Discovering what love is one day at a time
When your little boy gets a wound on their knee…and it bleeds…you can be sure he is going to want a band-aid. Yet there is something about letting a wound be open, to bleed and then scab that allows it to heal faster..I wonder if there is fear… that we have to cover up to protect from infection? Leaving it out in the open and vulnerable allows the healing process to begin.
Pride is the sin that cheats our Father in Heaven from the credit due Him and Him alone. It is an insult to the Kingdom of God.
Grace changes everything. Grace is unmerited assistance. Grace is giving honor where it isn’t deserved. Grace empowers through honor, respect, trust and truth. Grace has nothing to do with agreement…Honor has nothing to do with agreement.
Grace and mercy…He gives it freely. He gave us His perfect life for our sins. Not a fair trade . It definitely looks like we got the better end of the deal. We have nothing to offer accept our broken lives.
So there is this story of the prodigal:
“Then He said: “A certain man had two sons. And the younger of them said to his father, ‘Father, give me the portion of goods that falls to me.’ So he divided them to his livelihood. And not many days after, the younger son gathered all together, journeyed to a far country and there wasted his possessions with prodigal living. But when he had spent all, there arose a severe famine in that land, and he began to be in want. Then he went and joined himself to a citizen of that country and he sent him into his field to feed swine. And he would have gladly filled his stomach with the pods the swine ate, and no one gave him anything” Luke15:11-16
The younger son took his inheritance as something that would be spent…He took what he thought he deserved…He lived under the principal of sow and reap…get what you deserve…got what you work for. He was under a curse, because even when he worked…he did not receive anything…..do the right thing and the wrong still happens… I love how the father honored the son…and gave him what he asked for, allowing the son to make a choice even when he probably did not agree with the decision he would make. Knowing that in his lack of maturity and wisdom he would make mistakes…but yet still honored him. He did not tear him down He built him up by trusting him. He empowered him by giving him his wealth, his trust, and his respect.
“But when he came to himself, he said, ‘How many of my father’s hired servants have bread enough to spare, and I perish with hunger! I will arise and go to my father, and I 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 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 the 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 is lost and is found.’ And they began to be merry.” Luke 15:17-24
So the son…has revelation…he comes to himself….awakens, and sees his wrong thinking, and takes responsibility and is willing to come back to his father as a slave, yet the father has been waiting and watching for the son and receives him as if there is no old history, and restores him to his place of honor within the family.. He clothes him with identity, authority, and purity. And then celebrated with him, rejoicing over his return.
“Now his older son was in the field. And as he came and drew near the house, he heard music and dancing. So he called one of the servants and asked what these things meant. And he said to him, ‘Your brother has come and because he has received him safe and sound, your father has killed the fatted calf.’ But he was angry and would not go in. Therefore his father came out and pleaded with him. So he answered and said to his father, ‘Lo, these many years I have been serving you; I never transgressed your commandment at any time; and yet you never gave me a young goat, that I might make merry with my friends. But as soon as this son of yours came, who has devoured your livelihood with harlots; you killed the fatted calf for him.’ And he said to him, ‘Son, you are always with me and all that I have is yours. It was right that we should make merry and be glad, for your brother was dead and is alive again, and was lost and is found. “Luke 15:25-32
So the older son proceeds to complain against the father…accusing him. Not only that but he definitely is competing to control instead of empowering. And when there is competition for control…there definitely is an attempt to change the leadership structure rather than deal with the heart issue .For example, has your toddler ever thrown themselves on the floor to get their way…same principal…Children cannot control the parent…if they do…they take away the place honor. If you take away the place of honor, you take away the place of blessing. And yet the father still pleaded with him, to enter in and share the blessing. Grace. Mercy.
The older brother tried to make rules for the blessing. Tried to make conditions for the blessing. He found fault with his brother and not with himself.
Both children were children of the same father. One chose to stray the other chose to stay. Both had equal access to the inheritance.
Webster’s dictionary defines prodigal…to drive away, squander, wasteful, and of one who has returned after absence.
One of the sons was wasteful in the way he lived, and he returned after an absence.
One of the sons squandered in the way he lived…he had everything…yet was negligent. Wasteful.
Both sons were loved. Both sons were honored. Both sons were given choices.
Both sons lived in the kingdom of grace.
Jesus Christ took the place of dishonor, so that we could have His place of honor. He took what we deserve so that we could have what He deserves. We have been empowered with an inheritance incorruptible. He has given so much…and only because He loves us. He still honors us, even when He doesn’t agree with us. Even if we are living in a manner that is unproductive, and not glorifying to Him. He never changes…He never gets polluted by our stuff..He never compromises honor. He has given us His honor and He calls us to a royal priesthood.
I have lived my life as a prodigal. I spent the first 28 years of my life running to use the wealth of my inheritance to my liking. At some point, after a medicated depression, the Lord brought me to myself and I saw the need to return to my Father in heaven. I was willing to return as a slave, and He clothed me with His identity, His authority, and His purity. With open arms…as is…with terrible habits, attitudes, language, and reputation. He clothed me as if none of that ever was..,. He gave me a new history beginning on that day…Like a brand new car…brand new car smell. Grace undeserved, mercy covering all that had been. He covered my shame…took it away. And replaced it with honor. What a celebration it was.!!!
For some reason I quit rejoicing. Still living as a prodigal, like the older son, instead of modeling honor, that I received free, I required, I still took the reigns, and made myself in charge of the leadership structure…so I did not have to deal with heart issues. My heart issues. Little by little, the Father has been breaking down those walls… those areas of idolatry in my life. Those places that try to stand taller than the Lord that exalt themselves over his grace mercy and goodness. Places of accusation, fault-finding, judgment. Simply put, I imprisoned myself and others in place of dishonor. When you take away the place of honor you take away the place of blessing.
Please forgive me for my selfish motives for cultivating my pride, for finding fault with you to make myself comfortable. For my intolerance of weakness…when I was just as weak or even weaker still and I used false modesty, self-justification, impatience, over-sensitivity, self-righteousness to disguise or hide my pride. Which only just fueled it more. I pray that my relationship with you will be one of open vulnerability, that I will not cover wounds to protect myself, but be more concerned about honoring you.
My desire is that what I cultivate in my heart would be pure, so that on the outside that is what will be produced. For I know that we are not the products of our external environment. For whatever we cultivate in heart is what we produce.
“One thing I have desired of the LORD, That I will seek: That I will dwell in the house of the LORD All the days of my life, To behold the beauty of the LORD, and to inquire in His temple” Psalm 27:4
I have been married to my wonderful husband for 22 years. We have two young men ages 18 and 13.. This blog is somewhat of a journal and attempt for me to keep a purposeful perspective on life as a whole.