
The father ran to the prodigal son not because he needed to hear he was sorry. Not because he needed him to work hard in his field. Not because he did a good job washing the windows. He ran to his son because he wanted to be with him and there was no prerequisite for that. There is no list of items to accomplish before he can sit at the dinner table. The son is the guest of honor and the Father simply wants to be with him.
Be encouraged brothers and sisters. Our Father continues His pursuit of you, even when the span is great. He will pursue you even though this may not be the first offense, and if you are like me, it certainly won’t be the last. Until the safety of His arms encircle your precious head, the pursuit will be vigorous and relentless. He loves you, adores you and designed you, down to the very last strand of hair. And when you ‘come to your senses’ and are found safely in his grip you too will find a fattened calf on the pit and the finest robe awaiting your embrace.
‘And sings my soul – How great His love is.’