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A Long Journey
With Martha Kilpatrick and hosted by John Enslow
(M) Wouldn’t you say, John, that a lot of us are dealing with strength as self-sufficiency in our midst?
(J) I would say that the, there’s at least one person dealing with (John laughs, clears his throat), excuse me, with that. (John laughs again.)
(M) I think there’s more, right up to the very top. But it’s a long journey for the Lord to reduce us. But I’ve come to a word that I want to share. We’re in a meeting, so I want anybody that gets a word to join us. I was praying for someone fervently, just desperately. And I was asking the Lord to get down to the bottom of the issue that was the block. Because we thought it was strength, and that’s what the Lord was addressing and destroying her strength. And I think I’ve said that even though my illness He told me was for the glory of God, the fruit, the result of it, was the destruction of my strength. And God willing, I’m different in that category. I just simply can’t do what He doesn’t give me. And what’s that verse that, ah, we’ve gotten lately? “Man can receive nothing…” It was John the Baptist, confined himself, and understood that he had nothing except what was given him from heaven. It’s a powerful verse; it’s been one of mine for years. Julie’s had it recently. Do you remember the reference, Julie? Here it is. John 3:27, Amplified; John answered, and they came to him and said Jesus’ disciples are baptizing on the other side of the river, aren’t you going to be upset, is what I think they really meant. And here he is baptizing and everyone’s flocking to him. “John answered, A man can receive nothing, he can claim nothing, he can take unto himself nothing, except as is granted to him from heaven. A man must be content to receive the gift, which is given him from heaven; there is no other source.”
(J) Unlike any other time that I’ve heard it or read it, the word receive is ‘whuuu’, really huge.
(M) Well goodness, thirty years ago, we were in, several of us were in a church together, and at that time the Lord showed me there was only one, one issue, one thing that was needed to do in this life. Only one simple thing, and that was to receive. Everything comes as a gift. He’s given everything as a gift, the gift of righteousness, the gift of salvation, the gift of the Blood, the gift of Christ’s indwelling. Everything is just a gift, we couldn’t earn it, we didn’t earn it. “And those who receive the abundance of grace, and the gift of righteousness, shall reign.” So that word, receive, that’s my eternal verse. “Receive the abundance of grace and the gift of righteousness, shall reign in life as kings, in Christ Jesus.” Ok, so that’s the, the word, receive. And the problem is… He said to me, “What I’m after in all the discipline, is receiving, that we will be able to receive.” And then later He said, “You have to be empty to be able to receive.” And I saw the earthen vessel, as… we are a cup; we’re a container only. May we ever get it; we’re just an earthen vessel, common earthen. And that vessel has to be emptied before it can be full. I remember years ago I used to fret about feeling empty. And I read Watchman Nee and he said, “Fullness is emptiness.”
(M) When you are empty, then the Holy Spirit comes to fill you. And I realized there’s a process in everything, whether it’s a conference, or a family thing, or whatever; He brings you to emptiness first, before He can fill you. It is a, an eternal principle. So He’s emptying us, not all of us, probably if we just knew, far and near. He is emptying us “so that” we can receive.
(J) I don’t remember which message you were saying in the pool when I was swimming, but …
(M) Tell them why I was in the pool with you swimming. (Martha laughs)
(J) I have you in my head, in this waterproof iPod, and ah, listen to music and you and, five minutes of you, and five minutes of music, and it’s kind of cool. So I’m listening and one of your, you know, messages will basically be one track. Well the one track that I was listening to, basically was talking about receiving. And it talked about that He weakens us in order for us to receive. And I don’t know what message it is, because it doesn’t tell me anything about it on this little iPod I have of where the message is coming from. So I’ve got to go find it. But I understand the weakening. All day long I understand that. But that leads us to the receiving, which is wonderful.
(M) It gives you willingness in how to get through and get empty; and to accept it. The difficulty is always… Well there’s two things. If you’re reared to have a burden of responsibility beyond you, you know, you ever think you have to ‘be something’. You ever think you have to ‘have it’. If you’re reared to think you’re wonderful and you’re the one everybody should worship, then you really ‘take’. So we either refuse to receive, or we steal. Humanity is in that, either category, good or evil, good or bad.
(M) Right or wrong, the old tree of death. But to be a simple, nothing, is so difficult for us. But it’s not that He’s just crushing us. It’s that He’s trying to get us to receive all the unsearchable riches of Christ. And I think that was Paul’s prayers in Ephesians and Colossians. It was always that we would get, we would see and receive and possess all the power and wonder that we’re intended to. But you what it really is at the bottom line? That keeps us? (Martha laughs) Pride.
(J) (John laughs a pained laugh) It always is.
(M) Hmhmm. So the way to everything in the Kingdom is humility. Humility is: I am nothing and can do nothing, and Christ is all. But you know, you get there, and you go there over and over and over again; you never arrive at that because life presents ever-new challenges, and God is new every morning. So there’s no arrival at this, there’s only a journey where you learn to receive here, and to receive there, and you’re stripped in another way, because, you know, we all have received. But I’m thinking of the verse that says receive a prophet as a prophet, and you get the prophet’s reward. So it’s all kinds of… I’m going to do a word study on receive. In Acts, the Bereans were of noble character, more noble than the Thessalonians, “for they received the message with great eagerness, and examined the scriptures every day to see if it was, if what Paul said was true.” So that’s receiving the apostle, and receiving the word. And I’m well aware that people have varying degrees of being willing to receive. It’s willingness, it’s not ability, it’s willingness. And the willingness comes from having your will broken, or from having your need exposed. And then later they were comparing the Bereans to the Thessalonians, but later Paul said, in first Thessalonians 2, “We thank God continually, because when you received the word of God which you heard from us, you accepted it not as the word of men, but as it actually is the word of God, which is at work in you who believe.” See, I think you have to receive before you believe. I think you have to receive everything before you can have anything. And that’s, he’s commending the Thessalonians. Apparently they eventually did receive him and did receive the word. And so, it works. When you receive the word it works into faith. Well, you know we always, we think we have to give God something. We have to give Him character. We have to give Him sacrifice. We have to give Him blah-blah-blah. The only thing He asks us to give Him is a body that He can dwell in.
(J) I always judge His motives and think that it’s not… He doesn’t weaken and do all this and break… and He doesn’t do this in order to give. He does it out of His disapproval, not out of a desire to give.
(M) Awwww. Oh that would… To see His goal would help you take it with it.
(J) Oh, absolutely.
(J) When you think its punishment, when you think it’s disapproval and punishment, then, you know, there’s shame in it. But if it’s a desire for you to let go of something that’s in your hand so that you can receive something that’s in His hand…
(M) You know, I’m thinking about the term adult children of alcoholics. You’re not, you’re not one, but all of us are really. I don’t really have anybody, including me, that doesn’t have ah, a childhood where you were asked to be an adult before you could even be a child.
(J) And that, you know, that doesn’t have to have alcohol involved at all.
(M) Exactly, it’s just, the disease is irresponsibility; it’s a disease of humanity. But Jesus said, in Matthew 18, “I tell you the truth, unless you change and become like little children, you will never enter the Kingdom of Heaven.” I’ve always seen that as: ‘this is a condition!’ But it’s not. It’s, He is saying, “I want you to enter, but you’ll only be able to enter as a little child with nothing to give.” What does a child have to give? He has to receive everything. That’s why He says little child, so that we’ll get it that the child has to receive. That’s all he can do. And in God, that is His delight to give. I know His delight to give to me. I experience it. And I wonder what He would give me if I really…
(J) I watch Him do it all the time with you, you know. He’ll just be like ‘go here’, and in a childlike way… He has a childlike way. I wonder if that’s part of it, because He’s so childlike. If that’s what He requires of us to be childlike, because two children play very well together, you know.
(M) I think that’s Christ; I do. I wrote something on the website about Christ is the child, He’s the perfect illustration, He received everything from the Father. I’ll tell a story.
(M) When I left my house, I had this fabulous garden that I had made. And there was something called shield-fern in the sun. It was the only fern I know of that would grow in the sun. I had a big huge area of it. So I dug up a little bit, took it to the mountains. And long story, but anyway, it died. And I have looked, and looked, for shield-fern. I can’t, I looked on the inter-net, can’t find it. So the other day I was getting groceries and the Lord said, “go to WalMart, in the garden section.” He said, “I’ve got something special for you.” And I went what could be special at WalMart? So, I mean I know everything in the garden department of WalMart. And so I went, and I said You’ll have to show me. Well, I walked straight in to this big shelf of ferns. And it’s not the shield-fern, I think its red-lady fern, and it will take up to eight hours of sun. And I just cried. I said You cared about that little desire of mine that’s not important, and You, You put it there, and You had me go, and it was cheap! That was the best thing of all. It was, it was cheap. So it was like His delight was so there, because I never asked Him for it, and that’s…That’s Who He is. He wants to show us He’s aware of every detail, every small thing, every little insignificant desire.