Whether we like it or not, we are all owned by something.
We all have something that possesses our thoughts and occupies our time. The question is, what?
I want you to stop and really think about this. This conversation can easily go from an innocent, "yeah I shouldn't think about, or prioritize that as much" to an intervention of an idolatrous lifestyle.
Today's word is Adonai, which is translated, Lord or Master. It was actually a word that was substituted for the sacred, personal name Yahweh, meaning self-existent one. In the sixth and seventh century, the vowels of Adonai were combined with the consonants YHWH to remind Jews reading the Holy Scriptures to read aloud Adonai, instead of verbally saying, Yahweh. An Old Testament understanding of this word is understood when considering the relations of a Master to a slave. And when used in regards to God and men, it conveys the idea of absolute authority- He is the Adonai that rules over us. But not only does He rule over our lives, but within that ruling He is absolutely sovereign. We also see this name in the New Testament under the Greek word Kurios, which is used as a respectable term meaning "lord" or "master" to anyone in a higher position. One of the examples of passages containing this word is in Philippians 2:5-11:
"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."
Jesus is not only referred to as "Kurios" (lord), but as "Kurios Kurion", which is translated, "Lord of lords". The distinction is profound.
What does this word have in common with the words we have studied thus far in this Names of God series?
You cannot know Him as Yahweh, El Roi, Elah Elahin, Jehovah-Shammah, El Shaddai, Elohim, El Elyon, or Abba- unless you know Him as the ruler of your life. Our Adonai who not only is our Ruler but has freed us from the bondage of sin so that we can be free under His sovereign care.
"But thanks be to God, that you who were once slaves of sin have become obedient from the heart to the standard of teaching to which you were committed, and, having been set free from sin, have become slaves of righteousness. I am speaking in human terms, because of your natural limitations. For just as you once presented your members as slaves to impurity and to lawlessness leading to more lawlessness, so now present your members as slaves to righteousness leading to sanctification. For when you were slaves of sin, you were free in regard to righteousness." - Romans 6:17–20
We are all owned by something. Either we are living in the mentality of Phil. 1:21, "For to me to live is Christ, and to die is gain"- submitting to the One who provides everlasting joy and satisfaction, or we are living in the destructive reality of Ephesians 2- following the passions of our flesh and "the prince of the power of the air".
As drastic as those two realities may seem, there is no "in between". God makes it clear that we cannot claim to serve Him and yet live for worldly things (Matt. 6:24), and Paul refers to this submission in Galatians 1:10:
"For am I now seeking the approval of man, or of God? Or am I trying to please man? If I were still trying to please man, I would not be a servant of Christ."
Praise God for His sacrifice on the cross that freed us from the bondage of sin (Acts 13:38) and thus allows us to partake in a relationship with Him. As the writer of Hebrews says, "Let us then with confidence draw near to the throne of grace, that we may receive mercy and find grace to help in time of need" (4:16).
Let's give up every consuming burden that we have placed on ourselves; whether it's our grades, social status, likes on a photo, job occupation, etc- and let us draw near to our Adonai… looking to Him and nothing else.
"For freedom Christ has set us free; stand firm therefore, and do not submit again to a yoke of slavery."- Galatians 5:1
For in Christ, we are free indeed.