Oftentimes we find ourselves not being able to move forward because we are still chained to our past. Bad decisions, thought patterns, and life events have uprooted our future by continuing to remind us of the past. In this video from Anchor Movement's series, "Fear of," Drew looks at one of the more perplexing stories in the Bible to discover how we can move forward from our past and move into the future that GOD has for us.
What now, GOD?? How did I get here? What do I do next? What now?
Too often in life we find ourselves in these “what now” moments. In 2020, it was COVID-19. In my life it was a job loss. In your life it might be a diagnosis. Whatever the case, “what now” is sure to come and how we handle these moments could determine the direction of our lives.
Accepted, according to Webster’s dictionary, means regarded favorably: given approval or acceptance.
At some point in your life you may have heard that word - possibly when getting into your dream school, making it on the team, or joining into a loving family by marriage or adoption. Acceptance feels good.
Contradictory to that, rejection does not. Feeling less than, not chosen, or being left out can burn. Have you ever had a great idea? Maybe at work you had something you wanted to bring to the table but no one else felt the same way about it? Or maybe the family you are a part of doesn’t value or approve of you. Sometimes you may feel left out, perhaps purposely or by personal fault, but either way, the idea of not being accepted can derail us if we can’t fully grasp the depth to which we have already been accepted. Our acceptance happened long before we were even born.
If anyone understands what it’s like to not feel accepted it’s Jesus. At one point when he was performing miracles, he went back to his hometown of Nazareth. Jesus was speaking in the synagogues and on one account they didn’t like what he had to to say.
Luke 4:28-30 says, “When they heard this, the people in the synagogue were furious. Jumping up, they mobbed him and forced him to the edge of the hill on which the town was built. They intended to push him over the cliff, but he passed right through the crowd and went on his way.” (NLT)
Not many of us have actually been pushed to the edge of a cliff in hopes we would fall to our death. But, as we can see, Jesus certainly understands rejection.
Think about the disciples whom Jesus chose to walk with during his final years on Earth. These men weren’t exactly regarded as favorable. Honestly, some people couldn’t believe they were walking with Jesus- some of which were a tax collector, fishermen, a zealot. If we looked at their given titles, we wouldn’t think much of such men. But Jesus chose them because he saw something others couldn’t see. He accepted them when others didn’t, not because of “what” they did, but because of “whose” they were.
That same acceptance is extended to you. It’s not an exclusive club meant just for those that act a certain way, have a certain look, come from a particular upbringing, work a certain job or drink only strong coffee (whew, cuz I’m definitely a decaf kinda girl 😅). Acceptance is joining the body of Christ, coming as you are, being fully accepted into His family. In time, you may change as you grow in your relationship with Christ, but he doesn’t ask you to wait until you’re at that point to be His. Right now, He chooses you. I love this verse:
“For we are God’s masterpiece. He has created us anew in Christ Jesus, so we can do the good things he planned for us long ago.” Ephesians 2:10 NLT
Once we can grasp that long before we were born we were already chosen, accepted and designed with a particular purpose in mind, rejection won’t have the final say. It may still sting, but it won’t define us because the one who created the universe calls us His masterpiece. Let that sink in.
“What shall we say about such wonderful things as these? If God is for us, who can ever be against us?” Romans 8:31 NLT
The voices around you may say rejected, but the Voice within you says “accepted”.
Have you ever felt blindsided by bad unexpected news? Maybe it was a physical diagnosis or a job loss. Whatever the case, we all at one time or another will face unexpected news. How we handle that news will determine the course of our destiny. Join Drew as he dives into at 2 Chronicles 20 and discovers a character that gives us a perfect example of what to do when we are given unexpected news.
Loneliness is something that we all struggle with. Maybe for you it's not a physical loneliness, but it's a spiritual or emotional loneliness. Our enemy wants nothing more than to make us feel alone, weak, and unwanted, but GOD's truth says so much more. In Him we are never alone, strong in our weakness, and have been chosen for a specific purpose.
2 Timothy 4:16-18:
The first time I was brought before the judge, no one came with me. Everyone abandoned me. May it not be counted against them. But the Lord stood with me and gave me strength so that I might preach the Good News in its entirety for all the Gentiles to hear. And he rescued me from certain death. Yes, and the Lord will deliver me from every evil attack and will bring me safely into his heavenly Kingdom. All glory to God forever and ever! Amen.