Today’s thought is the word: WITH.
I was to be leading a book study in my home during this time. It’s a book called With, by Skye Jethani. Jethani outlines five postures most people have toward God.
- Over – Many religious people make demands of God. “If you don’t do things my way, I will not serve you.”
- Under – No choice, no power. Whatever God wills. Whatever Allah wills.
- From – Always asking. The only reason for prayer is to get something from God.
- For – The missionary call. Go, Give, Do. It’s never enough.
Let’s look at The Story of the Lost Son in Luke 15.
Then he said, “There was once a man who had two sons. The younger said to his father, ‘Father, I want right now what’s coming to me.’
Notice the younger son has a posture FROM.
“So the father divided the property between them. It wasn’t long before the younger son packed his bags and left for a distant country. There, undisciplined and dissipated, he wasted everything he had. After he had gone through all his money, there was a bad famine all through that country and he began to hurt. He signed on with a citizen there who assigned him to his fields to slop the pigs. He was so hungry he would have eaten the corncobs in the pig slop, but no one would give him any. “That brought him to his senses. He said, ‘All those farmhands working for my father sit down to three meals a day, and here I am starving to death.
Notice the same son still has the posture: FROM
I’m going back to my father. I’ll say to him, Father, I’ve sinned against God, I’ve sinned before you; I don’t deserve to be called your son. Take me on as a hired hand.’ He got right up and went home to his father. “When he was still a long way off, his father saw him. His heart pounding, he ran out, embraced him, and kissed him. The son started his speech: ‘Father, I’ve sinned against God, I’ve sinned before you; I don’t deserve to be called your son ever again.’ “But the father wasn’t listening. He was calling to the servants, ‘Quick. Bring a clean set of clothes and dress him. Put the family ring on his finger and sandals on his feet. Then get a grain-fed heifer and roast it. We’re going to feast! We’re going to have a wonderful time! My son is here—given up for dead and now alive! Given up for lost and now found!’ And they began to have a wonderful time.
Stop and consider the extravagant response of the FATHER.
“All this time his older son was out in the field. When the day’s work was done he came in. As he approached the house, he heard the music and dancing. Calling over one of the houseboys, he asked what was going on. He told him, ‘Your brother came home. Your father has ordered a feast—barbecued beef!—because he has him home safe and sound.’ “The older brother stalked off in an angry sulk and refused to join in. His father came out and tried to talk to him, but he wouldn’t listen. The son said, ‘Look how many years I’ve stayed here serving you, never giving you one moment of grief, but have you ever thrown a party for me and my friends?
Notice the older son has a posture: FOR.
Then this son of yours who has thrown away your money on whores shows up and you go all out with a feast!’ “His father said, ‘Son, you don’t understand. You’re with me all the time, and everything that is mine is yours—but this is a wonderful time, and we had to celebrate. This brother of yours was dead, and he’s alive! He was lost, and he’s found!’”Luke 15:11-
This story is called the parable of the Prodigal Son.
I looked up the definition of “Prodigal” and found this:
- spending money or resources freely and recklessly; wastefully extravagant.
“prodigal habits die hard”
- having or giving something on a lavish scale.
The Father’s response to the older son is simple. “You’re with me all the time, and everything that is mine is yours.”
God wants us to have a relaxed posture comfortable WITH him.