Having Jesus Christ as your Savior reminds you of your position. There is a discernable loss of reverence in these last days. There is a rapidly eroding fear of God. Because Christ is my Savior, means I remember where He found me. The Apostle Paul had accomplished much through God yet he always referred to himself as the least of the apostles because he once persecuted the church. Paul never forgot that the very first thing Jesus did was SAVE him.
The second reality that needs to be the foundation of our relationship with Christ is that He must be our Lord. Well that sounds easy enough but the reality is that people often do not consider the difference between Lord and Savior. We tend to casually throw the terms around. While certainly it is crucial that Jesus be the Savior of your life it is equally important that He be Lord. The dictionary defines Lord as someone who has authority and control over someone -- a master. Now think about this very carefully. Because modern theologies confuse the issue. If God is merely my friend then He serves me in the role of advisor. If He is Lord of my life however, then I serve Him as my Master. Those are considerable differences!
Do we grant Jesus control over our lives? Does He have authority in our lives? If He says something do we take it under advisement or obey? You may be thinking about audible voices from God but remember the Bible is God speaking to us. When we willfully choose to disobey what is written in God's Word, then we are willfully saying "no" to Him. Now because He is our Savior and none can pluck us out of the Father's hand our salvation remains secure. Christ died for all of my sins, even the ones I have yet to commit. THAT is amazing grace! But grace does not cover the principle of sowing and reaping:
Do not be deceived: God cannot be mocked. A man reaps what he sows. Whoever sows to please their flesh, from the flesh will reap destruction; whoever sows to please the Spirit, from the Spirit will reap eternal life. -- Galatians 6: 7-8 (NIV)
Think of it this way. As Savior, Jesus Christ has taken care of our eternal problem. As Lord -- He takes care of our temporal problems. The sad truth is there are many Christians who do not know Him as either and think they are saved because they play church. Only a relationship with Jesus will work beloved. Equally sad is that there are plenty of Christians who are indeed saved but who have not made Christ the Lord of their lives. They are still bound, cannot overcome strongholds, and constantly lose their spiritual warfare battles to the enemy. The Bible says that in all things God is working for our good, so if we would just learn to place Him in the proper Lordship role, we are assured that in the end everything is working for our good. But too often we want what we want and we try to fit Christ into our plans. Jesus will not be an afterthought in our lives.
Look at the incredulity in the words of Jesus in our key verses! Why do you keep calling me Lord Lord when you don't do what I say? He could be asking a great many of us today the same thing. I know He can be asking me. The Apostle Paul once lamented that he finds himself doing what he knows he shouldn't be doing. Look, we are all human and the flesh is what the flesh is. This is not about perfection but about becoming sensitive to the Holy Spirit inside of us so that we can hear the still small voice of Jesus when He is trying to correct us. He does not correct us because He is mean. He corrects us because He knows what is best for us. If we were to be honest with ourselves we would have to admit that we simply do not like being subservient. We like to be the one making the decisions in our lives. We routinely take the pen out of the hand of God and try to write our own part in His story and where does that usually end up? What does Proverbs teach us?
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. Do not be wise in your own eyes; fear the Lord and shun evil. This will bring health to your body and nourishment to your bones. -- Proverbs 3: 5-8 (NIV)
Look at the delineation God is making here. Trusting in the Lord is diametrically opposed to leaning upon our own understanding. When we try to figure it all out beloved we are not trusting God, period. He is not Lord at that point. Far too often we are wise in our own eyes. We think we can dance with devil not realizing that he always leads. The part here I like the most however is -- fear the Lord. The last of the missing doctrines in the modern day church; instead we see the warm and fuzzy God on display every Sunday. I saw a testimony from a popular national worship leader who said that Jesus visited her and took her up to the throne room of God, where God showed her how much He enjoys when she worships Him. It was actually far more bizarre and worse than that but suffice to say I was appalled at the complete lack of reverence. In the Bible we see Isaiah saying "woe is me, I am a man of unclean lips" when he is confronted by God. The Apostle John, who walked with Jesus for three years, still fell down as if he were dead when Christ was revealed to him in Revelation. The majority of the times people saw angels in the Bible they fell down in reverent awe yet this person describes her encounter with God the Father and Jesus, in the throne room, like she was hanging out having a latte with them!
What are you saying preacher? Am I supposed to be afraid of the all loving God? Yes, that is what the Bible says. In fact, the very beginning of wisdom starts with fearing God according to the Bible. Now, I am not suggesting we walk around cowering from hurled lightning bolts. But I am always deathly afraid of forgetting who God is. That is the real fear. I do not want to ever forget that He is my Savior. That He picked me up out of the filth that my life was. That He washed me with His Word and cleansed me with His blood. That He set my feet on solid ground again and made the paths before me straight. I also do not want to ever forget that He is my Lord, sovereign over my life. I do not ever want to forget what happens when I take the wheel in my life. Thank God there are guardrails (or Godrails?) because I would drive myself straight off a cliff it was up to me! That is what scares me beloved. I have a reverent fear because as much as God loves me I know He does not have to. That He created the entire universe by speaking and yet He is concerned about me? Dear Lord, how do you not approach God with reverent awe and fear!
These two things are the foundation for our relationship with Jesus Christ. He needs to be our Savior because our sins are consigning us to hell without Him. He needs to be our Lord because without Him we simply do not know the way. Only God sees all time. Only God knows what would happen if you moved out of state. Only God knows what would happen if you took that new job or promotion. He needs to be sovereign in our life. Why do we insist on calling Him Lord if we do not do what He says? What a powerful question for us all today. Because the key verses continue to point out that without the right foundation, we are building in vain. We cannot just be hearers of the Word. We cannot just pay lip service to who Christ is supposed to be in our lives and then expect to walk in the power God has for our lives.
The foundation for our relationship must be that Jesus Christ is our Savior. Any other road leads only to hell. The foundation must also be that Jesus Christ is our Lord. Anything less than that means we are in control and if that doesn't give us the fear of the Lord, I am not sure what will.