The Old Testament and I are traveling together as I prepare short teachings for my YouTube channel. In this ancient story, God selects the people of Israel as God’s chosen people. They, Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob specifically, accept God’s agreement. God will be their God and they will be God’s people. The agreement is what we call a conditional statement, also known as an If/then statement. The conditional statement still fits believers lives today. If you accept God, then surrendering to God, to healing, to forgiveness, to compassion, to love, to [fill in the blank], is part of living out your acceptance.
Acceptance of God is a bit like being invited to a wedding. Once the kind invitation is accepted, we are compelled, bound, even required to attend the event. We surrender to any number of cultural and social norms by accepting the offer.
We do something similar when we accept God as God. The acceptance of God as God is the starting position in our journey. From this position of God is my God, we are compelled, bound, required to surrender our lives to God.
As a spiritual director, I probably overuse the word “Invite.” God invites us to surrender. Yes, God does. And my life, and probable yours, at times has demanded or compelled surrender.
In Exodus 32, up on Mount Sinai, Moses and God are working on how best to build a people of God. Down below in the wilderness, the Israelites say Moses is delayed, so let us make gods. Hold it! You have accepted God as your God, surrender your time, surrender your thoughts about how God or Moses should do this. Their acceptance of God is forgotten because they decided God is too slow.
As a reader of this text, I begin to wonder when I have decided God is delayed, and what did I do? The Israelites begin to worship an idol. Whatever I did or do – I am sure it was less about surrendering to God and more about me deciding I knew what was best.
God is God, then by agreement you and I are invited to surrender into God, into the healing, into the forgiveness, into mercy, into grace, into More.