I find it exceedingly easy to accept Christ as my savior. I don’t know about you, but my shortcomings are obvious to me. And, honestly, I would prefer that. I find that the most hurtful things I do are the things I don’t notice myself doing, so I’m grateful when I’m not too deluded to see areas of my life that show my need for a savior. So admitting that I’m not perfect, that I’m sinful, that I have a debt that I simply cannot pay — that’s undeniable. The trouble comes when I’m all too ready to accept Christ as my savior, and not nearly as excited to accept Christ as my Lord. Ultimate Help is easier to accept than Ultimate Authority. But for those of us in Christ Jesus, while we live in complete freedom, we also submit to the fact that we have been “bought with a price” (1 Corinthians 6:20).
The thought of submitting to Christ as our Lord isn’t always attractive, because we like to think of ourselves as in control. I fool myself into believing that what I know is better than what God knows, that I can produce a life for myself that is better than the one God is laying before me, that I could find things and people that would satisfy my heart more than he could. If we are honest with ourselves, I think that kind of pride is the source of most of our hurt and most of our longing. The trouble comes because we believe that we aren’t submitting to anything when we take matters into our own hands.
But I believe that we were created to worship. And, since that desire lies in the depths of our hearts, we will always worship something. Think of all the ways we spend our time, thoughts and money. Whether we admit it or not, where we invest our lives is what we’ve placed on the throne. The things of this world don’t always make evil gods, but they will always make broken gods. So we find ourselves worshiping what is broken and wondering why we still feel empty — and maybe even blaming God a little bit for that emptiness. In those moments, what we don’t see is the mountain of things — or even just the one thing — we’ve placed in front of him.
In all of those attempts, in all that digging and searching, I have found that without Jesus, there is an insurmountable void, and all the things in the world shudder in comparison to it. Without Jesus, we have nothing of value. So, while we’re confessing our need for a savior, we would do well to confess our need for a Lord. One who will not disappoint. One who might feel distant at times, but will always prove to draw near to those who draw near to him. One who is good and faithful. He is Savior, and he is King.