Matthew 7.21-23 – A Warning
Posted: 7 July 2010 in Matthew, Scripture

Not every one that saith unto me, Lord, Lord, shall enter into the kingdom of heaven; but he that doeth the will of my Father which is in heaven. Many will say to me in that day, Lord, Lord, have we not prophesied in thy name? and in thy name have cast out devils? and in thy name done many wonderful works? And then will I profess unto them, I never knew you: depart from me, ye that work iniquity.

The above is a blunt warning against trying to baptise our own projects. It is all too easy for petitionary prayer to become a shopping list, whereby we let God know what is needed for us to bring our plans to fulfillment. We call God Lord, and then act as if we are the lords, with God merely being there to facilitate our plans.

This passage from Matthew calls us to order. God is not interested in having us pursue our own projects, no matter how religiously inspired they may appear to be. Instead we must strive to know his will through prayer, Bible reading, and generally listening out for his voice in our everyday lives. We must the do his will – no matter how contrary it may be to anything we had in mind.

Speaking for myself, I sometimes find the one word “no” or “yes” forming itself in my head in response to prayer. I cannot be absolutely certain that what I am hearing comes from God, but a prima facie reason for supposing that it might do so is that I do not always like what I hear.

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