I was thinking about what caused me to stop depending on God in my early twenties. I haven't figured it all out yet but I remember being totally satisfied in Him at one time of my life. At that time I LOVED time spent with the Lord. I used to jump in my car and drive for miles on the back roads Praising Him, singing out loud in hallelujah choruses whenever I could. All I wanted was to learn more about Him. To know Him more!
Then something happened that changed all of that. I haven't been able to put my finger on it yet but have some thoughts on it. I think it was a subtle thing, really. I allowed myself to worry, doubts started to take residence in my mind, depending on God somehow flew out the window as I tried to BE who I thought I was supposed to be, who I thought everyone else wanted me to be. The Bible collected dust on my shelf and pretty soon, I was doomed. I think it started after I had my first child. I was. so. afraid. of not. measuring. up.
It's a pretty big deal in my life. I would bet it is in your life, too.
I remember feeling unaccepted from a very young age. I think most people struggle with this in childhood. I was running the race of the "not-good-enough" the "how-can-I-please-you", and "what-do-I-need-to-do-to-make-you-pay-attention-to-me", "love me" .
I wasn't satisfied with what I was getting at home so I sought it out in boyfriends. I didn't have many but I chased boys in desperation to find someone to provide for me what I was lacking at home. Later I learned that even my parents couldn't have ever provided what I thought I needed from them.
When I was a kid, it seemed I could easily brush off what others thought of me because I was going to do what I wanted anyway and it didn't matter to me what they said. Just don't tell me to stop having fun!
But evidentially, what they thought about things did matter because when I grew up and decided to "settle" down, I became super sensitive to every movement and decision I made for my kids. I became so consumed with anxiety that I basically became house bound. I didn't want to visit anyone for fear of being ridiculed in some way. I just never knew when I was going to get an earful from someone. I didn't even know what I was really afraid of. I became irrational. It was ugly.
Well, God's plan was to move us to another town before my daughter turned 2 but I didn't leave my issues in my hometown. I took them with me. Even though I didn't know anyone in our new town, I took whatever steps necessary to avoid people. I was protecting myself. and I stayed that way until about a year ago.
You see, I have learned that when a person has trouble with people accepting them, they also have trouble believing God accepts them, too. But the one that REALLY matters is our relationship with GOD. When has a person EVER been worthy of our trust. Have we EVER found a person who could be depended upon to accept you and NEVER stop? Only God can provide that kind of acceptance. When God accepts us, it becomes less important whether our peers accept us or not. "rejected indeed of men, but chosen of God, and precious" (1 Peter 2:4 ASV). That's how we can live in PEACE, totally accepted by our loving Heavenly Father.
Miles J. Stanford writes in his book "The Green Letters" Chapter 3 "Acceptance"
"Every believer is accepted by the Father, in Christ. "Being justified by faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ" (Romans 5:1). The peace is God's toward us, through His Beloved Son -- upon this, our peace is to be based. God is able to be at peace with us through our Lord Jesus Christ, "having made peace by the blood of his cross" (Colossians 1:20). And we must never forget that His peace is founded solely on the work of the cross, totally apart from anything whatsoever in or from us, since "God commendeth his love toward us, in that, while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us" (Romans 5:8)."
We have peace with God when we believe in His Son without having to perform in any way to receive it! The key is to rest in this fact.
Stanford quotes J.B. Stoney
"The blessed God never alters nor diverges from the acceptance in which He has received us because of the death and resurrection of Jesus Christ. Alas! we diverge from the state in which God can ever be toward us as recorded in Romans 5:1-11. Many suppose that because they are conscious of sins, that hence they must renew their acceptance with God. The truth is that God has not altered. His eye rests on the work accomplished by Christ for the believer. When you are not walking in the Spirit you are in the flesh: you have turned to the old man which was crucified on the cross (Romans 6:6). You have to be restored to fellowship, and when you are, you find your acceptance with God unchanged and unchangeable. When sins are introduced there is a fear that God has changed. He has not changed, but you have. You are not walking in the Spirit but in the flesh. You have to judge yourself in order to be restored. 'For this is my blood of the new testament which is shed for many for the remission of sins' (Matthew 26:28). But if your sins are not met there, where can they be met? 'Now where remission of sin is, there is no more offering for sin' (Hebrews 10:18). God has effected the reconciliation; He always remains true to it. Alas! we diverge from it; and the tendency is to suppose that the blessed God has altered toward us. He certainly will judge the flesh if we do not, but He never departs from the love which He has expressed to the prodigal, and we find that when the cloud, which walking in the flesh produced has passed away, His love, blessed be His Name, had never changed."
His. love. never. changed.
"Our Father is fully satisfied with His Beloved Son on our behalf, and there is no reason for us not to be. Our satisfaction can only spring from and rest in His satisfaction. It is from God to us, not from us to God."- Miles J. Stanford
J. N. Darby was very clear on this: "When the Holy Spirit reasons with man, He does not reason from what man is for God, but from what God is to man. Souls reason from what they are in themselves as to whether God can accept them. He cannot accept you thus; you are looking for righteousness in yourself as a ground of acceptance with Him. You cannot get peace whilst reasoning in that way."
"....The soul has to go on until it finds there is nothing to rest on but the abstract goodness of God; and then, 'If God be for us, who can be against us?' (Romans 8:31b).?"
If God be for us, who can be against us?
When I look back on those 17 plus years of suffering through unbelief, I can certainly see that I could not find the acceptance I so desperately longed for in people. I was looking for it in the wrong places. In fallible people. Leading to uncertainty without a solid place to stand.
"For if the trumpet gave an uncertain sound, who shall prepare himself to the battle?" (1 Corinthians 14:8). Until the Christian is absolutely and scripturally sure of his standing, he is not going to do much standing."
"Stand therefore" (Ephesians 6:14a).
To read more about acceptance, follow this link to "WithChrist.org" and there online version of "The Green Letters", first book in a a series of five. Chapter 3, "Acceptance".