It sounds so easy to do in church. But when you really try to make Jesus your Lord, there is nothing but confusion as to how it’s done. The first and most common thing taught is simply to do what the Word of God says to do. So let’s check this out.
In Luke 18: 22, Jesus told a rich, young man this thing. “Now when Jesus heard these things, he said unto him, Yet lackest thou one thing: sell all that thou hast, and distribute unto the poor, and thou shalt have treasure in heaven: and come, follow me.” Have you ever thought to do the same thing? Guess what, I’ve done this twice in my life. The first time, it was part of an outreach program that was well organized. I learned a lot about God. The second time, it was part of answering a call to serve a minister. On that occasion, I learned a lot about religion.
On both occasions, I sold off everything I couldn’t take, gave away to the poor, and took off to follow Jesus. At least that is what I thought I was doing both times. Unfortunately, I found out that following the rules of men or the calling of men is not the same thing as following Jesus. This is the deception of religious thinking. We think we are serving God and making Jesus our Lord by participating in a ministry sponsored event or answering the call of a minister. But the reality is this, we are participating in a ministry event organized by men or answering a call to serve a minister who is also a man. What a man gives or offers, a man can just as easily take away and this is the power religion holds over the believer.
The second occasion was entirely different. Upon arrival to our destination, the calling minister had made no arrangements with anyone or any church for our arrival. No one expected our family to answer any call for service. We were forced to put all of our belongings into storage for an unknown length of time. In addition, we also had to stay at a motel until nearly all of our savings was depleted. I was forced to cash in one retirement account in order to keep us alive. The job we had ready for us was a dawn to dusk commission sales job in an area that was already oversold. So income was non-existent. The calling minister said he started in the same area in the exact same way. I guess he figured that every incoming minister should do the same thing. I felt it was a gross display of indifference and a poor start.
We were not referred to a church to help for two months. When we finally received a referral, they had a place for us to rent and plenty of work for us to do at the church. By this time, we were thankful for anything that offered stability and we settled into our roles assisting the pastor and his wife. I worked building and remodeling the church and my wife worked locally. We did whatever we were asked to do in the church, and served in any way possible. But that was still never enough. The church grew in the negative direction for an entire year. My commitment to God was to serve for one year or 52 weeks. After a full year, I was offered the position of Associate Pastor for another church, which I accepted.
Upon leaving the first church to accept the position of Associate Pastor, the people there at the first church proceeded to cut off all communication with our family. As time went on, they continued the division by unfriending us on Facebook. Their loyalty to the man at the head of the church meant more than the fellowship between two members within the family of God. Our teen aged son lost his friends from the previous church and very few of them offered any good words of encouragement or congratulations for the change in our manner of service to God. The previous church lost a servant while the new church gained a leader. I was no longer a fellow worker in the old church, I suddenly found myself to be a competitor and no longer a friend. Even though the change still meant our family was working to build the Kingdom of God, we were no longer patching the sinking ship of the previous church so they considered us traitors. Our family learned lessons about church politics, pastoral dictatorship, and religious lordship in the carnal Christian church.
Sometimes, spiritual growth opportunities means participating in a church sponsored program. One that puts you in a position that requires asking God for revelation knowledge and acting upon that knowledge. Sometimes, it means literally selling off all you have, giving away more, and moving to a strange place to serve a strange church. Sometimes, it means living life, serving the church you attend, serving your pastor and having your spiritual eyes opened up to the blindness of religion but also to God’s love for you. Sometimes, it means simply driving your car to the mall and asking for a parking spot. Serving God and growing spiritually, is a walk of faith wherever you are in whatever you are doing. It is living in a state where you must ask God for advice and then following that advice. It is learning that life with God is preferable to life as god. The serpent promised Eve in
Genesis 3: 5 “For God doth know that in the day ye eat thereof, then your eyes shall be opened, and ye shall be as gods, knowing good and evil.”
Obedience to the logic and reason of the flesh, science and philosophy, or our own thoughts and desires is quite simply being our own gods. That is the way of the world. It is the way of the flesh. It is also carnal Christianity. This is not the way of faith. And it is most certainly neither obedience to God nor following the Lordship of Jesus Christ. This is why it’s so easy to believe that religion is right and faith is wrong because religion follows the rules of men and is easily judged. But there is also good religion that leads to people to God and points to the obedience to Jesus Christ. Only you can decide whether you are following good religion or carnal religion. But no matter which religion you submit yourselves to for a season, Jesus is always ready to show you more.
Our family learned that God works in every situation. Whether good or bad, God is ready to lead, teach, and deliver you from bondage. When you build a relationship with Jesus Christ, your focus is your Lord. When you work to obey Jesus, your focus is your Lord. When you have problems that you lift to Jesus for help, your focus is your Lord. If you become more and more like the thing you look upon or focus upon the most, then this is how you become more and more like Jesus. Which way do you want to appear? A picture of sin conscious, defeated, powerless, religiosity based upon the whims of men, or power filled confidence with loving faith in your Lord Jesus Christ?
You can walk in confident faith that God will always deliver you in any situation, or you can walk in fear of men’s opinions about you and your life.
Whatever or whomever you choose to please is your lord. If you choose to please the leadership of your church, then you’ve made the church your lord. However you choose to please the Lord Jesus Christ by recognizing and obeying His revelation, then you’ve made Jesus Christ your Lord. This is the true level of faith every Christian believer is called to know. The gospel of salvation doesn’t end with conversion alone. The gospel of salvation includes the believer’s ability to walk and talk with God Almighty because of the Holy Spirit sent by Jesus. This is a matter between the believer and God alone and obedience to God is always the most important aspect of our Christian walk.
If you want to learn more about making Jesus your Lord get the book below. Also, I want to thank everyone who voted for my book at the Author Academy Award site.