“But why do you call Me ‘Lord, Lord,’ and do not do the things which I say?” (Luke 6:46).
THE WORDS “CHRIST IS LORD” ARE EASIER TO SAY WITH OUR LIPS THAN TO DEMONSTRATE WITH OUR DEEDS. But Christ calls us to do more than talk about His lordship. It is not His purpose to attract a host of talkers or even admirers; He desires a people who will love Him with an active, responsive, and obedient love. “Why do you call Me ‘Lord, Lord,’ ” He asked, “and do not do the things which I say?” Contrary to widespread opinion, there is more to Christianity than simply listing it as our religious preference. Whatever we may say, Jesus Christ is not really our Lord if we don’t do the things He says.
Even if we’re among those who take the will of Christ most seriously, it’s a common occurrence for us to overrate the level of our own obedience. We very likely make the same mistake with Christ that we make with our friends: we expect to be judged solely on the basis of our ability and our intentions. We have high principles, we know what we should do, and we really do intend to get around to it — we just haven’t done it yet. So despite the relatively low level of our actual performance, we still wish to be seen as superior persons; we just happen to be running a little behind on our “To Do” list. Christ, however, does not see us in terms of what we plan to do (and the truth is, our friends probably don’t either). He sees us in terms of our real obedience. “Why do you call Me ‘Lord, Lord,’ and do not do the things which I say?”
Complete candor might compel us to admit that we really think some parts of the Lord’s will are insignificant. We may take Him seriously in the areas that seem to be important, but we feel free to dissent from His opinion on other matters. Truly to have Jesus Christ as our Lord, however, means that we honor the significance of all of His will. We may know less than we’d like to know about our Lord’s rationale in some cases, but we certainly know enough to trust that He never issues commands carelessly. The real test of whether we’ve actually accepted His lordship is whether we yield to His will when it comes into conflict with our own. The person whose will we obey, that person is our real lord.
“Never think that Jesus commanded a trifle, nor dare to trifle with anything he has commanded” (Dwight Lyman Moody).