Monday, July 18, 2011

The Lordship of Christ Revisited

Growing up in church, I heard a lot about the Lordship of Christ and making Christ Lord of your life.  We were often encouraged to surrender our lives to Christ and commit to follow Him wherever He would lead, do whatever He might tell us to do.  With my performance-oriented brain, I tended to see this as a very hard thing.  I felt I was being told to give up my 'real' desires and do all kinds of hard things I would hate to prove I was a really 'good' Christian, to prove I really was committed to Him.  I figured if I really surrendered and "made Christ Lord" that He would surely send me to work in some foreign jungle with no flush toilets, or that He would force me to marry someone ugly (I really thought that!).. Why did I always think God's will would be something I would dislike?  Why did I not see that His will would be 'good, perfect, and acceptable' to me?  That His plan for my life would be more beautiful and amazing and soul-satisfying than anything I could dream up?  That His plans for me were good, to give me 'a future and a hope?'  Perhaps it all stemmed from my view of God as Someone whose agenda was all that mattered to him, not any of my desires or interests.  I didn't know that God's agenda is to love us and all people!!

So I was lacking, I think, in my understanding of how loving God really is, and since I saw Him as performance-oriented, I figured the Lordship of Christ centered on getting me to perform things I would rather not do. 

But lately God has given me a beautiful, new understanding of what the Lordship of Christ really means!  It doesn't have to do with forcing us to do things against our will or making us submit to some horrible plan that we dislike.  The Lordship of Christ has to do with freedom! 

The Lordship of Christ means that Jesus is Lord and the devil is not!  Jesus has all rightful authority over me - and if Jesus has all authority in heaven and earth and in me, the devil has NO authority!  Haha!  Jesus reigns in my life and sin doesn't!  Jesus is over all in my circumstances, and evil does not hold sway!  Jesus' righteousness rules in my heart, and condemnation can't stick!  Where sin abounds, grace MUCH MORE abounds and trumps sin every time!  Where death used to reign, now Life has the upper hand! 

I have been planted in the Kingdom of the Son of God's love, and that means that I'm no more held captive in the devil's kingdom - he has no more right to my life!  Haha!  I'm not a prisoner of Satan, sin, death, shame, guilt, oppression, fear, bondage, or struggle anymore - I've been set free by Jesus, the Rightful Lord of this place!  He has bought me back by the cross, and He is my rightful owner, not the enemy!  He came to set the captives free and tell the prisoners, "Come out, it's all right, you're safe now!" 

The Lordship of Christ means a new Kingdom has begun, a kingdom in which we are FOREVER removed from the threat of death and hell, condemnation and punishment, and the power of sin and the enemy.  Satan can't ruin me or destroy me or even touch me, because Jesus is Lord over me!  The power of Satan has been defeated in our lives by the cross and resurrection, and Jesus' power holds sway and is flowing through! 

We are in a new country now, where we're dead to sin and alive to God in Christ!  We won't ever be stuck in that old country again, because we exited it by death and were raised to a whole new life in this new Kingdom of Love and Grace!  The Kingdom where Christ, the Lover of our Souls, who means us good and not evil all the days of our lives, REIGNS!  In this Kingdom, Love reigns, Grace has the final say, and Goodness wins!  In this Kingdom, we are safe and secure, and the enemy can never EVER snatch us out of Christ's hand - because Christ is LORD! In this Kingdom, "surely goodness and mercy shall follow us all the days of my life, and we will dwell in the house of the Lord forever!"

So what does it mean to say, "Jesus is Lord?"  To me, it is confessing reality, confessing the truth of what the cross did for me.  Saying Jesus is Lord is saying Satan has no more ownership of me - I'm safe in the arms of Him who perfectly loves and protects and keeps me!  I'm safely in His embrace, and noone can snatch me out.  My problems can't crush me, Satan can't crush me, my own failures and even doubt can't crush me, because Jesus is Lord over all that!  He is BIG and that makes everything else small and insignificant in comparison.  Jesus is Lord!  We are free!  Free to enjoy His presence, free to accept ourselves as He accepts us, free to lay down our efforts to be "good" because He's made us "good" with His goodness, free to rest and be at peace, free to enjoy our lives without shame and guilt, free to love the person next to us, free to dance, to sing, to soar in His grace!  Free to know Him intimately and be loved like we've never been loved before, for this is what we were made for - intimate fellowship with the Lord of All! 

Jesus is Lord - His love reigns and rules! 

Jesus is Lord!  Hallelujah!

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May the amazing grace of the Lord Jesus Christ, the extravagant love of God, and the intimate friendship of the Holy Spirit be with all of you. 2 Co. 13:14