“‘What do you think? A man had two sons. And he went to the first and said, “Son, go and work in the vineyard today.” And he answered, “I will not,” but afterward he changed his mind and went. And he went to the other son and said the same. And he answered, “I go, sir,” but did not go. Which of the two did the will of his father?’ They said, ‘The first.’ Jesus said to them, ‘Truly, I say to you, the tax collectors and the prostitutes go into the kingdom of God before you. For John came to you in the way of righteousness, and you did not believe him, but the tax collectors and the prostitutes believed him. And even when you saw it, you did not afterward change your minds and believe him.'” Matthew 21:28-32
We say we want to follow Jesus, but we really just want to do what we want to do. If we really want to know what it is the Lord wants us to do, and be, and say, we must immerse ourselves in His word to know. That’s where we discover how He thinks, behaves, and works in different situations. We must seek Him diligently in prayer to affirm His Spirit’s insight and guidance. We must yield our affections and impulses to His authority and power. Left to our own doing, in our strength, we would please the flesh with every effort, every time. Fully surrendered to Him, we are continually sanctified from the inside out, changed from glory to glory. (Matthew 26:41; 2 Corinthians 3:18)
When is the last time we asked the Lord to do through us what is contrary to our nature, but so fully His that only He could do it, and He’d receive all the glory? What would change if we really wanted what He wants? What impossibles could become possible? (Luke 1:37; 2 Corinthians 12:9-10)
Where would God have me initiate in a relationship, start a conversation, hold my tongue and listen better? How might He have me change my scheduled priorities, improve health and entertainment habits, or disconnect from devices? What if I was willing, and determined, to stem the flow of bitterness, stop comparing and complaining, forgive from the heart as well as lips? Where might He have me speak boldly, reconcile, or help with monetary support?
How would my thinking, my planning, my bank balance change if I were truly to die to self and have Christ living through me? Would I pray more, produce more, serve more, spend less, or differently? With whom would I converse, with written words or conversation? How would I fill leisure hours? Where would I serve? Would I spend less time sitting and more time kneeling? Less time talking and sighing, and more time singing? (Galatians 2:20)
Lord, expose and convict of words that are lies, and default thoughts and practices that dishonor You. Transform my want-tos into Yours, and give me the holy gumption to match word with action, and trust Your full sway with my will, so You are exalted.