“He longed to fill his stomach with the pods that the pigs were eating, but no one gave him anything.” — Luke 15:16
Recently, I found myself in a conversation with a man who was a member of another church. When I asked him how things were going in the church he said, “Not well.” He went on to explain, “I left the church I have been going to because I wasn’t being fed. The next Sunday, I went to another church where the music was so dynamic that the preacher never got to preach. I left the service full that Sunday!”
As he was describing his “experience” I could not help but think, “What is wrong with this picture?” I am not an opponent of praise and worship in the Church, but I cannot for the life of me understand how “feeding” can take place apart from the Word of God! Something inside of a child of God must be wrong when the food of the Word is devalued in such a way as this.
In Luke 15, a wayward son turned his back on his father’s house. The presence and provision of the father were suddenly devalued in the life of the son and his only desire was to get away from all that. The son selfishly took what he could get and set out on his own. He thought he needed more than what he was getting at home. All he could focus on was himself.
The son became the center of his own world and the consequences of is choices began to surface in a painful reality: emptiness! When his resources were spent, his relationships vanished. Self-centeredness once again lead to self-destruction. Suddenly something changed in him. He was now willing to eat what he would not thought of touching when he lived with his father! A pod had become his god. He would have done anything to have it.
What causes the change to take place in us? What makes us willing to feed on the world’s slop? I believe it starts with diminished devotion. Because we are not constantly stoking the fires of devotion in our lives through prayer, Bible study, worship, witnessing, and ministry to others, our hearts and passion begin to grow cold.
Diminished devotion is but a short step from self-centered focus. When we stop seeking the Father passionately and stop loving others sacrificially, we ultimately spend our energies on ourselves. I have learned that a man, wrapped up in himself makes a mighty small package!
The final step in our spiral downward is self-destruction. We make the pod our god.
The good news is this: just as the wayward son remembered his father and return and was restored, so can we be restored to our Heavenly Father. If we recognize our state, repent of our sin and return to our Savior we will experience abundant pardon!
Resolve with me today; there ain’t no pod going to be my god! Lord I’m coming home to You!