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with Martha Kilpatrick and hosted by John Enslow
(M) And the basic sin of the garden, of those two trees is, I do not want responsibility. I want control. And control alienates you from people, because instinctively they will leave you. I have done it, I have sinned on both sides; they will leave you. Even if you’re influencing them to do the right thing, they will leave you and do the wrong thing because instinctively we will defend our choice.
(J) As children we do it.
(M) We will defend our right to choose. If we’re healthy at all, we will fight control. So sometimes I have said to parents, you can’t choose for them, you can only tell them the consequences of their choice; that’s more appealing than control. Yes, you can go down this route, but this, and this, and this might happen, and will likely happen if you go down that road. And I’m saying to someone right now that you’re headed down a road that you soon will not be able to come back. You need to stop now and turn around and choose to turn around. Because there will come a time, as Hebrews illustrates, where there’s no place for repentance; and I have seen that happen. And see, my responsibility is my choice. My choice will influence. Like a pebble in the water my choice will influence others to choose God. My choice to choose ‘self’, that brings in Satan, will influence others to do the same. The influence of our personal choice is more powerful than our control over people. Do you get it?
(J) Oh absolutely.
(M) Influence, what I’ve always called inner-demand. I thought of an old story of a friend of mine, that she understood something at that time that I didn’t understand. There was a pastor and his pregnant wife; she was about to give birth, and he was going to a new pulpit in another city or something like that. They had a decision to make about whether to go to a new place and the baby would be born there, or stay where they were. And the wife was quite torn and upset and in anguish, and the husband wanted her to go with him, I think it was. But she made the choice to stay with the doctor she knew, and have him come home for the delivery. And she had peace. My friend said to her, you had to know that you had the choice, and once you knew you had the choice, it was yours. And my friend said to her, once you had the choice, you didn’t have to go with him, you could have stayed, but once you had the choice and made it you were completely at peace, even though you chose the harder route. I remember being taken over by someone, and several of you were there, and she just completely captured me. As I was sitting with her I remember thinking, I didn’t choose to go here; I got railroaded, and I went to the Lord and said what shall I do? Should I stop right now and get away? He said no, you are to stay in this situation. But I chose to do His will, not be captured; it was a big difference. To be captured was to kill me; but to do God’s will and allow myself to be captured… the Holy Spirit came and flooded that place. So always I must have His will, because that is my basic choice, His will. And I find in believer’s, that the basic choice is between God and Satan, and if there is a going back and forth… and I’ve said to a number of people, you don’t live for His will. That is the absolute choice of the Tree. Life is in His will, and you can’t have His life without His will. So you bow your will to His will, and live at the Tree of Life, and His will, will transcend every opposition to His will, and we have seen it. So there has to be a choice, and you can’t have both trees. You can’t have your way and then when you want it, God’s way; no you’re absolutely on the tree of death, and there is no change, no hope, no freedom and no life until you choose the Tree of Life by choosing God’s will. We kind of separate God’s life from God’s will in this day. It cannot be done. You exercise your choice to surrender your will to one tree or the other. Eve surrendered her choice to Satan, because he was influencing her to make his choice, or its choice. We have to go to one tree or the other as a lifetime choice. And we can’t have the Tree of Life without having His will. Because He did say, do not eat of the tree of good and evil; He commanded it. John has reminded me of a woman we knew who had very terminal cancer. She was a woman who lived under the tyranny of her husband. She was offered two routes of healing. One was healing in our midst; God offered healing to her, and she couldn’t receive it because she didn’t have her will intact. And I watched her not receive it; I knew she had chosen to reject it because she had chosen to reject God and acquiesce to her husband. The second thing was there was a highly skilled expert in recovery from cancer in natural ways. He was available to her, and talked to her on the phone and told her exactly what to do. He called her back in a month and she couldn’t report any change. He said did you do what I told you to do? And she said no. Her husband took over her treatment and took her to a place where really even he knew that his choice had killed her prematurely.
(J) The picture of it is just so frightening. But you something, it was a final revealing of a lifetime worth of choices, a lifetime worth of acquiescence and giving over her choice. It was all as like a parable for us; it was on object lesson to see, oh, my gosh, that if you allow somebody to take over your choice, it will kill you.
(M) And the husband said to me, I’m responsible. For a brief moment he said, I did it. But you see John, she didn’t die of cancer, she died of choice, or the wrong choice. She died of the wrong choice. And we couldn’t stop the process because it was her choice. We couldn’t help her.
(J) Even though we begged her and we pleaded with her.
(M) And we wept and we prayed and we went to her. And you John, years and years ago there was a young man, a young father of two children, a lovely family in the church, and he had a severe moral problem that issued from child abuse. I took him to Atlanta. Kenneth and I took him in a car to Atlanta to some men that had a ministry of deliverance. And I went in to the session with him, because he asked me to. These men said to him, are you willing to give your life to Christ? Are you willing to surrender to Christ? He said, no. He really just went there for deliverance; he said no. They said we’re going to leave you to think about it. Well they went off and talked about the weather. And it was a very shocking thing to me. They came back and said we cannot help you unless you choose to surrender your life to Christ. And he said no; so we got up and left. Well I was completely puzzled over it, because I felt like they should help him. I was very young in the Lord. And I came to see they were absolutely right John. You have to get on the right tree to get the life of the tree. And he was so bitter, and irresponsible for his sin that he refused to choose a God that he blamed for his own sin. And so he went right straight into it; left his lovely family and went into it because he had not chosen and no one could help him without choice. These men had the wisdom to know that; that if you don’t fill the house with the Holy Spirit that you clean out, seven times worse will come in. And they were not willing to have him seven times worse.
(J) So they weren’t willing to do a disservice by just waving their magic wand.
(M) Exactly. But I had to ask God to explain that whole thing to me.
(J) That’s really awesome.
(M) And they were absolutely right; and I have functioned that way with people since then.
(J) It’s an incredible response; because you know, we want to fix, fix it, fix it.
(M) I wanted to fix him; I was desperate to get him fixed and I knew I couldn’t do it.
(J) But they knew they would make him worse if they had.
(M) Exactly. And they didn’t explain themselves; they didn’t explain that to me. They just said sorry, if you won’t surrender your life to Christ, we can’t help you. And he left terribly discouraged, but he had met the truth. I don’t know where he is today because that was many years ago. But that incident impacted my life, because the one responsibility is choice. He didn’t have to conquer his addiction. They were there to help him with that. They were there to help him heal his soul. But he could not receive because he didn’t have the choice to receive.
(J) That’s incredible. It really is.
(M) So we’ve got those two incidents where the help was there; if they stand before God He will say, the help was there, I sent it to you but you didn’t choose Me, so you didn’t choose. Someone wrote me the most profound note. They said, I choose deliverance, but I didn’t choose Him. Isn’t that awesome? He didn’t want to come under the will of God. He just wanted to be set free from sin.
(J) And who doesn’t want their problems taken away?
(M) And still have myself.
(J) Right, my willful self.
(M) Yeah. So John, what rises in me is the prayer, the passionate prayer that God will use this little message to restore people to their choice of trees. Oh God, please, do this for your children and your lost sheep as well. Use this message to go forth to restore the tyrant and the abused to the choice of Your life and Your will. Have mercy on us, Father. We are lost; we have been taken over. Inspire us to rise and belong to You, please Lord for the glory of your Son, Jesus. Can you say amen, too, with me, John?