VERSE: “Ye call me Master and Lord and ye say well; for so I am.” John 13:13
OSWALD: “To have a master and to be mastered is not the same thing….Our Lord never enforces obedience. He does not take means to make me to what He wants. At certain times I wish God would master me and make me do the thing, but He will not; in other moods I wish He would leave me alone, but He does not.” (SEPTEMBER 22nd)
In the pursuit of our utmost for His highest, there is no more important question than the one Oswald highlights in this entry. “’Ye call me Master and Lord’ [Jesus told his disciples] – but is He?” Oswald asks. “Master and Lord have little place in our vocabulary, we prefer the words Savior, Sanctifier, Healer.” In other words, we prefer what we can get from God, rather than what we can give. We tend to prefer reveling in the promises of His Word rather than wrestling our hearts into complete abandonment to His lordship and rights over our lives.
Where does Jesus sit in your heart today? Is He on the throne or seated slightly to the side as you call the shots in your life? Perhaps you’ve seen the bumper sticker, “God is my co-pilot” – but may I tell you, our heavenly Father doesn’t operate that way. As the old song says, “If He isn’t Lord of all, He isn’t Lord at all.”
I wonder if part of our problem with lordship doesn’t come from a misunderstanding of the relationship God longs to have with us. When we think of the word “master” we tend to link it with the word “slave.” The thought of an underling being subject to the whims of a selfish, controlling lord. And yet, as Oswald describes it, the true meaning of having a master is not that of being mastered or manipulated. It is not being enslaved and abused but being so cherished and loved that we are precious brides rather than slave girls. Beloved by God.
“To have a master means that there is one who knows me better than I know myself,” Oswald writes, “one who is closer than a friend, one who fathoms the remotest abyss of my heart and satisfies it, one who has brought me into the secure sense that he has met and solved every perplexity and problem of my mind. To have a master is this and nothing less.”
What we do with that intimate offer of lordship is up to us. For Christ is a gentleman who never forces Himself upon us. And yet, while we may resist His advances, He never stops pursuing us. For you and I were made for relationship. To be covered and sheltered in the mighty arms of our God. To be led by His Holy Spirit and mastered by His love.
Each morning before I get out bed, I’ve learned to take a moment and pray this prayer. “Take the throne of my life today, Jesus. Here’s my agenda, but You call the shots. I abdicate my right to myself and what I think this day should be like. Be the Lord of all…be enthroned in every kingdom of my heart.”