From Praying the Names of Jesus Week Fifteen, Day Two
Christianity's earliest confession of faith consisted of three short but incredibly powerful words: Jesus is Lord! The early Christians believed that the Father had placed Jesus, by virtue of his death and resurrection, at the apex of time and eternity — higher than any power or person in the universe. It is no wonder that Paul was "convinced that neither death nor life, neither angels nor demons, neither the present nor the future, nor any powers, neither height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God that is in Christ Jesus our Lord" (Romans 8:38 - 39). Both those who love him and those who oppose him will one day call Jesus "Lord."
In the end, even the devil will be forced to acknowledge him. As you bow your head in prayer before the sovereign Lord, remember that you are placing your life — the worst of your disappointments, the most protracted of your struggles, the wildest of your dreams — squarely in his hands. Knowing Jesus as Lord will lead you to a deeper experience of his presence and his power.
Therefore God exalted him to the highest place and gave him the name that is above every name, 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
Praying the Name
To the Lord your God belong the heavens, even the highest heavens, the earth and everything in it. Yet the Lord set his affection on your forefathers and loved them, and he chose you, their descendants, above all the nations, as it is today. Circumcise your hearts, therefore, and do not be stiff-necked any longer. For the Lord your God is God of gods and Lord of lords, the great God, mighty and awesome, who shows no partiality and accepts no bribes. Deuteronomy 10:14-17
Not everyone who says to me, "Lord, Lord," will enter the kingdom of heaven, but only those who do the will of my Father who is in heaven. Matthew 7:21
Praise God: Because he is the Lord of heaven and earth.
Offer Thanks: Because Christ has set his affection on you.
Confess: Any tendency to place yourself rather than Jesus at the center of the universe.
Ask God: To make you hungry for a deeper connection with Jesus, the Lord.
What body of water is fifty miles long, ten miles wide, and 1,300 feet deep? With the sun dancing across its waves, it looks refreshing, as though its vast watery depths must be teeming with life. But a year spent fishing in these waters wouldn't yield a single catch because nothing but a few bacteria live beneath the surface. Located at the lowest point on earth, the Salt Sea in southeastern Israel contains the highest concentration of minerals and salt of any body of water in existence, making it unsuitable for sustaining life. No wonder it is also known as the Dead Sea.
Our lives as Christians can sometimes devolve spiritually so that we feel we are living at the lowest point on earth. On the surface everything may look fine, but underneath we feel restless, bored, confused, and afraid. Not only are we not growing spiritually, our spiritual lives seem to be shriveling, growing smaller not larger. Where is the power we once experienced? What happened to the sense of purpose we had?
What about the joy and the wonder that comes from a living, vibrant relationship with the Lord?
Though there can be various reasons for feeling this way, surely a primary one has to do with whether we are vitally connected with the source of love and power. Try using a power tool with a faulty plug. Unless the electricity is flowing freely through the wire, the tool will be useless. It's like that in our relationship with Christ. But instead of an electrical cord, his power flows along the lines of our faith and obedience.
If we only relate to Jesus as Savior but not as Lord, then there is something fundamentally wrong with our connection to Christ. Whether your spiritual life seems strong or weak, it's a good idea to ask yourself and God how things are going. Think over the last week. How well did you do at letting Jesus be Lord of all your days? Were you primarily looking out for his interests or for your own? Were your prayers self-centered or focused outward, on the things that are closest to God's heart? Ask Christ to show you where you did well and where you still need to grow.
If you have been reserving any part of your life — a relationship, a habit, a dream, or a concern — because you fear what the Lord may ask of you, tell him you want the grace to relinquish it today. As you seek to do Christ's will in every area of your life, you will find that you are no longer living your faith at the lowest point on earth. No matter what is happening on the surface, your spiritual life will be growing stronger, not weaker, because of your connection with the Lord of lords and King of kings.
Two of Ann Spangler's most-loved books have been released in paperback: Praying the Names of God and Praying the Names of Jesus.
These books help us understand the biblical context in which these names and titles were revealed, and help us gain a more intimate knowledge of the Father and of the Son.