Why Lordship is Required for True Christianity
When we relate to God as Adonai, the emphasis is on our need to submit ourselves to the Creator. Knowing God as Yahweh Yireh, the Lord our Provider, or Yahweh Shalom, the Lord our Peace, requires us to trust Him to provide for us or give us peace. The burden is on Him to meet our need. But when we call on God as Adonai, the responsibility shifts to us and our need to respond to Him in loving surrender and obedience.
Adonai is found more than four hundred times in the Hebrew Bible in reference to God. A form of Adonai—adon—is found about three hundred times, and in several of these cases, adon refers to the relationship between a servant and his master. So when we call on God as Adonai, it means we look to Him not only as the One who can bless us but also as our master. In the new covenant, we are called “servants of Christ” (1 Cor. 4:1). To know God as Adonai is to understand that He is the rightful owner of our lives and our responsibility is to do His will.
Moses understood this. When he called on God as Adonai, Moses took the posture of a servant:
Then Moses said to the LORD [Yahweh], “Please, Lord [Adonai], I have never been eloquent, neither recently nor in time past, nor since You have spoken to Your servant; for I am slow of speech and slow of tongue.” —EXODUS 4:10
Even though Moses felt unqualified to lead the Israelites out of slavery in Egypt, he understood that he was responsible to submit to what Adonai told him to do. Moses pleaded with the Lord to not make him speak, but in the end, he was obedient to the call God had given him. Just as it was with Moses, when we honor God as Adonai, we recognize that we belong to Him and have an obligation to submit to and obey Him.
In today’s Christian culture, many believers love experiencing God’s presence, but they aren’t willing to truly submit to Him as Adonai. They love how they feel as they’re worshipping God, but as soon as they leave the church building, they do whatever they want, and Adonai is pushed to the side. They think of God as a means to get what they want instead of making Him their Master and Lord. It’s as if they think He exists to serve them when in reality the opposite is true.
This is evident in the fact that many churches today preach the concept of love without the understanding of sin and repentance. To know that we sin and fall short of the glory of God means knowing that we must come to Christ fully, ready to surrender our life to follow Him.
Paul said, “You are not your own…for you have been bought with a price” (1 Cor. 6:19–20). We don’t belong to ourselves. Yeshua, the visible manifestation of the invisible Adonai, purchased us for Himself, not “with perishable things like silver or gold…but with precious blood, as of a lamb unblemished and spotless, the blood of Christ” (1 Pet. 1:18–19). We were bought with the shed blood of Yeshua and freed from the power of sin and death. And now, as Jude says, Yeshua is “our only Master and Lord” (Jude 4).
The Maker of the Universe wants us to relate to Him as Adonai. He wants to bring us to a place of submission because in that place of surrender and obedience He releases His peace and blessing into our lives.
Contrary to the way the gospel is often taught, there is more to following Yeshua than saying the sinner’s prayer. We must surrender our lives to Him. Jesus said, “Not everyone who says to Me, ‘Lord, Lord,’ will enter the kingdom of heaven, but he who does the will of My Father who is in heaven will enter” (Matt. 7:21). Elsewhere Yeshua said, “If anyone serves Me, he must follow Me” (John 12:26). There are Christians who think they are free to do whatever they please and refuse to be submissive and obedient to God. But Yeshua said, “If you love Me, you will keep My commandments” (John 14:15), meaning our obedience to Him actually reveals our love for Him. If Messiah Yeshua is truly our Adonai, we will respond to Him in obedience.
To read more from Rabbi Schneider’s To Know Him by Name, visit MyCharismaShop.com