Luke 15:17-20 KJV
“17 And when he came to himself, he said, How many hired servants of my father’s have bread enough and to spare, and I perish with hunger! 18 I will arise and go to my father, and will say unto him, Father, I have sinned against heaven, and before thee, 19 And am no more worthy to be called thy son: make me as one of thy hired servants. 20 And he arose, and came to his father. But when he was yet a great way off, his father saw him, and had compassion, and ran, and fell on his neck, and kissed him.”
You may not know & you certainly won’t from reading this page but I have a disability & it affects my mobility. For the majority of the year myself & my brothers & sisters here at LCPF had been working, tirelessly on The Annual Celebration of Christianity in the Emergency Services but the days leading up to it, saw my health degenerate & I could not physically attend the event. Much prayer was said for me & I believed I would be strong enough to go because “God is gonna perform a miracle” right? but unfortunately I did not get there. Instead, I began to do what we often do, get weak & get angry. I began to throw my preverbial “spiritual toys out of my pram” Yes, I began to have a spiritual tantrum!
Let me just say, I didn’t start off having a tantrum, I was as meek as possible & I took my request to God “Father, You alone are God, You are Jehovah Rapha, The Balm in Gilead, Your Word is life” or words to this effect because you see, I believe that God IS. I believe that He is The Creator & Saviour of my life. He is The Lifter up of my head. The Author & Finisher of my faith. I believe what He says He will do. I believe He is still working miracles & I know He is My Father. I believed it even more so if it “fitted in with my deadline & schedule”. So, I came to My Father Jesus & as all children do, I wanted something & I wanted it there & then. You can imagine that as the time for our Annual Celebration drew near & I am still struggling, still in terrible pain & bed bound, that I began to grow upset. I did not see it that way though, no, I saw it that I was now “storming Heaven” & “boldly coming to The Throne of Grace” & asking My Father, again, like “The Persistent Widow” for my healing, something along the lines of this “Lord, You told me to ask and it shall be given, seek & I shall find, knock & the door will be open to me- I am here, lying in need of deliverance from this tiresome condition. Why Lord, am I going through this, I’m serving You and people who don’t even believe in You have good health? How long Lord? How long? You know I cannot bare this pain & You said You are my Healer & yet I’m still here, can’t move struggling in pain physically & emotionally. The enemy is laughing, don’t let Him say where is your God? Don’t let him get the victory, raise me up as You did Jairus’s daughter. Lord give me a sign…” I believed I was praying with such eloquence God had to raise me up there & then & when I was still there a few days later, one by one, my “toys” went flying out of my pram, one with the faith I should have, two with the reverence I should show Him, three- along with the patience & long suffering I need, six with meekness & courage. 10 with the kindness I should have shown but didn’t because I was judging others. The enemy was certainly laughing at my attitude I tell you. You see, I was reacting to my situation. Deadlines, event looming & all the hard work ‘I’ had done – would it go unrecognised? I was even praying before-hand with our LCPF family & asking for prayer from others to cover us all, from spiritual attacks of the enemy. This very type of attack- sickness for instance, so why am I here? God had opened so many wonderful doors to get the event delivered, keep it on track and provide the speakers, music & avenues for us to get the event advertised. One thing I did not do though, was ask God to deal with pride & if I would be there. I just took it for granted that I would be.
Like the son in this scripture, I demanded from God what I ‘thought I needed’ and ran off with it. I told God I need this, that and that’s my portion – it’s owed to me as a child of God, I deserve this. “It’s my inheritance!” Wow, how easy it’s done. God, Maker of ALL things, knows what we each need. He works behind the scenes & rewards us openly. The son took what He wanted from his father but only in the time of deep desperation did he recognise he had a ‘need’. Hunger was his need. He was hungry for physical food but deeper was his hunger & need of spiritual food. He was in a place of isolation but needed to be loved. He had no one to commune with except the animals but needed to speak with his father. He “came to his senses”, recognising he had done wrong & needed to say sorry to his father & he was even humble enough to accept any position in his father’s house in contrition to his actions. A position we often aren’t willing to take. The prodigal son embraced the ‘Servant attitude’. Jesus came to serve & do His Father’s will. He taught & showed us how to serve too, in the physical & spiritual sense. Our ultimate service is to His will alone.
There are many times when we develop an attitude of “entitlement” & that we are owed this because we are “children of The most high God”. I knew in that moment when God gave me this scripture, that He was dealing with me. Initially, I thought ‘well I haven’t demanded anything, I’ve just asked to be healed. I haven’t run off and lived a ‘perverse life’, why am I in this ‘pig-pen’ type situation now then Lord? I can’t see any similarities here God, what are you saying to me?’ However, later, I began to see spiritually, that God was drawing me to a higher place, a higher level in Him but it was the ‘entitlement attitude’ I adopted which was in the deepest mire of the pig–pen. My circumstances required patience; required spiritual & natural rest; required obedience, required stillness, required silence but I was having none of it. I could not hear God through all the ‘noise’ I was making as each ‘toy’ came crashing to the ground from my ‘spiritual pram’, thrown out by the hands of my ‘entitled attitude’. You know, instead of praying with thanksgiving, I was praying & sulking? Yes, something that’s so largely done if we are all honest and something, which very much causes us to sin. I was “praying amiss”. God told Paul that “My Grace is sufficient to keep you”, when Paul had an issue with his health. I realised that in my moments of seeking deliverance, I was giving God ‘unspoken ultimatums’. My attitude caused me to be blinded to His Grace. There was no reverence, there was no humility, there was no sincerity- even though it ‘sounded’ as though there was. God knows the intricacies of our hearts & the depths of it too. He knows ‘heart service’ & He knows ‘lip service’. He knows ‘faith-filled’ prayers, that which cries “I will be humble even if my change does not come” & He knows our ‘give me’ prayer, that which states “I’ll worship you if you give me…” He knows it & we know it, even when at first, we don’t recognise it and He brings it to our attention, like He did me. I was as ‘demanding’ as the son, some call him the “prodigal son”– had demanded! Even as Christians, we can become prodigals in our hearts. Moving away from Him with our worship & service. Taking Him for granted & using Him for our purpose. God was dealing with me in His way but I demanded a different, easier way because I, as do we all at times, thought I knew best. I behaved too, just like the older sibling of the prodigal son, when he grew angry at seeing the feast his father put on for his brother. I began to say with my poor attitude “Lord I’m doing something good here, I’m serving You, this is not right that I’m now going to miss it. What have I done to deserve this sickness, I’ve been working relentlessly. Now I’m going to let everyone down. It’s not fair!” This I said, to The King of Kings & Lord of Lords, but God is kind & humble & forgiving. He showed me mercy.
As I began to “come to my senses”, I recognised that Gods plan was for me to be behind the scenes all along. You see in all we do, the glory alone, belongs to God. My physical being needed to rest but I was rejecting this. My spirit needed replenishing but anger was hindering this. I needed to hear from God & seek more of Him & this is where He drew me to, He’d work with me even on my bed of affliction if He needed to. Hadn’t He done this before? Indeed He had & He raised me up & restored me too. He had need to meet with me & take me deeper into the Spirit Realm but I thought I ‘needed’ to be at the event physically, I convinced myself I may even be needed to be on stage!! In that moment of supernatural, spiritual clarity,I realised it’s not about what I do but it’s about all that God positioned me to do for Him. It’s all about Him. My eyes, ears & heart opened inwards to God. I began a time of confession & seeking His forgiveness for being so self indulgent & I went into a time of true worship & whilst I lay there, I asked God “why?”. It is ok to ask God ‘why’ & He does reveal His reason. As in the Parable the earthly father of the prodigal son extended His loving arms to him as he saw him coming from beyond the horizon- even before his son opened his mouth to say “he was sorry”; so Our Heavenly Father extends His loving arms to us. As I asked ‘why’ was I in this valley, His love overwhelmingly, flooded my soul. He reminded me that He could use me anywhere for The Kingdom of God. He enveloped me & showed me He was not holding against me the irreverence, the dishonour or the pride I had and the disrespect I showed Him, no. He could have cut me off there and then because The Word of God tells us “He is a Consuming Fire” & my murmuring attitude devalued His Sovereignty. But for His Grace & Mercy. God answered me with His love. My role was serving, connecting, liaising, praying and worshipping. We are all worshippers. Serve My people Samantha, connect My people, share My Gospel of salvation & love with My people. That moment of clarity, led me to take the time to go into fasting and prayer for the event & I asked for a wall of prayer to cover all involved and who were to attend. God alone knew who this was. My focus had veered off God & onto self & I was helping the enemy with that entitlement attitude & he doesn’t need our help in doing wrong but he loves it when we move away from the will of God. I still continued to ask for prayer for my healing & deliverance because I know sicknesses is not my portion & I began to thank God for opening my eyes, heart & ears because He had been using me to do His will, right from ‘the bed of affliction’ I lay on & I could not see that “what the enemy had meant for my hurt, God turned it around for His good.” It was ok that I would not be there because God is always here.
Coming to the realisation of who we are in Christ, what His will for us as His children is, is crucial to how we not only walk as Christian but more so, how we serve Him. I am so thankful that He is a forgiving Father, who ‘throws our sins into the sea of forgetfulness, never to return’ & He looks beyond our thoughts & sees our needs. I only saw that I needed physical healing. I didn’t see that I needed more of God because I filled me up with “self” but He reached me into my place of need & dealt with me & can I tell you what a blessing I had when I worshipped at home, praying, praising & singing songs of praises whilst the event went on at The Emmanuel Centre, miles away in Central London because where The Spirit of The Lord is there is liberty, amen! As The Holy Spirit poured out over the brethren there, He connected with me at home and what an anointing it was; there was an outpouring & it was all from Our Father Above; 1Corinthians 3:6 tells us “I have planted, Apollos watered; but God gave the increase”. I later learned that souls were saved & this same scripture in Luke tells us in verse 10 “Likewise, I say unto you, there is joy in the presence of the angels of God over one sinner that repenteth.”
We must repent for the wrong we do as Christian too. I know I needed to repent of that pride & self entitlement attitude which I allowed to entangle itself around me because I did not focus on God but on self. There is nothing wrong with toiling behind the scenes, as the older brother did not realise, me too for that matter- because God sees our faithfulness. Every day I am learning more about Jesus & more about walking in His will, praying with the reality of who He is as Paul states “He must increase whilst I decrease” only then, will we give our true & honest service to Him, surrendering our all. We are a Royal Priesthood & a peculiar Nation & we are heirs to His Kingdom & this we receive by humbly submitting to His will, not our own. I understand now, why The Holy Spirit led me to this scripture, He was bringing me back in line with Him, tugging at me to take heed & to remain connected to Him, The True Vine & give Him all the honour & praise. I am still being delivered from my mobility issues & pain, He has bought me a mighty long way but I am loosed & I am healed in Jesus name because I believe, what He says He will do, even when all is impossible, it is not with God. I surrender my all & praise Him in thanksgiving. All God desires of me, of us all, is our heart.
If we at LCPF can help you in anyway, practical, emotional or spiritual help; if you need prayer or would like us to pray on behalf of someone, please contact us via our email, Twitter or Facebook. May God richly bless you & your household in His marvellous name.