by Dr. Charles Stanley
Thursday March 30, 2006
Walking Away from God
The story of the Prodigal Son is probably the best known of Jesus’ parables. Every person can find him or herself in this tale because we have all moved out of our Father’s will at some time. Once we are saved by grace through Jesus Christ’s atoning sacrifice, we can still choose whether to be a rebellious or obedient child of God. He will not force us to remain submissive.
We have limited free will that we can exercise by walking away from the Lord. As our loving Father, God sends warnings to push us back onto the right course. In fact, He will do everything short of violating our will in order to draw us back into a right relationship.
Why would believers walk away from the God who loves them? Some, like the sheep in another parable, wander away, ambling down a path that seems to lead to better opportunities (Luke 15:4-6). If a sheep takes its eyes off the shepherd, it can easily meander toward a more appealing-looking patch of grass. Before long, the animal has gone too far afield.
Other people willfully abandon God’s way to pursue their own objectives. These believers know their choice is wrong, but they rationalize the decision or blame someone else for misleading them.
Regardless of how we end up outside God’s will, we are responsible for
the action that put us there. We must, then, guard against temptations to pursue anything except what He wants for us. Though another opportunity may look good, the only place believers will find true contentment is in a trusting, obedient relationship with Jesus Christ.
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