Many people want a Savior…someone to help them out when times are tough. But not every wants a “Lord,” because they’re afraid to hand over control of their life to someone else. But rest assured that there’s Someone we can hand our lives over to Who really does know best…and will do us right every time. Join me to hear how great it can feel to say to God, “Be My Lord.” (Recorded July 10, 1999)
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That if you confess with your mouth, “Jesus is Lord,” and believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead, you will be saved (Romans 10:9, NIV).
Whether we realize it or not, someone is in control of our lives. It might be a boss, or a spouse, or a child, or a friend. It might be a neighbor, or it might be ourselves. Someone is calling the shots. Someone is in control.
A man named John Wimber says it this way: “I’m a fool for Christ. Who’s fool are you?”
The purpose of this message is to encourage you to allow Jesus to be the one who has control over every are of our lives. It’s good to know that there is at least one person we can turn our lives over to and know that we’re in good hands.
I’ll tell you three stories from my own life of how letting Jesus “be my Lord” has made a difference in my life. They hit on three areas that are common to each of us
Be My Lord – over things I shouldn’t do.
Be My Lord – over things I should do.
Be My Lord – when I’m doing what you’ve called me to do.
After listening to these stories from my life and from the Bible, I hope you’ll be willing to say to Jesus, “Be My Lord.”
1. Be My Lord – over things I shouldn’t do.
Some of us allow Jesus to be Lord over parts of our lives. But we hold back certain areas…often things that we know we shouldn’t do, but just don’t want to let go of, even though they are killing us.
The reason we hang on is that we’re not sure we can trust God to provide the same level of fun, or comfort or security that our sin offers to us. But any of those things are simply false impressions of the real fun, comfort and security that can have from God when we do what’s right.
But I know from experience that it’s worth it to let go of sin and grasp onto what God has in mind for us.
Twelve years ago God pointed out a sin in my life. My sexual life was not under his lordship. I was doing what I wanted to do. But when I asked God about that area of my life, he clearly showed me that what I was doing would lead to my eventual death. And He wanted to put me on the path to life.
I told him I was willing, and He lifted me up, and put me on the new path. I’m now thrilled to be married and have four children that I very likely would not have had otherwise. It’s a great thing to give up sin for the Lord.
Paul calls us to let Jesus be Lord over these areas this way in his letter to the Colossians:
Since, then, you have been raised with Christ, set your hearts on things above, where Christ is seated at the right hand of God. Set your minds on things above, not on earthly things. For you died, and your life is now hidden with Christ in God. When Christ, who is your life, appears, then you also will appear with him in glory.
Put to death, therefore, whatever belongs to your earthly nature: sexual immorality, impurity, lust, evil desires and greed, which is idolatry. Because of these, the wrath of God is coming. You used to walk in these ways, in the life you once lived. But now you must rid yourselves of all such things as these: anger, rage, malice, slander, and filthy language from your lips. Do not lie to each other, since you have taken off your old self with its practices and have put on the new self, which is being renewed in knowledge in the image of its Creator. Here there is no Greek or Jew, circumcised or uncircumcised, barbarian, Scythian, slave or free, but Christ is all, and is in all.
Therefore, as God’s chosen people, holy and dearly loved, clothe yourselves with compassion, kindness, humility, gentleness and patience. Bear with each other and forgive whatever grievances you may have against one another. Forgive as the Lord forgave you. And over all these virtues put on love, which binds them all together in perfect unity.
Let the peace of Christ rule in your hearts, since as members of one body you were called to peace. And be thankful. Let the word of Christ dwell in you richly as you teach and admonish one another with all wisdom, and as you sing psalms, hymns and spiritual songs with gratitude in your hearts to God. And whatever you do, whether in word or deed, do it all in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God the Father through him. (Colossians 3:1-17, NIV).
2. Be My Lord – over things I should do.
Some of us don’t struggle so much with sin, but do struggle when God calls us to do something that we’re not comfortable doing. God wants us to let Jesus be Lord over those areas, too.
I was praying one week for a friend of mine. She was having doubts about her work and wondered if that’s what she was to be doing. I told her I’d pray for her.
As I did, I sensed that what God really wanted for her was to have a husband so she wouldn’t have to work in that particular job. I began to pray that God would give her a husband…
And I heard these distinct words in my mind, “Why don’t you marry her?” Now that wasn’t on my mind at all! But the question wouldn’t leave me for two weeks straight until I finally had to just tell the Lord, “I’ll pray about it.”
I did, for three months, and by the end of the three months, God had put a love in my heart for her like I’ve never known for anyone before or since. We were married a year later and it changed the course of my life, her life, and now a new generation of children’s lives.
When Moses encountered God in the burning bush, he put up these arguments as to why he wasn’t the one to do what God called him to do.
But Moses said to God, “Who am I, that I should go to Pharaoh and bring the Israelites out of Egypt?” (Exodus 3:11)
Moses said to the LORD, “O Lord, I have never been eloquent, neither in the past nor since you have spoken to your servant. I am slow of speech and tongue.” (Exodus 4:10)
But Moses said, “O Lord, please send someone else to do it.” (Exodus 4:13)
But Moses did it, and it changed the course of his life, half a million Jews, and history of the world.
3. Be My Lord – when I’m doing what you’ve called me to do.
Some of us need encouragement when we’re already doing what God has called us to do, but the going gets tough.
Four years ago God called me to leave my job in the business world and go into ministry full-time. The call was clear, the desire was there, but the road looked tough.
In obedience, and with the trusting knowledge that God would do what was right, I quit and followed the Lord. It’s been an incredible four years! And God has been faithful! But I can’t say they have been easy, or comfortable, or without anxious times of wondering what was next.
But Jesus never promised us those things. He told us to count the cost up front, then “Come, follow me.” Many have paid great prices to follow the Lord, even to the point of giving up their own lives. But the cost is nothing compared to the results. And God is gracious to encourage us through the tough times.
I believe this may have been going through John the Baptist’s mind when he was put in prison for preaching to Herod to repent of his sin. John was put in prison, and seemed to begin to have doubts about whether Jesus really was the Lord he earlier had thought he was.
When John heard in prison what Christ was doing, he sent his disciples to ask him, “Are you the one who was to come, or should we expect someone else?”
Jesus replied, “Go back and report to John what you hear and see: The blind receive sight, the lame walk, those who have leprosy are cured, the deaf hear, the dead are raised, and the good news is preached to the poor. Blessed is the man who does not fall away on account of me.”
As John’s disciples were leaving, Jesus began to speak to the crowd about John: “What did you go out into the desert to see? A reed swayed by the wind? If not, what did you go out to see? A man dressed in fine clothes? No, those who wear fine clothes are in kings’ palaces. Then what did you go out to see? A prophet? Yes, I tell you, and more than a prophet. This is the one about whom it is written:
“‘I will send my messenger ahead of you, who will prepare your way before you.’
I tell you the truth: Among those born of women there has not risen anyone greater than John the Baptist; yet he who is least in the kingdom of heaven is greater than he. From the days of John the Baptist until now, the kingdom of heaven has been forcefully advancing, and forceful men lay hold of it. For all the Prophets and the Law prophesied until John. And if you are willing to accept it, he is the Elijah who was to come.
He who has ears, let him hear. (Matthew 11:2-15)
If even John had questions and needed encouragement, and he was greater than anyone born of women, we can trust that Jesus will encourage us through our struggles, too.
Closing and Prayer
We all have choice to make. Either we let Jesus be Lord, or we let someone else be Lord. Either way, someone’s going to have control over our lives.
As for me, I like the way Joshua put it when he faced this choice. Joshua said:
“Now fear the LORD and serve him with all faithfulness. Throw away the gods your forefathers worshiped beyond the River and in Egypt, and serve the LORD. But if serving the LORD seems undesirable to you, then choose for yourselves this day whom you will serve, whether the gods your forefathers served beyond the River, or the gods of the Amorites, in whose land you are living. But as for me and my household, we will serve the LORD.” (Joshua 24:14-15).
God wants us to completely surrender to Him. And that absolute surrender can be an awesome feeling. We can abandon our lives to God and experience a great joy in the process.
Madame Jeanne Guyon described abandonment this way over 500 years ago in the book “Experiencing the Depths of Jesus Christ.”
Abandonment is practiced by continually losing your will in the will of God; by plunging your will into the depths of His will, their to be lost forever.
About lordship, Henry Blackaby, in his book, “Experiencing God” says:
Two words in the Christian’s language cannot go together: No, Lord. If you say, “No,” He is not Lord. If He really is your Lord, your answer must always be “Yes.” In decision making, always begin here. Do not proceed until you can honestly say, “Whatever you want of me, lord, I will do it.”
Tell Jesus today, “Be My Lord.”
And if you’ve never made that initial decision to make Jesus Lord of your life, read a simple, clear explanation at the Lover’s Leap. Then make that decision today. It will make all the difference in your life. And you’ll never regret it.
Thank you Lord, for being such a good Lord, and for knowing exactly what we need in our lives. Take over control of every area of our lives so that we can be all we were created to be, and do all you created us to do. In Jesus’ name, Amen.