Luke 15 verses 13 to 17 give us the heart of the story of the Prodigal son….And not many days after, the younger son gathered all together, journeyed to a far country, and there wasted his possessions with prodigal living. But when he had spent all, there arose a severe famine in that land, and he began to be in want. Then he went and joined himself to a citizen of that country, and he sent him into his fields to feed swine. And he would gladly have filled his stomach with the pods that the swine ate, and no one gave him anything. But when he came to himself, he said, ‘How many of my father’s hired servants have bread enough and to spare, and I perish with hunger!
The question at this point is still, “How are we trying to find satisfaction in life?” We could reword it, “How are we trying to find love, joy, and peace?” The Parable of the Prodigal Son touches on this issue.
Like the young man, we yearn for a feeling of well-being, peace, security, fun, and happiness. Also like him, we pursue after them, attempting to produce them in virtually every way but God’s way….. the Father’s way. We, like him, experience the same empty, hollow, “something-is-missing” feelings.
What is missing from such a life is the true purpose of life combined with the effort of fulfilling it by living the required way. The three offerings in the Old testament book of Leviticus 1-3—the burnt, meal, and peace offerings—broadly define God’s way of life: doing all things within the context of His purpose in love. As we can see, I John 5:3 defines love as keeping the commandments, and the essence of love is sacrificial giving.
Even without the Spirit of God, some people (psychologists, for instance) have figured out much of this. However the part they have not determined through observing humanity is the true purpose of life because God has not revealed it to them. They have, however, found that the essence of love is sacrifice and that doing the right things produces a sense of well-being. I am not surprised at all about this since whether we believe in God or not, we are all made in His image as moral beings and so are bound to get some way to understanding this.
But an abundant life with real purpose can only be achieved through Christ living with a person and so the only way to obtain this degree of happiness and direction so sought after by the masses is to simply get to know the God of the Bible!
Have a good week