Our Position as a Priest to Minister to God
February 7, 2016
(Martha) Well, John, we’re sitting here in a field, in the countryside, and we’ve seen blue sky for the first time in seems like weeks,
(J) Umhmm, Umhmm.
(Martha) …and snow skies. I think I have something to share that I went through during Kenneth’s illness. At one point we sort of in a crisis situation had to get him into a hospice. And for the first couple of days there I was really kind of lost. I felt like I had no connection with God, that I wasn’t even connected with my own spirit. And I thought, “If for all times, Lord, You’ve got to be near me, and You’ve got to lead me every step of the way. Of all times to be out of sink with You, I can’t bear it.” So, I really, really cried out to Him, because I needed a lot of guidance. There were a lot of decisions and a lot of minor crises going on all the time. And so, just early, early one morning I said, “Please, please.” And I opened the Bible to Ezekiel 44 around verse 15. “But the priests who are Levites and descendants of Zadok and who faithfully carried out the duties of My sanctuary when Israel went astray from Me, they alone are to enter My sanctuary. They alone are to come near to My table to minister before Me and perform My service.” And I realized quite strongly by the Spirit that I needed to be in the position of a priest. And, you know, John, Israel was supposed to be a nation of priests, everybody’s priest, and that’s more so for Christians, New Testament believers. We are all priests. We’re all to be moving to that place, not where we pray so much for the world, but we pray and minister to the Lord for His desire for the world.
(J) Ahh, that’s amazing. That’s amazing.
(Martha) So, I realized what He was saying to me very clealy, “Get in the position of a priest.” I was in the position of a wife and a care giver and kind of a nurse in some ways. And the story I’m going to tell is really going to be shocking to what we think Christianity is. I hesitate to tell it, but it is, it’s really precious and crucial.
(J) It’s radical. It’s really radical
(Martha) Ok. That word will do. So, I understood that I was to be, I was to minister to Jesus. I was not there to be in any other role; wife, mother, etc. though He would let me that, but my job, my position was to be a priest. And He’s taught me so strongly that the Kingdom is all about position. It’s all about order and being in the right place. You can’t have warfare without your position. You can’t be yourself without being in your position. And that’s what happened to me. I wasn’t myself, and I wasn’t with Him, because He wanted me to get into the position to see through these last days. And so, I immediately… It was not a struggle. I said, “Yes” and immediately I felt His presence. I felt my own intactness with Him, my own link, indwelling of Him. Everything was like it just fell into order. And I had peace and hope and confidence for the next few days that were coming. I started reading Ezekiel 43 and 44 about how the sons of Aaron were to be the tribe of priests. But because they strayed from God, first with the golden calf, they were disqualified. So, the qualification of being a priest is to actually always be there for God, and always be ministering to Him, which of course no one can do. And it wasn’t but a couple of hours until I said, “Lord, I can’t even remember to be Your priest. There’s so much going on. You’re going to have to keep me there, because I can’t. If it’s dependent on me, I can’t stay in that focus.” And there were, you know, critical things going on. So He did. And I just went through a very short time, really. Those few days in the hospice were only 10 days there. But they were… I had peace, and I knew what to do. I understood that the priest has no possessions,
(Marth) The priest owned no land. He owned no garden. He was to be fed by the people and by their best. And he was not to have the normal possessions that people do, because his possession was Christ.
Then, there came a time when I couldn’t care for him by myself anymore. And Lee moved in and slept on the couch and stayed with me. The next day we had to have the EMTs come and help us move him, because he’s a big man, and I simple couldn’t handle him, and I couldn’t hold him up. And he almost fell on me several times. So, we came to the point where we had to go to the hospice. I was already taking my position as a priest, and I knew that our biggest crisis was to have a lift chair for him, so he could get out of his chair; an electronic, electric chair that lifts up so you can stand without having to struggle. And I started looking. I realized that they were very expensive, $2,000. I didn’t care. But it would take two weeks to get them there, and I had a crisis today. I notified the oncologist through her nurse, but I never heard anything back from them. I said, “I’ve got to have a lift chair, now.” The priest has everything. In just a few hours, Julia’s husband, Sam, who is a son to us, called from, I believe it was Costco, and said, “I have found a lift chair, and my friend is here and I can bring it now.” So, the lift chair was put in, and it worked beautifully. And then in a few days was when he had the crisis to go to the hospice.
(J) You know the amazing thing is that when you say that you as the priest are supposed to minister to God, that that is your focus, it’s not to minister to the people. It’s to minister to God and to focus on Him. And if you don’t know God, you would think that that meant that you would short and forego the people, but the amazing part of this whole thing is, is that when you are a priest and your focused on God, and you’re giving Him your attention, and you’re giving Him your focus and your gaze, then you are able to be the vessel where His heart can come through you to touch those that are in need and those that are around you, which is mind blowing to me. You can actually by being focused on the Father as a priest, you can actually minister more to the people that are around you in need than if you were focused on them. Because if you’re focused on them, that’s just all human
(J) and flesh. And if you allow it to be Him by your focus on Him… It reminds me of when you were praying for me for something, and then God just said to you, “Stop looking at him,” because you were trying to pray for me, and He said, you know. Didn’t He say, “Worship Me as..”
(Martha) “Worship John’s God,” and by the time I got back to you, it was all solved. “Worship the God of John. I am fine as John’s God.”
(J) And that’s amazing.
(Martha) But you’re so right, John, because that’s what happened. And most of it I didn’t see til afterwards. But the other verse, the other Scripture He gave me about this was Colossians. And someone sent this to me. Everything was handed to me that I needed.
(Martha) “Since then you have been raised with Christ, set your hearts on things above where Christ is seated at the right hand of God. Set your mind on things above, not on earthly things.” Even in a hospice. “For you died and your life is now hidden with Christ in God. When Christ, who is your life appears, then you will appear with Him in glory.” And He was saying to me, “Ok, the priest is a heavenly position.” And it wasn’t like there were angels and, you know, experiences of the open heaven. It wasn’t that. It was a quiet waiting for the Father to give me directions. And if I had been in me, I would have been, I would have been a pest. I would have been reading Scripture, and I did read Scripture when He told me to. I would have… And I comforted him, and I was there, and I was present, but I present on God’s terms in His will. Since I got in my position and asked Him to keep me there, those days, though very few, very minimal days passed quickly. At the end of it, after the funeral, Sue wrote me a note, and she said, “I got a Scripture for you.” And she said, “The Lord took me back to Melchizedek,” and she said Melchizedek is the symbol of the New Testament priest in the Old Testament, because he brings wine and bread. And so in the New Testament by the blood of cleansing, because the priest has to be cleansed, and by the bread, which is Christ’s life, everybody who’s born again is to be a priest and can be. So that made me remember that God had called me to the priesthood, not to be a nurse first, not to be a wife, a mother, a friend, whatever, but to be a priest, to keep my focus on Him. And so, there was a great deal of peace and quiet. There was such quiet most of the time. And there was such a relationship with the staff, with the nurses and the doctors. And I felt like God’s love was just flowing all around. And one, I’ll call her little, because she was short, one little nurse, God said, He pointed His finger at her and said, He said, “She is special to Me.” And I loved her, and she called me Sweetie. And, you know, we had a good time. She called me Darling and all kind of… because she could feel the love. And I pulled her aside and said, “I want you to know that I know God, and He said, ‘You were special to Him,’ and I want you to know it was Him and not me.” And she said, “I’ll take that.” But she was a little uncomfortable. She didn’t quite know what to do with that.
(Martha) But when Sue wrote me that note, I had time to reflect on it. And here’s what I saw happen, John, the most amazing thing. As I say, believe me, I would have been the nurse on duty, and I would have been a pest, and I would have been trying so hard to make him comfortable, to keep him. And I did those things, but they said to me, “Ok, now, you’re exhausted. You let us be the nurse and you be the wife.”
(Martha) And that set me free from those duties that I had been doing. But it also gave me freedom to call on them for things that I would have normally done. And as I look back on it, the most amazing thing I could see, that time was God’s time with Kenneth, and Kenneth’s time with God. It was not for me, about me or between me and Kenneth. And God moved to keep me out of it serving him, so that He could minister to Kenneth. And I understood because of past experience with other people I’ve helped go to their end. I understood that in some of these deep sleeps that appeared to be sleep, the nurse that helped me so much said, “They’re doing work with God.” And there were things Kenneth would wake up and say that I won’t tell that are too private, too intimate, and too beautiful. But I asked him once, “Is God talking to you?” And he nodded, “Yes.” So, I was not interfering and keeping him from hearing. I was not hovering.
(J) Oh, wow, umm.
(Martha) In fact, I shared this with my dear, dear friend, who’s assistant pastor, and she said, “Martha, I saw this on you. You were serene, and you didn’t hover.” Having experience I’m sure with a lot of people she could tell that was unusual. And it’s shocking, but I was not his god,
(Martha) and it was not mine to bring him to his end. It was not mine to usher him into heaven, to do whatever transpired between him and God. I watched it, and some of it I heard, but very little. And my conscience was clear when it was over, and when I could see that through Sue’s note, because I knew that God had kept me in my place, so that Kenneth could be in his place alone with God.
(Martha) Oh, that you for that wow.