Because, if you confess with your mouth that Jesus is Lord and believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead, you will be saved. For with the heart one believes and is justified, and with the mouth one confesses and is saved. – Romans 10:9-10 (ESV)
It was in grade school when I discovered how fun safe could be. My classmates and I played tag with a safe-base, hide and seek with a safe-base and kickball with a few safe bases. Eluding the person who was “it” created great fun for everyone except the “it” person.
During these games, the only way you wouldn’t get it was if you stayed on base or didn’t get tagged when you went off base. If you were tagged by the it person while on base, it didn’t matter because the power of their it didn’t apply there. You were safe.
The power of the it of sin doesn’t apply to the one who is safe on base with Christ. When you confess (say, concede, promise, declare, to declare oneself the worshiper of) your pursuit of God’s presence in your life and believe (think to be true, to be persuaded of, to credit, to place confidence in) what God said He has done and will do, you are safe from the tagging of sin.
Just being safe on the goal isn’t the destination. It’s a good start though. The surrender of our hearts towards the things of God is just the beginning of the journey. Once you’ve believed in Jesus, the joy is just beginning.
I work in compassion ministry and we help a lot of people every year. The majority of our work is relief-based and we build in systems to help others continue to help those in need. There is a moment while helping someone when you determine how long you will do something for someone and begin doing something with that person. The difference in words is minimal but the action is enormous.
Doing something for another person creates dependency on what that helper can provide the recipient. Doing something with that person usually indicates a relationship has been developed and the other person can begin doing things to help themselves. One person was never meant to do life for another. We are meant to do life with others.
Walking with God is similar. The big difference is that He has done something for us that we’ll never be able to repay. He created a sacrifice to cover our sins and bring us to a place of choosing relationship with Him. That’s what He’s done for us. We choose to do something with Him.
We have a few choices here. We can get on base and become free from sin’s tagging. We can stay on base and do very little with our lives. Or, we can get on base and reinvent the game to help others who don’t know a base exists.
There is safety in the presence of God. There is hope and peace when the Holy Spirit lives inside of us. There is purpose and significance in our love to God and His love toward us.
True joy is not just in the introduction to God, it’s in the journey of walking with Him to help change the world.