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Luke 15:11-13:

[11] And he said, “There was a man who had two sons. [12] And the younger of them said to his father, ‘Father, give me the share of property that is coming to me.’ And he divided his property between them. [13] Not many days later, the younger son gathered all he had and took a journey into a far country, and there he squandered his property in reckless living.

I can remember the moment like it was yesterday. I was standing on the steps of Corbett Hall at Colorado State University, waving goodbye to my parents. There was no one staying behind to tell me what time I had to go to bed, nobody was going to tell me I had to wake up and go to class, and no one was going to make sure I mixed a few vegetables into my steady diet of French fries and pizza (which I didn’t!). I stood and watched my parents driving away with the wind of freedom blowing through my hair. Or, so I thought.

We live with the deep-seeded conviction that if we don’t have anything tying us down, we’re free. But, if we’ve ever had a taste of that ‘no-ties’ life, we know it’s not all that it’s cracked up to be. The freedom we’re looking for is not found in a lack of accountability or connection, it’s actually found in the ability to pursue and love the things God has called us to. In the story of the Prodigal, the younger son says to his father, “Father, give me the share of the property that is coming to me.” The younger son knows a few things quite keenly. First, he knows that he has ‘a share.’ He has some money that is rightfully his. Secondly, he knows that the share comes directly and only from his father. The younger son decides that he’s going to “gather all that he has to go to a far-off land.” He’s searching for freedom. He’s on a quest for adventure. He’s longing for something bigger and better.

Like both of the sons in the story, we all have ‘a share.’ We all have been given a life that has value – and we must decide what we are going to do with it. When it comes down to the decision, there are only two options. We can stay on the father’s property or we can take what he’s given and travel to a ‘far-off country.’ We must decide if our quest for freedom is going to be pursued with God or away from him. Will we, like the younger son, wish our father dead in exchange for running off with his blessing, or will we embark on the journey of life within his care and under his love?

Every one of us has decided at one time or another that we want the goodness that flows from the Father’s hand, without the restrictions that come from living in his house. We’ve chased freedom apart from his favor and provision. The invitation in front of us today is to surrender – maybe for the first time, or maybe for the first time in a long time. The ironic invitation of the gospel is to find the freedom we’re looking for in surrendering to the one we’re running from. Take some time today and pray through Galatians 2:20, “I have been crucified with Christ. It is no longer I who live, but Christ who lives in me. And the life I now live in the flesh I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave himself for me.” What fears arise in you when you consider surrendering? What holds you back from giving your all to Jesus? [/vc_column_text][us_separator height=”25px” size=”custom”][vc_column_text]

By Ryan Paulson  

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