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“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 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!”
This is a scripture that many Christians find a lot of mystery in. I have heard many asking how can a person perform miracles, heal the sick and even prophesy in the name of Jesus yet be rejected by the Lord in the end?
The thought of finally coming face to face with the Master only to be told, ‘I never knew you; depart from me you who practice lawlessness’ sends chills down the spine of many believers. But is there a reason to fear if we know that we are true disciples of our Lord Jesus Christ? And how do we even know that we are true disciples?
KEEPING GOD’S COMMANDMENTS
It is clear in the scripture above that these people will be rejected because they practiced lawlessness: living in sin and disregarding God’s commandments. Some Christians have been deceived to believe that living under God’s Grace and the New Covenant means that we disregard God’s commandments.
However, even Jesus said that He did not come to abolish the law or the prophets but to fulfill them. As His followers and disciples, our heart posture and mindset should be like that of our Master. Grace did not come to give us a license to continue living by the flesh, but rather God’s grace gives us the ability to say no to sin and yes to living by the Spirit.
The Holy Spirit works in us to produce the fruit of righteousness in our lives. One of my favorite verses in the Bible is “For God is working in you, giving you the desire and the power/ability to do that which pleases Him” ~Philippians 2:13
While it is a great challenge to live righteously when we are still clothed in flesh, Jesus promised to send us a helper who would work in us. The Holy Spirit helps us to crucify the desires of our flesh and gives us the desire and power to do God’s Will. The only thing we have to do is completely surrender to the work of the Holy Spirit in us and accept Jesus Christ to be truly Lord in our lives.
In the words of Jesus, “’You shall love the LORD your God with all your heart, with all your soul, and with all your mind’. This is the first and greatest commandment.” ~Matthew 22:37-38
How do we express our Love to God? Jesus answered that question and said, “If you love me, keep my commandments” ~John 14:15
It is not enough to just say that Jesus Christ is Lord, because He is, whether we say it or not. But have we allowed Him to be Lord over our lives? Is He ruling and reigning as Lord in our everyday life? The Bible says that Faith without actions is dead. We cannot put our Faith in a righteous God yet live in lawlessness.
1 Peter 11:15-16 tells us, “But as He who called you is Holy, you also be Holy in all your conduct, because it is written, ‘Be holy, for I am holy’”
In the end, it won’t be about how many miracles we performed in His name or how much we prophesied and cast out demons, it will be about whether we did the will of the Father. Will we have walked in Love? Will we have forgiven those who hurt us? Will we have been seekers of His Kingdom and righteousness? Will we have been doers of His word? Will we have kept God’s commandments?
It is important to note that just before this verse, Jesus warns us to beware of false prophets who will come to us in sheep’s clothing but inwardly they are ravenous wolves. He continues to say that we will know them by their fruits.
In the last days, many preachers and prophets with charisma and practiced sincerity will arise to deceive God’s people but their hearts will be far from God. Just like Jesus quoted the prophet Isaiah, they will honor Jesus with their lips, calling Him Lord and performing miracles in His name, but their hearts will be far from Him.
As true disciples, let us continue to persist in doing the will of our Father in heaven. And for us to do His will, we have to first know His will. When we study the Bible for ourselves, asking the Holy Spirit to open the scriptures for us that we may see and hear what God is saying, we will know the will of our Father in Heaven. And with the help of the Holy Spirit, we will be doers of God’s word and not merely listeners. (Read James 1:22-25)
COMMUNION AND FELLOWSHIP WITH GOD
We get to commune and fellowship with God through prayer. Prayer is simply communicating with God and just like any relationship; we also get to nurture our relationship with God by constantly communicating with Him. Prayer keeps us connected to God.
The place of prayer in a true disciple is so vital that without it, the believer feels like something is missing in their life. It’s like the fuel of our relationship with God. It is in prayer that we get to know the heart of God, His purpose and plans for our lives and all of mankind. It is in prayer that we can share with Him our needs and desires knowing that He withholds nothing good from His children.
“Ask, and it will be given to you; seek, and you will find; knock, and it will be opened to you. For everyone who asks receives, and he who seeks finds, and to him who knocks it will be opened. Or what man is there among you who, if his son asks for bread, will give him a stone? Or if he asks for a fish, will give him a serpent? If you then, being evil, know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will your Father who is in heaven give good things to those who ask him?” ~Matthew 7:7-11
There are so many times in the Bible that the believer is urged to pray always, which proves to us how important prayer is in the life of a believer.
Jesus spoke in the temple saying, “Watch, therefore, and pray always that you may be counted worthy to escape all these things that will come to pass, and to stand before the Son of Man” ~Luke 21:36
In these last days that we are living in, prayer will offer an escape for believers who abide in God, helping us to stand firm and prevail over the things that are destined to occur. The believer ought to be always clothed in the armor of God that is well explained in Ephesians 6. It is interesting to note that the armor is finalized with prayer.
“Praying always with all prayer and supplication in the Spirit, being watchful to this end with all perseverance and supplication for all saints” ~Ephesians 6:18
Jesus went ahead and taught His disciples how to pray, giving them the Lord’s prayer found in Matthew 6:9-13, “After this manner, therefore, pray ye: Our Father which art in heaven, hallowed be thy name. Thy kingdom come. Thy will be done in earth, as it is in heaven. Give us this day our daily bread. And forgive us our debts, as we forgive our debtors. And lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from evil; for thine is the kingdom, and the power, and the glory, forever. Amen.” (In the name of Jesus Christ amen )
Since Jesus Christ had victory over the cross, we end our prayers with; In the name of Jesus Christ amen.
“Pray unto the Father in My Name”
When we use these sacred words, “in the name of Jesus Christ,” … we are on holy ground.
Jesus gave his disciples a model prayer that we can also use as a guide when we are learning how to pray. Take some personal time to study the Lord’s Prayer and ask the Holy Spirit to help you see the priorities in the prayer Jesus taught His disciples and how you can practice it in your own prayer life.
There is no doubt that God is all-powerful and He can do whatever He pleases. However, God is a God of order and He has given us free will as humanity. Despite the fact that God can intervene in issues that affect mankind, he chooses to do so in response to prayer so that He does not take away the gift of free will He gave to us.
There is therefore a call for every believer to watch and pray, to intercede for the world around us and pray to the Lord of the harvest even as we partner with Him in the ways He enables us in laboring with Him.
“The end of all things is coming soon. Therefore, be earnest and disciplined in your prayers.” ~1 Peter 4:7
“The effective, fervent prayer of a righteous man avails much. Elijah was a man with a nature like ours and he prayed earnestly that it would not rain; and it did not rain on the land for three years and six months. And he prayed again, and the heaven gave rain, and the earth produced its fruit.” ~1 Peter 5:16-18
God has no favorites, just like he listened to Elijah when he cried out to Him and answered, He listens to us when we talk to Him. In fact His ear is inclined to our prayers; He is always delighted to hear our voices in prayer and speak back to us.
A true disciple is marked by a never-ending desire to know God intimately, to do His will, and walk-in obedience to His word. It comes with an appetite to fellowship and commune with God in the place of seeking Him in the scriptures and in prayer. Sometimes, the cares and worries of life may cloud our yearning for fellowship with God, but Jesus invites us to cast those cares and burdens to Him because He cares for us and desires to show us just how much in the place of communion and fellowship.
Don’t be overwhelmed, keep pushing forward, and overcoming. Don’t listen to the enemy whispering in your ears that you can’t make it. You can, for He who is in you is greater than he who is in the world. God is both working in you and cheering you on together with the whole cloud of witnesses.
Let’s be committed to keeping God’s commandments, studying the word of God, and praying without ceasing. When we do, there will be visible fruit of righteousness that will testify that indeed we are true disciples of Jesus Christ. And when we finally come face to face with Him, we will be ushered into His Kingdom with a different kind of message, “Well done, good and faithful servant.” Oh, what a joyous day it will be! I look forward to rejoicing with you, my brothers and sisters in the Lord. Be Blessed ☺