Life Above All
January 18, 2015
With Martha Kilpatrick and hosted by John Enslow
Special Guest: Carole Nelson
(M) I just want to make it clear what it is that’s transcendent; the mighty life of Jesus Christ. That’s what is transcendent. His life is what is transcendent. His life, His victory is so huge and so great that He can take us in our nothingness, in our wreck, in our pillage, in our devastation. He can take us in our unbelief and still transcend us, because if we, if we… it’s surrender. I’m going to come to that over and over again, because you don’t have it if you don’t surrender. And if you surrender partially, you only know it partially. If you surrender utterly you have an entire transcendent move of the life of Christ through you, in spite of you, for you, lifting you up, as you keep saying, John, “I’m in it.” He lifts me up in this transcendent glory of His victory. His life is that powerful. And He wants to prove it to us. He brings the cross to bring us to the surrender so that He can do these glorious things He wants to do. I’m thinking of Peter and the apostles when they preached and the Sadducees or whoever put them in prison, and the angel came and opened the prison, took them out, and sent them to the temple to preach. And the guards come back. I don’t remember; it’s Acts 9 or something in there. The guards come back, and the prison’s locked, but the prisoners are gone, and they can’t explain it. They don’t know what happened. And then somebody comes to the rulers and says these guys are preaching in the temple. And they go to get them, but they’re afraid to arrest them now, because the people are so enthused. Now there is the life of Jesus Christ transcendent through their troubles. I can imagine that probably when they were first arrested they didn’t know if they’d come out of it alive or dead. But that’s the kind of life He wants us to experience. The Valley of Achor is the place of rest, the place of fruit, the place of vineyard, the place where you sing and dance like you did in your youth.
(J) And it’s all trouble. That’s amazing.
(M) The valley of troubles, not just one.
(J) Yeah. Well, yeah. Right.
(M) Not just one, but many. Isn’t that astonishing? “In the place for herds, for my people who seek Me.” He’s worth seeking. And then I think of Paul being put in prison and how the appearance of that would be, oh, devastation to the Gospel, to the spread of Christianity. But you can see Paul’s surrender to that prison in his writing. He even glories in it. And most of the time when he’s suffering, he doesn’t mention it, because the transcendent life of Christ is moving through him unhindered by his resistance. And so, he writes the Gospel for the eternity while he’s in prison. And when he’s in prison not just to write what he’s seen but to see more of Jesus in order to write about Jesus in prison, through prison. I’m interested in the accounts of people in prison who’ve had Christ appear to them. Richard Wurmbrand is one. And my favorite Muslim convert story is where Jesus appeared. There are numbers of these testimonies. Prison is … One time I said to the Lord, “Ok, what is my name?” He said, “Prisoner of the Lord.”
(Carole) And He always leads His prisoners in triumph, always. And isn’t that transcendency? Isn’t that transcendency?
(Carole) The key there is prisoner.
(M) Yeah. There you go. Don’t forget; it’s prisoner.
(J) I wonder how Emmanuel works with… The word Emmanuel and the reality of Emmanuel works with and in conjunction with transcendence, because of ‘God with us.’
(M) You just reminded me of what I was on this morning. My passage of the year is the 23rd Psalm, and “I will fear no evil, for Thou art with me,” and that has new meaning to me. It’s exactly what you said. “In the valley of the shadow of death,” I will not fear, not because there isn’t something to fear, but, “Thou art with me, Thy rod and staff comfort me.” His power is in His rod and His staff, His protection. His protection of me from me, and His protection of me from anything else.
(J) His transcendence is His nearness.
(M) Yes. Yes…
(J) His control, His plan, His oversight, but His nearness.
(M) You have to experience Him to understand the scriptures.
(M) Don’t you?
(M) I’m seeing things in the Word that speak of this transcendence that I’m not… Like that in Psalm 23. “I will fear no evil, for Thou art with me.” That’s just words. No, it’s a powerful statement of His nearness and His transcendence over man, Satan, the world, the devil and me. His life is that great.
(Carole) His rod and His staff is to bring us into His transcendency. That is the purpose of His rod and His staff. Ok, so then I see how He has over these just last weeks; He’s done it all my life, but over these last weeks He has had to come after this wandering sheep. And Martha gave me a little refrigerator magnet that says, “Not all who wander are lost,” (laughing) and I have it up on my refrigerator because I do wander. But He is faithful to take His rod and His staff and to pull me back. And as I sit here and listen, and I am one who He has been shaking up and bringing to the surface and exposing my self-hatred and the depths of that self-hatred and how that self-hatred has really at the bottom of it has been my hatred and rejection of Him, and He is my Father and my Creator. It’s absolute rejection, but as I’m coming through it, it’s not about punishment. It’s not about anything but His tearing down, His love that is so vehement and violent as to bring down every barrier that keeps that love from coming into me and going back to Him, because as it comes into me He crushes me and causes me to fall more and more in love with Him. And I believe as we were talking about being contagious the other day, as that happens, that becomes contagious to those around us, and the herd is greatly affected. This happened by that love that has come in and captured us through that rod and that staff.
(J) This rod and the staff are the amazing thing that destroys everything that is preventing you from experiencing the God that is with you. God with us, the rod and the staff separates…
(Carole) As I was repent, seeing first. As I was seeing the… oh, it broke my heart to see how my own rejection of myself, my own hatred of myself was really rejecting Him and hating Him, and as I was going through that repentance and He was, He was breaking my heart over it, I saw the picture of the prodigal son, of making that decision to go home and turn back to Him, and how He came in His absolute arms and engulfed me and surrounded me in His love and accepted me back, even though I had done that. And He gave me the scripture in Is 43:25, “I, even I am He who blots out and cancels your transgressions for My own sake, and I will not remember your sins.” And that’s in Psalm 23 too, isn’t it?
(M) I just was in Isaiah 65 about the herds and the first thing it says is, “I permitted Myself to be sought by those who did not ask for Me. I said, here am I, here am I to a nation that did not call on My name.” More and more I’m seeing why Paul could say, “God forbid that I should glory save in the cross of the Lord Jesus Christ.” The cross that takes away whatever barrier sets us free for this transcendent, glorious culmination of the cross. The end of the cross is resurrection. The cross is the way to resurrection. The cross is not the end. It is the beginning, always the beginning, and that resurrection life of Christ, where He could pass through locked doors, where He could appear and not appear, where He could be disguised and wouldn’t know Him; that’s the transcendent life, is the resurrection life. So when you touch, when you can see the transcendence of Christ in your valley of troubles, what you’re seeing is your own resurrection into His life, His way of life, His power of victory.