When it comes to the internal struggles of man, "the heart is deceitful above all things and beyond cure. Who can understand it?" (Jeremiah 17:9) No wonder man resists the Lordship of Christ in his life. And here are 7 ways he does it:
1. Pursuing life goals while ignoring Christ's goals.
Jesus is Lord whether your life goals revolve around Him or not. Having said that, you would be wise to commit your life goals toward the purpose of bringing glory to the One who truly is Lord over all. Christ is the Creator, along with the Father and the Holy Spirit. And Christ is man's only Redeemer.
You can ignore Jesus, or you can bow down before Him and accept Him as your personal King and Savior. But whatever you do, it won't change His nature, His purposes, or His eternal victory. Man is good at ignoring Jesus. God is good at bringing man to faith in Christ.
Would you rather live and die being controlled by your own human tendencies, or being filled with God's Spirit and wisdom? Those who meet Christ through faith suddenly begin to live for Him.
2. Feeding sin rather than feeding faith.
The sinful nature within man is hungry to be fed. But the more you feed it, the hungrier it gets. In other words, you can never fully satisfy the desires which sin produces in us. On the other hand, you can feed faith. And not just any faith, but a New Testament faith. It is a confident trust in the Person and work of Jesus Christ. His love, His death, His resurrection, and His power.
Rely upon Christ and watch your faith take off. Or feed your sinful desires and remain constantly hungry for more sin. Calling Jesus your Savior is one thing. Following Him as your Lord is just as critical. While your works don't save your soul, your works are something that supernaturally flow from a life that is connected to the Father through faith in the Son.
3. Living with an undisciplined mind.
Christian discipleship always involves discipline. And one area that is critical for Christians is their thought life. Without discipline in this area, there can be no lasting spiritual power or holy fruit. God is the author of those good things, but man is prone to get in the way of what God is working to produce in us. When we allow our thinking to become polluted, we interrupt the work of God in our heart and life. He doesn't leave us, but it does offend Him. And when the Holy Spirit is offended within a believer, He pulls back a bit and withdraws His holy influence in our soul.
This leads right into the next way in which man resists Christ's Lordship.
4. Refusing to yield to the Holy Spirit.
The Holy Spirit works to lead unbelievers to repent and believe in Jesus, and He works inside believers enabling us to love God and love others. A big way we demonstrate our love for God is by obeying Him. When we refuse to obey God, we are refusing to yield to the Holy Spirit. And it is an insult to the Lordship of Christ.
After all, what right do we have to call the shots? What right do we have to do things our way? You and I didn't create the world. You and I didn't die for the sins of man. And you and I will not be the Judge on Judgment Day. So what makes us think that it is OK to refuse to yield to the Holy Spirit?
Simply put, our refusal to yield to the Spirit of God is a huge indicator of our natural rebellion against the Lordship of Christ.
5. Assuming my spiritual perceptions are always correct.
Most of us tend to think our spiritual perceptions are correct, even if those perceptions do not square with the biblical teaching of salvation by grace through faith in Christ. "How could I be wrong in my religious views? It must be others who are wrong." Actually, the only way to see things correctly in the spiritual realm is through the enlightenment of the Holy Spirit.
When man repents of His sin and trusts Christ alone as Savior, he is suddenly infused with a deep measure of spiritual insight. This transformation enables man to accept Christ's Lordship in his life. Otherwise, man remains lost in his sin and in his own faulty perceptions. "There is a way that seems right to a man, but in the end it leads to death." (Proverbs 14:12)
6. Using my body as though it belongs to me.
Yielding my body to the Lord's glory and purposes is at least as challenging as yielding my heart and my mind to Him. It is far easier to allow my body to dominate my decisions. In my heart, I make decisions about the use of my body. And in my heart, I can choose to surrender my body to God's will.
Scripture instructs believers "to offer your bodies as living sacrifices, holy and pleasing to God - which is your spiritual worship." (Romans 12:2) The way I use my body says a lot about who is Lord of my life.
7. Refusing to repent and believe the good news.
"From morning till evening Paul explained and declared to them the kingdom of God and tried to convince them about Jesus from the Law of Moses and from the Prophets. Some were convinced by what he said, but others would not believe." (Acts 28:23,24)
It wasn't that they "couldn't" believe the good news. It was that they "wouldn't" believe it. They refused to repent, in spite of the fact that "God commands all people everywhere to repent." (Acts 17:30) The best example of man resisting the Lordship of Christ in his life is his refusal to repent and believe the good news.
Once man repents of his sin and trusts in Jesus for salvation, he begins to see things from God's perspective. But not until after his spiritual conversion takes place. This is why Christ clearly proclaimed, "You must be born again." (John 3:7)
Jesus is both Savior and Lord. And He will be both of those in your life, or neither. So will you surrender your heart to Christ today, and believe that He died on the cross to save you?