Matthew 7:21–23 (NKJV)
21 “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. 22 Many will say to Me in that day, ‘Lord, Lord, have we not prophesied in Your name, cast out demons in Your name, and done many wonders in Your name?’ 23 And then I will declare to them, ‘I never knew you; depart from Me, you who practice lawlessness!’
There are certain verses that should stop us dead in our tracks, Matthew 7:23 being near the very top. So much is being said here that it is very much worth our time to examine it and apply it to our lives. Can you imagine living through this life only to come to the end and the Lord declaring that He does not even know you? I cannot think of anything that could be worse.
Do I Know Him?
This seems like a silly question, but in light of the passage above, I think it is very appropriate. When we stop to examine this question, we have to be willing to look honestly at our life because the way we live should reflect a relationship with our heavenly Father. What is the evidence that should be present if we truly know Him?
Total Dependence: Philippians 3:8–9 shows Paul’s total dependence on the Lord… (8) Yet indeed I also count all things loss for the excellence of the knowledge of Christ Jesus my Lord, for whom I have suffered the loss of all things, and count them as rubbish, that I may gain Christ (9) and be found in Him, not having my own righteousness, which is from the law, but that which is through faith in Christ, the righteousness which is from God by faith… Everything else does not matter to Paul, in fact, he calls everything else rubbish. Is that the way we view the things of this world?
Prayer Life: Being in prayer is great, knowing Him enough to know He will answer is another. 1 John 5:14 describes prayer perfectly…(14) Now this is the confidence that we have in Him, that if we ask anything according to His will, He hears us… Throwing up prayer after prayer is not enough, we must understand how they will be answered. A lot of times we are disappointed in prayer because we leave out a key aspect in this verse, many of us miss the “according to His will.” If I know Jesus, truly know Jesus, I will pray according to His will and not mine. My will wants fast money and faster cars, His will wants to see His Gospel to spread throughout the world. We must be willing to examine our prayer life in order to understand whether or know we truly know His will.
Conformed To His Commandments: If we know Jesus, we will keep His commandments. John 14:15 goes as far as to say… (15) “If you love Me, keep My commandments… If we love Him, we will keep His commandments. So, what does it say if we do not keep His commandments? Are we believers that continually seek out His commandments, or are we believers that act as though ignorance is bliss? If we know Him, we will search scripture to understand His expectations. Thankfully, 1 John 5:3 promises… (3) For this is the love of God, that we keep His commandments. And His commandments are not burdensome.
Does He Know Me?
There is absolutely nothing we can hide from Him, He knows our heart, we are unable to fool Him. As important as it is that we know Him, we must live life in a way that shows Him our true intentions. When we look at the example above, it should be very sobering. The men He is talking to have all the outside characteristics needed to show the world they believe, but it matters very little if the inward does not reflect Jesus and His commandments. It simply is not enough to look like you know Him, there must be a complete dependence and honest love that is present in the life of a true believer. What does He see when He truly examines your heart?
When we see verses like the one above, we have to stop and really examine the life we are living. Is the outward show the same as our inward heart? Do we just repeat the words of the Bible or are we truly living them out? Do we truly know Him? An even more sobering question is… does He know us?
John 10:14 (NKJV)
14 I am the good shepherd; and I know My sheep, and am known by My own.