As a Christian, I am a person under Authority. The Lord Jesus is my king. I love Him and I worship Him. He is the greatest superhero I could have ever imagined and the only real one I have ever known. Since He is my Lord, He is authority over me. He decides what I am to spend my thoughts on, what I am to do, believe, adopt and reject. He decides what is best for me to pursue. His desires trump my wants and felt needs. His commands supersede my natural inclinations, DNA, and intrinsic motivations.
This is OK because He loves me and designed me and wants me to have a truly abundant life. We ought to accept that He knows better than we do about what will truly satisfy, what our true skills are, what will engage us the most, what will be the happiest path, what will be the path that strengthens and blesses us individually as well as those around us.
Now all of that sounds really scary if Jesus were just human. I’ve just elevated him to cult-leader status! Honestly, I would not trust a pastor, a best friend, a TV personality or any politician in the same way or with the same confidence. I certainly would not trust any organization – business, political party, or church – in this way, either. Nor would I advocate for that. So what is the difference?
Well, if Jesus did not die on the cross in my place for my sins and then rise from the dead to prove his being God incarnate, then I would not believe in him or trust him to be my guide, let alone my Lord. This is essential to research for yourself if you are skeptical or unsure. If Jesus died just because he had some trumped-up trial for no deeper purpose or reason, then he is not worthy of trust or following. If Jesus did not actually claim equality with God in his lifetime and perform attesting miracles, then perhaps folks made up stories about him after his death. If he did not prove his claims of being equal to God by bodily resurrecting from the dead, then he is not powerful enough to actually save me – and how would he have any say in the matter?
Even the scriptures say that if Jesus did not die on our behalf and rise from the dead then our faith is in vain (I Corinthians 15:12~19). Certainly the disciples were surprised, because even though they had been told multiple times what was going to happen they simply could not believe it. Peter rebuked Jesus for saying such things before it happened (Matthew 16:21~23). After the Ressurection, Thomas refused to believe eyewitness testimony until Jesus stood before him and he touched his wounds to verify they were real (John 20:24 ~ 25).
It is only because I have become convinced that Jesus is God incarnate, did take my place on a cross to pay for my sins before I ever thought to ask, and bodily rose from the dead that I consider him to be Lord.
That said, there are two things I need to admit and mention:
- I do not always do what I am supposed to do. I fail as an act of my personal will. I sometimes dabble in things I know my Lord has forbid. Sometimes I jump in wholeheartedly thinking I have some special case or permission – or that it can’t really be all that bad. These are instances of sin that I need to confess and repent of, and apologize from the heart for. They are not logical to pursue when I believe that Jesus died on the cross in my place for these very things. It is hypocrisy. I am ashamed of them after I do them. They hurt others and myself and put me in places where God has to go after me and bring me back to get me on the right path. They sometimes carry consequences. I praise God that He has mercy and grace sufficient for my failures – but that is no excuse for me doing them.
- There are times when God’s plans and knowledge of reality are vastly different than my hopes and limited understanding of reality. The Lord will at times place me in situations or places that I do not want, things I do not understand, things that are painful to endure or distasteful to me. In those times, I am supposed to praise the God worthy of praise regardless of my situation. I am to thank God for what He is doing and trust that He knows better instead of getting angry or bitter or frustrated. (However, see number 1 above).
God’s ways are higher than I can attain understanding of and more intricate and custom-built than I could ever imagine. He works with me and speaks to me and guides me to scriptures and friends and helps me understand – but there are many times when I just have to say the situation is ‘above my pay-grade’ and lean on trusting in my Jesus. Sometimes I need to wait out a situation. Sometimes my Lord has simply said ’No’ to me. Sometimes my desires are in line with God’s plans. But regardless, I need to focus in on the fact that God is God, not me. Not even over my own life and situation. Certainly not over anyone else’s.
Since He is Lord, Jesus has the rights to command me. I desire to obey because I believe He has my best interest in mind as well as for all those around me – friend or foe. I sadly balk at times because I do not like being told what to do – and this is always disastrous on some level. Yet, in His love, patience and grace, He always draws me back to Him and the conclusion that His ways are best.