8/22/16 The Tarrying Bench
“Jesus is Lord! That is an unbreakable, immovable law, established in the heavenlies forever. It is a pivotal truth that is counted on by all the systems I have established. Nothing moves anywhere without relying upon that promise and the implementation of that established fact.
"In your world, the word “Lord” has been diluted to the extent that few really understand its meaning. It has almost become a phrase used flippantly within My church, casting aside the immense power associated within its meaning. One simple demonstration. I ask you to say out loud that “Jesus is Lord” when you first come to Me. All heaven is poised to welcome you—someone who is completely transformed from one who is unable to come near Me because of your fallen nature into the perfect character of Jesus—the moment you say the words from your heart. Think of it. Your eternal well being is dependent upon the power of the truth of His Lordship and is implemented simply by saying heartfelt words.
"That is only the beginning. The truth of His Lordship implements order and establishes truth for everything that exists. Allow Me to reveal the Lordship of Jesus into every fiber of your being. Allow Me to show you the fullness of that truth. Allow Me to bring you into a working knowledge of the impact that such wisdom has. You will enter into the realm of heavenly truth that is greater than you have ever imagined as you move in it. You will see who you really are, and the immeasurable wealth of really knowing the wonder of Who you are following.”
Romans 10:9-10 NIV
9) That if you confess with your mouth, “Jesus is Lord,” and believe in your heart that God raised Him from the dead, you will be saved.
10) For it is with your heart that you believe and are justified, and it is with your mouth that you confess and are saved.
I tremble as I attempt to comment upon the truth of the Lordship of Jesus Christ. I’m sure that I have not begun to understand the depth of this topic. I can, however, pass on to you my first hand knowledge of what I’m sure is an infinitesimal portion of its immeasurable wealth and power. (Please don’t flood me with personal doctrinal issues. That is not the point of this demonstration.)
Over the many years that I have been in ministry, I have been called upon to give counsel to many hurting Christians. In the beginning of this journey, I would find myself addressing the myriad of problems presented, a direction that seemed logical and proper. I found out, however, that few lasting changes occurred—no matter how much I talked, used scripture, and prayed. There may have been temporary changes because the Word was implemented, but lasting changes eluded me over and over again.
In one of these sessions with someone, who had been a Christian for many years but had little or no fruit to show for it, the Lord prompted me to ask the question, “Is Jesus your Lord?” The question seemed ridiculous at the time, as this person traveled to almost every church service, stood in every prayer line, and attended almost every available Bible study. She even took offense when I asked. Her response, however, made me dig deeper. She said, almost defiantly, “I’ve been following Him for many years.”
I didn’t understand the importance of that question until the Holy Spirit had me begin to pray for her. In subsequent meetings, He had me reveal the truth of the meaning of Lordship to her through the Word, and the need for her to submit to the Lordship of Jesus in her life. One eventful day, as the Holy Spirit graciously moved on her, she tearfully surrendered, and made Jesus Lord over every fiber of her being. From that moment on, she was completely changed. Her problems faded, and her life became an example of the testimony of the wonderful work of the cross and its power. She eventually became a spiritual leader, full of the hope in the Word and a demonstration of the fullness of the life available to all believers.
Over the years, I have seen this same demonstration countless times. Our enemy has had the church, in general, invite people to “altar calls” that allow them to be forgiven for their sins. People delightfully respond to these calls to be forgiven, but never address the issue of Lordship. The idea of forgiveness is incredibly inviting, but the issue of full submission—making another the Lord over your life—takes a depth of commitment that few new believers are made aware of.
When the emotional high of being forgiven wears off, the “saved” person usually flounders around the perimeter of some church until they fall through the cracks, confused and hurting. A worse scenario is when they meld into a cold, dead, religious environment, making little eternal difference, and helping to reproduce their frozen spiritual lives in their “converts.”
In days past, a “tarrying” bench was placed in front of some churches. When the conviction of the Holy Spirit came upon people, they moved to that bench to deal with the issue of Lordship once and for all. Sometimes it would take hours or even days, but when the individuals moved from that place of commitment, they understood that they had given every aspect of their lives to the One Who is Lord. They were no longer their own. From the single moment of full submission, it showed through them to everyone that crossed their paths.
You are my Lord, Lord,