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Acceptance, Approval, Acknowledgment - All Found in Christ

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Now it came to pass, afterward, that He went through every city and village, preaching and bringing the glad tidings of the kingdom of God. And the twelve were with Him, and certain women who had been healed of evil spirits and infirmities--Mary called Magdalene, out of whom had come seven demons, - Luke 8: 1-2 (NKJV)

Beloved, we are in a spiritual war. I did not say it - God did. You will hear very little of it preached today. It is not seeker friendly to those who are not saved. That is because the unsaved do not have the indwelt Holy Spirit to lead them into all truth. It is why the things of God are foolishness to them. For believers in Jesus Christ however, we should be better prepared. We should understand the war we are in and the tactics our enemy likes to use against us. We talk all the time about saved Christians who are crawling into heaven or those who fall into repeated sin cycles. We circle the same mountain over and over again. Sometimes for years and sometimes for decades. It need not be. 

I think that even in the world, most psychological professionals will agree that when it comes to women, many are seeking the three "A's" listed in the title. They are seeking acceptance, approval and acknowledgment. Perhaps because of the lack of a father figure growing up. Perhaps because of a childhood trauma. Perhaps because of unrealistic societal expectations placed upon women. Perhaps because they were wronged in early relationships with men. Whatever the reason, it stays inside of us like a malignant tumor. We feed it by compounding our bad decisions with more bad decisions. Buried feelings of inadequacy or somehow being undeserving are then confirmed by our bad decisions and fuel who we end up becoming. 

While salvation in Jesus Christ should resolve these things often they remain unresolved. I see every day young Christian women who go too far to the other extreme; what I call the "Daughter of the King" syndrome. Where no man is now good enough. This combined with the confusing pseudo-worship music that over sexualizes Jesus and you end up with young Christian women who seem to be waiting for the Marriage Supper of the Lamb because they think they are going on the honeymoon. All the while, the devil keeps pushing the right buttons. Feelings of rejection. Of not being worth more. Of seeking acceptance, approval and acknowledgment in all the wrong places. 

Let's take this even further because while it is always the women portrayed in this light the devil knows no gender divisions. It is society that convinces males that they do not need anyone's acceptance, approval or acknowledgment. But that is all false bravado and macho male stereotypes. Deep down inside we all seek the three "A's"; it's just for the guys it gets buried way down deep. It becomes weakness to admit it. Again however, this is what we should expect within the world system, which is run by Satan. For Christians however, we have the risen Savior to rely upon and all of the promises of God. Let's take a closer look at what we feel we lack and what we always seem to chase. So we can break these cycles and stop circling the same mountain.

Acceptance. If ever there were a basic human need; this would be it. Some might conflate it with the need to be loved but the devil has so muddied the word love most people do not even comprehend what God intended it to be. There is no love however, without acceptance. It is the bedrock foundation of any successful relationship. Usually when relationships fail to work it is because one side simply no longer accepts something on the other side. Besides male-female relationships however, acceptance goes all the way back to our upbringing and our relationships with people as we were raised. For many of us we had unaccepting parents - either one or both and absent parents are essentially unaccepting parents in our hearts. Harsh teachers and cruel peers. Words are like daggers that can leave wounds that never heal. 

There is one whose rash words are like sword thrusts, but the tongue of the wise brings healing. - Proverbs 12: 18 (ESV)

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Credentialed Minister of the Gospel for the Assemblies of God. Owner and founder of 828 ministries. Vice President for Goodwill Industries. Always remember that in all things God works for the good of those who love Him and are called according to (more...)
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