1 September 2013
With Martha Kilpatrick and hosted by John Enslow
Special guest: Jennifer Wentzel
(M) We’re having our usual morning meeting, and I’ve had something on my mind here this morning, for a while, it’s about the chastening of the Lord. I was in Proverbs, and ah, I was reading in Proverbs 1:22, “How long, O naive ones will you love being simple minded? And scoffers delight themselves in scoffing and fools hate knowledge? Turn to my reproof, I will pour out my spirit on you. I will make my words know to you, because I called and you refused, you neglected all my counsel and did not want my reproof, I will also laugh at your calamity; I will mock when your dread comes, and your calamity comes like a whirlwind, when distress and anguish come upon you. Then you will call on me and I will not answer; you will seek me diligently but they will not find me. Because they hated knowledge and did not choose the fear of the Lord, they would not accept my counsel, they spurned all my reproof, so they shall eat the fruit of their own way and the waywardness of the naïve will kill them. But he who listens to me shall live securely, and will be at ease from the dread of evil.” One of the most crucial things in our lives, and a big huge responsibility in the Body of Christ is mutual accountability. There’re so many people who will not accept that, and so many people who will not take the responsibility to do it. So this morning I want us to, those in this room, we have been mutually accountable to each other, we’ve been confronted and we’ve confronted. And we know the lovely outcome of that, which God calls “the peaceable fruit of righteousness”. It’s cleansing, it’s wonderful, and it is the function of the Body. I realize this morning that Paul said in first Corinthians, “I’m writing this to warn you as my children.” Both Corinthians books are, are confrontative, warning; Colossians is corrective, Ephesians is corrective; ah, most of the Epistle’s are confronting and correcting. Paul was extremely confrontative; in Acts, among the Apostles, they were confrontative. And it’s a, the only way you’ll do this on either side, if you’re the one who confronts or the one who is confronted; the only reason for this is your eternity. And you’ll only take it if your eye is on eternity and standing before God, you’ll only come to accept that. If you want it in this life you will never tolerate being corrected, and you will never sacrifice yourself to correct others. Jennifer, you have an insight about that don’t you?
(Jennifer) Well when I first began being corrected, the truth is I only saw me. And me being corrected and my humiliation, my, uhmm, discomfort, my pride being hurt, my, you know defending myself, my turmoil with it. All I saw was me in that. And uhm, in truth I really didn’t have an appreciation until, ah, God gave me a word of correction for someone else. And it was, uhm, just as big an agony on that side of it, if not possibly more. And I was so completely undone by it, and I cried my way through it, and it was; I mean I was hollow afterwards, because its, its with great fear and trembling to correct someone; ah, there is a work to get before God and say is this really You giving me this word? And sooner or later you have to make the leap and say well, if it’s not You then I have to be able, you know, be willing to be corrected (she laughs), for my correction. You know, and to get quiet before that, and not knowing how the person is gonna respond. Because when you confront someone it is very possible that they’re gonna come back at you, and say, you know, absolutely not. Or in their fury at being corrected they’re gonna send whatever curses your way, that, that cripples you. I mean it is not some sort of ‘tra-la-la’ happy place, to give a word of correction to someone. And you really have to love them and be willing, uhmm, to love them enough, even if it means they say I can’t stand you and walk away and never talk to you again. And that is also a possibility when you’re dealing with people; everyone can say no, at anytime, and say bridge too far I’m done. And so, but what I found after that was going into correction it gave me a whole new picture of the love behind it. That it’s not; you know it’s not somebody who is happy that they get to expose your, your flaw, your weakness, your sin, whatever; to expose you. It’s not, that’s a very human thing, and some of us grew up under people who delighted when we fell, because it made them feel better. But I just see it as so much love, and it was able to take me off of me. And it creates a space for you to open up and say thank you for loving me; and there’s a stronger tether every single time that allows that correction to go in quicker, and not to be fought against so hard. I don’t know, for me that was the case.
(J) I think it has to do with motive. That when we’re, ah, children, and when we’re immature, we, we ah, I mean ok I don’t have sibling’s but I know about sibling’s and the delight that a sibling would have to get their other sibling in trouble. To uhm, you know confront or, it’s just a very, it’s, it’s immature. And it’s coming at it, looking at it with that immaturity and realizing that the one that is bringing correction is having to pay a tremendous price, and there’s an incredible responsibility to bring it, and it’s weighty, it’s heavy, it’s not just like a ‘na-na-naa’ I got you! It’s a burden that you have to bear and take and uhm, so it’s costly. When you’re a child there is no, well, there typically could be no cost just to nark on your, on your sibling, you know. And that’s kind of fun, because then you know, you could get something that they don’t get at some particular time. But uhm, this isn’t what that is at all, and so it’s viewing it through that immature window. And we all think that there’s a joy and a ‘one-up’ when you’re able to say I’m better. But it’s just all, I mean it’s from, it’s looking at it out of that motive is just it’s immature. Because it’s not a ‘one-up’, it’s a literal I’m throwing myself underneath you and lifting you up by bringing you a correction; not I’m getting on top of you and pushing you down because you’re stupid, you know.
(M) Well said, John. See, the confrontation within the Body of Christ where people are truly connected. I think it would be in the context of a close Body-Life. But it’s, I want to call that confrontation ‘an easy cross’. God wants to correct us, and, and Proverbs the famous one referred to the New Testament. It’s Proverbs 3:11, “My son do not despise the Lord’s discipline, for the Lord reproves whom He loves, as a father the son in whom he delights.” I’ll go to Hebrews twelve in a minute. But you’ve just made it clear Jennifer that the one who confronts, dies to do so; the one who is confronted dies to self. But it’s far better than some of the severe chastening that the Lord could give us. He wants to spare us, He doesn’t delight in hurting us, He doesn’t delight in humiliating us. But He wants to save our soul and cause us to lose our life so we can be what we’re supposed to be for eternity. This thing has its eye on eternity; God is after something bigger than our feelings, our humiliation, our little, our little blindnesses. And so the Body of Christ should function in mutual accountability. And the motive is love. You have to love to be willing to, to shred yourself before God and to be the vessel of what He wants to say. It’s a terrific death, and most people don’t know that Jennifer. Thank you for saying that.
(Jennifer) Well, it’s, it’s a terrific death, and when you see correction at work in the Body, mutually, the beautiful thing that I’ve learned, uhm, with it, is it, it undoes a lot of that, uhm, I’ll call it built in false law of the flesh that says we’re all in competition with each other. Do you know what I mean? Uhm, so and so is more spiritually advanced, and so and so doesn’t struggle anymore, and it’s all over, and you’re the only one that’s sitting there you know having this that and the other. There’s a separation that comes in every single one of us, and I think that Satan delights in separating us and making us feel isolated and like we’re the only people that do whatever. So when you’re within a Body where correction is normal, it is the norm; that mutual accountability, that chastening, and usually I do think you can get to the point where when it becomes that normal, then instead of it being a big thunder bolt and lightening session, it can literally just be a ‘Careful, you look like you’re stepping down a path that does end well. And I’m telling you right now that did not sound like the Spirit, let’s, let’s come on back.’ It can literally be that simple. It can be that, you know, easy, as you said. But the beauty of it that I see is it puts everyone at the same table. Martha you’re constantly saying, “Come on down here and be human with the rest of us.” And I think what Satan loves to do is separate you out and make you feel like you’re not all sitting at the same table. Do you know what I mean? And so when you’re in a Body and you see everyone that God gives that love in corrective form and chastening to everyone in the Body, you feel a part of it and a belonging; and that separation goes away and you feel connected and that you, that you are all in this together; that you are all on this journey with Him and it might be a unique path, but everybody is gonna experience this and this is just part of that life. It establishes the normalcy of what it is to be a child of God, and to look around and see that you know so and so has been walking with the Lord for forty years and received a word of chastening, so and so is saved two years ago, it’s the same thing, “Whom the Lord loves, He chastens”, period. And to see that in action somehow it digs out that horrible root that separates us from each other and makes us look and compare and compete; and I think it’s wonderful.