As we pursue understanding the greatest Christian life, one thing we must dispel is that the greatest Christians were the most famous ones. Those who are most well-known on earth may be least known in heaven. Those who are the most highly esteemed in heaven may be little known on earth. Having great spiritual authority with men is not as high as having great authority with God.
Many of the great men and women of history who were at the forefront of great moves of God may have only been there because of those little-known ones behind the scenes praying. We will learn all of this on the great Judgment Day when the Books of Life are opened. The Books of Life are God’s history books — accurate records of human history and every human life. These are the books Jesus said we should rejoice that our names are written in. Making it into God’s history books is far better than making it into man’s.
How would our lives be different if we were focused more on being known by God rather than known by men? The Lord said many would come to Him on the Judgment Day boasting of how many great works they had done in His name, but He would say to them, “Depart,” because He never knew them (see Matthew 7:22-23). Their problem was not that they did not know the Lord, but the Lord did not know them. How could that be?
The Greek word translated as “knew” [ γινώσκω ginōskō ghin-oce’-ko ] does not mean He did not know who they were, but it is a deeper knowing such as between a husband and wife. Great Christian lives are not based on what we do as much as what we become. Are we becoming more like Him because we are getting closer to Him and are being changed by His glory?
The greatest Christian lives will be most like Christ. This happens as we draw near to Him, and as He promises, He draws near to us. We are changed by seeing His glory. As we see in the Gospels, the miracles and works of the Lord were often described as revealing His glory, so drawing near to Him includes being used by Him to do His works. Even so, the works are the fruit of our relationship, not just a matter of learning procedures, or being diligent.
A fruit tree bears fruit because it is a fruit tree. It does not strain or strive to produce fruit. Producing fruit is the result of what it is, not what it does. A good tree planted in good soil will produce good fruit. As we keep knowing the Lord and drawing closer to Him, the fruit will naturally come. As He said in John 15, if we are not bearing fruit, it is because we are not abiding in Him. The works of the Lord are not what we do for Him, but what we do with Him.
“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 7:22-23.
“I am the true vine, and My Father is the vinedresser. Every branch in Me that does not bear fruit He takes away; and every branch that bears fruit He prunes, that it may bear more fruit. You are already clean because of the word which I have spoken to you. Abide in Me, and I in you. As the branch cannot bear fruit of itself, unless it abides in the vine, neither can you, unless you abide in Me.
I am the vine, you are the branches. He who abides in Me, and I in him, bears much fruit; for without Me you can do nothing. If anyone does not abide in Me, he is cast out as a branch and is withered; and they gather them and throw them into the fire, and they are burned. If you abide in Me, and My words abide in you, you will ask what you desire, and it shall be done for you. By this My Father is glorified, that you bear much fruit; so you will be My disciples,” John 15:1-8.
~ Pastor Rick Joyner
|Pastor Rick Joyner is the founder and executive director of MorningStar Ministries and Heritage International Ministries and is the Senior Pastor of MorningStar Fellowship Church.|