matthew 7:21-23? 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. 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?' And then I will declare to them, 'I never knew you; depart from Me, you who practice lawlessness!'"
This is a sobering thought. I was in prayer this morning and weeping before the lord over my sins and my situation. some of you know my story but for those of you who do not I was really being deceived in my walk with christ. I was excited and passionate for the Lord but I wasn't obediant in all things. I knew the concept of putting away sin but it had not become a reality for me. I allowed my past, rejection, my sense of self rejection, all my hurt and pain to fuel my sexuall immorality, my drinking, and every other type of unrightousness. I knew about cast your cares upon me, but it was easier to drown my sorrows and get relief from the things troubleing me, anxiety, depression, fear, need of acceptance which is a need to feel Loved by indulging in sin (JUST FOR THE MOMENT) after i got over it and was feeling better,
I 'd go back to being a christian. It was easier to indulge in sinful pleasure for the moment and forget my troubles than to have faith and beleive God for things to change. Not that I didnt believe God it just took longer that way and that to me just meant more suffering which I was trying to avoid. Therein Lies the deception. You cant avoid legitamit suffeing by running from it. It only brings on more suffering. The kind that comes with chastisement or punishment. And these two are very different forms of suffering indeed for the one deals with correction and the other with penalty. We want to avoid the penaly (for which Christ gave his life) for the penaly for sin is death. But Chastisement is for our own good if we submit to it and take it with the right attitude, we learn and grow from it and we put away all willfull sins, (as I have now thank you lord.) If we suffer for the kingdom of God and do it paitently it brings about rightousness in our character. And we dont have to get a wipping from God.
(believe me as im writing this the Holy spirit is talking to me)
So how does this tie in with ministry and mathew 7:21-23 Well I believe I was called to mnistry to preach and at the time i was very studious in the word had a lot of fire for God and could expound on the word fairly well. But i was still held captive by certain sins that had established a strong hold on my life. In other words these sins had become an obession. I prayed and prayed but couldnt get free because I wasnt willing to paitently face every hurt every loss, every dissapointment and rejection in prayer suffering though it till I was free. But I still wanted to preach and fullfill Gods call. So as i staggered along God kept me out of ministry. The rejection I felt only served to fuel the already deep seated rejection I already had in my life. My addictive behavior just got worst and worst and I blamed everyone of those ministers that had not given me a chance. You see I reasoned that once I was ordained in the ministry then I would have to get my life in line with what God wanted, After all I had people looking up to me. There was the deception. God wants us to put away the willfull and intentional sin first not try and work it out while we are in ministry. And Im afraid alot of people are out there doing this exact thing. I know a couple of them. Im so glad now that he didn't allow me to enter into ministry and that he came and gave me the wipping of my life. Because he could have let me go on decieving myself and being decieved right up till judgment day. But he loved me and disaplined me for my good and now I know he loves me. I am cofident in God My savior and the love he has for me. For who the lord loves he also chastises and scourges every son he recieves. Im saying this because many people are out there casting out demons laying hands on the sick and they are recovering, there out there preaching the gospel and managing very successful ministries, and yes God will work on behalf of his word and faith and needs of people who call on his name out of a sincere and or broken and contrite heart. But because God uses us dosent mean we are in right standing with him. Paul said; 1 corinthians 9:27 But [like a boxer] I buffet my body [handle it roughly, discipline it by hardships] and subdue it, for fear that after proclaiming to others the Gospel and things pertaining to it, I myself should become unfit [not stand the test, be unapproved and rejected as a counterfeit].
There is a real danger of beleiveing we are in christ and doing his will just as long as signs follow. Jesus makes it real clear that those who continue in willfull sin, no mattter how successful they may be in ministry will not enter into the Kingdom of God. May we all consider this.
Love your brother in Christ James