But when he came to his senses, he said, ‘How many of my father’s hired men have more than enough bread, but I am dying here with hunger! I will get up and go to my father, and will say to him, “Father, I have sinned against heaven, and in your sight; I am no longer worthy to be called your son; make me as one of your hired men.”‘ So he got up and came to his father. But while he was still a long way off, his father saw him and felt compassion for him, and ran and embraced him and kissed him. Luke 15:17-20
Intentional process is a new fresh idea that God has put in mind. We all deal with and live with our own decisions bad or good. They can lead us to a path of glory and significance, or they can lead us to a path of desolation and destruction. The prodigal son should be really called the lost son. What he did was rash and he lived lavishly as far as he could until he became desolate. He lost everything he had and ended up living like a pig. It’s not a mistake that Jesus uses a swine pit to describe where he ended up. The pig is a forbidden type of food to eat because all the pig eats is nasty things. It’s an unclean animal, and not worth eating. Jesus put evil spirits in the pigs when he let them all out of the boy who was possessed by a bunch of them. When Jesus says the lost son was in a swine pit, He is saying that he was lost as lost can be. He was at the end of the line; no place that could be lower. An intentional process is the decisions you make. The lost son decided to squander his inheritance and break his father’s heart by leaving home. He intended to have fun. He went through a process that he wanted to go through, but in the end, the consequence to the process was being in a place he never intended it be. There are some interesting things that we can learn from this parable that show us how to have a good intentional process.
With every bad decision comes an unintentional consequence. The lost son did not have a plan for the money that was viable. His plan was to spend and party like crazy. If he planned it out better, by make a good decision with his money, he could have done some good with the money. He could have used it for good and helped others with it. He could have invested it and made more money for his father. With poor choices comes poor planning. On the flipside, the lost son made a good decision and a great plan when he was determined to ask for forgiveness from his father and be repentant. He had a good plan and an intentional process that would lead to his redemption. When we make godly plans to change, God like the lost son’s father will come running to meet us and inspire us with moments of realization. These are blessings that show us favor and give us more determination to achieve that godly goal.
The miracle here happened through a process. The lost son had to go through the process and learn from his unwise mistakes. We all make mistakes and wrong decisions, the blessing in disguise is learning from those mistakes and not relying on God to miraculously get us out of the process, but be with us through the process. Out of all that becomes the fact that you will learn something from your mistakes, you build character and you build a ministry. God will help us to learn about ourselves, Him, and from the mistake we made. We also gain faith, hope, and love. We have a love for other people that may make the same mistake that we made and so we have something to share and encourage someone else with. Our faith is built by sharing this and we can get hope for ourselves as well as give hope to others. Through an intentional process of a bad choice, we can gain an intentional process of positive results. We can both share this and help others get through their pain, or keep it to ourselves. What kind of life will we have if we don’t build our faith, give hope, and share love?
© [David Howard], [David’s Body Temple], 2011-2015.