A Completely Yielded Yes to God
September 13, 2015
This is the continuation of a series of Podcasts started in Episode #453.
(Martha) I understand more clearly now why for at least the last 30 years, at least since the 80’s, my entire passion has been for the Bride. It didn’t come from me. I didn’t originate it. It just happened to me. In all my series from “The Bride Is Ready,” whatever they are, they’ve all been about the preparation of the Bride. And the preparation of the Bride is that she would become without spot and wrinkle by the process of discovering that she is that cleansed by the blood of Christ. And it’s not just the chastening, the discipline. You cannot deny those things as being part of the discovery of the finished work. And not to just discover it mentally, which you cannot get it mentally that it is finished. You have to get it experientially. You have to get it through the cross and the chastening of the Lord. You come into the realization of you’ve had from the beginning. Nothing else is the gospel. Whew! Sorry. Firebones come out!
(Jennifer) Preach… It begins by saying yes to whatever you just read, to whatever revelation you’ve just had, to whatever to say yes, ok. But that’s like the most basic beginning in the whole wide world. And it’s the same thing you were talking about the difference between reading a book on aerobics and saying, “Ok, now I’m fit,” you know? But that’s it. No, that’s just step one so that you know what aerobics involves. And then you have to begin to get up every day and learn how to move in these ways until one day you’re doing a 45 minute Jane Fonda routine, and you’re doing it quite well from start to finish. But that doesn’t instantly happen. But it’s like everybody stops just when they say yes, and then that’s it, and then they’ve got it. And all they’ve done, they haven’t even… The gun’s been fired, the race is on, and they’re still standing in the starter gate saying, “I won.”
(Martha) That’s called crazy, Jennifer.
(Jennifer) It is crazy, Martha.
(Martha) I want to tell you this story from Smith Wigglesworth. It’s going to require reading. He wrote, “A dear young Russian came to England. He did not know the language but learned it quickly and was very much used and blessed of God. As the wonderful manifestations of the power of God were seen, they pressed upon Him to know the secret of his power, but he felt it was so sacred between him and God,” sounds like John, “He should not tell it. But they pressed him so much that he finally said to them,” and this is what you’re saying. “First, God called me and His presence was so precious that I said to God at every call I would obey Him, and I yielded and yielded and yielded until I realized that I was simply clothed with another power altogether. And I realized that God took me, tongue, thoughts and everything, and I was not myself, but it was Christ working through me.” There’s the secret; yielded, yielded, yielded, yielded. “Every call you say yes, and you can’t say no. You’re free to say no. But it takes you to the yes and the yielding and the yielding and the giving way, giving up, giving over, letting go; all of that the cross until I realized the fullness of what Christ had already accomplished on the cross.” He had come into it by choice, choice, choice, choice. “Until I realized I was simply clothed with another power all together. I was not myself, but it was Christ working through me. How many of you today have known that God has called you over and over and put His hand upon you, but you have not yielded. How many of you have had the breathing of His power within you calling you to prayer and you have to confess you have failed.” So, you hit it, Jennifer. You’ve come to the bottom of it. It’s simply yes. I don’t like it. I don’t want it. What of it? I say yes. There has to be an attack on self, and that is the biggest war of all. And that’s why that statue means so much to you, John.
(Jennifer) And that’s exactly it. To deny yourself, it’s… I think people get the idea that it’s the same thing as when you, for instance, deny yourself that piece of chocolate cake you really want. Or maybe you deny yourself half an hour to read that book that you’re halfway through and that you really enjoy. Technically, yes, these are denials of what you want. If that’s the full scope of what that verse means to you, “Deny yourself, take up your cross and deny yourself,” I’m sorry, you’ve never, you’ve never done it. These are as superficial things. I’m sorry, they are. These are immediate and rather superficial passions. To me, the crosses come for the dreams that are buried deep in our heart. They come for the identities that I cling to, the way that I see myself, what I want for myself, what I want for other people who I love. Any place where I am sitting on a throne, either in my life or in someone else’s life, that is where the cross comes. That is the investment of me in every possible way that matters. This is not, “This morning I would like to sleep in. Instead I’m going to wake up at 5:00 and go to boot camp for an hour.” No, no, no, no, no. No, because you know what? The unsaved can do that. Anybody, technically can do that. That’s called the exercise of the free will that God gave you. That is not dying to self. That is not. That is what we shall call a nice discipline and yeah… But if that’s how you approach it as some sort of behavior modification, forgive me, I question if you even know what dying is. I question if you ever died the first time to be born again. Once you have died, once you have been crucified with Christ, and that is a very real death. That is an absolutely real death. If yours, it was 5 minutes of crying and a pang, I’m not sure that you’ve died. Gethsemane, Jesus constantly showed us the way it’s done; blood, sweat, tears, hours. And He was fully human and fully divine, and that was His death throe. Death is death. It’s, hmmmm, oh dear. I don’t… If you can make light of something like that, then you mock Gethsemane. You mock Calvary, and you say that they are the equivalent of going without your favorite doughnut for six months or however long Lent is. I’m really ignorant about these things, ok? That’s not death. It’s just, it’s just not, and I don’t say that to discourage. I say that to say if you have not had that experience, cry out cause that’s not good. Forgive me. You’re missing it. You’re missing Him.
(J) And I’d say, if you haven’t experienced that, what are you still withholding from Him? What are you holding on to? What stands between you and that place, because, you know, quite frankly, it isn’t a beignet in Louisiana. It just ain’t it. “Oh, I can’t have it.” No, that’s not it. UhUhmm. There’s something there.
(Carole) In fact, it’s those things that He usually ignores to my chagrin, and goes after the deeper issues.
(Jennifer) I now have several life verses. They just keep coming, and that’s wonderful. Apparently I need them one at a time, and He’s real faithful to do that and very slowly. I really basically have four. Anyway, this is the one He brings up almost daily, almost all the time. And it could be, you know, everybody’s heard it and it’s almost rote at this point. Isaiah 55. “For my ways are not Your ways and my thoughts are not Your thoughts.” And there’s the whole passage, but ultimately I only thought that I knew what that meant. But every single time that He brings that to me, it is some sort of cellular level reminder that though I bear the life of His Son, even that is a yielding. I do not, until He tells me, I do not know. Until He shows me, I cannot see. His ways are not my ways. His thoughts are not my thoughts. I can’t go skimming off into my mind and concoct a picture of what something is going to look like. He has to bring it to me. He has to show me. He has to give me His eyes to see a person, to see a situation, to see beyond my very limited scope, my very limited imagination, because my thoughts are not high thoughts. They’re not. His thoughts are. My ways are not high ways. His ways. And He says it’s the difference between the earth and the heavens. I mean it’s vast. It’s me and an ant. You know what I mean? Never the twain shall meet. And it’s both a chastening and a call to adventure, and I need both. I need to be chastened when I think I know, and I need the call to adventure when I get discouraged and say, you know, what else is there? And that is, you know, that is also the cross, which is what we’re talking about. We’re talking about a life of the cross and the life with Him, and His ways are not our ways, His thoughts are not our thoughts. And that means the things that He comes after are not necessarily the things that I would go after. When He comes in to cleanse and to fix and all the rest of that, He does not do it the way I would very much like Him to do it. He does not do it in the order that would really suit me, and frankly, I think would reflect really well on Him. And He doesn’t listen. I know these things. I was once in marketing. God doesn’t care, you know. But that is the cross. He has His own order, and it’s far beyond anything that I could do. When you reach those points where you can look back and you can see His hand and you can see His move, and you can see like a chessboard, He gives you things where you can go back and say, “Oh, my goodness, you brought so and so who brought so and so, and here you go and you see this little ripple effect, this little bit of the tapestry in His move in your life. And it’s astonishing because He shows me things that I couldn’t have planned, and I’ve read lots and lots of stories. I question whether there’s, you know, a story left, a book to be written where I’d say, “That doesn’t remind me of anything. That’s wholly unique.” I’ve not found one in decades. But He does things that are twists that I didn’t see coming. There are turns that didn’t telegraph, you know? It’s amazing. It’s amazing, and that’s the adventure of being with Him. And that’s, you know, the more you die, it’s also the more you look forward to that reward, and the more you’re repaid in Him. And it’s not that death is ever fun. There’s no such thing, you know, but it’s more and more worth it each time. Am I alone in that, or do you now find that you’re more willing to embrace the next one because of what you gained at the last one?