I remember a time when Jesus was not my Lord. Those were the days! And I don’t mean that in a good way.
I remember being so entangled in my pursuit of relationships that it dominated the motivations in every area of my life. I crammed every other interest into whatever wasn’t filled by this pursuit. This was my life.
But was that all life had to offer?
I thought so. Until I met Jesus. I mean really met Jesus.
I grew up hearing about Jesus and believing in Him, but He was not my Lord.
“If Jesus is not Lord of all, then He is not Lord at all.”
This statement was a game changer for me in my early walk with Him. From this very statement, in fact, we can draw a few tips on sharing about being under His Lordship.
What are your “what ifs”? “What ifs” give a clue to areas where you may have a hard time trusting God.
It is difficult to share about Lordship if you yourself aren’t fully convinced about the full authority of Jesus and your personal need of His Lordship over your life to navigate any circumstance.
What are the things that you value? What if they are taken away from you today?
What are your greatest fears? What if they happen?
What difficult things are you going through today? What if they never come to an end?
When you share some of these faith challenges, your story becomes authentic, not hypocritical. At the same time, sharing your hope in the midst of these challenges highlights the importance of trusting God fully.
Have that heart check. Speak and process with your leaders and trusted friends. Most of all, trust the work of the Holy Spirit in your life and in the person you are sharing about Lordship with.
How is Jesus Christ Lord of all?
The title “Lord” implies authority. Whether we acknowledge it or not, Jesus was given all authority on heaven and earth. Jesus Himself pertained to this in Matthew 28:18, that all authority in heaven and on earth had been given to Him. Paul repeated this as well in Philippians 2:10,11, that at the name of Jesus every knee should bow, in heaven and on earth and under the earth, declaring that He is Lord.
But why does this not seem to be the case? Lordship isn’t obvious when we look around us. Political and economic systems are filled with corruption and cause oppression. Rebellion and violence spring up in an attempt to shake off these oppressive systems. And individuals, in an attempt to survive, end up hurting others or being hurt.
In God’s loving-kindness, He has created us to have free will. We always have an option: whether to follow His way or our own ways. Unfortunately, apart from the gift of salvation that Jesus Christ made possible, our hearts are selfish and degenerate. The reality is, if Jesus is not Lord in our lives, something or someone else is. They may not look and sound religious, but if we devote most of our time, energy, and effort into certain things, we permit them to have authority over our lives. In short, left to ourselves, we worship and submit to little gods of our own making. Consequently, our selfish actions, small as they may be, contribute to the prevalent oppression.
Despite the reality that evil people and oppressive systems exist, it is clear in the Bible that Jesus Christ is before all things, and in Him all things hold together (Colossians 1:17). All who choose their own way until the end of their lives have also chosen an eternity separated from Him–an eternity of suffering and pain. But God has given us the grace to choose Him and His way, at any point in our lives, and the result is a life surrendered in trust to Him.
Simply put, there’s not a moment Jesus Christ is not Lord, even when we don’t acknowledge His authority over our lives. Submission in this context, then, means embracing the reality of a higher authority who knows infinitely more what is best for every bit of our lives, and wants that best for us because of His unconditional love for us.
That’s an overwhelming positive.
Have a heart check. Do you really believe that God’s will prevails and that His will is good, pleasing, and perfect?
Why should I make Him Lord at all?
Part of the challenge for our generation is the “anti-establishment” sentiment; basically a distrust of traditional systems, institutions, and authorities.
Submission is perceived as mostly negative.
How do we deal with this?
From my own experiences, I realized that Lordship seems difficult to accept at the start, but gets easier as you go along. Why? Lordship, I realized, is really about being asked to reorder and reorganize our whole life around the truth of Jesus’ authority over us.
It may feel overwhelming, because, in all honesty, the first things that come to mind are things we will have to cut off in order to obey Him in full. While there’s a place for that, how about emphasizing equally not only what we give up under His Lordship, but what we get? How about putting the focus on how much our lives as His children could potentially get better as outlined in the Bible?
As a follower of Jesus, it can get frustrating when some issues don’t just go away. Remember, however, that reordering one’s life is a process. Processes take time to bear fruit.
Relationship building also takes time. Embracing Jesus’ authority goes hand-in-hand with embracing Him and His love for you. To really know Him and become like Him will take a whole lifetime.
Beyond just being Lord, Jesus is a person. Lordship is a relationship between two persons—Jesus and you.
If we properly frame Lordship in a loving relationship, Jesus lived a sinless life and died a sinner’s death to prove to us that nothing can separate us from God’s love. Likewise, if we truly love Him who gave it all so that we might be saved, nothing He asks us to consistently obey and give up will ever really be burdensome.
We choose to submit to the Lordship of Jesus Christ because of the unconditional loving relationship He hopes to build with us throughout our lifetime. We do it not because we have to, but because it is the best relationship and best reality in this fallen world.
Life to the full awaits those who put themselves under His Lordship.
Have a heart check. Before sharing Lordship at this angle, is it first true for you? If it is, then go ahead and share that there’s more to Lordship than boundaries and limitations.