The church today is full of younger prodigal sons who are broken and beat down after retreating away. They retreated after they realized that God and the church itself do not always meet their expectations.
The church today is full of older brothers who sit and watch the broken prodigals come crawling through our doors. They watch with indignation and disgust; realizing that they have been obedient and honorable this whole time while the prodigals live a life of sin.
The church today fatally lacks Fathers who run to the broken with joyous tears and arms. The absent father would be a refreshing open tenderness and mercy for those in the church today. We greatly need but equally lack fathers and mothers who rejoice at the return of a prodigal and still proud of the older brother.
There are two problems!
ONE: I myself am a prodigal and an older brother, but rarely a father.
TWO: The church is full of prodigals and older brothers but lacks Fathers.
“Sheol and Abaddon are never satisfied and human eyes are never satisfied.” – Proverbs 27:20
This is one reason that addictions are so detrimental. We are created for intimacy with God and that requires an effort on our part. It requires that we at least work on coming closer to his heart. We have to continue to get back to our center, our greatest love, back to the knowledge of God. We have to do this on a regular basis. If we do not continue to get our center, we begin to wander. Before we know it, we “open our eyes” and find ourselves in the “distant country” like the prodigal. Now we need a dramatic and drastic return to the Father, back home. But how much less heartache and pain to stay at my home with my Father than to have wandered slowly into the distant country in need of a drastic return?
When I am a my center; when I am entangled with the heart of God, I am satisfied truly. The only moments I have felt truly satisfied are those when I am centered on God.
This is why addictions are so powerful in our lives. The world offers us addictions because of their nature. They will never satisfy. I will crave addictions for the rest of my life. Addictions feel good, but they do not satisfy. To be ‘satisfied’ is to say, “I am content with this. This is all I need.” Addictions, by their very nature, are never satisfying. That is why they are addictions; they will always vie for my attention. I will always desire them. I will crave them forever and I will never be fulfilled. I will constantly desire the world’s offers because they always feel good but never fulfill the needs I have within me.
I need relentless love. That will only be fulfilled at my Center. That will only be fulfilled by my Father God.
If I am to be fulfilled, to be satisfied, to be relentlessly loved, I have to stay home. I have to meet with God and allow him to love me.