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The Earth is the Lord’s
30 November 2013
With Martha Kilpatrick and hosted by John Enslow
(M) But what Watchman Nee said is everything must be consecrated to the Lord, like all the items in the temple were consecrated, they were made holy. And I feel like I’m going so fast, but this is exciting. To be consecrated and made holy, just means it belongs to God. So whatever belongs to God is holy. And if your body belongs to God, your body then is holy. That’s what it means, set apart for God. So Nee said go through your house, and whatever God has given you, you let Him own it, give it back to Him, and receive it, and then it will be holy, and it will not be an idol. And because I love beautiful things, and I was a designer, and so forth, this has been an ongoing lesson for me. And not that, I’m not claiming to ‘have it’, but God had to teach me this because I love things that moths eat, (Martha laughs) and things that rust. They’ve become an albatross, but I have, I have loved beautiful things. But the issue is the Lord, not the thing.
(M) And so for my life, and the work I was in as a designer, God gave me many beautiful things, and each one has a story behind it. I don’t know of anything in my house that doesn’t have a story behind it. My dining room table is a story of party in the midst of a, no party. (She laughs.)
(J) A crisis.
(M) A crisis, yes. And ah, so I want to share this because it frees you. It frees you from owning things, and it frees you to receive things. God wants to give you what will supply your life, your circumstance. Now I live in the mountains in a simpler house, and a much simpler life, so I don’t use the silver, and don’t have most of it, because that’s not where I’m placed now.
(J) That’s not your life.
(M) Right, it’s the lifestyle that He gives you that calls for that. My life now is more mobile than social, so. And John has quite a story about God supplying your house. The story I’m not going tell it all here, but it is a phenomenal story. John began this ministry in a, it was probably an 8 by 30 trailer?
(J) And 8 by 34 travel trailer.
(M) Yeah. Literally, and you were just sublimely happy there in that little confined space. You love mountains, you love your little place, and I don’t know how you lived there and set up a ministry and the computers and all that, but you did. And you lived there for years. And then you lived in a rented cabin and the Lord built you a beautiful home that contains our office. But He did that for His work. He gave you, we prayed and prayed and prayed for you to have a home, especially Carole and I, and God gave it. But it still was there for the work. Outside the service of the Lord and the place He called you, you don’t have any right. In other words, oh what can I say? I don’t need, there are things I don’t need and don’t want, (John: Hmhmm.) that will not supply the work we’re doing. We have all the computers that we need in there, what, six or eight, at least, that you monitor and manage. And we’ve never been with any lack to have a computer we needed. Some of them haven’t been invented yet, but…
(J) We’re waiting for December to come rolling around till it’s released, but yeah. (Martha laughs.)
(M) But it’s amazing to me. I was given a, a computer by Brent Laminack in the very beginning when I didn’t even know I needed one. So God is right there supplying for His ministry. And in the beginning, I didn’t know this till recently, you would pay our bills out of your salary; a lot of times, and I didn’t know that. And your salary was meager enough. But, it’s so exciting because your, until recently I think about my rolling luggage. Didn’t I tell that somewhere on the podcast. And I have loved it, it is marvelous, it saves my wrists. And I didn’t anticipate this but it keeps me from being so exhausted just to be able to roll that thing. So I have the supply for what His will is. And so “All things work together for good to those who love God and are called according to His purpose.” Inside His will, inside His purpose, God supplies everything. Now, in accumulating my antiques, when my children married each of them got things for their homes that I had accumulated, so it outfitted their lives too. But I’m doing a Bible study, it’s real exciting right now, for a tape of the month. And it’s gonna be called “All Things”. And I’m just, all I’m doing is just gathering the scriptures, all things are given to us. Mostly that refers to spiritual things. But if my farm is not my property, and it is not my ah, source, then I have no idolatry, and I have no dependence, no hope, no vestige in my farm except to be a steward for God.
(M) But if I own it, then I corrupt the very earth that it’s on.
(J) So your grip upon what you own corrupts it.
(M) Yes. That’s biblical and scriptural. So all things are given to us that we need for the work we’re to do. All things, all things are even in common. We didn’t plan a community, we live in proximity, and really everything is, it’s not that we live in a commune, or even in a community, God just put us there. But really all things are common. Carole and I do many things together in our gardening, and we simply share. Last year she canned my beans for me.
(M) And ah, but He will…. Oh this is, this is the unbelievable verse. Ro. 8:32 “He Who did not withhold or spare even His own Son, but gave Him up for us all, will He not also with Him freely and graciously give us all other things.” And He does, He gives us all other things.
(J) The amazing thing is, is that is not to make you self-sufficient and wealthy, it’s to supply the need of the will of God in your life. That’s a totally different way of looking at the prosperity gospel. The prosperity gospel basically amasses unto yourself for whatever reason, and because you know, you’re the child of God you should have everything because He’s a King. But that’s not it at all.
(M) No. That’s not remotely it. And this way, that God owns everything and you give Him all your possessions… Oh I thought of something. I found a computer cover. I have a new small computer that’s wonderful. And so I found this cover and I bought it. And my conscience smote me. I said oh, God, I’ll return it, I didn’t ask You, I didn’t even consider Your will in it. I just thought this is it, I’m gonna buy it. It was very, it was nothing; it was really not a big deal. But my conscience just struck me, and the Lord said, “Let me give it to you.” You see what that meant? It meant if I give it to you, which I really did, I put it before you and I gave it to you to buy, but let Me give it to you and then it will be holy and consecrated.”
(M) And it was also saying ‘I’m inside your desires and what you do.’ I can’t say that I’m perfect in that, but… I’ve made some mistakes recently about that. But I’m just telling you that our conscience and our spirit must be keenly aware of possessions, because the New Testament is full of that, beware of greed, because your worth does not consist, and your life does not consist in the things that you own. And I believed that you should have an office and so forth, but I didn’t really believe I needed an office, I had my house. And the Lord just insisted that I have an office, so I do, and it’s perfect for me. But it was His idea, and He about pressed it on me through you and others in the ministry. ‘No Martha, you need, you’ve got to have an office, you’ve got to have a place to pray and get away.’ No, I really don’t, no, that’s too, that’s too much. And God did it anyway, in spite of me. So He gives you what you don’t even ask for, if your purpose is to live for His will and His work, whatever that happens to be.
Once again, thank you, Martha, for clarifying things God has been speaking to me concerning possessions. You’ll never know the impact of your teaching on so many of us who don’t have regular contact with you. Thank you for allowing me to be a part of the Shulamite ministry
We were part of an interdenominational community, a young married couple with a very small child; some of us shared the vision to live in neighborhood, but didn’t find something fitting. One day we found out that eleven houses from a group of eighty still were to rent because of a mistake! They all stood in groups. We were asked if we wanted to have one, but it was too expensive. Half-orphanes as we both were, our families had to struggle with our university-costs, and we had only ten percent of the required deposits. Rent would be cheap as there was an extra-support for young families.
Funny enough we found a way to get the money, all lent without interests and got the smallest house of all, in a line with three other Christian neighbors. As it was a “sponsored” housing program, you were not allowed to earn too much to use these; not our problem :) – but you also had to earn enough for renting – well, my husband had just finished university, lived on science projects and some teaching. It was NOT enough. they wanted to see the income of one very month, which is not usual: That month he was paid all the fees of his university teachings- it was EXACTLY the required sum! Do I need to explain we later never had any troubles to pay our rents? Besides, the building collective had taken too much money and had to pay it back, so within five years we were without debts.
A single woman went in with us, as did the community office; I was a loner and just building up a family life- all this drove me crazy. Many years in this house were quite hard.
Well, after 25 years, this house has:
+++ killed my selfishness
+++ established a deep friendship with the single woman who became advisor, friend, visionary leader for my oldest daughter
+++ let my kids grow up “normally”, with a garden and nature around, and going to their friends without parent’s control before school-age, as there was no danger of traffic or psychopaths picking them from the park
+++ made possible to establish a Christian kindergarten, where a lot of neighborhood kids joined in and we could lay beautiful foundations of Christ
+++ put my teenagers into a bunch of Christian friends, saving them from silly ideas and letting them even survive their militantly atheistic teachers
+++ saved the life of a little baby who would have been aborted if we had not agreed to take her till her mother stopped panicking – the family later had four kids :)
+++ made it possible to take care for my mother, who had Alzheimer’s for years, till only a few weeks before her death
+++ was between the two community leaders’ families, so became the “community guesthouse”. Not always easy, but we got to know dozens of “wow”-Christians of every country, every denomination, every call, every political home, which shaped our idea of “church”
+++ got to be a center of intercession, first of the surroundings, later of the whole country
+++ was the practical basis of our call from a time when we didn’t even know what our call would be!
We still don’t own the house, just rent, which reminds us of WHO is the true owner! Praise be Him!