Matthew 7:21-23 21Not everyone who says to Me, Lord, Lord, will enter the kingdom of heaven, but he who does the will of My Father Who is in heaven. 22Many will say to Me on that day, Lord, Lord, have we not prophesied in Your name and driven out demons in Your name and done many mighty works in Your name? 23And then I will say to them openly (publicly), I never knew you; depart from Me, you who act wickedly [disregarding My commands].
These verses will really make you think. Read verse 22 again. It says that many will say Lord haven’t we done great things for you? Haven’t we prophesied and driven out demons? Then we see in verse 23 that He will tell them He never knew them. He will say depart because you disregarded my commandments. We know from John 14:15 Jesus says 15If you [really] love Me, you will keep (obey) My commands. The true test of whether we love the Lord is whether we are willing to obey Him. Not just willing to obey Him in some things, but in all things. We need to obey Him when it’s easy and obey Him when it’s hard. He asks for our obedience in the little things as well as the big things. Just the other day I was running out the door to go to church. I had some food in the crockpot to cook while I was away. As I was getting ready to lock the door behind me, I felt like I needed to go back and check to see if the crockpot was on low. I knew I had put it on low, and I didn’t want to be late so I decided just to keep going. On the inside of me I felt like I really needed to go back and check that crockpot. So I put all of my things down and went back in to make sure it was on low. It was, and everything was alright, so I was kind of wondering what the point was. As I was once again walking out the door, I felt the Spirit of God say to me, “If you don’t listen to me in the small things, you will never listen to me in the big things.”
If we get to the place where we are obedient in all things, it puts us in covenant with God. In Deuteronomy 7:9-10 Moses speaks to the children of Israel and says 9Know, recognize, and understand therefore that the Lord your God, He is God, the faithful God, Who keeps covenant and steadfast love and mercy with those who love Him and keep His commandments, to a thousand generations, 10And repays those who hate Him to their face, by destroying them; He will not be slack to him who hates Him, but will requite him to his face. When we are faithful to be obedient to the Lord, He is faithful to show us continual love and mercy. On the other hand, if we hate Him we are in big trouble! I was recently preparing a sermon and studied out the word hate. One of the definitions I found was simply to love less than. It says in the above verse that He will not be slack to him who hates Him, but will requite him to his face. What if we substituted the words love less with hate? He will not be slack to him who loves Him less than other things. Are there areas of our lives where we love God less than? Do we love Him less than our family, less than our job, less than our free time, less than our ministry? Sometimes we need to take inventory of our lives to make sure that we are putting Him first. Today, I challenge you to ask yourself if there are any places in your life where you are loving Him less. If you can find some things that you are putting before Him, repent and put Him back in His rightful place.