Russell and Duenes

Do You Want Jesus to Be Lord?

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Over the last several months, I’ve been thinking about the lordship of Christ over everything, and in particular, His lordship over me. I don’t mean this in the sense of wondering whether Jesus actually is Lord of all, for the Scripture clearly teaches that He is. Rather, I’ve been asking myself the question that seems central to any biblical doctrine: “Do I want it to be so?” In other words, I’m not so much asking myself whether I truly believe that Jesus is Lord, but whether I take pleasure and delight in believing it and living upon it. Without aiming at self-congratulation, I think this is a risky question to ask oneself about any of one’s Christian beliefs. For it doesn’t allow the kind of easy intellectualism with which I’m all-too-comfortable.

My mind goes to Luke 19:11ff, where Jesus tells a parable about a king who went away and entrusted his riches to some of his servants, saying “Invest this for me while I am gone.” Vs. 14 says, “But his people hated him and sent a delegation after him to say, ‘We do not want this man to rule over us.'” Now, I don’t hate Jesus, but I often wonder how much of my own heart contains this same attitude toward Jesus: “I don’t want this man to rule over me.” Of course I say that I want him to rule, but does his rulership and authority over my life strike me as highly pleasing? Is it what I want? I think the answer is both yes and no, for I am still a sinner. But the question clarifies some things for me and brings me to a place of crying out for God’s mercy. My will and desires cannot be bent to Christ’s lordship without God’s mercy.

I think of Jeremiah 9:23, “Let not the wise man boast of his wisdom.” Yet my heart boasts routinely in this area, though I am certainly far less wise than I imagine myself to be. Or Psalm 115:1, “Not to us, Lord, not to us, but to your Name be the glory.” So much of my energy goes to making a name for myself, to securing my own reputation and reknown. Or Philippians 2:5-11, “Therefore God highly exalted [Christ], and gave him the name that is above every name, that at the name of Jesus every knee will bow, in heaven and on earth and under the earth, and every tongue confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father.” Do I gladly bow the knee?

We know so well the verse that says, “Be still and know that I am God.” But do we know the rest of the verse? “I will be exalted among the nations; I will be exalted in the earth.” That’s what it means for him to be God. Is the driving passion and desire of my life to see our God exalted? Exalted in my own heart? Exalted in my family? Exalted in my work and vocation? Exalted in my writings and speakings? Exalted in my acquisition and use of material possessions? Exalted among and in my neighbors and students? Exalted among every tribe, language, people and nation? For that is the end and climax of all that God is doing; exalting Christ unto the glory of the Father. I want to have a heart and life that gladly resounds with and labors toward this ultimate exaltation of Christ.

And yet… so often I don’t, and I fear the rebellion in my own heart. I wonder what it feels like to be fully resigned to and pleased with Christ’s lordship. I wonder what life would look like among people who live with Christ as Lord. I wonder if I want it, or if I’m satisfied and OK with sin and rebellion. Actually, I don’t wonder. I know the reality, and I know that I need God’s redeeming and strong love to overcome my spiritual deformity and disease. May you do it, O Lord, in me and in your church throughout the world. Make us glad to be under your authority, yearning for the exaltation of Christ in its fullness.

-D

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Written by Michael Duenes

August 8, 2010 at 3:42 pm

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