21 Day Dare: Day 9-Dare to Feast With Him
A lost son, a bitter son and an extravagant Father.
Who misses the feast?
11 And he said, “There was a man who had two sons. 12 And the younger of them said to his father, ‘Father, give me the share of property that is coming to me.’ And he divided his property between them. 13 Not many days later, the younger son gathered all he had and took a journey into a far country, and there he squandered his property in reckless living. 14 And when he had spent everything, a severe famine arose in that country, and he began to be in need. 15 So he went and hired himself out to[a] one of the citizens of that country, who sent him into his fields to feed pigs. 16 And he was longing to be fed with the pods that the pigs ate, and no one gave him anything.
17 “But when he came to himself, he said, ‘How many of my father's hired servants have more than enough bread, but I perish here with hunger! 18 I will arise and go to my father, and I will say to him, “Father, I have sinned against heaven and before you. 19 I am no longer worthy to be called your son. Treat me as one of your hired servants.”’ 20 And he arose and came to his father. But while he was still a long way off, his father saw him and felt compassion, and ran and embraced him and kissed him. 21 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.’[b] 22 But the father said to his servants,[c] ‘Bring quickly the best robe, and put it on him, and put a ring on his hand, and shoes on his feet. 23 And bring the fattened calf and kill it, and let us eat and celebrate. 24 For this my son was dead, and is alive again; he was lost, and is found.’ And they began to celebrate.
25 “Now his older son was in the field, and as he came and drew near to the house, he heard music and dancing. 26 And he called one of the servants and asked what these things meant. 27 And he said to him, ‘Your brother has come, and your father has killed the fattened calf, because he has received him back safe and sound.’ 28 But he was angry and refused to go in. His father came out and entreated him, 29 but he answered his father, ‘Look, these many years I have served you, and I never disobeyed your command, yet you never gave me a young goat, that I might celebrate with my friends. 30 But when this son of yours came, who has devoured your property with prostitutes, you killed the fattened calf for him!’ 31 And he said to him, ‘Son, you are always with me, and all that is mine is yours. 32 It was fitting to celebrate and be glad, for this your brother was dead, and is alive; he was lost, and is found.’”
I had the honor of sharing my story with my home church on Sunday. Part of my story is my pattern of self proclaimed righteousness. I was lost in doing and performing trying to earn the love of the Father for most of my life. I was even at times prideful of just how "obedient" I was. I am sure there were times, even unintentionally, I cast judgement at others that had fallen short of my perfectionism. My understanding of righteousness was far from the TRUTH, and it entangled me in performance and chiseled away the life in me.
I wanted to share this parable with you today, because I know many times I have looked at it and focused on the lost son. I struggled with how lavish the father was for a child that had squandered his wealth, and I often sided with the "good" son and even pitied him because I was just like him, right?
How different I see this story now! First, I want you to focus on the extravagance of the father. The son probably rehearsed his plea to his father to take him back as a servant the entire way home. However, the father never even gives him the opportunity to plea, because he sees him in the distance and runs to embrace him. He gives him a robe, a ring, and calls for the feast to begin. He wasn't angry or disappointed but delighted that a son dead was now alive.
Some of us stay away from God feeling that we have gone too far away or wasted our gifts or because our tiaras are too tarnished. We see here that the Father cares not where you have been or what you have done, but that you turn and come home. He is for us! His love is unconditional, and His longing is for US to return to His arms. This story paints this image so beautifully for me now.
The second part of this story that speaks loudly to me now is that the only person that misses the feast is the one that was "obedient." The "good" son couldn't even celebrate the coming home of his brother, because he was jealous and bitter. He refuses to go in and celebrate, even after the father goes to get him. Sadly sometimes we strive more to be right and "good' than in relationship at all. I have certainly been there myself.
What I know now is that righteous is not about right living, but about right standing, thinking and believing. Abraham believed the Lord, and it was credited him as righteousness. Genesis 15:6
God is not after performance or religion, but relationship. I don't know how today speaks to you? You may feel unworthy to come home. You may be missing the relationship lost in duties. What I love is that the Father sought both brothers out to come in and feast.
Whether we are lost in rebellion or religion, He stands beckoning us to go deeper in relationship.
Our Dare today is to Feast with Him. If you have been wandering, run to Him knowing that He will see you in the distance and come for you. He is for you! He is on your side! He can't wait to wrap His arms around you. You are His beloved!
If you are so lost in duties that you have missed His presence, then today drop everything and seek His face. Seek ye first the kingdom and all things will be added. Nothing is more important than you finding Him. It is the greatest plan He has for you...to find HIM!
Perhaps you are in relationship with Him, but find yourself casting stones at those who are not. Today, will you celebrate with your sisters or brothers regardless of what they have done, but because they have come HOME!
I so love this song by Kari Jobe. Perhaps, you need to breath today and taken in this truth...He is for you!!!
In His Grip,