The older son was in the field, and as he came closer to the house, he heard the sound of music and dancing. So he called to one of the servants and asked what all this meant. The servant said, “Your brother has come back, and your father killed the fat calf, because your brother came home safely.” The older son was angry and would not go in to the feast. So his father went out and begged him to come in. But the older son said to his father, “I have served you like a slave for many years and have always obeyed your commands. But you never gave me even a young goat to have at a feast with my friends. But your other son, who wasted all your money on prostitutes, comes home, and you kill the fat calf for him!” The father said to him, “Son, you are always with me, and all that I have is yours. We had to celebrate and be happy because your brother was dead, but now he is alive. He was lost, but now he is found.” (Luke 15:25-32)
His younger brother wanted his share of the inheritance. After his father gave it to him, he left home and squandered it, while the older son stayed home and fulfilled the expected role of a son. But when the younger brother came home, the father treated him with much love, celebrating his return. And the older brother wasn’t happy about it.
We can cry “no fair” when we feel we’ve done the right thing then see someone else being treated abundantly well, because we think everyone should get what they deserve. We think it’s tied into behavior and that we have a right in response to what we’ve done or haven’t done, but that’s not how inheritance works. We don’t earn it. It’s given because of the person giving it not because of ourselves.
God gives you an inheritance.
The lines have fallen to me in pleasant places; Indeed, my heritage is beautiful to me. (Psalm 16:6)
What happens when we try to live by our own boundaries and expectations instead of God’s?
- We build ourselves a small space within the large space we’ve inherited and we never step on every inch intended for us.
- We pay more attention to what we don’t have than what we do. We think the grass is always greener on the other side of the fence.
- We become territorial, believing where we go and what we have is more about ourselves than about our responsibility to the one who gave us the inheritance.
Naked I came from my mother’s womb, and naked I shall return there. The Lord gave and the Lord has taken away. Blessed be the name of the Lord. (Job 1:21)
So what’s keeping you where you are, holding you back, or making you frantically run toward and for something else?
Don’t define your inheritance on your own. God gives it to you. He knows it best. And he’ll guide you every step throughout it and every moment you live within it. You need to simply ask, trust, and respond in obedience.