Not 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. Many will say to Me on that day, ‘Lord, Lord, did we not prophesy in Your name, and in Your name cast out demons, and in Your name perform many miracles?’ And then I will declare to them, ‘I never knew you; DEPART FROM ME, YOU WHO PRACTICE LAWLESSNESS.’ ~ Matthew 7:21-23
Who are these shocked folks outside heaven’s narrow gate?
- They call Jesus Lord.
- They have prayed “the” prayer.
- They have been in Church – a lot.
- They have even prophesied, cast out demons, and done many miracles.
When I read this I say with the eleven disciples at the last supper, 'Lord, is it me?'
In fact, this is the very scripture He used to draw me in.
I grew up as a church kid. I was always the good boy, always knew my memory verse, always got my Sunday school lesson done (albeit Sunday morning right before we left for church.)
- I asked Jesus into my heart at age 4.
- I was baptized in my little Plymouth Brethren Chapel when I was 11.
- In my teens went through the Presbyterian Catechism.
- At sixteen sang in a touring Christian choir
- As a High School Senior joined the Church Choir
- Considered becoming a missionary at the Urbana Conference at age 19
- Taught Sunday school.
- Ran the Christian Service Brigade boys program at our Church
Then one day I was listening to a preacher (Thank you brother Kim Josephson!) preach a sermon on the Rich Young Ruler, which described me to a tee.
I had to face the fact that I did not have an active, current relationship with Lord Jesus Christ. I asked myself, ‘Am I known by this Jesus?’
I started to ponder verses like John 4:10
…the sheep follow him because they know his voice.
I had to confess at age 25, I really did not know His voice. I knew His name, I knew His Word, I knew about Him, but He was not my Lord, my Master, my King, my Boss. I was not following Him, I was living life in a way that seemed right in my own eyes.
If you had asked me, I would say I had a relationship with Jesus, that He lived in my heart, but I could not point to His leading, I did not know His voice, I did not know His leading, so how could I be a follower?
For all who are being led by the Spirit of God, these are sons of God. ~ Romans 8:14
That morning, listening to that sermon, driving down the road, I pulled off to the side of the road and, brushing tears from my eyes asked Jesus to take control of my life.
He had used His Word and His faithful messenger to expose to me the “one thing I lacked” (from Mark 10:21) and from that moment, with that very first baby step of repentance and faith, I began to “hear His voice” in my life.
I am so glad He is faithful. I am so glad He pursued me. I have a sense that those prayers and activities early in life were not wasted. He honored the little boy’s prayer at age 4, and wooed me for over 2 decades until finally I was willing to give Him more than lip service.
Where do you stand today?
If you feel some kind of vague uncertainty, brush it away. Vague condemnation comes from satan, and he loves to exploit the Word of God to his own advantage.
However, if you sense the Spirit of God saying take up your cross and follow me today, even if you have considered yourself a Christian for decades, don’t hold back. Give yourself to Him today. You will never be the same.
He will lead you to the life you were created for. [Tweet This]
I am so glad you stopped by today to hear my story. I would love to hear yours.
Just think, someone who does not identify with my story, might really resonate with yours! Why not blog about it, and leave a link below – or if you are not a blogger, just use the comment section here to tell us your story.
See you tomorrow