The phrase "I never knew you" resonates as one of the most impactful passages in the Bible. It's found in Matthew chapter 7, where Jesus starkly reveals that using His name for self-glory has no place in eternity. Jesus isn't a means to an end; He's not a tool for personal gain.
Our connection with God is about abiding and relationship, not transaction. God isn't a vending machine; He's the omnipotent creator. Jesus paved the way for an unbroken relationship with God, a gift of salvation. Our purpose is to worship God as a child does a loving parent, seeking a profound relationship that bears fruit.
Through the Holy Spirit, we've been gifted with the power to further Jesus' ministry on earth. These gifts are meant to glorify the Son and exalt the Father continually, not for personal gain.
God desires a relationship. What are you seeking?
"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 (NKJV)
Feel free to watch the video below starting at the 2-hour 12-minute mark in order to get a better understanding of this lesson:
Avoiding the use of God for personal gain requires a genuine and humble heart. Here are some ways to ensure you're not using God for selfish purposes:
Develop a Genuine Relationship: Cultivate a real, sincere relationship with God through prayer, worship, and studying His Word. When your connection with God is genuine, you're less likely to use Him for personal gain.
Seek God's Will: Continually seek God's will in your life. Pray for guidance and discernment in your decisions, and align your goals with what you believe God wants for you.
Practice Humility: Humility is crucial in spiritual matters. Acknowledge your limitations, weaknesses, and the fact that you need God's grace. Avoid arrogance and self-centered pride.
Serve Others: Focus on serving others without expecting anything in return. Acts of kindness and generosity should come from a compassionate heart, not with the expectation of receiving something in exchange from God or others.
Avoid Manipulative Prayers: Be mindful of your prayers. Don't manipulate God with insincere or selfish prayers. Instead, pray for God's will to be done and for His guidance in your life.
Practice Gratitude: Cultivate a heart of gratitude for what you have rather than constantly seeking more. Appreciating God's blessings can help curb the desire for excessive personal gain.
Be Content: Learn to be content with what you have. Contentment doesn't mean lack of ambition, but it prevents the constant craving for more and more, which can lead to using God to fulfill selfish desires.
Accountability: Surround yourself with people who hold you accountable. Honest friends and mentors can help you stay grounded and recognize when you might be veering into selfish motives.
Regular Self-Reflection: Periodically reflect on your intentions and motivations. Ask yourself why you're pursuing certain goals. If your motives are primarily self-serving, reconsider your approach.
Develop a Generous Spirit: Practice generosity with your time, resources, and talents. Generosity helps break the cycle of self-centeredness and encourages a spirit of selflessness.
Remember, a genuine and deep relationship with God, coupled with a humble and service-oriented attitude, can prevent the misuse of God for personal gain.