DTI Lessons

3-5 Lordship Principles

This lesson will help to reinforce and provide further understanding of my decision to acknowledge His lordship over my life, and recognize Christ as my Master.

God has a great and beautiful plan for my entire life. Am I willing to yield my personal rights to Him and give Him permission to orchestrate my life to His perfect ends?



1) I belong to God because He created me. (Doesn’t the Creator have absolute authority over His creation?)

Deuteronomy 10:14 The heavens… belong to the Lord your God, as does the earth and everything in it.

Psalm 100:3 He made us, and we are His—His people…

Jeremiah 10:23 …a man’s way of life is not his own; no one who walks determines his own steps.

Romans 14:7-8  For none of us lives to himself, and no one dies to himself. If we live, we live for the Lord; and if we die, we die for the Lord. Therefore, whether we live or die, we belong to the Lord.


2)  God says that as a Christian I have been bought (redeemed) from slavery to sin by the blood of His Son.

That purchase has given Him legal ownership of my entire life.

His ownership of me is an absolute fact that does not depend on my acknowledgment or acceptance of it.

1 Corinthians 6:19-20 Don’t you know that your body is a sanctuary of the Holy Spirit who is in you, whom you have from God? You are not your own, for you were bought at a price. Therefore glorify God in your body.

2 Corinthians 5:15 And He died for all so that those who live should no longer live for themselves, but for the One who died for them and was raised.

I Peter 1:18-19 For you know that you were redeemed from your empty way of life inherited from the fathers, not with perishable things like silver or gold, but with the precious blood of Christ, like that of a lamb without defect or blemish.


3)  Salvation:  Before I became a Christian, I was enslaved by my human nature (inherited from Adam).

I always resisted God and was not able to please Him. That same human nature still resides in me as a Christian. It is not the least bit improved. God did not repair my rebellious human nature, but rather He gave me a new divine nature in the Person of the Holy Spirit. 

As I stay focused on my relationship with Him, he enables me to overcome the pull of my rebellious human nature.  

Mattnew 7:17-18  In the same way, every good tree produces good fruit, but a bad tree produces bad fruit. A good tree can’t produce bad fruit; neither can a bad tree produce good fruit.

Galatians 3:1-3 You foolish Galatians! Who has hypnotized you, before whose eyes Jesus Christ was vividly portrayed as crucified? I only want to learn this from you: Did you receive the Spirit by the works of the law or by hearing with faith? Are you so foolish? After beginning with the Spirit, are you now going to be made complete by the flesh?

Galatians 5:17  For the flesh desires what is against the Spirit, and the Spirit desires what is against the flesh; these are opposed to each other, so that you don’t do what you want.

4) Salvation also speaks of a foundation, Jesus Christ, upon which my construction of my life will take place. 



Lordship - The quality and duration of that construction depend on whom I choose as the architect and contractor. When I give the Lord permission, allowing Him to manage my life, He will build a beautiful eternal house of gold, silver and precious stones on that foundation. That house will survive The Tribunal of Christ.

However, if I am unwilling to let Him manage the construction, I will be building a temporary house of wood, hay and straw which will only last for the duration of my life here on earth, and will become ashes at The Tribunal of Christ.

Daily Walk in Fellowship (Abiding)

My building materials” that are available to the Holy Spirit fall into three categories:

  1. My time
  2. My energy
  3. My possessions” (both tangible and intangible possessions.)

The Lord has given me free will, which means that I have the privilege of moment by moment allowing Him to use thoseresources that He has granted me.

But I am also free at any moment to deny Him use of any or all of those resources (building materials), during which time I will be using those same resources to build myself a temporary structure for this life here on earth.

The Lord will not force me to let Him use my resources, even though He always has my best interest at heart.

1 Corinthians 3:10-15 According to God’s grace that was given to me, I have laid a foundation as a skilled master builder, and another builds on it.


But each one must be careful how he builds on it. For no one can lay any other foundation than what has been laid down. That foundation is Jesus Christ.

If anyone builds on that foundation with goldsilvercostly stoneswoodhay, or straw, each one’s work will become obvious, for the day will disclose it, because it will be revealed by fire; the fire will test the quality of each one’s work.

If anyone’s work that he has built survives, he will receive a reward. If anyone’s work is burned up, it will be lostbut he will be saved; yet it will be like an escape through fire.

Psalm 127:1 Unless the Lord builds a house, its builders labor over it in vain;…

Ecclesiastes 3:14 I know that all God does will last forever;…



5) I should accept a role as a “disciple” (apprentice learner), allowing the Holy Spirit “access” to every area of my being.

From infancy I began to accumulate ideas and concepts about life, my worldview. When I became a Christian that worldview did not disappear, but rather has remained in my mind much like written material on a whiteboard. 

Some of those ideas and concepts are in harmony with God, others are not. Only the Holy Spirit knows what needs to be changed in my thinking. That is why I need to give the Holy Spirit “access” to my “mental whiteboard”, my mind and be open to whatever changes He determines best. Yielding up that authority to Him speaks of “Lordship,” after which the process of the renewing of my mind will allow me to increasingly view life from His perspective.

Caution: If I intentionally (or through ignorance) am unwilling to acknowledge His authority over my mind (understanding) I will very likely adopt a perceived list of “Do’s” and “Don’ts”. That list would typically include what seems to be acceptable Christian behavior, based on the average spiritual expectations as modeled by older Christians I interact with.

The danger is that fellowship with the Holy Spirit will be severely threatened when He speaks to me about areas of my thinking or behavior that are outside these arbitrary parameters. The result is often a recurring cycle of disobedience, frustration, repentance and brokenness. This will continue until my will is surrendered.

Romans 12:2  Do not be conformed to this age, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind, so that you may discern what is the good, pleasing, and perfect will of God.

Luke 6:40  A disciple is not above his teacher, but everyone who is fully trained will be like his teacher.


6) The title “Lord” implies a Master – servant relationship.

Matthew 22:37-38 He said to him, “Love the Lord your God with all your heart, with all your soul, and with all your mind. This is the greatest and most important command.”

John 13:13 (Jesus said) “You call Me Teacher and Lord. This is well said, for I am.”

Luke 6:46 (Jesus said) “Why do you call Me ‘Lord, Lord,’ and don’t do the things I say?”

John 14:21,23 (Jesus said) “The one who has My commands and keeps them is the one who loves Me…” Jesus answered, “If anyone loves Me, he will keep My word.”

Note: Older Christians who have not yet acknowledged His Lordship tend to be threatened by the Master-servant relationship, imagining that it borders on “bondage.” That is, indeed, the lie the enemy wants us to believe. As a Christian should understand that the God-ordained Master-servant relationship is intended to be liberating.


7) He is my Master, and I should view myself as His servant (slave).

Matthew 10:24-25 (Jesus said) “A disciple is not above his teacher, or a slave above his master. It is enough for a disciple to become like his teacher and a slave like his master…”

Matthew 20:26-28 (Jesus said) “… whoever wants to become great among you must be your servant, and whoever wants to be first among you must be your slave; just as the Son of Man did not come to be served, but to serve, and to give His life—a ransom for many.”

Romans 1:1 Paul, a slave of Christ Jesus…

NOTE on Romans 1:1: Paul identified himself first as a servant of Christ Jesus. “Servant” (doulos) means slave, a person owned by another. Paul wore this title gladly (Galatians 1:10; Titus 1:1), reveling in the Old Testament picture of a slave who in love binds himself to his master for life .

Exodus 21:2-6 When you buy a Hebrew slave, he is to serve for six years; then in the seventh he is to leave as a free man without paying anything...  But if the slave declares: ‘I love my master, my wife, and my children; I do not want to leave as a free man,’  his master is to bring him to the judges and then bring him to the door or doorpost. His master must pierce his ear with an awl, and he will serve his master for life.

Walvoord, John F., and Zuck, Roy B., The Bible Knowledge Commentary, (Wheaton, Illinois: Scripture Press Publications, Inc.) 1983, 1985.)

Galatians 1:10 ... If I were still trying to please people, I would not be a slave of Christ.

Titus 1:1 Paul, a slave of God and an apostle of Jesus Christ...

1 Corinthians 7:22-23 Likewise he who is called as a free man is Christ’s slave. You were bought at a price;…

Philippians 2:5-8 Make your own attitude that of Christ Jesus, who, existing in the form of God, did not consider equality with God as something to be used for His own advantage. Instead He emptied Himself by assuming the form of a slave, taking on the likeness of men. And when He had come as a man in His external form, He humbled Himself by becoming obedient to the point of death even to death on a cross.

2 Timothy 2:4 No one serving as a soldier gets entangled in the concerns of civilian life; he seeks to please the recruiter.

1 Peter 2:16 As God’s slaves, live as free people, but don’t use your freedom as a way to conceal evil.


8)  God expects those things I value to be yielded to His Lordship.

Matthew 10:37-39 (Jesus said) “The person who loves father or mother more than Me is not worthy of Me; the person who loves son or daughter more than Me is not worthy of Me. And whoever doesn’t take up his cross and follow Me is not worthy of Me. Anyone finding his life will lose it, and anyone losing his life because of Me will find it.”

Matthew 19:29-30 (Jesus said) “And everyone who has left houses, brothers or sisters, father or mother, children, or fields because of My name will receive 100 times more and will inherit eternal life. But many who are first will be last, and the last first.”

Luke 5:10-11 … James and John, …Simon ... Then they brought the boats to land, left everything, and followed Him.

Luke 5:27-28  After this, Jesus went out and saw a tax collector named Levi sitting at the tax office, and He said to him, “Follow Me!” So, leaving everything behind, he got up and began to follow Him.


9) Jesus appeals to me to accept His yoke, (an EVENT where I relinquish my perceived right to live and make decisions independently), followed by learning from Him (a process of learning to walk daily in harmony with Him). 

Matthew 11:28-30  “Come to Me, all of you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest. All of you, take up My yoke and learn from Me, because I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for yourselves. For My yoke is easy and My burden is light.”

“Beware of refusing to go to the funeral of your own independence.”

(Taken from My Utmost for His Highest by Oswald Chambers – Dec 9. (c) l935 by Dodd Mead & Co., renewed (c) 1963 by the Oswald Chambers Pub. Assn., Ltd., and is used by permission of Discovery House Pub., Box 3566, Grand Rapids MI 4950l. All rights reserved.)


10) God wants me to offer my body to Him.

Romans 6:13,18-19 … For just as you offered the parts of yourselves as slaves to moral impurity, and to greater and greater lawlessness, so now offer them as slaves to righteousness, which results in sanctification.

Romans 11:33-36, 12:1-2 …For from Him and through Him and to Him are all things.… Therefore, brothers, by the mercies of God, I urge you to present your bodies as a living sacrifice, holy and pleasing to God; this is your spiritual worship. Do not be conformed to this age, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind, so that you may discern what is the good, pleasing, and perfect will of God.


11) God has to be more important than my very life.

Luke 14:26-33 (Jesus said)  “If anyone comes to Me and does not hate his own father and mother, wife and children, brothers and sisters—yes, and even his own life—he cannot be My disciple. Whoever does not bear his own cross and come after Me cannot be My disciple. For which of you, wanting to build a tower, doesn’t first sit down and calculate the cost to see if he has enough to complete it? Otherwise, after he has laid the foundation and cannot finish it, all the onlookers will begin to make fun of him, saying, ‘This man started to build and wasn’t able to finish. “Or what king, going to war against another king, will not first sit down and decide if he is able with 10,000 to oppose the one who comes against him with 20,000? If not, while the other is still far off, he sends a delegation and asks for terms of peace. In the same way, therefore, every one of you who does not say good-bye to all his possessions cannot be My disciple.”

NOTE on Luke 14:26-33 The stress here is on the priority of love.

Matthew 10:37 The person who loves father or mother more than Me is not worthy of Me; the person who loves son or daughter more than Me is not worthy of Me.

(Walvoord, John F., and Zuck, Roy B., The Bible Knowledge Commentary, (Wheaton, Illinois: Scripture Press Publications, Inc.) 1983, 1985.)

Luke 9:23-24 Then He said to them all, “If anyone wants to come with Me, he must deny himself, take up his cross daily, and follow Me. For whoever wants to save his life will lose it, but whoever loses his life because of Me will save it.”

John 12:24-26 (Jesus said) “I assure you: Unless a grain of wheat falls to the ground and dies, it remains by itself. But if it dies, it produces a large crop. The one who loves his life will lose it, and the one who hates his life in this world will keep it for eternal life. If anyone serves Me, he must follow Me. Where I am, there My servant also will be;…”

Acts 20:24 “(Paul) But I count my life of no value to myself, so that I may finish my course and the ministry I received from the Lord Jesus, to testify to the gospel of God’s grace.”

Acts 21:13 …Then Paul replied, “… For I am ready not only to be bound but also to die in Jerusalem for the name of the Lord Jesus.”

Revelations 12:11 They conquered him by the blood of the Lamb and by the word of their testimony, for they did not love their lives in the face of death.


If God loves me, can only do what is in my best interest, and never makes mistakes, what would be a logical reason for not embracing Him as Master?

When it’s clearly explained, I will view Lordship as “good news,” as evidence of God’s love for me.

Unfortunately, many older believers who have never had Lordship clearly explained to them, upon hearing it, tend to perceive it as “bad news,” equating it to “bondage.”


12. Illustrations and terminology that describe Lordship

a) Relinquishing my independence - as in a wedding ceremony (Marriage "Covenant")

Marriage consists of an event (a wedding ceremony), followed by a daily ongoing process. The wedding ceremony represents a relinquishment of my right to make independent decisions in favor of being joined (yoked) with another. The marriage process is designed to be a growing relationship, learning to live and walk in harmony with a spouse. This process represents the manner in which I learn to live and walk in harmony with the Holy Spirit.

Ephesians 5:32 This mystery is profound, but I am talking about Christ and the church.

b) Entering His rest (as pictured in the Old Testament Israelites)

At the burning bush, God laid out to Moses His original purpose for the Israelites.

Exodus 3:7-8 Then the Lord said, “I have observed the misery of My people in Egypt,… I have come down to rescue them from the power of the Egyptians and to bring them from that land to a good and spacious land, a land flowing with milk and honey,…

1st group was unwilling to accept God’s plan. 

Numbers 13:1-2; 23-33  The Lord spoke to Moses:  Send men to scout out the land of Canaan I am giving to the Israelites. Send one man who is a leader among them from each of their ancestral tribes.”  When they came to the Valley of Eshcol, they cut down a branch with a single cluster of grapes, which was carried on a pole by two men. They also took some pomegranates and figs...At the end of 40 days they returned from scouting out the land. Then Caleb quieted the people in the presence of Moses and said, “We must go up and take possession of the land because we can certainly conquer it!”

 Numbers 14:1-11  Then the whole community broke into loud cries, and the people wept that night.  All the Israelites complained about Moses and Aaron,and the whole community told them, “If only we had died in the land of Egypt, or if only we had died in this wilderness!  Why is the Lord bringing us into this land to die by the sword? Our wives and little children will become plunder. Wouldn’t it be better for us to go back to Egypt?” So they said to one another, “Let’s appoint a leader and go back to Egypt.” The Lord said to Moses, “How long will these people despise Me? How long will they not trust in Me despite all the signs I have performed among them?    

2nd group was willing to entrust themelves into  God’s care. 

Joshua 21:44-45 The Lord gave them rest on every side according to all He had sworn to their fathers. None of their enemies were able to stand against them, for the Lord handed over all their enemies to them.  None of the good promises the Lord had made to the house of Israel failed. Everything was fulfilled.

Joshua 23:14 I am now going the way of all the earth, and you know with all your heart and all your soul that none of the good promises the Lord your God made to you has failed. Everything was fulfilled for you; not one promise has failed.

Warning for me:

Romans 15:4 For whatever was written in the past was written for our instruction, so that we may have hope through endurance and through the encouragement from the Scriptures. 

Hebrews 4:9-11 Therefore, a Sabbath rest remains for God’s people.  For the person who has entered His rest has rested from his own works, just as God did from His.  Let us then make every effort to enter that rest, so that no one will fall into the same pattern of disobedience



c) A wild mustang

A wild mustang could be used to depict Lordship - The goal is to end up with an animal that is available, trained and useful to its owner (Master).

But first the mustang’s will (his resistance to another’s authority) must be broken. Upon acceptance of another’s authority over it, the mustang is not yet considered to be the least bit trained, or useful.

However, it now has a mindset (disposition, attitude) that will allow it to begin the process of being trained (transformed), which will over time produce an animal that is useful to its owner. Until the will (mindset, disposition) is changed, the animal can never be trained.

Psalm 32:9 Do not be like a horse or mule, without understanding, that must be controlled with bit and bridle or else it will not come near you.


d) Car illustration

Imagine an auto which could represent my life. I am sitting in the driver’s seat, while Jesus sits in the passenger seat. Because God allows me to hold the steering wheel, I may erroneously conclude that God is simply seated at my side, ready to help whenever I determine I have a need.

Hence the bumper sticker, “God is my co-Pilot”. Even though I may acknowledge that Jesus is holding the “title” to the auto, there is a fear of relinquishing control of the steering wheel.

The Lord doesn’t want to be in my life as a co-Pilot, He wants to be the "Pilot" -- in charge and direct the course of my life.

Lordship” is really an issue of “control”, and it is sad that so many believers are unwilling to let God have control of the steering wheel, because they’re afraid of where He might take them.

If given control, God will always do what is in my best interest.

God wants me to learn to keep my hands on the steering wheel, while actively and voluntarily relying on the Lord to provide directions.


g) Illustration of Two Doors

What do I as a believer have to face when I look at the future?

Shortly after becoming a Christian, I come to a fork in the road where I see a door, through which I can visualize the future.

I see goals and material belongings that would seem to satisfy my needs and desires in this life, at least based on my previous experience. Those goals and material belongings don’t appear to be unacceptably evil. In fact I’ve seen many Christians seeking after the same things. Using my God-given skills and intellect, those things appear to be obtainable, especially now that I can count on God to assist me when needed.

It seems reasonable that if God delivered me from unhappiness when He saved me, my happiness would now be one of His priorities.

But wait, I see through another door. It is as though there is a sign beyond the entrance with a message from Jesus saying, “Come follow Me, I have a better plan prepared for you.” He seems to want me to trust Him alone to give me fulfillment and satisfaction in this life and beyond. He seems to be telling me that the things I’ve seen through the other door only give temporary satisfaction for this life, but what He has prepared for me has eternal value.

Since I can’t visualize anything He seems to be promising, how does He expect me to make a sensible evaluation?

Does He really expect me to just trust Him on blind faith? That doesn’t seem very reasonable since I’m just a new Christian and don’t have much faith yet. Maybe further along I’ll understand better, when I have more faith.



13) My life can be categorized into three areas.

There are three areas over which His Lordship needs to be considered; over my possessions; over my body; and over my understanding. Why three areas? Because a failure to yield to His authority over these three areas can keep me from going on to maturity in Christ to bear eternal fruit.

Luke 8:14 As for the seed that fell among thorns, these are the ones who, when they have heard, go on their way and are choked with worries, riches, and pleasures of life, and produce no mature fruit

Matthew 13:22  Now the one sown among the thorns—this is one who hears the word, but the worries of this age and the seduction of wealth choke the word, and it becomes unfruitful.


14) Is God totally good?

  • Can I totally count on God?
  • What does the Bible say about God’s character?
  • What does the evil one say about God’s character?
  • Just as a typical small child recognizes the authority of a parent, I easily understand that God ought to be in charge.
  • Is there a logical reason not to entrust myself totally to His authority?  At The Tribunal of Christ what excuse could I offer for not doing so?
  • If God has already given me what was most valuable to Him, how can I ever conclude that He would deny me that which is of so much less value?

Romams 8:32 He did not even spare His own Son but offered Him up for us all; how will He not also with Him grant us everything?

Many older believers tend to equate Lordship to “bondage,” while most new believers will equate Lordship to “freedom” (if it is clearly and correctly explained).


15) Our Daily Bread:   Surrender

In the early 1940s, the president of Dallas Seminary, Lewis Sperry Chafer, gave a very brief banquet speech. Introduced after a long program, he announced his subject:

"The Reasonableness of Fully Surrendering Our Lives To God."

Then, because of the lateness of the hour, he gave only the three points of his message.

Reason 1: God is all-wise and knows better than anyone else what is best for my life.

Reason 2: He is almighty and has the power to accomplish what is best for me.

Reason 3: God loves me more than anyone else does.

Chafer concluded, "Therefore the most logical thing I can do is surrender my life to God. What more can I say? What more need I say?"

The apostle Paul had the same conviction. He knew that prison and hardship awaited him in Jerusalem, but he also knew that God wanted him to go (Acts 20:22-23). Even his sorrowing friends wisely concluded, "The will of the Lord be done" (21:14). They knew that Paul was right.

No matter what happens, when we do God's will we're in the safest place in all the world. The Lord is all-wise, almighty, and all-loving. Doesn't it make sense to surrender your life to Him? –HVL

All to Jesus I surrender,
All to Him I freely give;
I will ever love and trust Him,
In His presence daily live. --Van de Venter

Surrender means victory when we surrender to God.

(October 24, 1998) Herbert Vander Lugt, Our Daily Bread, Copyright 1998 by RBC Ministries, Grand Rapids, MI.  Reprinted by permission.