I used to be a part of an extremely legalistic lifestyle. When I first got saved, I deeply loved God but I was very works based when it came to walking out my salvation daily. I feared God would be angry with me if I missed a church service, or didn’t dress just right.
It took a while to get free from these legalistic beliefs that somehow I had to work to earn God’s love, and you see, I never wanted to go back to being that person. But the main thing is that I did find freedom from this legalism. God slowly revealed to me the bondage that I was in and my need to please people by following their manmade legalistic rules.
And when I got free from this way of thinking, boy was I FREE! I began to serve God with new passion and vigor, however I also harbored a resentment towards religious legalistic people.
One day God revealed to me this: I had become religious about not being religious. I had this attitude of superiority because I wasn’t in the same bondage as them. I was FREE, after all.
Sadly, I had gone from a religious person judging everyone who didn’t have the same “convictions” as me, to judging religious people for not being as free as me.
It was an eye opener when God pointing this out to me. God began to show me His heart for the Church. Yes, even the people who are judgy, religious, legalistic and self-righteous… God was telling me that He deeply loved EVEN THEM.
You see, all those years I had become comfortable with God reaching the people who felt like outcasts from the Church; those who had been rejected and misjudged. I just KNEW God was doing a new thing, outside the 4 walls of the church building.
And that was all true. But God suddenly began to show me, that wasn’t all He was doing in this hour.
“I’m sending missionaries of love to carry the true Gospel… into the Church”, God said to me.
Manmade religion tells the world that:
* they have to live up to certain expectations before God receives you BUT WE KNOW THAT ITS BY GRACE THROUGH FAITH THAT WE ARE SAVED
* That they have to strive hard with good works and proper appearance to be holy BUT WE KNOW THAT OUR HOLINESS COMES FROM GOD AND THAT WE ARE CURRENTLY FULLY CLOTHED IN THE RIGHTEOUSNESS OF CHRIST
* That sin separates us from God. BUT WE KNOW THAT GOD IS CONSTANTLY DRAWING NEAR PEOPLE WITH JACKED UP LIVES.
To illustrate the point further, Jesus told them this story: “A man had two sons. The younger son told his father, ‘I want my share of your estate now before you die.’ So his father agreed to divide his wealth between his sons.
“A few days later this younger son packed all his belongings and moved to a distant land, and there he wasted all his money in wild living. 14 About the time his money ran out, a great famine swept over the land, and he began to starve. He persuaded a local farmer to hire him, and the man sent him into his fields to feed the pigs. The young man became so hungry that even the pods he was feeding the pigs looked good to him. But no one gave him anything.
“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.”’
“So he returned home to his father. And while he was still a long way off, his father saw him coming. 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 the 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 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.
“Meanwhile, the older son was in the fields working. When he returned home, he heard music and dancing in the house, and he asked one of the servants what was going on. ‘Your brother is back,’ he was told, ‘and your father has killed the fattened calf. We are celebrating because of his safe return.’
“The older brother was angry and wouldn’t go in. His father came out and begged him, but he replied, ‘All these years I’ve slaved for you and never once refused to do a single thing you told me to. And in all that time you never gave me even one young goat for a feast with my friends. Yet when this son of yours comes back after squandering your money on prostitutes, you celebrate by killing the fattened calf!’
“His father said to him, ‘Look, dear son, you have always stayed by me, and everything I have is yours. We had to celebrate this happy day. For your brother was dead and has come back to life! He was lost, but now he is found!’” Luke 15:11-32
Today I want to directly address to what I’m calling the “big brother” mindset. The big brother represents the religious church. From the parable we see that the prodigal son represents a believer that once loved God and served faithfully, but walked away and chose to live in willful sin.
The big brother represents every Christian who has ever felt indignant or looked down their nose at a Christian who once served God but got off track and blew it big time. The big brother feels that sin needs to be punished, and those who have done wrong deserve what comes to them.
Father God is watching and waiting expectantly for the prodigals to come home.
There is revival beginning in the earth today. Many people are coming to the Lord and there is a move of God happening where God is gathering in the outcasts, the prodigals, the older brothers, prostitutes, crackheads, junkies…. You name it.
We as the Body of Christ need to ask ourselves this: Do I have the same mindsets as the big brother? Am I going to resent it when people come back to God and God restores them and starts blessing their life? Am I going to support my brothers and sisters who turn to God in their darkest hour?
I personally want to be the type of brother/sister who is watching with the Father for the prodigals to come home. I want to run with Father out to meet them. In fact I want to race Daddy God down the driveway to meet my brother/sister. I want to help decorate for the celebration and volunteer to bring my brother/sister my own shoes for his bare feet.
Let’s examine our hearts and prepare for a harvest that surpasses anything we’ve ever seen. Something incredible is happening in the Earth today.
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