Work Is About Relationship
With Martha Kilpatrick and hosted by John Enslow
Special guests: Carole Nelson, Don Nelson, and Julie
(M) While you’re doing that, I was just thinking of, “The Walk Through The Bible” director, Bruce Wilkerson, who had a seminar on rewards, and he said that, “We are geared to go for rewards.” Think about how reward you could get from the most simple life. Look at Brother Lawrence; did he not have the most mundane life only? And yet his words are eternal. There’s one word he has that stays with me constantly. He said, “I made it my purpose to live only for the Lord, and to behave as if there’s only He and I in the world. And he said many very simple things like that. He picked up a straw for the love of God.
(J) Hmhmm, hmhmm.
(M) And that has an eternal reward. And he’s quoted, you see? He never dreamed he would go around the world, and everybody in Christendom would know his name. Bruce Wilkerson, oh, he researched the scriptures deeply about the issue of reward. And just, just think how much reward if you could let Christ do everything in you life and you would do everything as committed to Him; you would be rich in reward.
(Carole) But didn’t, didn’t Brother Lawrence, ah, didn’t he have tuberculosis or something in his, somewhere? Anyway…
(J) He was crippled in some way.
(Carole) He was crippled in some way and his response when somebody said, “Are you in pain?” He said, “How could anybody be in pain in the presence of the Lord?” So his reward was the Lord Himself. His reward…
(M) That’s true.
(Carole) It has to have been that his reward was such reality of the presence of the Lord that he felt nothing in this realm of the pain that was going on. I wasn’t sure. I just knew it was…
(J) He had something like phlebitis, or something that affected him.
(Carole) I don’t remember what the ailment was. But it would have been, it was said that it would have been a very painful… I thought it was tuberculosis in his, in his body somewhere. Not necessarily… Anyway.
(M) Don, you’re never there for a podcast.
(Don) I know, I was thinking about that, Martha; ah yeah, I think so. I’m never there when you guys do your podcasts. Uhmm, the “CD of the Month”, really, it had a big impact, but the impact was to, was to kind of look at my life.
(Don) And, and I think, I’m not sure this would express it right, but pride usurps the relationship that you can have with God. And I look at those twenty, thirty years, ah, thirty-five years maybe, and it is all about a man, and this is very typical of a man that is driven. And he’s really driven by the pride to, to do everything on his own, but everything he does is death. There is no reward for anything. I mean, I have to look at it, and it scares me that there’s, there’s thirty or forty years that I look at that there’s no reward. But the sad part is, there’s no relationship. So these last many months, or years, most of you here in the room would, would know that I have been through, God has done everything to, to break, break me as the man that I was, to remove the pride and establish the relationship. So, you know, I look at myself at sixty-five and I think boy, wasn’t much to show for all the years before sixty-five. But I’ll take every year that’s left, because now it is a relationship that is very personal. And you guys talked about just being with the Lord and Him being a part of everything that you do is the reward. I mean that’s, there’s nothing that goes past that. It’s not what I do, it’s what He does with me, and it’s what He helps me to do, and, and it’s what He shows me to do. So I find myself, now, I mean it was all about me for forty-something years, but I find myself now as I go through the day, I’m talking with Him, and I’m going now Lord, how’re we going to do that? I mean, look at the mess this is Lord. I mean it’s almost like He’s walking with you, but He’s in your day-to-day activities, whether that is, as John said, is washing a toilet, or some other huge thing. What He is a part of with you, He blesses, and that is the reward. So I hope He will bless me with many more years. And I hope it will be a… It’s all about lifting His Son up, and it’s all about His Son. I mean what are we doing that He had planned for us to do that we didn’t do for forty years but we can now do. What has He got planned for us that raises’ up and lifts Jesus up above all things. What’s the plan? So for forty years I missed the plan. Hopefully now I got the plan. But I only got the plan when He’s working with me. If I let Him go then you’re right back to selfish, foolish, pride. And I don’t know, I think that CD was a good way to say, ‘where you been Don?’ ‘Where you at now?’ I mean, it was a blessing. It was a awesome CD.
(M) Well the story of this can’t be told, but what I’ve seen in the last few months in your life is that the Lord is completely taking over, and relieving you. You’ve also, you may, it’s been like you said, but you’ve also had a terrific burden on your back. And it’s like He has made it, He has made the culmination of it a relief, and a success, a light burden.
(Don) Because you see, the things you do with the Lord become fun. They are not a burden. What you do with Him, because it’s part of His plan, there’s a lot of joy in that. It can’t be a burden, I, I mean it’s His plan. So you’re absolutely right. I mean when He removes the burden… He removes the burden because He’s with you. And there’s a lot of joy in what you do with Him because it’s part of the plan that He’s orchestrated.
(J) Is it that there’s, there’s relationship, and anywhere that there’s relationship…
(J) …there’s fruit? Maybe that’s what it is. I don’t know, I mean you know?
(Don) That’s good John. No relationship, no fruit.
(Don) There’s nothing. There’s nothing we can do on our own or by ourselves that has any fruit.
(M) The great irony is that in giving us a work to do, God wants us to come to rest. And through the work, being willing to work, then that’s how we get to rest. And that is relationship.
(Don) But it also… You talked a little bit about how people look forward to retiring. Uhmm, I think retiring is death myself, but, but when you’re involved with the Lord you want to see; you want to see what’s coming. And I mean your drive and your desire to work with Him is so different, because you want to see what He’s got, what He’s going to unfold and what He’s going to give you. I mean, I’m excited about going to work everyday, but I know I go to work with Him. And that makes a big difference, so I’d be happy to work as many years as He will give me to work, just so it’s part of His plan.
(Julie) I think that what you’re tapping on is so important about the relationship, and it’s like its bringing two things together that are so important. I have struggled; I have been struggling for days to get to this. I don’t know that I’ve got it yet, but something about my whole concept of work was transformed. I grew up in a family where we worked, and we worked hard, and you did it and you never questioned it, and you, it just was expected. And so I did know how to work as such, but I didn’t love it, you know? I didn’t love it, and I so desperately fell in love with the Lord that I wanted to be with Him. It didn’t matter; I was willing to do any amount of work if it meant that I got to be beside Him. And, and there was something… And I don’t think I can articulate it yet, but there was something to that, that… Ah, because there was correction that came in, and when I first came into a discipling relationship with you I was not working at the right things. And I was avoiding probably the real work and the real responsibilities God had called me to. So there was a lot of correction to come back into it. I’m thinking of practical things, like being a mother, and being a wife, and cooking healthy for my family, and going the… it was always kind of going the extra mile. There’s a way that you can work without doing real work because you really hate to work, kind of thing. And there is something about when the whole relationship thing with the Lord explodes onto the scene of your life, it does transform every work into something that’s wonderful.
(Julie) And, and, like Don saying, it’s full of possible discovery and, and it just, it gives you the grace, because some of it is still hard work. But it gives you the grace and it gives you a totally different, I don’t know, it’s just a totally different motivation.
(M) You used the word passion earlier.
(Julie) Well, I think there’s something to this, and I just don’t feel like I have… Maybe John can help but… I came out of a, even from a church standpoint, I, I was drawn to the Lord in you because somewhere in there, there was a hunger for Him. But I was coming out of an environment… It’s always interesting to try to say this delicately. Uhmm, I was coming out of an environment that really thought that being passionate for the Lord was about having the sort of, ah, ethereal kinds of experiences with Him and blah blah blah, and whatever.
(Julie) Grandiose and…
(J) Or being taken up and be put on a, ah, Hosanna CD. (Everyone laughs.) You know, like I’ve arrived.
(Julie) Yeah, and part of, I mean initially when I met, I met the Lord in a tremendous amount of power and light, and He was pretty scary actually. And ah, He, He, He required me to do the work of my life. To go back into… Not go back into, because I wasn’t in it before. He required me to… You established me on a foundation of basic responsibility and work. And if I were honest, it shocked me that God expected me to work. And ah, coming out of what I’d come from, because it’s just so opposite. And I told you the other day, I don’t think it’s an over statement to say that what you’re talking about in this ‘CD of the Month’ about work, it is, it’s almost like it’s a healing for a tremendous cancer that’s in a lot of the church in thinking that to… It’s like it’s a healing for a lot of delusion, where you think you’re close to God, but if you’re not doing the basic work of your life, if you’re not working with Him in the core of your life that He designed and He wanted you to be in, and He wants to express Himself in, then it’s a lie.
(J) and rebellion.
(Julie) Oh yeah.