Sonship by the Spirit
With Martha Kilpatrick and hosted by John Enslow
(J) Well this morning we have been shocked by a snow, a light dusting, but still snow in the middle of March, and so we’ve had evidences of spring coming, and we’re looking forward to that. I know that you, Martha, are real interested in getting in your garden.
(M) Yes, I can’t wait. I’m already there on days when I can bear it.
(J) So tell me, what wonderful revelations are perking out of your spiritual garden?
(M) (Martha laughs) Well, it’s been a couple of weeks since we started on the issue of Father, and we’ve had some really precious response to it. And I just want to review what we were on. “For the Spirit which you have now received is not a spirit of slavery, leading you in once more in bondage to fear, but you have received the Spirit of adoption, the Spirit producing sonship in the bliss of which we cry, Abba Father!”
(J) I love that word bliss in there.
(M) Yeah. And it is bliss, but it’s from the Spirit. And you asked me the question, very, very penetrating question. And I had not thought of it, how do you get to that? And as I listened back to edit the podcast, I realized that the answer… I thought I had given it, but the answer is verse fourteen of Roman’s eight. “For all who are led of the Spirit of God are the sons of God.” So I did say it’s all about the Spirit, but the Lord always, so many times gives the answer before He gives the challenge. And the answer’s there, being led of the Spirit takes you to the place where the Spirit can cry in you the bliss; and it is a bliss. So I’ve been brooding on that now for two weeks; that question. And I was brooding too on my life and experience and just going with the Lord here and there about how you get there. And I went back to John 14, which I was in when I was young in the Lord. I used to pray this. I used to puzzle over these two verses, what do they mean? John 14:21, “The person who has My commands and keeps them”, two different things; to hear them, and then to do them, two different things, “is the one who really loves Me”. The test of loving Him is whether we’re obedient. He doesn’t consider ‘talk’ proof of anything.
(M) He’s doesn’t consider ‘work’s’ a proof of anything about loving Him. “And whoever really loves Me will be loved by My Father.” And that’s always spoke to me that there’s a difference of the Father toward those who love His Son. I know He loves us all, ultimately and perfectly, but that kind of spoke to me. Does it to you?
(M) “Will be loved by My Father, and I too will love him.” It’s like there’s a different relationship with the obedient. “And will show, reveal, manifest Myself to him, I will let Myself be clearly seen by him and make Myself real to him.” So knowing Christ is through obedience. And, “Then Judas, not Iscariot, asked the Lord a question, how is it that You will reveal Yourself to us and not to the world?” And His answer was, “If a person really loves Me, he will keep My word, obey My teaching; and My Father will love him,” second time, “and We will come to him and make Our home, abode, special dwelling place with him.”
(J) That sounds ‘Bridal’ to me.
(M) Ah, hu-huh. Yeah.
(J) You know, it’s the special… you don’t give yourself to everybody. You know, but this is a Bridal, this is a intimate, this is a intimate encounter. This is uhmm… it’s kind of pointing and saying…
(M) I’m with you.
(J) I’m with you, hmhmm.
(M) Oh, thank you. I had not seen that, John, in all those years. I’ve prayed those two scriptures because I wanted to know Him, and I wanted the Father to make His home with me. And I do understand it in terms of intimacy, but I’ve never seen it as the call to the Bride. I’m quite stunned. Let me recover.
(J) Well, isn’t that what it is? It’s just really basically giving a call to the Bride and saying, this is Who I’ll be to My Bride. This will be those that choose to go to the depths of Bridal relationship with Me, those who allow, those who allow for Me to move in their heart for the most intimate.
(M) But the condition is obedience. And the obedience to the Spirit… T. Austin Sparks says, “You’re only a son of God if you’re led of the Spirit.” So you can go in and out of sonship. I know that well, experientially, don’t you?
(J) Hmhmm. Absolutely.
(M) But when you live a life led of the Spirit, He makes His permanent home with you. He can trust you to be His. Or, or either you can realize, come into realization of His presence. It’s all through the will of God.
(J) I’ve heard that obedience only comes out of love. And I’ve thought that… You know, oh yeah, well I love You and I’m obedient, ok, whatever. But it’s real different isn’t it? It’s not just a, a pat answer. It’s uhmm, its real; obedience and love are definitely connected.
(M) They are connected, but I read something the other day that, that don’t make the mistake, it was written by Fenelon I believe. And I won’t quote it accurately, but he was saying, “Love is not feelings, it is not that in essence, not that shallow.” But see, you can choose who you love and what you love, and whose love you love. You can choose that. I do believe that motivation to obey Him is from love. But it can be merely a commitment without any particular feeling of that. There will be many, many seasons, where you do not feel love for God. But if that is your life choice, then your life choice will be His will. It’s true. But passion isn’t necessary for the obedient. The obedience many times is simply blank commitment that’s lived out because you have made your choice. Psalm 91 says, “Those who set their love upon Me, I will keep safe.”
(J) See, there again, that’s marital, that’s Bridal, because passions wane and flow throughout life, because life happens, and life circumstances happen. And when you’re in a marriage you can’t just go on…Ok, and I feel like that’s kind of where we’ve gone in our… The reason why divorce is so high is because we say, well, if I don’t have the passion, then I don’t have the love.
(M) Yeah. I don’t love you anymore, so I’m leaving you.
(J) Right, and yeah, exactly.
(M) But the Lord taught me many years ago because someone very evil and cruel was in my life, and I said Lord, You’re not giving me love for her. And He said, because she was so wretched, He said, “You’re the only one who does love her, because you’re committed to her soul and salvation.” And I had many struggles of bad feelings toward her, but I was committed to take care of her, and to… I didn’t have any choice in the matter, and I had to take care of her. And He showed me that I cared, not so much about how she treated me, but about her eternal destiny, and He said that is love. And it comforted me greatly, because I really didn’t have feelings of nice, sweet sentiment toward her. And so, it’s the issue of love. It is obedience to the Spirit that leads you to the bliss of the Spirit. And the Lord just really showed me you experience the bliss of the Spirit, the Spirit of Christ for the Father. That’s what you enter. You enter Christ’s relationship with the Father when you’re led of the Spirit. But I want to tell you, His will goes ‘strange’, and you have to jump off a cliff many times to obey Him. It’s…Sometimes His will is scandalous, unacceptable and scorned. What? You’ve gone looking off in a distance, (Martha laughs), where’d you go?
(J) I’m just thinking about… I don’t want to get off on a rabbit trail here, but I’m thinking about the spirit of divorce that’s all over this country and world, and how much has that penetrated the church itself? And that there really is a spirit of divorce even between us and the Father. Really, think about it. How much… We respond to Him, and we say, well we have to feel this love. It’s not about a commitment. It’s not about obedience. It’s about, I have to feel this love. Well, the same thing is in marriages throughout our country, and I’m wondering, really, that leads to all kinds of error and heresy.
(M) And destruction of families. But you’re showing me something here. I read statistics just a few days ago, that it used to be, twenty-five, thirty years ago, that the church had a very much less percentage of divorce than the world.
(M) Now, the church is the same. Fifty percent of marriages end in divorce, because we don’t live in commitment to a person or a direction or a commitment to God in that place. So it’s reflective of where I’m going. You’re taking it, another side of it that’s very interesting, because I’m going to be going to show why that is in the church.
(J) Well, where your heart is, there will be your treasure, and this is just revealing what the treasure is; it’s about feelings and about the passion and the…We’re all focused on that. We’re not focused on the will and the commitment and the obedience.
(J) We have no, we have no interest for that. We’re like oh, well, whatever that is. And when I say we, it’s, it’s the church, it’s the …
(M) It’s Christianity.
(J) Christianity. Hmhmm.
(M) The church, which I see as Christ…
(J) You make a clear distinction of that.
(M) So, I was thinking, John. I don’t know if I speak on the cross much. It’s always implied, I think. But I assume always, that everybody understands that the price of knowing Him is to die. The call of obedience is the call to die. If you start out to live your life for His will, you’re going to meet the cross, and I always just assume that.