Jeff Strite relates a true story about an English professor who was on her way to class one day. She was running late and was going over the speed limit. Then she saw the dreaded red and blue lights in her rear view mirror and heard the siren, and she pulled over.
As the policeman was making out her ticket, he asked her why she’d been going so fast. Being an English professor, she thought she’d be a little clever… and so she quoted Robert Frost: “I have promises to keep and miles to go before I sleep.”
The police officer smiled, and having apparently read a fair amount of Robert Frost’s poems himself, replied: “Well Miss, Frost chose the road less traveled, and, unfortunately for you… this wasn’t it’.
In Jesus’ Mountain Message he speaks of there being only 2 roads in Matthew 7:13-14. The broad way with the wide gate that leads to destruction. And the narrow gate with the difficult way that guides us to eternal life. He illustrates this 2 kinds of trees that bear different kinds of fruit. And then concludes with the parable of the 2 builders–the wise man and the foolish man.
In that context Jesus warns, “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!’” (Matt 7:21-23)
Every spiritually minded person wants a relationship with Jesus. All desire to enter the Kingdom. And the goal of each one is to hear those words, Well done, good and faithful servant…Enter into the joy of your Lord.”
Yet, the sad reality is that too many people who cry “Lord, Lord, will not enter in.” Some are unwilling to make a total commitment to Christ. To His Word. And to His will.
One writer compared the religious experience of some folks to dating. Dating is a 50-50 relationship. You begin guarded. You “put your best foot forward.” You are careful not to say those 3 little words prematurely. And honestly, you often are looking out for your best interests. Your feelings. Your needs.
Many people want to “date Jesus.” Enjoying some of the benefits and blessings without the commitment. Not ready to engage in the work hard of building a relationship, making commitments and willing to sacrifice.
Like marriage, true discipleship, is a 100-100 proposition. It requires our all. Selfless devotion. Unconditional love. And total commitment.
Can you imagine someone declaring their undying love for you, calling you sweet names and yet failing to engage in actions that validate your desires and refusing to demonstrate respect?
Jesus said, “If you love me, keep my commandments” (Jn 14:15). Real love, true love is demonstrated in meeting the expectations and desires of the object of one’s devotion. Calling Jesus by lofty sounding names. Attending all the services of the church. Engaging in ministry. Contributing large sums of money to religious organizations. None of these replace simple obedience to His Word.
C.S. Lewis correctly observes that to have Faith in Christ “means, of course, trying to do all that He says. There would be no sense in saying you trusted a person if you would not take his advice. Thus if you have really handed yourself over to Him, it must follow that you are trying to obey Him.”
Lewis then adds that your obedience is not because you are “hoping to get to Heaven as a reward for your actions, but inevitably wanting to act in a certain way because a first faint gleam of Heaven is already inside you.”
–Ken Weliever, The Preacherman