Thoughts on Reality and Submission to the Authority of Christ

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Excerpt from James MacDonald- Walk in the Word devotional:                                                  3/24/17  CBByrd

“Therefore God has highly exalted him and bestowed on him the name that is above every name, so 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, esv).

Someday Jesus Christ will step onto the world scene and bring this whole, unfolding drama to a conclusion. His presence and appearance will bring all of us to our knees. Every knee will bow. I’m not sure when it will happen, I’m not sure how it will happen, but I am certain it will happen…….

“As I live, says the Lord, every knee shall bow to me” (Romans 14:11

We can recover eternally despite some bad choices, but we cannot get this one wrong…….

If life is about one thing, it’s about getting this ultimate authority relationship figured out. Who’s really in charge? It’s not Washington, or Hollywood, or Wall Street, and it’s not you and me. It’s Jesus Christ the Lord. No matter what we accomplish in this world, a hundred years from today, if we didn’t get this figured out, we will have nothing…..

Submitting to His authority is both a crisis and a process. The crisis is a decision: understanding with your mind that Jesus is Lord. Then comes the process: bowing to His authority means obeying His commands.

The ultimate test of lordship is not the crisis of your deciding that you believe, but the process of submitting your will to His at the point of pressure—the place where you and He disagree on what to choose. Whose will wins: yours or His? “Jesus is Lord” is chosen in a dozen daily decisions, each one taking your life to a better place…..

Everybody serves somebody. Everybody has somebody in charge of his life. Forget the excuses—you choose who you serve. You don’t fall into servitude. It’s not an accident. You can’t blame your environment or your past. You choose who you serve. Your mama doesn’t choose for you. Your pastor can’t choose for you. As much as someone might love you, he can’t choose for you. Even God, who loves you perfectly, will not choose for you. There are simply some crucial decisions you have to make for yourself. The ball is in your court. …..”

“Choose this day whom you will serve…..But as for me and my house, we will serve the Lord.” ” (Joshua 24:15).

 My thoughts reflecting on this devotional:

“in heaven and on earth and under the earth”….that’s an odd phrase, don’t you think?. What does “under the earth” mean, especially in light of the other two phrases with which it appears (in context, so to speak.) Is this a reference to people who have died and are buried? Is it a metaphorical reference to those who are in hell? Or…could it be that those who are in Christ are either “in heaven” or “on the earth” (but not actually under the authority of those principalities of the earth…like a similar phrase “we are in the world but not of the world”) Does “on the earth” mean something similar….a reference to believers who have transcended the things of the world and who are already living in “eternal time” though not yet in heaven…and those “under the earth” are those who have not yet believed in Christ or are not yet fully living into the reality of submission to Christ in all areas of their lives? Could it be that such “under the earth” people are still under the spell and deception of the principalities of the world? Just pondering this morning as I meditate on one of my morning devotionals…….

Barnes Notes on the Bible: on the phrase “every knee will bow”…… “But this does not mean that they will all be saved, for the guilty and the lost may be compelled to acknowledge his power, and submit to his decree as the sovereign of the universe. There is the free and cheerful homage of the heart which they who worship him in heaven (and by those who believe on him and are still alive on earth- Cathy’s added note) will render; and there is the constrained homage which they must yield who are compelled to acknowledge his authority.” Even the wind and the waves and the demons on the earth are subject to the authority of Christ….so this reality, of Christ’s sovereignty over all, is simply a statement of reality now and at the time of the end of all things!

Speaking of “reality”, I had one of those little metal signs in my laundry area that said, “Do not adjust your attitude. The problem is with reality.” It made me laugh and yet, at the same time seemed to express the truth of the fact of the brokenness of the world and encouragement to hold onto my hope that it will be fixed someday. Apparently, it made someone else laugh, too, as it was stolen right off the wall sometime during the renovation of our home. I didn’t miss it for a long time since it was part of a larger collage. Then one day as I was doing laundry I looked at that wall and realized it was missing. It did make me wander what all else was missing from my home that I had not yet missed.

I would be reasonably certain that the person who stole my attitude-adjustment sign does not have the same interpretation of its meaning that I do. My guess would be that someone who would steal it off the wall would be using that phrase to justify his or her own attitude in defiance of the reality of the circumstances in which they live, not as an encouragement to hold on to hope of the redemption of the world! LOL!

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