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Doing the will of God
- Jacob Ninan
It is very easy for us to fall into the habit of saying, "Lord, Lord," and not doing the will of God (Mt.7:21). This happens when we become familiar with 'churchy,' 'spiritual' things. Our 'life' consists of words--even right, good, Biblical words--as we talk, sing, listen to and write on Twitter or Facebook. We don't even notice when our words lose their meaning for us and things become mechanical. This seems to be inevitable when words don't come from life, and there is no life because there is no 'doing' the will of God (Jas.1:22-24).
This is probably because of deeper issues, even of wrong understanding of salvation and our life with God. At the lowest level, if our 'salvation' consisted of merely repeating the words, "Lord Jesus, come into my heart," without any heart-felt recognition of our sin, turning away from it sincerely and committing ourselves to Jesus as our Lord, our salvation is just make-believe! At the next level, even if there has been a genuine meeting with Jesus and placing our trust in Him, if our understanding of life is that now we have a guaranteed place in heaven and that there is nothing more to do, of course there will not be any serious attempt to 'do the will of God.' Then there are those who have been taught to resist any teaching that asks us to 'do' anything, calling that 'getting back under the law,' and that also leads to inaction.
We need to be clear that there is no requirement for us to do anything to earn any merit with God, because we are saved and we live only because of His grace (Ep.2:8). But if we have truly come under grace, this grace will begin to change our lives. There will be some 'works' that we and other people can notice. These are works that come out of a heart of faith, love, gratitude, etc., seeking to keep God's ways and thereby to honour and exalt Him. If these are missing or lacking, it indicates that our so-called 'faith' is useless and 'dead' (Jas.2:17). Then all our "Lord, Lord" will be useless, since Jesus will say He doesn't know us (Mt.7:22,23).
Let us ask ourselves if there is really any focus on doing the will of God in our daily life. Let's not count in this context major issues where we seek the will of God. How about wanting to know how God would want us to spend our free time, when we have it? What about asking God to tell us how He would want us to spend money? Do we seriously spend time reading His word to get to know His will better? Do we often have questions about His will? How often do we recognise that our behaviour has grieved Him (1Jn.1:8)? Do we examine ourselves to see how we could have said something differently?
In other words, is there a conscious effort going on towards doing God's will better and better in daily aspects of life? Otherwise there is a strong chance that we are deceived or deceiving ourselves when we think we are 'saved.' If God shows that to us, it is not to condemn us but because of His love that wants us to be truly saved.