Almost every other week I work in the central billing office of a major healthcare provider. During that time, I deal with patient accounts that have issues involving their health insurance and/or account balances. There are two primary problems that I deal with-
1. Patients fail to identify their insurance provider, and therefore they have to pay their entire bill themselves.
2. Patients overpay because their insurance (which they have identified) has already paid for them.
My job is to determine if a patient has insurance coverage, and, if so, to to apply it to their encounter balance. Additionally, if a patient has overpaid, I fill out a refund request form so that their funds can be returned to them as quickly as possible.
Ideally, I should never even need to do this part of my job! These issues are a direct result of a patient not understanding how their insurance works. First, it should be self-explanatory that if someone has insurance, they should report it to the office that they are visiting. If this is not done, the insurance is effectively useless! Second, the patient should be aware of how much their insurance provider is going to pay for (either by direct communication with the provider or as a result of the bill that they receive in the mail after the insurance has paid). What we get a lot of the time are patients who make payments before they know what their insurance is going to pay towards their balance. On the flip side, we also have patients who pay nothing because they assume that their (unlisted) insurance will cover their costs.
Don’t get me wrong, I really enjoy helping patients with these issues. I just wish they didn’t have to deal with them in the first place. If they would let the insurance do its job, their lives would be so much easier! all they have to do is inform the office of their health insurance and then let it pay out!! 🙂
So why am I complaining about my job? What does this have to do with you?
I’m not really complaining about my job because I love it! I am, however, concerned with how closely this resembles the issues that arise in our spiritual lives… I typically have a problem with how people refer to Christian salvation as “fire insurance” or “life insurance.”
In reality, it is both life and health assurance! Think about it for a second:
Q: Why do we get life insurance?
A: So that we will be covered and protected in case we die. (Which everyone does by the way)
Q: Why do we get health insurance?
A: So that when we need to make adjustments to improve our quality of life we have the ability to do so.
Those of us who are Christians became Christians and accepted the gift of salvation because we realized that we are sinners and are in need of a savior. We don’t want to spend eternity apart from God, so we accepted the assurance that if we believe in Christ we will be able to spend eternity in heaven with God. What many of us still choose to ignore is the fact that the assurance provided by Jesus Christ is applied not only at death but throughout our entire lives!
“… He was wounded for our transgressions, He was bruised for our iniquities; the chastisement for our peace was upon Him, and by His stripes we are healed.”
– Isaiah 53:5
“Be not conformed to the ways of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind.”
So many of us try everything we can to pay for our sins and to make adjustments to the balance of our lives. We want to improve the quality of our spiritual health, but we try to do it all on our own. We don’t acknowledge the spiritual assurance that we have, and therefore we labor in vain to fix ourselves or pay for what is charged against us. We are not claiming the blood coverage that has been given to us!!
In other situations, we claim the assurance but aren’t patient enough to let it be an active force in our lives. Sure, God does require us to act and to sacrifice in order to see our lives transformed and healed, but occasionally we try to do way more than is necessary. We try to take on the entire burden of life without even allowing God’s hand to be proven strong and present. Then later we have to look back and see that if we had just given it to God we could have saved ourselves so much time and energy!
I know for a fact that I can do nothing on my own to improve my life of spiritual condition. If I tried, I would be facing an insurmountable debt. I also know that I have been offered a hope, a source of power, and an assurance that can cover all of my needs! I have readily accepted God’s life and health assurance by accepting Jesus Christ. Now I just want to make sure I actually allow it to pay out… I want to let the assurance be active and visible in my life, not just in my death. I want to lay my burdens and weaknesses down before the Lord so that His power may be evident, and so that I can partner with God as He makes me whole!
“I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me.”
Maybe you don’t have the same assurance that I do… It is something you want, trust me! The hope of redemption offered by God has the power to completely change your life!
“If any(one) is in Christ, (they are) a new creature; old things are passed away, and all things are become new.”
-2 Corinthians 5:17
However, there is only one way that you can have this assurance. First, you must acknowledge that you are in need of a savior- that you are a sinner and that your sin will result in eternal punishment AND that the forgiveness of your sins through the sacrifice of Jesus enables you to live eternally with God.
“All have sinned and fallen short of the glory of God.”
“The wages of sin is death, but the gift of God is eternal life through Jesus Christ, our Lord”
“But God demonstrates His own love toward us, in that while we were still sinners, Christ died for us.”
Now that you understand and accept these facts, all you have to do is believe and call upon His name, asking Him to forgive you and make you new!
“Whoever calls on the name of the Lord shall be saved.”
If you have done this, you can rest in the assurance of life and hope that God is with you and will give you the power and grace you need to live according to His will.
“Be not conformed to the ways of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind that you may prove what is that good and acceptable and perfect will of God.”
“And behold, I am with you always, even to the end of the age”
And now that you have that assurance, you can read the verses just before vs. 20 to see what you should do next!
“GO, therefore, and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit; teaching them to obey all that I have commanded you.”
The question is-
Will you let the assurance be applied to your life?