It is essential for each one of us to understand that God ought to be part of everything in our lives. Though He is a Spirit, He still created the physical (material) world. He is glorified when every sphere of our live (spiritual and physical) embraces Him.
Matthew 21:28-32: “What do you think? There was a man who had two sons. He went to the first and said, ‘Son, go and work today in the vineyard.’ “‘I will not,’ he answered, but later he changed his mind and went. “Then the father went to the other son and said the same thing. He answered, ‘I will, sir,’ but he did not go. “Which of the two did what his father wanted?” “The first,” they answered. Jesus said to them, “Truly I tell you, the tax collectors and the prostitutes are entering the kingdom of God ahead of you. For John came to you to show you the way of righteousness, and you did not believe him, but the tax collectors and the prostitutes did. And even after you saw this, you did not repent and believe him.
Having our goals aligned to the will of God is very important. This is because the purpose of our lives (whether in the physical or the spirit) is to carry out God’s will.
Spiritually, one of the most important goals we should set is “God help me to be quick in obeying your commandments”. This is because being quick to obey God is something that someone has to learn; it is a process. Instructions that involve our personal physical lives are normally easy to obey compared to spiritual laws/instructions. It takes humility, discipline and the fear of God for one to willingly submit to the will of God; it is a realization that you are His vessel, His tool and thus willing to let go of anything that will ‘fight or quench’ the will of God…that is total obedience.
The parable of the two sons shows us the kinds of attitude people have towards God. Firstly, it is the attitude of disobedience. For instance God will tell us to mind our words or how we treat the opposite sex…there are those who will disobey straightaway and others will obey; however this might not be the end of the story…remember (from the Scripture we just read) that the son, who refused, later regretted and went and did what his father asked him to do. He decided to make things right. Just like the prodigal son who repented and decided to go back to his father. In our day to day life we often see people just condemning themselves for their past mistakes instead of getting up and make things right and do what one was supposed to do (God’s will)… Because not doing the will of God is foolishness.
However, then something unexpected happened: the second son, who appeared to be obedient and who assured his father, did not do his father’s will and we do not read anywhere if he later repented.
We too often appear willing and ready to fulfill God’s will; we sing “Where You go I go, what You say I say”, but when it comes to the actual doing, we hesitate.
Practical example is what happens in families. We all know that the man (husband/father) ought to be providing protection to their wives and children. Imagine the way the man was willing to do whatever it took to have his wife (before marrying) but after marriage the effort is no more…this is like the second son in the Scripture we just read who agreed to do his father’s will but later did not…It only takes a humble spirit to hold on to or to fulfill the things we committed ourselves.
As we begin this year we have set goals for at least 5 areas of our lives…we promised something to God…we have given Him a hope… not fulfilling our promise to God will liken us to the second son we read in our text. Jesus is asked, “Which of the two did the will of the Father?” the Bible is very clear about it: “the first one”, because the second one never did what he promised!
Just writing down your goal is not enough; the reason we write the goals down is to enable us to come back and evaluate ourselves if we achieved them or not.
The Kingdom of God is for obedient children. It’s good to come to church every Sunday, it is a blessing, but it is not enough. God wants us not only to be hearers of the Word, but doers. Hearing alone is like looking at the mirror and then forgetting how you look, says James. You look at the mirror for a reason – to change something, to correct something, i.e. to take action. Both parts are important: you need to hear it in order to do it.
The first son was better than the second, but let us be the best in the Lord; and for that to be possible we need instant obedience! We must meet our set goals (which are in line with God’s will) as fast as possible. Then we will be able to cover things in a short period of time; for example what we could achieve in 2-3 years we will achieve it in a period of one year!
Finally, I urge us to go out with these two points:
- Repent to God and all those whom we might have let down by not observing the promises we made to them.
- Purpose that this year, by the leading and enabling of the Holy Spirit, we will realize our goals…it is not by our own efforts or wisdom.
Summary obtained from the English Service of the Embassy of God
16th January 2011
** The services are held in the Conference Hall of Tourist Hotel, 2 R. Okipnoi St., Kyiv,
every Sunday at 10 am except the 1st Sunday of every month
Compiled by Ekaterina Popova
Edited by June Bugenyi