It’s time for another small snippet (aren’t they all small?) form my book RETOOLED: Shaping Your Fathering From The Inside Out. It’s from the chapter on faithfulness, I hope it speaks to you today. Blessings, Jay
(28) But what think ye? A certain man had two sons; and he came to the first, and said, Son, go work today in my vineyard.
(29) He answered and said, I will not: but afterward he repented, and went.
(30) And he came to the second, and said likewise. And he answered and said, I go, sir: and went not. Matthew 21:28-32
The two sons represent the two kinds of people Jesus is using this parable to address, those who obey God and those who do not. This is a story of two sons who are two radically different types of Yes Men. Or those who say yes with their heart compared with those who say yes with their head. It is a parable about words, about authority, and about faithful obedience.
With 6 kids playing baseball this summer, I am sometimes asked to help coach someone’s team, but guess what? The manager of the Mets never calls on me to help him manage his team or even to fill out the lineup card. Imagine that!
I don’t play golf but I’m a terror on a miniature golf course but surprising enough, Tiger Woods never seeks me out for putting tips. Why? Well, besides the obvious answer of being totally unable to help either one of them, they don’t know me from Adam (or any Biblical character of your choice). They don’t have a relationship with me so there’s no the desire to take advantage of my abilities (however lame they may be!).
Yet Father God calls on me all the time to do His work, creating wonderful opportunities to partner with Him. What a trip! God, the creator of all, has work in the vineyard for me and it is this partnering that makes me more like Him. It’s a relational connection, born out of knowing the Father’s heart.
“Those who obey his commands live in him, and he in them. And this is how we know that he lives in us: We know it by the Spirit he gave us.” 1 John 3:2
Our response to the Word of the Lord is a telling one. There is the bogus yes of the head or the true yes of the heart displayed by the first son. The second son in the parable did not do as he promised; his yes he easily tossed aside. Obedience places a high value on relationship; the first son chose faithfulness with his heart change. This parable also teaches that repentance is a form of obedience. The first son’s response, but afterward he repented; echoes loud in this verse found in the book of Acts.
In the past God overlooked such ignorance, but now he commands all people everywhere to repent. Acts 17:30
So, how does this affect my own fathering?
I need this submission to His will, letting it root deep in my heart, not allowing anything to hinder following the Master’s command. A deep faithfulness retooling that changes the path I walk, the choices I make and the life I live in front of my sons and daughters. That is the kind of yes man I want to be!