The story of the prodigal son makes mention of a young man wasting his substance. Substance is the essential nature of a Christian. As an individual our substance should be so real that our ultimate nature should mirror our LORD and saviour.
The prodigal son wasted his substance because he failed to keep three essential components of his existence: Humility, Obedience, and Loyalty. Proverbs 29:23 says that a man’s pride shall bring him low: but honor shall uphold the humble in spirit. When we fail to walk in humility we are allowing pride to take rule in our heart.
Pride will cause us to challenge authority, think of ourselves more highly than we ought to, and refuse instruction. Once we gain what belong to us without humility, we will have the mind frame of a portion of Revelation 3:17. Our pride will tell us because I am rich, and increased with goods, that I do not have need of nothing. Our lack of humility blinds us from the reality that we are “wretched, miserable, poor, blind, and naked.”
The wretched, miserable, poor, blind, and naked part begins to manifest because we have become a man or woman that has looked in the mirror of truth, and when we decided to go our own way, we forgot what manner of person we were. Humility will cause us to accept the flaws that we see, but pride will always make us forget what state we are really in.
Once we have destroyed humility by allowing pride in, we will destroy ourselves more by our lack of obedience. Obedience is a governor for us like a governor to a car. The speedometer may show 140 mph, but the governor may only allow you to do 100 mph because anything pass that can be instant death.
Deuteronomy 17:12 says, “The man that will do presumptuously (overstepping due bounds) and will not hearken unto the priest that standeth to minister there before the Lord thy God, or unto the judge, even that man shall die: and thou shalt put away the evil from Israel.” The father allowed his son to be put away from him because the son overstepped his bounds by not hearkening to the priest of the home.
Hearkening goes hand in hand with obedience because if we cannot give respectful attention to authority, then we will not follow the commands or guidance of authority. The bible tells us in Deuteronomy 28:1-14 that we will receive blessings in our body, our store house, our cattle, and many other areas concerning us. Blessings will always fall on those that give respectful attention to the commandments of the Lord, and His servants that He has placed over our lives to instruct us in the ways of righteousness.
This also bring to mind the third point, Loyalty. Loyalty is faithfulness in our devotion to one’s lawful sovereign or government. When we allow humility to slide from under us, we will begin to lose our desire to walk in obedience. Once we have allowed obedience to slide as well, we will lose our level of loyalty. People that are not loyal, are traitors. Traitors are people that make every attempt to overthrow leadership, and is false in their obligation or duties.
1 Peter 2:13 instructs us to submit to every ordinance of man for the Lord’s sake: this is our civil duty, but it is important that we pay allegiance to the rules that govern us. When we are disloyal, we will begin to attach ourselves with citizens that mean us no good. I can remember in a movie where a soldier left his army because the enemy’s army seemed to be of greater stature. When this soldier left his army and crossed over, the general of the enemy’s army called him a traitor because he began to tell all of their secrets.
To make a long story short, the general gave this traitor a lecture about the world being full of traitors, and that it didn’t need anymore. After his lecture, the general called for one of his soldier’s to tie the man to the floor with his legs open, and the soldier struck the traitor in his private area with a mallet. The purpose of the general doing this was he felt the world did not need to be populated anymore with traitors. When we are traitors to the gospel we cannot reproduce seeds of righteousness. We can only reproduce what we are, traitors. Romans 5:19 says, “For as by one man’s disobedience, many were made sinners, so by the obedience of one shall many be made righteous.”
God is calling for His sons and daughters to walk in great humility. The way that we allow humility to enter into our lives is through fasting (Psalm 35:13), through trials and tribulations (Deuteronomy 8:3), and not making a reputation for ourselves (Philippians 2:7-8). Those trials will also cause obedience to come into our lives. Hebrews 5:8 says, “Christ learned obedience by the things that he suffered.”
The suffering that we shall experience is: keeping our body under subjection (1 Corinthians 9:27), and suffering for the sake of the gospel (2 Timothy 2:12, 1 Peter 3:14-17). We should love to obey the Lord because in our willingness to obey, he said that we would eat the good of the land (Isaiah 1:19), and our days will be lengthened (1 Kings 3:14).
Loyalty causes us to be faithful. We can never rule over anything until we learn how to be faithful. Loyalty causes us to get up and seek the Lord early, it causes us to hearken to His voice, it causes us to stay within our boundaries of righteousness, and it causes us to always bless the name of the Lord no matter what the situation. Though we may mess up, we have an advocate that goes before the Father on our behalf because we have humbled ourselves before the mighty hand of God, and have made an allegiance to follow His commandments.
We must submit ourselves to the Lord and resist the devil. We do this by destroying pride with humility, destroying disobedience with obedience, and destroying the spirit of a traitor with loyalty. Then and only then, will we possess the power of Christ to overthrow the workings of the enemy in our lives (2 Corinthians 10:4-6).