Why are some of us attracted to darkness while others want nothing
to do with it? At some point in life, all of us are faced with a choice
to turn to the left or turn to the right. The prodigal believes there
are two choices; believers see only one. Firmly rooted in Jesus Christ
through faith, while they may have questions or doubts, ultimately the
Holy Spirit enables them to understand the truth. When confronted with
choices in life, they turn back to that truth over and over again.
So what is different in the life of a prodigal? For me it was
insecurity and a lot if immaturity. I bought into the lie that what
people thought of me was most important. I thought that if I would give
in to the world-view that life would be easy; I just wanted to go with
the crowd. But my adoption of the world-view did not erase the feeling
that I was not good enough. We all know that the standards the world
sets for us make us never good enough.
The other day I was reading my Bible and I came across Ezekiel 3: 16 –
21 ESV. The passage is a conversation between the Lord and Ezekiel.
The Lord told Ezekiel to share the truth with the stubborn Israelites.
Ezekiel thought it was pointless because they had hard hearts and did
not want to listen. Nevertheless the Lord encouraged Ezekiel to share
the truth because by doing so they then at least had the opportunity to
change. Here are the verses:
16 And at the end of seven days, the word of the Lord came to me: 17
“Son of man, I have made you a watchman for the house of Israel.
Whenever you hear a word from my mouth, you shall give them warning from
me. 18 If I say to the wicked, ‘You shall surely die,’ and you give him
no warning, nor speak to warn the wicked from his wicked way, in order
to save his life, that wicked person shall die for his iniquity, but his
blood I will require at your hand. 19 But if you warn the wicked, and
he does not turn from his wickedness, or from his wicked way, he shall
die for his iniquity, but you will have delivered your soul. 20 Again,
if a righteous person turns from his righteousness and commits
injustice, and I lay a stumbling block before him, he shall die. Because
you have not warned him, he shall die for his sin, and his righteous
deeds that he has done shall not be remembered, but his blood I will
require at your hand. 21 But if you warn the righteous person not to
sin, and he does not sin, he shall surely live, because he took warning,
and you will have delivered your soul.” The verses really cut to the
point, when we by the power of the Holy Spirit share the faith and the
truth, he enables the prodigal and the unbeliever to change their lives.
Sometimes the prodigal or unbeliever is not open to hearing the good
news, you may even be put off by their thinking and that there is not a
chance they will ever change. But when we ponder on the incredible love
that the Father has for us, the Holy Spirit softens our hearts and is
able to work through us.
How can you prevent your child from never leaving the faith? You
can’t. But the Holy Spirit is at work in you, when as a parent you
share the faith with your children, as they grow up in your household.
Then when your children are adults, the Holy Spirit is there to help you
continue to share the faith with them as you interact in their lives.
Once again, the Holy Spirit is there to guide you and to help you “stand
in the breach” for the prodigals, whether they are our children, our
siblings, our parents or our friends.
The Holy Spirit is a gift from the heavenly Father through the Son to
us and is here for us to help us in these types of situations. He can
create opportunities for us to share the truth with the prodigal. We
often forget that we are living examples of how the Lord works through
people. Just by walking and living in the faith, we show how the Lord
has been with us through difficult times and even in our celebrations.
Then the Holy Spirit can encourage us to keep on praying for our
prodigal, when we feel like giving up. He is the one that gives us hope
when we think about our prodigal’s lifestyle. The Holy Spirit can even
give us insight into what may have caused or is causing the prodigals
hardening of heart. With this knowledge we are given understanding so
that we can empathize and relate to the prodigal. When we feel like
giving up we need to remember, we are not alone; the Holy Spirit is at
work in and through us.
It is great to know, heavenly Father, that you are at working in our
lives by your Holy Spirit to accomplish your purposes in and through us.
Forgive us when we fail to remember this and act as though we are in
this all by ourselves. We cut our losses and withdraw from being your
bridge people to our loved ones and to others around us, when they do
not seem to respond. Empower us through your word to be your people and
live in confidence that you will accomplish your purposes through us. We
pray in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ. Amen.
Bible Verses | ESV
Genesis 25: 21 | And Isaac prayed to the Lord for his wife, because
she was barren. And the Lord granted his prayer, and Rebekah his wife
1 Kings 8:28 |Yet have regard to the prayer of your servant and to
his plea, O Lord my God, listening to the cry and to the prayer that
your servant prays before you this day,
I Kings 8: 37 – 39
37 “If there is famine in the land, if there is pestilence or blight or
mildew or locust or caterpillar, if their enemy besieges them in the
land at their gates, whatever plague, whatever sickness there is, 38
whatever prayer, whatever plea is made by any man or by all your people
Israel, each knowing the affliction of his own heart and stretching out
his hands toward this house, 39 then hear in heaven your dwelling place
and forgive and act and render to each whose heart you know, according
to all his ways (for you, you only, know the hearts of all the children
2 Kings 20:5 | “Turn back, and say to Hezekiah the leader of my
people, ‘Thus says the Lord, the God of David your father: I have heard
your prayer; I have seen your tears. Behold, I will heal you. On the
third day you shall go up to the house of the Lord,’”
Job 22: 26 – 28
For then you will delight yourself in the Almighty
and lift up your face to God.
27 You will make your prayer to him, and he will hear you,
and you will pay your vows.
28 You will decide on a matter, and it will be established for you,
and light will shine on your ways.
Psalm 6:9 | The Lord has heard my plea; the Lord accepts my prayer.
Psalm 42:8 | By day the Lord commands his steadfast love, and at night his song is with me, a prayer to the God of my life.