Those who have experienced Jesus as being their personal “Savior” openly acknowledge that He shed His blood upon Calvary’s cross in atonement for their sin, and in some measure, they live a committed Christian life. The name “Jesus” has become precious to them.
Among these are many who also know Jesus as “Christ.” The word “Christ” speaks primarily of the anointing, especially the “One who is anointed (Jesus),” and in a lesser sense, of our being “anointed” as a member of His body. These have received the Baptism in the Holy Spirit and have developed a sensitivity to His presence. In some measure, they are being used in Holy Spirit gift ministries.
There are fewer, however, who also know Jesus as being their personal “Lord.” These have crucified their self-life by giving up the right to do as they please, and have unconditionally submitted themselves to the governmental rule of His Kingdom. To know Jesus in this way is to personally experience Him in the fullness of His Name, in which He has become, with meaning, “The Lord Jesus Christ.” Each aspect of His Name has become a personal reality within their spiritual life experience.
Heaven is not intended to be the “goal” of our Christian experience. Rather, it is included in our redemption as being our inheritance.
“For we know that, if our earthly house of this tabernacle be destroyed, we have a building from God, a house made without hands, eternal, in the heavens.” II Corinthians 5:1 Peoples NT
There is more that we can experience, which is beyond our being saved, healed, and filled with the Holy Spirit. This has to do with our having an active, personal relationship with Jesus, and as an overcomer, being among those who will be called to the marriage supper of the Lamb.
“…Blessed are they which are called to the marriage supper of the Lamb….” Revelation 19:9
This “more” is something of great value that can be added to all that has been freely provided for us, but requires an action on our part. Having a salvation experience is essential for us to enter heaven (you must be born again). However, our submission to His Kingdom rule is conditional, in which Jesus becomes “Lord” of our spiritual life experience.
“And He said to them all, If any man will come after Me, let him deny himself, and take up his cross daily, and follow Me.” Luke 9:23
Since our ways are contrary to, and “cross” His will for us, we must die to our own ways, if we are to fully follow Jesus. We ourselves must take up this cross. We do this by dying to our “self-life” upon a cross which Jesus will form for us (He was a carpenter).
This “if” tells us that there is a choice that we are free to either make or avoid, without affecting the fact of our salvation. However, it will greatly affect what we have “become” (our position and function) throughout all eternity. If we choose to make Jesus our Lord, we must totally submit ourselves unconditionally, body, soul, and spirit, to He who totally gave Himself for us.
To do this, we are to take the totality of our being - all that we are and have - including the “gift” benefits that were freely provided for us through His atonement, and give all this to Jesus. In dying to our own ways and choosing His way for us, we are taking up our cross and making Jesus the personal “Lord” of our lives.
To experience “salvation” means that I have repented and have been cleansed by the Blood of Jesus. I have received Him as my Savior and being saved, can testify, “I have Jesus.” To experience the “Kingdom” means that I have taken all that Jesus has freely given to me, plus the right to my own life, and have given all this unconditionally to Him. Now, “Jesus has me” and I can relate to the Lord experientially as being my “Lord Jesus Christ.”
As I merge my life into His life, I become one with Him in the outworking of His purposes, both in the here and now, and also, in eternity. Once I have done this, I will gradually come to know that I am far ahead of where I would have been, if I had tried to make my own way through life apart from the Lord. The requirement for entering His Kingdom is not beyond the ability of any one of us.
“Blessed are the poor in spirit: for theirs is the Kingdom of Heaven.” Matthew 5:3
Being “poor in spirit” means that I have set aside all of my own ways, and have unconditionally submitted myself to the kingdom - the governmental rule of my life experience. Now, whatever He may choose to do with me, will produce that which is of far greater value than anything that I could ever attain to, apart from Him.
To specifically make Jesus the Lord of your life, you must:
First, find a quiet place in which to be alone with Jesus.
Then, “wait upon the Lord” until you become inwardly quiet before Him. While maintaining an attitude of worship, thank the Lord for His presence and tell Him that you deeply appreciate His desire to commune and fellowship with you.
Now, you are ready to vocally, explicitly, relinquish the “right” to your own life, and to all that pertains to it, and unconditionally turn it over to Jesus. As you do this, you are giving to the Lord full permission, and the total right to govern the totality of your being – all that you are and all that you have, as He chooses. In very direct words, say to Him:
“Jesus, I totally give up the right to my life and I pronounce you the ‘Lord Jesus Christ’ of all that I am, and have.” And also, “Lord, I give you permission to bring me into the fullness of this commitment, whatever it may cost, or wherever it may lead.”
From this moment onward, I unconditionally belong to Jesus, and He can bring me into the fullness of all the potential that He has seen to be within me.
“Brethren, I count not myself to have apprehended: but this one thing I do… I press toward the mark for the prize of the high calling of God in Christ Jesus.” Philippians 3:13-14
Because I have given Jesus the right to accomplish this, He has personally become to me, “The Lord Jesus Christ” and I will receive the “prize of the high calling of God in Christ Jesus.”
“His Lord said to him, Well done, good and faithful servant; you have been faithful over a few things, I will make you ruler over many things: enter you into the joy of your Lord.” Matthew 25:23