Photo Courtesy of Zoltan Toth – Flickr
“[…] no one can say that Jesus is Lord except by the Holy Spirit.” – 1 Corinthians 12:3
Because you’ve said “Jesus is Lord,” don’t read this and think that you’re in the clear.
You do realize that calling someone “Lord” indicates that you acknowledge their authority to tell you what to do, right?
“But why do you call Me ‘Lord, Lord,’ and not do the things which I say?” – Luke 6:46
Calling Jesus, “Lord” it is not about saying the words with your mouth but with your life.
Even demons recognized His title. What makes them demons was their rebelling against His will.
The line between the godly and the demonic is as simple as who’s rule you support: God’s or not. To be clear, any rule besides God’s is demonic, including yours.
But, even in that there’s grace.
“But what do you think?
A man had two sons, and he came to the first and said, ‘Son, go, work today in my vineyard.’ He answered and said, ‘I will not,’ but afterward he regretted it and went.
Then he came to the second and said likewise. And he answered and said, ‘I go, sir,’ but he did not go.
Which of the two did the will of his father?
They said to Him, ‘The first.’ Jesus said to them, ‘Assuredly, I say to you that tax collectors and harlots enter the kingdom of God before you. For John came to you in the way of righteousness, and you did not believe him; but tax collectors and harlots believed him; and when you saw it, you did not afterward relent and believe him.'”
– Matthew 21:28-32
All of us have areas in our lives that we have not given over to Christ’s lordship. We’re saying “I will not” because we’re comfortable with the demonic arrangements we’ve made for those parts of our lives.
The key to authentic faith and life in Christ is to trust Jesus. We must let God be true and believe His government produces life, while all others lead to death (whether it looks that way or not – many things that appear full of life are dying, e.g. a rose in a vase looks beautiful, it’s naturally a perennial [long living, enduring plant], but it began to die the moment it was cut – anything apart from God is dead).
When we belong to Christ, the Holy Spirit reveals areas in our hearts where Jesus is not King and one by one, with great violence, we must make war to turn them over to His rule.
It is in this process that though we formerly said, “I will not”, by the revelation of Christ and conviction of the Holy Spirit, we come to a place of repentance and obey, and in this struggle we truly say “Jesus is Lord” and can have confidence that we belong to Him.
It’s a work of the Holy Spirit.