Jesus Is Lord
Scripture is very clear: Jesus is Lord. Very often when we pray we address Him as such. We praise Him, as in hymns like this one, calling Him “Lord.” But we need to be very clear that calling Him “Lord” is far more than some honorary title; it is meant to be an acknowledgement of His sovereign right to reign in every aspect of our lives.
Paul tells us that no one can say “Jesus is Lord,” except by the Holy Spirit (1 Cor. 12:3), and he also tells us that if we confess with our mouths that Jesus is Lord and believe in our hearts that God raised Him from the dead, we will be saved (Rom. 10:9). However, Jesus gave us a clear nuance to Paul’s statements when He warned that not everyone who calls Him “Lord, Lord” will enter the kingdom of heaven, but only those who do His Father’s will (Matt. 7:21). And He also said, “Why do you call Me, ‘Lord, Lord,’ and do not do what I say?” (Lk. 6:46). He is looking for more than lip service.
Clearly, Jesus expects those who call Him “Lord” to treat Him as such, fully submitting their will to His, and obeying the words God has spoken. Yet, I have to admit that there are times when I choose to do my own will over His, which is making me the lord of my life, not Him—and I don’t think I am alone. I think we each are on a sliding scale in our lives in how aware, committed, and submitted to His will we are at any given point. The problem is that God doesn’t grade on a sliding scale; He wants to be fully Lord. This is why He demands all of our heart, soul, mind, and strength. This is why it is truly an act of a Spirit-empowered life to be able to claim “Jesus is Lord,” and then go on to live it out daily. On the day we stand before Him, that is going to be the standard upon which we are judged. Has He truly been Lord of our lives?
This reality should sober us into examination of our submission to His Lordship. While none of us are going to be able to claim perfection in that regard, it certainly should be the goal toward which we press, enabled by His Spirit. It is a mark against which we need to regularly measure our lives to see where we are falling short, where we are taking the reins, and/or where we are not in full submission to His sovereign will.
As we sing songs in which He is addressed as “Lord,” and as we speak that name, “Lord,” in prayer, let us do so with the full impact of all that implies. As Peter tells us, “In your hearts revere Christ as Lord” (1 Pet. 3:15), therefore let us seek to ensure that we are pursuing full surrender to His sovereign reign in and over us, so that we will not hear His rebuke, “Why do you call me, ‘Lord, Lord,’ and do not do what I say?”