Imagine hiring someone to manage all of your affairs—scheduling, money, day-to-day decisions, etc.—and then constantly pushing that person out of the way in order to manage things yourself. Pointless, right? Yet that’s something like what we do very often in our relationship with God.
We don’t hire God to manage our affairs, of course; he’s not our employee. But we do hand everything over to him in faith, and he promises to guide us, lead us, provide for us, protect us, and govern our lives well. That’s why we call him “Lord.” We acknowledge his right of being Lord over us. But then we take pieces of our lives back, attempting to manage them ourselves and mistrusting the completeness of his love and authority. In other words, we call him Lord without always submitting to him as Lord.
Jesus pointed out that absurdity to some of his followers (Luke 6:46), urging them to take his words to heart and base their lives on them. He promised lasting stability for those who do. While many people expect God to smooth out their lives for them—and get offended when he doesn’t—Jesus asks us to invest our lives in him and trust him with the outcomes. That requires more than claiming faith; it requires actually living by it. But in light of character of the Lord we claim, it’s the only sensible—and satisfying—way to live.