“Not everyone who says to me, ‘Lord, Lord,’will enter the kingdom of heaven, but only the one who does the will of my Father who is in heaven. Many will say to me on that day, ‘Lord, Lord, did we not prophesy in your name and in your name drive out demons and in your name perform many miracles?’ Then I will tell them plainly, ‘I never knew you. Away from me, you evildoers!’ Matthew 7:21-23
I read this short passage in Matthew this morning. It was a stark reminder that there is nothing under the sun I can do to earn my ticket to heaven. As it says in this passage, Jesus must know who I am. How will Jesus know who I am? I need to be doing the will of the father.
When I was younger and even to this day I have struggled with knowing what God’s will is. I loved God and believe in Jesus. I wanted to follow God’s will but what is God’s will? Furthermore when I read this passage in Matthew I pondered to God, isn’t it your will for me to prophesy in your name, cast out demons in your name and do mighty works?
I do not think Jesus is saying prophesying, casting out demons or doing mighty works is wrong but I do think he is bringing to light that it is the inner soul, our holiness, our repentant heart, the foundation of our faith that is most important. If you do all the mighty works in Jesus name yet you are not loving. It you cast of demons but then do not cloth someone. If you say to someone Jesus loves you, be healed but then watch them starve to death you are not doing the will of the father. Similarly if I do a mighty work and my heart is corrupted by sin that I have not repented for, my heart is not in the right place.
I like using the analogy of a relationship with Jesus as the analogy for my faith because I understand how relationships work. Furthermore if I want to know Jesus and I want Jesus to know me then thinking of it as a relationship makes sense to my brain. I walk with Jesus. I get to know him, he gets to know me. It is through this interaction that I come to see more of my own sin, learn how to love and learn the will of the father. Furthermore this process will never be complete until I reach him in heaven. It is a process.
How I engage in my relationship with Jesus has changed in different seasons in my life. But no matter the season it has always included these basic elements. Prayer, the Bible, a person acting as the body of Christ. How I have engaged these 3 elements had looked different at different times but they are the building blocks of which I engage in getting to know Jesus and Jesus getting to know me.