The story is told of a younger son who left his father’s place and went on his own to live a life he would soon regret. He spent all he had until he had nothing left. When he found himself among pigs eating their food, he realised that his decision brought him to a bad state. This is the well-known story of the Prodigal son told by Jesus in St. Luke 15:11-32.
Maybe you are a youth who grew up in a Christian home and in rebellion, you left. Maybe you are a former believer who due to offence left your congregation and God. So why did you leave your place? Was it hardships? Was it the appeal of pleasures? Tribulation or persecution because of your faith? The truth is all these are a part of the Christian journey. Does returning to “Egypt” make it better?
Hear me O backslider, when we leave our place in God to return to a life of sin, we reduce ourselves from a prince or princess (Child of the King) to a slave. Having come to salvation in Christ and choosing to go back to sin is similar to a “dog returning to his own vomit” (Proverbs 26:11).
One decision Can Change the Direction
The story did not end with the Prodigal son living among pigs. Due to his decision to “arise and return to his Father” (St. Luke 15:18-20) he was able to experience forgiveness and restoration to his original place. The same can be true for you.
God Stands Ready to Forgive
You may say I am too far-gone or I have done some terrible things or the Church will not take me back. Be assured by God’s words that ‘if you confess your sins, He is faithful to forgive and to cleanse you’ (1 John 1:9) because “God is longsuffering towards us, not willing that any should perish, but that all should come to repentance (2 Peter 3:9B). The next verse refers to the return of our Lord and God (up to this point) has been patient for your return so you can escape the judgment that is to come.
Do Not Mind the “Prodigal Brothers”
The Prodigal son’s brother was not happy when he saw the father’s excitement for the prodigal’s return. There may be persons who reject you, but remember that God has the final word! Seek to make reconciliation with others where fellowship was broken but focus on restoring and maintaining your relationship with God this time. Let God work out the other factors overtime but the important thing is that you return first!
Will you come back home today backslider? Our heavenly Father stands ready with open arms to receive you…
As the song says, “I’ve wandered far away from home but Lord I’m coming home!” You may not feel different after this prayer, just know by faith that God has received and will take you through.