In Luke 15 we see the story of a young man who asks for his inheritance and then proceeds to leave home. It states, “And not many days after the younger son gathered all together, and took his journey into a far country” (Luke 15:13). When reading this we assume he traveled a long ways. But “a far country” is relative. How do you convert “a far country” to miles? Maybe that’s the whole point. Jesus could have very easily have said that the boy traveled 2 days journey to another country. But the fact that He left it vague means He wanted it vague. He didn’t want to put an amount on how far the young man traveled from home.
Which brings up a better question, how far is too far to travel from home? When I have to travel for work or church, I can tell you that one night away from my family is too long. After the first night I’m ready to be home. Not because I miss my house and my bed but because I miss Cassi and Gavin. If they’re traveling with me I could stay gone much longer. So in that case, 1 day’s journey away from my family is too long.
Let us define some verbage here. “How far is too far to travel from home?” could actually read, “How far can I live from God and still be OK?” That is a problem that is challenging church culture all over America. People no longer desire to live as close to God as possible, they desire to see just how far away they can live and still be close enough to the father to be saved.
That’s why God never defined how far the young man traveled from his father because we would use that to justify how far we can live from God and still be safe. So the answer to the question, “How far is too far to travel from home?” is simply, any distance away from God is too far. Instead of measuring how far we are from God we should be measuring how close we are to God.
One day apart from God is too far. We should never leave home. We should never desire to get out on our own. But rather we should see how much closer we can get to the father. You can quickly be too far from God, you can never be too close to God. So to answer the question, how far is too far? Any distance from God is too far!