Episode #86 – Mastery Or Surrender

August 10, 2008

with Martha Kilpatrick and hosted by John Enslow

(J) Well, Martha, I hear that you’re full this morning, and ah, so I would like to ah, bring that out and put it into a podcast. So, what would you like to talk about this morning?
(M) There’s a word that we’re on in the Body, and it seems to be the word I’m giving everyone right now as the solution. But before I give you the word, I want to share two scriptures. I have a little ruler with scriptures on it that I put in every day’s page in my notebook. And sometimes I look at it, and sometimes I don’t. But the significance of those two scriptures is coming to me. It’s the first one we chose for our, for the ministry.
(J) Hmmm.
(M) It’s, “Roll your works upon the Lord, commit and trust them wholly to Him. He will cause your thoughts to become agreeable to His will, and so shall your plans be established and succeed.” That’s Proverbs 16:3. And the word roll that the Amplified translates,  roll, commit and trust, is a word used for the hurling of a javelin. So it is really releasing, throwing from yourself onto the Lord, your works. So that is about our… That’s sort of our theme or mandate in ministry. The second one is more personal. In Matthew 12, there are two levels of coming to the Lord. The first one is come to Me. “Come unto Me all you who labor and are heavy laden and I will give you rest.” The next stage is, “Take My yoke upon you and learn of Me, for I am meek and lowly hearted, and you shall find rest to your souls; for My yoke is easy and My burden is light.” And that scripture is sort of a life scripture for me. The promise of it is, both of them are fantastic. And you know John I lived for a number of years, alone with the Lord. He was my only mentor, really other than Nee, and the ones I read. But He… I came to Him in my twenties sort of as a child in need. And so my dealings with Him were very childlike. They were not dealings out of any knowledge; they were just spontaneous transactions with Him. He let me know that He’d given himself to me, and I said, “Oh, wonderful, I give myself to You. And I meant entirely, so all these years I’ve assumed something about everybody I work with. And so I call them to hear the Voice of God.
(J) Uh-hmm.
(M) And frankly I get frustrated sometimes. Because the people I work with intimately, I will say ‘hear the Voice of the Lord’. But you see I didn’t know there was a step in between. I don’t know what I’ve got really, or what my secrets are because they are so instinctive for me.  They weren’t, they didn’t come the way some some people’s walk comes. They came as, I don’t know, as  ‘the Way’. And I assume that everybody knows ‘the Way’, and the Way into the Way. The thing I didn’t give when I call people to hear and to do and to this and to that, was to call them first to surrender, abject, total, absolute surrender. And someone who walks closely with me helped me see this. Because sometime ago, and I’ve told this on tape, I learned a lesson of the difference between mastery and submission. And I learned it, I won’t go into it, but I’ll just say I learned it.  In my childhood I lived around the Atlanta Ballet people. And that was just friends of my family. So I’m aware of ballet.  I’m aware of the performance of it. And some years ago I saw a performance, two performances; I happened to coincidentally see two performances in one week. I think it was of “Swan Lake”. And the principal ballerina did not dance in the first one.  The second one did, which there’s an order, you know, who’s best, who’s second best. Well the second best danced, and the person with me was very expert in ballet, and she said ‘this woman danced with Bolshoi, studied with Bolshoi, which is the Russian ballet. And she said that she’s perfection. So ok, what makes her perfection? She said, “The shape, the stance of her back, her movements, are absolutely perfect and precise.” But at the end of the performance, the audience politely applauded and left. And the dance company never came together as a team, and I knew that. I knew that she had mastered the perfection of the dance. Ok, the second performance I think I took my granddaughter to or something. The principal ballerina danced and the stage came alive. The company became a team and it was just fluid and brilliant. And at the end of it the audience could not clap long enough. They stood with a standing ovation. And I said I have to know what I just witnessed. So I got tickets to the third performance that week, and I made sure it was the principal ballerina who was dancing. And I took binoculars and sat on the second row. I’ve told this story before, but it is so dynamic a story. And I watched her face in the binoculars, and what I saw in her face was not the mastery of the dance to the perfection of movement, but surrender. She had surrendered herself to become the servant of the dance. And so the dance had mastered her with life. And I knew that I was seeing a principal, a Christian spiritual principal, a universal principle: that mastery is death.  It’s dominion, control, self-exaltation, self in the drivers seat, and it always leads to the collapse of a team, fruitlessness and death. And that surrender to what you’re doing… I think the Lord led me to Mrs. Charles Cowman in “Streams In The Desert,” and she spoke of this; she said that ‘the pilot surrenders to the laws of the air’. He surrenders, and so he survives by surrendering. And that he must conform to the laws of flight. And I think if, I remember right, that’s how the Lord revealed it to me; what I had seen. But you see, most Christians operate my mastery. They want to master the secrets of the Lord. They want to master the Lord himself. They want to master ‘the way’.  They want to master the ‘how to’.  And so it’s all death.
(J) So you’re saying that mastery makes us rigid, and because there’s the rigidity there’s no life in it because you, you’re rigid in the perfection of…
(M) Yourself.
(J) Of yourself.
(M) Of yourself. Mastery is about yourself.
(J) Ahhhhh. Umhumm.
(M) It’s exalting yourself, it’s making yourself… The second ballerina was focused on her own performance.
(J) What your saying is that she was rigid though.
(M) Yes.
(J) She was rigid in her understanding of it rather than giving herself over.
(M) Yeah, she didn’t give herself to it. And so I’m seeing that you can’t… Unless you surrender to the Lord, and I thought to follow Him was to surrender.  I didn’t realize some people follow Him to master.
(J) Oops.
(M) I just thought everybody understood.
(J) Umm.
(M) Well, I’m embarrassed, but that’s, to me…  Surrender was basic.  It was essential.  I mean, you understand?  You’re supposed to understand you’re surrendered to Him.  He’s God.
(J) Oh, really?
(M) Well it’s not that I’ve done it, John, perfectly, but that was how I began, understanding that the issue was surrender. I couldn’t have named it to you in the beginning. But… And I could never understand why people couldn’t hear when they wanted to hear. But you have to surrender before you can hear. You have to surrender to Him before you can believe. You have to surrender to Him before everything comes to you. Surrender takes you into the Kingdom.  Mastery does not. You cannot master God. He’ll not have it.
(J) But it’s interesting that it’s unto perfection. The perfectionism…  That just speaks to me because you know. (John Laughs) That’s my issue. But I mean, that’s perfection.  What is perfection? What is perfection? That’s… He’s perfect. I’m not perfection. I can’t master anything. I can’t make perfection, and my rigidity, oh my gosh, well. Please continue.
(M) Well, my intercessor said to me, “Your secret is not of mastery.  Your secrets are of surrender.” And she helped me see how I function, which I don’t even really… I’m not conscious of it.  I’ve brushed my teeth for so long I don’t think about it. But she said ‘every time I’m with you there’s a new surrender you’re involved in’. It is to be possessed by Him in surrender, not mastery of Him or possessing Him. You don’t possess Jesus. You only bow to Him as Mary of Bethany did. You only surrender before Him. And so she said ‘your surrender is ever increasing’, and it has to, because there’s no end to surrender, John.  There’s a challenge all the time where to surrender. And there are all kinds of words that you can translate into surrender. I was talking to a new believer and I was telling her about surrender and relinquishment. And I said I’ve known that… I’ve named it relinquishment because relinquishment is a word that, that in the original root of it means fiercely releasing, passionately throwing it away from yourself. She said, “What’s the difference between surrender and relinquishment?” And I said for me they are one and the same; perhaps they have a different definition, but for me they’re the same. Because the Lord taught me years ago that surrender is like Japan surrendering to the United States at the end of World War Two. They surrendered their weapons, their government, their economy, their freedom; absolutely everything.  There was nothing that they could withhold in their surrender.
(J) It’s incredible.
(M) It was total surrender, yeah. And by the integrity of the United States, they were not made slaves, they were restored.  We rebuilt their country.  We rebuilt their government.  We let them have their country back, but they didn’t know that. And I said to her, it’s like the Lord showed me, in the beginning He gives you a blank contract.  You surrender everything to Him. You sign a blank contract of commitment to surrender that you belong to Him. You have given Him everything. Then time after time He fills in the terms that you agreed to. And you have the choice to break the contract or the covenant with Him. And if you keep surrendering to the terms of the contract, to what He says, “Ok, this is what you agreed to; you told Me I could have it all. Did you really mean it here?” And so it’s a continual surrender. And ironically, dynamically I should say, He defends your rights, and gives you your possessions that you gave to Him. You give Him your children. You relinquish them.  He gives them back.  You relinquish your health to Him.  He gives it back. It’s… You said it yesterday.  Remember what you said?
(J) It’s my early, early baby, baby word.  It’s ‘save your life you’ll lose it, or lose your life, you’ll save it’. 
(M) And so to lose your life is to surrender. That’s why He made the picture of the Japanese surrender so connected to the word surrender. That’s why He made it an absolute surrender. It is giving up everything to Him.

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