with Martha Kilpatrick and John Enslow
(M) So, ok Julie, can you, can you come over here and read Oswald today? Because it’s so… This is the devotional that we read.
(Julie) This is ah, July 19th of Oswald Chambers, “My Utmost”. “ Our Lord never insists on having authority; He never says—Thou shalt. He leaves us perfectly free—so free that we can spit in His face, as men did; so free that we can put Him to death, as men did; and He will never say a word. But when His life has been created in me by His Redemption, I instantly recognize His right to absolute authority over me. It is a moral domination—“Thou art worthy…” It is only the unworthy in me that refuses to bow down to the worthy. If when I meet a man who is more holy than myself, I do not recognize his worthiness and obey what comes through him, it is a revelation of the unworthy in me. God educates us by means of people who are a little better than we are, not intellectually but “holily,” until we get under the domination of the Lord Himself, and then the whole attitude of the life is one of obedience to Him. If our Lord insisted upon obedience He would become a taskmaster, and He would cease to have any authority. He never insists on obedience, but when we do see Him we obey Him instantly, He is easily Lord, and we live in adoration of Him from morning till night. The revelation of my growth in grace is the way in which I look upon obedience. We have to rescue the word “obedience” from the mire. Obedience is only possible between equals; it is the relationship between father and son, not between master and servant. “I and My Father are one.” “Though He were a son, yet learned He obedience by the things which He suffered.” The Son’s obedience was as Redeemer, because He was son, not in order to be Son.”
(M) Jennifer will you come sit in that chair while I’m saying this. In the first century it was customary that, someone would get… The person that was going to be baptized would give their testimony, whatever that amounts to. So this is Jennifer Wentzel.
(Jennifer) Well uhm, it’s not entirely accurate I think to say that ah, I ran as fast as I could from God until He caught me. I mean that’s definitely there, but it’s a little bit, a lot more willful and, and rebellious, which I would say here. Uhmm, I willingly and happily chose a path that was not His. And ah, I went down that path, and was not passive in that. I was certainly walking away from Him. But gradually along that path started moving faster, and ah, scorned every provision that He had for me, food, shelter, clothes, more important things which was people who loved me, support, guidance, wisdom that came from people. I took all of it because I was needy and greedy, and spit in His face, and said that it wasn’t from Him, and would not thank Him for it. And ah, gradually it went a little bit further and any Christian who crossed my path I would punch in the neck at best and lob ‘Molotov cocktails’ at the ones that I found particularly threatening. And ah, along the way did everything I could to damage me, because I really, really hated God with everything in me. Ah… And then my nephew was born, and uhmm, he was tiny and so (she tearfully laughs) perfectly put together. And uhmm, all the evil things I said about God, and wanted so badly to be true because that would mean that I was on the right path, as opposed to the wrong one. Evil can’t produce something that beautiful and that lovely. And it was a turning. And I’d love to say that that was ‘it’, and that was the turning that was full on, but I still didn’t want Him. And ah, I guess my salvation has been a work rather than a thunderbolt, because I would not bow. I needed to be saved, and I wanted to be saved, and I no longer wanted to die, but I did not want to bow, and I did not want Him as Lord. I still wanted to live my life and have some ‘perks’. And that changed ah, two days ago, and ah, I bowed. And uhmm, it was a lot of terror and pain and torment that had been building up for the last couple months, and all of it was perfect, because I needed to bow, and I needed Him as Lord. And ah, since two days ago uhmm, I’m not alone. It’s not just me. And ah, that’s everything. And there’s no going back. And I don’t want to, even if I could. (Jennifer laughs) So that’s, that’s my testimony.
(M) Can I tell something you don’t have to record?
(Jennifer) Ok. You can record it, but ok.
(M) Well, Jennifer was in a measure, as she said, of torment. And we sat down together, and we got down to the bottom that she said, “I don’t want Him.” And I said that’s no problem. And she said, “How can it not be a problem?” I said because ‘it is’, meaning it’s where you are, and He’s God. And through the process, two days later, she could say, “I want Him, and nothing else.” Because He did it ‘in her’, miraculously He changed that whole ‘want’, which He can do. It’s no problem to Him. (Jennifer laughs) And she has had a tremendous experience of being filled with Christ and doesn’t want… Not only doesn’t want to go back, but doesn’t want anything but Him. Is that ok to share? Because that, to me that is the most incredible story. That we… And I said, at the time, well join the rest of humanity, nobody wants Him. (Laughter) Not really.
(Jennifer) Martha was frighteningly a matter of fact about the whole thing. Ok. I was waiting for (a scream) ‘eeeahhhh’! And it didn’t happen.
(M) To me that’s, that’s the essence of your story, and our story. For whatever reason we have, we don’t want Him. And if can just, ever just say that, get it down to the bottom of it, then He can come in on that truth and reality and bring you to the place to want Him above everything. So, excuse me for intruding on your testimony. But that’s such a fantastic story of His power.
(Jennifer) But that’s uhmm, …. That’s also, that was ah, the deep, deep shame. I’ve never doubted God’s existence, I just never have. Uhmm, and so it’s horrifying to know how badly you need ‘something’, ‘anything’, it’s just, you’re falling apart. Everything in life is falling apart, and to know that you’re basically in the ocean and you’re cut and you’re bleeding, and there are sharks coming in and taking chunks out of you, and somebody reaches down a hand and you’re like, God, I don’t want it! And it’s ridiculous on every level, and you know this, and you’re looking at it, and you’re so ashamed of it, and you feel crazy. And uhmm, to even say it out loud feels like the ultimate blasphemy because you’re like, I’m just admitting that there’s no ‘here, here’. You know? Who does that? What does that? An animal will bite on a stick and get pulled out of a river, you know. And I’m sitting there like (Jennifer squirms back and forth, as if constricted “No . . . Fine . . .”) And that was, that was uhmm, that kind of broke something, to just admit that when I talked to Martha that day.
(M) And I think you didn’t know that that’s ‘all’ humanity. (Jennifer laughs)
(Jennifer) No I didn’t, I felt like I was the only crazy one, yeah, it was me, ‘party of one’, ‘white room’. (Laughter) And that’s it; that’s ‘all of me for all of Him’. That’s uhmm, that’s what I asked for. And anything else that comes is gravy, but that’s, that’s my, my end goal.
(M) And what do you have now, from that experience?
(Jennifer) I have His heart. I asked for His heart and, I know it’s not mine. Mine’s puny and hard and hateful and ‘scorny’ and ‘mocky’. And uhmm, it certainly doesn’t sit here in a room full of people, and tape recorder stuck in its face, and you know, still feel calm. And awkward yeah, but I feel calm because this is about Him, and it’s about me. And it’s a whole lot bigger than ‘this room’, and this tape recorder and my human fears, which are all still there. You know, that’s, it’s not like it’s gone, but it’s not me by myself screaming anymore, you know. I don’t know how else to explain it. I’m screaming, but there’s Somebody sitting next to me going ….. (Laughter) I’ve never, I’ve never had that before. And uhmm, that changes everything, I have a Father, and a Friend, and a ‘forever’ of both of those things. It’s a permanent… And it’s amazing. The end.
(M) The beginning.
(Jennifer) (Laughter) The beginning.