Let’s say that a kid wants the newest, hottest, super-duper-deluxe video-game system for Christmas. The thing costs $450. Now let’s say that the kid’s parents just can’t afford to spend that much on a Christmas present. So what do they do? They buy a knockoff version, a game system that mimics the real deal and is made by some generic company. Cost? $100. Now you tell me, will that kid ever be truly satisfied with that lesser system? You know the answer.
Sadly, many Christians settle for less than God’s best when it comes to His will. The usual problem is that God’s best is typically found at the end of you doing something you don’t want to do. That something might be waiting. It might be persevering. It might be repenting. It might be confessing. So, rather than do that something you don’t want to do, you grab the best option available at the time and spend the rest of your life not being satisfied with the choice.
This reminds me of the story of the prodigal son (Luke 15:11-32). The young man asked his father for the inheritance the father planned to leave him, and the father granted the request. The young man then headed off into a far country to waste his newfound money on partying (v.13) and prostitutes (v.30). He was really living it up until his money ran out and he was forced to take a job feeding pigs. That job didn’t pay much, and he eventually found himself so hungry that he would gladly have filled his stomach with the food he was feeding the pigs.
If he had settled for that pig food, though, he would have missed God’s best for his life. That best awaited him back at his father’s house. To receive it, however, he’d have to repent of his sins, return home, make his confession to his father, and ask his father for mercy. None of that would be easy.
What he couldn’t have known, though, was that the reward would be his father giving him a beautiful robe, an expensive ring, and a nice pair of sandals. The father would also have the fatted calf killed and throw the young man a “welcome home” feast. A fatted calf verses pig food? There’s no comparison.
So, I guess my question to you right now is, “Are you willing to do that which is necessary to receive God’s best for your life?” If it requires waiting, will you wait? If it requires persevering, will you persevere? If it requires repenting, will you repent? If it requires confessing, will you confess?
You say, “No, Russell, I just can’t do that.” Well then the only thing left for you to do is acquire a taste for pig food. And, frankly, that’s what a lot of people (including many professing Christians) have done. Rather than do what was required of them to get in on God’s highest and best, they chose easier paths and in so doing settled for things inferior to what God had in mind for them.
You see, we’re not talking about life and death here. The prodigal son could have lived a long life in the far country eating that pig food. What we are talking about is quality of life. We’re talking about the difference between living in the father’s house and living in the far country. We’re talking about the difference between steak and pig food. We’re talking about the difference between a top-of-the-line game system and a knockoff one. We’re talking about the difference between God’s best for your life and something else, something that doesn’t cost you as much but isn’t as satisfying, either.