From the New Testament perspective, the declaration “Jesus is Lord” is essentially a summary of Christianity 101. According to Romans 10:9, recognizing Jesus’s lordship is where the Christian life starts. But for many of us, “Jesus is Lord” doesn’t hold much meaning. It might be a phrase that we say, sing, or pray; but we tend to be disconnected from the fact that calling Jesus Lord means recognizing Him as the utmost authority in our lives.
Before we entered the life of faith, we were citizens of the world. We had no reason to know or seek God’s will for us. But we aren’t citizens of the world any longer. Paul writes:
…We are citizens of heaven, where the Lord Jesus Christ lives.
Philippians 3:20 NLT
You and I are citizens of God’s kingdom—the kingdom of heaven. Everything about our lives should meet the standards of this kingdom and reflect the nature of its sovereign: the Lord Jesus Christ.
What is His nature? To find out, look at this story from Mark 14, the account of Jesus’s night of prayer in the garden of Gethsemane.
This story takes place right before Jesus is betrayed and handed over to the Romans to be crucified. I want you to pay special attention to the end of verse 36, where Jesus tells His Father, “Yet I want your will to be done, not mine” (NLT).
Going to a cross is a significant act of submission, but the truth is that there are no small issues of obedience. When we honor Jesus as Lord, we submit to His will even when compromise seems minor and when obedience is inconvenient or unpopular. We say, “I want Your will,” in everything.
Have you received Jesus on these terms? Or is there still something in your life—maybe a habitual sin or a selfish ambition—that you regularly prioritize over what God directs you to do? You don’t need to feel condemned or ashamed. But now is the time to seek a new way of living.
Go to God in prayer and ask the Holy Spirit to help you truly honor Jesus as your Lord. As you spend time in His presence and His Word, He will teach you how to live like a citizen of heaven.
If you want to dive deeper into this topic, I encourage you to check out my new book, Good Or God?: Why Good Without God Isn’t Enough. Pick up your copy today!