There are many times in life where we feel lost.
From simple items like getting turned around in an unfamiliar city to deeper items like “where am I going in life” the feeling of being lost can impact anyone. While Scripture often refers to being lost as the state people are in before they accept Christ as their Savior there is an interesting section of scripture that explains being lost that can apply to even the most seasoned Believer.
In the fifteenth chapter of Luke’s Gospel Jesus gives three parables to the Pharisee’s when they saw Him receiving and eating with sinners. The three parables are distinctly different from each other and for the Believer there are several underlaying principles that can be discerned to help strengthen your testimony. We are going to explore three ideas of being lost in hopes that by recognizing you will be able to combat them when they arise in your life.
Idea #1 – Naturally Lost
In verses 4-7 He tells the well-known parable of a shepherd with 100 sheep and one of them is missing. He leaves the 99 in search of the one and when the lost sheep was found he rejoiced and brought it home. It is a beautiful picture of the love the Father has for us and how sometimes we become naturally lost. Think about how the sheep got lost. It was likely eating, walking and not paying attention. Before it knew it there were no other sheep around and it didn’t know where it was.
Consider the core group of friends you have in your life. Are they taking you closer to God or pulling you further away? There is a saying that we are a net result of the 5 people we spend the most time with. While that isn’t a direct science it does shed light on how we can become naturally lost. If those we are spending time with never talk about their Faith, are not showing any Fruit and live by their own set of rules the chances are that you will as well. It’s only natural that you go with the flow as you grow closer to them and at the same time further from God.
The answer if you think you are naturally lost – look up! Stop for a minute and have some true self-evaluation time. Ask the Holy Spirit to remove the blinders so that you can see the situation the way He does. Before you start freaking out remember that being naturally lost can be corrected once identified.
Idea #2 – Accidentally Lost
Verses 8-10 tell a story of a woman who had ten coins and lost one of them. She searched her house up and down until the lost coin was found. Once it was located, she rejoiced greatly with her friends. This is a perfect picture of how by accident we can get lost. The woman in the parable didn’t wake up and say, “I think I’ll lose one of my coins today”. Life happens and just like no one ever intentionally hides the remote control (although there are times that I really wonder) the fact is we can get lost.
A great example of getting accidentally lost can be identified by looking at your personal calendar. While it is likely full of items that on the surface are not damaging the issue lies in the busyness that ensues. From work, health, family, and spouse commitments before you know it there isn’t enough day left at the end of the list to get everything done. Often, we jam our schedules so tight that we are not giving God an opportunity to speak to us and if He does, we don’t have enough flexibility to take action. It would be a stretch to think that anyone wakes up with an attitude of today I am going to be defiant to what He tells me to do but if we are too stacked being busy, we may find ourselves accidentally lost.
So, what do you do if you are accidentally lost – take action! When we make mistakes in life how we respond impacts our testimony. Being blissfully ignorant is not the answer. Pray for help in correcting the areas that are pulling you away from God and then turn the answers into action.
As you think about your schedule it is important that we do not beat ourselves up. Give yourself some grace and recognize that now is the best opportunity to make the changes that He desires. Be willing, be ready, and be on the lookout for those Holy Interruptions. When they arrive greet them with love and enjoy being the hands and feet of Jesus. For support being the man God intends you to be join our community where we have the resources, expertise, and guidance you need. See you inside the den!
Idea #3 – Willfully Lost
Verses 11-32 is the well-known parable of the prodigal son. In this parable the youngest son demands his inheritance and proceeds to live a life by his rules. In this account you can see first-hand that he willfully acted and had no regard to his father or his future. He was living 100% by the moto “my way”. While that may work when it comes to ordering hamburgers, it is a terrible approach to going through life.
You may be thinking “I’m not like the prodigal son” and relatively speaking you may be right. However, how often do you find yourself saying “I got this”? Most men recognize this is a point of weakness and we’ve been conditioned to think that everything we do has to be done by our own strength and knowledge. This is a scary mindset to have and often overcoming being willfully lost can be the hardest area for men to shake.
The answer to being willfully lost – repentance. This type of disobedience requires that you turn away from your ways and turn to the Father. The pride of life holds many men back from taking this necessary step and often you will need fellow brothers in Christ to help with this recovery.
What items trips you up the most often and leads you to feeling lost (naturally, accidentally, or willfully)? The Good News of the Gospel is that God desires a true relationship with Him and once you put your faith in Jesus the Holy Spirit begins to do miraculous work. Making the decision to Follow Him is never easy and you should not feel like you need everything figured out before you join Him. The reality is God wants us to come as we are and if we are obedient to the Holy Spirit’s call in our life, He will show us the steps to take. You’ll never be lost again if you choose to follow Jesus.