Luke 15:11-32, Romans 8:26-27, John 10:10
Matt Willoughby encourages us receive God's forgiveness and unconditional love.
'But while he was still a long way off, his father saw him and was filled with compassion for him; he ran to his son, threw his arms around him and kissed him.' (Luke 15:20)
I wonder if you've ever felt held back in your walk with God? Perhaps the words of others, or the words you speak over yourself, have kept you from truly believing that the faith you once had is something you can still experience in new and amazing ways today.
Growing in faith doesn't need to be a bygone time of life, and thankfully, you don't need to wait for a special occasion once every few years to experience the joy God wants to bless you with. In fact, I believe that we don't need to wait for anything at all. If you've chosen to follow Jesus and accept Him as the leader in your life, then by His Holy Spirit who guides us (and even prays on our behalf, see Romans 8:26-27), we have all we need to have a radically wonderful faith right here and now, today.
God's on our side, Jesus has set us free from our mistakes, we have all we need to live a life of fullness (John 10:10). So what's holding us back? My answer would be this: perspective.
At this point I want to encourage you to cast your eyes back over Jesus' parable of the prodigal son (Luke 15:11-32).
The younger son ran away from the Father's love and ends up in a pig sty after spending the inheritance. What happens next shows the difference in the perspective of the son and the father - the son was so ashamed that he could barely muster the courage to go back. He convinced himself that the only way back was to offer himself as a servant, and lose the title of 'son'. His perspective was in his past - the money wasted, the bad choices, the way he'd treated his father. No doubt he was telling himself there was no way he'd be accepted again, that his father (God) wouldn't want to take him back. Any of that sound familiar?
How does the father react to the situation? He ran to the son. He left behind all his dignity to run all the way down the road. The son, head drooped and eyes filled with tears, may not have even noticed his father waiting for him in the distance.
To me, the most amazing thing about this part of the story is that the father was waiting a long way off, waiting for his son to return.
God our Father is always waiting for us to come back, whether we feel like we deserve it or not. That's the perspective of our Father. It's an everlasting, love-filled, unconditional longing to see us just turn to Him and know we're deeply cared for. For every bad word we speak over ourselves, He has many more to cover us with.
So, maybe this is the question for you to dwell on: do you believe you've done something that disqualifies you from God? It might sound silly at first, but really think about it. Do you allow yourself to think the best days with God are over?
Whatever holds you back today, make this your prayer, "Lord, please give me your perspective on my life. Show me myself through your eyes, and not my own. Help me to realise I am loved beyond measure, and I don't have to do anything to earn it. In Jesus' name, amen."The opinions expressed in this article are not necessarily those held by Cross Rhythms. Any expressed views were accurate at the time of publishing but may or may not reflect the views of the individuals concerned at a later date.
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