You probably have someone you love who is living in a world all his own…a fantasy world of sorts because he believes the lie of the enemy. Maybe the lie affects one area of his life…maybe the lies have gotten so big that he can barely find any truth anymore.
It is tempting to feel that he can never find his way, because he is so steeped in his faulty thinking that he truly believes he is living out his best life.
When we think of our loved one that way, we are taking God out of the scenario. We do that by saying, “Well…he/she has choice.” True, but only a half truth. Why do we remember and recite “choice” more than we remember and recite the story of the prodigal? Why do we remember and recite “choice” more than we remember how Jesus pursued his first disciples? They were just going about the daily! They weren’t trying to “find God”. They weren’t looking to repent of their own selfish ways. They were just bringing in the bacon, like other fishermen in their village.
Well, you say…they weren’t living in terrible sin…they hadn’t rejected family and God and everything else worthy and good. True, but Jesus pursued them!
Let’s think of Paul. Is your loved one worse than Paul? He tortured and killed Christians…sought them out! He was a Hitler in his time, wasn’t he? Don’t you think he lied and manipulated in order to murder believers? He lived in his own self-righteous world. He wasn’t pursuing Jesus! Jesus pursued him!
Don’t forget the prodigal. Could anyone get any worse? He rebelled and insisted that he deserved his father’s money…now! You think that was one conversation? I doubt it. It only makes sense that he was wreaking havoc in order to get his own way. When he finally wore his dad down…he left and lived in the worst kind of extravagant sin that one could live. He was happy…doing all he had dreamed of doing. Had his dad been able to peek, I am certain he would have felt his son would have no reason or desire to come home.
He “had choice” and was busy making his own choices.
God stood back and let him make those choices. He let his choices bring about consequences. He wanted to live the high life. He wanted to be out from under his family and any control (wisdom?) they might offer. He wanted to do life his own way.
He had choice. He chose. His choices destroyed his inheritance and his relationship with the father and mother who truly loved him. It all looked very permanent.
All the while that His dad was praying, watching and waiting…God was working. His dad didn’t see the work…but I believe he had faith and hope. Otherwise…why would he have watched for his son and recognized him from far off. He would have long since given up and stopped watching/hoping.
Our God is greater than the enemy who feeds the lies to us and to those we love. The truth is, He is at work in them, as long as we are praying. While praying, we must allow God to work out our own broken, destructive, faithless places. Why would God bring our loved one back to us only to have us destroy the work He has done in them through our own (possibly hidden) version of control and unforgiveness? Thankfully, his dad had a very different heart than his brother!
God is at work in those you love…and yes…in you. Remember, you too have choice. Are your choices helping to make the way for your prodigal to return?
His timing is perfect. His work is perfect.
Yes…your loved one does still…“have choice”!
1 John 4:4 (KJV)
4 …greater is he that is in you, than he that is in the world.
James 1:2-8 (NIV)
2 Consider it pure joy, my brothers, whenever you face trials of many kinds,
3 because you know that the testing of your faith develops perseverance.
4 Perseverance must finish its work so that you may be mature and complete, not lacking anything.
5 If any of you lacks wisdom, he should ask God, who gives generously to all without finding fault, and it will be given to him.
6 But when he asks, he must believe and not doubt, because he who doubts is like a wave of the sea, blown and tossed by the wind.
7 That man should not think he will receive anything from the Lord;
8 he is a double-minded man, unstable in all he does.