I had the privilege to go to a week long summer Bible camp the summer I was 13 years old. I spent the week reading the Bible and getting rewards for memorizing scripture which I used to buy Kit Kat bars and peanut M&M’s. It was also ultimately the place where I accepted Jesus as my Savior.
I remember the female counselor for our cabin pulling each girl out individually one night after it was lights out. She was asking each girl in the privacy of her cozy lamplit quarters where she stood with Jesus. It is a question we will all have to make a decision about one way or another. The question was what are you going to do about Jesus?
I shared with her that I believed. I had wanted to walk forward at my church in Tennessee when the alter call was made more times than I could begin to count. The fear of walking up the aisle in front of all of those people had immobilized me. I could never muster up the courage.
So, there I sat that night on the counselor’s bed in an old football jersey my dad had given to me and said the prayer to accept Jesus and the forgiveness that He offered me. He became my Savior that night.
“that if you confess with your mouth the Lord Jesus and believe in your heart that God has raised Him from the dead, you will be saved.”
Romans 10:9, ESV
There is something about being in the woods, away from civilization, which has the ability to recenter you to what is really important. I left that camp different and changed, but came back home to find my friends were still the same. My once burning passion for Jesus slowly faded away to a day to day monotony. I did not lose my belief, but I did lose my passion.
Jesus was my Savior, and I had what I like to call my fire insurance. However, I walked away and did what I wanted to do in my high school and college life. I lived in my flesh. It wasn’t until my husband went on a six month deployment with the Navy that I began to seek God again. I went to work alone, and I came home alone. The house was way too quiet, and I was searching for something to fill the void of Carl’s absence.
It was during this time that I picked up my Bible, and I began to read. I devoured it in a way I had never done before. God was there with me and for me. When I felt all alone, He was there.
“What good is it for someone to gain the whole world,
yet forfeit their soul?” Mark 8:36, NIV
I was at church one Sunday during this time. I don’t remember what the pastor was preaching on, but I do remember being plowed over by a thought which was surprising, strong and not my own. Call it what you will whether that be the Holy Spirit spoke to me, God impressed it upon me or conviction. The statement came strong and true. It was, “You’re a hypocrite. You can’t have it both ways.” I will never forget those words.
The words shook me to my core. I knew I had to choose. I had to choose whether my flesh was going to be the Lord of my life or if Jesus was going to be. As you could probably assume, I chose Jesus and never looked back.
Now, Jesus is not only my Savior, but He is also my Lord. He is my Lord and Savior. Savior means “a person who saves, rescues or delivers”.1 Lord means “a person who has authority, control or power over others; a master, chief, or ruler”.2
Many people believe in Christ and have what I call fire insurance, but have not bowed their flesh enough to say, “Your will be done in my life no matter what.” Everyone will have to decide what they will do with Jesus.
Where do you stand today? Do you believe in Jesus as your Savior, but have never really allowed Him to have total control of your life on a daily basis? Jim Elliott says, “He is no fool who gives what he cannot keep to gain what he cannot lose.”3 Nevertheless, we will all choose what Jesus is to us. He is either our Savior, Lord, both or neither.
“And he said to all, “If anyone would come after me, let him deny himself and take up his cross daily and follow me.” Luke 9:23, ESV
Interested in another blog about salvation? Read In The End.