Saturday, February 28, 2009

Doing God’s Will

What does it mean to do God’s will? Is it praying, prophesying, going to church, preaching or caring? It would seem that in our day and the circles that I have come from, that spiritual issues like prophesying, performing miracles, preaching, praying and soul winning gets the greatest attention, while the more practical issues like caring for the poor and oppressed takes a distant backseat.

Jesus seems to have a different set of priorities. Let’s look at two different groups of people and how Jesus thought of each one.

Group 1
21"Not everyone who says to me, 'Lord, Lord,' will enter the kingdom of heaven, but only he who does the will of my Father who is in heaven. 22Many 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?' 23Then I will tell them plainly, 'I never knew you. Away from me, you evildoers!'
Matthew 7:21-23

Group 2
31"When the Son of Man comes in his glory, and all the angels with him, he will sit on his throne in heavenly glory. 32All the nations will be gathered before him, and he will separate the people one from another as a shepherd separates the sheep from the goats. 33He will put the sheep on his right and the goats on his left.

34"Then the King will say to those on his right, 'Come, you who are blessed by my Father; take your inheritance, the kingdom prepared for you since the creation of the world. 35For I was hungry and you gave me something to eat, I was thirsty and you gave me something to drink, I was a stranger and you invited me in, 36I needed clothes and you clothed me, I was sick and you looked after me, I was in prison and you came to visit me.'

37"Then the righteous will answer him, 'Lord, when did we see you hungry and feed you, or thirsty and give you something to drink? 38When did we see you a stranger and invite you in, or needing clothes and clothe you? 39When did we see you sick or in prison and go to visit you?'

40"The King will reply, 'I tell you the truth, whatever you did for one of the least of these brothers of mine, you did for me.'
Matthew 25:31-40

It would seem that Group 1 was very aware of how spiritual they had been. They could document their visions, prophesies and miracles. Documenting these things was very important because it could have a profound effect on the financial bottom line and/or the amount of prestige and power one could garner. And yet Jesus said he never knew some of them.

Ironically, Group 2 was practically unaware that what they had been doing was living out God’s will in the way He truly intended. But Jesus was very aware of them and welcomed them with open arms.

In both cases, listening to sermons or the size of the church one comes from does not even get honorable mention. Even more surprisingly is that soul winning isn't on the list either.

It is a dangerous deception when we are more interested in the “glory” spiritual activities of prophesying, preaching, receiving visions, evangelizing, going to church and even performing miracles, while at the same time ignoring helping the poor and the oppressed in very practical ways.

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