Running Back to God
“But when he came to himself, he said, ‘How many of my father’s hired servants have bread enough and to spare, and I perish with hunger! I will arise and go to my father, and will say to him, 'Father, I have sinned against heaven and before you, and I am no longer worthy to be called your son. Make me like one of your hired servants.' And he arose and came to his father. But when he was still a great way off, his father saw him and had compassion, and ran and fell on his neck and kissed him. And the son said to him, ‘Father, I have sinned against heaven and in your sight, and am no longer worthy to be called your son.’ 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 15:17-24)
The King James Bible says the Prodigal Son went away to a “far country.” When we step out of God’s will, we also enter a far country, even if we never leave our hometown. Satan beckons with promises of new experiences and entertainment. “Come satisfy your curiosity,” he whispers.“This is the way to really live.”
The reality of the “far country” doesn’t fulfill Satan’s empty promises. Then our thinking becomes fragmented, and we lose our sense of purpose. Instead of pursuing righteousness, we drift through life, squandering time, money, and often relationships.
Believers traveling in a “far country” pour days and dollars into things that bring only temporary satisfaction. God-given talents, ambition, and joy are wasted on pointless pursuits.
Inevitably, without God’s guidance, we make foolish decisions and find ourselves in want. We may be in physical need of food or cash, or we may find ourselves in a wretched emotional state—feeling isolated, unloved, or rejected. We learn the hard way that sin does not satisfy.
The ultimate end to such a journey far from our Father’s home is our personal “pig pen”— the place where we finally realize life is empty. Having traveled so far to reach this new low, a person may wonder if God can ever love him or her again. The answer is yes. We cannot out sin the reach of the Lord’s grace. We can repent as the Prodigal Son did.
If you are in a “far country,” come home to the restoring forgiveness of your Father God. Let Him greet you as He does any prodigal child—with rejoicing.
"God loves us just the way we are but He loves us too much to leave us that way."