Had a conversation with a co-worker yesterday about how she spent many years believing she was accepted by God, but at a lesser level than other believers – that due to some failing on her part, she could never enjoy the full and free acceptance originally intended for her. It reminded me of the story from Luke 15, usually referred to as the parable of the prodigal son, or the lost son, but which I maintain should be known as the parable of the Love of a Father.
You will remember that part of the story after the Father welcomed the son back home, put a ring on his finger, sandals on his feet, a robe on his back and ordered the servants to prepare the fatted calf – you know, the part of the story that came after the welcome home party – the part where the son moves into the small cabin out on the back of the property. He was indeed recognized as a son, but well you know, he had a history. It just wouldn’t be right for him to move back into the big house with the family – right?
It occurred to me that this is the way many of us live our lives. Because we have somehow blown it we are now damaged goods, and while our Heavenly Father accepts us back into his kingdom, we can never scale the heights once intended for us. Oh, we would never say this out loud – we know the truth in our heads – adopted as sons, the whole business, but we don’t REALLY believe it do we?
Why not? I think this question warrants some serious consideration. Why do we have a tendency to fall into the trap of believing that we can never be what God intends us to be. I hate to say it, but I believe the answer to this question is perhaps worse than if this wrong belief were true.
I believe the answer is that we consider ourselves more powerful than God. We are essentially saying we have the power to make a mess God can’t clean up. This kind of thinking is dangerous, not to mention heretical. I am much happier believing that my Dad, the King of the Universe says my forgiveness is full and free; I prefer to take Him at His word. Have we all blown it at times? Of course we have. But don’t make the mistake of believing the lie that God is not strong enough or loving enough to clean up your mess.
I love what Paul said when responding to the Galatians who also were falling back into a belief that “it” somehow depended on them. Galatians 5:1 – It is for freedom that Christ has set us free. Stand firm then, and do not let yourselves be burdened again by a yoke of slavery.
I like that a lot…
TJM Leadership Team