Why Do You Do It? :: by Desiree Effner

“Cursed be he that doeth the work of the Lord deceitfully, and cursed be he that keepeth back his sword from blood” (Jeremiah 48:10).

“For our exhortation was not of deceit, nor of uncleanness, nor in guile” (1 Thess. 2:3).

What’s your purpose? Who’s it all for? You believe you have some special calling and anointing from God? How did you come to that conclusion?

Is it your apparent “success?” The money coming in? The praises of those who supposedly benefit from what you do? The lack of opposition or challenge? Truth be known, it’s your way or the highway…right?

You must be in the driver’s seat. Your pride demands it! (But in God’s name you are doing so much good.) Some are not fooled; they know you’re as phony as a two-dollar bill. But the praises keep coming in, nevertheless. You say, “Hallelujah, praise the Lord.’ (After all, that sounds good.)

Hey, you’re good. Came along at just the right time. It could only be attributed to God’s will. Oh, He does get credit. (But you’re the one who scored, right?) It’s difficult to know. How do Christians measure success?

If you are gifted, if you’re led to strike while the iron is hot, if benefits are accruing to the Kingdom, is there any doubt you’re in God’s will?

The salient point is this: Are you even saved? Not, do you have extraordinary capabilities, insights, talents, resources, opportunities and are talked up by those who believe you are called by God to deliver words of “wisdom.”

But do you, indeed, belong to Jesus Christ? Or are you using His name for your own glory? Can you even be honest with yourself and admit what you are?

You see, all sorts of people have what it takes to build God’s kingdom on earth. At least by earthly standards. The phonies can usually be identified by the fruit that doesn’t result from true salvation and their smug insistence that they are authentic.

“Bring forth therefore fruits worthy of repentance, and begin not to say within yourselves, we have Abraham to our father: for I say unto you, that God is able of these stones to raise up children unto Abraham” (Luke 3:8).

The truly saved live repentant lives. They are known by their 1 Corinthians 13 love. They heartily study His Word to show themselves approved. They deny themselves, pick up their cross of death and follow Christ. They don’t lean on any external status. They don’t lie about others who have more abilities to try to make themselves look good. They aren’t running a race of self-exaltation.

There are many instances in the New Testament of demons and demonic people proclaiming the name of Christ and their allegiance to Him. The Gadarene man, called Legion, in Luke 8:26-40 (also Matthew 8 and Mark 5), gave an immediate shout-out when he saw Jesus approach.

A poor Philippian bimbo whose soothsaying provided a hefty income for her covetous masters, couldn’t shut up about the Most High God that the apostle Paul was preaching. Did Paul perceive an opening here? Did he reason and think?: Wow, we can use this local to reach all the other bimbos and their masters and everyone else who worships falsely.

No, he cast the demonic spirit of divination out of her. Instead of adding a valuable adjunct to his ministry, Paul was thrown in jail for wrecking the businessmen’s source of income. Paul stood strong in his faith without compromise.

God does not recruit demons to do evangelism (Mark 1:21-26) . And people who are not indwelt by the Holy Spirit—not saved—let alone anointed, are obviously not called by Him to do His work. They are self-appointed gurus or wannabe big-names.

The Lord knows His own. Those who are merely dressed up as sheep and shepherds can contrive all the business plans they want, and use their conniving pushiness to strive for Christendom’s “top.” Some can build immense churches and ministries and attract millions. They may mean well. They probably do improve the lives of people—to some extent, at least temporarily.

But eternal fruit is the product of something else. And that something will not likely go over well with the masses. The Lord said, through Jeremiah, in the introductory Scripture above, that His people should not keep back the sword from blood. What has that to do with Christian evangelism and discipleship?

That verse refers to instances in Israel’s history when God’s people blatantly disobeyed His commands, or only partially obeyed. For Christians, we must realize that the gospel brings with it the certainty of judgment. God’s wrath will come. The blood will flow in the streets. His sword is being whetted even now.

For Christians, God’s judgment landed squarely on His Son. His blood was spilled. It is that blood that covers our sins.

Yes! Our SINS.

To all self-deluded would-be Christians: Repent of your sins. God knows what you are doing. Stop it. Or you may find yourself on that broad road to destruction permanently (Matthew 7:13-14).

Now, segue into the old hymn, “Once to Every Man and Nation.” Because modern church music will never capture the truth, love and holiness of our God, and the strength He imparts to His own, like the old hymns did. They were written in blood and tears.

Honestly, what is your testimony written in? The blood and tears of Jesus or your own self-serving agenda?