Jesus As Savior Vs. Lord
Somehow tonight, I ended up on a website watching Kathy Ireland, the drop-dead gorgeous model share her faith story. Something she said struck me. “I can’t remember when I didn't believe in Jesus, but I didn't know Him. And I didn't know that I didn't know Him.”
That was new. It was true of me for 20 years. I didn't know that I didn't know Him.
Growing up in the south in the 1950’s, everyone was Christian, right? We all went to church, got sprinkled or dunked. Had church weddings.
But ‘walking with God’, ‘knowing Jesus personally’, ‘having Christ living in and through me’…these were just church words nobody my age understood. And older people couldn't explain them either. They’d always refer you to the preacher who used church words to explain church words. It was over my head.
Jesus as “Savior”…I’m down with that. That was a ‘no brainer’. It pleased my parents when I ‘prayed the prayer’ and was baptized. I wasn't lying…I believed John 3:16. And why wouldn't I? Believe in Jesus and avoid going to hell? That’s a great deal. If it’s true, I go to heaven when I die. If it’s not true in the end, what the hey…it cost me nothing.
But knowing Jesus personally? Putting Him in charge of my life? Making Him “Lord”?
That’s a different deal.
I’ve had guys look at me like I’m nuts as I try to explain what all this means. Like Kathy Ireland, they believe, but they ‘don’t know they don’t know Him.’ And they don’t know what ‘making Him Lord’ looks like either.
Here—I’ve tried to paint a word picture of life when Jesus is “Lord”. Here it goes:
1. You know He’s right there with you, so you talk to Him constantly, mostly thanking Him for loving you, for saving you, for adopting you into His family.
2. You ask Him for help and guidance constantly. “Lord, what are you teaching me here?” “Speak Lord, your servant is listening?” “Jesus, what would you have me do?” It’s pray-listen-act. Not every time, but when you forget and leave Him out, you wish you hadn't. Because you realize you've gone out on your own. And you might have missed something special He had for you.
3. You see His blessings in your life, most often in your wife & kids, but in all kinds of other things too. From deals that happen to good parking places…and you thank Him for those blessings constantly.
4. You experience life in “three’s” not “two’s”...it’s not you and this traffic jam...it’s you, God, and this traffic jam. You’re asking “Lord, thanks for protecting me. I know you slowed me down here. What are you teaching me? Is there something you want to say to me?” And very often He does.
5. You have an unshakable peace inside that says everything is going to be alright, no matter what the circumstances.
6. When you see beauty in nature, you immediately think of Him and give Him credit for the awe of what you’re experiencing.
7. You can sense the presence of evil. When you’re somewhere you shouldn't be, or being confronted by something or someone who is leading you away from God, you feel a twinge in your spirit.
8. When you haven’t had a focused time of prayer in a while, you begin to miss the time and being with Him.
9. You carry songs of praise in your head and they become your “default” thought. You find yourself singing them silently in your head. Uttered or not, they’re quiet, subconscious praises for God.
10. You have a whole different connection to the Bible. You read it and it makes sense to you. Things you read come back to your mind at the weirdest times. And if you skip reading your Bible for a while, you always come back. You miss it. You won’t do without God’s Word for long.
11. God is “magnetic north” in your life. You’re drawn to things of God, to ministry, to church, to the Bible, to prayer, to being with other Christians, and to somehow making a difference for His Kingdom.
12. You have a soft heart for the poor and the hurting. Your heart breaks for the ‘least of these’, whether you act on it or not. When Jesus is Lord, your heart breaks for what His heart breaks for.
As you've read these words, maybe you've realized you might have a distance to travel from ‘Jesus your Savior’ to ‘Jesus your Lord’. Call the person you know best who’s got this kind of relationship with God. Tell him/her you want it too and ask for their help.
Question: Is Jesus your ‘Savior’? Or is He ‘Lord’?