Salvation for bad asses
The Lord is my strength and my might;
he has become my salvation.
Psalm 118:14 NRSV
In movies there’s a trope where a character – usually a bad ass – comes face-to-face with a luckless Christian who proceeds to ask them, “Have you accepted Jesus Christ as your Lord and Saviour?” That’s the question we usually answer right at the start of our faith journey, the “yes” to God’s prompting, whatever form that prompting takes – accepting Jesus as our Lord and Saviour. But here’s a question I think we ask far less than we should: “Has Jesus become our salvation?”
If you’ve been doing the Christian “thing” for a while, you know that there is a big difference between where you started out from and where you are now. That progress isn’t predictable or always logical or linear, and comes with more than a few backslides; do not pass “Go”, do not collect $200. But there’s been change. Would that be the case if salvation were purely a static thing?
It wouldn’t. Being absolved from your sins and redeemed by the blood of the Lamb is a once-off. That’s a done deal. That’s what we typically think of when we say “salvation”. But salvation is also the continual process of parting from our lives, surrendering onto God, and that’s day-to-day, moment-to-moment. God becomes our salvation every moment we realise that we cannot be saved by anyone or anything but him.
Psalm 118 is billed as a “victory song.” The psalter records how God helped them and brought them victory. To them, God had in a very real way become their salvation. Do we allow God to become our salvation? Do we continually listen for his Holy Spirit and train ourselves to seek out God’s will, his protection, his peace, grace and mercy?
Technically saying “yes” to God once is enough. But by God, why would we say it only once, if we could say it over and over again?
Prayer inspiration: Psalm 118
You are my God, and I will give thanks to you;
you are my God, I will extol you.
O give thanks to the Lord, for he is good,
for his steadfast love endures forever.
Psalm 118:28-29 NRSV