Last weekend was quite amazing! My wonderful awesome new wife (Kelly!) and I traveled to San Antonio to attend my son’s graduation from Air Force basis training. What we were really celebrating is my son’s commitment to ‘defend the constitution’ with life and limb.
Though Davis (my son) will most likely spend his years in the Air Force quite safe, the parade and ceremony were reminders of what it means to be ‘all in.’ At one point the recruits parade across a blue line on the road. When they physically cross that line they have mentally crossed the line to total commitment to the Air Force and the defense of our country. The proudly become ‘Airmen.’
Though I am not sure Davis would articulate it is this way, the reasons he was willing to go all in is that (1) he believes the Air Force will care for and equip him for his task (which will be working on F-16’s, how cool is that?!) and (2) he is giving himself to a cause bigger than himself and worthy of his best efforts (defending our country).
May we be as willing to do the same for our God who gave himself for us!
Below is an excerpt from Daily Survival Guide for Divorced Men. The passage from my book below is about being accepted by God. If we are going to go ‘all in’ for God we have to believe about God what my son believes about the Air Force… that God will care for and equip us for the task he has for us. Being accepted by God is all about this. But the way we have been taught about acceptance from the world’s perspective is quite different from God’s radical acceptance of us.
We have the free gift of being accepted by God, even though we are guilty of many sins.— Romans 5.16 (NLT)
Thought for the Day:
I renounce the lie that I am too worthless to ever be accepted by God or people. I acknowledge that my value before God is so great He sent Jesus to die for me, and it is the value in His eyes which truly counts. ~ Keturah Martin
I was often told I was loved and accepted without condition, but it seemed to me that love and acceptance came with a lot of conditions. When I came home with A’s on my report card, I got showered with praise and affection. When I came home with a C in algebra, all hell broke loose. All those A’s didn’t seem to cover over a single C. The question I was always asking (and still ask in my weaker moments) is,‟Am I good enough?”And often the answer was,‟Almost.”
When I worked hard to be good enough for the AUTHORITIES in my life, I got AFFIRMATION.
Affirmation is the second step in being accepted by the world. First, authorities lay out their expectations. If you meet these expectations, you get affirmed.
This is the way the world works whether you working on a Ph.D. or trying to get into a gang. The group says, “Do this, and we will accept you.” You jump through the hoops, and if you succeed, they affirm you. If you keep it up, affirmation turns into ACCEPTANCE. You’re in!
The downside of this is that if you fail to keep jumping through the hoops, you can be pushed back out. You can go from being acceptable to unacceptable.
This is the way of the world. Authorities give us expectations. We work hard to meet those expectations. If we do, we are affirmed, and if consistently affirmed, we are accepted.
Here’s the thing: The motivation behind this dynamic at work in our world is control. Parents, teachers, employers—they all have to control us. The way they control us is to give or take away their acceptance of us. The emotion that accompanies and drives this process is fear. We fear not being accepted, and that fear motivates us to follow the rules.
Now think about it: Do you think God accepts or rejects you based on your obedience to his authority?
If you do, please explain these words from the Bible:
[We] know and rely on the love God has for us. God is love…. There is no fear in love. But perfect love drives out fear, because fear has to do with punishment….(1 John 4.16–18)
Hopefully you are beginning to realize that being accepted by God means something significantly different than how the world accepts us.
Think About It…
- What is the most ridiculous thing you ever did in order to be accepted by a group?
- What are some ridiculous things people do to earn God’s acceptance?
- Was there a time you felt like God accepted you?
- Was there a time when you believed God rejected you?
I believe God’s way of accepting me must be different than the world’s way of acceptance.
You can order my book in print or Kindle HERE.
Next week we will look at how God accepts us!