Have you ever felt stalked by God? Not really, but do you know what I mean? When a scripture turns up time again until it’s unmissable, and you know you need to spend some quiet time with God talking about it and hearing what he is speaking to your heart through the word.
Well, as if the story of the lost son wasn’t already on my heart hard enough, God ramped it up over the weekend, and it just seemed that everywhere I turned people were talking about the prodigal. It turned up in my devotional on Saturday. On Sunday night at church, there was a word for the prodigals, and on Monday morning I started a new podcast series, titled the signature of God, and low and behold, the preacher opened the message talking about Rembrandt’s prodigal son… I was thinking holy Moses, God you’re not letting this go! What more could this girl do but pray hard for those who are lost and have strayed? My heart is literally aching for them, isn’t that enough?
Well not being all that up in the world of fine art, I didn’t know a lot of anything about Rembrandt other than he was a painter, possibly a musician too… Kidding, that’s The Rembrandts, yes you know the friend’s theme.. who doesn’t?! anyways ….
So while the podcast played on, I googled this famous Biblical dictation. Well, right there I stopped listening to the podcast and really focused on the picture. There is the father welcoming home the prodigal, the prodigal on his knees with his head in his father’s lap, kind of looks like he is begging, and the older brother, I believe, lurking in the background in a fit of righteous rage. We have all been there feeling there don’t say you ain’t! when you have felt the sin had been forgiven way too easy!
Again back to the painting.
What really struck me was it looked like the son was begging. Well, that was my initial thought anyway, and that then led to me thinking how inaccurate the painting portrayed the heart of the father. However, after a bit of thought, I think possibly he was maybe on his knees in awe at his father’s kindness. I’m not sure. Either way, what I felt I needed to share from my pondering is this.
We don’t need to beg.
We all have our prodigal moments in life, whether it has been a five minute wander, a five-month wander, or a five year wander. We all have those times that we believe our way is better than God’s plan, or we know best, or we can do it without God. And then we realise that we were wrong and that father knows best. It’s then, what we decide to do at that moment. Because we can let shame, guilt, pride or regret stand between us and going back, or we could just simply go to God and say… I’m sorry, I was wrong, please forgive me.
NO BEGGING REQUIRED
So often people think that coming back to Jesus is an ordeal; you have to earn it or pay for your mistake. Yes indeed, there may be natural consequences that you will face due to your bad decision, but forgiveness can’t be earned, it can’t be gained, you can’t work your way to the top level of the forgiveness school. You just ASK and receive and allow your heart to be transformed through the mighty power of Jesus. Simples!!
Ask Father today, in what area of my life have I wandered away from your will?
Just a side note, don’t be a plonker and be the older brother in the story.
Lastly.. let’s get serious about our prodigals. Let’s pray big, bold, expectant prayers.
Take time today to read Luke fifteen and listen to who God puts on your heart and pray faithfully for them.
Praise God in the waiting.