I am having a lot of revelation this week over Christ's Lordship in my life. Instead of giving everything to Him, I push Him off the throne of my heart and take over myself. I have a lot of thoughts swirling around, and so I'll try to type this clearly and not confuse anyone.
For those who believe in Christ, we say that we have faith in Him. We believe what we have not actually seen with our own two eyes: that Christ died on a cross and took the punishment I deserve for all the bad things I do upon Himself, so that I might have eternal life. So, faith equals belief at the very minimum. Though, most would say that it takes more than just an knowledge of what Jesus did, that there is something more. Even the demons believe, yet are not saved. I can proclaim to have faith in Jesus, but is it a saving faith? We need a saving faith. What is the difference? One is in our head, the other in our heart.
If I have a saving faith, there should be evidence of that in my life. There are verses about what we do being the evidence of our faith. And really, it makes sense. If I believe something, the evidence is what I do about it. I can say "I believe it will be very cold tonight." Where is the evidence of that belief? The proof is that I go out and wrap my exposed faucet and seal up the windows from the drafty air. The statement has now moved from just knowledge, into my heart and I have done something about it.
I have always thought that the verses about faith without works being dead meant that if I have faith, I should be doing something as proof of it. And, that is partially right. However, I have thought that the ONLY proof would be in my outward service, or my outward behaviors. I have believed serving, or doing works and deeds, is proof of my faith. What I have realized, is that my view on what that verse means has been limited. What I do can be evidence of my belief, but it is not the ONLY evidence of my belief.
When I make a statement that I believe in what Jesus did for me, there should be some tangible proof that that belief is there. Not just that I KNOW what Jesus did, but that I believe it too. Here's where it goes deeper with me: I have always thought that the evidence of that belief in my life was that I went to church, that I served, that I did things for other people, that I was a good person etc. But, all that is evidence of is a head belief at best. It can be easy for those of us raised in Christian homes to learn how to behave. Plus I am sure we all know people who do good things for others but it doesn't mean that they have a belief in Jesus. Many people are "good" and it is not proof of any belief except that they should do good things to others.
There must be more! The deal is that if Jesus REALLY did what the Bible says He did, then I don't just need an understanding/knowledge/belief of that in my mind, I also need faith of that in my heart. It is not enough that I believe with my head in what Christ did, but it MUST also translate into my heart. The evidence? It won't always be service to others, there are inward proofs of that as well: Jesus must actually run my heart! The proof of that might not be outwardly evident to everyone around me, but it must be evident between Jesus and myself. My faith must go beyond rote obedience, and become as much about what transpires inside of me as it does outside of me. I must let Jesus rule my inward life as much as my outward life.
For many of us there is a block between knowing what we should be doing in our heads and believing what needs to be happening in our hearts. The block is that I have a hard time understanding just how much I NEED Jesus to do what He did for me. I must have an understading of just how badly I will mess up my life if I am left to do it on my own. I have never really felt like I was that bad of a person. I have never felt like I needed to be saved or rescued. I have had moments of desperationg but I think people who become radically converted for Christ have a deep understanding that they are totally lost without Jesus, that they really CAN'T make it without Him. Knowledge must go from my head to my heart and I must start to believe I need Jesus to rule in my my heart, not just in my deeds. The proof that I believe that is that I let Him do it!!
That is where I get stuck. I am a very capable, privileged, smart, responsible, and "good" person. I have a hard time seeing where I really, truly am in need of Jesus. It is easy to keep Him strictly in my head. Yes, I need Him to have done what He did so I won't go to Hell, but that's just a head belief. A heart belief also cries out to Jesus to come and take over my life fully
The proof that I don't have that kind of faith in my heart, that kind of belief in my need for Him is that I am the one in charge of my own life. Really. If I think about it, most of the time I live with no one but myself sitting on the throne in my heart. I don't think I can fully use enough words to convey just how much I run my own life. I think about how little evidence there is that I have heart faith in Jesus in my day to day life. It scares me at how easy it is for me to take over. Oh, I have moments where I run to Him, but overall, I would have to say that Jesus never knows me. I have done all of these deeds in His name, yet I am missing the biggest deed of all: submission. Can he really know me if I never let Him? That is where the good works of life really mean nothing. There has to be a greater submission. Jesus has to be Lord of EVERYTHING in me, or He is really Lord over nothing in me.
Another proof of Jesus being Lord, the evidence of that, is that I begin to become a new person, I begin to be transformed, I begin to think and feel more like Jesus. When I start to see that I am not OK and I let Jesus reign and I let Him take over, I begin to be more like Him. Not only in what I DO for Him, but also in what He does FOR ME! If I really believe, if I really have faith, if I really trust, then I allow Jesus territory in my whole life....not just part of it.
My heart's cry this week has been that I would see my need in a way I have not seen it before. I have never been without, and I have always been relatively "good" and so it will take the Holy Spirit to show me that I am in need of Jesus' death just as much as the murderer. In fact, I need a deeper understanding that my heart really is no different from that person's heart.....they just followed through with the wickedness and hatred. And, I struggle with that truth. I don't want to believe I am that bad, I don't want to believe that I can't make it, I don't want to believe that my "goodness" is not enough, I don't want to believe that I am needy, I don't want to in my heart-of-hearts make Jesus truly Lord and Savior of my WHOLE life. Murderers and theives will see Jesus before me if they truly make Jesus lord. Unbelief separates me from God.
Oh Lord, show me my need!