LOST AT HOME . . .

There is a story about two brothers and an amazingly, loving Father told in Luke 15:11-32, titled, 'The Prodigal Son'. We often read this story with little sympathy for the younger brother, feeling he was spoilt and greedy to ask for his inheritance, dishonour his father, travel afar, get lost and squander everything. However, at his lowest point he realised he was lost, remembered his identity and returned, broken and apologetic. The extravagantly loving father, so happy to have his lost son return home, celebrated him and reinstated him as his son.
 
The younger son asking his father for his inheritance 
There is a story about two brothers and an amazingly, loving Father told in Luke 15:11-32, titled, ‘The Prodigal Son’. We often read this story with little sympathy for the younger brother, feeling he was spoilt and greedy to ask for his inheritance, dishonour his father, travel afar, get lost and squander everything. However, at his lowest point he realised he was lost, remembered his identity and returned, broken and apologetic. The extravagantly loving father, so happy to have his lost son return home, celebrated him and reinstated him as his son.
When this story is read, little attention is given to the elder brother simply because he didn’t openly rebel or leave home. 
Being ‘lost’ in his case is more difficult to identify, because he seemed be doing all the right things. Outwardly, he was faultless, obedient, and dutiful. People must have considered him a model son. However, when confronted by the father’s joy at the return of the prodigal, a dark power erupts in him, and we see his resentment, pride, jealousy and hardness of heart! A closer observation of his attitude would show while he had stayed at home, he too was lost in some way. 

In Luke 19:10, Jesus tells Zaccheaus that He has come to seek and save that which was lost. In other words, at the fall we didn’t just lose the Lord’s protection from the penalty of sin, which was death. We also lost guilt and trust, lost peace with God, and the intimacy where we could lovingly talk, share and co-labour with Him. But because of Christ, the bible says we have been given every spiritual blessing in the heavenly realm (Ephesians 1:3). Are we, as sons and daughters, walking in all this and if not, could it be that we are lost at home? Let us look at how this mindset affects our relationship with Papa God. 

The older son very bitter
The older brother was angry and wouldn’t go in to the welcome party 

The Bible tells us that we are made in God’s image and likeness (Genesis 1:26). We are really supposed to have our hearts become more like God’s Heart daily. But much as the elder brother was at home with the father, he did not live like a son. If he received his father’s extravagant love, and loved him in return, he would have such intimacy. He would have known how much his father missed his younger brother, such that He would have had some joy at his brothers return, if only for his father’s sake. He did not see his father as the provider so kept toiling to earn the love and favour already available to him. Christ has paid the full price for us to walk as sons and daughters. Are we?

The religious spirit is another issue the elder brother seemed to be plagued with. The enemy sends this spirit to replace our relationship with Papa God, Jesus and the Holy Spirit. It is all about trying to attain the status of a higher being and has you forever striving to earn your salvation, whereas it was paid for by Jesus. It’s not about heart connection but about going through the motions. Lots of ceremony, but no power. People generally become open to this religious spirit because it keeps us busy with ideology, activity, and purpose. However it’s just not God’s purpose. The elder son was busy with lots of activity, but lacked any real love, devotion or commitment to his father or the Father’s business. 

  

Because God gave Himself to us in the Spirit, He desires we give ourselves to Him in love too. Often we struggle with this because we want Him in some areas of our lives but not in others. The Lord is looking for those who want to spend time developing an intimate relationship with Him. Satan does not mind what we do in our gatherings so long as they are ineffective. He loves when there is lots of activity but little Presence or power. The enemy doesn’t want us to pray for the sick or see instant healing like Jesus did. He would rather we pray without much faith and send people away. That way, the outcome is unknown and our faith doesn’t grow. 
 
Finally, the eldest son showed an unhealthy sense of familiarity. The home is the last place anyone would think they could get lost because we feel we know everything about it. However this is exactly why it can result in familiarity, breeding routine and contempt. I am not advocating going outside the confines of scripture, but a deeper understanding of what relationship means with Papa God. Like the elder brother, some have walked with Jesus so long that we have gotten so familiar and set in our ways. We have forgotten how exciting it was the first time we gave our hearts to Jesus, and how we were so overwhelmed with His love. We have prioritised routine, rather than childlike creativity, making it difficult to keep assessing our hearts to know when staleness is setting in. In some cases, church has become routine with little or no heart connection with Papa.

This goes against what Papa God sent Jesus to do for us. He paid for our sin and reinstated us back to how it was before the fall. Jesus modelled sonship for us so we could learn to flow in God’s grace. We sing the song ” I’m no longer a slave to fear, for I am a child of God” (by Jonathan David and Melissa Helser). However the question is, are we really walking as children of God? Are we enjoying the full benefit of all Jesus paid for? Are we aware that our Father is in the business of welcoming Prodigals home? 

PRAYER 

Spend a few minutes asking the Holy Spirit, if you are ‘lost at home’? 

Lord, if I have lost my way in anyway, I come to you today to say sorry. Show me what I need to repent of. Re-align me with your Heart, and give me a picture as you reaffirm me as you son/daughter. 

Spend time worshipping in His Presence. 

 

God bless you,

Mina x.