Therefore God has highly exalted him and bestowed on him the name that is above every name, so that at the name of Jesus every knee should 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 (Philippians 2:9–11, ESV).
Someday Jesus Christ will step onto the world scene and bring this whole, unfolding drama to a conclusion. His presence and appearance will bring all of us to our knees. Every knee will bow. I’m not sure when it will happen, I’m not sure how it will happen, but I am certain it will happen.
Every person who exits this life will bow before Jesus Christ. “As I live, says the Lord, every knee shall bow to me” (Romans 14:11). Every person will say these words: “Jesus Christ is Lord.” Even if you’re not much of a public speaker, you will account for yourself. You will answer for the choices you have made.
We can recover eternally despite some bad choices, but we cannot get this one wrong. We can avoid God but not for more than a lifetime. Jesus Christ is Lord, and someday every knee will bow to Him as the rightful Ruler. The Master. The One in charge. The ultimate authority.
If life is about one thing, it’s about getting this ultimate authority relationship figured out. Who’s really in charge? It’s not Washington, or Hollywood, or Wall Street, and it’s not you and me. It’s Jesus Christ the Lord. No matter what we accomplish in this world, a hundred years from today, if we didn’t get this figured out, we will have nothing.
Submitting to His authority is both a crisis and a process. The crisis is a decision: understanding with your mind that Jesus is Lord. Then comes the process: bowing to His authority means obeying His commands.
The ultimate test of lordship is not the crisis of your deciding that you believe, but the process of submitting your will to His at the point of pressure—the place where you and He disagree on what to choose. Whose will wins: yours or His? “Jesus is Lord” is chosen in a dozen daily decisions, each one taking your life to a better place.
• If I were in charge, I would do __________ with my life. But Jesus is Lord, so I choose His plan for my life.
• If I were in charge, I would do __________ with my finances. But Jesus is Lord, so I choose to give, save, and spend according to His priorities.
• If I were in charge, I would do __________ right now in my marriage, but I’m not in charge. He is Lord, and I will do what His Word says.
• If I were in charge, I’d storm into work and tell my boss __________. But Jesus Christ is Lord, and as His representative, I’ll only say what my Master wants me to say.
Everybody serves somebody. Everybody has somebody in charge of his life. Forget the excuses—you choose who you serve. You don’t fall into servitude. It’s not an accident. You can’t blame your environment or your past. You choose who you serve. Your mama doesn’t choose for you. Your pastor can’t choose for you. As much as someone might love you, he can’t choose for you. Even God, who loves you perfectly, will not choose for you. There are simply some crucial decisions you have to make for yourself. The ball is in your court. “Choose this day whom you will serve” (Joshua 24:15).
• Have you come to the crisis of agreeing that Jesus is Lord?
• Are you in the process of living out His lordship in your daily decisions? Cite specific choices.
Lord, not my will be done—Your will be done. I don’t want to rationalize little sins around the edges and defend my position by comparing myself to others. I want Jesus to be Lord of everything: Lord of my disappointments. Lord of my family. Lord of my future, my heart, my thoughts, my dreams, and my plans. Lord of my relationships. Lord of my finances. I acknowledge and bow to Jesus Christ as my Lord, Master, purpose, and authority. I pray this in the worthy name of Jesus, amen.
— James MacDonald
For more from James MacDonald and the “Walk in the Word” Bible teaching ministry, visit WalkInTheWord.com.