The Lord Is First
With Martha Kilpatrick and hosted by John Enslow
Special guests: Julie, Jennifer Wentzel, and Carole Nelson
(Julie) And I’m so grateful. I’m so grateful He doesn’t relent. He does know the way. I mean even in that passage where Jesus says, “In My Father’s house there are many dwelling places”, Thomas comes back and says, “Well, we don’t even know where You’re going, so how do we know the way.” And this strikes me in new profoundness this morning, that He just simply says, “I Am, I Am the way to the dwelling place that you hunger for. I Am the dwelling place, and I will be the One to fend off every other person that…” Because I know I’m a harlot in myself, and I will go to anyone and anything to have my needs met. And it has been a long, long battle with God; I’m sure it’s no contest on His part, but battle for me to die to that and let Him be all.
(M) That’s ok Julie, you’ve done it in about five years, and the rest of us took thirty. So it’s not been a long; you know nothing about a long time, because you’ve come quickly. But also, out of this, this tremendous solitude and hidden life you have came this worship music. And that’s why it’s to me, the fruit of it, of your dying is just going to be… is the word exponentially?… multiplied. So it’s just a wonder to me that you bowed, you knew, and you dealt with Him even about your resistance to solitude. You never complained about me or to me. You dealt with it yourself. And really I’m seeing that you can’t have solitude unless you’re willing to assume responsibility for the mess you are. And give Him, as you’ve said, give Him the responsibility to solve it, not the Church, not the Body. We are here to do our part, but we’re not here to solve anybody. And that’s when you get into the error. If you don’t have that solitude as your base, and that hidden life as your source, and Christ as your absolute supply, then what you have is either license or tyranny in the Church; license to everybody doing their own thing, and hoping it comes together at some point. That does not work. Or tyranny, where one or two people rule and control, then you have death. There is no life in the individual. And so I think it’s… I’m so pleased we’re going here, because this is the balance to what comes across on the podcast as a rich Body-life. But that’s not the story, that’s the result. The story is what Carole said, “We were all in our individual solitude in that place.” We were, each of us dealing with something. So it just gave me a great jumping off place.
(Julie) One thing I just want to say as a thank you and a love to all of you who are very much ahead of me. The gift of the Body in this case has been I could see you. I knew who each one of you were. I could see your establishedness alone with the Lord, and I knew some of your stories. I knew what John had been through. I knew what Martha had been through. I knew what Carole had been through. I knew where you’d come from. I knew God’s faithfulness even to you, and even though that solitude when I was first coming in was such a mystery to me and seemed impossible to me. Because I just thought, for so many reasons, I just thought there’s no way. I’m not even the caliber of person that you all are. And… But it’s like, you all almost like pillars, you all stood there intact in your relationship with the Lord, and you were in His will. I just see, I just see what a gift it is in the Body when each person is in their place, because it gave a certain stability when I came in going, ‘ahhhhhhh!’ all over the place, you all were stable. You all were stable and you were an example, and you were a testimony to the faithfulness of God that He would be the same to me. And as impossible as it seemed, and even as painful, and frightening. I mean there were times when the pain of it was frightening. There was just this, there was just sort of an example. So I see what a gift as well, the cloud as witnesses as such, and the ones who are on earth with us, what they do, how they do. If there’s a way to make it easier, it did make it, it made it. It at least marked the path. Does that make any sense?
(M) Absolutely. You know we’ve been a group many years now; and we’ve seen people come and go. And I think in every case you could probably find out that there was no life of solitude where there was accountability before God. I mean there are things in my life that I don’t care how, whether people measure it at all, but I’m really embarrassed before God. I’m really broken in His eyes. I’m really hungry before His face. And, but if you don’t go to that kind of accountability… I think in every case it’s a matter of responsibility, personal responsibility; I will give an account. Many years ago the Lord said to me, “When you stand before Me, no one else will be there, so you can blame no one, and no one can justify you. You will stand before me as ‘you’.” And so that put my life in an entirely, realm of total accountability and personal responsibility before God, “before the One with Whom we have to do.” And that’s what solitude is. That’s what you’ve rounded out here in your different comments here. You’ve rounded out what solitude is. It’s a calling, it’s a responsibility, it’s a privilege, it’s the presence, but it is also naked accountability as Jennifer said about the heart. And it’s so wonderful because He has so transformed you before our eyes, Jennifer. And nobody… We supported you, we loved you. We forgave you, yes, but you did the work that has caused your transformation into a spewing vessel of love. (Martha and Jennifer laugh.) Sorry.
(Jennifer) (They laugh again.)
(M) I could have, I could have put it prettier but that’s what it is.
(Jennifer) Well that wouldn’t be my style. So thank you for…
(M) And, but… and we’ve prayed for you, realized by you, I’m sure. But it’s just that people can come into a Body-life, and appear to be with you, who are not with you, because they are not with Him. It’s being with Him and Him with you that establishes Church. It’s not just two people, two or three and He’s in the midst, no, no. It’s two people who’ve been in His presence and coming together, and then He’s manifest. He’s multiplied by the two who’ve been with Him. It’s not just any two that want to say, “We’re going to meet, and Jesus will be here.” Well that depends (John: Hmhmm) on whether you’ve been with Him alone, and whether you’ve been in His presence with your heart open. So I’m real grateful for this, because this has been a passion of mine for forty-six years, to see this, exactly what we’ve got here. Where there’s such rich Body-life, that we’re almost like the people in Acts. We hold everything in common. But people might come in to want to take advantage of that, to use that, and to enjoy that without any relationship with the Shepherd, and so, that doesn’t work.
(Carole) A comment that John made just a little while ago, that solitude is really that He is Lord; it, it reminds me of something I feel like the Lord gave me this past week, and I just heard this phrase, “Every man is an island.” And we were in communication with certain people and they’re proclaiming Christians, and they may be, may not be. But anyway, that phrase came to mind, “Every man is an island”. And I began to meditate on that, and it expanded to, every man is a kingdom in themselves. That’s how we all come, I really believe that; we all come as every man is a kingdom, but there is only one true Kingdom, and that’s His Kingdom, where He is Lord, where He rules as Lord, where His will is the agenda. And, uhmm, when we enter into that solitude, He is about tearing down our kingdom, and raising His as the one and only standard. And if that Kingdom is not resident in us individually, it will not be resident as a Body. It cannot be. And though the Body is the Church, His Body is paramount, the preparation of that Body to rule and reign as Jesus is Lord, can only take place individually, (Martha: Hmhmm, yes) first, and then He brings that together. And then it will manifest the wisdom and power of God.
(Julie) I just, what Carole is saying, I’m just hearing, if I had not gone through that process with Him alone… I mean His conquest of me was alone, just bottom line it was alone. And it was alone over years; spread out over many years. But I would not have the respect of Him and anyone else. You know what I’m saying? It’s having gone through it alone that gives me the respect of Him in every other life. And it, it just establishes, it makes sense to me the scripture that talks about submitting to one another out of reverence for Christ. You have reverence for Him when you’ve seen His own conquest intimately and personally alone.
(M) Well, I just had an idea, or a thought that could be the end of this, and it is that… It’s something I’m passionate about. You can’t establish unity from mankind. You can’t be unified around a doctrine. You can’t be unified around a, a denomination. You can’t be unified on any other ground but unity with Him. And that means, as you’ve said, John, His Lordship is solitude. And there’s no Body-life that can happen and have fruit and reality unless each person is united with Him, so you automatically are united when you come together, because there’s One head in your private life, and there’s One Lord in your Body-life, in your Church life. So the unity’s not any effort at all. It’s not something you try to make happen. It is, when He’s Lord and when He’s head of His Church in the closet and in the meeting room. And unity just ‘is’, and it becomes obvious in the group if somebody’s out of kilter, and who does not have the Lord, there’s no unity with that person. And so it’s, it is just so simple at its root, because Church life is formed in private life. Church life is formed in the hidden room.
(J) Ok, so I was asking the Lord for a scripture, and just, you know, thumbing through the Bible and threw my finger down. And He gave me, “Now may the God Who gives the power of patient endurance, steadfastness, and Who supplies encouragement, grant you to live in such mutual harmony and such full sympathy with one another and in accord with Jesus Christ, that together you may unanimously, with united hearts and one voice, praise and glorify the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Messiah.”
(M) Wow, wow.
(Carole) Oh John, he always ends with His yea and amen, when it’s His yea and amen This verse that you got in Roman’s 15:5, it says, “Now may the God Who gives the power and patient endurance, steadfastness, and Who supplies encouragement, grant you to live in such mutual harmony and such full sympathy with one another, ‘in accord’ with Jesus Christ”, He must be Lord first. And harmony comes from that.
(John says: Who-hoo!)