“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
I used to think coffee was just coffee. A delicious hot beverage enjoyed with a tasty pastry or with your breakfast. Then I moved to the USA and Starbucks broadened my scope on coffee. This delicious beverage can now be enjoyed iced, frozen, or as a latte! You can even add different syrups to it? Now that’s absolutely fantastic!
With my new found knowledge on coffee, I was absolutely delighted to discover all the different varieties coffee could be consumed. I was on a coffee adventure! On my way to become a coffee connoisseur!
-I was blatantly wrong.
You see I was discovering different forms of drinks; not coffee. Of course coffee shops were integrating coffee into the drink recipe, as an ingredient, not as a beverage. In fact, the rich frothy drinks I was consuming were maybe 25% coffee and 75% sugar, milk, and ice. Honestly, I didn’t even know the process of making the beverage. I just knew the ingredient list. There you go, I was a Starbucks Ingredient List connoisseur, but nothing close to a coffee connoisseur. Just a few weeks ago, I learned that coffee grown on trees. (Did you know that?!) This entire time, I thought it was on shrubberies. (Granted, the trees do look like giant shrubs..) And then a few days later, I learned the difference between a latte and a macchiato. The idea of thinking of myself as a coffee connoisseur was absolutely ghastly!
-I wasn’t a connoisseur.
-I was a fan, a Starbucks enthusiast. I barely know the differences between light, medium, and dark roasts! But still my new found knowledge on Starbucks Drink Menu, lead me to think otherwise…
And the thing is many of us do the exact same thing, not with coffee, but with God…We discover a new church, ministry, or Scripture and our excitement gets the best of us. We become absolutely enthralled with this new concept or knowledge. We dive deep into studying it maybe even memorizing it, and soon we think we got it. We know it. We are experts. (We are not. We just think of ourselves that way). Why? Because we spent a month on one passage, reading it over and over again? Now, I am not saying that ALL of us do this, but most of us do…
-I have done it. I probably will do it again too.
The epithet at the beginning says, “Not everyone who calls Me, Lord, Lord shall enter the Kingdom of Heaven…I will declare to them, I never knew you! Depart from Me..”. This verse has always terrified me at my core, horror movies can’t compare to the terror this verse has held over my life, until now. I used to think that I needed to do everything written in the Bible so that I would never have to hear those words. I had to be on my best behavior. I was wrong. You see, the key word in that passage is know. “I never knew you” is what Christ declares in that verse. Know Him. But still that’s not enough. He wants to know you. Know each other.
In a sense, we have to become connoisseurs. (Now before you go on an outrage, let me say the following contradictory statement: We will never become God connoisseurs. God is a mystery. No one will ever know everything about God. That is not realistic; however, that doesn’t mean we cannot try).
According to the Oxford Dictionary, a connoisseur is an expert judge in matters of taste. Keyword: expert. And how do you become an expert? By learning and experiencing everything that exists on a subject. For example, I want to one day become a coffee connoisseur. So what would it take for me to achieve this goal? It’s very simple. I need to spend time with coffee. I need to read about coffee. From where did coffee beans originate, to the many different processes of preparing this beverage. I need to acquire my own preferable taste for coffee. Do I enjoy it best iced or hot? Do I take it black? What kind of syrup do I enjoy most? How many different brewing methods are there? I need to have different experiences with coffee so that I can form my own perception of it.
The same idea can be applied to your relationship with God. Keyword: relationship. You have to read about God. Study about God. Experience God. Knowledge without application amounts to nothing. The more you do this, the more you will get to know Him. The closer you two will become. And then you will get to know the, “Father’s will in Heaven” and Matthew 7:21-23 will never be something you will fear because you have a relationship with the LORD. And rather than acquiring judgment you will have discernment.
So my questions to you: Are you a connoisseur or fanatic? And which one do you want to be?As always, you are loved more than you will ever know. Always a pleasure, always an honor.
Thank you for your lovely time.