We have an area of our yard that is fenced in for our dogs, large enough for them to run and play in. Their freedom, so to speak, is limited to this area, the fence is too high for them to jump over, there are two gates, and as long as those gates are secured, we can feel relatively sure that when we go to let them back into the house, they will be in that fenced in area.
“All we like sheep have gone astray; we have turned every one to his own way; and the LORD hath laid on him the iniquity of us all.” (Isaiah 53:6)
Although they are part of our family, if by some means there was found by them a way to get out, they would, not out of malicious intent or a desire not to be a part of our family, but because they are animals, and animals have a tendency to wander. They follow their nose.
The prodigal son chose to wander, and his father not only allowed him to, but enabled him by giving him his part of the inheritance. Some sheep my friends, simply put their nose to the ground and wander, and when they finally have had enough, when they finally come to themselves and look around and see that they are lost, they realize they do not know the way back home.
Worldly desires will do that to the one who has been born-again at times, not intentionally seeking for sinful pleasures, but pleasures of the world nonetheless. Wealth, fame, recognition from others, these all have a subtle pull, and we all have nose rings, all we can be led astray.
“And when he came to himself, he said, How many hired servants of my father’s have bread enough and to spare, and I perish with hunger!” (Luke 15:17)
Sometimes we come to ourselves, we realize the futility of pursuing those things of the world, how they will not last, how they have drawn us away from the One who loves us.
And sometimes the Father allows it to happen.
Grace my brothers and sisters, in this regard, can only be realized and fully appreciated by the one who has been lost and then found by the Good Shephard.
You must contemplate this though, if that prodigal son had invested a part of his inheritance wisely, if he had been a little more cautious with the financial wherewithal that he had, if he had not run out of money, would he have went back home?
“But he that knew not, and did commit things worthy of stripes, shall be beaten with few stripes. For unto whomsoever much is given, of him shall be much required: and to whom men have committed much, of him they will ask the more.” (Luke 12:48)
Here we find the trap, the deceitfulness of credit cards, of borrowing power, of layaway plans, of “buy now, pay later,” of zero percent interest. Here we find sheep that wander intentionally, that know full well what they are doing, who sin and still expect the Father to bless them.
One does not need to have fallen into the deceptive lie of the Prosperity Theology to willingly walk into this trap, in fact, many who profess Christ do not even see these actions as a sin, they do not see them as a lack of trust in the Lord, as a lack of patience. Instead, in some convoluted way, what they see is that if it is available, it must be of the Almighty. Satan is so subtle, is he not?
“Be careful for nothing; but in every thing by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known unto God.” (Phil. 4:6)
And if the Lord does not answer those requests as they desire, well, there is always a work-around, there is almost always a way to get what we want, isn’t there? If you don’t run out of money, if you never end up in the trough of the pigs, then you must be in the good graces of the Almighty, right?
Our dogs, if they ever got out of the fence, would not be able to find their way home. Do you know where your fence is? Are you willing to stay in the boundaries of it?