God’s Relentless Pursuit
With Martha Kilpatrick and hosted by John Enslow
Special guests: Carole Nelson, Gunter Nawrocki, Don Nelson, and Jim Pierce
(Carole) Well, I never understood until today why this verse came after the Lord’s Prayer. In verse thirteen of Matthew six says, “And don’t let us yield to temptation, but rescue us from the evil one. If you forgive those who sin against you, your heavenly Father will forgive you. But if you refuse to forgive others your Father will not forgive sins.” The Lord is saying if you want to be kept from the evil one and his clutches, forgive. I’ve never seen that before. I’ve never made that connection.
(Gunter) Well, I got confronted with my evil by Martha. I didn’t ask for forgiveness then, but I went to the Lord and asked His forgiveness, and I got His forgiveness; then I came to you all and asked your forgiveness and you gave it to me. But if someone asked me to forgive them for what they do, what they have done, and I have refused to forgive them, do I set myself up bigger than God is? Do I have the right to not forgive them? God said if you see your sin and you come to Me . . ., I paraphrase it now, but if you see your sin and you come to Me and you ask for forgiveness, I forgive you. So if I don’t forgive, do I make myself bigger than God? I still say again and again that’s the best thing that happened to me, what happened here. And I feel at peace now. I’m fine with it. I’m great with it, you know? And that’s all there is to it.
(M) I’m thinking of Matt. 18 where Jesus tells a parable, and how you’re turned over to the tormentors if you don’t forgive. And the tormentor’s are the demonic. So it’s not only are you not forgiven, you are tormented. Forgiveness is the core, the absolute core of Christ’s coming, of His cross, of His being, of what He did, what He gave. He was the great sacrifice to bring forgiveness that God the Father wants to give. I don’t have words to say it, but torment is the fruit of unforgiveness.
(J) And I think it’s because you’re setting yourself up as God, just like he said. It’s the fact that, Jonah was saying, “I will decide.” He had, he stood up as God. He really stood up as God. He was God’s mouth-piece, but ultimately he was saying, I really direct this and, and where You’re offering Your forgiveness, I say no, and I will not go as Your mouth-piece, no, I’m god, I’m god in this situation. My offense is greater than Your desire. Throw me over! Throw me over, I don’t care; I will not go, I will not do it. It was defiance. I’ll be sucked into a fish, stinkin’ thing, and smelling like a sardine, being ingested, he’s sitting there, I will not. Three days being ingested, ok. All right. Ok.
(Don) To follow up on that, what amazes me and what I’ve been thinking about while we’re sitting here, is the extent to which God will go to, to help us make the right choice. I mean, I almost got to laughin’, but I’m sittin’ here thinking, and, and I can look at myself as an example, for as many times as God has come to offer me that choice of light or darkness, or life or death. And I’m thinking, look at the extent that God goes to with Jonah to get him just to make the right choice and to be about His will, to do what He wants Jonah to do. And that’s the extreme that He takes with each and every one of us to do that. He keeps coming back. He is sovereign and He keeps coming back, and He’s saying, hey, one more time. (Laughing in the background.)
(Don) Ok, yeah, they threw you over the boat; you’ve been in the belly of the whale, what is it, light, darkness? What’s the choice, life, death? And literally with Him it is life or death. But I am amazed in listening to what we’ve done this morning and Martha has shared with us, the extremes that He goes to, because He loves us so much that He wants us to be about His will, and make the choice. So…!
(Jim) We kind of went in a different direction, or several different directions, but, and I don’t know how this will actually tie back onto the Jonah story, so I’ll depend on somebody to do that, but when we were back in Luke, with Mary and Simon Iscariot, uhmm, I came to this ministry because of “Adoration”, and how it showed… it’s still teaching me about the love of God in my life and me recognizing it. And when Jennifer brought to this conversation he who has been forgiven little, loves little, and she that has been forgiven much, loves much, and we have to come, I have to come to that place in my heart, to the very bottom to recognize that I have no hope, uhm, until somebody teaches me that I need to repent and come to that place so I have been forgiven that much and I can understand the love of God. And that opens up a whole new life. I have no life without that understanding. I can’t even begin to go there until I turn and recognize that God loves me and He wants me to understand it so I can return it in His way, in His understanding. So where that ties into Jonah, you all will bring it back around, I know.
(M) I have so many people, or I have some people, who say I just don’t love Him and I’m supposed to love Him. And I always say, “pray for it”, and I think I need to change and say repent, and you will love Him. And sometimes maybe the absence of the love of God is the absence of repentance and coming down to seeing what I am forgiven for. I mean God’s had to prove to me what I’m forgiven for. He’s had to, (she laughs) He’s had to shock me into it.
(J) It’s not a big stretch, you know, it’s just not a big stretch. He can just say, let Me just pull back the covers just a little bit, and ‘ah-ooo-gosh-ahhh-it’s—me—gaah!’ So it’s not like He can’t prove it to me on a regular basis.
(M) It’s possible to have that in you, but not go to God’s forgiveness. And that is the most dangerous thing of all, because ultimately you become an utter liar and a complete fraud, and it all has to do with that… What’d you say, uncovering it, and you say, oh no, no, no, I won’t, I’m not going to think that. I’m not going to feel that. No, that’s not me. I don’t do that. But instead saying, “Dear God have mercy, forgive me.” Then your life is continually keeping short accounts, staying clean with God. Because whatever, we are accumulating some kind of, a pile of forgiveness, or a pile of bitterness. And either way, it’s accumulating all the time, and receiving forgiveness will explode into forgiveness. Bitterness will explode into bitterness. Sooner or later it’ll erupt like a volcano. You’re building in one realm or another. You’re building your own forgiveness so that that’s so precious to you, you wouldn’t withhold forgiveness from anybody because you don’t want to lose that peace, cleanness, clarity, purity, light, love. You don’t want to lose that. I mean, I’ve often said that I don’t want to go to hell over that offence. I won’t lose You, Lord. When I’ve been under terrific offence, I will say to Him, I will not lose You over this; I will not. You have to give me the power to forgive, because I’m not going to lose You.
(J) Here’s the perfect sovereignty of God. He’s tied us to be completely dependent upon Him in this world, because of the fact that we do have the amassing piles of two, the bitterness or the forgiveness. And He, literally you can’t walk through this world and not have offense come toward you. So He has tied us to dependency on Him. So you have to on a regular basis go to Him and deal with these situations, so the fallen-ness of man has tied us. Think about this. The fallen-ness of man tied us to the dependency of God, which we had originally in the Garden. That’s amazing. This is really, really amazing. You would think that the fallen-ness of man took us away from God and threw us aside, but He says no, no, no. Your fallen-ness is proof that you’re tied to Me. Now you have the choice, yes, we do have the free will to go wherever we want with it. You can do that. You can pull back the covers and say oh no, that’s really not there. Or you can pull back the covers and say, oh my gosh, there’s a bunch of monsters under there. I’m so sorry God, please forgive me. Those are my monsters; I’ve created those things. But, I’m amazed at the fact that my fallen-ness, the fallen Adamic nature literally tied me to the original intimacy, that Eden intimacy, but that tied me to it; if I will just be honest, and if I will just be current, and if I will just be in the moment, He will turn that back around and tie me to the Garden intimacy, so to speak, where I’m one with Him, dealing with the situations. So my fallen-ness was even a further perpetuating of my dependence. And that…
(M) Yes. Yes, and the curses that God pronounced because of the sin were intended to reduce us to need. The ground was cursed. Why, because God was just bad, and mad? No. Because the ground was cursed for the man, and in his labor he will meet God. And for a woman, it’s in childbearing; I don’t understand that, the pain of childbearing. But I think it’s a big picture. But that was to reduce the woman to need Him. He set us up to need Him, exactly what you’re saying. You all have so expanded the revelation of Jonah. Oh my goodness, this is…
(Jim) There’s still a loose in my head, there’s so many confidences in what I’ve heard. But Jonah being tied to the Ninevites, us being tied to what God is calling us to do. The people were called to speak to, to preach His gospel to, however that is, and if we deny that… I really don’t have an end to what I’m saying, but there has to be some closure for me somewhere in here.
(M) Ok, alright. I don’t know if I can answer, Jim, but it has to do with specific calling to a people. I was specifically called to John. And remember the story of his finger. I was, God gave me to Carole; He gave me. And her, though she and John and everybody has a choice, God committed me by specific calling to specific people. And it’s being willing to lay down your life for the Lord by having been forgiven. And so it’s very, it’s a calling that’s very specific by name to a people. And then as you just say yes to that, He moves it where He wants it to go. Does that answer anything? But the closure is, all my part is to say yes. And I think Jonah, what Jonah said was no, not those people. And He did that to me once. He said I want you to lay down your life for this person, and I said, oh God, she’s not worth it. No. He said that’s exactly why I want you to do it; she’s not worth it. And I did, I obeyed that. And at the end she went probably to heaven, because I was at her deathbed.