“For this my son was dead, and is alive again; he was lost, and is found. And they began to be merry.”
Several years ago, my friend and I were playing in the forest near his home, and because we were not paying close attention to the time and where we were, we found ourselves lost in the forest. For about two hours, we wandered in the forest trying to find our way out. It wasn’t until we found a familiar path that he had walked before that we were able to find our way back to his house.
Sadly, there are many believers who are lost in life and in their walk with Christ. I am not talking about being lost and in need of a Saviour; I am talking about being lost with no direction in life. Luke 15 talks about God’s people being lost. In verse 6 it says that the sheep “was lost.” In verse 9, God talks about the coin which was “lost.” In the verse above, the father of the prodigal said that his son “was lost.” Each of these instances shows three times that a believer can get lost.
The first way a believer gets lost is by being lost in the crowd. The sheep was one of one hundred, and it got lost in the crowd. Many believers allow themselves to be lost in the crowd because they don’t want to get involved in the church. I have watched many believers either go to a smaller church that is doing nothing for God so they can be lost in the crowd, or they go to a larger church so that nobody will see their lack of involvement. Either way, purposely getting lost in the crowd is unacceptable to Christ.
The second way a believer gets lost is by being hurt by a spiritual leader. The coin which got lost was lost by its owner. I have watched many believers who have stopped serving God and gradually drift away from being involved because their pastor or a leader in the church did something that hurt them. Instead of working out their differences or forgiving the leader, they chose to stay lost.
The third way a believer gets lost is through riotous living. The word “riotous” is talking about unruly, out-of-control, or undisciplined living. Many believers have not only gotten lost in their sin, but they also have gotten lost in an undisciplined life. The undisciplined life always leads to wasting the abilities that God has given you to use for Him. No matter which of these ways you may have gotten lost in, you can always find your way back to Christ through several actions.
First, come to yourself. Realize that you are lost and that Christ will always take you back. Don’t continue to live in the lost condition that wastes your potential, time, and life.
Second, get involved. Involving yourself in your church is a choice. You will never get involved by not being seen, but you get involved by being at the church activities all the time. The more your pastor sees you, the more he will be able to plug you into some area of the ministry where you can help.
Third, be forgiving of the mistakes of spiritual leaders. Carrying a grudge doesn’t help anyone. Learning to forgive for the sake of not being lost is much better than carrying a grudge and eventually getting lost in worldly activities.
Finally, living a scheduled and disciplined life will help you from getting lost. Set spiritual routines in your life and don’t allow yourself to get lost in peripheral affairs. The easiest way to find yourself is to confess your sin, and live a disciplined life of spiritual routines that will keep you serving God.