Weekly Sabbath Survey
Willful Child Syndrome — 4-19-2014
Today I am thinking about people who have grown up knowing about God, maybe even accepting Jesus as their Savior, but somehow they got lost and ended up like Pinocchio: a ‘wooden head’ on the Island of Lost Boys. If you remember that story, as time goes by, the lost boys began to take on the characteristics of donkeys. They grew long donkey ears and their speech was interspersed with pitiful braying.
God must grieve over all the years so many of us waste by spending time as an emptied out and discarded vessel feeling unwanted and unloved. Such a person will not allow God to bless them because they refuse to submit their will to His. Maybe we could call it Willful Child Syndrome. This would be an adult who lives spiritually like an unruly child: a person who runs away from home because they don’t like the parental controls. Then they end up in Dallas or New York City with no money and no useful skills to get a job. They are prey for the people who crawl around the side streets and dark allies of the big city, looking for someone they can devour. In the Bible this person is called the Prodigal Son, rich at home but living poor and lonely in a far away city.
This willful spirit probably describes many of our children, and maybe even ourselves. At this stage the rest of everyone who follows the Lord, can only pray for the ones who just won’t give in. We must always love them even in the pain it causes us to watch them destroying themselves with every unwise decision and ‘unlucky’ circumstance they get themselves into.
There is little or no victory for people in this category until they realize they are in a fight. Some people are oblivious when it comes to spiritual warfare, and may even refuse to understand it when it is explained to them. As long as they don’t know or don’t want to know, they will continue on, wondering why they seem to get into every strange and hazardous situation that comes along. They constantly blame other people, bad luck, or even GOD, for all the things that keep going wrong.
Some people are lying on the ground wondering why others going by keep stepping on them, kicking them or stomping them, and why the elements are freezing/burning them, and why their empty stomach seems stuck to their backbone. They may also puzzle over why they are living in a pig pen sleeping with the pigs. Some acknowledge the Lord, but still go their own way and pout before Him when He doesn’t give them all they hoped for. They may pray and cry, but like spoiled brats their soul refuses to be comforted. [Psalm 77:2-3)
It is for the most part hopeless until we stop running from God and His ways. We must surrender to Him, to His will over us and to His plan for us. Only THEN can we stand in His strength through our obedience, and FIGHT! We must fight a spiritual battle with the forces that come against us. These forces can be named: 1) the world (other people and life circumstances), 2) the flesh (our own stubborn, sinful nature), and 3) the devil (demonic influence and pure evil on the Earth). These three, a most unholy trinity, are coming after us all the time. Our only hope is to come seriously under the protection of the Lord.
Some people are stubborn about being in control. They don’t like the idea of letting go and letting God. It is a matter of trust. We must become like a small child who jumps off a tall place, laughing at the game of ‘Catch Me, Daddy!’ It never occurs to this toddler that Daddy won’t be there or isn’t paying attention. It’s why we call this extreme surrender The Leap of Faith.
Be sober, be vigilant, because your adversary the devil walks around like a roaring lion, seeking whom he may devour. 1 Peter 5:8