Stages of Surrender, Part 10

I call Stage Five the journey outward. It is a renewed engagement with the world grounded in a renewed sense of purpose. If you’ve gone through the dark night of the soul and have been transformed with a new sense of purpose, you can go back and do the things that you were successful at before, but now with a new sense of purpose, a venture outside of self and its ambitious plans. Instead of ministering for God with the subtle goal of making yourself look good, there is now a focus for others, ministering for God without a conscious or unconscious eye toward a reward. The motivations, the passions, are more authentic. There’s a focus on people and their needs, not just on numbers and adding to the community. AT this stage we’re willing to go smaller, humbler, riskier, newer. One of the startling things I have noticed over the last ten years is a trend for significant leaders of the General Conference to simply quit and say, “I want to move to a small church in the middle of the country. That’s where God is calling me. It is OK to go smaller, humbler, riskier, and newer because it doesn’t matter how big your mission is, or how big your job is, what matters is where God wants you to be. There is nothing like being where God wants you to be and doing what God wants you to do.

There are challenges to this stage as well. You would think that a person who was emptied of self, someone who is loving and self-sacrificing, would be the most popular person in the church. Nope! Most people won’t recognize what God is doing in your life. Instead they feel as if you have gotten out of touch with reality. “He used to be really something for the Lord, but now he’s kind of weird. Whatever he had he seems to have lost it. He’s become kind of odd.” But sometimes people seem odd because they are following God to places others have never gone. And they seem odd because God is working with them in a way that hasn’t happened in others’ lives yet. And as people mature in their walk with God they may feel more and more alone, even in the church, because God has led them to a place that others don’t understand because they haven’t been there yet. In the eyes of others, people at stage five may even appear careless about the faith; they don’t seem to take it as seriously, they don’t dress right anymore, they don’t do the devotional exercises that they used to do (because their relationship with God can no longer be confined to set times). What’s wrong with them? Maybe it’s because they are tuned into God, that they are walking with Him in a different way than you could possibly walk with Him.

Surrender at this stage is one of the most difficult to deal with, the fear of what other people think. Let me illustrate. I have a minor malady which is a stress related thing. Everytime I feel an extremely high degree of stress I feel something like a golf ball in my lower intestine. Maybe nobody else feels anything like that, but the moment I feel that “golf ball” I know I’m under stress. Here’s what God revealed to me recently. I was wondering why I was under so much stress. My administrative job has been high stress for over seven years, yet I had rarely felt the golf ball until a few months ago. It dawned on me that the real problem wasn’t the specific issue or issues on the job, the real problem was that I was worried about what other people would think about my actions. I had thought that I was over that, but God helped me realize that I was still plagued with that tendency. And that can be one of the biggest means by which the power of God can be blocked from our lives.

Sometimes we are afraid to move on with God because we are afraid of what other people might think of us. Particularly in stage five, God calls us to surrender that fear to Him, it is safe with Him, because if you are right with God it doesn’t matter what anybody else thinks. If God approves of you, then it doesn’t matter if anyone else does or doesn’t. When did God approve of you? Already at stage one. So, if you are in stage 2, 3, 4, 5, or wherever you might be (and you can be in more than one stage at a time), God approves of you. And if God approves of you, it doesn’t really matter what anyone else thinks.

5 thoughts on “Stages of Surrender, Part 10

  1. Maryann Lee

    “Sometimes we are afraid to move on with God because we are afraid of what other people might think of us.” Fear is going away with witnessing now and slight persecution from the devil returning too. This one is so good!!! Because it validates…last 2 strong sayings from God (His voice) said, ” if you only knew how much I love you.” No wonder I’m rejected and weird in church. They haven’t reached the stage where witnessing and service to others is a joy! Never thought Christianity would be so complicated. And I went there to be taught by them but learnt opposite character. It caused great confusion as a new Christian. But am at peace now …thank you for understanding. What a blessing this and all your studies have
    been. People at different levels. Thank you abundantly.

  2. Maryann Lee

    Also sleeping in my car for over 22 years 5-6 nights a week was weird to others. With non stop rotating shifts, to have one Sabbath day to study to 3 am to get up early to share studies next day with others for 6 hours…left few hours of sleep per day….souls were more important than exhaustion/pain. Though severe back pain got me barking at God some nights. Understand persecution better now; Job had to repent of his questioning God….so I repent.

  3. Maryann Lee

    God approved of us at stage one? Then why do they pound on you, “once saved is not always saved”?? Listened to this like a nagging yo-yo for 20 years! And at prayer meeting they still push the sinless stuff which is destroying health. The bible says, “He that begun a good work in you will perform it until the day of Jesus Christ. To me that means He works on us until His second coming. But many are teaching that you must be sinless before you are sealed or you’re lost. After that they say you are sinless during the plaques. How do you explain this? I prefer your belief we are saved at stage one (good news!)…then we joyfully do His will and accomplish much. Otherwise it’s intense non-stop fear, worry, legalism, taking over God’s job of sanctification

  4. Marc Gisclair

    I ran across this interesting information on Facebook and would like to hear your views on this….The first time I heard of the so-called paganistic cross symbol was actually from the Jehovah’s Witnesses who also believe that Jesus died on a stake rather than on a cross…I would like to know if the Adventists also believe this anyhow they continue to use the traditional cross symbol???

    Thank you so much for your feedback!

    Mitch Savoie

    Is the Cross a Christian Symbol?
    The issue here is to know whether Jesus Die on a Cross or a Stake? Constantine, kahn stan tine, I, The Great (272-337) was…
    Yesterday at 5:18pm

    Mitch Savoie

    The Symbol of Sun Worship – Obelisk and Cross
    The Catholic Church set up the obelisk in front of the church and put the cross on top of it. Ancient sun-worshipers erected the…
    Yesterday at 5:20pm

    Mitch Savoie

    The Origin of Sun Worship
    The yearly path of the Sun as observed on a sundial or in the sky, carves out a figure 8 pattern known as an Analemma. The…
    Yesterday at 5:36pm

    Beth Griffith Schafer … a tree?
    Yesterday at 6:50pm

    Mitch Savoie Deuteronomy 21:22-23

    And if a man have committed a sin worthy of death, and he be to be put to death, and thou hang him on a tree: His body shall not remain all night upon the tree, but thou shalt in any wise bury him that day; (for he that is hanged is accursed of God;) that thy land be not defiled, which the LORD thy God giveth thee for an inheritance.
    Yesterday at 6:52pm · 1

    Mitch Savoie Acts 5:30

    The God of our fathers raised up Jesus, whom ye slew and hanged on a tree.
    Yesterday at 6:52pm · 1

    Mitch Savoie Acts 10:39

    And we are witnesses of all things which he did both in the land of the Jews, and in Jerusalem; whom they slew and hanged on a tree:
    Yesterday at 6:53pm · 1

    Mitch Savoie Acts 13:29

    And when they had fulfilled all that was written of him, they took him down from the tree, and laid him in a sepulchre.
    Yesterday at 6:53pm · 2

    Beth Griffith Schafer I cant watch these videos right now but I believe the cross is worshipped…do you?
    Yesterday at 6:53pm · 1

    Mitch Savoie Galatians 3:13

    Christ hath redeemed us from the curse of the law, being made a curse for us: for it is written, Cursed is every one that hangeth on a tree:
    Yesterday at 6:53pm · 2

    Mitch Savoie 1 Peter 2:24

    Who his own self bare our sins in his own body on the tree, that we, being dead to sins, should live unto righteousness: by whose stripes ye were healed.
    Yesterday at 6:54pm · 2

    Mitch Savoie Yes. Most venerate the cross which is a symbol of pagan sun/baal worship
    Yesterday at 6:55pm · 2

    Beth Griffith Schafer Then they will say what about this scripture: 1 Corinthians 1:18 For the preaching of the cross is to them that perish foolishness; but unto us which are saved it is the power of God.
    Yesterday at 6:59pm · 1

    Mitch Savoie The point there is to “PREACH” not worship
    Yesterday at 7:00pm · 2

    Beth Griffith Schafer
    Yesterday at 7:01pm

    Mitch Savoie And the word stauros (the Greek word) does not mean cross.
    Yesterday at 7:01pm · 2

    Mitch Savoie The actual meaning of the English word cross is “stauros” which is a singular pole or stake. The root word is “histemi” of which the strongest definition is to “make a stand for” something. In this case Jesus.

    Matthew 10:38 And he that taketh not his “stauros”, and followeth after me, is not worthy of me.

    Matthew 16:24 Then said Jesus unto his disciples, If any man will come after me, let him deny himself, and take up his “stauros”, and follow me.

    Mark 8:34 And when he had called the people unto him with his disciples also, he said unto them, Whosoever will come after me, let him deny himself, and take up his “stauros”, and follow me.

    Luke 9:23 And he said to them all, If any man will come after me, let him deny himself, and take up his “stauros” daily, and follow me.

    Luke 14:27 And whosoever doth not bear his “stauros”, and come after me, cannot be my disciple.

    Greek 4716

    stauros {stow-ros’}

    an upright stake, esp. a pointed one

    from the base of the Greek 2476

    Greek 2476
    histemi {his’-tay-mee}
    a prolonged form of a primary stao {stah’-o} (of the same
    meaning, and used for it in certain tenses); TDNT – 7:638,1082; v

    AV – stand 116, set 11, establish 5, stand still 4, stand by 3, misc 17, vr stand 2; 158
    to cause or make to stand, to place, put, set
    to bid to stand by, [set up]
    in the presence of others, in the midst, before judges, before members of the Sanhedrin;
    to place
    to make firm, fix establish
    to cause a person or a thing to keep his or its place
    to stand, be kept intact (of family, a kingdom), to escape in safety
    to establish a thing, cause it to stand
    to uphold or sustain the authority or force of anything
    to set or place in a balance
    to weigh: money to one (because in very early times before the introduction of coinage, the metals used to be weighed)
    to stand
    to stand by or near
    to stop, stand still, to stand immovable, stand firm
    of the foundation of a building
    to stand
    continue safe and sound, stand unharmed, to stand ready or prepared
    to be of a steadfast mind
    of quality, one who does not hesitate, does not waiver

    The word stauros comes from the verb ἵστημι (histēmi: “straighten up”, “stand”), which in turn comes from the Proto-Indo-European root *stā-,[1] *stha,[2] stao, “stem”, “shoot” (the same root from which come the German Stern, or Stamm, the English “stand”, the Spanish word estaca, the Italian stare, of similar meanings).

    In Homeric and classical Greek, until the early 4th century BC, stauros meant an upright stake, pole, or piece of paling, “on which anything might be hung, or which might be used in impaling [fencing in] a piece of ground.”

    In the literature of that time it never means two pieces of timber placed across one another at any angle, but always one piece alone.

    The “σταυρός” (stauros) was simply an upright pale or stake to which Romans nailed those who were thus said to be crucified, σταυρόω, merely means to drive stakes. It never means two pieces of wood joining at any angle. Even the Latin word crux means a mere stake.
    Yesterday at 7:02pm · 2

    Yesterday at 7:04pm · 1

    Mitch Savoie That’s refuting 1700 years of catholic church brainwashing.
    Yesterday at 7:05pm · 2

    Beth Griffith Schafer PRAISE THE LORD!! Were you a practicing catholic at one time?
    Yesterday at 7:06pm · 1

    Beth Griffith Schafer YOu mean 2,000 (wink! wink!)
    Yesterday at 7:07pm · Edited

    Mitch Savoie The cross infiltrated the catholic church during the reign of Constantine.
    Yesterday at 7:08pm · 1

    Mitch Savoie The catholic church is not 2000 years old.
    Yesterday at 7:08pm · 2

    Beth Griffith Schafer I know…I was being sarcastic!!!
    Yesterday at 7:09pm · 1

    Mitch Savoie 311-325ad approximately
    Yesterday at 7:09pm · 2

    Mitch Savoie Mystery babylon on the other hand is as old as Genesis 11
    Yesterday at 7:10pm · 2

    Beth Griffith Schafer I was wondering how Jesus had nail marks on His hands. Looks as though He could of had His hands over His head…..
    Yesterday at 7:16pm · Edited

    Beth Griffith Schafer I would like to share this info on my page:
    Yesterday at 7:18pm · 1

    Beth Griffith Schafer Or if you have something better? That can be read…
    Yesterday at 7:23pm

    Mitch Savoie
    Mitch Savoie’s photo.
    Yesterday at 7:36pm · 2

    Mitch Savoie And they likely nailed His wrists. The nails would have ripped through His hands.
    Yesterday at 7:38pm · 2

    Beth Griffith Schafer What a horrible death… All for us….WOW! JUST WOW!!!

  5. Marc Gisclair

    I have a question about the Trinity false doctrine which apparently comes from Roman Catholicism which states that the three beings of the Godhead are actually one or rather ‘tri-une’ in that Jesus proceeds from the Father and the Holy Spirit is God’s breath and is this correct so far???….On the other hand, it is my understanding that the SDA Church believes in a Godhead that contains three separate distinct beings which is how I currently believe….I came across this interesting video entitled ‘The False Doctrine of the Trinity’ and to my surprise it is put out by SDA….The reason I’m surprised is that it states that the Godhead is actually only two people but yet one in that Jesus proceeds from the Father and that the Holy Spirit is God’s breath and doesn’t count making it a ‘bi-une’ Godhead….I sure haven’t heard this before but it seems more like the way Jehovah’s Witnesses believe and would like to hear your views on this rather intriguing subject matter and the Web site link is as follows:

    I’m a little confused as to whether the correct view consists of three distinct beings that make up the Godhead or if Jesus and the Holy Spirit emanate from the Father which seem to be the Catholic or trinitarian view???….With this in mind, perhaps you could explain the major viewpoints according to the following and then classify whether it’s trinitarian, unitarian or simply three distinct beings so that I could clearly see how the Adventist view differs from the rest:

    1. Adventist
    2. Protestant
    3. Catholic
    4. Jehovah’s Witnesses

    I understand that there are no clear distinct boundaries between the various viewpoints but it does seem like the Catholics and Protestants are both Trinitarians in that the three beings are separate but yet one due to the emanating aspect….The Jehovah’s Witnesses are definitely Unitarians just like the Jews….Since God says that even a child could understand leads me to believe in a Godhead with three distinct beings and although the Adventists are divided on this issue at least a certain percentage believes this way which actually differs from all the other viewpoints….Throughout the Bible, it can be clearly seen that the Godhead is in dialog with each other rather than God simply talking to Himself….For instance, in Genesis the Godhead says ‘Let us make man in our own image’ or Jesus praying to the Father or saying that ‘It is expedient that I go with the Father so that the Holy Spirit may come as your Comforter’…I believe that when Jesus said that He and the Father are one meant that they were of like mind, character and purpose just like when He said that two people joined in marriage are of one flesh which is definitely not understood in a literal but rather in a symbolic sense to represent unity with each other just like the Godhead…A being emanating from another sounds New Age to me and would definitely confuse a child’s understanding….Hence, the trinitarian doctrine seems to be paganistic since it supposedly originated with Babylon and worked its way through Roman Catholicism and then through Protestantism just like ‘sun’-day worship and so would that be correct???….Anyway, this is how I understand the Godhead and I guess the puzzling question is since God the Father has always existed did He simply manifest Himself as Jesus and the Holy Spirit either subsequently or simultaneously or whether all three have always existed as three separate persons???



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