As I lay my head down to sleep a couple nights ago, I began to say my prayer like I always do as I drift off at night. I give God the last few moments of my day and all my cares and concerns, my thoughts about the day just completed, and my thanks for blessings and grace go into our final discussion of the day. I have found that I sleep much better when I drift off listening to His replies.
So, this night, I began like always, "Lord Jesus..." and my thoughts just came to a stand-still. It was as if He was saying, "Yes? I'm here..." And He led me in a discussion about what I was saying every night in that simple greeting.
First, I call to Him as Lord. The first dictionary definition says Lord is a noun that means "a person who has authority, control, or power over others; a master, chief, or ruler." As I thought about my Lord, I realized that it has been just recently, within the last 7 years as a matter of fact, that I have actually given God the Lordship over my life. I trusted Him as my Savior a long time ago, and once in a while, I would give Him temporary charge over my life, but it was too easy for me to take back control or authority and try to find a better way on my own. Until my "better ways" turned to "bitter ways" and I finally realized that only by letting God have complete control of my life, letting Him be Lord, would I find true release.
It's called submission: not a very contemporary idea, but nonetheless, necessary toward maturity. At the end of each day, by addressing my Lord, I am reminding myself and reaffirming with Him that He is the Lord of my life. Phillipians 3:12-16 "Not that I have already reached the goal or am already fully mature, but I make every effort to take hold of it because I also have been taken hold of by Christ Jesus. Brothers, I do not yet consider myself to have taken hold of it. But one thing I do: forgetting what is behind and reaching forward to what is ahead, I pursue as my goal the prize promised by God’s heavenly call in Christ Jesus. Therefore, all who are mature should think this way. And if you think differently about anything, God will reveal this to you also. In any case, we should live up to whatever truth we have attained." Once I realized the freedom in submission to Jesus as my Lord, I have desired to bracket each day in recognition of this truth.
After acknowledging my Lord, I call Him by name: Jesus. As I lay there that night, I found myself overwhelmed with all that the name of Jesus means to me. Since I was a small child, I have loved Jesus. He has been my friend, my confidante, my teacher, the lover of my soul (even when I didn't). He chases away fear, evil, doubt, and guilt just by the saying of his name. Jesus is the specific, unique, only Son of God (John 3:16). He is The Way to reconciliation with the Father (John 14:6). Jesus is strength when I am weak to do the things He asks me to do (2 Corinthians 12:9, Philippians 4:13).
Jesus is the One Who commissioned me, called me to ministry. Whatever form that ministry takes, in whatever season my life is in, I answer the call because of my love for Him. When I consider all that He has carried me through, all that He has shown me, the things we have faced with grace because He was leading, I have no other choice but to serve Him. John 14: 21 & 23, "The one who has My commands and keeps them is the one who loves Me. And the one who loves Me will be loved by My Father. I also will love him and will reveal Myself to him. Jesus answered, “If anyone loves Me, he will keep My word. My Father will love him, and We will come to him and make Our home with him."
So, one night, not so long ago, I addressed my prayer to "My Lord, Jesus," and He replied, "Enough said."