Luke 15:17 And when he came to himself…
Years ago when I was living in addiction, my sister had a dream that pictured perfectly the state I was in. She saw a dingy, dark, dirt covered corner of a yard with a doghouse. This corner was in the shadows. I was in this corner. Beside me there was a chain but I wasn’t attached to it, yet was living as if I was. Broken hearted she called for me in desperate desire for my freedom. When she called, I walked forward just enough for her to see my face, then walked back into the darkness. She continued pleading for me to come. She cried and begged but I wouldn’t budge. I was lifeless and emotionless. I heard her voice but was unresponsive. She couldn’t understand why I would stay there when all I had to do was walk away from it. All I had to do was walk into the light and into the arms of family who loves me. But in the dark, dingy corner I stayed, among the chains and the filth.
This was my condition. I was living like a dog. I didn’t work. I lived with someone who fed me and wanted my companionship and tried to keep me happy by giving me a “treat” in the form of drugs everyday. Funny how a dog can be wild and unruly, but when you give them a treat, they’ll walk right into the kennel. I was living in a high-rise kennel and didn’t even realize it. Though I was living in what I considered to be “nice conditions”, the actual state of my condition was painted perfectly in my sister’s dream. For the truth is, even places that are appealing to the eye and look bright and clean can be spiritually filthy. A million dollar house can be a prison. A dream job can be a muddy swamp. And a high-rise condo in Dallas, through spiritual eyes, may be a dark, dingy, dirt covered corner in the shadows.
I honestly was bound by my addiction, but I wasn’t bound to the place that fed it. There was no chain holding me there. Why wouldn’t I leave it? Why was I separating myself from my family? I didn’t know who I was. There was more to life than what I was living, but every time I got a piece of it, it wouldn’t take long before I ran back to the shadows. Then if I came back to family, it was with my tail between my legs with no joy and full of fear and shame.
This is not a picture of my life today. I’m not living as a dog and I know my identity. I’m a mighty man of God because that’s who He says I am. I do serve a master, but I’m not his pet, I’m his child. This is because God gave me the courage to come into the light. Just like he allowed the prodigal son to “come to” himself. Through prayers and interceding and warfare that I may never know the true extent of… God gave me a “come to” moment. An awakening. A true view of my condition. And “come to” moments that are God given are not only so that you “come to” yourself… but the purpose is so you’ll “come to” Him! This takes courage. This takes humility. This takes reality, which is something people in this condition are not familiar with.
I believe this is not only the story of my life, but also the lives of many others. Many are living in darkness and filth. They have heard the call to come out and to come home and yet, despite the available freedom, they remain in the shadows. It’s a lonely place. It’s a depressing place. Let me assure you there is more to life. Let me assure you that whether or not earthly family is crying out for your freedom, you can know that you’re heavenly Father is. Jesus is calling. His desire is for you to run from that darkness and into his marvelous light. Run into the arms of Him who loves you! Your current condition doesn’t have to be your permanent condition. My prayer for you is that God will give you that moment today where you “come to”. Come to your senses. Come to reality of your condition and His position. Come to yourself, and most of all, come to Christ.