The teachings of Jesus Christ are sometimes a lot more blunt than we would like them to be. In modern day Christianity, Jesus is sometimes portrayed as a butterfly who floats around the place saying nice things to make us feel better. We use his teachings for self help purposes and nothing more. We use the gifts of the Holy Spirit as party tricks as a way to elevate ourselves. In doing so, we fail to acknowledge that our lives are not about us. Everything comes back to him, and when the day of judgement comes, he has the final say.
Today I was reading Matthew 7, and I was particularly freaked out by verses 22 and 23. Jesus says, “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 perform many miracles?’ Then I will tell them plainly, ‘I never knew you. Away from me, you evildoers!’
This shakes my theology a bit, because Jesus is implying that it is still possible to perform miracles and cast out demons in his name if we’re not walking with him. This means we need to be on guard when it comes to false prophets. Being able to perform miracles in the name of Jesus doesn’t mean that we’ll see that person in heaven.
Most importantly, we need to keep ourselves in check. Jesus clearly prioritises having a relationship with us over how much we can do in his name. When Jesus speaks about knowing us, he is referring to something much deeper than knowing about someone. Jesus wants something much more intimate. He says in John 10:14, “I am the good shepherd; I know my sheep and my sheep know me – just as the Father knows me and I know the Father – and I lay my life down for the sheep.”
A good shepherd knows each of his sheep better than anybody else because he spends all day with them! God longs to have this kind of relationship with us. He wants us to spend time with him and develop intimacy with him.
Lets stop focussing on the gifts we can get from him and simply just focus on him. Talk to him. Spend some time resting in his presence. He wants to be your first love.