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With Martha Kilpatrick and hosted by John Enslow
[J] Okay, Martha, you just came down and just made some statements here and I was kind of floored by them, and really just excited about what you’ve just said. And I said could we just please do a podcast with that, because I don’t hear this coming out of the pulpit very often and I just think it has such dynamic power. So how would you like to start this?
[M] Well, I’ll start with this morning. My time with the Lord went different directions, but He brought me to someone that I’m walking with, and He gave me a question. The question was, “Do you want the Lord as much as He wants you?” And so I sent an E-mail and I said, “I don’t require an answer. I’m just giving you the question.” And I thought what a strange question, and I sort of went my way; had some work to do. And in an hour or two, the Lord absolutely struck me with light. And He said… oh no wait, wait. That’s not the sequence. The person answered and said, “I want to want Him as much as He wants me. I want to.” And I thought, “That’s a wonderful answer. I’ll take that for me, too. That’s my answer, too, Lord; I want to want You.” And then I went my way with duties and works. And the Lord came in with just this blast of light and he said “No!” So when I told you I was very loud and passionate, so we’ll see. He said…I forgot that when the Lord asks you a question you have to ask Him what the answer is.
[M] He gives you the question, and He also gives you the answer. But the question exposes you in the meantime. I know that about Him. So, He said, “No, that is not the answer I want.” He said, “How can you possibly want Me as much as I want you? How could you presume to look at how you want Me?” He said, “I gave you the question to expose humanity as being all conscience of our feelings for Him, but so little conscious of His feelings for us, which often to us are unreal.” We ascribe to Him the way we dislike ourselves. Or we ascribe to Him the way we like our self. But we don’t really know or comprehend how He feels about us and how passionately He wants us.
[J] Or ever could.
[M] Yes right, exactly, and it just showed me our obsession with our view of Him, our feelings for Him, our whatever for Him.
[J] Our feelings how He feels about us and how He’s looking at us.
[M] Umhmm. And the answer gave me a little bit of despair and guilt. “Oh I wanna like You, or want to want You as much as You want me, yeah I do, but You know I surely don’t.” But He said, “Of course you don’t. Of course you don’t want Me as much as I want you. If I want you as big as the universe, and I’ve come from My glory in heaven and come down to this common earth and suffered and died for you, how could you possibly comprehend how much I want you? If I seek you sovereignly, if I strip you and woo you and capture you and reveal Myself to you, how could you possibly compare your wanting Me with how I want you? Never, never.” And it was just outlandish, and we’ll never comprehend it from all eternity, certainly not in this life. I don’t know if we’ll comprehend it on the other side, but in this life we don’t get it. And that was the purpose of the question and the purpose of my answer in which I think was probably typical; “I really want to want You that much.” Well, if we let Him capture us, if we will recognize the pursuit of us by His great wanting us, if we could respond to it the right way, if we could receive His desire for us; unmerited favor, undeserved love. Love that cannot be shaken; as one Psalm that goes on and on every other verse is, “His steadfast love endures forever.” And His love is not dependent on me. I’m dependent on His love, how I respond to His love, He loves me enough to let me reject it, receive it, disbelieve it. He loves me enough to let me be totally free in response. Who wants a robot as a lover?
[M] So, it just exploded for me, that this God who sent his Son, who so loved the world that he gave His only Son, and the Son gave Himself to it, and He comes and all of life, all of our story, is this great, enormous, unfathomable desire of God for us, to possess us, yes, but to possess us in our freedom by our voluntary receptivity of Him, and receiving even the desire for Him that He gives us. So, it just gave me this teeny, teeny glimmer of His desire for us is so outlandish, and we are so stupid. I’m sorry, we are so blind to His desire. We could say God loves us yes, yes, I see His love. But that’s different than the Lord’s desire for us.
[J] And I find that we more have vain suspicions of Him, of His mal-intent towards us, or his anger towards us. I can believe that a whole lot more than I can believe His steadfast and unchanging and pursuing love, because of how self consumed I am, and because it’s me.
[M] It’s not only that. It’s our window. We have a window through which we view Him, and it’s all encompassing our past, our childhood, our experiences. It’s called a mindset, a worldview or whatever, but we have a window through which we see Him, and He just took my window and blew it wide open. But I saw, John, that His love is enormous. But His desire is such a force. It’s a force that will take you to the cross and strip you of your other loves. It’s a power that’s after you, a power so large that we couldn’t take it except in small doses. We couldn’t bear such a force of love. We experience it without knowing the size of its magnitude, His passion. I don’t know another word than desire and want and passion. But it’s this huge force moving upon us, and we go our merry way, blind and deaf to it. And our hearts are so on ourselves that we don’t get outside of that and see His desire for us.
[J] And I would say it was to be so insulting to Him, but you’re saying that He doesn’t expect anything. He’s after me to pursue it and show it and express it, and to capture me. He’s not interested in my vain suspicions of Him or my concepts of Him, because it’s all about Him.
[M] Right, and when we are captured, and we truly understand the whole thing, we will say like one testimony I heard, “I ran as fast as I could from Him, and He ran after me and caught me.” So, in the end we will have no place in the glory of His love for us. And yes, what He said to me was, “I have no expectations on your side, I have only…”, and I think this is something that Nee said that I caught years ago, “God has only expectations of Himself, and His ability to pursue us.” We can turn our back on Him; He pursues still. He pursues; I don’t know if He ever stops, but if He does, it’s strictly because we choose it, but I tend to think He’s pursuing us to the end. And He pursues us, I want to say, roughly sometimes, drastically, invasively, He pursues us. But it’s all because He wants us, and He wants us. He pursues us with the cross to reveal to us the choice to love Him, or to love me. There’s no other lovers; it’s me or God. And it was like He took it from this personal transaction to this huge humanity issue of all of us, and the explosion of who He is in His pursuit of us. He does not expect us to love Him; He only wants us to. And He will do all the work to secure it from us. And the Scripture’s just been real to me lately. It’s not possible to seek God and not find Him. If you don’t find Him, you’re not seeking Him. You’re calling it seeking and not.
[J] This word is the gospel, because this word unshackles the guilt. It releases me as a captive of my guilt that I don’t pursue Him hard enough, or have enough relationship with Him, or give Him enough or…
[M] Right, that perpetual focus on self, and what I should, and what I don’t; I focus on my deficit instead of on His sufficiency. He is so sufficient to order this, to secure it that I am dependent on Him, to want Him.
[J] Hmmhmm, good grief…
[M] He will have to cause me, and I can only give Him permission, and the degree of permission I give Him, and the receptivity I give Him, the size of ‘yes’ would be the size of His revelation of Himself. But you know what it is really, John? It’s pride to think that anything issues from me. I originate nothing, and you’re laughing, but that it’s me that got it. It’s me that got hit with it, “That’s not the answer to the question.” He says, “I wanted to expose to you what you would answer.” Isn’t that wonderful?
[J] Absolutely, it’s a phenomenal word!
[M] But it’s so…. See, everything, even the answer to the question, had to originate with Him. And I really didn’t even ask Him the question. I just kind of puzzled over it and went my way, So, He comes booming in with the answer to His own question, and the explanation of even why He asked it.
[J] He’s really God isn’t He? (smiling)
[M] (Martha laughs) And what is that verse at the end of Hebrews 11? I believe it is “from Him, to Him, and through Him are all things.” “From Him and to Him.” Whatever I need from Him, He has to give me. What He asks of me, He has to give me. Whatever He demands of me, He has to supply. Wherever He sends me, He has to go, and so everything originates with Him, and everything is for Him. You and I and everyone that’s called, we exist for Him, and we are the object of His pursuit. And I’ve spent many years so pursuing Him, and thinking it was, you know, the effort, the Jacob effort in all of humanity.
[J] Having to earn His approval and His love, having to do something to gain Him rather than Him having to do everything to gain me.
[M] You got it, yes, yes. Isn’t it wonderful? It does set you free. It sets you free to sit back and say, “Ahh, Come! I want to see You.” He’s all the time pursuing us. We have to have our ears opened to hear, and our eyes opened to see, and especially our heart ready to be wooed.
[J] Amazing word, amazing.
[M] Who would ever hear of such a lover that expects nothing of the one He’s seeking, that He will do everything, including supply the response to Himself?
[J] It’s not my life experience, (Martha laughs) not for Him, but my life experience outside of Him. That’s not my life experience.
[M] It is nowhere in humanity. It is a love so vast, so powerful, so passionate, and so awake and alive and alert…
[J] And ‘other’ than us.
[M] Exactly, so beyond us that we can’t, no wonder we can’t hardly see it when it’s coming for us, or receive it. It’s so, it’s like a blast, and sometimes He has to come more gently, but for some He comes as a blast. I don’t know why, but He does. He comes to each one in the measure He knows they can take, and the measure that … I don’t know, I just see it’s a love, if we ever saw it, and a passion enough to die, not just die but suffer agonies and die, a desire for us so great that we have no frame of reference for it whatsoever. And He doesn’t expect us to. He knows He is ‘other’. (John & Martha laugh) We ascribe all kinds of human qualities to Him, but He knows that He is ‘other’, and He cannot be comprehended by us.
[J] But doesn’t He expect my perfection and my performance?
[M] (Martha laughs) Uhh… You can try.
[J] Oh, oh have I! (John laughs)
[M] As I have. I think He could give this to me, because I know I can’t after 46 years. About time you catch onto the reality. But it’s just kind of exploded the universe for me, that we simply have no idea who He is, no idea what His heart is, and all I can do at the end of it, I wrote part of it in my journal, all I can do is say, “Show me Your love and Your passion. Let me see it.” I know it’s after me, and I can barely take it in. What I do know I can barely believe it, because I know me. But our eyes are on self, and all I can do is ask Him to help me receive Him. So even my receiving Him has to come from Him. He is the all sufficient everything. We will contribute nothing except a ‘yes’. No, nothing else.
[J] I’m really surprised that our pupils and irises are forward facing, and not just white-eyes, because we’re always looking at ourselves.
[M] (Martha laughs) Inverted into our own brain. I think our spiritual eyes are. But it was a stunning and almost hilarious transaction with Him.
[J] How wonderful!
[M] Thank you for knowing it, for valuing it, and listening.