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With Martha Kilpatrick and hosted by John Enslow
Special guest: Carole Nelson and Julie
(Carole) As you speak Jennifer, it’s just, it, it just so settles a, the story, the history of, of coming into solitude, and it seems to me that the door through which He was calling, probably all of us, was the door of correction. And I’ll put it in terms of it was the cross, because crosses bring correction, His correction; the cross is correction. And it’s at that point that we can choose to go through that door to be really with Him, or not. We can remain in our own little kingdom, we can remain satisfied with the uhmm, being alone, being an island with, with all of our own laws and government; or we can go through the door and allow Him to bring the cross and bring us into that correction. And out of that correction comes the repentance, and out of that repentance comes a seeing and the revelation of Jesus Christ Himself. I don’t think… Is that right? I don’t think any of us would see Him if it were not for the cross that brings us to repentance. And out of that, the very fruit of the repentance is Him and His presence, and that’s what we get. I mean that, that’s the reward. That’s what He wants, He wants us to have the reward, which is Him, and we can’t get there any other way. But our flesh will avoid it and kick against it with everything we’ve got, and He just keeps pursuing. What was it, Julie and her song of praise that she sang. Ohhhh.
(J) Yeah, yeah, yeah, I keyed onto it too. It’s “the pounding of the winter chill”, “pounding of the winter chill.”
(Carole) He doesn’t quit.
(J) And I thought about that; I was thinking, why did you use the winter chill? And I realized exactly why you used it. It’s…
(Julie) Tell me. (Everyone laughs.)
(M) I don’t think she used it…
(Julie) I’d like to know.
(M) I think she heard it.
(Julie) I’d really like to know what, what does that mean to you? What does that say to you?
(Carole) A winter chill is His pursuit, which is a winter chill.
(M) It’s the exposure, God’s exposure of your loneliness, so that He might come in and be your solitude.
(J) Well my life, I’ve, I’ve ah, you know, circumstantially I have been alone a lot of my life. I’m an only child, ah, there’s just several things in my life that circumstantially made me alone a whole lot. And uhmm, when I was called into solitude it was, it was exactly that. It was the most awful, death sentence I’ve ever… I thought, oh my gosh, You are, You are taking me into my worst nightmare.
(M) But now you’ve got, you were describing a solitude that was radical, we’re describing something else. You were called to be alone for two years, with no fellowship.
(J) Yeah, I was called to a very demonstrative out-working of an inner-working thing that I believe that all of you all ah, go through inwardly. But I had to experience it, like I have to do a lot of things, very demonstratively and dramatically where it’s, it’s played out like a, an epistle.
(Carole) But look at the fruit of that. You are, He in you is now the shepherd of a flock of sheep that oh my, and it came out of that, that was the basis and the foundation.
(J) Yeah, I agree totally, yeah, that’s it. It… If He didn’t bring me into that still place and, and quiet my soul, I would never have been able to hear the Shepherd, or ever be a shepherd, so.
(M) And now I’m remembering that I went through that same thing, not as a calling, but just as what God did, when I came to Him like a Damascus road encounter, I had two or more years where I was absolutely alone with Him. So it’s kind of foundation. And each of us have had, a series of times, months at times, of being alone.
(J) But I think that, I think that as a, a called believer, I believe that He does that; and I, I think that a lot of us ah, dig our heels in and say ‘I will not go there’. And we ah, medicate our ah, calling, and numb our, our souls and our spirits by pursuing many meetings and many relationships, and, and ah, I think all that that does is, is it dulls our hearing of His voice, it dilutes our relationship and focus on Him.
(M) Carole mentioned this verse earlier as we were talking about this. It’s Proverbs 18:1 in the Amplified, and we’ve been here many times. “He who willfully”, that means choice, “separates and estranges himself from God and man, seeks his own desire”, that’s the motive, if you choose to be, not to be in solitude but to be in loneliness is a choice, “seeks his own desire and pretext to break out against all wise and sound judgment.” It’s a pretext. We, we are aware of people who separate themselves from Body-life, even though they are in Body-life sometimes, and it’s a pretext to break out against all sound wisdom. The wisdom is to let God, we can’t do it, but to let the Holy Spirit balance our solitude with our Body-life. That’s a pretty continuous of the Spirit; if we’ll follow Him, He will balance it out. But there has to be both, and the Body-life comes from the life of solitude, otherwise it becomes idolatry of the Body, of the Church. And that’s what so many are in today, idolatry of the Church, displacing Christ and putting the meeting or people in His place. And it’s particularly heinous and painful to Him.
(Julie) I’m hearing that scripture, and I know it applies to Christ, but, “Unless a kernel of wheat falls into the ground and dies alone, it will only remain a single seed.” And I’ve just been thinking about how, I’m so struck by what Carole said about the cross. The cross is extremely solitary. It’s extremely individual. And that is our meeting place with Christ; that is where we come into Him. It’s kind of like if you will never go through that death alone with Him, that is correction, like you said, it is correction, it is coming to the end of me, it’s coming into the end of my, my motives and my will and my wants and my pleasure and my satisfaction and everything that I want. And, and I just see how, like Martha said, we’re aware of so many other people and we’ve all been there ourselves, but until you, until you go through that, really very mysterious work with Him, you, you are outside of His purpose, you are outside of His Body. I just never really put that all together like that, but.
(J) If you were going to define solitude and, and how we’re defining it, I would say Lordship.
(M) “But if it dies, it brings forth much fruit.” The fruit is something you can’t produce except through abiding. And the solitude is abiding. But in abiding in that relationship fruit is born in spite of you because of your hidden life. Somebody said well Martha, that, that I was talking to someone and she said, “but you already wrote that in “The Hidden Life”. (Martha chuckles.) That’s really what that book is about.
(M) Even though it’s about the time with Him in the morning, really it’s about solitude and His presence.
(Julie) Uhmm, just as a little bit of a testimony I see how when I, when I first came into this group, I uhmm, I was in such, on the inside I was in such a state of hysteria, and how I’ve let John and Jen both testify, I fought the solitude. I mean I fought, that seemed like the worst, that did, that seemed like the worst thing He could ask of me. And I fought it. I mean I was drug into it, and ah, (Martha laughs) by Him and not by any one, but as in yielding to correction and yielding to His will and purpose and Him as Lord. Uhmm, but I see how until going through that you really can’t be in a Body except as a ‘taker’. As long as I was in that hysteria and I was so enmeshed in me, I was a taker in the group. And I, I just see how, I’m not saying this very well but that’s so essential, you have to go through that cross experience with Him, you have to go through that death alone before you can ever be in any kind of place of fruitfulness to have anything to contribute to a Body.
(M) You know when Julie moved with her teenage children from Texas to Georgia, and she moved in her house, I can’t tell you how restrained I was from enabling you. He would not allow me to be involved in your coming in; and I really knew deeply why, but it was a lot of, ah, it was obedience. And I remember the day you were, you were, you had found the way to Wal-Mart, but you were going this terrible, difficult way. And Carole said, “All you gotta do is turn to left.” And I felt so badly that I had not even shown you the way to Wal-Mart. I did nothing for you. I didn’t bring you food, I didn’t help you move, I didn’t stay in touch with you. And I knew what the Lord was doing, but it was, it took a lot of, it didn’t take a lot of obedience because He so restrained me. I knew He was establishing you. Aloneness, solitude is living in your own responsibility.
(Julie) And I think it’s also, yeah, I remember that time too. (Martha chuckles.) And I mean it didn’t… I remember one time you told me I didn’t have to ‘do it pretty’, and I was so relieved, because me coming into my solitude was a lot of screaming, pounding, you know, flailing tears and agony, and death and surrender. But now I see that it’s about taking every need to Him and really living… To me that’s so much what my solitude is about is that He is my only need, and He is where my needs go, and, and that is… I know the scripture I’ve been on this morning is John 14 where He, the Lord said to them, “In My Father’s house there are many dwelling places”. And I’d never seen this before until this morning that He was referring to Himself. Jesus Christ embodied, He is the Father’s house, and there are many, many dwelling places that are there. And so my solitude is my dwelling place in Him. And, and I think one of the reasons as a Body we can enjoy each other so much is because privately we’re taking our needs to Him and He’s fulfilling them and we’re living in such a constant fellowship and fullness with Him that when we come together it’s the overflow. And we’re not desperately trying to get something from each other, or receive our identity from one another or anything like that. And I’m so grateful to Him now that He held me to that. I mean He forced it; He made sure nobody was there and I had to come. Initially… Now I cherish it and I love Him in that. I love that He’s the One. I love that He’s the One Who takes care of all my needs and He makes sure that He does; He’s jealous even. Remember what Kelly said, “Our need is holy to Him.” And He’s jealous to have my need. And uhmm, but early on, boy I fought and kicked and screamed and accused Him of being terrible and mean and all kinds of things, so. But I’m so grateful, I’m so grateful He doesn’t relent; He does know the way. And even that passage where Jesus says, “In My Father’s house there are many dwelling places,” Thomas comes back and says, “We don’t even know where You’re going, so how do we know the way?” And it strikes me in new profoundness this morning that He just simply says, I Am, I Am the way, I Am the way to the dwelling place that you hunger for. I Am the dwelling place and, and I will be the One to fend off every other person that… Because I know, I’m a harlot in myself, and I will go to anyone and anything to have my needs met. And it has been a long, long battle with God. I’m sure it’s no contest on His part, but battle for me to die to that and let Him be All.
There is an inherent conflict between the peace of total solitude and the pleasures of companionship, he admitted. “It’s literally like living in heaven on Earth,” he said of the island, but “I guess I could say I’m desperately lonely sometimes.”