Isaiah 33:21-22 (NLT)
The Lord will be our Mighty One. He will be like a wide river of protection that no enemy can cross, that no enemy ship can sail upon. For the Lord is our judge, our lawgiver, and our king. He will care for us and save us.
With open arms and grateful hearts, we want Jesus to be our Savior. We need Him to save us from ourselves and the sin that is killing us day by day. We run to our Savior yet shy away from Him as Lord. Why is that? We want His Grace in our life but not His Power and Authority. Though called to surrender – still struggling for control it is a divided interest. Our heart wants His Love but our head wants control. The inner struggle is real. Just ask Paul who candidly describes the turmoil in his mind as he seeks the Living God. “I love God’s law with all my heart. But there is another power within me that is at war with my mind. This power makes me a slave to the sin that is still within me.” (Romans 7:22-23) How can we not love Jesus the One who gave His Life for us? But His Lordship is in question for most of us, who daily struggle to surrender “self” to His Power and Authority. Submission is a bad word in the world we live in today. It is a label of weakness identifying us as vulnerable. This is not the case. It is the surrender of our life to God the Father through Jesus His Son that we become empowered, victorious overcomers though dressed in sheep’s clothing who operate in love not aggression and hope not oppression.
When I read the passage this morning in Isaiah, my soul said, “Yes!” I get it but I don’t. I understand the significance but my flesh refuses to go down without a fight. The Lord is our Judge. The Lord is our Lawgiver. The Lord is our King. He will care for us and save us. When Jesus met you in that place upon realization that you needed a Savior, it was love at first sight. He loved you all along and now you can experience His Love, too. Any parent can tell you – we love our children with all that we are but as they are still going to be their own person, make their own decisions, reap their own consequences despite our guidance, love and discipline some more than others. Can I get a witness? But we love them just the same because they are our children. Those who submit to the authority of their parents find favor with them. Those who do not usually stand on the sidelines of self-pity wondering why they feel left out, but they were not put out but stepped out. So it is with the Lord today for those who encounter His Love and choose to live in it rather than taking it and wandering off to live life on their own.
You will never understand the potential of God’s Power and Authority in your life until you experience His Love. Not just in the moment, but try it out for a period of time. It took all your life to mess it up but we expect God to fix everything five minutes after we ask. Furthermore, we do not want to change but want the Lord to change our situation and outcome while we do the exact same thing. You will reap what you sow – this is not a threat but reality. Plant corn – you will harvest corn. Come on – this is common sense and logical. You plant nothing – you will harvest nothing. God can water it and increase it but what goes in is what is coming out. The Lord is doing His Part – we just have to get with the program.
Hebrews 12:8-10 (NLT)
If God doesn’t discipline you as he does all of his children, it means that you are illegitimate and are not really his children at all. Since we respected our earthly fathers who disciplined us, shouldn’t we submit even more to the discipline of the Father of our spirits, and live forever? For our earthly fathers disciplined us for a few years, doing the best they knew how. But God’s discipline is always good for us, so that we might share in his holiness.
As a parent, there are some things that over time and with age, I realize that I could have handled differently raising our children especially early on. I have voiced these concerns to them but each one denied that I mishandled them in any way. I want only the best for all five of them. Discipline is a part of that. It is my responsibility to raise these children in the fear and admonition of the Lord. I must guide them with love and teach them the way to live. Discipline is not punishment. Punishment hurts them and hurts a parent’s heart. Discipline is training. Those who never are disciplined do not achieve much. We are raised with a code of conduct that dictate our morals and ethics in life based on parenting or a lack thereof.
When we come to Jesus, we have the opportunity to submit to a new kind of discipline in our life. Surrendering our life to Christ is not always what we want to do but deciding that what He has for us is better than anything we could do for ourselves. This is the pivotal moment in our life that can change the rest of our life. Faith requires discipline or you will give up. Faith takes us beyond ourselves into the unknown reality of God – the realm of hope which cannot be seen with the natural eye or touched with human hands. It demands a level of discipline that will only come when we believe that Jesus is our Lord. To do so, takes us out of this world and makes our life subject to the Kingdom. We know we have the Keys to the Kingdom and now we know how to use them. As we approach every situation in life with the fundamental idea that Jesus as our Lord has already taken care of it. Everything we need is provided, every detail settled for our good and all we have to do is believe enough to go through it – Jesus just became our Lord.
John 3:16-21 (NLT)
“For this is how God loved the world: He gave[a] his one and only Son, so that everyone who believes in him will not perish but have eternal life. God sent his Son into the world not to judge the world, but to save the world through him. There is no judgment against anyone who believes in him. But anyone who does not believe in him has already been judged for not believing in God’s one and only Son. And the judgment is based on this fact: God’s light came into the world, but people loved the darkness more than the light, for their actions were evil. All who do evil hate the light and refuse to go near it for fear their sins will be exposed. But those who do what is right come to the light so others can see that they are doing what God wants.”
The Lord is our Judge. This is the most important part of all. To make Jesus our Lord makes Him our Judge. Primary reason #1 why we must strive to not only know Him as our Savior but to make Him our Lord. If a person commits a crime, goes to jail and for some reason is pardoned by a judge or the governor then he is free to live his life again regaining his freedom. But if the same man leaves the prison and robs a bank, he will go before the judge again and be incarcerated again without leniency. The man did not learn from his first crime spree and hopefully he might learn this time.
We come to Jesus asking to be forgiven of our sin and freed from the penalty they create. When we walk away and continue to do the same thing, why do we think that it changes the outcome and consequences? Grace or a pardon is not permission to sin. Surrendering our life to Christ allows His Love to cover every part of our existence with His Love and Grace. Jesus did not come to this world to condemn it but to save it. Police officers all over America are being killed. There is a blatant disregard for authority. I understand that some have gone astray and abused their power but that is not an excuse to shoot them as they sit helplessly in their cars on patrol. But the truth of the matter is this, it matters how you live. Yes, only God will be your judge as so many wandering souls want to shout. Jesus came to give you an out. Jesus has to be your Lord to impact judgement in your life. John 3:16 is awesome but requires reading the rest of the story to be clear. Judgment is based on this fact, God’s Love (Jesus) came into the world, but the people loved darkness more than the light. Oh my Lord…I want Jesus as my judge. Since I cannot be perfect, I need His Perfection. He is my Lord when I choose to walk in the Light of His Love rather than hiding in the darkness holding tight to hidden sins.
Matthew 7:24-29 (NLT)
“Anyone who listens to my teaching and follows it is wise, like a person who builds a house on solid rock. Though the rain comes in torrents and the floodwaters rise and the winds beat against that house, it won’t collapse because it is built on bedrock. But anyone who hears my teaching and doesn’t obey it is foolish, like a person who builds a house on sand. When the rains and floods come and the winds beat against that house, it will collapse with a mighty crash.” When Jesus had finished saying these things, the crowds were amazed at his teaching, for he taught with real authority—quite unlike their teachers of religious law.
The Lord is our Lawgiver. This is very important in this day and age with both extremes in the church. Some teach radical obedience to the law with no grace in our failure while the other side is teaching live a lawless life and His Grace is sufficient for thee. Jesus said, “Anyone who listens to my teaching and follows it is wise.” The foundation of our life in Christ is our faith. Faith in the Power and Authority of God is demonstrated in obedience to Him. We do so by living our life according to the Word of God and not way of this world. One cannot rely only on those who teach in the pulpits of life. We must seek God and find Him wholeheartedly on our own to determine the right way to live and continue our walk with the Lord. Jesus is the Way! He is the Truth! He is life! (John 14:6) The first commandment He gives is to walk in love. His Love allows us to love others and live without worldly expectation because He is our Lord and responsible for our life. As we learn to live according to His Word, we begin to experience everything that is promised in it. It is really not so complex.
When bananas begin to brown in our house, I make homemade banana bread. My husband loves it. Thanks to Pinterest, I have tried many different recipes. Some have fallen, others to bland and some too sweet, but finally I found a great recipe and tweaked it a little and he loves it. Why bother? I love my husband. I want to please him. I do nice things for him. I pay attention to the details. I have the recipe for pleasing my Lord. It is right their written in His Word. I can do it any number of ways. There are some things that it pleases Him for me to avoid and others that make His Heart happy when I obey. Now why would I put any less effort in pleasing God than my husband, unless of course, my husband is my God? Who is your God today? Who do you strive to please more than anyone else? Is it your job? Is it your family? Is it yourself? The Lord is our Lawgiver. He makes no secret in what it takes to please Him. He promises that those who do so will live on a firm foundation of faith not threatened by wind or storm.
Revelation 21:22-27 (NLT)
I saw no temple in the city, for the Lord God Almighty and the Lamb are its temple. And the city has no need of sun or moon, for the glory of God illuminates the city, and the Lamb is its light. The nations will walk in its light, and the kings of the world will enter the city in all their glory. Its gates will never be closed at the end of day because there is no night there. And all the nations will bring their glory and honor into the city. Nothing evil will be allowed to enter, nor anyone who practices shameful idolatry and dishonesty—but only those whose names are written in the Lamb’s Book of Life.
The Lord is our King. The image in Revelation takes my breath away. John said, “I saw no temple in the city, for the Lord God Almighty and the Lamb (Jesus) are its temple.” There is coming a day when every knee will bow and tongue confess that Jesus Christ is Lord. This is not a rumor or some old tale but the Truth. How we live will determine whether or not we experience this moment in Heaven or not. Yes, Jesus must be our Savior but to complete the process He must also be our Lord. His Love for us is everlasting and all enduring. There is nothing anyone can do to separate us from it. But His Love for us will not take away our freedom to choose. He has provided the way of salvation and access to Heaven forever. We have to love the Light more than darkness. One day that is all that there will be. But hidden in that passage is a warning, “Nothing evil will be allowed to enter, nor anyone who practices shameful idolatry (other gods) or dishonesty.” Our love for Jesus must be genuinely expressed in devotion and commitment to Him as Savior AND Lord to make the transition from earth to Heaven. Do you love the Lord today or would just like the things He promised? There is a difference. God wants to bless you and keep you safe. The Lord promises that those who call Him – LORD – will live under His Protection, Provision and Purpose. “The Lord will be your Mighty One. He will be like a wide river of protection that no enemy can cross, that no enemy ship can sail upon!” His Power and Authority is available to all who make Him Lord of their life. As He wraps us up in His Love it becomes our fortress all because we asked to not only be our Savior but also make Him our Lord!
Philippians 2:9-11 (NLT)
Therefore, God elevated him to the place of highest honor and gave him the name above all other names, that at the name of Jesus every knee should bow, in heaven and on earth and under the earth, and every tongue declare that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father.
I love you, Lord; you are my strength. The Lord is my rock, my fortress, and my savior; my God is my rock, in whom I find protection. He is my shield, the power that saves me, and my place of safety.
Psalm 40:16 (NLT)
But may all who search for you be filled with joy and gladness in you. May those who love your salvation repeatedly shout, “The Lord is great!”
Psalm 8:9 (NLT) O Lord, our Lord, your majestic name fills the earth!