Other Lords Have Ruled Over Us

Isaiah 26:13-14 ESV

“O Lord our God,
other lords besides you have ruled over us,
but your name alone we bring to remembrance.
They are dead, they will not live;
they are shades, they will not arise;
to that end you have visited them with destruction
and wiped out all remembrance of them.”

Our Lord and Master

A lord is a master, one who owns us, one who rules over us and controls us. So if Jesus is our Lord, he is our Owner-Master, and we are his possession, and he is the one ruling over our lives, and he is the one directing our steps. And we are following him in obedience to his commands (New Covenant), for that is how it should be if he is truly Lord of our lives.

But have other lords (masters, gods) ruled over us, from a spiritual sense? Yes! For before we believed in Jesus with God-given faith we were under the control of sin and Satan, and sin had dominion (control) over our lives. We were morally unclean, sinners at birth, living our lives according to the flesh and not according to the Spirit. And we were separate from God.

But once we believed in Jesus, if we believed in him with genuine God-given faith, we transferred ownership of our lives away from sin and Satan to God and to his righteousness. We died with Christ to sin so that we would no longer be enslaved to sin but that we would now be slaves of God and of his righteousness, and so Jesus would now be our only Lord (Owner-Master).

Now, if Jesus is truly Lord of our lives, other lords should have no more dominion over us to where they have absolute control over us. And I am speaking here in a spiritual sense, not of physical kings and princes and government officials who do have rule over our lives to a certain extent. But even there we should never obey them if it means obeying sin.

Now, what kinds of “other lords” have ruled over us? Pride? Envy? Hate? Lust? Greed? Jealousy? Lies? Gossip? Sexual idolatry? Entertainment? Anger? Thieving? Foul language? Movies? The Internet? Social media? Personal time? Our own schedules? And/or Selfishness? And the list goes on and on. These and many more can be “lords” over our lives if we let them.

They are Dead!

Can you say that in truth? Are you free from the control of sin and of Satan and of the lusts of the flesh, the lust of the eyes, and the pride of life? (1 John 2:15-17) Is Jesus fully Lord (Owner-Master) of your life? Are you daily dying to sin and to self and following Jesus in obedience? Are you dedicated to serving the Lord Jesus with your life and no other gods?

Are you passionately and habitually and actively fighting off the enemy of your souls with the armor of God which God has supplied? Are you stopping the enemy dead in his tracks from getting into your hearts and minds and thinking and behaviors? Are you aggressively going after all attacks of the enemy to keep him from having sway in your lives?

We can’t be free from the control of sin and of Satan if we are still playing with sin, and if we are still entertaining it, and if we are giving it a foothold in our lives, and if daily we are not on guard fully determined with our spiritual weapons in hand ready to strike the enemy of our souls if he tries to sneak back into our lives and hearts in any way.

We should know our own weaknesses, for Satan does, and that is where he will strike. And we should not get lazy and let our armor down or make even the smallest of compromises with the devil, even if they may appear innocent on a surface level. Would you want even the smallest amount of feces in your food? No! Don’t give Satan even an inch in your life!

And regarding the gospel, don’t accept a watered-down feel-good message which does not require death to sin and living to righteousness and in obedience to the Lord. Put all lies to death, no matter how small they may seem. Know what the Bible teaches that you must die with Christ to sin and walk in obedience to his commands in order to have eternal life with God.

Your Name Alone

Being saved from our sins and having the hope of eternal life with God are not about just professing faith in Jesus Christ. Remember Jesus’ words when he said that not everyone saying to him, “Lord, Lord,” will enter into the kingdom of heaven, but only the one DOING the will of God the Father who is in heaven. If we don’t obey God, we don’t have eternal life with God.

So, we can’t claim Jesus as our Lord and Master if he is not our Lord because we are not submitting to him as Lord. And we can’t go on living in sin, deliberately and habitually sinning against God and expect that God is going to receive us into his heaven just because we prayed a prayer to receive him into our hearts. Repentance and obedience to God are essential to salvation.

And God’s grace to us is not free license to continue in deliberate and habitual sin against God. His grace, which brings salvation, instructs us to say “No!” to ungodliness and fleshly lusts and to live self-controlled, upright, and godly lives while we wait for our Lord’s return. For Jesus died that we might no longer live for ourselves but for him who gave his life up for us.

So, don’t give your passion and your obedience to any other “lord” but the Lord Jesus Christ. Be not only passionate about daily putting sin to death and living by the Spirit and in obedience to our Lord but be passionate about obeying the Lord in all things and about sharing the truth of his gospel with your friends, neighbors, co-workers and friends on social media, too.

Lift up the name of Jesus in your conversations and not the names of the gods of this world – the gods of entertainment, sports, music, theatre, politics, and institutional religion, etc. Let your conversations reflect Jesus Christ and his gospel message and your love for him and his Lordship over your lives and give your honor and glory to no other.

[Lu 9:23-26; Jn 6:35-58; Jn 15:1-11; Rom 6:1-23; Rom 8:1-17; Eph 4:17-24; 1 Pet 2:24; 1 Co 6:9-10,19-20; 2 Co 5:10,15,21; Tit 2:11-14; Jas 1:21-25; Rom 12:1-2; Php 2:12-13; Col 1:21-23; Col 3:5-10; Gal 5:16-21; Eph 5:3-11; Gal 6:7-8; Rom 2:6-8; Heb 10:26-27; 1 Jn 1:5-9; 1 Jn 2:3-6; 1 Jn 3:4-10; Matt 7:21-23; Ac 26:18; Rev 21:8,27; Rev 22:14-15; Eph 2:8-10]

Oh, to Be Like Thee, Blessed Redeemer

Lyrics by Thomas O. Chisholm, 1897
Music by W. J. Kirkpatrick, 1897

Oh, to be like Thee! blessèd Redeemer,
This is my constant longing and prayer;
Gladly I’ll forfeit all of earth’s treasures,
Jesus, Thy perfect likeness to wear.

Oh, to be like Thee! full of compassion,
Loving, forgiving, tender and kind,
Helping the helpless, cheering the fainting,
Seeking the wandering sinner to find.

O to be like Thee! lowly in spirit,
Holy and harmless, patient and brave;
Meekly enduring cruel reproaches,
Willing to suffer others to save.

O to be like Thee! while I am pleading,
Pour out Thy Spirit, fill with Thy love;
Make me a temple meet for Thy dwelling,
Fit me for life and Heaven above.

Oh, to be like Thee! Oh, to be like Thee,
Blessèd Redeemer, pure as Thou art;
Come in Thy sweetness, come in Thy fullness;
Stamp Thine own image deep on my heart.

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