Why was it that at the beginning there were such virile converts, marked from the outset by such a large measure of Christ? Why was it that then things happened on such a large and effective scale within the compass of a few days? Why was it that the churches grew and the Lord added unto them those who were being saved? Why could it be that in one day three thousand, and soon after as many again, were added? Why, in the course of one man’s lifetime, could the greater part of the then known world be evangelized and churches be established everywhere, and that upon a large measure of spiritual light and life? Why?
If you think about it, I am quite sure that you will be convinced that the answer is to be found in the testimony, the declaration born out of something which had happened and that testimony was to the Lordship of Jesus Christ. They proclaimed Him as Lord. “He is Lord of all.” The Lordship of Jesus Christ is the secret of fullness, and we never really move into the fullness of Christ until He is Lord.
I suppose almost any Christian, any really born-again child of God, would be willing to subscribe to the objective fact and say, “Jesus Christ is Lord”! But why, then, this state of things? Either what I am saying is entirely untrue, and the Lordship of Christ does not lead to His fullness, or else it means something more than objective truth; and I think the latter is the case. The real trouble is that in so many of His own He is not Lord. He may be Saviour, but He is not Lord. The Lordship of Christ means in us a very deep and very drastic work. It means the overthrowing of every other lordship.
But the other lordships may not be in the form of outward things. The other lordships may be in our own wills. Just that strong-mindedness of ours may be the thing which occupies the throne in the place of Christ. The Lord Jesus is kept out of His place as Lord in us because of the very strength of our own natures, our desires, our affections, our likes and our dislikes, and all that realm of our human feelings. There may be that in our make-up which is thwarting and frustrating His Lordship and in so doing is just keeping us out of His fullness.