I’ve shared a few times on this blog (one of them just last week) that I find the “I never knew you” passage one of the most terrifying in scripture. That might seem like an odd place to start out a post about building a relationship with God, but that’s were we’re going to begin. Here it is:
“Not everyone who says to me, ‘Lord, Lord,’ will enter into 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 expel demons in your name, and perform many miracles in your name?’ And then I will say to them plainly, ‘I never knew you. Depart from me, you who practice lawlessness!’” (Matt. 7:21-23, LEB)
This makes it sound like you can be doing all the things you think are right and good, but still not have a relationship with Jesus. It’s not enough to say, “I know Him.” He has to know you, too.
Thankfully, we’re not left in the dark about how to be known by God. One key is found right here in the verses we just looked at: we need to do the Father’s will and not practice lawlessness. There are also other scriptures that talk about who the Lord knows, and we’re going to look at some today.
Humility, Obedience, and Awe
As I study through verses that talk about people the Lord knows a pattern emerges. Being known by God is connected with how we respond to Him and to His word.
Yahweh says, “Heaven is my throne, and the earth is my footstool. What kind of house will you build to me? Where will I rest? For my hand has made all these things, and so all these things came to be,” says Yahweh: “but to this man will I look, even to he who is poor and of a contrite spirit, and who trembles at my word.” (Is. 66:1-2, WEB)
This is a perfect companion scripture to the one in Matthew 7 because both point out that the important thing isn’t what we try to do for God. The important thing is how we respond to God (or Yahweh, to use His personal name).
Yahweh seeks people who respond to Him with humility, obedience, and awe. If we tremble at His word, then we’re going to take what He says seriously. If we’re poor and contrite in our spirits, we’ll respect that He knows better than us and do as He says. These attitudes are key to being a person who does the will of the Father in heaven. Read more