Sunday, June 26, 2011

Joyful, Humble Proof of a True, Deep, Real Relationship with God

“Has it not been told my lord what I did when Jezebel killed the prophets of the LORD, how I hid a hundred men of the LORD's prophets by fifties in a cave and fed them with bread and water? And now you say, 'Go, tell your lord, ‘Behold, Elijah is her’; and he will kill me." (1 Kings 18:13-14)

Excerpt from “Who is Your Master?” - 2011-06-26
Obadiah admits here that he has been trying to serve two masters. While he does attempt to argue that God is his master; his complaint reveals who his true lord and master was -- Ahab. His greatest fear was not that he was working against God, but the fear that Ahab would have him executed for not personally delivering Elijah to Ahab himself. But the problem is, Jesus said: “No one can serve two masters, for either he will hate the one and love the other, or he will be devoted to the one and despise the other." Jesus also said: "Whoever is not with me is against me, and whoever does not gather with me scatters” (Matthew 12:30). When we try to serve two masters, we will be forced to make one choice.

This puts us face to face with the convicting words of Jesus from Matthew 7:21-23: “Not everyone who says to me, ‘LORD, LORD,’ will enter the kingdom of heaven, but the one who does the will of my Father who is in heaven. On that day many will say to me, ‘LORD, LORD, did we not prophesy in your name, and cast out demons in your name, and do many mighty works in your name?’ And then will I declare to them, ‘I never knew you; depart from me, you workers of lawlessness.’” Like Obadiah, it doesn’t matter how many good or godly things we’ve done, or how much of the Bible we know, or how much money we’ve given, or how long we’ve served in church, or even if God has done great things in our lives. Jesus is saying that doing things for God and knowing things about God mean nothing if God is not the absolute sovereign Lord and Master of your heart and soul. Doing things, knowing things, saying things for God and having an intimate relationship with God are two completely different things.

But there is a tension here. You can do and know and say good and godly things for God without a true, deep, real relationship with God - yet the proof of having with a true, deep, real relationship with God is that you will do and know and say good and godly things for God. And so how can you tell if what is done and known and said for God is done out of a true, deep, real relationship with God? Two words: Humility and joy. A heart attitude of joyful humility reveals the difference between whether what one does or knows or says flows out of a true, deep, real relationship with God. A soul that has a true, deep, real relationship with God humbly proclaims God as Lord and Master – and joyfully does and knows and says what gives glory to the Lord of Lords, the King the Kings.