How Does Choice Work with the Exchanged Life?
This is the continuation of a series of Podcasts started in Episode #594.
How do we reconcile our free will, our choice, with being carried by the life of Christ Himself in every possible way? Can such a thing be reconciled?
This is very similar to a conversation that you and I, Jennifer, you and I had, where we were talking about the volitional versus the being carried. She, she mentioned something the other day, when we were talking she was saying, she’s had a difficult time, kind of reconciling, there it is, but reconciling the basically the volitional choice and the being carried by Christ’s life. And what I just heard you say is precisely that. You basically said you have to have the volitional. You can’t just lay back. You have to have the volitional energy, life, and choice that that’s where you are going. You’re not the performance. The performance comes through the Spirit and through the life of Christ. But that the, you’re literally saying ‘yes’. I’m not saying, “Ok, if You want to pick me up, go ahead.” You’re saying, “Let’s go, let’s go God, let’s go.” Now, you know, I’m not pushing it because I can’t A-type personality through it and say, “I’m going to do this” you know. But, the, the, when you, have the, the yes to God, the yes and amen, He literally just picks you up and then that life comes and takes you through. And that’s…I’ve thought it was an utterly fascinating quandary you were saying that you had then the reconciliation and I know that you’ve seen that reconciliation in your own self and in all of us. You’ve witnessed it.
I have witnessed it. I have experienced it. It’s not foreign to me but listening to you, Martha, it was. It’s a picture of what I was trying to say that there is kind of a paradox within that. It’s a paradox that there is nothing in this life that I can do or am expected to do or will be allowed to do if I belong to Him. If I truly belong to Him, then it is His Son’s life. That’s the acceptable life. That’s the resurrection life. That’s where the power is. That’s where the grace is. That’s where everything is. But (laughs) I do participate with my will. But before I came to the Lord my will was the engine of my life. So my unredeemed life was powered by my will, by my choice and that’s why it was such a mess. But to come into being born again those two things seem to be completely at odds and they’re not in Him; it’s perfect. But it is the spiritual paradox and Martha, what you’ve just described (laughs) I mean you…for a second I thought you were reading my journal but not to that depth and extent because I really didn’t even know what it was but it was that I can’t even, I can’t even let go my own will to You in this. Which is just almost ridiculous to say out loud. It makes no sense. And that’s the paradox because it can’t be reconciled reasonably. But it’s a miracle. It’s one of the daily miracles if you will let it. And when you experience it and you know that it’s not rational and it’s not logical and it’s not something that you can simply one, two, three, four and we’re here. (Laughing.) You know, when you understand that you are literally interacting with His life and His mind is laying to rest your mind that’s been wrestling with the thing inside and out until both of you are exhausted. You know, that, that’s amazing. That’s, that blows my mind.
So in that, the, the whole exchange of life, I think it has everything to do with the saving of your life. If you’re trying to save your life, you are going to lose it. And if you’re saving it, you’re performing it, you’re doing it, you’re willing it, you’re running at it and to literally to have that, the wind that I witnessed come through you, to have that wind come through… I can see a visual like a sail. If you had a sail that had, your know, been wrapped up, wet, and had molded in everything like that and it was all bunched up and then you were trying to punch that wind through it, it would be prevented from taking the gale and moving forward. So, the, the, to have that gale come through you have to have a full-blown sail, your know. You don’t have crinkled up, moldy parts. You have, you know, and the you know. When I was in another church in Orlando, they had a singer come through and, the, you know, totally not my style. I wasn’t interested in anything she was singing. Probably closer to the Loretta Lynn kind of thing, you know. It was not, I was not interested, ok. But she got up and she said, “You are witness to a miracle every single time I stand on here because I am so debilitated physically, but every time I stand on this stage I have every bit of power and all the pain that I live with constantly…” It sounded like she had some kind of debilitating arthritis or something. I don’t know what it was, ok? But she said “I have no pain when I am on this stage and I go for it.” Ok now I don’t her life. I don’t know anything about her. It was Dottie Rambo which, you know, I don’t, but I don’t know anything about her and like I said I wasn’t interested in the, you know, the song. I can’t even remember any of it. But that stuck with me and I said, “Hmmm!” because it’s the whole “Jesus loves me this I know.” He is strong and I am weak. And I was like going, “Hmmm. She’s utterly weak and You are the strength.” And it pricked my heart because I went, “I don’t live like that.” I move, I go, I just do. You know, I just do the best I can. I say, “Hey, yeah, this seems right for this moment” and I do it. But that’s not how we’re to live. And the blessing of both your debilitation and Billy Graham’s debilitation is that we’re all witness to that life because there’s utterly no other life back there. There’s nothing else there. So, I’m grateful. And I’ve not only seen it in this last conference. It was more dramatic in this last conference, ok? But I’ve seen it in a number of conferences. You did conferences in the middle of a sickness where you didn’t even know if, if during the conference you were going to be called to leave. And I dry mouthed-white knuckled-sweated because I knew who it was going to ride on if that happened. I was going, “I’m going to have to get up and speak for the conference!” So, or we’re just going to sit and sing. Something was going to happen. But, uh, so I had no idea what was going to happen and, and, so I’ve witnessed that over and over with you. But I’ve witnessed that with, you know, I’ve seen people say, “Ok, I’m going to write a book” and then they just go and write a book. And they wonder, “Why aren’t you writing more stuff? Why does it taking you so long to finish the Cain and Abel, The Better Blood book? Why is it taking you so long?” And I know people have questioned that.
We’ve had people asking that for eight years now! (Laughs)
Yeah, we’ve had, I mean, really! And I look at it and I go, “Because she’s not the author.” If she was the author, she could go and she could just sit down and write it. But because she’s waiting for The Author to author it through her, you know, and that’s huge. When you are waiting for the Life, it doesn’t, you don’t get to go, “Ok, yeah, I have a book I’m ready to go.” Well, that doesn’t mean anything. You may have the entire book but you can’t write it. And so I’m waiting for The Better Blood because I know The Better Blood is going to be an amazing message because it’s been years in the waiting and you’re literally waiting for that gust of wind to come and blow and when it does, it’ll be done. So…
Well said! Well said!
…I vote for lack of life, of self, and more of Him.
Well, you know, I realized that what happens to us is what we have been willing to want from God. I gave Him permission to ravage me. It’s not His cruelty. And I’ve worked with several people lately that have had wilderness experiences and I would say, “Somewhere in your life, you chose that.” Because He… Talking about choice as the issue, Jen, it’s almost, there’s almost no condition except maybe a brain dead where you don’t have a choice. You can be paralyzed and have a choice, most of the time. I understand it’s not 100 per cent. But the choice is the work and when you make the choice and my choice is simply “I want to be with Him at the end of all this and I want to be with Him forever and I want to see Him.” And not everyone will have that. You have to choose that now. And so my course has been full of suffering and someone said that Altogether Forgiven is my biography and it’s the closest thing probably I’ll ever give to one. I certainly told more than I wanted to. And it’s, I think it’s probably true. And one person said, “How’s the woman alive after all this she’s been through?” And it’s not the cruelty of God. It’s an answer to my plea. “I can’t bear it, Lord. If You don’t get me to the place”…this is the weakness…”If you don’t get me, as Jude says, to the place where You can present me faultless, I won’t be able to bear it.” Because I have to be with Him. I have to see Him. I cannot live as one who’s not permitted to see His face. “Whatever You have to do, You have my permission to do it.” In the middle of that is your crisis. Will you be offended with Him for doing what it takes to get you there? Because it took this whole sickness to get me to a certain place. I know now, I can look back now and know that it was in many ways a terrific chastening of me. In many ways it was a kind of Job suffering. Not to compare to him but… And I remember standing despairing one day because He doesn’t tell you His secrets. Secrets are secrets with God, and until you’re ready to hear it He’s not going to tell you His secrets. And I didn’t understand what was happening. Why it went on and on and on, year upon year. And I remember standing in despair at my window, looking out and the Lord spoke to me very clearly and said, “This does have a purpose. Don’t despair. It will come to an end with a purpose, that you will be” – that’s what He meant – “you will be ok with.” And I am. And I’m not offended with Him. I want to be one who’s not, who has the blessing of the unoffended. But it’s very costly, folks. It is! It costs everything. It lays everything on the altar. And He will go after, if you want it, He will go after everything that is a hindrance to your destiny and His purpose lived out in your life. But, so I don’t want to make my illness sound like some terrible thing that God did. No, I gave Him permission and He did it as kindly as it could possibly have been done. I was sustained by so many people and cared for by so many and cooked for so endlessly. And I’m more than grateful. More than I can say grateful for those who prayed.
How Does Choice Work with the Exchanged Life? – Episode #596 – Shulamite Podcast
How do we reconcile our free will, our choice, with being carried by the life of Christ Himself in every possible way? Can such a thing be reconciled? Or is this a spiritual paradox that is solved in God alone and not by human logic and reason? Let’s find out!