A Matter of the Will

Luke 15:11-24 “And he said, A certain man had two sons: And the younger of them said to his father, Father, give me the portion of goods that falleth to me. And he divided unto them his living. And not many days after the younger son gathered all together, and took his journey into a far country, and there wasted his substance with riotous living. And when he had spent all, there arose a mighty famine in that land; and he began to be in want. And he went and joined himself to a citizen of that country; and he sent him into his fields to feed swine. And he would fain have filled his belly with the husks that the swine did eat: and no man gave unto him. And when he came to himself, he said, How many hired servants of my father’s have bread enough and to spare, and I perish with hunger! I will arise and go to my father, and will say unto him, Father, I have sinned against heaven, and before thee, And am no more worthy to be called thy son: make me as one of thy hired servants. And he arose, and came to his father. But when he was yet a great way off, his father saw him, and had compassion, and ran, and fell on his neck, and kissed him. And the son said unto him, Father, I have sinned against heaven, and in thy sight, and am no more worthy to be called thy son. But the father said to his servants, Bring forth the best robe, and put it on him; and put a ring on his hand, and shoes on his feet: And bring hither the fatted calf, and kill it; and let us eat, and be merry: For this my son was dead, and is alive again; he was lost, and is found. And they began to be merry.”

Text Luke 15:18 “I will arise and go to my father, and will say unto him, Father”

There is a very great difference between “Feasting in the Father’s House” (vs.23) and being “Famished in the Far Country” (vs.16). The prodigal’s physical state; both past and present was a matter of the will! In verses 11-17, we see the problems of a stubborn will. The prodigal’s demand for the family’s fortune and his departure from the father’s house stems from the spirit of rebellion. He wanted to assert his will over the will of the father. Where does the spirit of rebellion come from? The spirit of rebellion finds its origin in Satan; “I will ascend above the heights of the clouds; I will be like the most High” (Isaiah 14:14). In verses 18-24, we see the prosperity of a submissive will. Misery gives way to merriment and famine quickly becomes feasting the moment the prodigal desires to come under the authority of the father and submit to the father’s will. Where does the spirit of submission come from? The spirit of submission finds its origin in the Lord Jesus Christ. Jesus said when speaking of the Father, “for I do always those things that please him” (John 8:29). When facing the cruelty and the shame of the cross, Jesus prayed, “O my Father, if it be possible, let this cup pass from me: nevertheless not as I will, but as thou wilt” (Matthew 26:39). What we find to be true for the prodigal physically; is spiritually true for each of us. For the sinner, rebellion means being banished (see Rev. 20:11-15). For the saint, rebellion means buffeting (see Heb. 12:6-8). Our destiny, heaven or hell and our desires, feasting or famine; it all comes down to a matter of the will!