Where’s the party at?

Posted: November 5, 2012 in The Prodigal
Tags: , , , , ,

If you are like me you’re always looking for a good time, a place for a party. You just want to feel good. What can the parable of the prodigal teach us about that?

If you haven’t read the first part of this series titled Which Son are You? You can find it here.

This is the second part of a series originally written by Phil Drysdale you can find the original articles here.

Verse 31 of this parable is the most sobering verse and yet, the best news too. “And he said to him, ‘Son, you are always with me, and all that I have is yours.’” You see, this reveals that the older brother, while always with the father, didn’t necessarily realize it. He was complaining that the younger brother got a party but the father’s response shows that he could have had a big party with the father all along if he so desired.

Desire

The key word here is “desire.” The older brother didn’t desire the right thing. He wasn’t pleasure motivated but rather acceptance motivated. He worked for acceptance rather than realizing that he was accepted. It is in relationship with the Father and enjoying Him that we fulfill our calling in life, it is in our pleasure in Him that we find satisfaction. In some way the younger brother had the right idea. He was pleasure motivated. We look at this as a terrible thing and that he was the lesser of the two brothers for leaving home and turning his back on the father, but really he was seeking what he was created for, he just never knew it was right there at home. The older brother, however, had it much worse… he never sought pleasure, he was still working hard for his father’s acceptance. If you are fighting to earn approval from the Father you will never step into the pleasure of the Father. But if you are seeking pleasure in the wrong place, the world, it at least is likely to lead to a place of returning to the Father, knowing that the world doesn’t satisfy.

I know that’s a hard pill to swallow but the truth is we were created for pleasure – God fills with you His joy with one purpose: that your joy might be complete (John 15:11). Even Jesus was motivated by joy (Heb 12:2). You experiencing satisfaction and fullness of joy in God is a big deal to Him.

I look at it this way, one son was standing next to the father with his eyes closed and all his senses deadened. The other son was running in the opposite direction but was using all his senses to find the fulfillment of his desire for pleasure.

Is it good that there are so many in the world, and in our churches, that are seeking pleasure from the world? No of course not; it’s tragic. But it at least means they haven’t hardened their heart to enjoying Him when they are in His midst. That is the greatest tragedies of all.

What’s our job?

We have a ministry to both brothers. It is our responsibility to point those that are seeking pleasure towards the Source of all pleasure, to bring people into an encounter with the One who loves them. Likewise, it is our responsibility to encourage those who are working for acceptance from the Father to know that they are fully accepted and that their only task now is to enjoy Him and all that He has done for them.

You see, the only thing worse than trying to fulfill your requirement for pleasure in the wrong thing, is not trying to fulfill it at all. The party is in the knowledge of the Father’s acceptance. Can you enjoy the party?

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