On our Way to the Top. Alive Series, Part 7


View from the top of the church of Brelevenez

"For this son of mine was dead and is alive again; he was lost and is found.' So they began to celebrate." (Luke 15:24, NIV2)

This prodigal son used to be quite an ungrateful lad. He knew better than anyone else and took his dad for granted. No wonder he demanded to have his share of his father's estate (Heritance) before his dad even died! He wanted to have pure fun. Wasn't this the reason why he was born? Then he squandered his wealth in wild living, not realizing that there are always consequences for our actions.

Eventually he found himself wanting, hungry and unloved. As, "no one give him anything" (verse 16b, NIV), he finally came to his senses. There is hope after all! Not everyone comes to their senses like that. He decided to go back to his father, but he had learned an important lesson:

"Father, I have sinned against heaven and against you. I am no longer worthy to be called your son; make me like one of your hired servants." (Luke 15:18b - 19, NIV2)

Unlike many of us, his pride dissipated into nothingness. His "I know better" attitude changed into one of humility. He realized that life was only possible by depending on his dad.

Wandering away from God always means death. Our priorities become skewed, and our emphasis becomes only on ourselves and our cravings. Living in such a way will eventually lead to a time of extreme need, as feeding our egos always leads to crisis.

If, at that time, we start to look for God, something amazing will happen within us: God's Spirit will find a place within us and will lead us to real life, a life worth living, under the shelter of our loving Father in heaven.

This is what I realized when we were in Lannion, France. When we were trying to find a parking spot for our rental car, we found ourselves in heavy traffic. Would we be able to park? Once we located our long-awaited spot, we had another dilemma: What direction should we go off in to find the church of Brelevenez, built by the Knights Templar in the 12th century? Many people passed by, but they all seemed to be in a rush. Eventually we were able to get the attention of one of them who was able to point us to the general direction of where we wanted to go.

We eventually found the 140 steps leading to the church. As we climbed these, we realized we no longer heard the tumult of the busy city traffic below, and we were filled with peace and beauty. On our left there were beautiful, slate-roved cottages, each bubbling over with charm and numerous gorgeous flowers; while on the other side we had a view of the city below. The higher we climbed, the more peaceful it became, and the more splendid became the view. We eventually reached the church Brelevenez, which in Breton means "Mount of Joy", our destination.

When we err, it is like we find ourselves amidst buzzing traffic. At times we don't even know where we are heading. Worry is our main theme, and more often than not we feel completely empty.

Once we realize that our Father is madly in love with us and we come to our senses, something happens within us. We begin to hunger to become closer to Him, and we start to climb the stairs that will lead us to our Father. As we climb this figurative staircase, we begin to see the world quite differently. Little by little, worries become insignificant. Our hunger for insane passions of the past become distasteful to us, as we now literally bathe in the love of our Father, which fills us with extravagant joy, deep peace and a trust beyond description.

Our Father loves us! Can we believe that? Wow! As we climb these stairs towards heaven, His love within us transforms our egocentric kind of living into a life that loves everyone around us genuinely and unconditionally. God has set up camp within us, as confirmed in the Scriptures: "The way we know we've been transferred from death to life is that we love our brothers and sisters. Anyone who doesn't love is as good as dead." (1 John 3:14, MSG)

Our Father's love supersedes anything we face on earth. His love sustains us and streams within us. We stay unfazed amidst grim circumstances, as our Father assures us that He is with us.

There was a man who I pray for whose wife wanted a divorce. He became quite fixated to change her mind. When he found our Father though, his outlook changed quite drastically. He had found the unending love of our Father, more precious than anything else in this world! He wrote the following:

"I am glad to say that The Lord is lifting me up out of my pit. I am eating on Him day to day and He is renewing my strength in Him. The situation is peaceable but she still desires divorce. I have committed all our spirits into His hands as the head of the house. He will do as he pleases. He has given me peace whatever happens He is my all in all and the most beautiful and sufficient spouse I could desire. I had to repent of doubting this and believing that even good things like family or marriage would satisfy me when only he will. I keep repenting of the ways I doubt Him and His Word in unbelief. He is granting me more and more faith. He is truly beautiful and I am falling more in love with Him each day. Whether she divorces me or not I have Him and she and nothing else can separate me from His love, not even sin because He defeated it."

One day we will reach heaven. We can't really comprehend its full beauty, and we will realize: "I consider that our present sufferings are not worth comparing with the glory that will be revealed in us." (Rom 8:18, NIV2)

Love supersedes anything, even our busy lives!

Where are you heading?

Rob Chaffart

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