Experiencing True Life in the Cross
August 23, 2015
This is the continuation of a series of Podcasts started in Episode #453.
(Jennifer) …Because you cannot mimic the only Life in the whole universe. You cannot. Now, I know people think you can, but you can’t.
(Carole) Well, for me, when I saw that, and I smelled that Life, I wanted that Life, but I didn’t want to pay the price for it. I didn’t know that at the time, but that is absolutely the truth. Because with Martha, as I really got to know her, I realized that she had paid a very large price, and the price or the cost was everything for Him. And that fragrance only comes out of a life that has paid and is paying that price. And that price is really death to self, death to sin and that is the fragrance that comes up. And I wish I could say it by heart, because I so love Tolkien’s little poem from The Fellowship of the Rings, but, well, I’ll do the whole… I’ll speak the whole thing:
“All that is gold does not glitter,
Not all those who wander are lost;
The old that is strong does not wither,
Deep roots are not reached by the frost.”
(But this is the one.)
“From the ashes a fire shall be woken,
A light from the shadows shall spring;
Renewed shall be blade that was broken,
The crownless again shall be king.”
And that’s what I see, that fragrance that really is worship of Him; that fragrance that comes up and worships Him. A life that has been burned to ashes before Him is worship. A life that has been offered, a body that has been offered to Him is that reasonable and acceptable form of worship. And that, I believe that is what we smell in people who have paid that price. And that is what calls us, even if we don’t know that there is a price to pay. That is what calls us to Him to want that and to be hungry.
(M) Well, Carole, I was just thinking before you said all that, that fragrance comes from the flower that’s crushed. That’s where the fragrance comes from. And so, to deny that we die daily… Jesus said that “if any man will follow Me, let him take up his cross daily and follow Me.” That’s the prerequisite. So you cannot deny the perpetual action of the cross to bring you to that culmination which is the glorious realization that it’s all finished and you have Him in reality, and He can live through you; and it’s done. It takes the cross. I remember someone said to me, “Norman Grubb says you don’t have to die to self,” and I went, “That cannot be. Norman Grubb had a great revelation of the exchanged life.” She said, “Let me show it to you.” I saw it, I read it in his book. I still love him, I still will appreciate him, but you do have to die to self. On what ground you could say that I do not know. But that’s this new, that’s this new gospel that’s out, this wrong, false gospel. It is saying you’re dead, you don’t have to die anymore. And to worship the cross? It’s not worshipping the cross to live the cross. It’s the worship of Him. You said it just then. To die for Him is to worship Him. It is not worship of His death or your death. It’s coming in to love Him so much that you will die. And so, that produces the light and the fragrance.
(J) Well, that would say that if you’re not daily dying, that there is no fragrance, because there is no crushing. So, our crushing literally makes the fragrance, and yeah, Christ died. I don’t have to ultimately die, but I have to daily die, daily self dying. And that’s my crushing. That’s the forming of Christ’s life in me. That’s His life coming forth out of my shell. Right?
(Jennifer) And that, for me, I know for me, that is where I meet Him in the fullest, most incredible possible way at the end of me, at the end of all I have, when I have nothing to give Him but the fact that I don’t want what He’s asking me. I don’t want to give it up. When I come and see me and see what I really hold on to, what I cling to; the ferocity that is in me for these things which are essentially death. He is saying, “Let go. You’re two-fisting the arsenic. Seriously, put it down. Put it down. Put it down,” because He wants me to live. And when I see me in that mirror, and I see the green skin, and I see that I’m holding onto that death like it’s the most precious little puppy in the world, and that’s all I’ve got, and that’s all I am is my wickedness and my delusion, my inability to see beyond myself. There in that horrible reckoning place, where you know that’s all you’ve got, and He takes it. He holds you, the stinking Prodigal, once again covered in the filth of the sty, where you’ve chosen to live. And it’s not you’ve become dead again. It’s not that you’ve gone back to… It’s a deeper cleaning. It’s an ever deeper cleaning. It’s a place where you are constantly embracing that corpse, and it’s stinking and there’s maggots crawling everywhere, and you’re sitting there like, “lalalalala.” It’s a horrifying picture. But there, there is where He meets me. There is where He comes. He embraces me, where no one should want to touch me. No one should want to be near me, because there’s nothing loveable about me in that place at all. That is where I meet Him in the fullness of who He is. That is where I see exactly how much He is not me, how much He is Himself, that He is who He says He is; how much beyond my piddling little ability to imagine who He might be.
(M) Now, Jennifer, I have to take it and say, you don’t realize the transformation we’ve watched in you. You don’t realize that out of that crucible of dying to self, He transforms you with Himself, and He becomes in you the fragrance that we smell of you that you don’t have any idea about, and the enormous response to your writings is because you always come to Him at the end of it as His glorious self. So it’s the process of discovering what you have, but you have to die to get it in reality. And so, but the transformation is so incredible. You don’t just go through the cross and just suffer. No, you’re changed. You come up the next morning and you’re a different person. You die again the next day and you’re changing without realizing it, except in the sense of intimacy with Him and peace.
(Jennifer) Well, and that’s what’s so amazing. I’m not, if as you say that’s wonderful. That’s confirmation to me that the Spirit works beyond my ken, and that’s fantastic, but honestly, what matters to me is the relationship. So the deeper I go with Him every single day, the more it becomes about Him, my pursuit of Him, my meeting Him, my hearing Him, my learning about Him, the same way you would if you had just been married, and you’re having breakfast with someone. You’re finding out about their life. You’re moving through difficulties together, and you’re finding out how they respond to these difficulties, who they are in these situations, who someone is in a crucible. That’s a very private thing that very few people get to experience. So, that’s where I meet Him, and it becomes less about me and my life, and that’s very good because it’s not hard for me to get there and just get stuck. And it becomes more about Him, who He is to me, who He is in my life. It’s… That is the wooing.
(M) And it becomes who He is through you, which out of your intimacy He is exuding Himself to the world, and you don’t need to see it, but I’m just telling you we witness it.
(Jennifer) Well, and that’s absolutely wonderful for me, but…
(M) She says ok, like whatever.
(Jennifer) But again, the amazing thing is that me, who is no stranger to, oh my gosh, the love of man. Love me, love me, approve of me. Find me funny and charming and all these different things, whatever. Believe me, “uyaaaak.” I have absolutely been the biggest whore at the party. You know what I’m saying? My gosh, there’s no question. So, to be brought to the place, any place where that is not my first thought moving in, where my first thought is, “Where are You in this room? Who are You in this room?” Where my first thought is, “I wonder what’s going to happen. What are You going to do?” You know, where I’m having these, where I’m actually with Someone. I’m not alone, and I’m looking for them in this situation. For that to happen, even once, twice, a few times, you don’t understand how miraculous that is. I know me, and I know my proclivities. And so, it’s amazing to me how much He’s brought me off myself and onto Him. That, to me, is the miracle of my daily life. You know, and I have a ways to go, but I am astonished. I know that sounds like a terrible thing to say, but honestly I’m astonished that there’s even the possibility for me finding Somebody more fascinating than myself. And that’s the miracle of Him, because no matter how fascinating you find yourself, and I, from the time I was young really I have both hated and really just adored myself. And I don’t think I’m alone in that. I think that’s a lot more of us than we’re comfortable admitting. But He is infinitely more fascinating, and I’m sorry, but I do find that surprising every time, and He’s not bothered by that. He’s, you know, patient and loving.
(J) I’m gonna write about this on the blog, (GetAlongWithGod.com) but I was driving down the road the other day and I was like, “What do You want from me? What do You want for a relationship? What are we doing? Where are we going? What is this?” And I realized if you are resisting, if you are resisting the cross, you are resisting relationship, because that’s literally what relationship with Him is, is what else do you have? I’m not going to emerge as Hosannah singer and floaty cloud-walker. No, my relationship with Him; He’s given me an arena of relationship right here in my body. This is where I get to know Him, see Him, watch Him. Yeah, I get to watch Him outside of me, but the most intimate part of my relating with Him is inside me. And yeah, I get to see the wow outside, but who wants to relegate it to that? I want wow inside, not outside. I’m grateful to see the outside. This is an amazing thing to watch God work, amazing wonders outside of me, but inside of me is… That’s Bridal. That’s when it Bridal, and that’s what I’m being prepared to be is the Bride. And Bridal is inside. You know, they become one inside, so yeah, I am grateful to watch healing miracles, and I want to see them and transformation in others. I want to see it, but at the end of the day when I’m by myself going to bed, it’s He and I. And so, when I was driving to the pool the other day, and I have a 45 minute drive, and I was saying, “What do You want? What is this relationship?” Because I know it’s not just, you know, wow, I want you to sing three worship songs, then I want you to read four scriptures, and I want you to read ‘rngrngrngrng.’” That wasn’t it. It’s the daily cross. It’s the cross. It’s His life brought forth from me, through me into the world. That’s where I get to know Him. That’s where I get to see Him.
(M) Well, you remind me of Philippians 3. Paul said, “My determined purpose is to know Him.” That’s what you’re talking about; in, within you. The Lord said to me once, “You can’t be more intimate than for two to exist in one body.” And he said, “that I may know Him and the power of His resurrection.” Oh, yes, don’t we want that! “And the fellowship of His sufferings, being conformed to His death, in order that I may attain to the resurrection from the dead.” And he says, ok, verse in Philippians 3, the bottom of 10 he says, “that I may in the same way to know Him, that I may in the same way as Him come to know the power out flowing from His resurrection in which it exerts over believers that I may so share His sufferings as to be continually transformed in spirit to His likeness, even to His death in the hope that I may attain the moral and the spiritual resurrection.”