Empowering the prodigal
Empowering the Prodigal.
One of the less endearing aspects of the modern day world, and in particular America, is the art of “spin”. This tendency to equivocate in order to provide justification for our actions instead of repenting and throwing ourselves on His Mercy ensures that we, like the world around us, will continue headlong on a collision course with the consequences of our own prodigal judgment and decisions. As long as we refuse to repent and accept the spiritual overhaul which we most of us so badly need – being the renewing of the spirit of the mind, or soul – we will continue on an inevitable collision course, and what is more, The Father will provide us with the “vehicle” whereby this will occur.
The first thing that we should be cognizant of in respect of the Prodigal Son is that he was indeed a son and not a stranger, who was endowed with an inheritance provided by his Father. We have been taught to a great extent that it is when we are saved that our prodigality ends, but I rather suspect it is actually when it begins. How can you leave the household with your inheritance when you have not yet become a member of it? The second thing is just what this inheritance is or what it represents - In Him also we have obtained an inheritance, being predestinated according to the purpose of Him who works all things according to the counsel of His will, Ephesians 1:11
Remember how it was that the Father of the Prodigal Son provided him with his share of the inheritance which became the very empowerment to fail? The Father knew his son would do so – for He knew His son. I capitalize the pronoun because this indeed speaks of The Father. Have you ever experienced the unction to give to someone when all the while you feel that it will be of no temporal good to them but all the while you sense that Father is working toward an result? If we are to do the works of the Father – doing only that which He shows us to do – there will be times when we will actually assist in empowering the Prodigal – which is a whole other thing to rescuing them – but it also may well serve to reveal the latent rescuer in us! All things indeed serve Him after the council of His will.
It is said that if there had been a social worker at the pig sty, then the prodigal would likely still be there. Prodigality is a process which people have to experience to some degree and manner in order to come to their spiritual senses.
The Super Bug
Hospitals are a bit like Churches – because they are such ‘sterile’ environments, bugs can flourish and outbreaks of disease occur, such as MRSA – Methicillin Resistant Staphylococcus Aureus – or Golden Staph – the “Super Bug”. The “Super Bug” of Christendom is HSRP – Holy Spirit Resistant Pride and its prime symptom is covetousness, which is idolatry.
Our inheritance as the saints in light is the kingdom and the down payment or “earnest” is the Holy Spirit. The gifts and callings of the supreme Divinity are without repentance. The extent to which Christians ‘use’ their given talents and abilities – allied with their authority as believers – to wheedle, manipulate, control and take advantage of one another and others outside the fold is breath-taking. We who should be an example to the world of uprightness of heart are all too often found wanting as we lust after Mammon, all the while coating our pride and conceit with lashings of religiosity to bamboozle others – Praise the Lord! It has been my experience that the more effusive people are in proclaiming their blessedness and relationship with God, the less real and the more imaginary and illusory it is. “Oh, I’m so blessed, My Daddy loves ME” is all too often another way of saying “I’m so special” which is hubris masquerading as humility and conceals deeper relational/emotional issues. It is the rustling leaves of a fruitless fig tree.
Peter was quite explicit in 2 Peter 1 as to why we have been endowed us with every gift in Christ – it is for the work of the Kingdom. Any other appropriation is an abomination before the Almighty. Am I being “toooo heavy”? I am speaking absolutes, I know, but then so did Jesus and the Apostles. You might feel that this is condemning, but it is only condemning of that building which has already been condemned from long ago. That which is (of the) Spirit is Spirit, and that which is (of the) flesh is flesh and he that does not believe, being the mind of the flesh, is already condemned. Our earthly tabernacle reflects this in that it is destined to die, born condemned to death, no matter how much we may try to beautify, honour, feed or exalt it. The sooner we get this through our heads the more useful we are to the kingdom.
Using our Holy gifts in pursuit of personal ambition, irrespective of whether our ends are righteous, is like justifying the means by the ends. We have all of us been given a vision – a plan and a purpose for our lives – and the equipping to fulfill it. There is however one critical component which is all too often overlooked or disregarded, and it is that we are (to be) His workmanship. In a following essay I explore this more thoroughly.
Some 24 years ago, I had my first open vision. In it, I saw the end of the age. The two most compelling features of it were firstly that the entire world had been plunged into a condition of such utter hopelessness, darkness and despair through the collapsing of the financial system, and secondly the ability of the Almighty to resurrect people to a glorious condition of faith, hope and love upon their mass repentance and at the ministration of the Spirit by the saints in light – Jesus’ messengers. No amount of preaching condemnation will convince people of sin, it takes a move of the Holy Spirit to do that, but first people have to be brought to a condition of desperation whereby they will let go of that which they hold to which is in contradiction to righteousness, even if it means that the circumstances are so contrived as to make them let go – even that which they have being taken from them.
This vision is of the end of days is really annoying to dominionists, preterits and purpose driven Christians who cannot comprehend that the whole thing is going to turn to custard. Our vain attempts to evangelize the world are futile tower building, yet even they do serve God in the ultimate sense. Fully 80% of new adherents fall away in the first year, and 90% by the second year. This is why churches so assiduously promote socialized support mechanisms and accommodate dysfunctional personalities in a closeted comfort zone which is all too often like a club or association instead of a place to strip away the pretences and pretexts of worldliness and to put on Christ. The culture of ‘clubbiness’ and ‘cliquiness’ which imbues most churches is the price they pay, the very consequence of promoting hubris in the name of humility. The wilderness of isolation is the real place of reformation, where the old dies so that the new may inherit the promise.
This is why Churchianity is such a vile counterfeit of Christ-likeness. It is the expression of pride and vain glory made to look like it serves the Almighty when in fact it simply serves to conceal itself with a show of Power denying ‘godliness’. It is the two-faced hypocrisy of actors strutting and prancing – portraying what they have been taught is their ‘part’ in the play. Now why am I banging this old drum again? Allow me to share a recent testimony.
I asked Jesus that I be taught what the Beatitudes really mean and how they apply to life – and in particular my life. The challenge to give to those who demand of you and not require them to be accountable to you is possibly the greatest contradiction to the ways of Mammon that there is.
The world system runs on the debt spiral of interest created by the ‘eight wonder of the world’ – compound interest. Christians and other believers who are involved in the system are very much a functioning part of the problem. It behooves us all to do everything possible to be removed from the convenience of debt. Being released from our debts starts by releasing others from theirs to us. We will either look to the Father as our source or to others, and when we look to others we automatically become involved in covetousness. We are either considerate conduits or covetous collectors.
The way in which many Christians have twisted what Jesus and the Bible says about money is mind-boggling. They have lied so consistently to themselves and to others that the lie has become their reality. Nowhere is this more evident than in America, and it is why she has become a gazing stock to the world – but please do not get offended as this all serves the Almighty’s eternal purposes! I do not know quite why it is that we believers say on the one hand that we believe what the Bible says but turn right around and try to change it or reinvent it to suit our prejudices and preferences. There is so much prophecy concerning the end of the Age that to deny it and try to conveniently explain it away is a trap many have fallen into. Just because there have been 2000 years of “End Times” do not make the mistake of concluding that it is not going to end! This is one of the great deceptions of the age. The historicist and futurist argue over what the Bible is really pertaining to, while the pragmatist realizes that it is actually both.
Anyway, I recently had occasion to help a “sister” to buy a car. Through numerous occurrences I had been exercised to help this person and even though I knew I was being manipulated, I always had a strong sense to allow it to be so. I do not always allow such things, and as a businessman, I am forever saying not to offers and opportunities whereby people wish to plunder me in the name of commerce. For some reason though, I would always be compelled to help this particular person – what I did not realize was that I was to be taught a most valuable lesson. The good thing about this university of life is that as we are His workmanship He picks up the tab – He pays our tuition. If we are proud and will not learn our lessons and in being thankful, hand the matter over to God, then we may well be left with the bill.
I wanted to put some conditions on the assistance but I was told expressly that this was not to be so. No sooner had I bought the car than I got the distinct and abiding premonition that she was going to write it off, and that there was nothing that I could do about it. Just as the Prodigal was a car wreck looking for a place to happen, the Father loved him enough to let it be, in order that the desirable end might be so – the restoration of His Son.
The flesh has to die, before the spirit can fly.
She rang to tell me that she had crashed into a parked car, but that even then God was blessing her because some guys who had been having after works drinks (one being the owner of the vehicle she had struck) had helped her and had pushed the car off the road into their workshop. What she did not know was that they were not even supposed to be there and had they been doing what they were supposed to, the car she hit would have been elsewhere. So this is being ‘blessed’ already?
I had intended to arrange insurance for her but as she is an American in New Zealand a huge excess and premium applied, (what did the insurance company know that I did not about American drivers?) plus they wanted to see her license and have her driving history. It transpired that her license had expired a year previously, which she swore that she did not realise but which her former boyfriend told me she clearly did know. Gee, a Christian who lies already – how unusual is that! Anyway, I am not recounting this to descend into gossip or to score points at her expense, but what I was to be shown about the condition of the apostate church by this event and the circumstances leading up to it is an awesome revelation of the harlot and why it is on a collision course with the consequences of its sin and what is more, it has been provided with the very vehicle it will happen in!
Now I do not in any way pretend to be the model of moral rectitude – quite the contrary – I have done some dumb things and made enough mistakes for two life times – but Father has always been there for me to pick up the pieces and provide for my deficiencies – largely because when I mess up, I ‘fess up. If we lie to cover for our sin, we’ll just do it again and again.
It is easy to forget that in Revelation, it is the Beast which serves the Whore and it is she who rides on the back of the serpent. In order to come out from among all this mess, it is necessary to have our eyes opened and to see things as they really are. If our minds are befuddled by the Pharmakia of the world, programmed to worldly hopes and expectations of personal success, lusting after what it has to offer (if you love the world then the love of the Father is not in you) – then we will continue on this merry-go-round of sin and consequence until we come to the end of ourselves and get sick of slopping with the hogs, for we have descended to that level.
He who covers his sins will not prosper, But whoever confesses and forsakes them will have mercy. Prov 28:13
We may lie to one another, hoodwink our brother, do all manner of deceitful, self-serving things under the cover of grace, but we cannot escape the certainty that the Father abides within, Jesus knows of our sin and it is His job to do the dishes, to cleanse the vessel, but it is for us to cooperate and submit to the washing of the Word. He wants for us to be Holy as He is Holy, to be Perfect as He is Perfect, to love one another as He first loved us. There is only One Way that this may be so, and that is by grace – but not in the presumption that what we do is acceptable because we are accepted.
My brethren, I write these things so that you may not sin, but if we sin we have an advocate with the Father, even the righteous Jesus – He that is born of God and cannot sin. The real you, which is and was born from above and was formed in Christ, is an integral part of Jesus Christ, and His Seed remains in you, for there is only One Priest and One Priesthood – as He is so are we in this world. For what you or I do to the least, we do to Him.
The way in which we treat and regard others is the way in which we treat and regard Jesus – if we “use” Him, He will “use” us, for this is the relationship we have required and desired. Do you want to be used of Him, or fused with Him? The mature place is to put on Christ and to become one with His sufferings, something that has largely been lost amidst all the Me Me Me of modern “Christianity”.
43. "You heard it said,'Love your best friend and hate your enemy.'44. "But, I am telling you,Like your enemy and bless those who curse youAnd do good to those who hate youand pray for those who exploit you and leave you bare;45. "So that you become the sons of your heavenly Father,He who makes his sun shine on the good and the wicked,And brings down the rain on the righteous and the abominable.46. "For if you like those who like you,what are you to be compensated for?Do not even the revenue collectors do this?47. "And if you greet your brothers only,What good is that?*Do not the revenue collectors do this also?48. "Be therefore mature people, like your Father in heaven is Mature.
Father was true to His promise, that if I would learn my lessons, He would pay my tuition, and He has multiplied back to me abundantly beyond what I could have hoped or imagined. Never despise those who are brought across your path in the Way of the Kingdom, even if they or their actions may seem to be despicable. Jesus did not despise His persecutors nor was any guile found in His mouth, yet the record of His and their actions stands as a testimony to us and ensamples that we may learn thereby.