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Rainbow Divider
MCM Broadcast

TV Broadcast #1007

Be Careful What You Want

January 22, 2012

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Transcript of message from TV Broadcast 1007 -- taken from Closed Captioning Text

— Brother Phil Enlow: Folks, this is absolutely the determining factor in where men and what men’s eternal destiny is. And everywhere I look I see this in our world where men are choosing.

Let’s look at a couple other scriptures that touch on this. Look at Psalm 81. Now here is where…there’s a Psalm looking back to the Israelites in the wilderness. Verse 8, He talks about what He’s done for them. Then He says, “Hear, O my people, and I will warn you–if you would but listen to me, O Israel! You shall have no foreign god among you; you shall not bow down to an alien god. I am the Lord your God, who brought you up out of Egypt. Open wide your mouth and I will fill it.” (NIV).

God is saying, I’ll take care of you. There’s no need that you have that I’m not concerned about. I am aware of all that. You just come to me and I’ll take care of those things. But what happens? It says, “But my people would not listen to me; Israel would not submit to me.” So what’s the result of that? “So I gave them over to their stubborn hearts to follow their own devices.”

It’s no accident that we have the scripture where Samuel the prophet, I believe, was talking to Saul. And I remember some of the King James language there. I don’t remember the exact…how it is in this translation. But stubbornness…rebellion is as witchcraft, “…stubbornness is as iniquity and idolatry.” You know, God can deal with anything. He can deliver us from anything except a stubborn heart, because a stubborn heart is when self rules. We want what we want, and God has nothing to do with it.

I’ll tell you, think about the things in our lives, and look at people around us. If that boyfriend has a stronger hold on your heart than God does…it’s getting quiet…that’s not a good place to be. You are in darkness, headed for darkness, headed for trouble, because God knows about all those issues. He’s got a beautiful plan for every life that will surrender to Him and allow Him to be the Potter. But if that boyfriend and your desires regarding that are more important to you…I mean, if it comes down to a choice, am I gonna listen to God, am I gonna humble myself, or am I gonna…no, can’t let that go.

That’s a simple every day example that happens all around us, and obviously it works the other way. If you can’t let that girl go, if you can’t let your desires to run with the crowd, if you can’t let your desires…I mean, it could be habits, it could be things in your life that just…they’ve got a hold…Satan has gotten a hold in you.

Think about the testimony of Jesus that we’ve referred to so many times, when He said, “…The prince of this world is coming. He has no hold on me.” (NIV). He’s already pushed all of My buttons and nothing happened, because I had disconnected the buttons. I’m not listening to those buttons. I’m not going by all those natural desires. I’m going by what God sent Me here to do. I’m not here to do My will. It’s not about Me. It’s not about My life and what I want here in this world.

What “tunnel vision” that is! What narrow thinking that is to think that this is all there is, my natural desires and gratifying them is what life is all about. Oh, if I can just fulfill all these…scratch all these itches that I feel. Oh, life will be good. Oh my God, you’re just headed for darkness and trouble and hell, and there’s no way to sugar coat that. That is God’s truth.

And I sense a longing in the heart of God to warn those who can be warned in this hour to wake up and understand what is happening in this world. Just as God has tried men’s hearts at every point in history, He’s trying them now. And not just out there, He’s trying them in here. What do you really want? Be careful what you want. Nothing you get from the flesh, nothing you get from the devil is free. Everything you pursue in that realm, it has a horrible cost attached to it. Some of you can testify to that. You go your own way, there is price to pay. And God longs to see people not have to go down such paths. I’ll tell you, we live in such a land of ease that it almost seems like you can have it all here and then Jesus, too. But it’s a lie.

( congregational amens ).

There is going to be an absolute choice on the part of everyone that’s ever confronted by light. You’re gonna have God, period, or you’re gonna have the devil. You’re gonna be under the dominion of one or the other. There’s no such thing as being free, you just free to do what you want. You’re not. You’re being lied to. You’re lying to yourself if you think there’s such a thing as just being able to do what you want to do and it work out just fine. God wants to rescue people from darkness and from the dominion and control of wicked spirits who want to destroy lives. It’s just the cry of His heart. And I just sense His burden. And it isn’t just the issue of be careful what you want, it’s that God gives people over to what they want.

Listen to other scriptures that I know we know. Look at 2nd Thessalonians, chapter 2. I believe this is a description particularly of this day and this time. And I’ll just quickly read through it, but I want to get down to the scripture that you’ve probably thought of yourself. Paul writes, “Concerning the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ and our being gathered to him…” So this is the subject. This is the time frame. This is the context in which what Paul is about to say happens. And I don’t know the time of the Lord’s coming. Neither does Mr. Camping, by the way.

( laughter ).

Or anybody else…the Lord knows or God knows. And it’s gonna happen when it’s supposed to happen, when all these processes have worked their way out. That’s in His hands, and I’m glad to leave it there. Praise God! That’s not my business. I don’t have to manage that. I’ve got enough to manage with me.

“Concerning the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ and our being gathered to Him, we ask you, brothers, not to become easily unsettled or alarmed by some prophesy, report or letter supposed to have come from us, saying that the day of the Lord has already come.” So somebody had sent these people a false message saying, hey, Paul told me to tell you that ‘da-da-da-da.’ No way.

“Don’t let anyone deceive you in any way, for that day will not come until the rebellion occurs.” Are we seeing the rebellion? Are we seeing an unprecedented spirit in man to assert himself and say, no, to God? Folks, the forces that are driving our culture would love nothing better than to shut us down and kill us if they had their full reign of control. Don’t kid yourself. This society for all its history is no friend of grace. Now there’s a certain amount of restraint but it’s changing quickly. If you’re in touch at all with what’s going on, we are seeing the rebellion on every hand.

“…And the man of lawlessness is revealed…” I’m not gonna get into that whether that’s a man or a condition. It’s both perhaps. “…The man doomed to destruction. He will oppose and will exalt himself over everything that is called God or is worshiped, so that he sets himself up in God’s temple.…” Now, God’s temple is not a building. God’s temple was…we were made to be God’s temple. So it’s the human spirit that so many people glorify that sets itself up against God. I’m gonna be god. It’s the same spirit that drove Lucifer. I’m gonna be my own god. I’m gonna determine my own course.

“…Proclaiming himself to be God. Don’t you remember that when I was with you I used to tell you these things? And now you know what is holding him back, so that he may be revealed at the proper time.” There was a restraint that Paul taught that was going to hold back this process. Do you suppose the Gospel would have gone anywhere if God had not held back what he’s describing here? No. God has, in mercy, allowed the message of the Gospel to cover the globe.

And He’s gonna finish the process. I can’t tell you how or when and all that’s gonna happen. But I know that it will because Jesus is gonna save every one that He’s purposed to save. He’s not gonna lose a single one that the Father has given Him. So that restraint is there, but it will continue until he’s taken out of the way…or it is taken out of the way, actually.

“And then the lawless one will be revealed, whom the Lord Jesus will overthrow with the breath of his mouth and destroy by the splendor of his coming.” I’ll tell you, that’s when destruction is gonna happen. It’s not gonna be some secret little helicopter escape for Christians. He’s gonna come in power for His own, and He’s going to destroy what is left.

Man, you don’t want to be here and be left behind when that happens. It’s not gonna be some, ‘oh my God, what happened?’ Let’s go find a Bible and get saved. It’s nothing like that at all. It’s going to be…there’s no hope. Jesus is come. My God, it was true, and I have no hope. I’ll tell you, today is the day when people need to hear the voice of God.

“And then the law.…” Well, I’ve already read that. “The coming of the lawless one will be in accordance with the work of Satan.…” That’s the inspiration behind it. It’s man having given himself over to the dominion of Satan and his power. “…Displayed in all kinds of counterfeit miracles, signs and wonders, and in every sort of evil that deceives those who are perishing.”

You see the road that they’re on? They think everything is great and grand. They think, I am man or I am woman. You know that song. This spirit of defiance…I am in charge. Ain’t nobody gonna tell me what to do. That’s the spirit of man. But what’s the road? What’s the end result? What does Jesus say? What does God say through Paul here? It says, they’re perishing. They’re on a road. It’s going somewhere. Where is that road leading? Perished.

How could this come to be when the Gospel has gone everywhere? How does this happen? “They perish because they refused to love the truth.…” See, the truth of God will absolutely confront you. I’ll tell you, I see this in religion in America. It has stopped being…it has stopped pointing out people’s sins in so many places. It will not confront self. It will not confront the true need of men. It will slip and slide, and repackage the Gospel to make it so attractive to the natural man that it’s not the Gospel anymore.

Jesus looked people in the eye and He said, if you don’t give up your life you’re gonna lose it. What can you do to repackage that? Just tell the truth. Tell people the truth. If you don’t give up your life, you will lose it. End of story. That’s the truth, and I’m not gonna back down from preaching what this book says.

And we better not ever stand for anything else. This is the love of God that’s reaching out. This is not an angry bully. This is the love of God who’s trying to turn people away from this path. “They perish because they refuse to love the truth and so be saved.” Well, what causes them to refuse it? Something else has got possession of their heart. They want their way to the point that they’re willing to tell God to go take a hike. Now, you can say it’s not like that, but if there is a stubbornness of heart that wants its own way, that’s what you’re saying. You’re telling God get the hell out of my life. I don’t want to hear You. Let’s just tell it like it is.

“For this reason God…” Does what? “…Sends them a powerful delusion.” You wonder why people can be in the condition they’re in and think they’re doing great and we’re on the right path–we’re on the path of progress. Man, we’re finally…we’ve got this vision of what we’re gonna do with mankind. This is what we’re living for. It’s getting rid of all this primitive religious garbage that just puts people in bondage. We’re finally free from all those myths and fables that bound us, and now we’re free to be all that we can be.

They have no idea. God has turned them over to a delusion. It is a lie, and they have given their souls to it, and they don’t know. Walk while you have the light unless darkness come upon you. And darkness has come upon these, and that’s what he’s describing. “…A powerful delusion so that they will believe the lie and so that all will be condemned who have not believed the truth but have delighted in wickedness.”

Oh, praise God! I’ll tell you, I’m so glad Paul goes on to say something positive here. He says, “But we ought always to thank God for you, brothers loved by the Lord, because from the beginning God chose you to be saved through the sanctifying work of the Spirit and through belief in the truth.”

But think about it. What’s the sanctifying work of the Spirit? Sanctifying means to be “set apart.” You were just part of the common herd, but God said, I want you for a different purpose. I want you to be My child. I want you to live with Me forever. I’m setting you apart. What sets them apart? It’s the work of God in the heart by the Spirit that begins to reshape their value system and begins to recalibrate their heart so that they understand where all this is leading.

If they follow the natural desires and inclinations in their heart, where does that lead? They begin to see that. They begin to see and their eyes get opened to what God has, and they choose that. And they choose it because of the yielding to the work of the Spirit in their lives. What happens if they go like this? Then you go the other direction, don’t you? You see where the issues are? You see why you guard your heart above all things? This is what determines everything.

But oh, he’s saying something positive here. I see where you’re at. It’s different. “He called you to this through our gospel, that you might share in the glory of our Lord Jesus Christ. So then, brothers, stand firm and hold to the teachings we passed on to you, whether by word of mouth or by letter.”

I know some of you can think of other scriptures. The one that has so often been read in Hebrews 3, and that’s where, again, he looks back to the Israelites and says don’t be like them. Verse 12 of chapter 3 says, “See to it, brothers, that none of you has a sinful, unbelieving heart.” How many times have we seen this over the years? You’ll see somebody that walks with us for years. All of the sudden one day, something happens. There is an unbelief that has taken root in there, and finally the right circumstances come out.

Unbelief is like the Word of God, in a sense. They’re both seeds. You’ve got the Word of God, or you’ve got the word of Satan. What happens to a seed? It kind of lays there sometimes until the conditions are right, and then it springs up. I thank God. I see seeds that are good springing up in many lives.

( congregational amens ).

A lot of times it’s challenging to be up here and preach and preach and preach, and you give out something, and you feel like it’s good, and the Lord’s in it, and you want to see something. But I’ll tell you, if there’s good seed being sown in hearts that are willing and open and listening, don’t worry. When the conditions are right, you’re gonna see that popping up everywhere. And I’m seeing it. I thank God for it. God’s done this.

( congregational praise ).

None of us can take credit. God loves a people and He is reaching them with His truth. He’s sowing that seed in their hearts. But here’s the opposite of that. You’ve got the devil who’s sowing seeds in hearts, and that seed’s being received and not recognized and not pushed out. And suddenly, conditions are just so and that seed gets nourishment and it comes up too. That’s what he’s saying…be careful of that.

“…A sinful unbelieving heart that turns away from the living God. But encourage one another daily, as long as it is called Today, so that none of you may be hardened by sin’s deceitfulness.” Boy, I tell you, we are so good at lying to ourselves when it comes to justifying what we want, what we think is right. God is looking for a people that just humble themselves and say, God, I don’t know. I just want You.

( congregational amens ).

Lord, shine the light in my heart. I don’t want to hide from the light. I want it to show the truth, because I know You love me. I know Your thoughts toward me are thoughts of peace and hope and joy and what You’ve got before me, I can’t even imagine how wonderful it’s gonna be. Lord, just help me to understand. Keep me. I need You to help me in my heart. My heart is deceitful above all things, desperately wicked. Who can know it? But You do, Lord. You try the reins. You’re able to know what’s down in my heart, and I want to know. I want to be on board with that, Lord.

I was just talking about what happens when sometimes people go along for years. Does anybody remember a fellow named Demas? Demas was actually a fellow worker with Paul. He traveled with Paul. I don’t know what his role was…whether he taught or he carried the bags or whatever. But he was there. He was active in the ministry. But at the end of 2nd Timothy, chapter 2…or the last chapter of 2nd Timothy, you can look it up later.

But Paul has to give a sad report, doesn’t he? It says, “…For Demas, because he loved this world, has deserted me.” You think of the words of John. “Love not the world, neither the things that are in the world…for all that is in the world, the lust of the flesh, and the lust of the eyes, and the pride of life, is not of the Father, but is of the world. And the world passeth away, and the lust thereof; but he that doeth the will of God abideth…” lives “…forever.” (KJV).

It doesn’t feel that way to our flesh, but that’s the challenge, that’s the battle that’s going on. That’s the testing that’s going on right now. Do you want Me? Do you want Me, period, or are you trying to have Me and something else? Because it’s the something else that’s really got your heart. You know, you can’t serve God and money for example. Didn’t Jesus say that?

( congregational response ).

It’s impossible. You’re gonna love the one and hate the other, and vice versa. It’s impossible to serve two masters. God is gonna see to it that your natural desires come into direct conflict with Him so that you will have to make a choice. It’s like trying to be in two boats. If those two boats are like this you might be able for a while to keep a foot in each one, but you’re gonna have to make a choice one of these days when those boats kind of move apart. Of course, in my case I’d be in the water I’m sure. But God’s gonna fix it that way. God is not gonna have any gods before Him.

Again, does this mean He’s a bully, or does He see the consequence of choosing any other path? We are so blind in this world. We do not understand where the other path leads. Satan just blinds the minds of those who don’t believe. That’s all they see is that desire and the fulfilling and scratching that itch. Oh, that’s what life is about. Oh, if I could just have that I’d be…that’s what my life is about.

And God says you don’t know it. You’re on the path to destruction, and I want to rescue you. I love you. I’m seeking to turn you back. I’ll tell you what. You could go on and on, on a subject like this and I don’t want to do that. I think the point is made. But again, this is not just a general warning to watch what’s in your heart. This is a warning that we are in a period of history in particular when God will put every man, woman, boy, child to the test. And His question to you is, what do you want?

And if your heart is stubbornly insistent on wanting something that is not His will and His Word for you…if that’s the stubborn bent of your heart, there will come a time when God will take His hands off and let you have what you want. And you will be in darkness headed for destruction and you won’t even know it. There’s one time to do something about that.

And I just put it out to you this morning. Where is your heart? What do you want? Be careful what you want. This is an absolute promise of God. When the coming of Christ happens, there will be some, I don’t know how many, there will be some on earth who will be looking, who will be ready. But most of mankind, for most of mankind it will be a total shock. It will be instant terror when they realize that everything they’ve lived for has been for nothing, and it’s too late, and only judgment waits.

Walk while you have the light lest darkness come upon you. I believe that’s God’s challenge to every heart. Search your heart. What is your heart about? If it’s about Him, man, you’ve got a hope that is beyond describing. Praise God! I believe there’s a whole lot of people here that have that hope. Pray for others.

Folks, this is…I didn’t even touch on one thing. Think about a scripture where it warns about a time when people won’t accept truth. What do they do? In the King James I think it says, “…They heap to themselves teachers.…” Do you want to know why the church in America is where it’s at? It’s because people got tired of hearing about dying to self, giving up their lives. They wanted someone that would preach what they wanted to hear. “…They heap to themselves teachers, having itching ears.”

We’re gonna stand by God’s grace for this truth and this Word and let Jesus be the Head. For all our warts, and all of our lack, God is able to work in that. But I’ll tell you, we’re gonna stand up for the truth. And I just pray that God will help you to take your stand on that side, because this is a line in the sand, folks.

( congregational amens ).

You’re either totally on God’s side or you’re totally on the world’s side. There ain’t no way to straddle this line. So where are you this morning? Praise God!