Have you ever thought that a character in a parable was being dumb; that you would never do what they did, only to realise later that you have? I love the ministries I am involved in and I enjoy all of the challenges. There was a time when a part of me expected to be blessed because I served Him. I expected to be blessed financially, physically and spiritually. And I was. I was growing spiritually and in anointing. Through the ministry team I was witnessing miracles, healing and deliverance. I was healed of insomnia and migraine even though I did not ask for it, and in the 3 years of involvement in a healing and deliverance ministry, I had only been ill once. A part of me thought I was being covered and blessed because God was pleased I served him. But still, I was impatient, expecting more, thinking that I could have more. I got involved in some missions work, going out on the field, evangelising at rallies, bringing souls into the kingdom, sharing at outreaches and ministering also. There was a part deep in my heart that expected a divine transaction of blessings in return for service. At the very least I expected to have His presence. And when I didn't get it I wondered if I had somehow failed. So I prayed for an answer and eventually, I got one. One day while in Singapore I picked up a publication written by Sarah Allis Yang. In her book, the author related the all familiar tale of the Prodigal Son as told in Luke 15. We have heard that story preached over and over again. Among other things, the parable can be used to illustrate that everyone is saved at any time upon repentance; it can be used to show our Father's love for the lost; restoration for the sinner; as a call to pre-Christians; as an example of the behaviour that seeks the gifts and not the giver; or, we can talk about the elder son's attitude, which is what the author did. I realised that I had been like the elder son all along. Of course it didn't bother me if the lost got saved but I was out in the field (v. 25); I had been serving him obediently (v.29) and I did ask God where my blessings were. And God's reply would be the same as the father's in the parable. He says, "Son you are always with me, and all that I have is yours" (v. 31). Feeling really dumb at that point of realisation I repented. It is strange sometimes how a lesson is only learnt in our minds and falls short of true realisation. I have been taught well about grace, law and works and still I had not truly realised in my heart what I had committed to my mind. Our God is gracious so He blesses us because He is good. It has nothing to do with what we do or don't do. We can't earn our blessings (although we can pray for it). And God is God, we can't put Him into a box of our expectations. To be blessed, all we need is to be with Him. It is the relationship. He sees into our hearts and knows our motives. Serve Him with the right heart, draw near to Him and ALL that He has is ours. We are His children and this is our inheritance. Hey, I don't know about you but my Daddy is the creator of the universe! Back to the prayer closet :)
I've never really thought about the parable of the prodigal son in that manner. Of course, I've been that prodigal son (daughter) who returned to the fold and was blessed beyond measure. So I certainly understand that aspect of the parable.
Thank you for helping me understand the other lesson within the parable -- that the son who never left also had something to learn as well.
Great blog! Keep 'em comin'!