“Verily I say unto you, That the publicans and the harlots go into the kingdom of God before you. For John came unto you in the way of righteousness, and ye believed him not: but the publicans and the harlots believed him.” – Matthew 21:31-32
This morning I sat by a river watching fishermen go up and down the waterway. Each one was looking for the best fishing spot. Some went up river and some went down river, most were going fast but some were slow, many were in boats while a few stood along the shore. All were looking for some place that would fulfill their desires for today. They reminded me of all the people in the world, each one going this way or that way, looking for something to satisfy their needs. They employ a variety of different methods, all hoping to somehow find what will bring fulfillment to their lives.
As Christians, we know that the best place in life is to be in the will of our Father. Whether we find that place when we are younger or older, once we find it we do not want to leave. His will is where we find the purpose for our lives, rest for our souls, and His grace to help us every day.
While watching the fishermen, I thought about the parable Jesus taught about being in the will of the Father. In Matthew 21:28-31, Jesus told some chief priests and elders a story of two sons whose father told them to go to work that day. The first son said he would not go, but later repented and went. The second son immediately said he would go, but then he did not. Jesus asked, “Whether of them twain did the will of his father?” and the priests and elders replied, “The first.”
Jesus told this parable to a group of religious leaders because they needed to understand that obeying God is more than just making a declaration; we must actually follow through and do what God requires of us. So many people are looking for fulfillment in life, but when they realize it can only be found in the will of the Father, do they repent and begin to obey? For those of us who are saved, are we still keeping our commitment to obey Him? No matter what mistakes we may have made in the past, God is pleased with those who will repent and do his will. Unfortunately, the priests and elders were not willing to do that, and Jesus said there would be no place for them in God’s kingdom.
The will of the Father is where we want to be. Today, may each of us pause and review where we are headed. Let’s ask ourselves, What has my Father asked me to do, and am I doing it? Have I told Him no and need to repent? Or have I said yes but did not follow through? This is something that can only be settled between each of us and the Father. He is so pleased when we choose to do His will.