God has a home with many rooms in it, and Jesus prepared a place for us there (John 14:2)! One day we will enter that home in person, but we don’t have to wait do dwell in the same house with Him. He promised that He will come live with us and make His home with us here on earth, if we fulfill one condition: if we do His will.
Jesus said He and the Father will come and live with us – if we obey His commandments (John 14:23).
Jesus said we can be His family – if we do the will of His Father in Heaven (Matthew 12:48-50).
Jesus said we can be His friends – if we do what He commands us (John 15:14).
Jesus said we can be His disciples – if we deny our will to follow Him and do His will (Matthew 16:24).
Jesus even said that the reason our Heavenly Father was always with Him was because He always did His will:
John 8:29 "And He who sent Me is with Me; He has not left Me alone, for I always do the things that are pleasing to Him”
The Bible seems pretty clear, if we want to be close to The Lord – living with Him, in fellowship with Him, having Him as our family, having Him as our best friend, there’s only one single path – to do His will and live to please God.
SMALL GATE AND NARROW PATH
I believe this is the narrow path Jesus talked about that only a few find (Matthew 7:13-14). But the rare few who are willing to surrender themselves to whatever God wants for their life – in situations both big and small, they have found the rare and narrow path that leads into God’s home.
Matthew 7:14 For the gate is small and the way is narrow that leads to life, and there are few who find it.
Jesus said that not only is the “gate” small (the entry into this life with Jesus when we first come to Him) but also that the “way” is narrow (the continuation of the life). We come to Jesus not expecting to give up everything in the beginning, only to take it back again later as we want it, but it’s a complete surrender of all intention to follow my will again in the future.
Just like how God commanded Lot and his wife not to look back at the wicked city, God’s home is for people who have no intention of ever living for themselves again, for their own pleasures – but of leaving it totally behind. I believe this is why Jesus started His ministry with the word “Repent” (Matt 4:17). His message was for those who were willing to turn away from their will, and turn to and follow God’s will from there on out. Anyone who is not willing to accept the message of “repent” can’t accept any of the things which Jesus would teach after that. It is a small gate and narrow way that leads to life with God.
“The Christian ideal has not been tried and found wanting; it has been found difficult and left untried.” GK Chesterton
Jesus said that He always did what pleases His Father, and that’s why God was always with Him (John 8:29). Jesus pleased His Father not only by the actions that He took and things which He did but it was even more so about the motive with which He did them.
I don’t want to labor to do God’s will simply for the sake of ‘not sinning’, but I want to live my life laboring to do God’s will with the right motivation driving me. If I don’t have the right motivation, all of it will be useless, like ‘casting pearls before swine’.
I saw in the example of the Pharisees that a person can be deceived into thinking they are living for God’s will, but all the while they are still just living for themselves. I don’t want to fall for that deception! I believe the way to distinguish is to ask God if I really have the right motive. The Pharisees were convinced they’d surrendered everything to do God’s will and obey His commands (the law), but in essence they were basically still just living to please themselves (Matthew 23:5 “they do all their deeds to be noticed by men”). Their motive made all of their pursuits to follow God’s law useless. This is why they missed the narrow way, even though they deceived everyone (including themselves) into thinking they were on it.
As far as I can tell, I believe God wants me to have as my greatest motivation to do His will these two reasons: 1. To please Him because I love Him, 2. And to have fellowship with Him. I see in the Bible that Paul had these same motives: 1. he lived to please God (2 Cor 5:9 “Therefore we also have as our ambition, whether at home or absent, to be pleasing to Him”), and 2. he lived to have fellowship with Him (Php 3:8 “I count everything as loss because of the surpassing worth of knowing Christ Jesus my Lord. For his sake I have suffered the loss of all things and count them as rubbish, in order that I may gain Christ”).
If we are single minded like Jesus, daily living to do God’s will with the right motives, we can find ourselves living life at home with our Father in Heaven and our Lord Jesus, no matter where we go or what is happening in our life. God will be with us communicating intimately with us, comforting us, giving us rest and joy, and taking care of His house where we are living with Him.