SHEPHERD TO SHEEP
THE PRODIGAL IN YOUR LIFE
(Jer 31:16) Thus says the LORD: “Refrain your voice from weeping, And your eyes from tears; For your work shall be rewarded, says the LORD, And they shall come back from the land of the enemy.
Is there a person in your life that has strayed away from the Lord? Perhaps they have outright just walked away from a vibrant relationship with Jesus Christ into the dark domain of the world and it’s ways. Or maybe it’s more of an inward rebellion that hasn’t manifested yet so much outwardly. Either way it looks like you have a prodigal on your hands. What are we to do when those we love so much love the world more than the Lord? How do we get them to return to their first love and back on fire in serving Him? Luke 15:11-24 records the popular Bible story of the prodigal (wasteful) son. Let’s notice some particulars that will encourage us.
- Notice first how the father let the son go (12). That’s hard to do with those we care about. Letting them go to get whacked in the world isn’t an easy task. The Lord will have to strengthen us. When we let go then the Lord takes over control. He will see to it that when they hit the bottom they will have a soft landing because He will be there for them. We want to spare our loved ones the hurt but that might be the very thing to wake them up (1 Cor 15:34).
- Then observe how the prodigal came to himself (17). That means the light bulb finally went on and the awareness of his desperate situation finally hit him (1 Kings 8:47). You see when we walk in deception we are blinded to the truth (2 Cor 4:4). It’s the Spirit’s job to bring conviction of sin (John 16:8). When the heart softens (Eze 36:25-27) then the Spirit is allowed to do His work of strengthening that person to repent (2 Cor 7:9-11) and then to change and make amends (Jer 7:3-7).
- So what does the concerned person do in the meantime? Don’t worry…pray! (Phil 4:6-7) I’m sure the father in the story had to remind himself constantly not to worry but to wait. The situation’s in the oven. Don’t take it out until it’s ready. If you keep taking it out and worrying over it then you hinder the overall progress. Get yourself a prayer partner and pray, pray, and pray! What is granite to the rock crusher of prayer? Yes it’s taking a long time but do you want your prodigal to return with a half or a full heart for the Lord?
- Then be ready to receive your prodigal. Notice how the father saw his son return from a great way off (20). That means he was watching and waiting anticipation. He received his child back and lavished him with love and gifts he didn’t deserve (20-24). No condemnation (Rom 8:1). Welcome home!! Let’s forget the past and move forward. Fresh new start!!
Keep up your shield of faith and turn your cares into prayers (1 Pet 5:7). They’re almost home!!