Last week, I had the privilege of beginning a new series about “Jesus Christ and His Granting of Private Interviews”. In this series, I began to share on the importance of drawing close and being known! Why would you want to have a private interview with Jesus Christ? Why would you want to have a private discussion, interaction and interview with your shepherd? There are many reasons to desire this kind of interaction with your shepherd as well as Jesus Christ. Today, I will continue this message.
“Many will say to me in that day, Lord, Lord, have we not prophesied in thy name? and in thy name have cast out devils? and in thy name done many wonderful works? And then will I profess unto them, I never knew you: depart from me, ye that work iniquity” (Matthew 7:22-23). This verse is difficult to understand. How can someone say that they prophesied in a person’s name, cast out devils and do many wonderful works but then be told “…I never knew you”? This verse shows us that you can work and do things but not have a personal relationship! That is why people have all the problems they have when they get married because they think they know who they married but actually do not. You find couples finding out about each other and saying “I never knew you were moody”, “I never knew you were lazy”. This happened to me years ago, when the church was smaller. Two of our pastors came to see me and said they were pastors in the church. When they said, they were pastors, I asked them where and they mentioned their branch. As they spoke, I thought to myself “these individuals have been in the church and have been working in my name but I never knew them.” I was saying the same thing Jesus was saying in the scripture to these pastors, “I never knew you.” Practically, I saw somebody who was working in my name, doing things on my behalf but I never knew them. Today, I want you to decide that you do not want to be in the church without being known and knowing! I wonder how people can marry others solely based on recommendations without them trying to know one another. If someone says “this is a good sister”, you are supposed to get to know them! How can you marry a strange woman you know nothing about? This person is a stranger! “And why wilt thou, my son, be ravished with a strange woman, and embrace the bosom of a stranger” (Proverbs 5:20)?
God wants you to know people well. God himself is also saying that he also does not accept you if he does not know you personally and well. Do not sit there and say that in your culture, you do not talk in the presence of an adult. It is not helping you. You need to know how to speak to and relate with a great person. You cannot be far and say “that is my church! That’s my pastor in that picture”. God wants you to grow up and get close. That is why Jesus allowed people to come to him and talk to him. You must remember that getting close depends on you! Decide to let go of that attitude that only desires to stay far. This year, strive to get close to your shepherd. Most importantly, strive to get closer to God!
“The law and the prophets were until John: since that time the kingdom of God is preached, and every man presseth into it” (Luke 16:16).