Almost finished! Just a couple more posts left until I complete this series on restoration. Remember, my goal is not to be exhaustive, but rather to keep it simple, offering help and hope along the way. All of these posts have been written in 10 to 30 minutes (but I am drawing from a personal well!). A big thank you to everyone for the words of encouragement over this series!
Today I am going to extract one little thought that the Lord showed me in my season of restoration. It is found in the prodigals 'speech preparation'. I call this the 2/3 principle.
"I will arise and go to my father, and I will say to him, 'Father, I have sinned against heaven and before you. I am no longer worthy to be called your son. Treat me as one of your hired servants.' (Luke 15:18,19)
Sounds great right? What an amazing expression of brokenness and picture of a truly repentant heart. Owning up to his sin, his mistakes. Ready to take responsibility and accept the consequences, regardless of what they may be. What an emotional unveiling of his soul, realizing that his sin has even stained his family. Can't you hear in his rehearsed yet honest speech that all too familiar feeling of rejection? He is no longer 'worthy' to be called his father's son, and to be accepted as a servant would be such a fitting end for his story, or so he thinks. The prodigal makes his journey home and you know how it goes...his father sees his son while he is a long way off and with reckless abandon runs toward him, wrapping his arms around him as he continually kisses him. Talk about setting an atmosphere for what comes next, the moment of truth, the confession:
"And the son said to him, 'Father, I have sinned against heaven and before you. I am no longer worthy to be called your son.' BUT the father said to his servants...'" (Luke 15:21,22)
Wait a minute. Just...wait. What just happened? He was not finished yet...he had another whole sentence he needed to say! He was only 2/3 through his confession! "Treat me as one of your hired servants." That was part of the rehearsed speech! The New King James Version says it like this, "Make me like one of your hired servants." Why did the father cut him off? Is there some mistake in this portion of the story? Perhaps the writer of Luke forgot to include this seemingly insignificant sentence? NO. Let me sum up our 2/3 that is necessary and the 1/3 that is out of order:
1. 'Father, I have sinned against heaven and before you.' YES, pour your heart out to Him as you confess your sin and what you have done. Know that as you are, He is wrapping His arms of mercy, compassion and love around you.
2. 'I am no longer worthy to be called your son.' YES, tell Him how you feel. Sin and failure robs you of your worth. Get it all out there. Bare you soul. He will deal with your lack of self-worth...that is what our next post will cover. Guilt, shame and condemnation are a by-product of sin. There are things internal that must be dealt with, and restoration not only deals with the sin, but with the affects it has had on your life; emotionally, physically, psychologically, and yes, spiritually.
3. 'Treat (or make) me as one of your hired servants.' NO, to thinking you get to dictate your future, good or bad. You can't tell Him what to make you or how to treat you. That is not your call, it is the Father's. The Road of Restoration will carry you all the way back into the Father's home, restoring your dignity, identity, and purpose. He gets to call the shots and tell you who you are. And oh boy, let me tell you, you would much rather Him tell you who you are and what you need to do rather than trying to tell Him how you think it should be. So get to cracking on the first 2/3 and then shut your mouth and let Him take care of that last 1/3.
If you're getting something out of this series, please let me know! Love you all!