Sunday, April 30, 2017

Master and Lord

Trust in the Lord with all your heart
    and lean not on your own understanding;
 in all your ways submit to him,
    and he will make your paths straight. Proverbs 3:5,6

In years past, one of my favorite things to do was cuddle up with my husband and watch the joys and travails of Downton Abbey.   Over the years, we learned about the lives of Lord and Lady Grantham and were entertained by the blunt talk of the Dowager Countess.   At the same time, we followed the lives of their staff, like, the scullery maid, Daisy, the valet Bates and Mr. Carson, the butler. 

Lord Grantham was responsible for all of the people and land surrounding Downton Abbey.  It was a responsibility that he took seriously but often the phrase, “Lord of the Manor” doesn’t connote care and concern but means someone who bosses everyone else around with no concern for anyone else.  

In the Bible, both LORD and Lord are names used by God and by his people to describe their relationship. The Name of God יְהֹוָה  is used over 6,500 times in the Bible. It is translated in all caps as LORD. It not pronounced by devout Jews even to this day.  To refer to the LORD in speech, the word used was Adonay אֲדֹנָי which means Lord and Master. It is used 435 times in the Old Testament, often when the writer or speaker was addressing the Lord in prayer.  The root word in "Adonay" is "Adon" which simply means "Lord or Master", just as Lord Grantham was lord and master of Downton Abbey and its inhabitants. 

God is Lord and Master of His creation including you and me.   As much as I understand this to be true, I have to admit that I struggled with the concept of accepting God as my Master.  Here’s how I described that struggle in my book Embracing Change, “One of the most important times in my spiritual life was when I made the choice to accept God as LORD of my life. At a young age, I believed in God but it took me till I was 17 to acknowledge God as my Lord. For most of my teen years, I had an attitude toward God that basically said, “You’re not the boss of me.” However, my ability (actually inability) to manage my life always left me wanting more. I was never satisfied or complete. At 17, I decided to trust God and let him be LORD of my life- that I would do things His way and seek first His kingdom and righteousness. It was transformational.”

I learned at 17 that I needed to accept God as my Lord and Master but until I read this quote in The Path of Blessing by Marcia Prager that my new friend Barbara gave me I didn’t understand why acknowledging God’s Lordship as Master was so important. She explains the meaning of the root word of Adonay is Adon.   “It is true on the most pedestrian level adon is translated "mister" or "master".... when we hear "master," our  conditioned response is to think master/slave or master/servant.  ...Translating Adon as master can invite us to look more deeply into the experience of mastery. If we move beyond the master/ servant, motif we encounter mastery in another sense, that of a master craftsman, one who has perfected an art or a skill."

Something clicked as I read this.  I realized we would all love for a Master Chef to cook our dinners, a Master Stylist to cut our hair, a Master Electrician to run the wires in our new house. It is just better. Sometimes I have compromised and have used the Junior Stylist at a salon or have even done some electrical wiring on my own.  My hair wasn’t cut straight and my electrical work failed the first inspection.  The Master’s expertise simply makes everything better whether it is a steak dinner or haircut. At age 17, inviting God to be my Lord and Master enabled me to tap into the expertise of the one who created every part of this world, who knows the past present and future, who understands every cell in my body and every galaxy in the universe. Connecting to the Master enables us to “Trust in the Lord with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding; in all your ways submit to him, and he will make your paths straight." Proverbs 3:5-6

If you have not prayed and asked God to be LORD of your life, take a minute to pray and invite Him to be the Master. If He is the LORD of your life- write down a prayer of praise and thanks for His mastery, dominion and power. 

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