For years I have worked to accept my life in its entirety. I’ve wanted to receive the good, the bad, and the ugly. It’s my story and the only one I will ever have. But I do believe that it’s not natural for us to embrace our story, no matter how terrific or terrible—we by nature are just a bit of a discontented bunch. We simply don’t accept the story God has given to us, nor appreciate walking it out before the world with all its foibles and blunders. This is mankind!
Accept, Accept, Accept the Life
This all said, I do know the incredible value of accepting our stories. In Martha Kilpatrick’s booklet The Great Lie, she says,
“God explained that ‘making peace’ means:
‘Accept, accept, accept the life I have given you. Desire no other life. When you receive the life I have given you, I will show you the life that I have given you.
‘Deep, deep submission in your own being to your own existence – your own brutal being – to the limits of who you are and the limitations of who you are not.’”
These are simply amazing words! And I have purposed to do exactly this. What I’ve learned is that it’s not such an easy work. Most of us blink out the parts or aspects of our lives we just don’t like, or at least do a bit of magic with some revisionist history. In my telling, I can describe the script in many ways. But to actually accept the raw truth of my story, in all its brutal honesty, is a courageous task indeed. We’ve been abused, mistreated, foolish, willful, and rebellious and if we’re honest, even stupid. It’s easier to receive only my peaks and ignore my valleys, but this is not being honest.
Accept the Life, a Work of the Heart
I’m not talking about a Jerry Springer show-style revealing to the world, but a personal work of acceptance in my heart. It’s a work of receiving God’s authoring to see His handiwork. And without my embrace of His story of me, I will not see the beauty of His masterful craftsmanship.
Did He not know that my circumstances would inevitably lead me to trek down certain paths? Of course! No, He didn’t cause me to sin, but He also didn’t prevent the alignment of situations that made it possible for me to stumble. Although He’s saved me from countless catastrophes, He didn’t eradicate every source of stumbling.
The Power to Accept the Life
What I’ve eventually come to in this work of acceptance is that only ONE has the power to accept the life He’s given me. Only Christ’s Life, His very Life, will ever say yes to the life He has given to me. The unsaved man has no ability to embrace his story. Acquiesce to it maybe but receive it…not so much. Only the born-again believer has the ability to make a YES transaction with the Father’s choices. Only the one who lives by the Life of the Son can accept the Life the Son has given. The Father’s choices are only embraced by His Son’s life. As I am in Christ, His Life becomes my acceptance of His own choices for me.
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
“…without my embrace of His story of me, I will not see the beauty of His masterful craftsmanship.” I still have times (like now) when I need reminders of this. Sometimes my selfish wants battle against what “appears” to be not-so-good. Even though I know better. Even though He proves Himself over and over I still struggle to rest in Him. My mind tells me I’m accepting His story of me but my attitude and physical decline prove to me that my mind lies. Forgive me my doubt and selfish unbelief Lord. I bow my will and pray that You… Read more »
OH YES!!! John, I believe this path to acceptance of my life leads me and my broken parts to the lap of my ABBA!!!!!
Thank you for beautifully sharing.
Thank you Sue! So appreciate your encouragement!
OH but John you encourage me. May HE continue to bless you and Martha with his wisdom that blesses so many!!!!!
I thought of the verse that says our lives are hidden with Christ in God when I read this post.
Love to all.
A spiritual depth no light conversation can convey or comprehend, but a heart lived out….crushed then resurrected. John, all of you are so dear.
John, I have found this thematic teaching of Shulamite Ministries, to be one of the most challenging to embrace. You have helped me come to see today that it is ONLY CHRIST in me who can say YES to the life that has been given to me. Thank you for so beautifully expressing this truth in your blog today!
Thank you for this word. Much needed.
“Only the one who lives by the Life of the Son can accept the Life the Son has given.” Yes, yes, yes! Christ in me, the hope of glory! I am dancing around my patio after reading your words today John, rejoicing that Jesus is the Author and Finisher of my faith and thus my story. Thank you dear Brother.