Summary: The journey to restoration begins with an acknowledgement of your present situation. Have you come to yourself yet? Then acknowledge your return is based on the goodness and mercy for a loving Father, not a repentant speech of a son.
The Journey to Recovery
Lu 15:11-24 And he said, A certain man had two sons: And the younger of them said to his father, Father, give me the portion of goods that falleth to me. And he divided unto them his living. And not many days after the younger son gathered all together, and took his journey into a far country, and there wasted his substance with riotous living. And when he had spent all, there arose a mighty famine in that land; and he began to be in want. And he went and joined himself to a citizen of that country; and he sent him into his fields to feed swine. And he would fain have filled his belly with the husks that the swine did eat: and no man gave unto him. And when he came to himself, he said, How many hired servants of my father's have bread enough and to spare, and I perish with hunger! I will arise and go to my father, and will say unto him, Father, I have sinned against heaven, and before thee, And am no more worthy to be called thy son: make me as one of thy hired servants. And he arose, and came to his father. But when he was yet a great way off, his father saw him, and had compassion, and ran, and fell on his neck, and kissed him. And the son said unto him, Father, I have sinned against heaven, and in thy sight, and am no more worthy to be called thy son. But the father said to his servants, Bring forth the best robe, and put it on him; and put a ring on his hand, and shoes on his feet: And bring hither the fatted calf, and kill it; and let us eat, and be merry: For this my son was dead, and is alive again; he was lost, and is found. And they began to be merry.
Luke 15:11-32 is one of the best loved parables in the Scripture. Jesus shares this story after hearing his critics who did not understand his great concern for the lost. He tells the story of a lost coin, a lost sheep and finally a lost son. First, a lost sheep, a 1% loss, one of 100; most simply understood without much sense of loss. Secondly, the lost coin, a 10% loss, a loss that could be felt, but managed. Finally, he speaks of the lost son, a 50% loss, a critical loss. This kind of loss would cripple a business or destroy a family.
The sheep simply wandered off while grazing; the coin was lost by accident; but the son was lost in his desire for freedom from restraints. Many today, leave home search for freedom from restraints, rules, and regulations. There is a difference between freedom and independence. Many choose to use those two words interchangeably, but they are different.
Freedom or liberty refers to an absence of restrictions and an opportunity to exercise one's rights and powers. Freedom emphasizes the opportunity given for the exercise of one's rights, powers, desires, or the like: freedom of speech or conscience; freedom of movement. Independence, on the hand implies not only lack of restrictions but also the ability to stand alone, un-sustained by anything or anyone else.
The young man of our story was experiencing a good life with a wholesome relationship with his father, yet he became dissatisfied. He wanted more; he was hungry for more. More freedom, more opportunity, more space! The farm had gotten too small, too narrow and to restrictive. The young man calls a meeting with his father. You can tell they had a wonderful relationship. The father was willing to meet with him and hear him out and even granted his request.
There several attributes about this young man, we call a prodigal, I like:
1. I like his understanding of his father. (Good Relationship)
2. I like what he asked for – the portion that falleth to me. (Good Choice)
3. Although leaving home was not the best idea, I liked what he did when he had spent all. (He got a job) He has been raised to work…not steal, rob or beg.
4. Even when he found himself in the hog pen hungry and greatly tempted, He refused to eat with the swine. (he raising would not allow it.(Good limit) There was line he would not cross.
There are three necessary steps on the journey to restoration. How can I be restored to a relationship with God when we have wandered way? The first step is found in verse 17. Read Luke 15:17 And when he came to himself, he said, How many hired servants of my father's have bread enough and to spare, and I perish with hunger!