With Martha Kilpatrick and hosted by John Enslow
(M) Good morning, it’s starting to be fall in the mountains. It’s just lovely, and cool. Is it cool air outside?
(J) It’s wonderful.
(M) I’ve got something exciting I want talk about. But I want to start with the problem, because the way God solved it is just incredible. I have been blocked for a week. I’m trying to finish “The Power Of Decision” booklet. And this is one I am literally obliterating and re-writing. It’s just so important. But I’ve hit a place that I didn’t know how to write the ultimate decision is commitment, absolute, unequivocal, unconditional commitment. And I haven’t known how to transition from making a decision, surrendering your will, into writing about commitment. And I’ve just been asking the Lord to solve it. So He has demonstrated it so vividly. I don’t know how I’m going to put it in the booklet, but I’m going to put it on the podcast because you’ve been kind of walking this with me. Someone would say to me a lot, “Oh Martha, I admire your courage. You’re brave, and your courage inspires me.” And I would say I’m not courageous at all, it’s commitment.
(M) And what I believed was that courage comes from commitment. Courage is not innate.
(J) No…(John responds in background.)
(M) My brother-in-law was in the Korean conflict, and he said nobody could not be afraid in that. If they say that they’re lying.
(M) So Julie’s son was watching on the Discovery channel, a documentary called “Surviving the Cut”, about the Special Forces. And of course we live in the area of the mountain training of the Special Forces. They’re all up here. We don’t know they’re there, but…
(M) Years ago we used to see the convoy’s go by, taking them to camps and so forth. They seem to not do that. You were telling me that they parachute in.
(J) Yeah, they bring the helicopters on through, and then they drop them into the different locations by rope. And they scale down the rope and go into the different locations, and then they disappear.
(M) Well, on the first of May they opened Camp Merrill, and they let the public come in and kind of observe who they are and what they do. And this funny thing, they’ll let you shoot their weapons.
(J) Ooo, yeah, humhmm.
(M) So I got down on the ground to shoot one of their weapons, and the young man was very courteous to me, helped me in every way. And I fired the thing, and it was so powerful, it’s just, freaked me out. And I said no more, no more! I can’t do it anymore!
(John and Martha both laugh) But you stayed and fired and fired, didn’t you? And my grandson did too.
(J) Oh it was, it was fun, it was a lot of fun.
(M) Ok, but the point is, we live in the area, and Camp Merrill was in this documentary on Special Forces.
(J) Oh I didn’t see that, that’s cool.
(M) You haven’t seen that one.
(J) I haven’t seen that one yet.
(M) Ok. Well, I’m going here for a reason, because Julie brought us into it. And we watched the Marine Special Forces. In the first, in the Special Forces training, they put them through the most grueling, (John: Oooo!) unbelievable ordeal. And then the officers are with them, men who’ve been through it themselves, go with them through everything, through the mud, the climbing, the rappelling, everything. They’re there, you know, for their safety and so forth. And they said they, they’re, all the young men are physically fit and strong.
(J) Hmhmm, hmhmm.
(M) That’s not the determining factor. And what they said in that segment was, they were watching for the mental state. They said that in the…
(J) Did they say that?
(M) Yes, they said that about Special Forces.
(M) They were watching them to see their mental strength. I don’t know what they called it, but they were watching their mental state. In the Marine episode they said they were looking for commitment.
(J) Hmhmm, hmhmm.
(M) And it almost overall, didn’t matter if you failed. It mattered if you quit. If you quit you were out of there, they never saw you again if you quit. And two-thirds of them in Special Forces quit. Out of 330, about 103 remained.
(J) Well, it didn’t matter, like even if you passed out in the pool, they had to pull you out. That would seem like it was a failure, because you’ve passed out, you didn’t make it. You know, but that wasn’t it. It was whether you said I’m done, or, there were several other things that they would pull you for. But quitting, if you ever quit that was it, you were gone.
(M) Yeah. And it reminded me the Marines have to go through enormous water training.
(M) I had forgotten that. My husband’s aircraft carrier in the Navy always had a team of Marines on board. So they have to be as skilled in water as the Navy crew.
(M) So we watched the water training. You mentioned it, and that was the one I was going to bring up, because they follow specific ones through the training. They followed this young man. You had to dive under water forever, pick up your rifle, surface, hand your rifle off and signal by raising your hand and two fingers, or whatever, to signal you were ok. But if they came up, and they had been under water too long, they would just collapse back into the water. So this one young man came up and made the signal, and then he just fainted, or passed out. And they pulled him out, revived him, and as soon as he was revived he was lifting up that hand with those fingers. (Martha and John laugh) And he kept lifting them up to say I’m ok. He couldn’t speak. But he was telling them, I’m ok, I’m, I’m fine, I’m fine. But that was commitment.
(M) And so the determining factor, John, was commitment. So the officers in charge knew that it was not a physical matter. It never is. Usually, I won’t say it never is. But in that situation, the physical ability is not the issue. It’s the mental state. And the mental state is determined by whether or not you’re committed. I want to read you some definitions. I started looking them up this morning. Commitment, the definition is: a trait of sincere and steadfast fixity of purpose, the act of binding yourself intellectually or emotionally to a course of action; binding yourself. That reminds me of the kiss of the Son which is a binding yourself. To me it’s like throwing yourself off the bridge so you don’t miss the boat you’re determined to be on. There are people who throw themselves into danger, but that’s not commitment, that’s just recklessness. But if you, if you throw yourself entirely into something that you want more than you want your own self, to me that’s commitment. And I puzzle over this because… And the synonyms for commitment are: allegiance, loyalty, dedication. And as I’ve worked with people, sometimes people who’ve been abused as children find it difficult to commit because they didn’t have commitment, they don’t know what it is.
(M) I’m puzzling, I’m praying over that right now, because if you don’t have the will to will, you won’t make it in the Christian life, because it is all about the choice. It’s all about the will. And you are a man who has abandoned himself to the Lord. You just abandoned your life to come here. You were that committed to where His will was. You abandoned security, you abandoned being in charge of your life. You abandoned your possessions and your world and your family and your home. And ah…
(J) What I was comfortable with.
(M) Hmhmm. And that abandonment was because you were committed to the Lord. And so that’s what I’m on today, about the military. And I think that’s what they were looking for. It was… they were looking for a commitment unto death, and not many people will make that, John.
(J) They were looking for an inner determination.
(J) There was something inward, an inward determination that would push them through, beyond their physical limitations.
(M) Exactly, thank you, well said. And that’s, that’s the level of decision that I’m going to try to write about.
(J) Ok, so why do abused children have a hard time with, with ah…
(M) I can’t say I know, John, I just know that they don’t even understand what it is to will, to choose, to bow, to surrender your will. But some do, some are abandoned or have the capability, or the willingness to choose. But for some the battle of the will is just a horrendous road of failure. And you have to possess your will to direct it as you want it to go. But it’s all about what you want. And somehow abused adults, adults that are abused, live for what they want. Their will is given… You use your will. Someone wrote me this morning, “I can’t give up my will.” And I said I’ve told you before, you don’t give up your will, you give, you surrender your will to Another, but your will is you, and you cannot give it up. (Martha laughs) You will have to exercise it to your last breath. You’ll have to reaffirm… Those young Marines, and young Special Forces in the army, they will have to continue in battle, on and on they will have to exercise their will, and choose to do what body, soul and spirit don’t want to do. There’s some people that cannot seem to go against themselves or beyond themselves. And I don’t, I don’t quite understand it yet, but it exists. And I don’t know if it’s willingness, because I so believe in the gift of free choice that I can’t imagine a born-again believer not being able to exercise the will toward God. And if you don’t choose toward God, you will never follow Him. The disciples, they did what you did. They abandoned, they abandoned their ships and their father, and their lively-hood, and walked with an itinerant poor Preacher. And lived off donations of the women who followed Him.
(J) (John laughs)
(M) And left their children. We know that Peter was married. And they abandoned. They didn’t abandon unknowingly. In one Gospel it looks like they just did it. No, Jesus had been preaching and healing in their area, and they knew, they knew Him. So when He said follow Me… But you know there were others that He said follow Me, that they didn’t. There was the rich young ruler. There were others that He said come, come and follow Me. One… it was the love of money, the love of family. In another case Jesus said… he said I want to follow You, but first let me bury my Father. And Jesus said let the dead bury the dead.
(J) And then after Capernaum when He made His speech and message of eating the Flesh and drinking the Blood, and it was so offensive ah, He said ok, well. Most of them left.
(M) Yeah, and the Bible says they were disciples. They were not just the crowd.
(J) And they were out of there. They said ok, that’s too much.
(M) Hmhmm. So it’s, maybe it has nothing to do with being abused. Maybe it’s simply the will, whether you indulge yourself, or whether you choose something beyond yourself.