Several months ago I attended a conference where a very wise therapist said these profound words:
“If You want resurrection, you will have to experience death.”
I’m not sure I will ever forget it. I remember specifically when Dr. Dan Allender those words. Chills came rushing down my spine and sent my mind into a tailspin. So much wrapped up in 10 words. I knew I would take several days, months and possibly years processing what this meant.
I want to make sure I am clear: Dr. Allender isn’t talking about physical death. He is talking about a death that for many of us may seem much worse – stepping back into our stories.
Whether we chose to acknowledge it or not, “death” is associated with particular events in our lives. In fact, death has taken up residence in our stories over the years. It’s often hidden in small or large events of trauma we often bury, deep in the grave, which inform the way we live now.
We’re not OK
This is a huge problem. We all think we’re fine. We’re not. We view our lives with blinders and heads down.
If we would only consider a view of our life in reverse, a view from 30,000 feet, our lives and perspectives would change. We have to slow down for long enough to make this view happen.
There is death in each of us – trauma, tragedy, and hurt we are refusing to address. We must begin going back. To enjoy the life God is calling us into, we have to go back to experience and unpack the death we drag around.To enjoy the life God is calling us into, we have to go back to experience and unpack the death we drag… Click To Tweet
You have to go to places you don’t want to
Experiencing resurrection doesn’t come at our goals or will. It comes at our own expense. You and I have to pay the costly admission fee to get the lives we want.We stand on the promises of God and his faithfulness - with one condition: before resurrection, there… Click To Tweet
We stand on the promises of God and his faithfulness – with one condition: before resurrection, there must be death. How can life come from something not first dead or lifeless?
Most of us don’t care to mess with death. We avoid it on the highways, the places we go and even feel uncomfortable at funerals. Why? Because it is unnatural.
This is where our mindset needs to shift. Our stories need tending to – poked, prodded and resurrecting.
You’re going to have to go back to places in your story you may not want to re-visit. Over the last couple of years, I have only begun to discover what some of mine are. You’ll need to navigate your life to figure it out.
I realize what this means. This is like walking up to a dead carcass on the side of the road, picking it up, exploring it and hoping something good can come out of doing so. You’re right – it is.
I’m here to tell you that yes, good can come from exploring the death in your life. We can stand on the promise of God’s word that He desires to use all of our stories – including the dead carcasses we are carrying around. He even wants to bring them back to life.
He wants to bring them back to life.
You have to let go of the present to experience the future
Death isn’t just hanging around our past. We experience some form of death every day. Relationships die, conflict at work brings brokenness and obstacles get in the way of the life we want now.
Desire and the life God has for you is one of life’s greatest pursuits – but it doesn’t come without letting go of the death in your life now.
You have relationships that need to go. There are seasons that need to change. This is how death makes its way out of your life. Habits, structures, and practices will need to change for you to enter into the life God has for you.
The life you have made now won’t look like the life you want later
Every day, our world has piled desire after desire on us. It is killing us. From these desires, we have created lives that are stressed-out, overscheduled, overworked and full of death.
The life Christ has for you and I is different. He is calling you and me to a life lived to the fullest. This means the life we have made for ourselves now won’t look like the future he has for us. It will be different and more fulfilling.
We have to cling to and pursue His life. To want resurrection, you have to want a different life you can’t see but you know is promised to you when you pursue Jesus.
Letting go of who we think we want to be in favor of a life we cannot fully guide or control is one of the hardest parts of the Christian faith – but also the most rewarding.
Life will not happen the way you think it will
Let’s be honest – death is undesirable. No one wants death. No one wants to go back into their lives – both past and present and re-visit the hurt that got them to where they are today.
May we consider this: If those thoughts, ideas, events, practices have brought you death – what would happen if you addressed, processed and received healing in those areas? Sure, it’s hard work, but do you know what would happen?
Change. Change would happen – you would come to life.
We are like bottles of salad dressing. For change to occur on all levels, we must shake it up. We cannot stay stagnant.
Christ is calling us to grow. Christ is calling us to resurrection. Let’s go there. It won’t be what you thought – but it will be everything you need to get the life Christ is calling you into. I promise you – it will be a journey worth taking.
Call To Action
- Take a moment and evaluate where you are at in your life – what death do you find there? What needs to change?
- Is there a moment some time ago in the past that you wish you could have back or change? What was it? Go back there and get healing.
- Engage in the conversation below.
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