What Does Lordship Mean?
When I served as Assistant Pastor in Spencerport, New York, there was this one teenage boy who picked up an annoying little habit that he found amusing. Whenever someone would make a declarative statement like, for example, “Ok, we are going to have the lesson now,” this student would ask, “Are we?” If we would say something like “This room is cold,” he would say, “Is it?” “It will be hot tomorrow.” ”Will it?” This continued on and on and on ad nauseam.
Lately I have been reminded of this annoying habit—but in a good way.
As I watch social media, as I observe how the church relates to our culture and communities, I can’t help but think that this persistent questioning might be a good practice for us to bring into our lives. When speaking of apologetics, Paul says that he takes captive every thought, every argument and makes it obedient to Christ. Beloved, perhaps we need to do this with more than just apologetics.
It is so easy for the Christian to get involved with the world’s ways of reasoning and debating. It is so easy to be tempted to align with our chosen side and no longer question ourselves or those who think like us. But again, Paul urges us: “Do not consider yourself more highly than you ought, but rather with sober judgement” (Romans 12:3). We are urged to lean not on our own understanding. We are called to cast aside the nets of our identity and security and follow the master—not carrying our old ways with us, but following His.
As Christians we proclaim that Jesus is Lord. We quote the promise that someday every knee shall bow and tongue confess that Jesus Christ is Lord (Phil. 2:10). But true lordship within the Christian is far more rare than it seems. Beneath the lordship of Christ, every thought, every statement, every opinion is examined through His word. Like that young man’s habit, we must measure every statement and indeed every thought that comes our way no matter how familiar. We must repeatedly ask “Am I?” “Is it?” “Are we?” “Do we?” etc. We must measure ourselves and our opinions by the Word of God. We must ask ourselves the tough questions. Why do I feel this way? Why do I think this? Do my thoughts and feelings and opinions echo God’s? From where do these thoughts and opinions and emotions spring? Am I willing to abandon all that which does not spring from the heart and mind and word of God? Am I willing to allow the Holy Spirit to conform my every fiber to reflect Christ?
Let us be not afraid to examine every part of who we are. Asking the question with each thought—is this from the Word? This is what lordship really means. It means being willing to joyfully abandon our rights for the direction of His authority in our lives. It means taking the place of the servant. Serving His wishes by His direction and not considering our own. Indeed, it means increasingly moving into the place of no longer desiring our own opinions, rights and wishes when they are in contrast to His Word.
Beloved, from the vantage point of the one living for the flesh, this lordship appears restrictive and harsh. It is anything but! It is freedom! Whom the Son sets free is free indeed! It is life! For the one with whom we walk when we are living in lordship IS life! It is JOY! For there is no joy greater than the love and presence of our Father. It is peace! For there is no storm greater than the one who made the waters and calms them with His voice. This One calls us to follow—to come under His lordship at every moment, in every part of who we are—because He loves us so. He who is best desires what is best for us. He who is love desires true love for us. He who is the Way desires His way in us and for us. He who is Truth desires the truth in us and from us and for us. He who is The Life desires abundant life for us. May we, by His grace and through His Spirit’s enabling, choose Him, for He has chosen us.
May we joyfully submit to the lordship of He who is Lord in every part of who we are. Amen.
Pastor Brian Torres
Trust in the Lord with all your heart, and do not lean on your own understanding.
In all your ways acknowledge him, and he will make straight your paths.
Proverbs 3:5-6 (ESV)