We like to think we are free beings, but we are not. We are free by design and free to choose, but most of our choices imprison us. What do I mean by this? I mean that most of our decisions and subsequent actions end up limiting us and giving us consequences (and this is because they are self-serving rather than for the benefit of others). Think about this for a minute, as an example. When the road sign reads “Speed Limit 70,” we usually interpret this for ourselves to mean “Go At Least 70.” And this is only if we don’t see a member of law enforcement nearby. Even if we do see one and slow down, it isn’t because we respect his authority; it’s because we fear getting a steep fine. Am I right?
Using another traffic analogy, why is it we disobey our parents’, teachers’ and employers’ authority on a regular basis (at least in our minds and attitudes), yet will virtually always obey inanimate objects such as speed bumps, stop signs and red lights? Is it because we don’t view our obedience to them as submitting to them? Is it because we don’t recognize or acknowledge them as having any authority? However, the truth is that if they communicate something to us in terms of a law or regulation- and they were placed there by a human institution of authority (government, Department of Transportation, or police)- then they are authoritative, by nature and in purpose. It is the same with the Word of God.
The word LORD in a worldly dictionary has as its primary definition “someone or something having power, authority, or influence; a master or ruler.” This is not far from the scriptural meaning, but the idea clearly conveyed is that everyone else is, therefore, subject to, under, or in submission to, that person or institution. So, what does the term LORDSHIP mean? A good definition according to Merriam-Webster is “the territory under the jurisdiction of a lord.” To state it more precisely is to say that lordship is the cover of establishment or authority over an area or domain or people which it presides.
In short, you are subject to obeying something or someone (a Lord) voluntarily or against your will depending upon rewards, consequences, personality, temperament, environment/ culture, example, upbringing, need, want, degree of foreseen choice and other influences. To use again the traffic correlation, if you obey a red light as you approach a 4-way intersection, and the car in the lane next to you does not (in essence telling himself it is green as he proceeds to run it), then the car legally coming through the light that has now turned truly green for him from the perpendicular road will hit the disobedient one near you. Now, because of the disobedience of that vehicle next to you, his car, the obedient car and possibly even your car are in a mess! Insurance companies get involved, the police show up (maybe even an ambulance), traffic is all in a jam, people around or behind you are delayed or even late for their jobs, appointments, picking their kids up from school and more.
Okay, now that the word picture I’ve painted is clear and lingering in your mind, consider this: disobedience is a light word for sin. We have already explained and established how lordship is the act of having authority over someone. Whether we think we are free is really more than just the idea of what we perceive as independence or autonomy. Most of us view freedom as simply a lack of hindrance, restraint or accountability. No limits and no boundaries.
The Word of God, the BIBLE, says something very true and very interesting. You might never have thought about it this way before. In the book of Romans, the 6th chapter and the 16th verse it says, “Do you not know that if you present yourselves to anyone as obedient slaves, you are slaves of the one whom you obey, either of sin, which leads to death, or of obedience, which leads to righteousness?” What this is saying is that you are always going to obey something or someone. If you obey (put yourself under lordship to) that which is good and right and lawful- ultimately God- you are headed in the right direction. But if you put yourself under the lordship of sin (disobedience), there will always be a price and a consequence. The only true and eternal and universally sovereign Lord is JESUS CHRIST. So, you have a choice. Will you submit to the lordship of Christ and His righteousness (to be morally right and justified before Almighty God) or to the lordship of sin and death? Make it a good one; both the here and now, and eternity depend on it. God bless you.