When I was in high school, Avalon was a popular Christian singing group (they may still be). I loved one of their songs called Adonai. I knew that Adonia meant "Lord," but I don't think I really understood what that meant/means for me. Even now that I do know what it means, my actions don't always show that. When we accept the gift of God's forgiveness, we give our lives to Him! Yes, the give He offers is free and holds no catches, but when we reach out and take that gift, we are/should be filled with such gratitude and love for Him, that we want to do whatever He commands. We surrender our all to Him. This makes Him Lord (Adonai) of our lives.
When He becomes our Lord "to live is Christ and to die is gain" (Philippians 1:21). HOwever, just calling Him Lord, doesn't make Him Adonai. Jesus said in Luke "Why do you call Me, 'Lord, LOrd,' and do not do what I say?" (6:46) and again in Matthew "Now everyone who says to Me, 'Lord, Lord,' will enter the kingdom of heaven; but he who does the will of my Father who is in heaven. Many will say to Me on that day, 'Lord, Lord, did we not prophesy in Your name, and in Your name cast out demons, and in Your name perform many miracles?' And then I will declare to them, 'I never knew you; depart from Me, you who practice lawlessness'" (7:21-23). You see, Adonai indicates a relationship; it indicates God's possession of me, His child and MY submission to Him as my Master. Does this mean that I will never mess up, never do what I want instead of what He wants? By no means! But that is what I should strive for. My actions everyday are to be directed to His will.
The first time Adonai is used is in Genesis 15:2, before El Shaddai was used. You see, before God can be our All Sufficient One, He must be Lord. "Only a servant can be totally dependent upon his master to meet all of his needs (Kay Arthur)." With slavery being common at that time, Abraham surely understood this. When He called God "Adonai" he was acknowledging God's lordship over his life. This took faith on Abraham's part. It is no different with us...acknowledging God as Lord of your life takes faith, great faith! But remember, He is All Sufficient and provides what we need...trust Him to provide you with the faith to surrender to Him (I have to do this DAILY!) and give Him lordship in Your life.
There is more to learn about Adonai. Next will be some words straight from God's letter to us telling us what responsibilities and benefits we have when He is Adonai, Lord, in our lives!