Obedience to God
But what do you think about this? A man with two sons told the older boy, ‘Son, go out and work in the vineyard today.’ The son answered, ‘No, I won’t go,’ but later he changed his mind and went anyway. Then the father told the other son, ‘You go,’ and he said, ‘Yes, sir, I will.’ But he didn’t go. “Which of the two obeyed his father?” They replied, “The first.” Then Jesus explained his meaning: “I tell you the truth, corrupt tax collectors and prostitutes will get into the Kingdom of God before you do. For John the Baptist came and showed you the right way to live, but you didn’t believe him, while tax collectors and prostitutes did. And even when you saw this happening, you refused to believe him and repent of your sins. Matthew 21:28-32
From the text, Jesus told the religious leaders in their discussions with Him when they challenged his authority that deciding to obey God is not equal to obedience. After He had shown to people who He is, that He is the Lord and Savior, He requires them to respond to Him with obedience. It is never a little thing or a minor thing for God that you come to know His will and still remain disobedient. You can make excuses for your lack of obedience and say, “I’ll do it next time or when I get to it,” or “I am not ready right now,” or “Anyway, I do not forget, it is always here in my heart,” but your lack of action no matter how you rationalize or make excuses is still proof of disobedience. And disobedience to God is sin. Do not deceive yourself into thinking that having good intentions is the same with obedience. When God is leading you to take action regarding His will for your life, it is not enough to say to others that God gave you a conviction without obedience. This is what Jesus told the people in another occasion when they referred to Him Lord and yet will not obey His will for their lives. “So why do you keep calling me ‘Lord, Lord!’ when you don’t do what I say? I will show you what it’s like when someone comes to me, listens to my teaching, and then follows it” (Luke 6:46-47). You will become familiar to His voice and to His will as you continue to follow His will for your life. God expects you to obey exactly as He tells you. “Therefore, to him who knows to do good and does not do it, to him it is sin” (James 4:17). Do not just say you want to follow Him but take a step forward in obedience because with God only obedience satisfies a desire for obedience.