Last time we saw the kind of immediate response two sons gave to their father. Tom refused to go do the assignment. He gave an excuse for not going. Rather than submit to the father’s instruction, his first response was that of excuses. Dave, on the other hand, was willing to go. His first response to his father was Yes. We ended last time by urging ourselves to be like Dave and always be ready to say Yes to Jesus and his instructions unto us.
But then, Is SAYING Yes alone enough?
This is the big question that faces us this time around. Is it enough to simply SAY yes and be willing to obey God? Is God satisfied when we have said yes or even sang yes? Does the Father commend the one who SAYS alone?
Let’s finish up the story!
Tom, like several of us did the last time, repented from his ways. He suddenly saw how wrong he had been, always giving excuses for disobeying his father. Then, he decided to go and obey his father. He went to the farm and checked on the workers and paid them. He then came back to give his father report of how it went.
Then what happened to our dear Dave? One thing led to the other, he said he will go, he really wanted to go, but alas he didn’t finally go! As it’s the custom of Tom to initially refuse to go on assignments, this was not the first time Dave also would promise to go and not eventually go.
The many reasons . . .
The one time, his personal work got in the way of his obedience. He knew he should not just say yes but do it immediately but then he couldn’t leave his own ‘work’ for daddy’s assignment. Like Dave, this has happened to you and me severally. God had asked me to study a book or an elder brother had sent an email that required practical action, I had promised to read the book immediately; I had replied the brother to say “Yes sir, thank you, sir. I will do just that”. But I postponed the actual doing and work got in the way. Then I ultimately forgot or in some cases, laziness set in and I never got to do those assignments anymore.
The other time, fear was the problem. How would I do this that God is saying? If I leave this friend of mine as God is instructing, who will sponsor me through school? If I go and preach there, what if they slap me and make fun of me? Fear is one thing I have prayed against in my seeking to respond to God and His instructions. Once a man begins to entertain fear, obedience draws far away for such a disciple. Fear of ‘how will I survive?’, fear of ‘my mates will leave me alone’, fear that says ‘I will be the odd one out’… these are a few of many fears that trouble the young person when responding to God and His word.
One other time, he was waiting for his friend. His friend had promised to go with him to the farm, at least to keep him company. His friend who did not hear the instruction nor know the gravity and importance of the instruction decided to take his time before showing up. By the time he came, it was late and they couldn’t go. This is another big cause of our inability to do what we have heard God ask us to do. We are waiting for our friend to go with us. God asked you to for example stop wearing that type of dress or take some time to fast & pray and instead of obeying, you take a look at your friend (who may also be a disciple) and you’re ‘waiting’ for him/her to do the same. Friends can be a great hindrance to our obedience if we look at them or wait for them before we obey God.
And several other reasons too numerous to count here . . . But I know if you think a little, you’ll discover the real problem for your own constant disobedience or sluggishness to obey God’s instructions. This we must deal with so that we would not only SAY yes but DO what we have said we would do.
So which of the two sons actually obeyed the Father?
28 “But what do you think about this? A man with two sons told the older boy, ‘Son, go out and work on the farm today.’
29 I won’t,’ he answered, but later he changed his mind and went.
30 Then the father told the youngest, ‘You go!’ and he said, ‘Yes, sir, I will.’ But he didn’t.
31 Which of the two was obeying his father?” They said unto him, The first.
Meet the repentant Tom!
Tom has now repented. He had seen his wrong, he was not just ready but he actually went to obey his father. Are you that repentant young man? Or will you be the repentant young person? Though you have always refused to hear God’s instructions or like Dave you want to but you always never get to do it, will you today repent and obey God? Again, it is not just about SAYING you will repent but actually repenting and (then) going to obey God. If the Father must choose one of these two, it will be the repentant one who now decides to Obey God practically!
May God help you.
What is your own reason why you have not practically obeyed God?