With Martha Kilpatrick and hosted by John Enslow
(M) But in any event, there is a commitment of abandon to the Lord that secures a kind of walk that is rare. I guess it’s the narrow gate, few there be that find it. I think one of the best examples of commitment is Paul.
(M) He was totally committed to arresting Christians.
(J) Ok, yeah.
(M) And he was traveling to Damascus to do it. And he was capable of commitment. He had made commitment. And apparently he was in the military, because he was, you know, with a force that was going to arrest. Then he turned his commitment utterly to Jesus. And he endured being in the sea three days, starving, beaten, all these things that he didn’t pay a whole lot of attention to. I think he was absolutely ‘Special Forces’.
(M) But it was because of his commitment to Christ. It was just abandonment! It was just throwing your self into His will. Let me read you another definition I looked up. Commitment is an engagement or obligation that restricts freedom of action, an engagement or obligation that restricts freedom of action. If you abandon yourself to the Lord, you can’t watch whatever you want to watch, you can’t go where you want to go, you can’t talk like you want to talk. You can’t have anger, rage, unforgiveness. And to me, all the access of the entire package of what Christ gave is only accessed by commitment. And see, we don’t know that that issue of the will, that complete surrender is what carries us through. We think it has to be in moral courage, or in instinctive ability, it’ not. It’s in your choice. Your choice takes you through. And if your choice is abandonment, you will make it. You will make it to access all that you were supposed to have. And without it you won’t.
(J) Ok, here’s my OCD self, ok, in the definition of commitment. Commitment to me, in perfection, means no failing, done perfectly, that’s what commitment means to me.
(M) But that’s not the definition.
(J) Hmhmm, it’s the definition in the ‘book of John’ in my head. (John laughs)
(M) It’s the determination. You said that word earlier. It’s a choice. Your choice keeps you, and you go through failure. Failure is inevitable. I don’t think any… We watched all those men fail. It’s even how you deal with… whether failure makes you collapse in your commitment or not. You, you have been through failures, and you’ve not collapsed in your commitment. You haven’t been perfect in your walk, and I haven’t been perfect in my walk, but your commitment today is undaunted, unchanged.
(J) I have one resolve, but I have labeled my commitment as weak because of failings.
(M) Ok, but see, in the booklet I write about, you have to separate choice from performance.
(M) Your performance is affected by the degree of your choice, but your performance is God’s business.
(J) Ok, well that’s… Wow.
(M) I don’t know where I’ve taught on that, I can’t remember, but He says He will work in you to will, that’s choice.
(J) “To will and to do”, and I…
(M) “To do”, and they’re two separate things.
(J) Hmhmm. I continually go back to that scripture. Ok, it’s yours to will and to do.
(M) Hmhmm. He brings you to the will, but He cannot do it for you.
(M) Ah, I’ve worked with a lot of people who say… And really, I think if I were to venture my real opinion here, I would say if you live a life of self-indulgence you so weaken your will toward anything against your self, that you come to the place where you really can’t do it. That’s what I really believe. I don’t believe anything in life robs you of your free will.
(M) You don’t exercise it against yourself, and that’s what you have to, to have commitment. So let me go back to, ok… God sets up the circumstances to convey to you what choice stands before you. That’s all He can do. Someone said, sat and said to me, “Oh, I hope God does it.” And I said, “He won’t.” There’s only one thing He’s given you to do, and that is choose. You can choose and let it be. That… In those Marines, some, they showed deliberately in the Special Forces some who failed. One man who failed as a leader, he lost one of his men. (Martha laughs) And, and they considered that real bad. They lectured him in the dark really badly. And, but he passed the course, because he earned enough points to make it, see, so failure’s irrelevant. (Martha laughs)
(J) That’s funny. He lost one of his men.
(M) Yeah, they were on this first military war-like exercise, and they put one of the recruits in charge as the officer in charge. And it was very simple, all they had to do was take out a Humvee, and cross the road. They get on the other side and he counts his men, and he’s losing one. And this officer said, “Ok, ok, sergeant, that man would be with the terrorists, having his ears cut off before a camera.” And oh, they just reamed him out, but he passed, because failure can show you how to live out your commitment. They put him in charge of something, he didn’t have a clue how to do it. And in my mind he would have succeeded in defeating the enemy, but no, he lost a man in the process. But anyway, good point, no, failure has nothing to do with it. Commitment goes through failure. And I’ve seen you do that, many times.
(M) And, and you would go back, regroup, and figure out how to do it right, but you didn’t give up. You didn’t go to the officer and say I resign, I’m signing the paper and I’m out of here. But where I want to go, John, is during this illness I have had such a heart for soldiers that I have had many weeping sessions of prayer.
(M) I have prayed for the healing of their brain damage, and just you know, being disabled. And it has made me in a teeny miniscule way identify with them. How if you’re, you love life, and you are strong, and then you’re suddenly hit, it is harder to take than if you were used to being sick. And we had a woman… This is an SOS call. (Martha laughs) We had a woman call the office and say she was giving my CD’s to soldiers in the hospitals. And she said that my voice was soothing to them. And whoever got the call did not get her name. But I’m begging, if she’s out there, please call the office, I want to talk to you. And I will just give you anything for these guys, these young guys that have been committed to this conflict. We are a nation at war and we don’t know it. We don’t believe it and we don’t believe we have to war.
(M) But we’re a nation under siege. The only reason we haven’t been hit I believe, is prayer. God’s grace and mercy are holding off what will come in time. But we are at war, but we don’t live like it. And it is a very serious hour. But, but my heart is with these, with these guys. And I want any door that can open for me, and for us, to pray, to serve, to whatever. And there are places on the website, there are individuals who are doing enormous things for the wounded. Soldiers who’ve come back have started all kinds of relief efforts. And so, we’re going to look into that. But a lot of the conference that’s coming, some of it is going to be strong emphasis on spiritual warfare. And you see what Paul viewed the Christian life as a soldier. And he said, “I buffet my body.” Now God has done that with us in the last few years in terms of food. And I don’t, you know, it’s not legalistic, it’s just, it’s just what He’s done. He’s getting us in shape. And so there’s a whole military mindset that comes from drastic commitment to Christ. And we sort of have that, and I want to tell about it at the conference. There’s a spirit of the military we have…
(M) …That I don’t think is typical of a lot of… It’s certainly not typical of church.
(J) When I think of military and warfare, I always, in the charismatic realm, I’ve always seen it as screaming, yelling, telling God what He should do and telling Satan what he cannot do. And that always kind of left me ‘off’. I was always like, really? This is it? Because it doesn’t, it doesn’t work.
(M) No, it doesn’t, and it’s on the wrong premise. So we’re going to go… We, we experience a lot of warfare, a lot of warfare. And Paul experienced enormous warfare. I think if your message is Christ all, Christ only, then that’s where the enemy throws his, his cannons. But, never the less, in the end of this, all of a sudden I got the verse that goes with it. It’s Rev. 12:11. We’ve been on this verse a lot. In the New King James it reads this way, “They overcame Satan because of the Blood of the Lamb.” We’ve been on that. “Because of the word of their testimony, for they, “for” did not love their lives even when faced with death.”
(J) Hmhmm. I like that.
(M) And all of a sudden, all of a sudden we saw one morning in prayer that it… Carole saw it actually. It was not a list of three things. It was a list of two things, and then the reason there was the third; the reason was the third. They could have the testimony and the Blood, because they loved not their lives unto death. And I think it boils down to really, what do you love? Commitment boils down to, you will go for what you love, or want to love.
(J) Hmhmm. Or want to love you.
(M) Hmhmm, yeah. So you will be committed. The question is will you be committed to you? Or committed to a cause? Or committed to the Person of Christ?