A first century doctor devotes an entire chapter of the Bible to illustrating the lengths to which God will go to search for lost and wayward souls. Luke 15 is broken down into 3 stories about a lost sheep, lost coin and prodigal son. For every wrong turn you may take in life, there is a Shepherd and Father who is waiting for you to make a U-turn back toward the Lord. Unfortunately, when most people get lost, pride or a stubborn heart keeps you from asking for directions to get back on the right track.
Your word is a lamp to my feet and a light to my path, Psalm 119:105.
Most prodigal stories resemble the 40 year journey of Israel from the Exodus out of Egypt to the promised land. Perhaps human nature is to blame as I’ve done my own wandering away from the Lord. One of my college friends once told me, “stop using Jesus as a crutch.” When times were good, I had a tendency to go off on my own, leaving the Lord behind as my Bible collected dust. Yet, when I broke my ankle playing sand volleyball just before my final year of college, this was a sign to come back to Jesus.
If we live by the [Holy] Spirit, let us also walk by the Spirit. [If by the Holy Spirit [g]we have our life in God, let us go forward [h]walking in line, our conduct controlled by the Spirit,] Galatians 5:25.
Unfortunately, most of the time things aren’t so obvious. This is where the Holy Spirit can intervene, to guide you back home. However, the context of the passage above includes an internal tug of war. Human nature feeds on cravings, desires and impulses that can ravage souls if not contained, Galatians 5:16-18. The apostle Paul provides crucial advice in 1 Corinthians 10:13. The next time you make a wrong turn by ending up in a tempting situation, look for the way out as you listen for the Holy Spirit to guide you back home.
by Jay Mankus