"Not everyone who says to me, 'Lord, Lord,' will enter the kingdom of heaven, but only the one who does the will of my Father in heaven. On that day many will say to me, 'Lord, Lord, did we not prophesy in your name & cast out demons in your name, and do many deeds of power in your name?' Then I will declare to them, 'I never knew you; go away from me, you evil doers.'"
The art of Name Dropping. "So I was over at So-n-So's house yesterday..." or "When (insert famous name) and I were fishing the other day..." It's great fun! It impresses others and makes us feel important. Name dropping.
In Matthew 7, we're warned against name dropping on God. "When God and I were healing the sick the other day..." or "When I was serving food to the poor on a church outing," etc. Matthew tells us not to do it. Don't presume.
But why? Is God like some exclusive Country Club admissions committee that wants to control the clientele to keep the 'riffraff' out? I don't think so. Do some people think they can live a reckless life and then simply say the words, "Lord! Lord!" and all will be well? Possibly. But given verse 22, there seems to be a different target audience here. Could it be that this is for those of us who are already busy "doing stuff for God"? We're on various committees in our churches... we've volunteered to do a bunch of projects (in Jesus' Name!)... we're regulars in worship, etc. We really are "busy for God." But despite all of what we've done FOR God, God laments that we didn't spend much time WITH God.
"I never knew you," God says. Not "I never loved you"... or "I never died for you"... or "I never desired to spend time with you." Just "I never knew you."
Could it be that we can get so caught up in what we think Go wants us to be doing that we fail to recognize that what God wants most of all is for us to get to know Him. Really know Him. Spend time with Him. Be in God's presence. Be loved by Him and radiate that love in our lives to others. The "other stuff" will follow. If we have a life grounded in knowing & being known by God, then everything else will fall into place. We'll want to reach out to others to share that love in the ways that Jesus taught.
Oh, Lord, Lord...