The Father’s decree
By Ivan Ho 25 June 2016
Fill in the blanks
“Not everyone who says to Me, ‘Lord, Lord,’ shall enter the kingdom of heaven, but he who does the will of My Father in heaven. Many will say to Me in that day, ‘Lord, Lord, have we not ________ in Your name, _________ in Your name, and done many things in Your name?’ And then I will declare to them, ‘I never knew you; depart from Me, you who practice lawlessness!’
We can fill in the blanks and say we do this and that in the name of Jesus. At the end of the day, God is only interested in one thing: Are we doing the will of the Father? Are we doing our own will or are we doing His will?
Who is your Lord? Who is guiding your life? Your instinct, your friend/ clairvoyant/ psychologist/ self help motivator, or the proceeding word of God?
The Father’s decree
The Father’s decree is for His sons to follow.
There are many voices out there, many opinions and lots of options. You can pick and choose whatever channel you like, but true sons only follow the voice of the Father, and the voice of strangers we will not follow. The trouble is: many people, including church goers, are following strangers who have become their friends over time. They no longer listen to the guidance of the word of God, and all kinds of strange voices have jammed the frequency of the Holy Spirit in their lives.
He who is led by the Spirit of God are sons of God. (Romans 8:14)
Babies are born, Sons are led
When a baby is born into the world, the first thing he sees are the things around him. He has the first glimpse of the world that he never saw while he was still in his mother’s womb.
In the same way, no one can see the kingdom of God unless he is born again in Christ.
Jesus answered and said to him, “Most assuredly, I say to you, unless one is born again, he cannot see the kingdom of God.”
John 3:3 NKJV
By being born again in Christ, it allows him to have the first glimpse of the kingdom of God. The Holy Spirit now shows him things pertaining to the kingdom of the Son. Jesus begins to speak to him and instructs him about His Father’s kingdom. The born again believer now has access to the Father through the atoning grace of Jesus, and a taste of the kingdom of God. That’s an awesome beginning to a new life!
The problem is: many born again believers only stay at that level and are happy to suck milk for the rest of their lives. They may be doing religious things week in week out, but sadly never grow up in Christ.
It takes time for a baby to become familiar with the father’s voice. When the father speaks, he has to learn to listen. When the father gives instructions, he has to learn obedience. When the father leads, he has to learn to follow. When Christ forms godly patterns in his life, and the man is led by the Spirit of God, he matures to become a son of God.
For if you live according to the flesh you will die; but if by the Spirit you put to death the deeds of the body, you will live. For as many as are led by the Spirit of God, these are sons of God.
Romans 8:13-14 NKJV
In other versions such as NASB, it says that ALL who are led by the Spirit of God, these are sons of God, but in KJV, it says that AS MANY AS are led by the Spirit of God, these are sons of God. We have to conclude that this passage refers to those who have been born again in Christ, for only those who are born again have the Spirit of God dwelling in them. We can only live in the Spirit if the Spirit lives in us.
In the preceding verse, God makes it crystal clear that there are only two ways in which born again believers live: either live according to the flesh leading to death, or live in the Spirit leading to life.
“As many as are led by the Spirit of God”, meaning that not everyone who are born again in the spirit are necessarily being led by the Spirit of God. To be led, one must first be willing to listen to the voice of the Holy Spirit, and more importantly, be willing to follow His leading. God does not force people to follow His leading, each believer must be willing to follow Him. There are many who are being led by the Spirit, but just as many who are being led by their own flesh. Life or death is a personal choice.
For if you live according to the flesh you will die; but if by the Spirit you put to death the deeds of the body, you will live.
Romans 8:13 NKJV
A good Father
A good Father teaches, disciplines and moulds His children to become more and more Christ-like. A good Father reveals His will to His son and puts a purpose in his life. A good Father warns His children not to follow the voice of strangers. A good Father leads his son in paths of righteousness. A good Father forgives His son when he sins, but more importantly, restores him back on the right path. That’s what the love of the Father really means.
Unfortunately, a lot of people, when they talk about the Father’s love, are only talking about feelings. Their feeling of a good father is like father Christmas who hugs them and showers gifts and blessings over their lives unconditionally.
They may regard God as their heavenly Father but hardly follow Him as their Lord.
The will of the Father
The American dream is for everyone to pursue his or her own dream and fulfill it with the best of their abilities. Many people may be very successful in pursuing their own dreams. The problem is: a lot of these dreams do not align with God’s kingdom purpose.
God has a purpose for His kingdom, on earth as it is in heaven. As a son, he does not have a purpose of his own. His purpose is to find out the will of his Father, to pursue and fulfill it with God’s empowerment.
“Not everyone who says to Me, ‘Lord, Lord,’ will enter the kingdom of heaven, but he who does the will of My Father who is in heaven will enter. Many will say to Me on that day, ‘Lord, Lord, did we not prophesy in Your name, and in Your name cast out demons, and in Your name perform many miracles?’ And then I will declare to them, ‘I never knew you; depart from Me , you who practice lawlessness .’
Matthew 7:21-23 NKJV