November 16, 2014
With Martha Kilpatrick and hosted by John Enslow
Special guests: Jennifer Wentzel and Carole Nelson
(Jennifer) Carole just said, “His rod and His staff.” I heard her say that, and I said, “They comfort me.” And then I thought, but if you’re not living out there, if you’re not willing to put it out there, to live open like Peter did, put your neck out, then “the rod and the staff,” they have nothing to do. Your neck’s not out there to be crooked and…
(Carole) You’re not a sheep, because that’s what sheep do. You’re not a sheep, because sheep wander. I mean, that’s just what sheep do.
(J) Umhmmm. Bahhh.
(M) And the only alternative to being a sheep is to be a goat, stinky, rebellious, untrainable, mean, darling, and unconquerable. We are either. But it’s not real to not be. It’s a lie. I puzzled over some things, some relationships, and I realized that… I’ve asked the Lord, “Please explain this to me, how somebody can know so much and know nothing?” And I think what He showed me is that for some of us, when we are taught as a child, and we have parents who are not real, not genuine, who are playing a role, pretending to be or think they are; we live life by, “ok, this is how I’m going to be; this is how you’re supposed to be, so this is how I will be.” And it’s coping with life by a façade and worse, a whole persona that we invent as what we think we’re to do. For instance, I could say to someone, maybe if I’m discipling someone I could say, “ok, this is how you live.” This is how you’re supposed to live,” and they would do it, but it was playing a role rather than changing character. It was pretending what they didn’t submit to, and so it ends up bombing. We can pretend, and I think much of Christianity is tragically this; we act a part, rather than be real. It’s not acceptable to be a Peter in most circles. We are a bunch of sheep, and we are free. It’s like my friend Greg said one time; I said, “Greg, this is the place where you can be in Spirit.” He said, “Martha, this is the place where you cannot be in the Spirit, and it’s ok.” I’m just aware that we can take a principle or a truth and live it as a lie. If that truth does not become a character value, we can live a lie. As the scripture says, “Everything is going to come to light.” Everything is going to be exposed for what it really is. And this is the tragic thing that to mimic the Christian life.
(Carole) I think that goes back to what… That goes right back to what started because the difference is performance versus dying. It’s performance saying, “Ok, if this is what I’m supposed to do, then I will do it,” and never really see that you are a total and complete failure.
(M) Worse, Carole. Worse, Carole. A liar.
(Carole) A liar.
(M) Because the lie of it is what puts you in darkness. If you are performing something as a performance on a stage… And there was someone in my life that I would say to her, “Your life is but a stage, and you are playing different roles, but you’re not coming into reality in the Lord.” And it is Satanic, because he is the liar. It’s so terrible for the person, because there’s no reality. And so, if you’ll just be human, you can come into… That’s truth. That’s Nathaniel. “Behold an Israelite in whom there is no guile. Ok, you can see heaven descend and ascend on the Son of God. Heaven’s gonna be open to you, boy!” Even though you’re cynical and doubting, you’re real. And that, being real, is what God can work with, because He can’t deal with a liar.
(J) I always thought that the goat was the naughty one, the willful, naughty. You know? If you’re a goat, then you’re, that’s stubborn one that jumps on the top of the car, and the one that eats your roses and eats everything in your garden, and the one that won’t be pinned up, and the one that… But I’m wondering if the goat nature isn’t just willfulness, period; even to the willfulness of not sticking your neck out.
(J) The willfulness of not being… of your reticence, and being unwilling to live, unwilling to stick your neck out and be crooked and be comforted; that that’s just as much a goat nature as the one who willfully does whatever the heck he wants to do. Does that make sense?
(M) I’m afraid so.
(Jennifer) I was just thinking about that, thinking about that… You know, there’s nothing that we can’t warp and twist as humans. It is our special gift. And I was thinking that, you know, we can even take so called living openly and honestly and without the lie, and we can divorce it from the reality that we are still sheep in need of a Shepherd, in need of that crooking and hooking. There is no innate nobility to the honesty. It is simply what it is to be without artifice. There is no innate holiness simply in being honest. It is just the only place you can start. You’re not even playing the game if you’re not being honest. But just being honest doesn’t mean you’ve won the game. It doesn’t mean that you pass go and collect $200 and there’s no problem ever again. And I mean, look what we do. We say, well, I mean, that’s actually a defense system, “Well, I’m just being honest.” But really, it’s, it’s literally… That is the first step. That is the most basic ‘sheepitude.’ That is the most basic eating grass, looking at the sky in need of a ‘Shepherdness.’ But it’s not, it’s not like, you know… We just do that, I think. We get, we get off the… And I can do it in a second. I can do it in a second. You know, we do that with the poor, cause Jesus spent a lot of time, you know, talking about widows and orphans and feed my sheep and take care of the poor. That was, it was no small thing. And yet we can say that poor equals noble. Poor equals holy. Poor is simply a condition. There’s nothing innately godly about being poor versus being rich. It’s not about that. It was, you know,… So because Jesus said it’s harder for a camel to go through the eye of a needle than a rich man to get into heaven. I’m paraphrasing all over the place. Forgive me. And so we’ve turned around and said, well clearly then he didn’t say that about the rich. You know, but we just, we do that. But it just occurs to me that it’s, you know, the honesty, the open-heartedness, the Peter quality, that that is literally, that is just the most basic level of being a sheep. That is literally, as you said, Martha. That is being honest enough to produce the neck that God gave you and put it out where He can begin, as you said, deal with you. God can deal with an honest person. You didn’t say God will elevate the honest person and they are beyond all reproach. You said He can deal. Yes, He can deal with me when I finally get honest. It’s not the end. It’s the very beginning.
(M) Let me tell you the word it is, and it’s a surprising word. The word is integrity. Peter had an integrity in that he was that willing to be himself. And that is an hon… You say it’s basic, and it is. It’s basic integrity to be who you are. And we don’t want that integrity. We don’t consider that to be integrity. But it is a basic honesty with yourself and with others. And it’s taken me a lot of time to be that, that real and to be myself. I don’t particularly… I didn’t used to particularly like who I was, so I didn’t want to be that.
(Jennifer) Well, who does?
(M) Right, right. I’m content with myself now, because it’s peace. It’s freedom just to be. Be whoever you are at any moment with God and with others. To be spontaneous and to be, just be yourself. That is integrity, and until it is that, you have no integrity.