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Living Through God’s Boot Camp
June 11, 2017
With Martha Kilpatrick and hosted by John Enslow
Special Guest: Carole Nelson
Welcome to God’s boot camp! The Shulamites gather to discuss Martha’s latest message, noting the parallels between military life and the Lord’s training.
(Martha) We’re sitting here in Carole’s beautiful home, and we’ve just finished recording the June Message of the Month (Military Christianity), and it was about the military aspect of being a Christian. And I thought it was pretty exciting. And we’ve got someone sitting here who’s an expert on military life, because she grew up the daughter of a World War II Air Force pilot hero. And so, Carole, would you like to comment on what it’s like to be in a military family?
(Carole) Well, it is true I was a military brat, as they called us, Air Force brat. And I was probably one of the few that loved it, but the reason I loved it was because I was just an outgoing personality, and I got to… If I got tired of one place, I knew it was just a matter of biding my time. I was going to get to go to a new place. So, you know, that nomadic nature was kind of born, kinda created. The Lord created that in both Don and I, because both of us were military ‘brats.’ He was an Army brat and I was an Air Force brat. But anyway, my dad was a Colonel, and he was a commander in several places where we lived. And so, he kind of ran his household the same way he ran his military troops. Since it’s a good thing eventually to learn through failure, I failed at being a responsive, obedient child. But I did learn in the long run, because God is sovereign and God uses everything as He is taking you through life. And when I finally did come to the Lord, and bowed my neck and bowed my head and came to forgiveness over knowing my own rebellion. But the relationship that I had with my dad, I began to glean from the failure of all those years of not being obedient. And I began to see the incredible correlation between an obedience in the military and the obedience God calls us to in our Christian lives. And, you know, we in this country are all, “What are my rights?” We’re democratic and the rest of it. We don’t really have the concept – I didn’t have the concept – that when you are born into His family, those rights I no longer have, because my rights become His rights. And so, Martha’s message tonight was just so powerful and strong and such a, just a powerful call to take our place in the Kingdom under the authority of Christ and under the authority of those that He puts in our lives.
(Martha) Well, I’ve said to Carole that when she really entered a commitment of obedience to the Lord, she understood authority and functions in it to this day, much more than you’re aware of, Carole. You just function differently than most people, because you understand authority. And most of Christianity doesn’t want to live under authority. Especially, the real test according to Watchman Nee, is delegated authority. When God puts someone – like your father was a delegated authority. But you really do have an instinct for the mindset that just fell into perfect place when you ‘got it.’ And I appreciate that so much in you. There’s not a fight with your will. There’s not a struggle.
(John) Authority is such an abused and misunderstood entity and aspect of our Christian life. We usually assign to God the aspects of our earthly parents that we don’t particularly care for. But even that is all about authority. Our parents are our authority that was God-given authority. And you know, fighting authority – I’ve done that. Oh my gosh, my whole life. You know, I resisted authority and resisted authority, cried abuse from authority. But when I came face to face with a God, Who I was, you know, I mean I bowed my chest up at authority. And then when I met God, God bowed right back and won! His chest is bigger. And I realized, “Oh!” Learning authority is just huge. I mean, you know, I was a rebellious child. I was a rebellious son. I was a rebellious teenager. I was a rebellious young adult, and then God got a hold of me and gave me an incredible amount of grace. But then, when He actually was saying, “Ok, now we’re going to do this,” it was frightening, because it is so total and so complete. When He, when He grabbed hold of me and started doing with me in authority and by authority it’s just totally and utterly—completely, totally different than we typically live our lives. We don’t live by the basics… I don’t think we can. I think that it’s not natural to go according to authority. It’s natural to be rebellious.
(Carole) Well, as Martha was teaching the CD of the Month, one of the things that just struck me was when she was talking to this Marine friend that has, and he was telling her that when they go to boot camp, one of the first things they do is a memory wipe.
(John) Ummm. Umhmm.
(Carole) And I thought, “Oh my gosh,” I would never have thought of it like that. Now, when I look back, I go, “Oh my gosh.” It was a pretty dramatic memory wipe that the Lord had to take me through. And it was excruciating, because it was totally anti to what I had been, which was absolutely rebellious to authority. And so, there was a, there was a huge confrontation and stripping away of that rebellion and that mindset. It was a transformation, a process of the transformation of my mind to come from absolute rebellion into submission to the Spirit. It was huge for me. It was – I would even call it violent.
(Carole) It had to be for me, because my mind was so not His mind.
(Carole) And He had to bring me to a submission to Him and to His will. And it was, it was radical. That’s all I can say. It was radical.
(John) I would call it a response wipe. You know, I still have my memory, but there was a complete brain washing, meaning, you know, not in the typical way you would think of it. But it is a washing of your brain and a washing of your response, so that you respond in a totally different fashion and according to a totally different value system.
(Martha) Well said, John. I told him earlier that you don’t know this, but you’re a military Christian. Because when he was called to come, to move here from Florida, he left family, friends, church, business, going into a situation that he really didn’t know if he could rest his confidence in, a large unknown. You just simply went. That’s what the two fishermen did. I think it was James and John. They left immediately. And I remember thinking of Carole and her ability to be flexible. I had a situation with a small meeting, and I needed Carole desperately to come immediately. So, I called her, and I said, “Can you drop everything and come now?” She didn’t say, “Why? What? I don’t know. Let me think.” She said, “Yes,” and she was there in 5 minutes. And that is a military mindset. “When I’m called, I move. I don’t question.” And you really have had that kind of – we wouldn’t have called it military. But you’ve had that commitment. It’s a commitment. That’s the biggest thing to me is that you have no rights and no say. I remember when my husband, he was drafted, was going to be drafted. He chose to go into the Navy, and they said, “Oh, yeah, we’ll give you a legal position in JAG. Oh, yeah, we’ll give that.” Well, they didn’t. He never got a position in that. He was a supply officer, ordered plane parts and did well at it, very exceptional at it. But he didn’t have any say, and he had no room to even oppose what they chose for him.
(John) Um, um.
(Martha) That’s how it is. And that’s really, isn’t it how the Lord is when He is Lord?
(Martha) You really don’t get to choose the route He takes with you. And best just to bow your head and be quiet.
(Carole) Well, when Martha was talking about the boot camp I’m just seeing my experience, my life experience, my history a little bit differently. And I realize that when I was born again, I was put in a boot camp ASAP. Here was this rebellious, ‘freedom’ loving, independent woman that had no idea really about how to – not how to – to be submissive to the Lord, to look to Him for His will rather than doing what I wanted to do. It was, it is boot camp. I’m not sure we ever… There’s always a sense of boot camp going on, training. There’s always training going on to come under His will and His will alone.
Living Through God’s Boot Camp – Episode #549 – Shulamite Podcast
Has your life been upended? Do you struggle to remember the way you once viewed the world? Welcome to God’s boot camp! The Shulamites gather to discuss Martha’s message, Military Christianity, noting the parallels between military life and the Lord’s training.