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Owning Nothing Is Having All
With Martha Kilpatrick and hosted by John Enslow
(M) And I’m back again on paradox, that always truth is in two seemingly opposite places. And that is, it is not truth until it is ‘in’ that paradox. And the Hebrew mind loved a paradox, and loved a mystery. We in this Laodicean age have to have it explained, and that, then we think we’ve got it when it’s explained. But the paradox of imprisonment and capture versus absolute liberty and glory and joy is unexplainable unless you’re in it. So God puts us… in belonging to Him He puts us in places. They are both spiritual, practical and physical places. And He would have us dwell in the place of Zion, which I can’t, I can’t go there this morning. I’ve known in the last year (Martha laughs quietly) what it’s like to be imprisoned in your own body. And I’ve had, I think three different episodes, very non-threatening illnesses, but the time has been full of the revelation of the Lord. And I’m coming to the end of it, and I’m only now beginning to see that His purpose is that my body belongs to Him. That’s what Paul told the Corinthians, you’re bought with a price, don’t you know? And in this day and hour it’s in me to say, don’t you know that you were bought with a price, and you’re the temple of the Holy Spirit. Can somebody find that? It’s in first Corinthians I think. You were bought with a price. And what He wants simply is your body to belong to Him, so that He can live in it. And you yourself will be in the liberty of dwelling in the heavens, transcendent over everything. If you will choose to be chosen, and want to belong to Him, and know that you are His, He will cause you to come near and dwell in His courts. Anybody got it? Can you… do you mind moving over and letting her read it?
(Jennifer) 1Cor. 6:19 “Do you not know that your body is the temple, the very sanctuary of the Holy Spirit Who lives within you, Whom you have received as a Gift from God? You are not your own, you were bought with a price, purchased with a preciousness and paid for, made His own. So then, honor God and bring glory to Him in your body.”
(M) I’m thinking of how much the Body of Christ as the Lord builds His church, it is like the real church is a place, and the church that Christ builds in a sense is a prison. And I’m thinking of Ruth. She volunteered to be imprisoned to Naomi: where you go, I’ll go, where you die, I’ll die, your God is my God. And it’s, it would be hard to estimate what that choice cost Ruth, because it certainly cost her, her family. It cost her, her culture, her people, her familiarity, probably her language. And she went into the imprisonment of Naomi’s poverty, and kept herself there. That’s a picture of so many things. It’s a picture of discipleship, it’s a picture of church, it’s a picture of Christ and the Holy Spirit. Naomi can stand for the Holy Spirit. But there’s a sense in which the eleven disciples knew it. “Where would we go?” “Where would we go?” There’s no place to go, but with You. You have the word of Life. And there’s a certain sense in which those who bolt from that willingness, and claim their freedom of it, will live desolate and destitute until they say, “Blessed is he who comes in the Name of Lord”. Jesus would have gathered even the Pharisees under His wings as a hen gathers chicks, and they would not belong to Him. And I think so many, like the rich young ruler, would not lose ownership. What you have to lose with Jesus is ownership. You can own, possess, hold onto, nothing; and in letting go of everything, then you have ‘all’ that He has. It’s a… There is the paradox. There is the dichotomy; you lose everything, you gain everything. And that’s a question of belonging. Jesus said if you lose your life, you will find it; if you keep your life, you will lose it. That’s the eternal principle of the universe, and especially of disciples. That’s what He said to the disciples, not the multitudes. And that is the issue of belonging. If you lose your life, it’s because you’ve given everything away to have Him. And then you possess every provision, every provision of the Shepherd. Our great shepherd dog died this week, and somehow at the same time I’ve been on the issue of the Shepherd and sheep. John taught him as a shepherd, to be a shepherd. And he lived to the end as a shepherd. He was a shepherd of cats that sat on his back, and he was a shepherd of another dog. And he was just… It was ingrained in him. But to belong to Another, is to be a sheep, and you go to the pasture He chooses. You go to… You hear the voice of the Shepherd, and another voice you cannot hear, you will not hear, you will not even take it in. And being a flock is being owned utterly, vulnerable to, susceptible to where the Shepherd takes you, and to the degree He takes care of you. And that’s what we’re called to be, a child, a sheep, and a slave, and those are all ‘owned’ beings. And even in John ten, where He talks about being a Shepherd, He says, “I’ve come to give you life and life abundantly.” It’s again a paradox that in being captured, allowing yourself to be captured, choosing to be chosen, that you live restricted, utterly restricted. You can’t do as the world does, you can’t speak as the world speaks, you can’t love what the world loves. And you will be attacked in an unbelievable, unrelenting way, and that attack is on the ownership of Christ. He says in John ten, before He sends you out, He goes before you. Everything is taken care of by the Shepherd, and it is, it is ludicrous to leave such a fold for ‘freedoms’ that will kill you.
(J) Not only are the sheep imprisoned by the Shepherd, but the Shepherd is imprisoned to the sheep. He was confined to the sheep. He was confined to whatever he was Shepherding. They were confined to Him, and He was confined to them.
(M) He was bound to their weakness and stupidity. (Martha laughs quietly) I’m thinking of the day we’ve told about with the icy hill, and trying to get the sheep in the barn. We were endangered by their stupidity.
(J) I had to go there sometimes twice, three times a day. And there was no ‘I don’t feel like it’. There was no, ‘it’s not my agenda today’. My agenda was that imprisonment. And that’s His imprisonment. I’m His imprisonment, and He is mine.