One morning I read the following statement in the devotional book My Utmost For His Highest by Oswald Chambers, “Many people today are pouring their lives out and working for Jesus Christ, but are not really walking with Him…All that is required is to live a natural life of absolute dependence on Jesus Christ.”
The statement struck me. Is it really possible to work for God and not walk with him?
I thought about my clinic day. I had prayed with several patients. I had a meeting regarding doing a promotional video for a ministry. I had shared my testimony with a contact and encouraged her to join our ministry team. On the face of it I was doing the work of God.
But where was my heart?
I thought of the Bible verse, “These people honor me with their lips, but their hearts are far from me.” So the Bible seemed to confirm this idea of actions and heart in two different locations. The actions could appear Godly, while the heart could be no where near God.
On a personal level, here is my daily struggle: I go about working for God, but my heart wanders away from him.
The worse case scenario
The Bible points out someone who worked for Jesus but didn’t truly walk with him. He was busy for the Lord but his heart was far from God.
In fact in Matthew 10, we read that he was preaching, teaching and healing including casting out demons and healing diseases. He is listed among the Twelve and described in the following words: “Judas Iscariot, who betrayed him.”
When we work for God and not walk with God, we become as good as Judas Iscariot.
Judas is the epitome of what the human nature is capable of. He was in the very presence of the Son of God. He heard his teachings, witnessed the miracles, and even went about the same work. But in the end his heart wandered away.
How it happened
Here’s why I think someone who walked closely with Jesus ultimately betrayed him: Judas never allowed the gospel message to penetrate his own heart. He performed a transforming work for others without the work transforming him. That’s how he was able to work for God without actually walking with him.
And I’m at risk of doing the same.
Unless, I allow God’s message to also penetrate my own heart.