Is God Your Landlord or Just a Tenant?
A few years ago my wife and I decided to give up our home and move into an apartment. After all, the kids were grown and we just didn't need all the responsibilities that come with homeownership. And I tell you the change has been a blessing. No more collecting rent, yard work, cutting grass, cleaning drains, worrying about pests and rodents, squirrels and bandits. I never realized how consumed I was with keeping the house together until I gave it up. Apartment living is not for everyone, but it certainly fits our lifestyle.
But the irony is that we still enjoy many of the same benefits, but they are just not my responsibility anymore. For instance, I still have a beautifully manicured lawn; it's just not done by me. I still have wonderful plants and flowers. They are just selected and planted by someone else.
But there are trade-offs. When I was the landlord, I could pretty much do whatever I wanted with the property; but now that I'm a tenant; I find that in many instances I have to ask first! The landlord has the final say. Who ever is listed as owner is in control of the property. So that got me thinking. Who is in control of me? Is Jesus a tenant or is he landlord of my life?
The Apostle Paul in his epistle to the saints of Colosse unveiled an outstanding mystery regarding the place of prominence and position of authority the Lord Jesus Christ ought to have in our lives. He opens this first chapter with the reminder of his own sacrifice as a prisoner for the sake of the Gospel. But instead of complaining or asking for the saints to pray that he be released, he proclaims his joy in being considered worthy to suffer for righteousness sake.
He seems to almost enjoy his position of suffering like a badge of honor. But his disposition was not simply a demonstration of humility or hyperbole, his expression of contentment even in the midst of incarceration came from his deep understanding of what he maintains is a mystery saved for the Gentile nations...Christ in you the hope of glory.
Please understand this extraordinary expression ushered a totally new doctrine into the community of Christians at Colosse and ought to be life changing for all of us that come to understand it as well. The concept of spiritual possession by the Spirit of God was unimaginable. The thought that the God of this universe has reserved space in unclean earthen vessels is still an amazing concept. But that is the fundamental message of hope for the people of God. Not only is the Risen Christ is our hope and our salvation, but he resides in each of us. We, the believers have been transformed into the sanctuary of the Most High and dwelling place of the Holy Spirit. Jesus lives in us.
Jesus is unlike any other religious figure in the history of mankind. While all the followers of Muhammad agree he is dead and we know the date Gandhi died; the followers of Jesus have come to the realization that Jesus lives. He not only lives as a thought or philosophy. He not only lives as a principle or emotion. But Jesus actually, literally lives; and he lives inside each of us that love him. And because he has taken residence in imperfect, flawed, sinful and vile creatures like us, his Spirit ought to rule; not ours.
Dear Children of God, Paul's mystery (Christ in us) evokes a very interesting question. Is Jesus Landlord or simply a tenant in our lives? Do you carry him with you or does he direct your footsteps? Do you make independent decisions and consult with him after you've made up your mind, or do you inquire of him first? I believe Jesus blesses what he possesses. So, have you turned over the deed to your life and love to Jesus? He is a landlord not a tenant.