My Hope by Dave Meyer
I want you to take just a moment to consider something before you read on. Answer this question: What is the worst thing that could happen to you ever?
What did you think about? An auto accident? Perhaps a terrible illness or unfulfilled dreams? However, I want you to think eternally. What could possibly be the worst thing that could ever happen to you?
In my devotions recently, this passage struck me:
“Not everyone who says to me, ‘Lord, Lord,’ will enter the kingdom of heaven, but the one who does the will of my Father who is 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 mighty works in your name?’ And then will I declare to them, ‘I never knew you; depart from me, you workers of lawlessness.’”
–Matthew 7:21-23 (ESV)
I know these blogs are meant to be an encouragement to the readers. In this passage today, what appears to be a sharp discouragement and a warning to those who do not know Jesus Christ as their personal Savior, is a word of encouragement to those who have ears to listen.
In the Essential Guide to Healing by Clark and Johnson, Bill Johnson affirms that all gifts of the Spirit MUST be used in a motivation of love. What Jesus is saying to us today is simply this– are we working for God in a motivation and spirit of love? In our “Dare to Listen” class Pastor Debbie has emphasized the same thing. We must walk and operate the gifts in love.
If you reread the verse above, you will see that these people had been doing great works in Jesus’ name but Jesus says, “I never knew you.” Don’t you wonder how they could be doing miracles in the name of Jesus and not be known to Jesus? I do. Especially considering Luke 9:49-50 (ESV) says, “John answered, ‘Master, we saw someone casting out demons in your name, and we tried to stop him, because he does not follow with us.’ But Jesus said to him, ‘Do not stop him, for the one who is not against you is for you.’”
Therefore, the harsh words Jesus spoke about the ones who were doing great works in His name have not been operating in love, rather they are proud of their ability and doing it for their own good and not for the Kingdom of God.
They have taken the good things of God and like the people of the Old Testament used them for their own self-interest. You ask, is that possible? Yes, we have seen it in our lifetime, someone has been used of God and falls into sin, the work they did was not pleasing to God and He caused it to fall apart.
Now you are saying, “That is supposed to encourage me!?” YES! All of us are human and being tempted by the world, the flesh, and the devil. But there is a way to overcome the temptations. When they come remind, yourself the Word of God which says in 1 Corinthians 10:13 (ESV), “No temptation has overtaken you that is not common to man. God is faithful, and he will not let you be tempted beyond your ability, but with the temptation he will also provide the way of escape, that you may be able to endure it.
God has promised us that He will help us! His Spirit will guide us and protect us so that we can hear “Well done good and faithful servant, . . . enter into the Joy of your Master.” Matthew 25:21 (ESV).