Going Home
Last week, I shared with you the beginning of a new series at my church called “Prodigal” (in case you missed it, click HERE). This past weekend, we continued the series by going a little deeper into the story of the Prodigal Son…specifically asking how do we get home and stay home after going prodigal?

But before we can talk about going home, let’s talk a little more about what happens when we go prodigal…and let’s be honest, we’ve all gone “prodigal” to some degree or another (or at least watched someone we love go prodigal). For so many, we beg and plead for them not to make certain decisions, but when you’re going prodigal, it’s like you’ve gone temporarily insane. Apparently, there are three phases:
  1. Delirious Phase. I can imagine the prodigal son taking his wealth into the big city, buying a sweet bachelor pad that looks out over the ocean and thinking to himself that he’s got it made…money, luxury, girls and a never ending party. Think Charlie Harper from Two and a Half Men. If it weren’t fun, we wouldn’t do it…and so when we enter this delirious phase, we do anything that feels good regardless of the consequences.
  2. Destructive Phase. In Luke 15:14-16 says, “After he had spent everything, there was a severe famine in that whole country, and he began to be in need. So he went and hired himself out to a citizen of that country, who sent him to his fields to feed pigs. He longed to fill his stomach with the pods that the pigs were eating, but no one gave him anything.” Yes, you read that right…not only did he spend his wealth, but he was living in a pig pen. Speaking from personal experience, I recall looking in the mirror. My skin and my wallet were suffering. I knew that if I continued down this path, I could lose everything. 
  3. Decision Phase. Which leads us to the final stage of going prodigal…the decision. Do we continue to watch ourselves fall into a bottomless pit or do we go back to our father? 
So…once we’ve gone prodigal, how do we return home? We have to come clean to the Father. No matter how ashamed we are by our past, if we ask for forgiveness, our relationship with HIM is restored. In fact, as the story plays out…we know that the father drops everything when he sees his son returning back to him. And if you think about it, the son must have really stunk (don’t forget he was living in a pig pen)…none of that matters.
Luke 15-20 RS
At the end of the day, the Father doesn’t really care that we spent all our money…nor does he care where we’ve been. HE does care about his children though and he wants us to come home so he can clean us up, feed us and restore our relationship with us. If you ask me, I think it’s easier to ask for forgiveness from others. Granting ourselves forgiveness…that’s a-whole-nother story. If we can’t forgive ourselves, we leave ourselves open to Satan…who is just waiting for us to slip.

But back to our original question – how do we come home and stay home? If we’re going to stay home, we’ve got to close a few doors: 
  1. Secrets. Do you have a secret dream or fantasy you’ve been entertaining? If you do, pray that it won’t become a reality. Those types of secrets bring a tremendous amount of drama. For example, the prodigal son was greedy…he always had a dream of heading into the big city to live the big life. As we saw, he not only entertained it, he pursued it. I immediately thought of Millionaire Matchmaker – specifically many of the millionaires that are looking for love. Sure they have money, but it has yet to bring them love…and usually the show exposes a ton of drama and baggage that the millionaires have been toting around with them for years. We’ve got to shed light on these secrets.
  2. Sin. Do you have sin in your life that you know about but tolerate? Do you find yourself engaging in conversations with members of the opposite sex that could lead to an adulterous relationship? I’m sure you’ve got plenty of examples here…I just seem to be drawing a blank (and clearly didn’t write down enough notes under this particular point). Either way, these teeny tiny sins grow up to be big huge sins that will destroy your life.
  3. Shame. When we go prodigal, it doesn’t go unnoticed by those around us. Our friends and family are watching and we often become ashamed of our behaviors once we realize what we’ve done. Satan uses our shame to convince us that no one will forgive us. Therefore, we don’t forgive ourselves and we don’t’ allow anyone else to forgive us either.
With all that said, if we want to go home and stay home…we can either ignore our secrets, sin and shame….or we can humbly go before God, come clean, admit our wrongs, accept the decisions we’ve made and the consequences of those decisions. And if we can do the later, then we must also remain open to receiving forgiveness. It would appear our decision is pretty easy, but I know that so many of us are making the decision to stay or go home every day. Remember this, “there is now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus” (Romans 8:1). Let’s go home!

(If you’re interested in hearing the original message, click HERE.)

    Glad I joined your blog when I did. This is very timely encouragement. Reminds me of that old hymn “Prone to wander, Lord, I feel it. Prone to leave the God I love…” I’ve been thinking about how these subtle idols of the heart creep in unawares (actually more like unwittingly welcomed with both arms) and take us down the “prodigal way”. More food for thought. Back to the closet, on my knees. Thanks again. Lord bless!

    I really love this photo. Lovely bokeh and the text is just perfect.

    Wonderfully inspiring blog this morning. Thanks for taking the time to write it out and share it. Very timely message for me.

    such a nice post and beautiful bokeh.

    Wow talk about a wake up call. Thanks for putting this post together.

    Do you go to Hope? I’ve been going there for 5 years! I follow your blog now because my friend Nat Sanchez told me about you. We may just have to meet up one day. I LOVE your blog!!!

    You know we love some Luke around these parts. :)

    Gorgeous shot!

    Such a wonderful post. Thank you!

    Hugs, Linda

    Wow, thank you so much for sharing these encouraging (and thought-provoking) words, Mrs. Sisk! :) God’s Word always rings true, and it’s so wonderful to hear how awesome our God is! It’s amazing how much He loves us, and your post really helped and encourage me in Christ! Thank you so much for sharing this! God bless!


    This is a wonderful post, and WOW I looove that photo! Gorgeous and inspiring :)

    wonderful read, & LOVE the bokeh!

    I think so many of us have been there. It is so nice to know that we CAN come home. Beautiful post and very well written!

    Thanks for this! A great reminder! This sort of goes along with our Bible study last night. We’re doing Beth Moore’s Beloved Disciple (which has made me look at John in a whole different light), she was talking about hiding from our past instead of giving it to God. She said that satan uses that to bring us back to it everytime, but if we give it to God He can use it against satan. Anyhoo, I think God might be trying to tell me something.

    wonderful post as always!! and beautiful photo… as always!! :)

    Praise God that He never gets tired of welcoming us home. I think back over the “Prodigal” phases of my life and WOW it is almost too emotional to process again. Thank God, He cleansed me and gave me a place in His family…..so many times.

    I love this – your church sounds ah-mazing!

    I love reading your blog and inspirational posts! This topic is always an inspiration. Thank you. Beautiful photo.