For many who acknowledge Jesus, the term ‘Jesus is Lord’ is their ticket to heaven. After all the Bible says,
If you declare with your mouth, ‘Jesus is Lord,’ and believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead, you will be saved. (Romans 10:9NIV)
Yet the declaration “Jesus is Lord” is about the whole of life. It is not some cheap password to get us ‘saved’.
In the same way, salvation is as much about the here and now as heaven. Life constantly presents me with opportunities to look to Jesus for salvation. Life situations challenge my independence when I realise I can’t do it; I need Jesus. They beg the question: Do I trust him? They challenges my belief: Did God raise Jesus from the dead? If he did, then this crisis I am going through is trivial in comparison. ‘Jesus is Lord’ is not a get out of jail free card to be brought out when I die, it is a recurring theme of life.
‘Jesus is Lord’ is also a place of surrender. I know I can’t ask for help unless I submit to Jesus. What is the point of trying to deceive the one who sees deep into my soul. So the recognition that ‘Jesus is Lord’ is an act of repentance. It is through this alignment of my heart coupled with believing he has the power and will to rescue me that I am saved. Saved in crises now, saved from eternal hell after death.
What are the knock on effects from God rescuing us? Psalm 116 shows God’s rescue begins a process for developing trust in God. The Psalmist begins with the anguish that overcame him and the joy when the Lord heard and saved him. What follows?
Be at rest once more, O my soul, for the Lord has been good to you. v7
When anxiety comes he chooses to settle his heart to be at peace as he reflects on how the Lord has shown goodness.
… that I may walk before the Lord …. I believed; therefore I said, “I am greatly afflicted.” And in my dismay I said, “All men are liars.” v8-11
Life looks out of control but he chooses to walk with God. This needs faith that God is greater than what is seen brings courage to acknowledge how challenging his reality is.
How can I repay the Lord for all his goodness to me? I will lift up the cup of salvation and call on the name of the Lord. v12
How does his life honour the Lord who took a risk with him? Letting go of the false security he clings to, he chooses God’s cup (often representing suffering) of salvation.
Precious in the sight of the Lord is the death of his saints. … you have freed me from my chains. v15-16
This cup can look like death, and yet beyond such death is freedom! When we have faced death with God, we are free to do what is right.
My life is shake proof after I let go of the shakable. I find out what is shakable when circumstances threaten and I seek God for His peace.
“My soul finds rest in God alone, my salvation comes from Him. He alone is my rock and my salvation, he is my fortress, I shall never be shaken.” (Ps 62:1-2 NIV)
I hold many things for security, and am unaware that I am doing so, yet It is only when the Lord alone is my rock, that I shall never be shaken. However, if I am unaware of what I put my security in, how am I supposed to look to God alone as my rock and salvation?
The answer lies in verse 1. Troubles and difficulties come my way. These troubles generate anxiety since they threaten both what is precious, and the things I look to for security. This anxiety becomes my friend for it exposes what is ultimately shakeable. My soul finds rest when I surrender what has been exposed by God, seeing it as a false source of salvation. I surrender by giving thanks, and giving Him permission to take it.
When I surrender what God had given, recognising that it is his to give or take away, then the Lord is able to use it for His glory. He may take it away as a drink offering poured out for no apparent purpose. He may return it so that others may be blessed through it now that it is His.