To one, God may be like the man who left ninety-nine sheep to search for one sheep that had gone astray until he found it (Luke 15:4).
But to another, He is like the prodigal son’s father, who doesn’t go after his son and search for him, but instead He waits (Luke 15:20). He waits for him to grow up. He waits for him to humble himself. He waits for him to come to his senses.
The prodigal son knew what belonged to him and he went boldly to his father and asked for it. The problem was He left what he needed after he got what he wanted. Even after God gives you what you’ve been asking for, you are still going to need Him.
Just because the father didn’t search for his son doesn’t mean he didn’t love him, but it was time for his son to make a decision. What do you want? He had to make up his mind. Either he could stay where he was (apart from his father), toiling, but still hungry or he could go back to his father where there were hired servants and enough bread to spare (Luke 15:15-17).
God has better for you. You don’t have to stay where you are. You don’t have to struggle, but you’re struggling because you want to do things your way. The Holy Spirit will convict you. He will tell you what you need to do, but He is not going to do it for you and He’s not going to make you do it. This has to be your choice.
Elijah asked the question, How long will you halt between two opinions? (1 Kings 18:21). How long will you go back and forth? How long will you sit between who you were and who you are created to be?
There are some adult Christians who want God to treat them like babies. You want him to always pick you up and carry you, but it’s time to learn how to walk – by your own faith. You’re His child, but you’re not a baby anymore. God expects us to grow in our salvation (1 Peter 2:2). Jesus grew in wisdom and stature and He expects us to grow, too. At the age of 12, Jesus was being taught in the temple, but by the age of 30, He was teaching others.
Making choices is part of growing up and sometimes it will feel like making a decision is hard, but when you read the conversation between the serpent and Eve, we learn that God will tell you the type of ‘trees’ that are before you and He will tell you which tree to choose and which tree not to choose, but He is not going to choose for you (Genesis 3:2-3).
God gave you the power to choose, but choose rightly. Maybe you’ve made some poor choices in the past, but the days of being angry, blaming people, living in regret and feeling powerless or helpless are over. Maybe your parents didn’t always make the right choices concerning you, but you’re grown now. You can make your own choices. Choose to obey God and when you choose to do what God wants you to do first, then those things you’ve been worrying about and toiling for will be added to you (Matthew 6:33).
Whether you want God to use you or you want what He has for you or you want to become like a planted tree that brings forth fruit, it is going to require growth, time and change. Do you really want it?