Lord AND Savior
There are a number of references in the Word of God that speak of God being both our Savior and our Lord. Anytime I see something that frequently, I ask the Lord why. Why would that be so emphasized? I believe it is because of the vast differences in how human beings tend to see and relate to God.
So many people are only willing to see God as their Savior. Sometimes we begin in Christianity only as a means of fire insurance. We may be more than happy to accept a God who will save us from all the bad aspects of this life and the next. What thrills us less is the prospect of actually making Him Lord of our lives. We would much rather maintain our appearance of control. We think that we’d be just fine if we could just keep God in that “Savior box” and not let Him mess with the rest of our lives. We want Him to quietly repaint our home, not repair the cracking foundation!”
Others of us have gotten stuck in the thinking of God only as a Lord, a Master (the alternate translation of the word translated, “Lord”). Often because of our upbringing in a religious or harsh setting, we only see God as a big meanie Who wants to spoil our fun and keep us from enjoying life too much. We have no problem seeing God as our Lord, the problem here is that we don’t see His loving benevolent side that desires to save us and have a loving relationship with us.
When the Israelites came out of Egypt they had been enslaved for some 430 years. They were completely engrained with the life of slavery. Their mindsets could not comprehend the concept of a loving Father-God Who, as the Word says, “lifted them up and carried them”(Isaiah 63:9). All that they were able to do was see God as their new slave master. They murmured and whined and threatened, instead of simply asking and thanking and receiving. They were stuck in their thinking and it caused them to live out their lives in the wilderness. They understood the concept of Lord, but the concept of Savior was beyond them.
Conversely, before the fall of Judah to the Babylonians in 586 BC, the Israelites had made a profession out of convincing themselves that, because they had the Temple of God within their territory, they were safe and nothing could harm them no matter how many idols they worshipped or how much they rejected God’s Law. They knew God as Savior, but they rejected His Lordship. They refused to submit themselves to Him. They wanted all of the benefits without any of the commitment. They discovered the hard way that God means business and you can’t call Him Savior and treat Him with contempt. Eventually, if you insist on living your own life, God will let you have your way. (Scary thought!)
In my life it hasn’t always been this cut and dry – either seeing God all one way or the other. There were times when I was young that I thought I could do a better job at running my life than God could. When I insisted on control, He gave it to me. Things quickly fall apart when you put something as fragile and unwieldy as life into the hands of a fool (and that’s what I was, for I rejected God’s rule). Was I still saved? Was God still my Savior? Absolutely! But He was not my Lord.
There were other times when I pictured Him as angry, overbearing and punishing. I forgot His kindness, mercy and tenderness and imagined Him to be unforgiving. We need to praise God as Lord and still “forget not all His benefits” (Psalm 103:2). Praise Him for His abundant grace and unconditional love! It’s His love for me that causes Him to want to tell me how my life will work best and how I can be most fulfilled and happy.
God desires to be both your Savior and your Lord. He died to save and restore you to relationship with Him and He knows that as you relinquish control of your life to Him, you will find the life you always wanted, but doubted was possible. He’s just that wonderful!
“Grow in the grace and knowledge of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ.” 2 Peter 3:18