Have you ever felt completely unworthy of the Father’s love? So many times I have felt that I’ve wrecked God’s plan for me and I am no longer worthy to be a child of God. How could a perfect and Holy God look upon the mess I’ve created of my life? How could I have walked in deliberate disobedience to His plan and still have Him call me child?
In Luke 15 we find a story that speaks to these feelings of unworthiness. This is a story I’ve loved since I first gave my heart to the Lord. This is a story that us church folk have dubbed as “The Prodigal Son.”
In this story, there is a man with two sons. The younger one asks for his share of his father’s inheritance and then he proceeds to move to a distant land and waste all of the money on wild living. Around the same time the money runs out, a famine sweeps over the land and he faces starvation. He becomes so hungry that pig food begins to look appealing to him.
Luke 15:17-19 says this about what happened next:
“When he finally came to his senses, he said to himself, ‘At home even the hired servants have food enough to spare, and here I am dying of hunger. I will go home to my father and say, “Father, I have sinned against both Heaven and you, and I am no longer worthy of being called your son. Please take me on as a hired servant.”(NLT)
I love how it plainly says “he came to His senses”. I believe at some point we all come to a point in our rebellion and selfishness that we realize the need we have for God—this is the moment of repentance. This man plainly realized that even to be a servant for his father was better than living in his own self-destruction. So this young man rehearsed this little speech in his mind of the perfect thing to say to His father and then went back home.
One thing that is important to know about this story is that when this young man chose to take his inheritance and leave, according to the culture of the time, he did something extremely wrong. I’ve even read that the community could act out by throwing stones at him if they were to see him come back around. This young man hit such a point of desperation that trying to make his way back to his father, no matter what opposition he faced, seemed more worth it than staying where he was.
As he is walking, his father sees him from afar, the Scripture says this:
“Filled with love and compassion, he ran to his son, embraced him, and kissed him. His son said to him, ‘ Father I have sinned against both heaven and you and I am no longer worthy of being called your son.’ But his father said to his servants, ‘Quick! Bring the finest robe in the house and put it on him. Get a ring for his finger and sandals for his feet. And kill the fatted calf we have been fattening We must celebrate with a feast. For this son of mine was dead and has now returned to life. He was lost but now he is found,’ So the party began.” (Luke 15: 20-24 NLT)
You got that? He runs to his son – something seen as undignified for the time—and he greets him with love and tenderness. But my favorite part of this is when the son goes to give his little pre-rehearsed speech to his dad. Remember what he rehearsed before? If you compare what he rehearsed and what he actually says, you can see that the Father interrupts him before he is able to reduce himself to the level of just a servant.
Many of us have reduced ourselves to the level of servant, when God has called us out as Daughters. It’s easy for us to believe that since we’ve messed up we can go along and just be a measly little servant in the Kingdom, yet the Father has called us to more. We decide in our own selves, that what we’ve done and where we have been is not worthy of that title, often times missing what it is that He is speaking. Just like in this story, as soon as the Father sees us position ourselves in repentance, He comes chasing after us in pursuit of His daughters.
Don’t allow your own inner dialogue to talk you out of the plan and purpose God has called you to. Sister, Your Father has set you apart as a Daughter made to serve as royalty, not as a lowly servant! Hold your head high, and walk as a Daughter of the Most High God!