I remember a few years ago I overheard my preschool son tell his sister, my elementary aged daughter, “You are not the boss of me.” There was another time, this time, I was an employee. The woman who was my supervisor preferred the staff, those of us who were her employees – NOT call her the “boss.” She had become our supervisor, not by applying for the job or by promotion, but by default. Since no one else was qualified to take her position, she was in charge of us – her employees. And she did not like being the boss. She thought by not allowing us to call her ‘the boss’ or the ‘one in charge,’ she would relate to us as peers rather than an authority figure.
We all have something or someone who is ‘the boss of us.’ We may not want to admit it but each of us has a master to whom we bow in submission.
For others, another person, a stronghold or habit might be their ruler. For years, I allowed nicotine, alcohol and other addictive substances to be my boss. These things determined the course of my life for many years. Others might allow food, spending, exercise, video games or any number of other things to trap them. God wants us to let Him be our ‘boss.’
“Have it Your Way” or “Be Your Own Boss” are bits of advice recommended by our culture to guarantee happiness. In reality, these stand-alone arrogances are guaranteed to satisfy. In advertising, self-sufficiency and independence are used as synonyms for happiness. This is deception. And is not at all how God designed us to live. As believers, we must let God be our ‘boss.’ Dependence on God is not a sign of weakness. The only way to maximize our potential and enjoy our lives to their fullest extent is to live in harmony with our Creator. This happens when we are totally satisfied in our relationship with Him. “Delight yourself in the Lord and he will give you the desires of your heart.” Psalm 37:4
Dependence on God is not a sign of weakness
Essentially, submitting to God means we recognize God is the supreme master over all authorities, and we belong to Him. We can trust this sovereign Lord, described as Adonai, to direct our lives and guide our actions. The title, Adonai is translated Master, Lord, or Sovereign. To abide in the living God, Adonai, we must say yes to His lordship over our lives. We can trust His kind direction and abide in His peace as He guides our decisions.
Have you ever second-guessed a decision you’ve made? Of course, all of us have. Maybe you have thought it was the right thing to do at the time, but later on, when things didn’t work out as you had planned, you wanted to go back. I’ve done the same thing many times. This morning was one of those times. My mind was full of confusion and worry. These things clouded my thinking and my praise like a swarm of angry gnats trying to land in my hair. As is common when gnats swarm us, we beat the air over our heads in defense. Yet, the gnats remained. I had tried to use logic and reason to rid myself of confusion and worry. It didn’t work. In my time alone with God today, He reminded me, “Sheryl, release the decisions swirling in your anxious mind. I am your master.” Although I was unsettled, Adonai was asking me to submit to Him as my boss. He wanted me to trust his ultimate authority. When I chose to let go and trust God as my Adonai, to release the results to my Lord and Master, the swarm dissolved and was replaced with a sense of peace.
In addition to the illustration of who is our boss, another way to think about the concept of God as our master has to do with His role in our lives as a landlord. If you’ve ever rented a house, you remember what it was like to live by the landlord’s (the master’s) rules. You took good care of your rental, you asked permission before you painted the walls, and the landlord made the repairs. That’s the way it is when we submit our “temple,” our body, to Adonai.
Essentially, because of Jesus’ obedience on the cross, you and I have been “bought with a price.” “Do you not know that your bodies are a temple of the Holy Spirit, who is in you, whom you have received from God? You are not your own; you were bought at a price. Therefore, honor God with your bodies.” 1 Corinthians 6:19, 20. We are not our own. God is a gracious landlord, who has given us boundaries for living. When we follow the Master’s rules and stay within His boundaries, we walk in His will and abide in His peace. Exalt and praise Adonai, our Sovereign Master, worthy of the highest honor and our total obedience.
Without allowing God to be our Adonai, and not inviting Him to inhabit the center of our lives, it’s hard to find joy in trying circumstances. Joy is not dependent on the absence of trials. It is contingent on the One whom we trust. We must believe God has our best interests in mind. We can show Him we trust Him when we submit to His plans. One way to show God you are wholeheartedly relying on Him is to pray continually. I Thess. 5:16-17 says, “Be joyful always, pray continually.” When we pray without ceasing, we invite His presence into every area of our lives. With His presence, besides peace and love, there is abundant joy. He promises never to leave or forsake us. Keep your mind on His word, letting it transform your mind.
Let’s pray this prayer of commitment from Psalm 119:10-12 “With my whole heart I have sought You, oh, let me not wander from Your commandments! Your word I have hidden in my heart, that I might not sin against you. Blessed are you, O Lord! Teach me your statutes.” Thank you, Adonai; you are a trustworthy and loving Boss who only has my best in mind. Thank you for the opportunity to humbly bow in submission to you today. In Jesus’ name, Amen.”