Bible with Cross ShadowAs we have discovered, the sayings of Jesus are impossible to do without the life of Jesus in us to do them. This is the meaning of “in Christ”. Then there are the sayings that are very difficult to hear. They challenge what we want to believe about God. They highlight what we want to ignore.

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!” Matthew 7:21-23

This may be the hardest saying to hear in the entire Sermon on the Mount. Many have gone to great lengths to explain away its meaning. Why? Because it reveals a facet of God’s character that many would prefer not to consider: His severity. We do so at our own peril.

Therefore consider the goodness and severity of God: on those who fell, severity; but toward you, goodness, if you continue in His goodness. Otherwise you also will be cut off. Romans 11:22

Our God is a just God (Psalm 7:11). This is one of the things we like about God – when He is just on our behalf, or just against the wicked. What we don’t like to consider – nor communicate – is the just rebuke, chastening and scourging of our loving Father and Savior (Hebrews 12:5-11; Revelations 3:19).

Considering such things make us uncomfortable and concerned about our relationship with God. It may even cause us work out our salvation with fear and trembling (Philippians 2:12). Imagine that!

When Jesus says something in a straight forward way – as in this passage – we should take Him at His word. Think about it. He did not come to trick us with the truth. Why would He say something about a topic as important as entering the kingdom, in a way that might mislead His followers? It just doesn’t make sense.

So, just how do we do the will of our Father in heaven? The answer is simple: We surrender to His will.

If anyone wills to do His will, he shall know concerning the doctrine, whether it is from God or whether I speak on My own authority. John 7:17

This is, of course, easier said than done. It includes, but is more than, putting aside our personal desires. It is embracing His will for every moment of our lives – even when we don’t know what His will is going to be. The only way for us to know that we are doing the will of God (and shall enter the kingdom of heaven) is to trust Him completely.

This is important: That means refusing to trust in anyone else. ANYONE ELSE!! Please, please, please, don’t dismiss this. It is a sever truth; and it is something worth fighting for.

In closing, be encouraged in the knowledge that God has put the desire to do His will in our hearts. He has promised to give us that desire (Psalm 37:4), when we surrender to the work He is doing in us – to will and to do to His good pleasure (Philippians 2:13). His good pleasure is to give us His kingdom (Luke 12:32).

God bless you with the grace to surrender.

Humbly yours and forever His,