“He also said, “A man had two sons. The younger said to his father, “Father, let me have the share of the estate that would come to me.” So the father divided the property between them. A few days later, the younger son got together everything he had and left for a distant country where he squandered his money on a life of debauchery.” (Luke 15:11-13)
“And rend your heart and not your garments. “Now return to the LORD your God, for He is gracious and compassionate. Slow to anger, abounding in lovingkindness and relenting of evil.” (Joel 2:13)
“You may be quite sure that in the last days there are going to be some difficult times. People will be self-centered and grasping; boastful, arrogant and rude; disobedient to their parents, ungrateful, irreligious; heartless and unappeasable; they will be slanderers, profligates, savages and enemies of everything that is good; they will be treacherous and reckless and demented by pride, preferring their own pleasure to God. They will keep up the outward appearance of religion but will have rejected the inner power of it.” (2 Timothy 3:1-5)
“While he was still a long way off, his father saw him and was moved with pity. He ran to the boy, clasped him in his arms and kissed him tenderly. Then his son said, “Father, I have sinned against heaven and against you. I no longer deserve to be called your son.” But the father said to his servants, “Quick! Bring out the best robe and put it on him; put a ring on his finger and sandals on his feet. Bring the calf we have been fattening, and kill it; we are going to have a feast, a celebration, because this son of mine was dead and has come back to life; he was lost and is found.” And they began to celebrate.” (Luke 15:20-24)
How do people go from an intimate relationship with God to just going through the motions of religion? I know people that started out so strong yet today have lost their fire and have let the cares of life drift them away from the Father’s heart. I was one of those people. How did I go from laying hands on the sick and casting out devils to a raging alcoholic for ten years? One word: DISAPPOINTMENT.
Disappointment that is not brought quickly to the Father can turn your spirit sour to the things of God. For me the disappointment came when my marriage blew up in my face. I turned on the Lord and asked bitterly “why didn’t You warn me about marrying him?” He did but I wasn’t listening.
I went out like the prodigal son in the Bible. Drinking and partying. Living a life of debauchery. But there are many of God’s people who have slowly stopped seeking His face in prayer because they are disappointed. They do all the “right” things. They still go to church and sing in the choir. They aren’t out fornicating or drinking. But their hearts are nonetheless prodigal. This is perhaps more dangerous than open sin and rebellion. Why? Because they are being “good Christians.” A form of godliness, but no inner relationship with Him.
When a person has a prodigal heart, they are open to deception because they have cut themselves off from the Vine. Because Christianity is not a religion, but a vibrant, living relationship with the Creator. We cannot survive spiritually without this intimate relationship. That is when “Christianity” becomes just another dead and lifeless religion.
The very first commandment of both the Old Testament covenant and the New Testament covenant is this: Thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thy heart and with all thy soul and with all thy might and strength.” How does God know we love Him? He knows when we OBEY Him. We are commanded to ABIDE IN HIM. This is the intimate relationship. But when we are disappointed by something or someone, it can fester into bitterness and unforgiveness…even against God.
It is such an easy fix though. Repentance. They same way the prodigal son came back to his father. He humbled himself and asked for forgiveness. He got way more than he expected! God will do the same for anyone who wants to come to Him or return to Him! His mercies are new every morning!
Have you been away from Him? Has your heart gone the way of the prodigal son? Just like the prodigal son’s father, your heavenly Father will run to you too! A simple prayer even if it is whispered can turn your whole life around. If you want to return to your Father, pray this prayer:
FATHER, I COME TO YOU IN THE NAME OF JESUS CHRIST. I CONFESS THAT I HAVE FALLEN AWAY FROM YOU. I CONFESS THAT I HAVE SINNED AGAINST YOU BY BACKSLIDING AWAY FROM YOU AND YOUR WAYS AND YOUR WORD. LIKE THE PRODIGAL SON O LORD, I HUMBLY ASK FOR YOUR FORGIVENESS FOR THE EVIL I HAVE DONE. I REPENT AND TURN AWAY FROM THIS EVIL LIFE I HAVE LIVED. I MISS YOU SO MUCH!
I NOW RECOMMIT MY LIFE TO YOU LORD JESUS. I WANT TO COME HOME! I WANT YOU TO BE LORD OF MY LIFE NOW AND FOREVER MORE! PLEASE FORGIVE ME FOR WANDERING AND WALKING AWAY FROM YOU. I’M SO SORRY THAT I HAVE HURT YOU. I ASK THAT MY SINS BE COVERED BY YOUR BLOOD. I THANK YOU FOR THE PRICE YOU PAID SO THAT I CAN BE CLEANSED FROM ALL MY SINS!
O LORD, FILL ME ONCE AGAIN WITH YOUR HOLY SPIRIT THAT I MIGHT LIVE UNTO RIGHTEOUSNESS WITH YOU! CREATE IN ME A CLEAN HEART AND RENEW A RIGHT SPIRIT WITHIN ME O LORD! I CHOOSE THIS DAY LIFE. AS FOR ME, I CHOOSE TO SERVE THE LORD!
I THANK YOU O GOD FOR RESTORING ME INTO FELLOWSHIP WITH YOU! THANK YOU FOR THE BLOOD OF JESUS THAT HAS CLEANSED ME! THANK YOU THAT LIKE PETER, I AM RESTORED AND I ASK LORD THAT WE WOULD CONTINUE OUR WALK AGAIN. USE ME TO ADVANCE THE KINGDOM EVERY DAY OF MY LIFE! I ASK ALL THESE THINGS IN THE NAME OF JESUS CHRIST! AMEN AND AMEN…
Don’t know Him?