Bob Flayhart is my pastor and friend. This man models vulnerability and authenticity every single day. His love for me and my family is a loud echo of God’s heart that breaks over brokenness, weeps when I weep, and reminds me who I am. I am blessed to be in community with him. As we are in the season of reflecting on Christ’s crucifixion, death and resurrection, I wanted to share with you a recent breakthrough Bob had in understanding how suffering, crucifixion and death leads to resurrection, life and glory. I pray that it inspires you to consider afresh what the power of the empty grave means in your own life.

– Dana Smith, Women’s Equipping Coordinator

Ever notice how when God reveals a fresh truth to you that it seems to be tested?

 

 Just a couple of weeks ago I was faced with an enormously full weekend. I was gone the first part of the week and then my wife was out of town for the weekend, leaving me in charge of our family farm. On top of that, I also had a wedding rehearsal on Friday, the wedding on Saturday and a talk scheduled later that night, two church services, a funeral and a LIFE group to lead on Sunday. I saw all this coming at me Friday morning and everything in me wanted to get completely overwhelmed.

It was in that moment I found myself coming face to face with the testing of my fresh revelation of God.

 

Would I surrender control?


 

There is more to fear when walking in way of pride… when I am trying to protect myself…

Typically in this type of situation I would have turned to fear. I have struggled with fear for as long as I can remember and it has repeatedly sabotaged the deep longings I have for peace and impact in my life.  I often give way to my fear and respond with “intensity” in an attempt to regain the control that I fear losing. Instead of experiencing my passion for God and His grace, others experience the control fed intensity that often results in preventing them from truly tasting the abundant life I long to offer them.

But, I have come to understand how the way of suffering, crucifixion and death leads to resurrection, life and glory in a way I have never before and that changed how I responded that Friday. The whole idea of walking in humility, losing my life and walking through suffering, crucifixion and death struck fear in my heart and it kept me from entering in. Through the Battle for the Heart process, I can now see that there is so much more to fear when walking in way of pride and trying to control. There is much more to fear when I am trying to protect myself instead of living in authentic community with the Trinity.

I began to see that if I could or would focus on Christ’s eyes, his look of love for me, I would see all I need to see to surrender.  I would have the courage and freedom to choose the way of humility and to shed the way of pride. Because God is good and the father of compassion and of all mercies, and because he is the fount of all the riches of wisdom and knowledge (Rom. 11:33), I have come to realize that I have nothing to lose. His heart toward me is good and I can trust him with my deepest desires.

My heart is melted and is secure. I can trust him with all of me.

 I am learning that in surrendering – losing my life (which in the past I feared most) – I will actually be saving it, which is what I most want to see God do!  I long to see my glory increased to an eternal weight resulting in eternal life in me and the offering of life and growth to those in my sphere of influence.

I can trust Him with all of me.

I have for so long seen surrender as terrifying and unsafe. Now by grace, I am starting to see surrender as the safest place as well as the place of life transformation and true ministry to others. I can still freak out as I consider the possibility of losing my life.  But what is the alternative? Now I’m seeing the alternative actually leads to what I fear most – losing my life, being in an unsafe place.

Surrender is actually now becoming seen as the only place of true safety, the only place of true shalom.

 

 In that Friday morning face off with fear, God brought to mind the things I had been learning about gaining life through surrender. I was able to choose the way of suffering, crucifixion and death so that I might see glory. Throughout the weekend I had to make the choice continually and the outcome was different than it would have been with my normal way of operating. I ended the weekend tired, but knowing that God was revealed, reflected and represented through the process of surrender. Through surrender, people tasted passion and not intensity and I personally experienced the joy of Shalom and the wonder of seeing God move in a powerful way.

 


One Step Further:

  1. What are you afraid of?
  2. What would you need to believe in order to surrender this fear to God and his larger story?
  3. How might God be using suffering, crucifixion and death to lead you to resurrection, life and glory even now?