I have written some heavy posts lately, so this evening I had planned to keep it light and fun. However, a good friend, Ondrea Harrison, left a comment for me today on the blog post from Saturday, December 26th, and has asked me to respond. So, if you were hoping for light and fun, blame Ondrea! (Love you, sistah!)
First of all, I want to openly confess that I in no way claim to be an expert on spiritual matters. I do enjoy digging deep into scripture and into history, and I also love reading heavy duty authors like Arthur Pink, A.W. Tozer, C.S. Lewis, and Oswald Chambers. Each of these men lived incredible lives of humility that I cannot begin to comprehend. It is said that A.W. Tozer actually wrote one of his books prostrate on the floor to keep himself in submission to the authority of the Lord. Can you imagine???
That being said, I also want to say I am also not a "works" believer. I believe whole-heartedly that I am saved ONLY because Jesus died for me and rose again. I cannot earn my way to heaven any more than I can grow purple hair. It is an impossibility.
The blog post in question is about the necessity of our accepting Jesus as both Savior and Lord. A package deal. It is often preached that Jesus is Savior....no strings attached. My point was this is not scriptural; scripture, instead, teaches faith and works go hand in hand. We could sit around and banter back and forth with scripture for days, and we could single out many passages that would seem to indicate one can be saved by simple belief in God and the saving grace of Jesus. However, if the Word of God is taken as a whole, my argument is that the reader who has not been tainted by "religiosity" would read the Bible and come away with an entirely different message than: "Hey, say a prayer and you're in! " The Bible says demons believe in Jesus and "tremble".....they certainly aren't saved. So, there must be more than intellectual assent, right?
Case in point:
I have a friend who is a believer and married an unbeliever. She prayed for years that her husband would seek the Lord, but he resisted because of the hypocrisy in the lives of proclaiming "Christians". Finally, one day, he relented to his wife's urging and asked her to give him her Bible to read. This man sat down and read the Bible cover to cover. He had never gone to church to be taught what the Bible says; in fact, he had never had a theological discussion of any kind in his life. On the morning he finished reading the Bible through, he looked to his wife (over coffee) and said: "If this is what you truly believe, then we should be living our lives alot different. We should downsize our home and give more to the poor, we should help orphans and widows, and we should be loving the people who live around us alot more."
My friend, who had been going to church since her time in the womb, was astonished by his response. Astonished and incredibly convicted. Post Script: This man accepted the Lord and their lives did change.
Years ago, when Lydia was only five, I took her to the skating rink with her Kindergarten class.
I put on my skates and went on the floor with her. After a few times around the rink, she noticed there were many moms watching their children from the wall that encompassed the rink. I seemed to be the only mom actually skating (overprotective--ha!).
Delicately, so as to not hurt my feelings, Lydia asked: Mommy, why don't you go to the mommy wall with all of the other mommys?"
I had no idea what she was talking about, because I had been so entrenched with her. I was THRILLED to be spending such great time with her. She pointed to the wall, and I quickly got the message. Lydia wanted to be treated like the other children----she wanted to be a big girl. After making sure she was going to be alright, and being assured by her five or six times, I skated off to join the mommy wall.
Within minutes, the skating rink changed the music to something very loud and harsh, they turned off all the regular lights and turned on shooting laser lights. I knew Lydia would be afraid, so I immediately took off back onto the rink. When I found Lydia, she was standing in the center of the rink with her head down and her hands over her face screaming "Mommy". I put my arms around her and again took her around the rink with me.
When the lights were "normal" again, I let her go off by herself and took my place on the mommy wall with the other moms once again. However, I noticed this time Lydia routinely looked toward me to make sure I was in my spot at all times. Each time she glanced my way, I would smile and wave to her to give assurance.
I was everything to Lydia that evening at the Brentwood Skate Center. I was both Savior and Lord, if you will entertain the idea. I took her to the rink, I helped her with her skates, I showed her how to skate, and even left her when she wanted me to leave her alone. Then, when she found herself in need and turned to me, I saved her. Funny, but I was already on the way to the rink before she even called out to me or realized she needed me. Then, I stayed close by to look after her and reassure her the rest of the evening. When the evening came to a close, I gathered her up, took off her skates, rubbed her little feet, and took her home.
THIS is a picture of our relationship with our Lord. He brings us into the world and teaches us all about Himself. Stubborn control-freaks that we can often be, we shove Him aside and think our way is better than His. Crisis comes and we quickly see our need for a Savior. He sees ahead and comes to our rescue before the words "Help me" come forth from our lips. He wraps us in His arms and teaches us again.....and this time around, we learn that HIS WAYS are much better than ours. When we are ready to take on more responsibility with our lives, He gives us a bit of space. But this time, we keep our eyes on Him, bowing to His authority in our lives. Finally, we have come to a place where we realize our absolute need for Him......we need His Ways....He has been our Savior, but has become our Lord too!!! It was our decision to allow Him to be both Savior and Lord. Finally, when our time on earth is finished, He gathers us to Himself, removes our worn out bodies, rubs our souls tenderly and takes us home. Beautiful, isn't it?
"Blessed is the man that walketh not in the counsel of the ungodly, nor standeth in the way of sinners, nor sitteth in the seat of the scornful. But his delight is in the law of the Lord; and in His law doth he meditate day and night. And he shall be like a tree planted by the rivers of water, that bringeth forth his fruit in season; his leaf also shall not wither; and whatsoever he doeth shall prosper." Psalm 1:1-3