…God our Savior, who wants everyone to be saved and to come to the knowledge of the truth.
1 Timothy 2:3-4 HCSB
No one is beyond God. No one is beyond the reach of God’s hand or the touch of His Spirit. Though it takes every minute of an entire life save one, while there’s life, there’s hope (Ecc. 9:4). I’m ashamed of how often I forget that truth.
No One Is Beyond God – or His Love
It’s as easy as breathing to look at someone and see only who they are and whose they are. I’ve despaired more than a few times and expected the absolute worst, too. It’s not easy to believe. That’s work!
The beauty and reward of doing the work to believe is the gift of the unsullied joy you experience when Jesus snatches victory from the jaws of defeat. What could sully the joy? Regret.
I’ve experienced both sullied and unsullied joy in these circumstances, and it rather goes without saying that unsullied is better. For one individual, I did the work to forgive, to repent, to separate AND to believe that Jesus is Lord and absolutely everything that He says He is. I was clean. So when they began to come through, I had no regrets and no guilt. My joy was unsullied and I was a guest at the Prodigal’s party. And along came Person 2.
I did the work to forgive, to repent and to separate from them, but I didn’t do the work to believe. I was relieved to have them out of my life, and though I prayed, “Thy will be done,” and meant it, I didn’t think they would ever turn—and I really didn’t care if they did. I was done and done. When Person 2 began to come through, I didn’t experience unencumbered joy over it. I realized that I wasn’t at the party this time. I’d been the Elder Brother. I’d hardened my heart. Because I didn’t believe and stay on God’s side and in His Spirit, I had no real part in the Lord’s vindication in the life of this lost soul. My joy was full of regret and surrounded by repentance. How could I be so unloving?!
No One Is Beyond God – or Prayer
When I am on God’s side unequivocally, I pray in His will. It’s not enough to follow through on God’s principles if I leave His heart and Spirit. When I remain in the Spirit, I am invited to the homecoming party. I cannot pray in the will of God if I’ve shut the door on His will moving as freely as His Spirit. Just because God has called you to sever all ties with another doesn’t mean that you can’t be eating dinner with them in a month. That’s entirely up to God, and if it isn’t, then I’m NOT on His side.
No one is beyond God. While they are alive, there is hope for anyone. That is part of our God-given work to believe in who Jesus Christ truly is and what He’s done for us all.
‘Quick! Bring out the best robe and put it on him; put a ring on his finger and sandals on his feet. Then bring the fattened calf and slaughter it, and let’s celebrate with a feast, because this son of mine was dead and is alive again; he was lost and is found!’
Luke 15:22-24 HCSB