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Acceptance

If there ever was an emancipating truth, it is that when we accept our circumstances involving all things and people, both evil and good, as designed by an all-wise and powerful Creator, we taste victory to the degree that we believe. Acceptance of our lot, no matter what it is, is a life confession and acknowledgment that Jesus Christ is LORD.

“No, but, O man, who are you who replies against God? Shall the thing formed say to Him Who formed it, Why have you made me this way?” (Romans 9:20 MKJV)

“In everything give thanks, for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus concerning you” (1 Thessalonians 5:18 MKJV).

If there was ever an emancipating truth, it is that if we, as believers, accept our present circumstances in life, the victory is ours.

The swiftest and most effective way to spiritual victory is by heartily accepting one’s circumstances as they are. Behold the beauty and sublimity of a brook or a river, a pool or an ocean, a knoll or a mountain, a blade of grass or an oak, a sparrow or an eagle, an ant or a butterfly, a pebble or a boulder, an atom or a planet, a baby or a giant, a lily or King Solomon. Each of these has its role, and it is what it is, utterly irreplaceable by any other, each determined essential by a perfectly wise Creator.

Curiously, the world’s way of thinking is quite different from that of its Creator. The world, the flesh, and the devil say, “If you want to get ahead and be somebody, you must aspire and strive for it. That’s how the great ones did it, and that’s how you must do it if you are to succeed. Nothing worthwhile was ever gained by waiting for it or accepting things as they are.”

What matters is not what we are, but how we accept ourselves as we are.

The world says you are special and can be anything you want to be if you believe and strive for it. God also says you are special, but He means that you are what you are - in your own right by virtue of His design and will, there is nothing like you and never can be. To reach your potential, you must be what you were destined to be, not what you wish to be, and only He can make it happen.

The fact is, not everybody can be anything, and one was not meant to be anything. The very fact that each of us is unique tells us that each of us has a particular, chosen station in life, whatever it may be, however humble or great we may esteem it to be.

Why be down if you can’t be what somebody else is, as though it was in your power and therefore your responsibility? Or do you envy others? To envy your neighbor is to defeat your own calling. Only by God can you be anything. And you can’t use Him to do what you want. He will do what He wants with you. You are not able to add one inch to your height or make one hair black, Jesus said (Matthew 5:36). Therefore, if God has not made you to be some particular thing, it is His manifest wisdom that you are as you are. To desire or try to be something other than what He purposed is to deny His will and His wisdom.

Would you like to be President of the United States? It is good for those who are meant to be so - if they are content with it, faithfully fulfilling their duty - but evil for those who are not content to be so, though they are meant to be. We who aspire to be something we are not have no idea what it is really like and miss the only possibility of fulfillment and joy there is in being what we are meant to be. So what matters is not what we are, but how we accept ourselves as we are, no matter what it may be. That is the secret to life, joy, peace, and fulfillment.

One will never be content or fulfilled in looking to greener pastures. It is a tragic error for one to think that if he can be as some other person or have what another has, or even have that which nobody else has ever had, he will then be happy. The moment one is able to submit to his lot in life, not grudgingly (the Lord looks on the heart), but willingly, even joyfully, he has entered into that state we have all coveted but thought we could only have if we changed our lot.

When we fail to accept ourselves, bitterness defiles and destroys us.

Some call that state nirvana, some cosmic consciousness, some enlightenment, and I call it acceptance of the will of God. Those who seek nirvana are not content with their state and lot. I have yet to meet a Buddhist or nonChristian mystic striving for perfect peace and fulfillment who has attained it. They can’t ever be satisfied with their present lot.

It may not be difficult to accept those things in our lives that please us - good health, peaceful family, sufficient wealth, popularity, security, or success - although one soon discovers that there is no true fulfillment in any of these, either. Indeed, many who have them take them for granted, and many have acquired these things only to discover an unexpected emptiness. Confounded, they ask, “What went wrong? Why am I not happy?”

What is more difficult is to accept adverse, unwanted, unpleasant circumstances and stations in life apparently inferior to that of others. The Bible warns us against emulation, envy, jealousy, and covetousness. Pride is also a vice dragging us into comparing ourselves to one another, thereby causing strife and enmity. When we fail to accept ourselves in thankfulness for our circumstances, bitterness establishes itself and, slowly but surely, defiles and ultimately destroys us.

Why should we compare ourselves to others if we were never meant to be like anyone else? Why are we dissatisfied with being ourselves if we are the only ones who can be the unique person we are destined to be? If we can only be fulfilled in being ourselves, why do we seek to be somebody else? Why can’t we realize it is impossible?

If we believe God reigns supremely over all, we rest in confidence that He is in full control and does all things perfectly. We give thanks and confess Jesus as Lord in the most practical sense. We love our neighbor as ourselves, for if we accept ourselves as a work of the wisdom of God, we will accept our neighbor as a work of the wisdom of God and be thankful for him, too.

Is this not the essence of sin - never accepting one’s present circumstances?

“No, but, O man, who are you who replies against God? Shall the thing formed say to Him Who formed it, Why have you made me this way?” (Romans 9:20 MKJV)

The root of all evil in the world is being discontent with one’s lot. Has not Satan aspired to be the ruler of this world? Yet he is a usurper. Has not man strived to acquire and accomplish, to his folly? Has he not destroyed the earth?

Were not the Pharisees trying to be righteous in their own right? Did not Herod marry an unlawful wife? Did not Ahab want his neighbor’s vineyard, or David his neighbor’s wife, or Amnon his sister, or Absalom his father’s throne, or Cain the acceptance his brother enjoyed of God, or Saul the glory independent of God, or Judas the praise of men? Did not Israel want out of Egypt when they were in, and back in when they were out? Did they not want a king as the other nations round about? Is this not the essence of sin - never accepting one’s present circumstances?

I’m reminded of a cartoon – the first frame shows a man sleeping on a couch, dreaming about hiking in the mountains with fresh air and sunshine, cool breezes and beautiful vistas to behold; the last frame shows him in the mountains, exhausted and sweaty, imagining himself sprawled out comfortably on a couch.

Consider that when God sent prophets to criticize people, it was to criticize them, not for what they were, but for trying to be what they weren’t meant to be. God doesn’t fault a man for mistakes or goof-ups or weaknesses or strengths or poverty or riches or fame, but for wishing or trying to be something he is not.

In an erring state, we do foolish things, thereby manifesting to all that we are idolatrous. Idols make fools of men. What is an idol? That which someone strives to have and attain, something sought for rather than God. What is a fool? Someone who can’t appreciate his God-given lot in life.

What will be will be, and God will do it.

We break every commandment when we don’t accept ourselves and the station in life determined by our Creator - not loving God, having strange gods (coveting things not meant for us), not keeping the Sabbath (not resting), not honoring parents, committing adultery, stealing, and killing. Thus, we destroy what we and others around us have, or could and should have.

How do we know that all of our circumstances are ordered of the Lord? He says so.

“By Him all things consist” (Colossians 1:17).

“A man's heart plans his way, but the LORD directs his steps” (Proverbs 16:9 MKJV).

“In everything give thanks, for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus concerning you” (1 Thessalonians 5:18 MKJV).

Could it be that we are ordained to change our circumstances, even as Jeroboam rebelled against Rehoboam, God purposely dividing Israel into two nations (1 Kings 12:21-24)? Or as Jacob cunningly wrested the birthright from Esau and stole his blessing, God demonstrating His divine election and sovereignty (Romans 9:10-13)? Or as Shamgar valiantly delivered Israel out of subservience by slaying 600 Philistines with an ox goad (Judges 3:31)? Or as Samson desired and took a Philistine woman for his wife, God seeking an occasion against the Philistine oppressors (Judges 14:3-4)?

These were all things God placed in the heart of His servants to do. He works all things after the counsel of His own will (Ephesians 1:11). What will be will be, and God will do it.

There are those who see these kinds of acts and accomplishments and say, “If he can do it, so can I.” They place the cart in front of the horse, however. Those people did those things because God gave it to them to do. They didn’t do them out of dogged determination; they didn’t have to work up motivation - it was placed in them. They couldn’t do anything but fulfill their destinies.

We need to accept our circumstances and give thanks in them.

“Let not the left hand know what the right hand does,” said Jesus (Matthew 6:3). Let us ever give thanks for what is, be what we are - whether it seems to be for better or worse, pray for the will of God, and cease from looking for only our own gain and good. If we accept God’s will and love our neighbor as ourselves, we will have the desires of our heart.

“God, grant me the serenity to accept the things I cannot change; courage to change the things I can; and wisdom to know the difference”? The important thing is to accept ourselves and not prefer to be another. And we need to accept our circumstances and give thanks in them, knowing they are fashioned by the Father.

“It’s great to be somebody, because you’re nobody, because you’re His” (The Path of TruthIt’s Great to Be Somebody). We enter the coveted seventh day, our rightful place. To God be the power and the glory forever. Amen!

Victor Hafichuk

We had a discussion about “Acceptance” in our forum - click HERE.

 

 

 

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