“Not everyone who says to me, ‘Lord, Lord,’ will enter 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 7:24-27).
Say what?!?! What you talking about Willis?!?! (If you don’t get that reference…well it’s cuz you’re too young!).
How can someone prophesy in his name, drive out demons, and even perform many miracles and not be a disciple of Jesus Christ?!?! That’s crazy.
The criteria for being a disciple is – “one who does the will of the Father who is in heaven.” Disciple literally means one who follows. A disciple of Jesus is one who follows Jesus. This means what Jesus does, says, and is about is what the disciple does, says, and is about.
What is really surprising is that Jesus is saying it’s quite possible to do all these other things (prophesy, drive out demons, and perform miracles) and still not be a disciple. You can go to worship, be a part of a small group, serve in service projects and still not be a disciple.
You see, when Jesus says, “I never knew you,” Jesus is not saying “I never knew who you were or your identity.” Of course Jesus knows. God created each and every one of us. This is not talking about knowing who an individual is.
When Jesus says, “I never knew you,” he’s saying, “I never knew you as my disciple, and you never knew me as Lord and Savior.” Because if you knew me as Lord and Savior, you would have been about accomplishing the business of my Father who is in heaven.
But your actions clearly demonstrate that you choose your own kingdom, and it is not God’s kingdom.
No one will do God’s will perfectly, 100% of the time. But, if we are disciples – followers of Jesus – then we prioritize God’s will above our own. We are about the business of “seeking first the kingdom of God and his righteousness” (Matthew 6:33).
So, keep on prioritizing and seeking God’s will first.