We're going to jump right in from where we left off in my last post. It is important to read the previous post (if you haven't) before reading this one. Click this link to go there: Restoration - Part 4
"But the father said to his servants, 'Bring out the best robe and put it on him, and put a ring on his hand and sandals on his feet. And bring the fatted calf here and kill it, and let us eat and be merry; for this my son was dead and is alive again; he was lost and is found.' And they began to be merry." (Luke 15:22-24)
It is so tempting and it would be quite easy to go 'straight preacher' mode right now and break down each one of these important and incredible actions of the father. I've preached all of them at least a couple of different ways over the course of my ministry life. Today I want to go a direction I never have though. It is sure to be encouraging for any 'prodigals' who are very afraid of what might happen if they attempt to return to their 'Father'.
One of the BIGGEST challenges and hurdles to overcome when 'returning home' after months or even years of 'prodigal' living is the cycle of insecurity, rejection, guilt and shame. I say cycle because each of those enemies can easily become companions that will attempt to visit you every day and night. If they cannot prevent you from returning home, they will surely try to make your return as miserable as possible. If you cannot overcome them it is even possible that you will self-sabotage your life again and find yourself back out on that lonely road. The way the Father interacted with his son was so powerful in that it left no room for these enemies of restoration to get even a smidgen of victory!
I am well acquainted with each of these horrendous enemies acquired from that prodigal road. In my season of restoration I quickly realized that they MUST be defeated and removed from my life, or else they would spill over into my family and affect our today and our tomorrow. By the grace of God I learned that the same thing that would bring defeat to that cycle, would also bring healing to so many other areas of my life as well. It is simply this: the overwhelming love of the Father for His kids. Nothing more, nothing less.
If you are trying to come home to the Father but feel some of these enemies trying to hold you back, this is for you:
He has not taken His eyes off of you since the day you left home. He's been looking down that lonely road waiting for you to start your painful journey home. He sees how the insecurity, rejection, guilt and shame is more attached to your soul than the sin-stained clothes are attached to your body. And before He ministers to your exterior, trading your dirty clothes for His best robe, He wants to minister to your interior...by wrapping you up in His loving arms. Even while you are still dirty. Let there be no doubt in your mind as to the heart of the Father towards you. There is no room for that pathetic cycle in His embrace...it is only big enough for ALL OF YOU! He has a robe with your name on it. He has a ring that only belongs to you. He has some brand new shoes for your feet. He is waiting to throw YOU a party! What are you waiting for?!!