A number of years ago, my wife and I were talking with friends of ours who were also in the ministry.
They were pastoring at a church, and were beginning to sense that it may be time to move on.
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“But we don’t want to move away,” one of them said. “All our family and friends are here. So if we left, it would need to be for a church near us.”
“What if God wants to send you to Africa or Asia?” I asked, just out of curiosity.
“No, we’ll never do that,” was the reply. “We’re homebodies.”
“Well, you should probably pray about where God wants you to go,” I said. “It’s really His call. He is Lord, right? If we’re trusting Him with everything, then that has to include our ministry assignment.”
The looks on their faces suggested that they weren’t happy with what I was saying.
I have had many of these types of conversations with people over the years.
“Jesus is Lord!”
That is our core confession.
You can’t be a Christ-follower without it.
“Jesus is King of kings and Lord of lords, higher than any power, God over all!”
“Jesus is in charge! He calls all the shots! My life is entirely submitted to His will!”
“I will go anywhere He calls me!”
Woah, woah, woah….hold on there a second.
Theological affirmations and worship are one thing.
But to actually live out my life with Jesus being Lord over every decision that I make?
To say, “It’s not about me, it’s always about you, Lord.”
“It’s not about what I want, it’s about what You know is best.”
“It’s not about me, it’s about me being here to serve You, for Your purposes, for Your glory.”
“Let Your Kingdom come, let Your will be done, in my life as it is in Heaven.” (Mt 6.10)
Does anyone fully do this?
My guess is no. I certainly don’t, although I am certainly striving for it.
We are born separated from God, following in the footsteps of our father Adam (Rom 5.12).
For the Christ-follower, though, there was a point where we sought the Lord, repented of our sins, centered our lives around Him, and began to follow Him; we were “born again” into new life, with Jesus at the helm (Jn 3.1-21).
But if we’re being honest, the Lord didn’t get all of us when that happened.
We’ve kept some sin.
We’ve kept some freedom apart from Him.
We’ve kept some sovereignty in our lives, making decisions in line with what we want first and foremost.
But for Jesus to be Lord means that He is Lord over everything.
It means that we read His Word and seek to follow it, of course.
It means we gear our lives to His example and His ways.
It means we pray and seek His will and direction in decisions.
And it means we submit everything – everything – to Him.
Jesus gets to decide what I spend my money on.
Jesus gets to decide where I work and what I do.
Jesus gets to decide what church I go to.
Jesus gets to decide what He and I are working on in my life.
Jesus gets to decide – because He is Lord.
If I am ever drawing lines in the sand and saying, “I’m doing what I want here,” then I have become the Lord of my own life in that area, making the decisions that I want, based on what I think is right, without Him.
And if I am Lord in that area, then Jesus is not, because there can only be one Lord.
The struggle of this is real for every Christ-follower.
The goal, of course, is to increasingly submit every part of my life to His Lordship, submit every decision to Him, honour Him with my choices and with my life in every way.
When this happens, then I am rightly positioned before Him, being the servant, with Him as the Master, exactly as He desires and exactly as the Spirit within me wants me to be.
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