This is a concept I’ve been coming to grips with lately.

It’s one of those Christian catch phrases that has easily fallen from my lips many times without facing much scrutiny.

Why am I only coming to fully understand what this means now?

Well, it’s taken me long enough to fully realise what it means to call Jesus my Saviour.

When I was baptised at the end of February this year, I told how 2007 was a year in which God convicted me of my sinful behaviour and nature. I came to see that I could not save myself.

In this way, calling Jesus my Saviour is an admission of my own inadequacy to deal with my sins and position before God.

So how is this different from calling him Lord? And why is it important that he is both?

Giving Jesus the role of Lord over my life means that I can’t just do things my own way anymore.

I can’t disobey God and continually come back seeking forgiveness (well, I can….but that’s not letting Jesus be Lord). Calling him Lord means submitting my will to his. It means choosing to do what I know pleases God, not myself. It means saying “no” to the things I know are wrong.

On one level, this is a lot harder than calling Jesus Saviour. When he is Saviour, I can admit I’m inadequate, and stop there. But when he’s Lord, I actually have to live the way he says.

And on another level, it is so liberating.

I don’t have to be destroyed by the weight of every moral choice – I can choose to do God’s will. I must choose to do God’s will.

This doesn’t negate the fact that I still make choices, in fact, it makes my choices all the more important.

Christ’s Lordship means that I’m not just living for little old me anymore. It means that my desires are not primarily what matters.

I find it so freeing, when faced with a tough choice, to be able to defer to God’s will.

Even so, this is still something I haven’t got down pat. It’s a daily struggle to submit myself to God’s will and Christ’s Lordship. But it’s a joy when I do.

But in your hearts set apart Christ as Lord.

1 Peter 3:15a