Have you ever had a friendship or relationship that ended, and upon reflecting on that relationship you realized you never truly had intimacy with that person? He or she never really knew you? Maybe you had plenty in common and even enjoyed each other’s company, but in the end that person only wanted what you could provide for them? They loved what you could do for them, but they did not love you. Maybe you are that selfish person who only loves when you can get something in return? Even the world looks at this type of person with contempt. Even the world would warn to stay clear from such friendships and relationships. But, as Christians, are we examining if that is how we approach our relationship with Jesus?

Some of the most sobering words Jesus spoke were during His Sermon on the Mount when He warns the multitude: “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 prophesied in Your name, cast out demons in Your name, and done many wonders in Your name?’ And then I will declare to them, “I never knew you; depart from Me, you who practice lawlessness’!” Matthew 7:21-23. 

In those verses, Jesus declares that miraculous works – healing, prophecy, exorcism, etc. – will not save you. Even doing those works in the name of Jesus will not allow you into the kingdom of heaven. You might have things in common with Jesus – you pray to the Father (Matthew 6:8-13), you fast (Matthew 6:16-18), and you serve those in need (Matthew 15:29-31). You might even enjoy Jesus’ company – you love being a part of the Body of Christ, singing worship with the brethren, and being in the house of the Lord. But true intimacy with Jesus is only found through doing the will of the Father. What does it mean to do the will of the Father? Walk according to His ways and keep His precepts and commandments. 

“Now by this we know that we know Him, if we keep His commandments. He who says, ‘I know Him,’ and does not keep His commandments, is a liar, and the truth is not in him. But whoever keeps His word, truly the love of God is perfected in him. By this we know that we are in Him. He who says he abides in Him ought himself also to walk just as He walked’.” 1 John 2:3. 

A true follower of Jesus Christ puts to death his own desires and lives according to the Holy Spirit. “He condemned sin in the flesh, that the righteous requirement of the law might be fulfilled in us who do not walk according to the flesh but according to the Spirit. For those who live according to the flesh set their minds on the things of the flesh, but those who live according to the Spirit, the things of the Spirit. For to be carnally minded is death, but to be spiritually minded is life and peace.” Romans 8:4-6. 

It doesn’t matter what good works you do if you are not being obedient to the will of the Father. Jesus wants your heart, mind, and desires (Matthew 22:37-38). He requires His children to know Him and do His will, not just believe in Him – even the demons believe in Him! (James 2:19). No one will escape answering to our Maker. One day every knee will bow and every tongue will confess that Jesus Christ is Lord (Romans 14:11). But His response to us will differ. Pursue your ways and the things of this world, and hear “flee from me, I never knew you”, or pursue the ways of God and the things of His Spirit, and hear, “well done good and faithful servant.” (Matthew 25:23) Which will you hear? 


Tiffany Gustafson 

Share The Gospel - Save The World

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