Karl Clauson: Who is in Control?

Karl: Grace is God’s energy to do in us what we are able to’t do in ourselves. So what do we now have right here?—do we now have a center zone, the place it may be considerably type of self-led?—no, no, no, no; I’m satisfied of this: self-Help, self-led, self-will is truly stiff armed by God; He loves us that a lot.



Ann: Welcome to FamilyLife Today, the place we wish to Help you pursue the relationships that matter most. I’m Ann Wilson.

Dave: And I’m Dave Wilson, and you’ll find us at FamilyLifeToday.com or on our FamilyLife® app.

Ann: This is FamilyLife—


Dave: —Today.


Okay, what number of years have we been talking on the FamilyLife Weekend to Remember® getaway?

Ann: I believe 33.

Dave: Thirty-three years.

Ann: I believe so.

Dave: In 33-plus years of talking on the FamilyLife Weekend to Remember, I’ve by no means had—this solely occurred one time—a conferee truly obtained my house cellphone quantity.

Ann: —which might be arduous, again in the day, particularly.

Dave: Yes, this was earlier than cell telephones.

Ann: —or social Media.

Dave: This was earlier than you might direct message anyone. You solely might contact any individual by way of a name to their house. My house cellphone rings in my kitchen. Remember, we had that lengthy wire?

Ann: Yes.

Dave: It was about 48 ft lengthy as a result of we might wrap it round the entire household room. I decide it up; and this man that went to the FamilyLife Weekend to Remember in Little Rock, Arkansas, obtained my quantity!

Ann: I bear in mind asking you, “Who was that?” He [Dave] goes, “It was this guy at a conference/at the conference that I met.”

Dave: I’m like, “I don’t even know how somebody could get my home number”; however this dude obtained it, and he is sitting in the studio as we speak.

Ann: That’s proper; he is.

Karl: Isn’t that cool?

Dave: Do you keep in mind that, Karl? Karl Clauson is in the studio.

Karl: I’ve obtained to let you know—at first, I’m like, “Who is this?”—after which I’m, “That’s me. [Laughter] That’s me.”

Dave: Do you bear in mind it?

Karl: I do; that convention in Little Rock rocked my bride and I in a large approach.

Ann: Were you a youth pastor?

Karl: No; I used to be with Robert Lewis in Little Rock, Arkansas. I used to be pastoring a gaggle of single adults, and it was/there was a revival breaking out.

But all of the whereas, my bride and I had a glorified roommate scenario happening. And you recognize what? Sometimes, you do not know it till you recognize it. Coming to the Weekend that weekend, you guys have been used so powerfully of God to Help reorient our life again to one thing candy. Isn’t that cool?

Ann: That’s actually cool.

Dave: Yes; and right here you’re, a long time later. We’re going to speak about your e book, The 7 Resolutions: Where Self-Help Ends and God’s Power Begins.

You’re a pastor of a church in Chicago—180 Chicago—is that what it’s known as?

Karl: 180 Chicago, sure.

Dave: And we have been in your radio present—Moody radio in Chicago—Karl and Crew. It’s one of the best.

Ann: It’s superb.

Dave: You’re one of the best radio host in the world, moreover my spouse. [Laughter] But you are one of the best in the world. Yes, I imply, critically, we love coming in your present.

Karl: It’s a pleasure to have you ever on; it actually is. We’re all about authenticity—it is used loads now—however we wish to be genuine, and we wish to give hope; so we bust open the Word. We’re actually doing a special type of a present; and that is, we Help folks take their subsequent step with Jesus. We actually wish to Help folks Grow.

Dave: That’s what/type of what your e book is about.

Karl: Yes; it is about rising, however it’s in a really unconventional approach. Let me simply bounce in. [Laughter] American Christianity has an Achilles heel; and that is, I actually imagine we perceive God’s grace for salvation; after which we attempt to bootstrap sanctification, which is an enormous outdated phrase for rising up in Jesus.

We discover ourselves sitting right here, and God’s guarantees are over there—my aim with this e book is to shut that hole—so the guarantees of God: like bearing a lot fruit, and overcoming the stuff in the world, and profitable battles that you simply thought have been unwinnable—seeing these issues getting beat by the energy of God.

Ann: So Karl, while you say we bootstrap it, what do you imply by that?

Karl: Self-Help is in all places, I believe virtually just like the American dream. I love the American dream—come on; it is obtained a lot good to it—however the issue is it would not jive with biblical Christianity. It would not completely dovetail.

Biblical Christianity is born out of humility, and it is grown out of humility. The American dream is all about: “Suck it up, buttercup; here we go.” Biblical Christianity is all about hanging in that time of want—“As you received Christ, so walk in Him,”—Paul stated to the Colossians. And that is what we have completed—we have obtained Christ as a result of we have been damaged and on the finish of our self—I do not suppose you are match for the dominion of God till you’re.

And then, we discover ourselves getting up, residing by “shoulds” and “ought to’s.” Even if we are saying, “Oh, I don’t live by that,” I imagine the dominant type of vibe in American Christianity is: “Boy, you better get ‘er done”; and that is antithetical to the gospel.

Dave: Let’s speak about brokenness. You walked by way of that.

Ann: Well, let me say too, as Karl walked in, Junanne—you guys have been married how lengthy?

Karl: Thirty-four years.

Ann: —with two youngsters.

Karl: Yes.

Ann: I watch you and Junanne, and also you guys are fiery for Jesus,—

Karl: Yes, we’re.

Ann:nonetheless, such as you’re passionate. When anybody is across the two of you, you possibly can inform: “They’ve been with Jesus.” I requested you, “Why is that?”; and also you stated—

Karl: “We got saved twice, both my wife and I.” Now, some are listening going, “Oh, boy.

Dave: I used to be simply going to say, “That’s bad theology.”

Karl: “We got a heretic on the horn here.”

Now, salvation/my soul was saved in 1984. I used to be raised in church—even an officer in my youth group; helped constitution a airplane to go take heed to Josh McDoeffectively in Seattle; that is how outdated I’m—he was preaching, however nothing was actually connecting. I had this phantasm of transformation, rising up in the church. I assumed I knew Jesus, however I did not.

Then I am going out and I try this factor known as the Iditarod after I was 18 years outdated: 1100-mile dogsled race throughout Alaska.

Dave: Just a bit factor you simply throw on the market.

Karl: Yes, I educated—

Ann: He’s similar to, “I did the Iditarod.” 

Dave: “I did the little Iditarod thing.”

Karl: —I educated for 2 years for that factor. It took 21 days, 8 hours, 12 minutes and

32 seconds; however—

Dave: Whoa, whoa, wait; 21 days?

Karl: Yes, 21 days.

Dave: —behind a dogsled/on a dogsled?

Karl: Yes, behind a dogsled from Anchorage, Alaska, to Nome, Alaska. And it is brutal; I imply, I obtained into powerful conditions. I imply, actually brutal; in reality, I did a foxhole prayer, on the market on the Iditarod; I stated, “God, if You get me out of this one, I’ll come back to church. I promise You.”

But that/a part of my story is that my first salvation—God saved me from an phantasm of transformation—I used to be a Matthew 7 child: I used to be on the trail to saying, “Lord, Lord.” I knew the songs; I had been baptized; however actually, I came upon later, I simply obtained moist; as a result of I wasn’t born once more. I had all the lingo down, however I did not have the facility of God.

So after the Iditarod, I had a horrible, horrible expertise inside two hours after that race was completed. I used to be crushed as a result of I assumed, “Oh, no. I spent two years of my life [training].” I did not even have anybody to course of this with. All I assumed is: “Alright; I busted my tail for two years, training for this thing;”—saved each penny: working at a lumberyard, driving a forklift, busted my keister—”and now, this is it?”

And guys, it virtually brings me to tears proper now as a result of, as a younger man at 18, I walked down Front Street [in] Nome. I wasn’t even sufficiently old to enter a bar; you needed to be 19. I walked down Front Street on their own. I heard the Spirit of God calling me—Satan was screaming at me, too—and I did not lend an ear to God. So I went out on a three-year quest, actually, seeking to get the void crammed/that God-shaped void. You’ll do virtually something to fill that up. I imply, it went from a pretty-good-living 18-year-old child to cocaine person.

God was extending mercy to me. Isn’t it superb, while you’re working from God, He’s nonetheless chasing you and increasing mercy?

Dave: He’s not chasing you to punish you; He’s chasing you to embrace you.

Karl: Oh, He’s chasing me to embrace me, man. Yes, God doesn’t have out a whip—He’s obtained open arms—you kidding me?

I simply exhausted all prospects, man—had a reasonably critical cocaine and Crown Royal® dependancy. They appeared to counteract each other. On February 11 of 1984, I used to be driving down a highway in Anchorage, Alaska. God stated to me, “Are you done yet?” I simply broke right into a bundle of tears; and I stated, “I’m so done.” Jesus saved my soul.

It was superb—the deliverance was in a single day for me; it is not for a few of my associates—I work with guys, on a regular basis, who’re permitting the Lord to take management of various areas of their life; however for me, these issues God delivered me from. That was my first salvation.

My second, third—and who is aware of what number of hundreds of occasions God’s saved me—He saved me from self-Help. I assumed, for a few years, I wanted to do that factor in my energy. That takes us full circle to the FamilyLife convention in Little Rock, the place you guys have been talking; and also you guys gave a imaginative and prescient. God allowed you to provide a imaginative and prescient of what a dynamic marriage may very well be! I spotted, “Man, I don’t have the power to do this.”

In reality, I obtained it in my face in a brutal approach; it was simply a few months earlier than we got here to that convention. Now, get this: I’m main a ministry that went from 12 singles to 500, who have been on fireplace. We had a mutual pal, Greg Dempster, was main worship for us. I used to be instructing on Thursday nights. God was utilizing that, so we’re watching God do one thing superb.

I’m strolling by way of my home in the future. I’m minding my very own Business, simply tooling by way of the house—simply obtained some honey-do checklist completed—I believe it was a Saturday morning. My spouse’s sitting on the mattress, and I’m heading for our restroom. She reaches out; grabs my left wrist—I’ll always remember it—reaches out; grabs my left wrist. I appeared down, and her chin’s quivering.

I’m like, “Babe, what’s up?!”—I assumed somebody died. She goes “Bub, we’ve got a problem.” I stated “What, babe? What’s going on?” She stated, “I don’t love you anymore, and it scares me half to death.”

Shelby: Wow; that is heavy. We’ll hear extra from Karl Clauson, arising on FamilyLife Today, in only a minute.

But first, nice marriages do not simply occur; they’re constructed with intentionality. We’re both drifting in marriage, other than each other, or deliberately shifting towards one another, and consequently, collectively towards God.

Here’s nice information to your relationship, no matter the place you are at. FamilyLife’s Weekend to Remember marriage getaway is again with a full schedule of occasions, all through the nation, this coming fall. Even higher, proper now by way of Monday, September 19, registrations are 50 p.c off. You can bounce on this opportunity to deliberately pull nearer to one another, and to God, and get two registrations for the value of 1, now by way of September 19 at FamilyLifeToday.com.

Alright; now, again to Dave and Ann with Karl Clauson and what occurred after his spouse advised him she did not love him anymore.

Ann: How lengthy had you been married?

Karl: Seven years. Now, you might want to know Mr. Iditarod man: constructed houses with my dad, man; labored 300 miles north of the Arctic Circle; business fished for eight seasons; spent two years of my life, at that time, on the ocean, business fishing. It’s a person’s world; it is a—“Fix it; get it done,”—you recognize—“Let’s make it happen.”

Dave: You ought to have been in that business, man.

Karl: Oh, sure; sure, sure.

Ann: —The Most Interesting Man in the World [ad campaign].

Dave: You sound like that man; you did all of it.

Karl: Yes, did all of it; however you recognize what’s loopy? I had no solutions for my bride. I bear in mind the hopeless feeling of: “I got nothing”; and I stated nothing to her. I walked across the nook, walked into the toilet, appeared in the mirror. There was that battle once more; and the battle was Satan telling me, “Come on, Junanne’s got all of this.”

And by the way in which, she would have owned all of her stuff in a heartbeat. And the Lord whispered to me, “Look at Me, young man.” And on that day, I broke. I used to be saved from attempting to be a person of God in my marriage, in my energy, and God started to—what goes on to this present day—He saved me from Karl, attempting to be the person; and He confirmed me what Holy Spirit energy seems like.

And so after I say I’ve been saved twice—it is actually not true—I truly wrote that in the e book: “I’ve been saved twice,” however that is not correct. Sometimes, I get saved 4 or 5 occasions in one dialog. I’d get saved right here, speaking with you guys—as a result of if we stay in the Spirit—it is virtually like we stay up right here, a few notches, simply conscious of the Spirit of God talking in and thru us; proper? But it is simple to duck again down into Karl mode.

I believe most individuals have that widespread expertise—we simply do not realize it—then: “Wow, we need to live with the juice of Jesus constantly flowing through us.” So right here I’m as we speak, all these years later. Yes, I’m extra fired up about Jesus than I ever have been in my life. Really, it will get stronger, and sweeter, and extra convicting. And there’s extra ache, as a result of God will will let you undergo it to Grow you; however it’s all stunning, man.

Ann: You’re so proper, Karl. He offers us, I’d say, these defining moments—

Karl: Oh, sure.

Ann: —the place, as you stated, we see ourselves. We see that we’re damaged; we’re needy. I’ve tried to do it by myself, on a regular basis; however it’s that give up, like, “Lord, what am I doing?”—like: “It’s You; it’s You. I can only do it with You and Your Spirit in me,”—not simply gutting it out, which I can simply/I believe we are able to all try this.

Karl: Yes.

Dave: Do you suppose we give up—fall down in humility—and not using a brokenness/and not using a second? I imply, you talked about that second, when your spouse stated, “I’ve/I have nothing.” I do know, in the final couple years, you have gone by way of arduous occasions as effectively—

Karl: Yes.

Ann: —well being issues.

Dave: —you recognize, medically—well being stuff.

I do not know if we get there with out some second, the place we simply/we come to the tip of ourselves.

Karl: You know, that is a nice query, Dave. I believe there must be these hallmark moments of/virtually these banner moments of brokenness. By God’s grace, He will enable us to make use of these as a stones of memorial in order that we are able to bear in mind once more.

I had a breaking in my life about 14 years in the past that—woo; it was powerful, man—I obtained betrayed, and it was brutal. But God has used that in a candy approach, as a result of I am going again to it repeatedly. That’s a remembrance factor that God jogs my memory of my want for Him; however on loads of events, He’ll break me anew. [Laughter]

Ann: I’m simply pondering of the listener, who’s going by way of one thing actually arduous proper now: you recognize, like simply damaged; I imply: “This is your opportunity; that God’s like, ‘Just come to Me, all you who are weary,’—can you say, ‘all you who are broken’?—”and I will be enough.”

Karl: Ann, I’ve obtained to let you know: you’re proper on, sister. I inform folks that come as much as me, after a church service after I preached a message, or possibly I’m speaking to them on radio. Sometimes, I’ll go and decide up a line and speak to them direct if somebody’s actually hurting. I’ll inform them this: “In your deepest brokenness, you are never, ever more positioned for God to do something great than now. So what you see, as devastating, God sees as a golden opportunity.”

Dave: And I’d guess there is a man listening proper now, whose spouse has stated to him what Junanne stated to you—

Karl: —“I don’t love you.”

Dave: —and what Ann stated to me. What would you say to that man? What’s he do? How does he reply?

Karl: “Humble yourself under God’s mighty hand, and He will lift you up.” I’m a large believer that humility is the posture of energy. I imply this from the backside of my coronary heart. Andrew Murray stated it; he stated, “Humility is the one virtue that gives birth to every other virtue,”—and he is proper! He’s proper!—humility is such a sizzling commodity, in God’s eyes, that “He resists the proud and gives grace to the humble [James 4:6].” And generally, we go to God: “Grant grace to the humble.” Grace is God’s energy to do in us what we cannot do in our self.

So what do we now have right here?—do we now have a center zone, the place it may be considerably type of self-led?—no, no, no, no. I’m satisfied of this—self-Help, self-led, self-will is truly stiff armed by God—He loves us that a lot.

Ann: Karl, what would you say to the spouse, who’s Junanne?—or me?—you recognize, again in that day, the place we now have nothing; and he or she’s pondering, “Yes, if only my husband would humble himself.” [Laughter] What would you say to that spouse?

Karl: First off, communicate reality. I’d say, “Give them a shot at the full deal.”

Ann: And I’d say, as a result of I’m an excellent reality speaker, [Laughter] I’d say—

Dave: I concur; I’ve heard it.

Ann: I’d say: “Do it in love; speak the truth in love,” “Calm down; pray before you say it.” Because Dave did not hear me, as a result of I used to be so loud on a regular basis. When I stated it in love—even Junanne/she stated, “I don’t love you anymore,”—she was trustworthy and open.

Karl: —and he or she was crying; she was crying.

Ann: Exactly.

Karl: My bride did not beat me up; she advised me, “Look, this scares me.” And her chin’s quivering, guys!

Ann: That’s talking the reality in love.

Karl: It is, and it was stunning. So sure, you communicate the reality; however you do not attempt to waylay the man; let God try this.

But the important thing, then, is to be a real biblical companion: go to your knees. I’ve seen God heal a lot: I’ve seen him heal most cancers in our house; I’ve seen him heal a wedding; I’ve seen him heal kids. God’s a healer, and I believe we underestimate the energy of God to intervene. We want to wish just like the outdated saints did, man: simply get again on our knees.

Dave: I imply, is that decision primary?—“Join God”; is that what you are speaking about?

Karl: Yes; “Joining God” is all about getting in place for God’s energy.

I like to make use of this story—for me, it captures it—I hope it is sensible to you. I discovered easy methods to water ski in Alaska, proper when the ice got here off of a lake at a Bible camp. I noticed these guys on the market, snowboarding. The camp had simply gotten this new boat—it was a Ski Nautique, man—it is like a pleasant ski boat. I’m like, “Wow; look at these guys.”

I used to be younger, however I assumed, “I’m going to give it a go.” I obtained on the market: obtained my vest on, plopped down two skis, water begin. I put the rope between the skis—they usually pulled it taut—they’d given me some primary instruction. They stated, “When you’re ready, yell ‘Hit it.’” I’m like, “Alright, hit it!” Here goes the Ski Nautique, man, pulling me up out of the water—and arms prolonged, I’m arising out—and I imply, I’m virtually on high of the water.

And then, I broke Water Skiing 101—I broke it: the large rule—I seize that deal with, and I assumed, “This boat needs my Help.” [Laughter] I pulled on that deal with; I pulled it proper as much as my chest, and I went head over heels. Guys, I obtained a nasal flush like you possibly can’t imagine. I assumed I had three lake trout undergo every nostril; [Laughter] I imply, it was a flush.

I’m bobbing there in the water. Now, I’m exhausted; as a result of for those who’ve water skied, you understand how exhausting it is while you’re attempting to get drug up out of the water, and you do not make it. I’m mendacity there, panting for air. The man comes round on the boat—had just a few associates there—they usually’re simply heckling me.

But fortunately, there is a man, who was truly considerably Godward. He seems down at me, and he says, “Hey, you almost had it. Don’t try to do what the boat alone can do. [Laughter] Don’t try to Help it.” Well, that is a metaphor for our relationship with God. Do we do nothing?—no. Listen, I used to be up on that lake, and I used to be snowboarding; and shortly I used to be slalom snowboarding.

Lots of people have a look at this—they usually go—they have a look at that metaphor they usually miss one thing; they go, “Oh, yes; I just got to hang onto God.” Now, there’s coaching/there’s coaching concerned, and there is effort. Dallas Willard stated, “Grace is not opposed to effort; it’s opposed to earning,”—that is the distinction. God’s energy is not one thing we earn—it is one thing we faucet into—that is the game-changer!

I hold coming again to this—however Americanized Christianity—and I’m not simply attempting to hit America; I love America—you kidding me? But I believe—other than our brothers and sisters in the underground church in Iran, Iraq, Afghanistan, China—they’ve a built-in dependence on God: persecution. But we, having this nice experiment right here, have to keep in mind that we’re not naturally defaulting again to—on our knees—however that is the place the facility is. So hanging onto God, remembering this: “We don’t have anything to prove, nothing to gain, nothing to win/nothing to lose in Christ; but we somehow think we’ve got something to prove.”

So sure, the important thing to becoming a member of God is: “Fall on your face.” Humility is one of the stunning issues. I’ve been speaking with my grownup son, right here just lately, about this; and I stated, “You know, humility is the ability to be self-aware when you walk into a room. You know: ‘I’m in Christ; I don’t have anything to prove here.’” This is superior; and I inform my son, “Kaben, you can live up here, man. You can live at a different place, because you’ve been graced by God to live there. So the words you say, the way you posture yourself, the stories you tell—you don’t need to validate yourself—you just go live your life, man; and watch God lead you. That’s a powerful place to be.”

Shelby: You’ve been listening to Dave and Ann Wilson with Karl Clauson on FamilyLife Today. His e book is known as The 7 Resolutions: Where Self-Help Ends and God’s Power Begins. You can get a replica at FamilyLifeToday.com or by calling 800-358-6329; that is 1-800-“F” as in household, “L” as in life, after which the phrase, “TODAY.”

Tomorrow, Dave and Ann will likely be joined, once more, by Karl Clauson to speak about God’s mercy by way of arduous occasions and the advantages of taking dangers.

On behalf of Dave and Ann Wilson, I’m Shelby Abbott. We will see you again subsequent time for an additional version of FamilyLife Today.

FamilyLife Today is a manufacturing of FamilyLife, a Cru® Ministry.

Helping you pursue the relationships that matter most.


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