Divine Designed Life Podcast

Episode #49 – Elements Of Control

with Martha Kilpatrick and John Enslow

Well John, we’ve been talking in the last podcast about control, and control being man, displacing God, or woman. And I feel like I need to tell the solution to that control. Because I said I think in the last podcast it’s our nature, it’s not something we do, it is us, because we really think we’re God. You mentioned something yesterday, and it sparked a whole lot of revelation with us, and that is, you talked about expectations and how they are oppressive. Do you remember? How you started that?
(J) Sure.
(M) You know I never, I didn’t connect the subtle issue of expectations that we don’t say. (J) When someone has an expectation on you to perform in a particular way, it’s a control. They’re taking a control over on you. And if you allow it, it kills everything. I made one statement yesterday, and I know we’ll probably get into that, but I just see that when someone expects you to act a certain way or perform a certain way, or do something, it really prevents you from being able to do that.
(M) Absolutely, it quenches the Spirit. And I remember, I’ve told this a number of times over the years, but I think this may be the beginning of my understanding of it. I was just putting my groceries in the car, and the Lord said very clearly to me, have no expectations of anyone on earth. Expect only of Me. And there’s just no question that that’s word for word what He said; and I kind of thought that would be rather easy. I’m telling you it is impossible for the old man, to live not having expectations. So when we travel, and people are anticipating our coming sometimes its easy to expect that we’re going to do a certain thing, or be a certain way.
(J) Yeah.
(M) We all do it. I do it.
(J) We do it to ourselves even.
(M) We do it to ourselves, exactly. So, but, it’s the picking up of power. Even expectations that are unspoken, that are silent and not acted upon, those expectations are the picking up of power over the other person.
(J) It goes back to what I said with the thoughts, and how you can drop someone’s whole spirit by your thoughts or expectations.
(M) Or your objection to who they are at this moment, and what they’re doing.
(J) They’re not fulfilling a particular role, and so they’re a failure. And then all of a sudden you’ll feel it; you’ll feel that rejection. Oh my-gosh, why do I feel all this rejection?
(M) And oppression, because, the use of power is rebellion, and rebellion is as witchcraft. So it becomes witchcraft to have any expectations. Now, if you’re operating under the Holy Spirit, and the Spirit has a demand, that’s legitimate, because that’s God, the source is God. But when I’m the source of expectations, it is oppressive to the other person, and quenches the Spirit. I had an experience and I think I probably had expectations of myself, going into this situation. And only when it was all over did I realize that during it I knew that God wasn’t moving, and His presence wasn’t evident. It was fine, it went ok, but it didn’t have that spark of the resurrection life. And I realized later, I think it was really just purely from expectations. And I knew years ago, that if you expect something of a person just as you said, that is the very thing they will be unable to perform. Because we are not meant to please man, we are meant to please God.
(J) Does that work with ourselves, if we expect ourselves to do that?
(M) I believe it does, horribly. Ok, the thing that came to me yesterday, so wonderful, is the solution.
(J) Well, let’s hear it.
(M) Ok. The solution is the altar. There’s only one solution to everything wrong with us, and that is the altar. It’s Ro. 12:1 I beseech you brethren by the mercies of Christ that you present your body a living sacrifice, holy acceptable unto God which is your reasonable service of worship. That’s my verse for years. And maybe some day I can get to the total understanding and living of it. But the best way I can describe an altar, the word altar means the place of putting to death. That’s what an altar is, that’s what the Hebrew word means, the place of putting to death. The vivid picture of it is Abraham. It’s so fantastic, because Abraham built an altar everywhere he moved to. And with every encounter with God, he built an altar. And we think of the altar as a place to worship, but it was clearly defined as a place of death when Abraham was called to take Isaac up the mountain to the altar. Now Abraham was so used to the altar that he understood the whole principle of the altar.
(J) Probably so did Isaac.
(M) Isaac did later, yes. And there’s proof of it John. But the exciting thing is that if you learn the principle of the altar, you will go to it as your wonderful solution, not as your dread place of death. But Abraham knew because he’d gone to the altar, built his altar over and over again, and he understood what was going to happen. It wasn’t the first time for Abraham, because he understood the whole thing. He said to his men, I’m going up here to worship and the boy and I will return. Now we’ve said that’s faith, no, that is understanding of resurrection life. That what you put on the altar for God to own completely, comes back to you, sanctified and living. But what you hold onto dies.
(J) So he understood the process more than we even understand it.
(M) I think he’s the picture, I think yes, he did. And so he understood that it was worship, he understood that it was death, but he also understood that it was resurrection.
(J) You’d think that this side of the cross we’d understand it better. You know?
(M) Yeah. And I think the enemy keeps us in our unwillingness to give up control. So Abraham took Isaac, and I’ve often said that Abraham was the one who died at that encounter. And it’s because I’ve taken my children to that altar, and I know that you die when you give God the complete ownership of something dear to you, whether it’s your self, or someone, you are the one who dies. But then God takes it over, and brings it back to you resurrected.
(J) Actually, on the way down you were telling me that story about that man, remember? (M) It’s the story John Lake told about a man who prayed and prayed and prayed for his rebellious, sinful son, and God said, if you’re finished, I’ll take over. And so the man relinquished his son to God, completely, and said, he’s yours, I’m finished even praying for him. And the point was, you can hold onto God so tight and not let go that you are actually quenching the Spirit in other peoples lives. That is a very sobering thing. Control actually is transferred, and if you control a person, and how do you think I know any of this, you control a person wanting them to be with God, you force them to choose their own freedom. And that will mean rejecting God. Does that make sense?
(J) Perfect sense.
(M) So this man let go and a knock on his door came and they said, we found the body of your son in the lake, he drowned, and the man said, I have no son. That is the degree of relinquishment, John. Absolute, if it isn’t absolute, it’s not death. If it isn’t totally giving it to God then it isn’t the altar. So, a couple years went by, and one day there was a knock on his door and he opened it, and there was this nicely dressed young man. And he said, father, I wanted to wait until my life was completely straightened out; but I was saved two years ago and now I’m going to the mission field. And that is a classic to me. It’s a classic parable, or it must have really happened. But Abraham shows us the altar. So God pushes you and pressures you with circumstances to show you your desire to control. And our response is I know what should be here, and I will make it happen.
(J) That blasted ‘I know’.
(M) Yes. That tree, the ‘ I know’ is from that death tree. And we often do know some of what the Holy Spirit wants, but we don’t’ have any power to make it happen, in us, or in others, that is the point. We are helpless. Once you see, and sometimes it takes a long time to see your lust for control, and that it is sin and unbelief. It’s really unbelief, at the bottom of it.
(J) What’s it unbelief of?
(M) God, Gods ability, Gods control, Gods sovereignty, Gods willingness. Can you add to it?
(J) No. I think you’ve got it there.
(M) I know it well, unfortunately, or fortunately. The death of your control is the death of you. And He seeks that you would at last give up His throne. The only altar of sacrifice I know of, the altar of sacrifice, is Ro. 12:1 that I’ve just quoted. And what you do is, you present your whole body. Now, I think in the Greek it says that represents a once time deal. It may do that, it may be that, but you have to spend a lifetime finding out what it is that you are to die to. Your whole body had to go to that altar, a living sacrifice, holy, acceptable to God, that’s the altar of your death. And it’s the death of your thoughts; you said yesterday, the situation you were in, I’ve got to relinquish my thoughts. Is that what you said, do you remember?
(J) I just said that I had to give up thinking I knew the answer to this, or I knew the resolve, I knew what was going to happen, I knew how it should happen. I’m looking at it this side, as I told this person; I’m looking at it this side of history. I have no idea what’s going to go on between here and God’s solution to it, whatever that is.
(M) And we act as if we know the whole thing, and so we go to control. But the old man thinks that he or she is God, and should rule the situation. So you have to die to your will, you have to die to your seeing, your hearing, your feeling heart has to die. Your doing and going and working and thinking, all of that is in your body, and all of that has to go, that is worship. And the wonderful thing is, that when it does, when your body is surrendered at the altar, with your gift of worship, that is worship John; it’s not singing and dancing only, it is the presentation of your very being to die, to the Lord. Then you are struck with resurrection life. And the resurrection life is Christ. So you cannot achieve God’s will except through that altar, and the altar is the cross. When you go to that altar what you’re giving God is the control, the relinquishment of your very being. (J) Everything.
(M) Everything. And from that altar rises the answer to your prayer. I want to say to make it clear, that frees God. And I do believe that we hinder God.
(J) With our expectations of Him.
(M) And of us.
(J) Of us, and of others.
(M) I think we quench the Spirit, we, I can put it in that vernacular, because the scripture says, “do not quench the Spirit”. But when we take the Spirit’s place, and we be the conscience, the decision, of other people.
(J) Which is very easy to do.
(M) Its very easy, just breathe and you’ll do that. Just be in your soul, and you will do that. But I’ve used the word relinquishment, and it would take a number of words to describe how you get to that altar. Relinquishment is letting go of it. Abdication, I ran across abdication this morning; when you abdicate a throne, you give it up forever. When you renounce something you are getting rid of it, and you’re renouncing yourself.
(J) You’ll no longer sit in that seat.
(M) Its over, it’s done. And it must be that complete, it must be the killing of it. Abraham, the picture of Abraham is of Christ, yes, but it is a picture of a human entering into the altar, in which Christ is the substitute, and we don’t really have to die in the sense of eternity, but we do have to die to our own self. And we’ve already been taken to the grave. It was absolute; Abraham picked up the knife to kill his own beloved, cherished child. And only the angel stopped it. He was committed to true death. He was committed to go all the way if need be. And that’s how much the relinquishment be. Many times in my early walk I would kneel, hold my hands open, and say, it is yours, but I would know that I hadn’t released it, and I would pray and pray until I felt that I had released it, and God had taken it. Now, it’s a little easier, sometimes. I’m ever challenged to relinquish.

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