Today's title Scripture is from a parable that Jesus told about two sons and their father. And because all Scripture is alive and all Scripture is written for our instruction no matter which generation we are in, we have much to learn about ourselves and the way we relate to God. It is never enough to just study the Scripture we must allow it to go to work within us and the way we do that is by applying it to our lives! So Scripture that was penned over two thousand years ago has as much application and relevance in 2012 as it did when Jesus first spoke it to the crowds so long ago in Israel! So today hear Jesus voice asking the question, Which of the two did the will of his Father?
The Father approaches the first son and orders him to go work today in the vineyard. The son answered, I will not; but afterward he regretted his response and went to the vineyard. His first response was open rebellion against his father, he refused to obey him face to face. We don't really know how much time passed before he regretted his rebellion and turn in obedience to his father's command. The time is not as important as the disobedience itself.
Many of us mimic this son's actions, we too rebel against the orders from our heavenly Father. Interestingly enough, often our rebellion is refusal to share the gospel of Jesus Christ which is what is depicted by the vineyard or harvest field. We live our lives in open rebellion to the command to go be My witnesses. Why? The reasons are many; fear, inconvenience, ignorance of Scripture, deception, or pride, and rebellion, I'm just not going to do it!
The Holy Spirit's work in the life of a believer will cause us to recognize our actions as sin and we have godly sorrow which leads us to repentance and confession of our sin. Our Father hears our prayer and forgives us. And we turn and obey the command. The time involved in this depends on the believer but if they are truly a child of God they will at some point repent of their actions. We must heed the Spirit's voice within us or risk our hearts being hardened. For; "It is God who is at work in you, both to will and to work for His good pleasure." Philippians 2:13.
The second son responded immediately, "I will, sir"; but he did not go to work in the vineyard. How many times do we respond to the prompting of the Holy Spirit to do this or do that with "I will" only to never follow thru. Or we start something but we don't finish it. Jesus quotes the Old Testament; "This people honors Me with their lips, but their heart is far away from Me." Matthew 15:8.
When King David confessed his sins to his heavenly Father, he didn't make excuses, he said against You and You only have I sinned and done evil in Your sight. He also asked of the Father, create in me a clean heart and take not your Holy Spirit from me. (Psalm 51) We too need to pray for forgiveness and a clean heart. Not a patched up heart, a new, clean created heart, only God can do that!
What about our commitments to fellow believers, does our word mean anything? Do people know if we say yes we will, that they can count on us? How important is our word of commitment to non believers? It is of utmost importance because if we are to represent our God well, as He is, so we should be to the world because that brings glory to the Father!
Sometimes we get in trouble because we commit too easily, we say yes to a need before we ask the Lord to reveal to us if this is His will for us. Particularly in response to a need that is going to require a great deal of time and effort, if it is God's will He will provide everything you will need to fulfill that promise including giving you a real peace about saying yes. Many believers have said yes and find themselves trying to do things in their own power because God was not consulted and they realize too late that God is not in it.
"When you make a promise to God, don't delay in following through, for God takes no pleasure in fools. Keep all the promises you make to Him." Ecclesiastes 5:4 NLT. "...Listen! Obedience is better than sacrifice...rebellion is as sinful as witchcraft, and stubbornness as bad as worshiping idols..." 1 Samuel 15:22-23 NLT.