We have all known someone that pretended to be someone that they are not. Mostly, I knew these people in High school. The ones that had been everywhere, seen everything and done everything. No matter what any of my other friends were doing this person had already done it and done it so much better. They were so annoying! After a while, I found that, by design, where ever this person was, I was not!
In Psalm 81 verse 15, we see that those people existed in early Israel as well. I suspect they were around from the dawn of civilization. Psalm 81 is about God’s goodness and Israel’s waywardness. It recounts the blessings that God bestowed upon the nation. How God rescued Israel from their troubles. And yet we have verse 15. “Those who hate the LORD would pretend obedience to Him, and their time of punishment would be forever.”
It occurs to me that the religious leaders of Jesus’ day fall into this category. Jesus was nearly always at odds with the Pharisees and Sadducees, those religious people that could not have been farther from God. Of course if you asked them, they were doing God’s will!
How many Christian’s today do you know that are the same way? Always participating in some church activity. Almost every short term mission trip that gets planned, they are signed up. Every fellowship meal, they are right there. It is even likely that this person is part of the church leadership. Usually this person is quick to point out the faults in others. They point out the this church member’s daughter has a bad reputation, and the a good Christian would never let their child do that. Funny though, They can criticize all day long, sometimes even give useless advise; but when it comes to actually helping, they are nowhere to be found!
These people are not only mentioned in the Psalm, but Jesus talks about them in the book of Matthew. ” Not everyone who says to Me, ‘Lord, Lord,’ will enter the kingdom of heaven, but he who does the will of My Father who is in heaven will enter. Many will say to Me on that day, ‘Lord, Lord, did we not prophesy in Your name, and in Your name cast out demons, and in Your name perform many miracles?’ And then I will declare to them, ‘I never knew you; depart from Me, you who practice lawlessness.”
This verse in Matthew scares me. I ask myself, “Does this mean that a person can think they are saved and doing the will of God and actually be lost?” The only conclusion I can come to is “Yes!” I pray then that I am not one of these people. That I am not deceiving myself but truly seeking Jesus. God knows my heart! I pray that He reveals it to me; that my actions are pleasing to the Lord of the universe. In other words I pray that I am not a pretender!
Is it even possible to perform a self evaluation and know that you are truly seeking God? Let me know your thoughts on this!