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Christ, Our Inward Life
With Martha Kilpatrick and hosted by John Enslow
(M) John, your visual of the bowl is exciting, a full revelation of the essence of it. Oh, I don’t know how to tell you. It is His Life. What He wants us to learn is that He bears everything, including physical suffering. When my spirit is in domination, when my spirit is in its right place, and it’s supposed to be above everything, my soul and my body, then I am in Him, and He bears it. And I think the lesson, not only is ‘knowing Him’, but letting Him bear everything that is our burden. If we come under Him He bears, He bears it, if we come under the yoke. So what you’ve said, and you were clear to make it… not just, the bowl is not just His suffering, it is His ecstasy, it is His joys, His riches, His wisdom.
(M) And His strength.
(M) Somebody sent me an Easter card, two dear friends, and it was, ‘the Lord, I am your strength’, it was Isaiah, I think 41. And the whole issue that the church needs to learn is the indwelling of Christ, that’s the essence. And you took it, when you took it to the bowl, you created a visual of Christ indwelling, and we being gone. As Ian Thomas says, “You vacate, He occupies.”
(J) Hmhmm, hmhmm.
(M) And I talked to a new believer this morning who was in the place of hopelessness, and I said you’re about to begin your new life. Because when you’re hopeless in yourself, then you can let Jesus have you body, Ro.12:1, I won’t go into it. But it’s all about His being what God requires of us. If we could read the New Testament this way, that it’s all addressed to the standard of Christ that only Christ can perform. It is also revealing who He is. I remember the day that He showed me the Beatitudes, those are commands of the Kingdom, no, they’re not commands to me, they are the revelation of who He is. Poor in spirit, meek, gentle, pure in heart, able to take persecution with joy, that is who He is. The New Testament reveals who He is. It’s very subtle, and only if you reach the place of helplessness, do you pass into the new land, the Canaan. But anyway, this was sent to me by e-mail, by a newsletter. And it was sent to thousands. And when I read it I had a very big reaction. (Martha laughs) Ok, here’s the message. “A western man once visited Samuel Lamb, the leader of a well known underground church in China. He is a man of God, who has been in prison for his faith in Christ for over twenty years. At his departure the western man began to feel a little uncomfortable, but finally said to brother Lamb, we in the west, well, we pray for you and the church here in China. The answer Samuel Lamb gave was everything but what he expected. Brother Lamb replied, and we will pray for the western Christians to have more discipline.” And I really went ballistic.
(J) Well, will you read what you, you sent it all your response, you sent it to all of us. Will you please read that?
(M) It was rather… It’s, it’s strong. You think it’s ok to? Ok, all right. Ok, I said to all, a bunch of people I’m close to. “Oh my, we can suffer horror and still be in pride. I grieve and wail. This is the wrong prayer entirely, a grievous prayer, not noble but cruel, and in essence it is the erasing of Christ. I stand against it, and I pray about American Christians, it’s a soulish prayer, ignorant and full of pride. It puts the burden on the human back, already broken from the Garden of Eden and unable to please God or even oneself. As sheep, we cannot bear any burden or perform any discipline. I cannot, no one can, not Christians in American ease, or people in suffering China, they cannot bear their life. Christ must do it. We cannot bear our life of plenty. Yes, we need discipline, but only Christ can provide that. We are dumb and weak sheep. It is a pharisaical burden that is impossible and unendurable. God forgive me for doing this many times.”
(M) My prayer is this, and it applies to all Christians, Chinese martyrs, and lazy Americans, we who live in ease. “I pray you will experience the indwelling Christ, more and more, until your union with Him is such that He alone is your discipline, and He alone is your thought lie, He alone is your very life. I pray that for you, pray it for me.” And that’s what it is to know Him, John. I talked about knowing Him in suffering. But, you can only know Him in indwelling. What is His Name? You let Him live in your body, and He performs your life. And you fall in love with Him more and more, and you know who He is by who He is. I was sharing with this precious believer that I was in a situation where I was scorned and mocked for years, used and abused for years, disregarded, disrespected for years. And Christ in me knew it, didn’t care. Christ in me turned the other cheek. There wasn’t something I could do. Christ in me went on happily along with this person, never mentioning it, never confronting it, and it went on for years. And it wasn’t that I didn’t know it or see it, it was that it was irrelevant. To Christ it was irrelevant. He was responding with kindness in me; it was not ‘me’. And there came a time when He rose up in a different manner and overturned the moneychanger’s with a whip. And He can be both of those in us, if we will allow Him to be. So coming to this issue of suffering, whether it’s suffering or joy, its Christ’s to bear. And this has been difficult for me to give to Christ because it is so present, and so ah, (Martha laughs quietly) so real. But I have, I have experienced an intimacy with Him in this at moments that was probably unlike anything I’ve experienced before. It was an intimacy with His suffering, and a fellowship with His suffering. But you brought it to “Christ in you the hope of glory”. And, and it’s like ah, there’s one verse that is our life, it’s Galatians, I think, 2:22, “I am crucified with Christ, and I no longer live. The life I now live in the flesh (in the body), I live by the faith of the Son of God who loved me and gave Himself for me.” Even faith is from the Son of God, looking away unto Him. But you kept talking about the vessel had to be empty, and that takes place by the cross, and by life, by the simple reality of life, facing the reality. And back to Jobs friends, the four friends were not facing reality with Job. What is the reality in this? They were not hearing. Job was in reality, his suffering was real, his anguish was real, but also his revelation of God was real. But we have the knowledge of God by experiential inward allowing Him to live in it, the bowl of the vessel of our, our earthen vessel. So you’ve brought it down to the real essence, which is “Christ in you, the hope of glory.”
(J) Well, it’s like the Blood, the Blood isn’t a substance, it isn’t a power, it isn’t a solution, it isn’t an answer, it’s Him. And so the suffering, it’s not that I ah, you know, my life endures the suffering; no, it’s Him. It’s all about Him. And then in the letter he says , “I pray for you, discipline”, and then we said discipline? “I pray for you discipline.” And…No! What he should have prayed was, “I pray for you, Christ.”
(M) That’s my point. Thank you.
(J) And so that’s where you bring it into the Blood; the Blood is Christ. It’s not a solution, it’s not an answer, though it is.
(J) It’s all of that, but it’s Him. And what anyone can pray for anyone is for Him.
(M) Ok, here’s something living. A believer called me in terrific personal crisis and anguish over a real crisis. I spoke with her. I knew she was going to call me so I got down with the Lord and said You’ve got to help. You’ve got to give me something. And He gave me this prayer before she ever called. “I bow my knees.” It’s Ephesians 3. “I bow my knees before the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ.” Verse 16, this was the prayer. “May He grant you out of the rich treasures of His glory to be strengthened and reinforced with mighty power in the inner man by the Holy Spirit, Himself indwelling your innermost being and personality. May Christ through your faith actually settle down, dwell, abide, make His permanent home in your hearts. May you be rooted deep in love and founded securely on love, that you may have the power and be strong to apprehend and grasp with God’s devoted people, the experience of that love of Christ.” And, it’s a prayer for the indwelling. And so I… Oh but God that’s perfect, that’s perfect. So I prayed that with great, I’m sorry, great passion. And even during this podcast we’ve talked and prayed and gone back and forth, but even during this podcast I got this precious letter from her that I don’t believe she would mind since I’m not giving her identity. “What I have experienced today is the great love affair of life, with not another person, but with Him, Christ, that I must first have that love with Him. I have a new set of eyes by which I can see my cross, my death, forgiveness of sins, etc. Today it is Real.” Did God answer my prayer?
(M) And did God give me the prayer to pray?
(M) And all that has happened during this podcast. It’s Christ from beginning to end. It’s not that we need discipline, or any other thing. We can’t. I’m a sheep, and I only get in trouble when I cease to be weak and dumb. The issue… Are they not the dumbest things John?
(J) Dumb, dumb, dumb.
(M) But we will not be. We will not be ignorant and wait for God’s wisdom to come. I’m so in love with wisdom right now. Because I read… And I may have said this before; it bears repeating though. I’m reading Gerald Schroeder’s, “The Hidden Face Of God”. And I haven’t gotten very far in it, I’m so enchanted, because he says… He talks about all the intricate formation of everything in this world. And the birth of… he goes through the birth of a child. And it’s just incredible what is naturally taking place in that, in the mother and the child during the birth. I never knew it. Oh it’s, it’s full of wonder. And he said it appears that behind creation it is wisdom and not power. See, He is Wisdom. And we want the power of knowledge, but what we need is wisdom, and we do… If we lack it, all we have to do is ask. And we lack wisdom. Wisdom is different than knowledge.
(M) Wisdom is knowing what God knows.
(M) And knowledge is thinking I know, and it will always be of Satan, as it was in Eden. And I am in love with Wisdom because Wisdom is Christ, in Proverbs 8. He was the Creator; He was the Word in the beginning. And the experience of ignorance and being a dumb sheep is that you can, you can know this incredible Wisdom, Who is Christ. And you know that Wisdom by experiencing Him and letting Him be in the empty bowl. So thank You, thank You, thank You, Jesus, for giving John that visual. It exploded in me. God bless everyone and may the Lord use these podcasts for His glory and His increase inside of us. Amen.