A Daily Word from the Word for Monday, April 28, 2014
“But he [the older brother] 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.’” – Luke 15:28-30
While I was drifting off to sleep the other night, the Lord began speaking to me about the prodigal son. Many of us have either read the story, or heard of it. Numerous messages have been preached, and countless accounts have been penned, filled with the ink of rich revelation. I encourage you to read this parable, which is found in Luke 15:11-32. How appropriate that St. Luke tells it, as Luke was a physician—a healer; and healing starts with the matters of the heart.
Likewise, this story deals with the heart: the heart of the father, representing God’s pure and amazing heart of love; the prodigal son’s heart—a rebellious and self-centered heart that repented, and through this act of repenting, came to the place of true son-ship and submission; and the older and “obedient” brother’s heart, a heart wrought with the uncircumcised flesh riddled with rebellion.
“Now hold up, Brother Matt,” I hear some of you already saying. “The older son is the one who stayed with the father the entire time and was obedient to him, while the younger son asked for his inheritance, left to live a life of ungodly living, and then came home, only to have his father completely forgive him and throw this liable lad a feast. And you are going to come down on the older son? Have you lost your mind?”
I did lose my mind, family. I traded in my mind a long time ago for the mind of Christ :-). Regarding the condition of the two brothers, the older and “more obedient” brother had an ailment of the heart that was far more dangerous than the younger brother who went prodigal.
The prodigal son had a misfire in the mind which traveled to his heart. It is easier to correct the thinking of the mind; thereby breaking through and causing a heart to repent. Sadly and more serious, the older son had a source problem: his matter originated in his heart. It is easier to repair a mind, than to mend a broken heart. And it is far more dangerous to allow matters of the heart to go unattended.
The older brother’s obedience came from a place of rejection, rather than a place of genuine submission. This precious firstborn son had rejected his father’s love somewhere along the way, which opened the door for resentment to enter in to his heart, which then ushered in a fouler foe—rebellion.
Yes indeed family, it is very possible to be obedient and rebellious at the same time. It is no different than, when you tell a child to sit down; and although they may be physically sitting down, they are defiantly standing up in their heart. This is a very dangerous position and condition—this act of rebellious obedience.
When you serve up obedience from a place of rejection, you are walking in rebellion. Don’t believe me? Then I refer you to Lucifer, God’s most glorious and highest ranking angel, who allowed rebellion to enter his heart; and as a result was cast out of heaven and lives today to torment the people of the earth (Isaiah 14:12-17, Revelation 12:7-12).
I believe that God pleaded with Lucifer for a time leading up to this point (as He did with Adam and Eve, and evidenced here with the conversation between the older son and his father); and it was ultimately this angel of light’s choice to blatantly and willfully reject and defy God’s love, which displaced him from God’s Holy Heaven.
Love and hate cannot co-exist for very long. Ultimately, a choice must be made. 1 John 1:5 testifies of this truth that “God is love and in Him is no darkness at all.” And 1 John 4:18 settles the matter as it cleanses the temple: “There is no fear in love; but perfect love casts out fear, because fear involves torment. But he who fears has not been made perfect in love.” And rejection of love, my brothers and sisters, is a form of fear.
The story of the older brother is never concluded, as it presents a call to all of us. We are left with a plea from the father’s heart to the son’s heart: “And he [the father] said to him [the older son], ‘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 15:31-32). Most of us have some of the older brother’s heart in us to varying degrees. The invitation is open, and the choice is ours to make.
Are you having heart problems lately, my brother? Experiencing some persistent heartburn, my sister? If you find yourself agreeing in indignation with the older brother, then I gently suggest you consider bringing your heart to the Father’s altar and laying it there, where He longs to strip away the world’s doing, and heal your brokenness.
Father, we repent for walking in rebellious obedience. Forgive us for every time we sat down in our physical position, but remained standing in defiance in our heart. We say “yes” to Your call, Your invitation, to bring our broken hearts to your altar. Heal our brokenness, Jehovah Rapha (God our Healer); Circumcise our hearts. Break the spirit of rejection off of us, Most Holy Father, and mend us with Your love. In Jesus Name, we thank You that we cry Abba, Father, because You have adopted us as your sons and daughters (Romans 8:15). Amen and Amen.
Take action! Challenge your thinking! Choose to forsake rejection of God’s love for Your Divine Daddy’s unconditional acceptance of you. Choose to lay down your broken heart on the Father’s altar and allow Him to circumcise your heart. And continue to fight the good fight of submitting to the Love of the Father; for God, Whom you love because He first loved you (1 John 4:19), has already given you the victory!
If you have never received Jesus Christ as your personal Lord and Savior, I encourage you to do it today, right now, by saying this prayer out loud: “Jesus, forgive me for my sins. I am sorry. I truly desire to be saved and reconciled back to God, my Father, through You. I receive Your sinless Blood as payment in full for my sins—past, present, and future. I now call You my Lord and Savior, and invite You to live within my heart, and to permanently live within me. I make You Lord over me and over my life from this moment on. Amen.” Congratulations! You are now a child of God, made whole and made new, by the Blood of Jesus Christ!
God tells us that we are blessed to be a blessing (Genesis 12:2). Be a blessing to someone by sending them this word of encouragement. If God did not already put someone in your spirit and on your heart that needs to read this uplifting message from above, simply ask your Heavenly Father who to bless on today. Forward this message right now by email, facebook, or twitter.
Jesus is coming soon!
May God Bless you and keep you always.
With warmest regards,
And, in service of The Most High King,
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All references to Hebrew and Greek words and meanings, unless otherwise noted, are taken from the New Strong’s Exhaustive Concordance © 1990 by Thomas Nelson Publishing. All dictionary references are taken from the Merriam-Webster online dictionary © 2014, unless otherwise noted.