Hovering Over Rock Bottom in the Pigs Pen

Happy Friday!

Yesterdays blog: 31 Random Facts About the Chuckster was so much fun! Thanks for making it great with your HILARIOUS random facts!

Todays… a clip from Make Me A Legend chapter 6: Hurry Up & Find Rock Bottom!

hovering over rock bottom in the pigs pen

Isn’t it weird to think about how much God loves us, and how we spend so much of our lives running and hiding from him? Why do we muscle through our days in human strength, only turning to God when we have nowhere else to turn? Aren’t we out of our minds for making him our last resort? Why are we like this?

We live in a time when anyone claiming a close relationship with God is shunned as a religious fanatic. This modern world makes it seem like only ‘Christian extremists’ or ‘Jesus Freaks’ actually use the Bible as their guiding light. We want God to leave us alone, so we can live how we see best, without having responsibility to some ‘Heavenly Father’. Take a look at this beautiful story Jesus used for describing this insanity…

To illustrate the point further, Jesus told them this story: “A man had two sons. The younger son told his father, ‘I want my share of your estate now, instead of waiting until you die.’ So his father agreed to divide his wealth between his sons. A few days later this younger son packed all his belongings and took a trip to a distant land, and there he wasted all his money on wild living.

About the time his money ran out, a great famine swept over the land, and he began to starve. He persuaded a local farmer to hire him to feed his pigs. The boy became so hungry that even the pods he was feeding the pigs looked good to him. But no one gave him anything. (Tough love) When he finally came to his senses, he said to himself, ‘At home even the hired men have food enough to spare, and here I am, dying of hunger! I will go home to my father and say, “Father, I have sinned against both heaven and you, and I am no longer worthy of being called your son. Please take me on as a hired man.” –Luke 15:11-19

Can you see why this message was, and still is such a smash hit for Jesus? Millions of earthlings, who have never heard about Jesus, have heard his story about the Prodigal Son! I think it’s so popular because every one of us has served time in the pig’s pen. Haven’t we?

Not everyone in the mud, is perceptibly trudging around in some extreme state of human deprivation. There’s a vast sea of prodigals, who seem to have their lives all together… living in nice homes, driving nice cars, with nice careers! While the real truth is… they’re shattered and empty inside! Because nothing satisfies when the connection with Father is disrupted.

God forbid you’re even up to your neck in the slop right now, reduced down to a fraction of the amazing person you once were, gasping for your life under the unbearable weight of some great big series of wrong turns. It can happen so fast!

Every day, my heart aches so badly as I run into people worn down with hard life in the pig’s pen. Anyone that knows one of these pig dwellers almost wonders if they’re going to die right there in the mud! Some of them have spent so much time in the mud they oink at their own reflection! Their humanity has been leeched away… their identity is gone. In a maze of misery, these history maker hopefuls drift further and further into the wastelands, with very little hope of escape.

If I’m describing your scenario with startling prophetic accuracy, then please, with everything you have left, dig your frail fingernails deep into the cover of my book and hold on for dear life… I’m here to carry you out into safety!

Let’s dedicate some time praying today, for all the prodigal people we know! Look around! Things are not usually as they seem. Some of the worlds most hopeless people hide it sooo well.

Dream Big, Live Bold, and Make the Difference!

Please note: I reserve the right to delete comments that are offensive or off-topic.

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14 thoughts on “Hovering Over Rock Bottom in the Pigs Pen

  1. Pastor Chuck,

    Haven't been to your site in a while, because I've been speaking "busy" fluently! And I almost didn't click on the link in Facebook this morning. As a matter of fact, I'm late for an appointment with Jesus right now. But I wanted to read your blog because I have missed it so much.

    This morning's post… WOW. Just last night I was talking to a friend that I have prayed and prayed and prayed for… he is not saved and his life is a mess. I have talked to this guy time and time again, about how much God LOVES him and wants to make his life better, and he just won't listen! It's almost like he loves the mud in the pig sty, even though he's in really bad shape. 6 Months ago, he was having a hard time with some digestive problems, and he was literally scared that he was going to die in his sleep. Yet, he would not listen to anything about how much God loved him. He hasn't had a decent job in 10 years, but he told me recently that he might have a possibility at a full time position soon. I was SO excited because I thought that God had brought him this job as a way of saying, "Yes, I DO love you and I DO care about you!" But he told me last night the job is not going to materialize. I was so brokenhearted for him.

    Our conversation last night went something like this:

    "So how's that paperwork coming for that job?"

    "Eh, it's not going to happen."

    "WHY??"

    "Because, it's just not."

    "but… but…"

    "Michelle, it's okay. I've gotten used to this. This is life. I got over the emotion of this a long time ago. I'm just existing."

    "And.. then what?"

    "And then you die."

    "And… THEN what?"

    "And then, your body rots."

    "Do you honestly think that you don't go anywhere when that happens?"

    "Yeah, Michelle, I'm beginning to think so."

    After a long time of staring at the computer, I finally said, "I hope you will rethink your position on that." He logged off soon afterward.

    I know this is long, but I wanted you to hear a real-life modern day "prodigal" who really IS in the mud and just barely existing (and also starves some because money is always tight).

    And I want to copy and paste your blog message into an email and send it to him. Because this post is powerful, and anointed, and may be just the words that will reach down into his soul. (If I send him the link to the blog for him to read it, he won't. He'll just ignore it, because he knows that I'm a Christian and he knows that I want him to know Jesus. He even laughs at me and says I have a "corner office" in God's kingdom for all the work I do for God. Jeepers…)

    His name is Andy, and if you wouldn't mind, I would appreciate if you and your church would join me in praying for this guy. He NEEDS Jesus so much. And if anyone else that reads your blog wants to pray for him, too, that would be great.

    Thank you, Pastor Chuck, for all you do for the kingdom. You are one in a million, indeed!

    God bless! Now off to spend time with Father God!

  2. I'm praying for Andy right now!! You know, chapter 6 in my book was written for all the Andy's! I even thought about turning it into a mini booklet for people to hand out to their lost friends! It's SO POWERFUL… all 16 pages of it! Thanks for showing me a glimpse of what can be!! Have a super day Michelle… you are a BLESSING!

  3. I too am praying for Andy right now and all the other "Andy's" out there! I too have recently come in contact with a lot of people who feel just like this and I love that I have something else now to share with them!! Not to mention there will be many more in the future. This blog is somthing I will be printing off to share as well! Thanks!

  4. Pastor, you are so right about "Things aren't always what they seem" and in this story I tend to think of the other son. He had it all but did he REALLY know it? The rest of the story tells it as you know. I know this is preached in a lot of churches about the one son but not a lot about the other one. I wonder why?

    I know I am not a bible expert or anything like that but from what I see to learn from the rest of the story too is from the other son. He is a picture of like so many of us today in the church living and walking with Christ. I say church because this son, didn't run off in sin. He was a picture of the "good son". Not implying that we in the church do not sin. Boy, I'm digging me a hole, I better just shut up!! Feel free not to post this.

    Today is my random thought list LOL!

    He is doing all the "right things" but when it comes right down to the heart, look what is really revealed. He had to deal with his anger, jealousy, loyalty, forgiveness, and what a powerful message about how God is with us and that things don't matter as expressed in Luke 15:31.

    Then the ending of course teaching us all to rejoice when a lost one is found. I see the importance of family. The family unity of your immediate family, this was his BROTHER. If he holds bitterness, unforgiveness and jealously towards his own brother how can he then reach the world?

    This also taught us to deal with our feelings. We see that the older brother faced the father and told him how he felt. He didn't bottle it up inside to fester and "stick a lid on his pot".

    In closing my rantings I see two powerful illustrations, the one son whose sin for a season was obvious and the other son's sin was not so obvious but just as harmful if left without repentance. God is there all the time.

    Thanks for letting my brain wander.

    Great clip from your book too!!

  5. oh Michelle, Your story about Andy breaks my heart and even more to know most likely he is somewhere far far away that none of us can physically reach him. I know our prayers can! Thanks for sharing and I will pray for Andy and for you as you minister to him and all the others that you reach.

    Keep on Keeping on. You do make a HUGE DIFFERENCE! Let him know about Destiny Family Center online services. He may say he won't watch it but you never know what he will do in his times of need. We have the live services and then the archives too so he could log on at any time and be able to watch a worship and preaching service live. http://www.destinyfamily.com . When you copy the blog and paste it to his email it will have Pastor's info which includes the address to the church and his facebook, twitter, etc so he will get it that way when you copy.

  6. Vickie, I agree with everyone else. Wonderful thoughts! Don't ever apologize for your thoughts. And you're right. The other son that stayed home… did he stay home out of love for his father? Or did he stay home because it was duty? I think, though I didn't look it up to be sure, that when the prodigal got his inheritance, the other son ALSO got his. So he wasn't missing out, and still he complained (if I have that correct).

    Thank you all for praying for Andy. I'm hoping that as more people pray, the Holy Spirit will increase the tug on Andy's heart. He was SO close to accepting Jesus when he was so terribly sick some months ago, and then he suddenly stepped away from it.

    And yes, Vickie, he lives far away from here. But I will tell him about the online services, and hope and pray that he will watch. That would be awesome!

    God gave me the neatest picture of salvation, of relating it to being rescued from drowning in the ocean, and I plan on sharing that with Andy, too. Here, I'll share this with you all, too (and Pastor Chuck, you can tell me if it needs correction in any way):

    A person is drowning in the ocean, because he/she does not know how to swim. And some people come by in a boat, see the drowning person, and immediately help. One person in the boat throws a life preserver to the person drowning, that is attached to a rope that is attached to the boat. Another person jumps in the water to be with the person who is being rescued. And there is a third person who is driving the boat.

    The person in the boat holding the rope is Jesus. The person who jumps in the water to be with the person being rescued is the Holy Spirit. The life preserver is the Word of God, connected to Jesus in the boat. The person driving the boat is God. They are all connected in the salvation process, all working together to get the person rescued.

    As long as the person being rescued does what he/she is told, after putting on the life preserver, he is saved, and is constantly being saved, all the way into the boat, which takes this person to complete safety.

    Salvation is: accepting the life preserver (accepting what God's Word says about you as a person and what it says about Jesus), resting on the life preserver, trusting in it and the person holding onto it by the rope (trusting Jesus with your life from that point forward), and listening to the person alongside in the water, allowing that person to guide, assist, train, help, etc (accepting the Holy Spirit as your teacher).

    In a deep ocean, no-one can swim hard enough, fast enough, or long enough, to get themselves to safety. We HAVE to be saved, and the only one with the boat and the life preserver, is Jesus.

    This is my take on an explanation of salvation I saw on a church's website. I kinda tweeked it a little. 🙂 Thoughts?

  7. Michelle, I think you have a excellent illustration there about the boat. If it were me explaining it out (since you asked) I would start with adding the person is drowning and somehow relate not knowing how to swim = drowning in their own sin.. Somehow so they know and realize the fact that we are all born sinners and we can't save ourselves.

    If they don't get that part then repentance will not be in their hearts which also I would add somewhere around the part where you have "As long as the person being rescued does what he/she is told… I would word it somehow about as long as the person HAS FAITH in the life preserver and trusts that it will carry him/her to the boat safely.

    Well I guess it does kind of say all this so maybe it's just me. What does Pastor Chuck say?

  8. a late tag on here, but for anybody that wants to keep this on their minds and hearts you should put "the prodigal son suite" by keith green on your ipod playlists. very powerful song and will remind us all to pray for the prodigals we know

  9. I love that Michelle!!! One plants, another waters, and GOD gives the increase! I thank God for racing his boat into the shark infested waters of my old sinful life! I was drowning… and it would not have been very long before I was no more. Salvation is the most beautiful thing in all the universe!

  10. No, Vickie, I think you're right. It needs a little more detail. Thanks for sharing what you said! It DOES need the added words about "drowning in sin" or "drowning in this world" or something like that. My picture was, the ocean is the world, and there's no way we can make it through this world, even though we might THINK we can, there's no way we can make it on our own through this world and then safely to Heaven.

    And yes, Pastor Chuck, the waters are shark infested! So many things and people and circumstances out there, to just devour us.