Doing only God's will?
"'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 in heaven. On that day many will say to me, "Lord, Lord, did we not prophesy in your name, and cast out demons in your name, and do many deeds of power in your name?" Then I will declare to them, "I never knew you; go away from me, you evildoers."'"Matthew 7:21-23 (NRSV)
Oh, wow! I just finished re-reading Matthew 7:21-23 and I am left stunned. This passage tells us that people will do miraculous things in the name of Jesus Christ, yet Jesus will claim that He never knew them! That gives me pause. How can this be? People will prophesy, cast out demons, and even do deeds of power and give Jesus Christ the credit, yet Jesus will claim that He didn’t know them? Why?
I look back at verse 21 where Jesus says that the ones who enter the kingdom of heaven are those who do “the will of my Father in heaven.” Huh. So is there a difference between my doing good deeds for the sake of doing good deeds and my doing good deeds that God calls me to do? Is there a difference between my volunteering to teach a Sunday School class because I enjoy teaching any subject and my teaching Sunday School class because God has touched my heart and called me to it? Is there a difference between “doing church” the way we think we should “do church” and searching Scripture and waiting patiently on God to reveal to us how He wants us to “be church”?
I know that God is love, but I also think the Bible gives me good reason to fear or respect God in a manner that recognizes God’s ultimate authority. A few verses later we are told that “the crowds were astounded at his teaching, for he taught them as one having authority, and not as their scribes.”
Hmmm. I’m one of those scribes. A lot of us in the church are like the scribes, people of authority in our homes, at work, and at church. But really, God is the one with the authority in all those places. Maybe it is time that we really seek God’s wisdom and ask God to reveal God’s will to us rather than just deciding it for ourselves based on our own will power
How would things change if you and I did this? Even if we did this just for one day. I’d wake up in the morning and pray “Lord, help me to do only Your will today.” How would that change my day? How about my life? The church’s life?
Lord, help me to live today in a manner that matches with Your will. Amen