Today Morley shares his thoughts about our need for assurance and the way that God perfectly provides it to us. Assurance is an interesting word. Its root "assure" sounds much like "insure" and "ensure." Many people use them interchangeably, but they are not interchangeable at all.
"Insure" is a word associated with insurance. It is a tool for protection from loss in value in case something especially valuable is lost or destroyed. For example, if your house burns down, insurance will protect you from loss of value by replacing the house with money. It didn't protect your house from being burned. It just provided a substitute to offset the loss.
"Ensure" is more focused on making sure that some specific thing happens. If I ensure that a meal is served, it means that I serve it myself or take steps to make certain that someone else serves it. The person receiving the meal may have expected me to do it, or they might not have known anything at all about my involvement. It is focused on performance but does not necessarily involve any particular relationship.
"Assure" always involves a relationship. The person giving assurance seeks to instill trust or confidence in the person receiving assurance. A person feels assured when they reach a point that they believe in and rely on the assurance.
God gives us assurance of salvation. It is not insurance. Insurance from God would not protect us from anything. It would simply provide a substitute to replace our value in case our soul was lost or destroyed. It can't work that way, though. If we tried to use an insurance approach with God, coverage simply would not be available. Without salvation from God, we each face a 100% risk of losing our souls--and there is no such thing as a "partial loss." Insurance is not available when the risk of a total loss is that high.
"Ensuring" salvation is a concept that applies to us, but it has nothing to do with anything we have done. Our own actions have ensured nothing but separation from God. Instead, steps to ensure our salvation were taken by God. In Wesleyan terms we call it "prevenient grace." God took all of the steps necessary to make sure that we could live with Him forever. We were not aware of God's actions on our behalf, but they were happening. God was preparing the way for our salvation before we knew it, and was calling us--wooing us--to salvation before we ever felt the subtle stirring of the Spirit in our lives.
But the story doesn't end with God's steps to ensure that we can be saved. It has to go one more step. When we take that step we reach the point that Morley wants to drive home. That next step is surrender. When we surrender ourselves to God, God gives us "assurance" of salvation. Assurance means that we trust God and know we are saved. We can trust and know because we have a relationship with God. That is what assurance requires. Relationship. That is what God requires. Relationship.
Dear Lord, thank you for doing everything to ensure that salvation is available to me. I surrender to you and accept your assurance that my soul is safe in your hands. I rejoice that you will not let my soul be destroyed. What an awesome God you are! Let your love shine in me so that all people will glorify you today. Amen.
Grace and peace--