journeyed to a far country, and there wasted his possessions with prodigal living.
But when he had spent all, there arose a severe famine in that land,
and he began to be in want.
I can imagine this young man leaving his father’s house with his inheritance in hand. He was probably exhilarated by his newly acquired independence. He could now chart his own course for his life. I would think that he thoroughly enjoyed his newly found popularity as he used up his gift to impress others. Fame, finances and freedom! This was the life!! He finally had it all…….or so he thought. A rude awakening awaited him.
While he was in his father’s care he had never experienced lack. When he ate, more food was provided for him….. by his father. When he needed clothes, those too, were given to him….. by his father. His father gave him provision, protection, guidance, and most importantly, love. The young son may have had to work, as his older brother did, but he would also have enjoyed all the benefits of being under his father’s covering.
But now he was out there on his own, and this young man was unprepared for the culture of the world system.
He didn’t realize that outside of his father's household he would now have to toil to acquire what he needed, toil to maintain it, toil to grow it and toil to protect it from predators.
In that world it was every man for himself. No one was there to love him just for who he was. To those who lived in that world he was simply a means to an end.
His father was no longer there to replenish his supply, and eventually his gift dwindled down to nothing. He was left alone and destitute, without the friends, without the finances.....and without his father.
Like the father in the parable, our Heavenly Father gives gifts and abilities to us all. Some are called to be apostles, some prophets, some evangelists, some pastors and some teachers. There are other giftings within the Body of Christ also. Some are endowed with the ability to lead. Yet others are given the gift of giving, administration, hospitality or discerning of spirits. The gifts are numerous and varied and you can read about them in the following Scriptures:
- Romans 12:3-9
- Ephesians 4:7-13
- 1 Corinthians 12:1-31
- 1 Peter 4:10-11
Unfortunately, too many in the household of the Christian faith do just what the younger son did. They become convinced that their gift is not being recognized, that their leader(s) are impeding their progress and/or that the Father is taking too long. They decide to pursue their calling and launch out on their own, not waiting to be fully trained to handle the responsibility that comes with the gift. The results are usually just as disastrous as with the young man in the parable.
A gift used without the Father’s loving blessing, covering and guidance soon becomes corrupted, and its owner falls into spiritual bankruptcy.
Jesus Himself had to wait 30 years before He could launch out into ministry. Had He moved out on His own, ahead of His appointed time, you and I, and indeed the entire universe, would have suffered the consequences. Even after He began His ministry, Jesus always moved in cadence with the Father's timing. As a result He remained continually under the Father’s covering, and enjoyed the blessings of His Abba’s provision, protection and guidance.
The young son in this parable would have eventually received his inheritance……in the right time. But because he moved out of his father’s timing a terrible domino effect occurred.
God is a God of perfect timing. He is very deliberate and strategic in everything He does. He sees the big picture in each of our lives while we see only a portion.
What seems like delay or denial to you may be His way of preparing you for what the future holds. It could also be His way of showing you what your true motivation is.
In other words, do you have a true desire to build the Body of Christ, or are you just interested in using the gift to build a following and promote you into the limelight? Are you willing to wait for your appointed season, or are you impatient to get out there and show people how gifted and anointed you are? In the depths of your heart where no one but God sees, who do you really want to please.....God or yourself?
What gifts and/or abilities has the Father given to you?
Please make sure that you don’t use them until the Father says,