The Living Reality
With Martha Kilpatrick and hosted by John Enslow
(M) Well, what Oswald shows about these four friends is it’s brilliant; it’s the brilliance that is only expressed by Oswald Chambers. And I would love to read reams of it. But I want to talk about ….
(J) This is out of the big book, “The Complete Works Of Oswald Chambers” that we sell.
(M) Yeah, and “Baffled To Fight Better” is a book about Job. And it goes through every chapter. And I’m going through it slowly because it is so rich. Ah, and we read, I could read reams of this, John. “Trouble always arises when men will not revise their views of God.”
(J) Meaning that He’s a mystery and that He’s ever changing. Not that He’s changing His essence, but that He is always doing something different.
(M) Hmhmm, right. And Job stuck steadily to facts, not to consistency to his creed, that’s the box that I think I was talking about in January. And strangely, the Lord has surprised me in this different way. But it says, “It’s useless to tell Job that his creed is the umpire that arbitrates between himself and God, it leaves too much unsolved.” In other words, you can’t … Your boxes have to go, they have to go. “Job is the type of man who could never rest in the church or in the scriptures, he needs living reality. The man who rests in a creed…” And in this day and time that would be a doctrine, a cause, a principle. “The man who rests in a creed is apt to be a coward and refuse to come into a personal relationship with God. The whole point of vital Christianity is not the refusal to face things, but a matter of personal responsibility.” And it is the kind of thing that Job went through that brings a person to this issue. But I’m coming to the end of it, and only at the end of it did God, Sunday morning, just give me the purpose for it. And it’s something so wonderful, and so, hmmm, so valuable to me. It’s really… it really is a vision of Him. Oswald also says, “The human problem is too big for a man to solve, but if he will fling himself unperplexed on God, he will find Him to be the kind of refuge Job is referring to. We know nothing about the redemption until we’re meshed in the personal problem.” You know, John, God wants to make everything real and living. He wants us to experience the Blood. And I’ve had some of our group tell me, and some people write, about the ‘experience’ of the Blood. The Blood is there, it was shed, it is still alive and available, but when we draw it out of the bank, it is an experience. And you know this month, just to show you, I’ve been sort of ineffective and unproductive this month and last month too. And it’s like the Lord has said to me, “You are not about booklets. You are not about producing. You’re about being in the place I want you to be.”
(M) And you’re about, in this occasion, being with Him. And you know, as I read this, I’m so grateful that I didn’t have Job’s friends in this sickness. Nobody tried to figure out what I had done wrong. Nobody really inspected or speculated or came to some conclusion. Everybody waited and prayed and served. And we still met, and we still… And, and they cried and grieved over me and with me.
(J) We didn’t… We didn’t draw a line. We didn’t surmise what had happened. We didn’t judge you. We didn’t place it in our opinion. We went to listen. And it’s not like we haven’t had repentance in our group.
(J) It’s not like we just, you know, ohhhh, you know, everything’s fine, everything’s wonderful. We, we’ve had repentance in our group. We’ve… we’ve had wonderful times, and… but we didn’t immediately go to surmise and judge and name what this is, we went to listen. And we’ve been waiting. And we’ve just… God has just done it real still and quiet. It’s not been…
(M) It’s been watching; waiting and watching; but not thinking and surmising. And so I haven’t ah… Oswald writes about how Job suffered at the hands of his friends who assumed he was wrong. And I, you know, I was seeking God to find out, and He would just say other things to me than repentance and so forth. But every time we met, the Lord would have given me some revelation that I would share with everybody. And from this time I imagine that I will look back on it as a really amazing and precious time with the Lord. And this last day of March, next to the last day, I’ve been only doing one thing, and that is editing my journal for the month, because it’s in three or four different files and different computers. And I have had to go through it to put it together, because I have made an unusual mess. (Martha laughs) And I have thirty-one pages. And as I went through it I was overwhelmed at the riches of this month of what He said to me and what He gave me. And I’ll give just one thing. But those thirty-one pages, John, what He gave me in this month would be the riches of a lifetime, those alone. And one of the things He said was… I had an experience last year that really broke my heart and grieved me, and I had ended up fighting a lot of bitterness with it. And I fought it and I prayed, and I prayed, and I took it to God. And I said, “ Lord, was it the bitterness of last year?” And He said, “I do not look at your emotions, I look at your choice.” And that is staggering, because we fear our emotions. We fear to let our emotions go. And He said, “You made a choice, and your choice was Me, and so I am delighted over your experience last year because in spite of your hurt and bitterness, you chose Me. And you would not bow to what was wrong.” And He, so His view… See, we don’t know Him, we don’t know… I would think oh God, it was all that, all that anguish, all that grief that I shouldn’t have grieved, and He was just not ‘on that’. When I asked Him that and He revealed it, He just wasn’t ‘on that’. And so it’s just amazing to me what He has done in the middle of suffering, and how rich Job’s suffering is in showing us that we don’t know God. In the end God just says ‘who are you Job’? And one day… And the reason I know it was a Job experience, is one day I said, “Ok God, I can’t take it, You’ve got to tell me something. I’ve got to have some word from You.” And of course He’d been speaking to me constantly, but I had to have one word that day. And He said to me, (Martha is laughing) Proverbs thirty, verse four, in the Amplified; He was that specific. And I opened it and it said, “Who has ascended into heaven and descended? Who has gathered the wind in His fist? Who has bound the waters in His garment? Who has established all the ends of the earth?” And I began to shake and know it was Job. That’s how He dealt with Job.
(M) “Where were you when I laid the foundation? Who are you?”
(J) Hmhmm. I’ve had that conversation once or twice, myself. (John and Martha laugh)
(M) But it ends in saying, “What is His name? And what is His Son’s name, if you know?” Isn’t that incredible?
(J) That is incredible.
(M) And I said, “Oh, dear Lord, it’s Job isn’t it. It’s a Job experience. And it’s all about coming to know You, and living in the mystery of whatever it is You’re doing at any point in time.” The reason we’re only to live today is… It says, “Do not say”, and He’s caught me on this deeply and terribly, “Do not say tomorrow I will do this or that. Say if the Lord wills, tomorrow I will do this or that.” Anything more is “of the evil one” in some translations, or “of evil”. Here comes your Brittany spaniel to visit the podcast; you’ll have to put a picture of him there, he’s just beautiful.
(J) Hello, Fritz.
(M) He showed up as a gift from God, and has been the perfect, perfect dog here. Yeah, he is a sweet boy. I lost my train of thought though, Fritz. (Martha laughs) So that’s why I began to go into the book of Job, and, and I’m amazed at Oswald’s insight into the friends and his identification with Job’s suffering. You see… what I didn’t… I read Oswald’s biography many years ago, and forgot most of it, if not all of it. But Julie has been reading it and she told me about a four year period of darkness that Oswald Chamber’s experienced, and how much it changed him from being a teacher to being a broken man. And so, he doesn’t write, he doesn’t see this from some point of view that’s never experienced it. And so, what, what I’m trying to get to is that reality comes from experience. And then I ran across T. Austin Sparks about Job. And he writes, “The whole Christian life if it is true, and under the government of the Holy Spirit, is a life-long education as to the significance of Christ, the knowledge of Christ; and seeing that is not merely theoretical, doctrinal, or theological knowledge, but very practical, wrought on the anvil and by the fires of deep experiences. It is knowledge which is part of our ‘being’. It is knowledge which represents something that has taken place ‘in us’, we ‘are’ that knowledge.” And that’s, that’s… I think what I’m trying to say, the objective of God is that He would be known, John. And you do… Oh, this is a paradox I’m fixin to tell you.
(M) You do not know God until you know He is unknowable; until you live with an unknowable God in the journey of knowing Him. And that’s, that’s a paradox that we find it difficult… I read some years ago that the Western mind finds it difficult to live in a paradox. Truth is always ‘in two’s’. God heals, yes; and God let a man lie 38 years in a pitiful condition, and He let a leper suffer. And in the end, His verse for me is John 11:4, “This sickness will not end in death, but is for the glory of God.”
(M) And I don’t know how that will be, how that will look, how that will manifest, or how that will be, but it will not be my glorification.
(M) It will be my coming to the knowledge of Him, and that was the story of Job. We’ve got to understand that ah, we cannot… Job’s problem, and God’s anger with them, was that they spoke truths out of order. They spoke the truths from their own mind without hearing God. And you all didn’t do that to me; God bless you forever. You didn’t do that to me. Ah, everybody… And my daughter didn’t. She said, “Oh, this is enough.” And I said, “Yes, but it’s not.” (Martha laughs) And everybody’s had to take care of me. I’ve been really, really smitten. But ah, the end of this will be the knowledge of Him. And that’s ever… That’s, that’s about it, of what we can know about the future. He is saying to me, “Do exactly what I say, and don’t second guess it. Whatever I tell you to do in this day and hour, you just do it.” And He said you will be tested on it, because it will, you know, it will, I know that it will be radical. (Martha laughs) It will be ah, things I can’t anticipate that He will ask us to do.