abide under the shadow of the Almighty”.
Why did the prodigal son leave home? He had everything he needed and had no reason to look outside. Bob Gas gives us three reasons why this young man messed up his life. Number One, he got used to the good stuff his dad did and took it for granted. That was why God told His people, ‘Be careful that you do not forget the Lord who brought you out of slavery’ Deuteronomy 6:12. God also told His people to take 12 stones one for each tribe and build a memorial. This was not just a pile of stones but a symbol of unity reminding the Israelites of who they were, whom God was to them and the promises that He had laid that bound them together. Note whenever David remembered God’s past faithfulness he was moved to serve Him with all his heart. What of you? What reminds you of who He is to you?
Number Two: The prodigal didn’t know what was ‘out there’. It is said that the neighbour’s garden is always greener. But the truth is that you are safer on a familiar terrain than an assumed place of comfort. Men have learnt that the path that takes us away from God leads to pain not gain. Ask those who have walked it. If it were possible to chat with Judas Iscariot he would say, ‘don’t go there’. He never had the chance to make it with the Master. Rather he destroyed a once promising life for eternity. Stop pleasing your pals because you want to fit in; whereas Heaven has made you to stand out.
Number Three: He wanted his father’s blessing but not his rules. A river without a boundary destroys others and itself. We act foolishly when we become so sure of what we want and ditch God. He was not thankful to God and to his father. Men and Brethren, appreciation is a wonderful thing. It makes what is excellent in others belong to us as well by divine injunction. The prodigal ‘came to his senses’. It was then he realized there is safety under the shadow of the Father. You must choose to live by choice because the kingdom of God is a kingdom of choice and not chances; you must make changes and not live in excuses; you must desire to be motivated and not manipulated; to be useful and not be used; to excel and not compete and to choose self-esteem and not self-pity.
Jesus warned His disciples not to expect better treatment from the world than He did receive. For doing what God wants can make us unpopular before the world. Peter and John were not congratulated for healing the lame man by the Beautiful Gate. Rather they were imprisoned. It took God’s intervention for them to be released. Our problem is that we only have noise makers who grumble behind the curtain. Men who are afraid to confirm, affirm and attest to the truth.
Any man who expects to benefit from the Word of God must learn never to cast away his confidence in the Almighty; for God honours those who stand by His Word even when they see otherwise or hear contrary news.
Do you know this covenant? Do you desire to grow knowing the covenant platform on which you can stand and obligate God to bring to pass His plans for your life? Growth is not automatic. You may know all the promises of God but unless you have what I call, “commitment to personal growth”, you will remain stunted
Mark 11:23-24 summarily says, whatever you desire, if you ask believing, you will have it. The year has just started. You have the choice to ask God to help you grow in whatever area you have been stunted. He who has the power and desire that His children grow and bear fruit will not deny you His blessings. He will not allow you go through life with pillow case and firewood.
Dr Uma Ukpai
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