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The One Fear
With Martha Kilpatrick and hosted by John Enslow
Special Guest: Jennifer Wentzel
(M) There’s only one thing, and I have taught this, and I will be learning it ‘til the day I die. There’s one thing to fear. We’re told to fear lest we fail to enter ‘the rest’. And ‘the rest’ is rest from works and law and self-effort. It’s also rest from the curse that is on human work and human labor. Romans four, and it goes into how Abraham was not justified by works but by faith. See this is completely laid beside the statement that came from Habakkuk, and then went into the New Testament, “the just shall live by faith.” Ok, the just are those who have received the gift of righteousness. I was talking to a young man who was trying to, who is gifted with tennis, and he’s reached sort of a plateau, and I said to him, “Ok, receive your tennis success as a gift, not an effort. Though you will go practice, though you will go play, ask God for the gift.” Because you see, my books, and my style of writing were a gift. And I think He wants us to ask; but that’s a whole another way. Ro.4:5 “But to the one who does not work, but believes in Him Who justifies the ungodly, his faith is credited as righteousness.” Let me read it again, “the one who does not work, but believes in Him Who justifies the ungodly, his faith is credited as righteousness.” There comes a time when you understand that you really, really can do nothing, and that you have to receive what God asks you to do. The word work there, I looked it up this morning. I knew what I was going to find. It means: labor, to exert one’s powers and faculties. It means effort, labor, human labor is what he is talking about. To the one who does exert human labor, which is under the curse, but who receives the energy of the Spirit and the power of the Spirit through faith. Who is the just? The one who has received the gift of righteousness, who is humble enough and believes that we’ve been given the gift of righteousness. Anyway, the young man won one of his matches the next day, and I’m sure will go on to win more, because it is a gift. He has done his homework, he has done his work, and he has a calling and a gift, and God is going to… When God gives you a calling, as He gave me to write, He gives you the gift of the writing. And that’s what I was trying to tell about the experience of the last booklet. And the next booklet is “The Hidden Life”. Well He is absolutely giving the insight to me as a gift. It comes to me. Someone sent me an e-mail, and it was right on what I was writing for that booklet. I can’t tell you, every morning there’s an enormous heap of treasure about ‘the hidden life’, and it’s just coming as a gift, no effort. He is just absolutely taking away the law so that His burden is light and His yoke is easy. That’s the incredible thing He says. Because we are used to either fretting because we can’t, or exerting this enormous effort ‘to do it’, when it ends up in a puff of air.
(J) I was in Chronicles, and it was talking about David and Solomon, and how basically God said to David, you can’t build the temple because your hands are bloody, because you’ve been filled with effort this entire time. Even with his heart, he had a wonderful heart, but because he was filled with effort, he wasn’t the one that would build the temple, the house of God. But it would be his son who, you know… It’s the same way with Isaac. I’ve thought about it, and I’ve looked at Isaac, and I’ve said Isaac did nothing, nothing, absolutely nothing. And, but he was given Israel, he was given all the tribes of Israel through his loins. And he was, he did nothing. What did he do? Nothing.
(M) He inherited what someone else, what Abraham earned by faith.
(J) It’s just over and over and over and over, you see people that, in the word, that exert effort and fail or are held back from heavenly destiny, and then those that just effortlessly go through it.
(M) Do you realize what you just said, John? Do you remember years ago you used to say, “I can’t stand Isaac; he’s so lazy”?
(J) (John laughs.) Yeah I do. (Jennifer laughs in background.)
(M) Now you understand. I’d say, oh no, no, John, Isaac stands for the believer who just, and you, you… Now you’ve got it.
(J) No, I couldn’t stand Isaac. Because Isaac… I didn’t like him because of the fact that he liked Esau, because he made him good food and filled his belly. And he didn’t like the, the you know, Jacob and, he… Yeah, there was a whole bunch I didn’t like about Isaac.
(M) That’s probably valid. But now you see.
(J) Absolutely see.
(M) He represents the rest. What he did with it…
(J) It doesn’t even matter.
(M) Doesn’t matter.
(J) It doesn’t matter because God didn’t care. He brought through this man, regardless, Israel, all the tribes of Israel.
(J) And Solomon, who ended up vanquished of wisdom, He brought, He brought His own home through this man, to build it.
(M) Well, it’s just that ‘the rest’ is the faith. It says in Romans again…Ok, it says in Ro.4:6, “David speaks of the blessing on the man to whom God credits righteousness apart from works.” And we’re supposed… Roman’s says we’re supposed to rest in the same way God rested on the seventh day. Because you see, the reason we can rest is because everything is finished, and everything is supplied. The problem… God’s going to commend us on what we receive, not what we did; and on what is of Christ. Corinthians, Paul warns the Corinthians, there’s nothing… If you don’t build on Christ as your foundation, it will burn up. You might be saved, but you’ll have nothing, it’ll be burned up. Because God only receives what Christ Himself does through us, and that’s by the Holy Spirit. So we are…It is finished. When Jesus said, “It is finished”, He meant that your life and my life was all established, every day ordered and planned. And most of them… I haven’t received Him at all. Work can be; you can sit in your chair and work by fretting and worrying and striving and condemning yourself and everybody else. That is work, even if you haven’t gotten up to do anything. That’s gone, that can be gone, and everything is supposed to be joy. And I’ve learned this, really, the hard way. Recently I’ve learned it the hard way. I really said, “Lord I want to know you as the Carpenter. I want to watch You work in me.” And, oh boy, has that been an experience of the difference between me and Jesus. And so, I had to do my work and the futility of it, and then begin to surrender it to Him. Even, He did the most practical work. And it has been, it has been awesome to… What He said to me was, “You don’t understand, I was not involved in the work. I was always involved with My Father. And My Father gave in Me, had the energy and organization and function of the work.”
(Jennifer) Ok, so, I just saw vessels. We’re vessels.
(Jennifer) And you can’t be a vessel if you’re trying. If you’re effort…You cease to be a vessel and you become the engine, the motor, the producer, the creator. Ok? So the vessel is to be filled, which means yeah, Isaac, totally lazy, he didn’t do anything to earn it, which meant that all of it pointed to God. It wasn’t about Isaac. It was all about God. It was God’s glory. And so, Martha when you said the effort blocks us from receiving what He has to give, in a way, I see that as a gift. Because how heinous would it be to stand before Him and be accountable for thieving His glory, for producing something through your own efforts; for being an engine not a vessel, and then slapping His name on it? What a gift failure is, in that light. Thank you, Lord that I’m a complete failure; that all my efforts have resulted in nothing. Because I can’t point to anything and say, “Look what I did, how lovely, how wonderful, shouldn’t you all just be so in awe of me, right? (John laughs.) Put me up on a throne, why don’t you, because look what I did!” But the vessel, He’s free to pour into it because it’s all about Him, and it’s all going to come back on Him, because a vessel that’s a vessel… I know what I’m capable of doing, and so when something happens that’s beyond my capabilities I go crazy, and I’m so excited, because that’s experientially God’s life in me. And I can actually point to that and say (Jennifer giggles) did anybody else see that? And it’s awesome, and it does so much more to build on that relationship with Him, and the companionship, and the power that His life is, and to build that trust, which I am unfaithful, He is faithful, and yet He knows that and so He works in ways that brings me to Him anyway. He doesn’t care. That’s, that’s completely… All He asks is that I get out of the way, and then I can sit back and watch Him, and then I can have, you know, this incredible miracle take place in the mundane of my life, that there is no earthly explanation for. And that’s, that’s the gift that He gives me, if I will just say ‘uheeeh’, I’m awful.
(M) (Martha laughs) I can’t.