with Martha Kilpatrick and hosted by John Enslow
Additional Guest Don Nelson
(M) John I want to insert before we go to the podcast, this scripture that I think is really the foundation of all we’ve been talking about for weeks. It’s a precious scripture, and every word is really divine. It’s 2 Peter 1, starting at verse 3, and I’m just reading from the NIV; that’s what I picked up. “His divine power has given us everything we need for life and godliness through our knowledge of Him who called us by His own glory and goodness. Through these He has given us His very great and precious promises, so that through them you may participate in the divine nature”; and actually that should be ‘partake’ in the divine nature. Participate means join, but partake means to take it in. I think partake is a better word. Continuing, “and escape the corruption in the world caused by evil desires. For this very reason make every effort to add to your faith goodness; and to goodness, knowledge; and to knowledge, self-control; and to self-control, perseverance; and to perseverance, godliness; and to godliness, brotherly kindness; and to brotherly kindness, love. For if you possess these qualities in increasing measure,that’s the growth we will be talking about, they will keep you from being ineffective and unproductive in your knowledge of our Lord Jesus Christ.” Actually what we are talking about is growing in character and knowledge of Him. Verse 9, “But if anyone does not have them, he is nearsighted and blind, and has forgotten that he has been cleansed from his past sins. Therefore, my brothers, be all the more eager to make your calling and election sure. For if you do these things, you will never fall, and you will receive a rich welcome into the eternal kingdom of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ.” See, this is the adding of character that forms personality. And I remember hearing this sermon years ago that you’ve got to add goodness, knowledge, etc., etc.; and oh, I tried so hard to do that. And sometime later I realized that it says make every effort to add to your faith these character qualities; and I realized that you have to establish the faith that Christ’s life has given you everything, and you merely discover what He is in these character qualities, and absorb Him. So I wanted to emphasize that, because that’s at the bottom of my thinking. But I speak sometimes on the practical level, rather than the spiritual foundation. And I so wanted to put this in because it is exactly what we are talking about. Add to your faith, goodness, knowledge, self-control, perseverance, godliness, brotherly kindness, and love. So you have to add character qualities, and this is the basis of doing it; after you have the faith of what’s said in verse 3, that His divine power has given us everything we need for life and godliness through our knowledge of Him. So I wanted to lay that foundation; that’s the real basis over which we are doing all this conversation.
(J) Well, just so people understand, these podcasts may be one taping, and it spreads out because of time. We don’t do them long. This may be an hour long or more, meeting, and then we spread it out over four weeks; so you’re actually getting pieces and parts. And I think that this is really the forum in dealing with the practicality of it. And like you’re saying, you may deal with a foundational message in part one, but by the time we get to four weeks later, when it’s the same message taped-wise, but the fourth podcast in that one taping, you may be so into the practical that you lose that. So I’m glad we’re adding this. I think this is the right forum for this, but people need to understand that, you know, one podcast may spread out over four weeks, and that may just one message. We have one coming up next that’s from Lubbock. I’m sure it’s at least two or three. Then we have another meeting coming up after that, and that’s going to be at least another two or three.
(M) These are not complete meetings, they’re segments of a meeting; all of them are.
(J) Right, yeah. The whole meeting’s in there, but it’s broken up into segments just for time-wise.
(M) That’s one reason people like it, we try to limit it to fifteen minutes, in this fast-paced world a bite, not a meal. So here we go with this weeks, and this is a continuation.
(J) This is the final message of the message that we did about the personality.
(M) Here we go.
(M) But you cannot move a person who has chosen not to grow. No matter how much they would like to take your energy and motivation, if a person has not chosen to grow, you can never make that choice for them. Never.
(J) Ok, but what happens if you hang out with that person too long. Does it eventually kill you?
(M) Yes. That’s why I keep thinking of a verse these weeks. “Be not deceived, bad company corrupts good morals.” And I was thinking of the word wisdom as you were speaking, that wisdom is something you have to acquire. And true wisdom, there are only two sources of wisdom, one is below, and one is above. And what we’re really talking about is acquiring the wisdom to live and to relate to God.
(J) But even in that you have to do God’s will. Because He could lead you to be with someone for a while.
(M) I’ve had just many complex relationships over the years, and there’s not one I haven’t gotten rich over, even if it was one that was detrimental to me.
(J) Because your value was God.
(M) My value was I guess God, and to grow. I’m not willing to not learn spiritually, and evolve spiritually. I’m not willing to go through something and think it was a waste, because God is over it all. It’s not possible to even waste ten years on somebody, and not get ten years worth of wisdom. It’s not possible with God. You’re laughing, what are you laughing at?
(J) If you don’t get the lesson, when you go around on those ‘trees’, God’s real faithful to take you back around on that little lesson, and you can get it the next time.
(M) Hopefully, I can’t say I do the next time, or the tenth time, but if you want to know Him, and you want to live, and you want to find your destiny.
(J) You know, if God’s involved in it all, and if God is sovereign, then even that first pass was the laying the ground to make it ready to receive the seed the later time. So there’s no waste.
(M) There’s absolutely none. If you learn, I think I said somewhere, I may have written it to someone, ‘it is so embarrassing to be learning what you know’. (Laughter) You got it! All of you here got it. That is so embarrassing before God for me, because I will have taught on something just with the greatest conviction, and then I’ll have to learn it, the very thing. It’s just real embarrassing. But that’s what learning is, that’s what growth is, it’s going over the same ground. Over and over, deeper and deeper until you get it. See in gardening if you start with a garden and you have a shallow plowing, you’ve got a certain crop. But if you can keep that soil moving and being enriched, eventually you’ll have twelve to eighteen inches of soil for the root. So that’s no different. The deeper the lesson, the deeper you learn it, the deeper you dig, the richer the fruit, and the greater the enjoyment of the fruit. So I’m willing.
(J) I am too.
(M) Let me just read this. “Our character is the set of all acquired characteristics we possess.” “Our character is the set of all acquired characteristics we possess.” Acquired characteristics; you have to acquire integrity. “Actually when the personality is rigid to the point of being unable to change in reaction to shifting circumstances, we say that it is disordered, or sick.” If a personality is rigid to the point of not being able to change in reaction to change, change is constant, and if a person won’t adapt, then they’re sick. (Background comment.) Oh Sue, that’s good, because that’s true, they do bring death. Your personality permeates your world, and if your personality is rigid it permeates the world, and controls, and makes the world that you’re in sick. That’s real important. If his inner world is so to speak vacated, and life is change, and he who cannot change does not live. We can be wretched because of life, and very healthy; or we can be very placid and sick because we’re not living.
(Don Nelson) When John asked the question, and you were talking about the personality that stops. You have represented recently that we have two choices; you choose God, or you choose Satan. If you choose to grow your personality, then your choice is God, and He will develop that personality. If you stop, and you choose not to grow, then you choose Satan. And Satan and the world will develop your personality, which is death. That is our choice in the personality, so I choose God, to grow. But if we do stop John, and you were asking that, then our choice is Satan, and Satan is death; so you have the death of your personality.
(J) Well Martha, I wanted to put an add-on into this podcast. We had a lady, a real precious friend of our ministry, that has been in contact with us for a couple of years, hasn’t she? She wrote us an E-mail, and had a caveat about the podcast. She was responding to the podcast from last week. Actually what she was responding to I ended up putting in twice, but the week that she wrote us I didn’t complete the thought. I just stopped it because we didn’t have enough time, and it seemed like a good stopping point, so I did. But I didn’t finish the thought, and I realized that when I was listening to the podcast today and editing it, I realized that we did answer the question, but it’s very brief. And I wanted to go into it because I don’t want to leave this as a loose end. I’ve actually had people that have called the office recently who have said, what do I do in this situation? In the podcast, at the beginning of this podcast; you can go back and listen to it. I said do you believe that if you stay with someone that is not growing, that eventually it’ll kill you, and you said yes, you believe that it would eventually kill you. I go in later, a couple of sentences down and I say, but you have to do it by the will of God. And that’s what I wrote back to this lady, and that I want to just emphasize in this little addendum is that you can’t make a law out of this at all. This is not something that you make a law out of. You can’t say ok, I’m in a church that the pastor is not growing, I’m in a marriage that the spouse is not growing, I’m in a friendship that the friend is not growing, whatever, you can’t just make it a law and say wherever there’s not growth I’m leaving. That’s playing God.
(M) It’s a law as you say.
(J) And I believe that what I said in the sentences following that statement is that you can only leave that relationship by the will of God. You have to be surrendered to the will of God in that. You can’t just leave; you can’t leave, and you can’t stay. If God tells you to leave and you stay, you’re in death; if God tells you to stay and you leave, you’re in death.
(M) So the place of life is His will.
(J) That’s the only place of life.
(M) Even if it’s a place of suffering. That’s been true for me. There’ve been situations that logically anybody who’d council me logically would say run, and God would say, not yet, stay.
(J) You’ve had several situations like that. We’ve both seen situations coming down the road. We’ve watched it come, it hit us, and we’re going, "I could have avoided this." But we didn’t because God was saying, run into it, and we did.
(M) So tell about the person that called you about a situation.
(J) She was asking me, and said she was in a situation and it seemed to be abusive. And she was saying, do I leave? I’m really interested in what you’re saying in the podcast and I want to know, do I leave? And I said I can’t give you that answer. I could pray about that answer, but I would not presume on knowing the answer, because I would have to know the will of God for that situation and I believe that that’s something that only you’ll know. And I said you’ll have to look for it, you’ll have to ask God for Him to reveal His will in that circumstance and situation. Because otherwise you may be missing something that God wants to develop in you life or He’s wanting to develop in someone else’s life on your back. Remember the statement that I got the other day, ‘you’re unqualified to make any decisions because we do not see the whole plan.’ And you can’t say this hurts so I don’t do it, or this doesn’t look right logically, so I don’t do it, or I believe I’m supposed to leave this or I’m supposed to stay in this, you can’t do that. And I know humanly we love to do that. And I wanted to just emphasize that it’s about the will, the will of God. And if you’re in a tough situation, and even if it was killing you, if that’s the will of God that’s where you’d have to stay, because ultimately that would be life.
(M) And you know He does intend to kill us. What I always find out is the only thing that can be killed is my flesh. Because the life I possess in Christ is indestructible, and can only grow, can only flourish by itself within me. So sometimes He leaves you where it will kill you, for your good.
(J) You’re unqualified to make any decision, because you don’t know, you don’t know the whole picture.
(M) You don’t have enough information.
(J) That’s what I said, yeah.
(M) Yeah that’s great. That I’ll write in my Bible. But I do appreciate our friend mentioning that because it’s given us a chance to view it. You know, we know what we mean; we know what we’re saying. Sometimes we don’t fill it out. It’s more difficult to do this conversationally. When I’m writing I can hopefully fill it out a little better. So I appreciate her loving us enough to say, you know, clarify this. What she said was, I am in a situation where the person is not growing, and I am to stay here, and I am growing in God.
(J) And that’s perfect, because she knows it.
(M) She knows His will; she knows His will; so God bless her.
(J) When you’re in a conversation, sometimes you can seem dogmatic in certain things. And you may be dogmatic about that direction that you’re looking, but you can turn ‘this way’ and.
( M) Be just as dogmatic another way too. (Laughter) So listeners bear with us. As they do, very graciously.