(Jesus said): “Not everyone who says to Me, ‘Lord, Lord,’ will enter into 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 (NRSV)
This is not an easy text, but a necessary one. Jesus never shies away from telling the truth, even when the truth is hard. There will be a day in which every one of us will be called to account to God. We will have to be honest with ourselves and with God about what we have done with our lives. Judgment is never something that any of us look forward to, especially because the human condition is such that we can never be justified by our own merit or good works. The good news for us is that Jesus took the punishment that we deserve, and by HIS grace and mercy we are justified. He is the Way, the Truth and the Life.
Jesus is not condemning anyone here, but what He is looking for is simple. Where are our hearts? Are we trying to make ourselves look good, or are we following Him?
We are not capable in our own strength and power to do the will of God. And God’s will for each of us is different. We can’t all have the high profile roles of prophesy or driving out demons or performing miracles. We can’t all look good and mighty and popular as we serve God. Sometimes we serve God most fully when we are in the midst of the most obscure, unpopular and unlovely- but necessary-tasks.
If everyone were doing just those glorious and splendid appearing things such as driving out demons, then who would be the truck drivers, or brick layers, or accountants? Even doing the most mundane of tasks is doing the will of God, if those tasks are surrendered to and performed to the glory of God.
A new heart I will give you, and a new spirit I will put within you; and I will remove from your body the heart of stone and give you a heart of flesh. Ezekiel 36:26 (NRSV)
God gives all of us a purpose and a vocation. He also gives us the opportunity to receive a new heart that is His home, a heart that longs to do His will.
The question Jesus gives us here is, are we doing life the way that God has made us to do life?