“But he that does the will of my Father...”
There are no more important words in this world than those spoken by Jesus Himself. They have the authority of God and the power of truth. We could look hard at ourselves in the light of this one challenging statement.
In full it reads, “Not everyone who says to Me, ‘Lord, Lord’ shall enter the kingdom of God. But he who does the will of My Father in heaven.” (Matt 7:21-22). The prospect of a heavenly selection process, excluding some is not popular!
It was written before of the Christ, “Lo (see, behold) I come to do Thy will, O God.” (Psalm 40:7/Hebrews 10:7).
This is the singular mindset of our Lord. The record of Jesus’ life (the little we have of it) is of His 100% attention to this goal. It could be suggested that His motivation was one of ‘a slave-like obedience’ - true as He was ‘the servant’ spoken of in Isaiah’s prophecy. However, this NOT the case! Christ was pleased to reach out, to rejoice and to smile as He went about doing good!
Psalm 40:8 goes on to add (or predict) that it would be a much greater, more superior motive that would drive Messiah.
“I delight to do Thy will, O God.” It is the difference between ‘I MUST do’ or ‘I WANT to’ the heart’s desire. Jesus set the highest of motives for our own Christian service... twin ideals of desire and urgency. Can we make the upgrade from merely, ‘doing’ to one of ‘truly delighting’ in our daily service to the Lord, our Lord?
Sadly organised religion has a habit of reducing Divine directives to strict ritual - not “the Way of the Lord”!
If this sort of compliance attitude is what our Heavenly Father ‘expects/desires’ then He would not have made His Word so clear to the prophet (Micah 6:6-8). “Do I want thousands of rams, rivers of oil, even one’s firstborn?” He seeks, desires to see, actions revealing higher motives - so asks for faithful men and women now “To do justly, love mercy and to walk humbly with (Me) THY God.”This expression, “THY God” provides a lovely conclusion.
God wants us to take full ownership, a partnership with Himself. A personal, jealous association with, “the God of all the earth”. It’s this ‘bond of perfection’ that held Jesus so tightly to His Father, despite the awful things requested of Him. It will work well for us too.
Bro Neil Todd (New Zealand)