We all, like sheep, have gone astray, each of us has turned to our own way (Isaiah 53:6). This is the spiritual state of the world. We are all prone to wander. What causes us to wander away from God and how does God seek to reclaim his own?
In Matthew’s gospel Jesus tells the parable of the wandering sheep.
“What do you think? If a man owns a hundred sheep, and one of them wanders away, will he not leave the ninety-nine on the hills and go to look for the one that wandered off? 13 And if he finds it, truly I tell you, he is happier about that one sheep than about the ninety-nine that did not wander off. 14 In the same way your Father in heaven is not willing that any of these little ones should perish. – Matthew 18:12-14 (NIV)
Could this parable refer to Christians who wander away or non-Christians? I think it could be both. Followers of Jesus wander away from their savior and mankind wanders away from their creator. Either way, we are all prone to wander.
Come, Thou Fount of every blessing
Tune my heart to sing Thy grace
Streams of mercy, never ceasing
Call for songs of loudest praise
Teach me some melodious sonnet
Sung by flaming tongues above
Praise the mount, I’m fixed upon it
Mount of Thy redeeming love
Here I raise my Ebenezer
Here there by Thy great help I’ve come
And I hope, by Thy good pleasure
Safely to arrive at home
Jesus sought me when a stranger
Wandering from the fold of God
He, to rescue me from danger
Interposed His precious blood
Oh, to grace how great a debtor
Daily I’m constrained to be
Let that goodness like a fetter
Bind my wandering heart to Thee
Prone to wander, Lord, I feel it
Prone to leave the God I love
Here’s my heart, oh, take and seal it
Seal it for Thy courts above
Why are we prone to wander?
We wander because of the pursuit of our own pleasures. We wander because of the disillusionment with our own pain. We wander because of the lack of hope in our own suffering. We wander because of personal conflict with God, others, and the church. We wander because of our wounded hearts. We wander because we choose not to forgive.
We are prone to wander because of the pursuit of power, wealth, and status. Our pride leads us astray. We wander because of the deceitfulness of self-sufficiency. We wander because we’ve lost our purpose, we’ve lost our way.
We spend too much time wandering.
God offers a remedy for our obsessive wandering by sending Jesus to the cross as a beacon for our return.
“He [Jesus] himself bore our sins” in his body on the cross, so that we might die to sins and live for righteousness; “by his wounds you have been healed.” 25 For “you were like sheep going astray,” but now you have returned to the Shepherd and Overseer of your souls. – 1 Peter 2:24-25 (NIV)
God wants to heal our broken, wayward heart. We can return to the Shepherd by accepting the healing that came by Jesus’s wounds. God took the initiative! He went to great lengths to bring back to himself those who are estranged from him.
God, through Jesus wants to reclaim those who have wandered away. Either lost sinners or wayward Christians.
God is the overseer of our souls. When we wander, there is no need to wonder if God cares. He cares because of the cross of Christ. He cares because he commissioned Jesus to seek and save the lost. The living Christ calls us, he draws us home to be with God.
Are you prone to wonder? God is prone to love you, pursue you, and forgive you. He leaves the majority to come and find you. Jesus sought you when a stranger from the manger to the cross. You can return to God because he is not willing that anyone should be lost. Not even one.
Why do you think we are prone to wander?
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