The Lowest In The Room

It’s mid-evening, and we just went on a walk as a family. I’m sitting in the living room with a good book. Gracie has been asleep for three minutes and I’m eagerly diving into a new book I just received in the mail. The baby monitor is right next to me and I hear her waking up. I can go comfort her, or I can keep reading.

I’m on vacation with my family in Waco. As we’re planning our trip back to Vernon, Jamie mentions that she wants to stop at a furniture store for an extended period of time. I can joyfully participate in this excursion or make it a draining experience of me clearly being annoyed and frustrated.

I’m sitting in staff meeting trying to stay mentally engaged after an early morning trip to Wichita Falls. Ideas are flying around about this or that upcoming ministry opportunity. Assignments are dished out, some that I wouldn’t have gone looking for. I can faithfully do the assignments I’ve been given with a cheerful attitude or just get by with mediocre work.

In all of these recent scenarios, I had a choice. I could choose my comfort, my way of life, my priorities and passions.

Or I could stoop.

I could submit.

I could put Gracie, Jamie, and my coworkers first.

In our modern world, the idea of submitting to any authority is frowned upon by some. It is difficult for most, myself included. Everywhere we look we’re told that we should be in charge, that we should pursue what’s best for ourselves. I mean, the loudest, proudest and meanest are the ones that get the spotlight and the responsibilities.

You want attention? Be the loudest in the room.

You want to be like Jesus? Be the lowest in the room.

You want to model the character of Christ? Submit.

In Ephesians 5, Paul shares with the church in Ephesus the behaviors and character traits of those who are seeking to walk in the light of God’s presence. After detailing the importance of being filled with the Spirit as opposed to earthly things, Paul says the church should be doing the following:

Submitting to one another out of reverence for Christ. – Ephesians 5:21

Submission. It’s the way we show our love for Jesus. It’s the way that we grow our relationships as the people of God.

In my marriage, I am to willingly submit to the desires of Jamie. In my parenting, I am to willingly submit to the desires of Gracie. This doesn’t mean I don’t lead my family in the way that God has called me to. It just means my family is not about me. In my job, I am to submit to Brooks, Donovan, Mike, Greg, Tisha, Joni, and Sandra. I am to be consistently seeking the good of all those around me.

And when I do so, I am living in the way that Jesus would.

That being said, don’t get me wrong. Submission isn’t easy to me. I still don’t want to listen to others when I think I’m right. I still don’t want to submit to the preferences of others when I’m passionate about my way. But if I’m staunchly, arrogantly refusing to submit to anyone or anything, I’m showing that I am not fully grasping Jesus nor the commands of the New Testament.

A friend recently said to me that the entire New Testament ethic could be summarized in the word submission. And I’m inclined to agree with him. We’re called to submit to Scripture, the Spirit, the government authorities (not just those we voted for), our spouses, our pastors, etc. Submission is central. So why isn’t it practiced in our lives?

Probably because submission doesn’t come naturally. Yet, I can tell you that it’s the way to fullness of life. When I stoop, I feel joyful. When I submit, I feel like I’m living in the way that God designed me to live. When I stoop, I dream of and envision a church, a community, that is full of submission.

What would that look like?

What if we went out of our way to promote someone else’s worship style? What if we went out of our way to give someone else the spotlight? What if we went out of our way to make someone else’s ministry idea happen even if we aren’t naturally on board with it? What if we went out of our way to serve and sit under the authority and leadership of others? What if we went out of our way to stoop, stoop, stoop.

Man, that would be something else.

I think that would be the type of community that God desires us to be.

So, as counter-cultural as it may sound, I want to submit.

I invite you to do the same.

In His Name,

Nate Roach

Embarrassed To Be A Christian

Some of us hate confrontation.

Some of us hate conflict.

Here’s what I’ve learned recently.

To be a follower of Jesus means that most people aren’t going to agree with me or like me.

You may be thinking, well duh Nate, we know this.

Well, I have to remind myself sometimes of that truth.

Recently, I was reading in the Gospel of Luke, and I came across the following verse. It’s a verse I honestly hadn’t noticed before.

Woe to you, when all people speak well of you, for so their fathers did to the false prophets. – Luke 6:26

Wow. That’s pretty intense. Jesus is proclaiming  that if everyone likes you as a follower of Jesus, you’re probably not standing solidly on the truth. Instead, you are most likely flattering others and telling them what they want to hear. That was the method of the false prophet.

Jesus is making it clear that not everyone around us is going to speak well of us. As a matter of fact, we can expect the opposite when we stand on what Scripture says is true.

That doesn’t jive well with my desire to be fully liked by all people.

Now, I am not an advocate for being Christian jerks. There is a balance of truth and love. Many people that claim Christ are some of the rudest, meanest, and honestly most vile people when it comes to communicating that which the Bible says is true.

For some of us who claim Christ however, our desire to be well loved leads us to avoid the truth. We tiptoe around the topics of the day, living our lives as sheepish, embarrassed Christians. I think many members of our churches live this way.

Here’s what I mean by this:

Some of us are embarrassed by the Bible’s view on sexuality.

So we avoid talking about it. The Bible calls homosexuality sin, but it also calls premarital sex, masturbation, pornography, transgenderism, divorce (for a reason other than marital unfaithfulness), and a litany of other sexual or marital practices to be sin. In a world of individualism, some of us back down off of what the Bible says to be true, not wanting to infringe upon people’s preferences or personal lives. Yet to be a follower of Jesus is to submit one’s sexuality to Jesus.

Some of us are embarrassed by the claim of Christ that all of a person’s life, all of their heart and soul and mind and strength, should be submitted to the Savior, the Lord Jesus Christ.

But, we want people to come to our churches. So we preach messages that tickle the ears, make people feel good about themselves, and keep the status quo. Instead of daily submission to a life of discomfort via allegiance to Jesus, we preach for our people to chase the desires of their hearts, that they can achieve all of their dreams and goals with Jesus’ magic pixie dust of blessings raining down upon their lives. Christianity becomes about feeling good.

Oh, and those times where Jesus calls us to love Him more than we’d love our own family, that was hyperbole and exaggeratory on Jesus’ part. Our kids should be number #1 in our lives. Don’t teach them covenant commitment, make it about their fun and comfort.

Some of us are embarrassed by the call to holiness that is abundantly clear in Scripture and is a crucial part of what it means to follow Jesus.

So we make life about authenticity and transparency. This leads to the Game of Thrones watching, Cards against Humanity playing, beer drinking, cussing, partying, but attending church on Sunday version of Christianity. Are any of the above the unforgivable sin? By no means. But the whole “in the world but not of it” mantra of this subset of Christians shows the world around it that there’s really nothing different about them. They partake in the same things, act the same way. This truly is an abuse of grace.

Some of us are embarrassed by the practices and traditions that are present in our churches.

We are afraid to bring people to our church, because what will they think when we belt out all four verses of “Be Thou My Vision”? What will they think when we have the Uber-awkward “greet people around you time” of the service? What will they think when we talk about tithing, or when we have a Frightless Family Fun Night on Halloween? None of this is hip and relevant. None of this is cool and popular.

Some of us are embarrassed by the character of God, namely His anger and wrath towards the unrighteous.

So we make it our mission to be God’s PR rep. We start by not studying and definitely not speaking about the Old Testament, because that’s not about the God of love. We then make sure to downplay the fact that the Sermon on the Mount ups the ante for the follower of Jesus. We don’t talk about hell. Some even come to the conclusion that hell isn’t real. When we do this though, we are communicating that Christ died for no reason.

Do any of these hit close to home for you?

Some of them hit home for me.

We have all of a sudden become people who are apologizing for what we believe! We’ve become people who are embarrassed to be associated with Jesus.

We all fall into it.

I’m a pastor and I fall into it.

When I get my haircut in Wichita Falls, I inevitably get asked what it is I do for a living. I answer truthfully, yet there are times when I start to feel embarrassed. My heart doesn’t want the discomfort of being known for all of the above things I talked about in this blog. My heart is also wicked, not to be trusted.

To be a follower of Jesus is to be weird, to be not liked at times.

No, we mustn’t be rude and arrogant.

Yes, we must be willing to stand for truth, truth spoken in love.

Stop apologizing for being a Christian.

Start embracing the discomfort.

In His Name,

Nathan Roach

 

Submitting to Sinners

What are we to do when governments and authorities allow abortion to run rampant? What are we to do when governments and authorities sow seeds of systemic racism? What are we to do when governments and authorities destroy life at any level? What are we to do when governments and authorities commit genocide? What are we to do when governments and authorities attack the church, persecuting and executing?

We are to submit.

Now if you’re like me, you probably think that doesn’t sound right at all. In fact, it makes you bristle and bow up. Submission is a term that shows weakness, that makes us think of being pinned to the mat in a wrestling match. Yet, despite our desire to be our own governing authorities, we are called in Scripture to submit to those God has established over us.

Let everyone be subject to the governing authorities, for there is no authority except that which God has established. The authorities that exist have been established by God. Consequently, whoever rebels against the authority is rebelling against what God has instituted, and those who do so will bring judgment on themselves. – Romans 13:1-2

Submit yourselves for the Lord’s sake to every human authority – 1 Peter 2:13a

These verses still rub me the wrong way. If you’re like me, it’s okay to acknowledge that. We don’t like being led, governed, being told what to do. We have grown up in a culture that tells us we are governing ourselves. That doesn’t line up with Romans and 1 Peter. We are called to submit to authority over us, because authorities over us have been put in place by God. We are called to submit to authority over us, because it gives God glory, it is for ‘the Lord’s sake’.

Let’s be clear however about what submission is and isn’t.

SUBMISSION ISN’T SILENCE.

This is probably one of the biggest misconceptions about what it means to submit. Submission doesn’t mean keeping quiet about sin and injustice. There isn’t a country in the world (that I know of) that fully lines up all of their laws and legislations with the commands and character of God. That kind of place doesn’t exist in a Genesis 3 world. So what that means for us as Christians is that the countries we reside in have sinners at the helm and these leaders won’t always lead their country into conformity with the cause and commands of Christ.

In those moments, we are given the right and responsibility to speak up.

Now, there is a way to speak up however. Facebook fights and Twitter clap-backs aren’t the way. Instead, raise awareness. Go to the source. Model it in your own local community. Be humble. Be kind. We have a world full of slacktivists unfortunately, those of us who write about what we should change in our country without striving to do just that at a local level. Man, I’m bad at that.

Submission is not silence. It is however words spoken in kindness and humility, actions taken in a local community, not violent riots.

SUBMISSION SOMETIMES INCLUDES SUFFERING.

Oh how I wish at times that this wasn’t true, but alas it is. When we submit to the government that we are under, that can sometimes lead to suffering.

Earlier today I watched a video, it was a clip of a sermon from a pastor in China named Wang Yi. This pastor was the epitome of what I am writing about in this blog. He was telling his congregation, with much passion, that they were called to speak up and tell the president and leaders of their country that they were sinners in need of the grace of God. He was saying that they could best exemplify and extend the grace of God to these sinful men by suffering. Over and over he attested that if they were to be persecuted and responded with grace, their sinful leadership would encounter the grace of God and turn to the Lord. He was willing to lead his people into suffering via submitting to this government that he was under!

He is now in prison for his belief in Jesus.

He is now walking out what he preached.

He is now extending the grace of God to those who hold him captive.

He was not silent in the midst of a sinful government, but he knew that he was under this government for a reason. That reason appears to be so that through persecution he could extend the grace of God!

SUBMISSION IS WITNESS.

This is the most important aspect of submitting to earthly rulers. When we do so, we are proclaiming the fact that God is ultimately governing those who govern us. Less and less people willingly submit to authority these days, and when we do this it points to the ultimately rule and reign of Jesus. Consider the following verses.

Then Jesus came to them and said, “All authority in heaven and on earth has been give to me. – Matthew 28:18 

The risen Jesus is proclaiming to His disciples that He holds all authority over all things, both in heaven and on earth.

The earth is the Lord’s, and everything in it, the world, and all who live in it; – Psalm 24:1 

David is proclaiming the truth that all that is in the world is the Lord’s. Everything comes under His authority!

But you will receive power when the Holy Spirit comes on you; and you will be my witnesses in Jerusalem, and in all Judea and Samaria, and to the ends of the earth. – Acts 1:8

Just after a short dialogue about the kingdom of God, we see Jesus telling His followers that they would bear witness to the gospel. Since this was in the midst of a dialogue on the Kingdom, you could make the argument that they are to be witnesses to the King and His Kingdom as well.

In summary, when we submit to earthly authorities, at whatever level, we are bearing witness to the One who controls all things.

So Trump and company may not have my support in all that they do, but they have my respect. They have my submission. Because I know who is on the throne.

In His Name,

Nate Roach

He’s Still On The Throne

He’s still on the throne.

throne
I know Jesus doesn’t sit on a middle-earth throne, but this sure looks cool.

A couple years ago, my mom texted me this amidst a conversation about the trials and difficulties that were present in my life at the time. Certain aspects of the world as I knew it were spiraling out of control in some ways and my mom knew just what to encourage me with. Jesus was still on the throne, even in the midst of what seemed like chaos.

The second Psalm can be a source of great encouragement when the leaders and rulers of our world are prone to evil and wickedness, and when disaster strikes our world, our country, our city, or our family.

Why do the nations rage and the peoples plot in vain? The kings of the earth take their stand, and the rulers conspire together against the Lord and his Anointed One. “Let’s tear off their chains and throw their ropes off of us.” – Psalm 2:1-3

Here’s a pretty accurate illustration of the way that Jesus is treated in the minds and hearts of so many in our world. So many in our day take their stand against the Lord and his Anointed One. Now in the case of this Psalm, that Anointed One would be David. But in the case of our day, the one who holds all things together and rules over all is none other than Jesus Christ. The godly man or woman understands that they are submitting to the ultimate rule and reign of Jesus. The ungodly man or woman however is the one who sees submission to Christ as bondage and seeks to break the chains of God’s sovereign hand over their lives.

The one enthroned in heaven laughs; the Lord ridicules them. Then he speaks to them in his anger and terrifies them in his wrath: “I have installed my king on Zion, my holy mountain.” – Psalm 2:4-6

This is simultaneously one of the most encouraging and fear-inducing passages in the Psalms for me. The Lord laughs at those who seek to break free of His rule and reign. He isn’t scared, intimidated, worried, or anxious when the men and women of this world seek to break free of His rule and reign. Instead He just laughs. He finds it humorous that man would strive to buck up against His rule and reign. Then his anger and wrath are felt as He reminds the wicked of this world that He has installed His King on Zion, on His holy mountain. Jesus has been enthroned. He is enthroned over the cosmos, and He should be given His rightful place on the throne in each of our lives.

I will declare the Lord’s decree. He said to me, “You are my Son; today I have become your Father. Ask of me, and I will make the nations your inheritance and the ends of the earth your possession. You will break them with an iron scepter; you will shatter them like pottery.” – Psalm 2:7-9

This shows us just how powerful King Jesus is. The nations are at His disposal. The very ends of the earth are under His control. He can shatter the wicked with an iron scepter, breaking them like pottery. The picture of Jesus that is all too often portrayed and presented in our culture is the Jesus that is simply a lover. A guy who sprinkles grace onto our unrepentant sins and personal brokenness, inviting us into a moment of intentional worship and transparent fellowship. While Jesus certainly is a loving Shepherd of the broken, He is also the Victorious King, the One who defeated death, evil, Satan, and every wicked scheme of the enemy. King Jesus is powerful.

So now, kings, be wise; receive instruction, you judges of the earth. Serve the Lord with reverential awe and rejoice with trembling. Pay homage to the Son or he will be angry and you will perish in your rebellion, for his anger may ignite at any moment. All who take refuge in him are happy. – Psalm 2:10-12

Servitude, humility, awe, reverence, respect. When we come to terms with who King Jesus is, that should be our response. We should come to his feet and worship Him for who He is. Instead of following our sinful desires and bucking up against His rule and reign, we should submit to King Jesus and let Him have his rightful place on the throne of our hearts and our lives. The man who is happy is the man who takes refuge in Him, the man who submits to King Jesus.

In Acts chapter 4, Peter and John were imprisoned and tried for their outspoken faith in Jesus. Upon their release they went to the community of faith and shared with everyone what they had experienced. They used this very Psalm as encouragement in the face of pronounced and intimidating persecution from the governmental and religious leaders of their day.

I do not know what you are going through today.

Maybe you are facing persecution for your faith in and submission to King Jesus.

Maybe you are facing the aftermath of terrible destruction or disaster in your life.

Maybe you are fearful of the future, and the headlines of the news get you more and more worried.

The reality of evil can’t be avoided or run from. However we don’t have to meditate or dwell on evil. We can meditate on the fact that Christ has defeated Satan.

Brother or sister in Christ, may you be encouraged that King Jesus sits on the throne. May you be strengthened in your resolve, strengthened in your faith and trust that King Jesus is not frightened by the news articles that you see on your social media accounts. Brother or sister in Christ, may you be drawn deeper into fellowship with the Powerful King Jesus.

If you’re not sure where you stand with King Jesus today, tell Him so. One thing I love about the Psalms is that they are honest, full of cries to God and raw emotions.

Ask King Jesus to help you trust Him more.

In His Name,

Nathan Roach

– I appreciate any and all feedback, and you can follow my blog below

 

 

Love The Church

I’ve heard it from strangers, and I’ve heard it in my own mind in the past. It is the statement that “I love Jesus, but I’m not churchconcerned with the church” or any other number of phrases proclaiming the same thing. It’s in some senses the hip thing to do, to abandon the organized local institution of the church, privatizing one’s faith and seeking to simply walk with Jesus on your own. I do not intend to demean or pretend like I can interpret the hearts of those who make such statements and live such lifestyles, rather I hope to cast a vision for church involvement and how essential it is to the life of a Christian.

The logical rationale behind this departure from organized church at times seems fair. Local churches make mistakes, they don’t always walk out the gospel in their communities as best they could. Local churches are full of imperfect people or hypocrites. Local churches don’t always have a passion for that which the individual may have a passion for.

Yet despite these perceived flaws, it is my experience personally, and my opinion humbly that I cannot grow in my faith outside the local church, that I can’t proclaim to love the Lord if I do not also love His church. So my heart and cry is that we would hold fast to the local church, submitting ourselves to it, in order that we may experience all the blessedness of church community and just how God can move through a local body of believers.

One of my favorite Scripture passages on this matter is found in the book of Ephesians:

For the husband is the head of the wife as Christ is the head of the church, his body, of which he is the Savior. . .Husbands, love your wives, just as Christ loved the church and gave himself up for her to make her holy, cleansing her by the washing with water through the word, and to present her to himself as a radiant church, without stain or wrinkle or any other blemish, but holy and blameless… After all, no one ever hated their own body, but they feed and care for their body, just as Christ does the church – for we are members of his body.  – Ephesians 5:23, 25-27, 29-30

Interlaced in a beautiful description of the mutual submission that is to take place in a marriage relationship (a passionate blog for another day), we see just how valuable the church is to Jesus Christ. Just look at the language: the church is his body, Christ loved the church, Christ presents the church to himself without blemish, Christ feeds and cares for the church.

All throughout the book of Ephesians we see similarly passionate language in regards to the church:

God placed Christ over the church, and the church is His body (1:22-23)

The church body is full of differences that are united in Christ, and together becomes a temple for the Spirit of God to reside (2:21-22)

The wisdom of God is to be made known through the church (3:10)

The church is given men and women with gifts to unify the church and mature the church (4)

It is thus my belief that you simply cannot say that you love Jesus but do not love His church. To love Jesus is to recognize that the church is how God intended to see the world come to know the saving grace of God. To love Jesus is to recognize that He was passionate about the church, and so we should be as well.

As far as personal growth in faith is concerned, I tend to find hope in these passages about what a church community should look like:

And we urge you, brothers and sisters, warn those who are idle and disruptive, encourage the disheartened, help the weak, be patient with everyone. – 1 Thessalonians 5:14

Be devoted to one another in love. Honor one another above yourselves. Never be lacking in zeal, but keep your spiritual fervor, serving the Lord. Be joyful in hope, patient in affliction, faithful in prayer. Share with the Lord’s people who are in need. Practice hospitality. – Romans 12:10-13

Simply put, the church is for hypocrites. There will be times in my life where I will be idle, disheartened, weak. There will be times where I fail to match my actions with my beliefs. The beauty is that inside the context of a local body of believers I can be warned, encouraged, helped, loved. I cannot grow in my faith outside of my brothers and sisters in Christ (Let me make clear that this isn’t a theological statement, rather a personal one).

I urge you to get plugged into a local body of believers. I urge you to submit yourself to the leadership they have in place (submission isn’t vastly popular these days and it’s quite humbling but it’s oh so rewarding).

I guarantee you this, when you get plugged in, the church experience won’t be perfect for you. It won’t be your style of worship, your style of preaching, your age group or your social demographic. Yet let me remind us all that the church isn’t about you it’s about us and Him.

I can attest from personal experience that I’ve learned so much about my faith from those who are nothing like me at all. I go to a men’s Bible study where I’m the youngest in the room by far. I’m involved in a young adult community where I’m spurred on in my faith by brothers and sisters from different cultures than the one I came from. Yet these experiences have been the spark that have lit the fire for spiritual growth in me.

If you feel like something you’re passionate about is missing from your local body of believers, be the change. Are you passionate about foster-care and adoption? Try and get a ministry started that partners church members together to meet each others needs in the journey. Are you passionate about justice for sexually abused or trafficked women? Try and get a ministry started in your church that works in that demographic for God’s glory. I think non-profits are great and beneficial and impactful in the community but part of me wonders if they exist because the church isn’t being the hands and feet of Christ in fullness. Despite that, I want to get involved in them and if you do too, then do so with your brothers and sisters in Christ.

The local church isn’t sexy. The local church isn’t hip. The local church at times feels old school (maybe because it’s 2000 years old). Yet if you’re willing to humbly submit to it you’ll find oftentimes the love for the church that Christ had.

I urge you brother and sister in Christ.

Love the church.

-Nathan Roach

I appreciate any and all feedback, and you can follow my blog via the menu.

 

Modern Milcoms

Jesus Christ is either Lord of all my life or He is not Lord at all in my life.

Jesus either dictates every aspect of my life here on earth, or He doesn’t. In regards to lordship, there is no middle ground. I can’t give God my mornings in the Word and then refuse to seek His counsel in regards to finances, health, work, and play. I can’t claim that my life is a blank check on which God can call me to sacrifice in whatever way He sees fit and then respond with complaining and grumbling when what He’s calling me to doesn’t fit with my preconceived notions and plans.

Jesus Christ is either Lord of all my life or He is not Lord at all in my life.

The last couple days I’ve been super fascinated with the book of Zephaniah. This book paints a picture of God’s majesty and power that does truly produce a fear of God in me. God proclaims His ability to destroy everything on earth, but instead of enacting His just wrath, He extends mercy to those who humbly seek Him. As I was simply studying some of the details surrounding this short book, a passage in the first chapter struck me.

“I will stretch out my hand against Judah and against all the inhabitants of Jerusalem; and I will cut off from this place the remnant of Baal and the name of the idolatrous priests along with the priests, those who bow down on the roofs to the host of the heavens, those who bow down and swear to the Lord and yet swear by Milcom, those who have turned back from following the Lord, who do not seek the Lord or inquire of him.” – Zephaniah 1:4-6

Wow. God’s anger was burning against His people. His people were deserving of wrath. What they were doing was submitting to the Lord by bowing down to Him. Yet they didn’t just bow down to Him and Him alone. Instead they chose to worship and bow down to the stars and to Milcom.

In the time of Zephaniah’s prophecy, Milcom was the national god of the Ammonites. This god was often worshiped via the practice of infant sacrifices. It was a deplorable practice and it was apparently being at least permitted by these people of God who chose to bow down to not just the Lord alone but also to the deities of the surrounding nations. It was as if God’s people were hedging their bets. It was as if God’s people were making sure that if God truly wasn’t in complete control then at least they will have appeased these other ‘gods’ that might in fact be real.

Reading this elicits in me a quick reaction of judgment. I look at the inhabitants of Jerusalem at the time of Zephaniah’s writing and think how in the world can you guys be so stupid. God has spoken to you countless times, proven His miraculous power left and right, and yet you all struggle with making Him Lord over all in your lives.

Then I take a real hard look in the mirror.

cars
There are modern-day idols all around us.

There are modern-day Milcoms. There are cultural idols that I can worship too. I’ve heard countless people say that usually what you’re thinking about at the very start of the day and the very end of the day is what you worship. Ouch. There are so many things that I worship besides just the Lord. To use the terminology of the passage here in Zephaniah, I ‘bow down’ to countless cultural idols.

I bow down to the need to be right in arguments. I bow down to the need to have complete comfort. I bow down to my finances as the dictators of how I give and how I live. I bow down to the obsession of having a relationship that is admired by others. I bow down to loving my neighbor without sharing with them the offensive truths of the gospel. I bow down to my wants. I bow down to wanting to make a name for myself that people will remember. I bow down to social media. I bow down to how social media says that I should live. I bow down to family. I bow down to friends. I bow down to the status quo.

The list could go on and on. We struggle to truly submit to Jesus’ lordship over our lives. Instead we allow countless other things to dictate how we live.

Jesus Christ is either Lord of all my life or He is not Lord at all in my life.

I pray that this blog post doesn’t drive anyone into feelings of condemnation. I pray instead that this blog post drives all of us into a convicting understanding of how we can better submit to Jesus as Lord in all aspects of our lives.

There is hope. Gospel hope. Hope in Christ.

Zephaniah chapter three shows us the hope.

On that day you shall not be put to shame because of the deeds by which you have rebelled against me; for then I will remove from your midst your proudly exultant ones, and you shall no longer be haughty in my holy mountain. But I will leave in your midst a people humble and lowly. They shall seek refuge in the name of the Lord. – Zephaniah 3:11-12

The book of Zephaniah is filled with the promise that if we humble ourselves before God, He will show mercy.

Jesus Christ paid the penalty for all of our sins, even the sin of not submitting to Jesus as Lord. So if you’re struggling with submitting all of your life to God, know that God is waiting with open arms to receive you and cleanse you of your pride (the worship of idols is ultimately a pride issue because we create gods that submit to us).

In the coming year, allow Jesus to be the Lord of all in your life.

He is worthy of your worship.

In His Name,

Nate Roach

I appreciate any and all feedback and you can follow my blog via the menu.