Matthew 7: 21  “Not everyone who says to me, ‘Lord, Lord,’ will enter the kingdom of heaven, but only those who do the will of my Father who is in heaven. “

     Just saying that Jesus is your Lord isn’t enough.  Sadly this verse indicates that some think it is.  Here is where religion and righteousness are clearly contrasted.   Jesus warns;  “Watch out for false prophets. They come to you in sheep’s clothing, but inwardly they are ferocious wolves.”  (Matthew 7:15).   Jesus continues; “Many will say to me on that day, ‘Lord, Lord, did we not prophesy in your name and in your name drive out demons and in your name perform many miracles?’  Then I will tell them plainly, ‘I never knew you. Away from me, you evildoers!’ (Matthew 7:22,23)  Empty religion can take the form of what appears as powerful demonstrations of God’s power – prophesy, miracles and deliverance.  To be righteous with God, to enter the kingdom of heaven we must do the will of Jesus’ Father in heaven.  Each and every one of us has a responsibility to determine this will for ourselves.  No one can do this for us, we must walk that path.  People can help us, people can guide us but in the end our final guide and helper is Jesus and His Word.

     Jesus asked people;  “And why call ye me, Lord, Lord, and do not the things which I say?” (Luke 6:46)  So the will of the Father is to listen to His Son and do what he says;  “Then a voice came out of the cloud, saying, ‘This is My Son, My Chosen One; listen to Him!’ ”  (Luke 9:35)    The book of Hebrews affirms this; “God, having of old time spoken unto the fathers in the prophets by divers portions and in divers manners,   hath at the end of these days spoken unto us in his Son . . .” (Hebrews 1:1,2)  The final authority for the Will of God in our lives is Jesus and His Word.  The will of God is for us to read His Word daily and live by it;  “Therefore everyone who hears these words of mine and puts them into practice is like a wise man who built his house on the rock.” (Matthew 7:24)  Is a person in God’s will?  The standard to go by is scripture.

     How do we come to the know the will of God for our lives?  Scripture tells us;  “And be not conformed to this world, but be ye transformed by the renewing of your mind, that ye may prove what is that good and acceptable and perfect will of God.” (Romans 12:2)  As our mind is renewed and we are transformed over time, His will for us will become clearer and evident.  This is the process of maturation;  “When I was a child, I spake as a child, I understood as a child, I thought as a child: but when I became a man, I put away childish things. For now we see through a glass, darkly; but then face to face: now I know in part; but then shall I know even as also I am known.” (1 Corinthians 13:11,12)   

     It is the will of God that we would mature;  “For at the time when ye ought to be teachers, ye have need that one teach you again the first principles of the oracles of God, and have become such as have need of milk, and not of strong meat.  For every one that useth milk is unskilled in the word of righteousness, for he is a babe. But strong meat belongeth to those who are of full age, even those who by reason of use have their senses exercised to discern both good and evil.” (Hebrews 5:12-14)  As we have parents who raised us into physical and emotional maturity, we have help from pastors, elders and friends in the church to guide us into spiritual maturity.  We mature in the fellowship of the body of Christ – His church.  The standard again is found in the Word;  “But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, longsuffering, gentleness, goodness, faith,  meekness, temperance . . .” (Galatians 5:22,23) 

     Prayer is crucial.  To know his will for our lives we must ask Him.  “Pray without ceasing. In every thing give thanks: for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus concerning you.” (1 Thess 5:17,18)  Prayer brings you into His presence and Jesus told us to ask;  “And all things, whatsoever ye shall ask in prayer, believing, ye shall receive.” (Matthew 21:22)  The Big Book of Alcoholics Anonymous cites  prayer  in their step 11; “[We] Sought through prayer and meditation to improve our conscious contact with God as we understood Him, praying only for knowledge of His will for us and the power to carry that out.”  What a pattern for all of us to follow!  Jesus when He taught us to pray gave us the words; “Thy kingdom come, Thy will be done in earth, as it is in heaven.” (Matthew 6:10)  If you’re not asking God first and last, in your prayers to show you His will for your life then your asking the wrong person(s).

     It is the Will of God that we live our lives clean and sober in every way; “Furthermore then we beseech you, brethren, and exhort you by the Lord Jesus, that as ye have received of us how ye ought to walk and to please God, so ye would abound more and more. For ye know what commandments we gave you by the Lord Jesus. For this is the will of God, even your sanctification, that ye should abstain from fornication:  . . .” (1 Thess 4:1-3)  In His will our lives will ‘abound  more and more’ with His blessings.  In His Will we will be family with Jesus: “For whosoever shall do the will of my Father which is in heaven, the same is my brother, and sister, and mother.”  (Mathew 12:50)  With prayer, with the practice of His Word, the world’s foolishness will be silenced;  “For so is the will of God, that with well doing ye may put to silence the ignorance of foolish men . . . ” (1 Peter 2:15)  His Peace at last.  Praise the Lord!