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Rainbow Divider
MCM Broadcast

TV Broadcast #1013

Are You a Child of Abraham?
Part One

March 4, 2012

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Transcript of message from TV Broadcast 1013 -- taken from Closed Captioning Text

— Brother Phil Enlow: You know, I had some scriptures come to me. I’d been thinking about other things, and they just kind of evaporated, which happens from time to time and that’s a good thing, if the Lord’s doing the evaporating.

But turn, if you will, to Hebrews chapter 11. I just had some thoughts come to me this morning. I’ll begin in verse 1, Hebrews chapter 11, verse 1, familiar scripture. “Now faith is being sure of what we hope for.…” (NIV). Doesn’t that apply to what we just said? There is a sense that we have a confidence that what God has promised is really so. We don’t act like…oh my God, make it happen. We say, thank You, Lord. There’s a certainty that comes when God’s Word gets sown in the human heart and there’s a receptivity to it. We’re not trying to figure it out. We’re not trying to do anything except, thank You, Lord…You said it, that’s good enough for me.

And you know, God’s Word is not just a collection of ideas, is it? There’s literally the impartation of God’s Spirit, God’s Life that comes in when He speaks. And you see, it’s when we receive that, it does something. There’s a life, there’s something that is imparted beyond just trying to convince your mind of ideas. There’s really something that is solid. God ministers a spirit of faith, does He not?

( congregational response ).

See that’s the characteristic of His work in the earth, it’s a characteristic of His people, that there’s an openness of heart to receive the word of faith. And so, “…Faith is being sure of what we hope for and certain of what we do not see.” Obviously it’s not based upon what we see, naturally speaking, but there is a certainty that comes when the Word of God, as I say, takes root in a human heart.

“This is what the ancients were commended for. By faith we understand that the universe was formed at God’s command, so that what is seen was not made out of what was visible. By faith Abel offered God a better sacrifice than Cain did. By faith he was commended as a righteous man, when God spoke well of his offerings. And by faith he still speaks, even though he is dead.”

God preserved the testimony of this man who obviously — what he did doesn’t really explain all the ins and outs of the offering, but God saw faith in his heart. God saw that when he did what he did it was an expression of a heart that believed God and reached out to Him, and so God recognized that. Do you know God looks at hearts?

( congregational response ).

Now you can be here this morning and your heart not be here, but God’s not stupid. He sees where everyone is at, and He’s looking for a certain kind of people in the earth, and those are the ones that when they hear His Word, they embrace it, they believe it.

“By faith Enoch was taken from this life, so that he did not experience death; he could not be found, because God had taken him away. For before he was taken, he was commended as one who pleased God.” So this was a man that the Scripture says walked with God. There was a special relationship there. And like some preacher at some point said, they went for a walk one day and the Lord said at the end of the walk, we’re nearer My house than yours, let’s just go on.

( laughter ).

Well, I don’t know how it happened, but whatever it was God singled him out as a unique man in his generation. “And without faith…” the Word says, “… it is impossible to please God.” Nothing we can do in ourselves that will cause God to receive us and look kindly on us except just to believe Him. Praise God!

But without it, it’s impossible to please God, “…because anyone who comes to him must believe that he exists…” but beyond that, “…and that he rewards those who earnestly seek him.” Now it just doesn’t say, seek Him, does it? It says, earnestly. There’s a sense of a real desire.

You know when God begins to deal with a heart, He kindles in there a desire for Him. And what He’s looking for is fruit, that is, you plant a seed, you’re expecting something, aren’t you? You’re expecting something to grow. When God plants His Word in the heart, He is expecting a crop. And the first manifestation of that crop is a hunger, a desire that begins to reach out, just as a plant comes forth in the ground and begins to reach up for the sky…I’ll tell you, when God’s Word is sown in the heart, there’s something that begins to reach toward Him. And I’ll tell you, you break into the light, and sunlight comes, and nutrients come, and something begins to grow that’s of God. You know, the Scripture talks about the plantings of the Lord, doesn’t it?

( congregational response ).

Everything My heavenly Father has planted…what He says is something pretty positive about that. Praise God!

“By faith Noah, when warned about things not yet seen, in holy fear built an ark to save his family. By his faith he condemned the world and became heir of the righteousness that comes by faith.” Man, there’s a choice to made, isn’t there?

( congregational response ).

When it comes to the things of God, you are—we are making an absolute irrevocable choice to cast our lot with Him, as opposed to the world. There’s just two camps—there’s two kingdoms out there. They’re going in opposite directions. There’s no way to mix them. There’s no way to have part of one and part of the other. We are either going with God or we’re going the way of the world.

And the situation became so clear-cut in Noah’s day that God had sent a word of judgment that was to come. Now Noah had no tangible evidence that such a thing could ever be. He couldn’t look back and say, well yeah, You did it back there, so I guess this is kind of like that. There was no “like that.” This was it. This was the first time that God had done something like this. Think of the man who stood against his generation and said, God has spoken, I believe Him. You can laugh, you can run, you can mock, you can do whatever you want, but I believe Him. And of course, he didn’t just believe in some vague sense. He put legs to his faith, didn’t he?

( congregational response ).

He did what was an appropriate expression of one who says, I believe in God. He did everything God commanded Him to do, right down to the letter…built that thing exactly the way God said to do it, and God saved him and those who believe his word, his message.

“By faith Abraham, when called to go to a place he would later receive as his inheritance, obeyed and went, even though he did not know where he was going.” Are you catching…like Ben says, are you catching a trend here as to what faith is really like? Faith is hearing the voice of God, who says things that are totally contrary to the world and its ways, its expectations, everything to do with the world, but He calls us to come to Him, to believe His Word, and to live out the faith that we have professed. And so Abraham didn’t say, all right God, show me on Google Earth where we’re going here.

( laughter ).

He didn’t look it up and try to research and figure it all out, and say, but I don’t understand this and I don’t understand that. He just said, Lord, You have spoken. I mean, think of what…I don’t know if we can really get the picture here. He lived in a family of idol worshippers. Now they had certain amount of memory of who this God was. They knew about Him. But in terms of really having any connection with God, they didn’t. God was just somebody they’d heard about.

They’d heard about the flood. As far as we know, it depends on whose chronology you go by, Abraham was actually…I’m sorry not Abraham, this is Abraham. Noah was still alive. He would have been a very, very, very old man, but there was quite an overlap at the point in the generations. So there was a certain amount of mental knowledge that there was a great God and He sent a flood and all of that stuff. But in terms of really worshipping, in terms of knowing Him, in terms of being a part of His purpose, that was just kind of folklore almost.

But all of a sudden this God speaks, singles Abraham out and speaks, and He says, get out of your father’s house, out of your own land, and go to a land that I will show you. Now you see what faith begins to look like. Faith is hearing the voice of God, and it forming such a conviction in your heart that you can lay everything else aside and say, I want that.

I mean, think of the parables Jesus gave us of the pearl of great price. What did it cost for the man, for the merchant to obtain that pearl? He set such a value, that pearl held such a value to him that he says, everything else in my life can go, I need this! I want this. And Jesus told a similar parable about the treasure that was hid in the field. Once again, a man finds that and he says, man that’s worth everything. Is it worth everything to know the Lord? Is it worth everything to sign on to be part of His Kingdom and what He’s about? Man, you better believe it.

But you see what…you begin to get a picture, too, of what it takes. There was a call, wasn’t there? Abraham just didn’t dream this up. He didn’t go and read it in a book and say, hey, I think this would be a great idea. I’m gonna…you know. He was just minding his own business, wasn’t he? And God just invaded his life at some point and said, Abraham! And whatever he did, it doesn’t give the details, but it got his attention. And Abraham had a hearing ear and somehow…God knew this man, but here he was, just minding his own business, worshipping his idols, doing his thing, and God speaks.

Do you remember what Peter said on the Day of Pentecost? We’ve referred to this recently, when there was the promise of the Holy Spirit to those who did what? They repented and they were baptized, and it signified a laying down of their lives. It was giving up everything to possess what was being made known on that day—the One who was being made known, to come into a right relationship with Him. But to whom was the promise given? To those…to all our Lord will…

( congregational response ).

Do you remember that little word ‘call’? Folks, we cannot manufacture Christians. We can do one thing. We can be faithful as God enables us, to give out the Good News of the Gospel. But I’ll tell you, when it comes to who responds and how they respond, God’s gonna have to do that. We’re gonna have to make up our minds that that’s what we’re gonna live for. We are not gonna depart one iota. We’re not gonna turn to the right, or we’re not gonna turn to the left. We’re gonna do what God says and we’re gonna hold fast to His way and His promise.

And I’ll tell you, we have a God who fulfills His Word. We have got thousands of years of history here to look back to. That’s why the writer was telling us about all these things. He was recounting. See this is what it’s about to serve God. Look back at the men in the past—the people in the past who served God. Look what they had to endure. Look what they did. Look at the call of God to their life. It’s not different from that now. This is not just special history. This is the pattern of God working with His people. Folks, I want to be one of those people.

( congregational amens ).

I want that to define my life. “By faith Abraham, when called.…” That’s a pretty key word right there. He didn’t volunteer, God called him. And I’ll tell you, when God called him, like I say, He sowed something in his heart that took. He sowed a plant that just didn’t come up and wither and die. It grew and there was life in it. Has God done that for you? I’ll tell you, I believe God is gonna finish His work. He’s gonna do something this world doesn’t know anything about.

But the thing is, again, he went someplace he didn’t know where he was going. Isn’t that what the Christian life is about? My God, do we want…by nature, we want something fixed, settled, routine, predictable. By your smiles I see that what I am saying is so. We’re all the same way. We want something that’s certain.

God can’t I have you here? Ur is a nice place…I mean, we’re over here, I know Babylon is down the road and all that, but Ur is such a pleasant place. We’ve got the Euphrates River right over there. Man, it’s nice here, it’s cool. (This is presently Iraq, by the way, roughly, in that general area.) Can’t I serve You here? No…you go. Where am I going, Lord? I’ll tell you. I’ll let you know when you need to know.

You think about the faith that it took to leave everything behind. He didn’t say, well…he could have said, well what about my family? And the Lord would have said, just leave them to me. I’m calling you. Think about what Jesus said. He said, I didn’t come to bring peace. I came to bring a sword. I’ve come to set a man against his father, and he enumerates the different members of earthly relationships, and a man’s enemies will be those of his own household.

So those are things that come into the picture when it talks about the Kingdom of God. God calls people to this. There’s no program we can substitute that’s gonna accomplish this. As I say, we can just preach the Word. But I’ll tell you, this is what faith looks like. This what God has called us to. And you know, it’s awfully easy in our day to look back and say, well, yes he had a goal, there was something he was looking forward to. And we’re just sitting here marking time ‘til Jesus comes and that’s up to Him, and so there’s really no objective here.

God has called every person in every age to a pilgrimage, to a walk, to a growth, to change, to move from where they’re at to where He longs to take us. Folks, I believe with all my heart, and so many have said this same thing, God wants—longs to take us to higher ground.

( congregational amens ).

And I believe He’s doing it. If our hearts are committed to Him, I believe we’re gonna see Him make changes in our lives that are gonna be things we haven’t imagined. I need them, don’t you?

( congregational response ).

We’re talking about the victories and the needs in lives were mentioned earlier this morning. God sees the things that are wrong in our lives, that are needful in our lives, and I’ll tell you, He has made provision in Christ for every one of those things. Folks, we are never to settle down.

And Abraham, even when he got to the land…well, let’s just read that. It says, “By faith he made his home…” Home sounds like a good thing, doesn’t it? But listen to what it says, “By faith he made his home in the promised land…” It wasn’t his yet. “…Like a stranger in a foreign country; he lived in tents, as did Isaac and Jacob, who were heirs with him of the same promise.”

See, there was something about Abraham that understood God’s got something that’s out there. This thing that He’s promised is not just…boom, I push a button and wham, I’ve got it. He has called me to a hope. He has called me to something that lies ahead. And my place is to live in a practical way, but in a mental way…this is the biggest thing, it’s how we think.

You know, you can settle down in your mind into a routine that just becomes a dead form. But God has not called us to that. God has called us to a living walk of faith with Him, where tomorrow is not the same as today, where God longs to take us from where we’re at, to where we’re gonna go and always there’s a pilgrimage, always there’s a hope that lies out ahead of us. God help us to get that, to understand what these patriarchs understood.

“For he was looking forward…” it says, “…to the city with foundations, whose architect and builder is God.” Well that tells me that we can’t build this. It’s not up to my ability or yours. It’s not up to what I think and what I know. It’s up to God! If we are going to be part of what God is doing, it’s just the same way as it was in Abraham’s. We are going to have to every day get up and say Lord, we’re looking to You. Lord, what are Your orders. Lord, just show me what to do. God, don’t just fix everybody else, but I realize that part of this involves me, and my life, and my needs. Oh God, may my life in this world be truly a pilgrimage, a journey, and not a destination where I just settle down and I just settle into a dead routine. Praise God!

I’ll tell you, God is looking for that. I’ll tell you, if what you want is just a religion that’s all nicely packaged, and you know what you’re gonna do, you got a bulletin when you come in, and I’m not saying God couldn’t ever use that, but you know what I’m saying. Everything is so nicely structured and organized, and you go to school to learn how to do all that. You’re in the wrong place. We need to be a people who have been called—you’ve been called.

God has birthed this vision, this hope in your heart of following Jesus and recognizing that His call is just like it was to Abraham. He’s calling you. He’s not necessarily calling your family. Praise God when He does…that’s wonderful. But He’s calling you and you’re gonna have to make your decision between you and Jesus without respect to anybody else. Absolutely! You can’t say, well, they wouldn’t come, so I wouldn’t come either. That’s not gonna be any kind of defense on the Day of Judgment. God said, I called you.

Abraham could have said, well, my brother, my brother-in-law, and all my friends…they wouldn’t come, so…oh no, God is calling a people out of the world. Our destination is another world. But I’ll tell you, there’s a lot of stuff that He intends for us to enter into here. And who’s the architect, who’s the builder?

( congregational response ).

Who’s got the pattern?

( congregational response ).

God does. So that doesn’t mean you come and you look to a preacher, you look to anybody, you look to a group of people. That means everybody here gets up in the morning and says, God, this is what you called me to, this is your promise. I’m a part of this. God, lead us.

Folks, I’ll tell you, if we have a congregation of people…I believe in a great measure we do…I thank God for it. But you know, if we have a congregation of people who come to God and between services you’re seeking God. You’re saying, oh God, we need Your voice, we need to hear Your Words in this hour. We don’t know how to lead ourselves. You’re bringing us by a way that we’ve never gone before! But Lord, we believe Your promise, and we’re gonna come with an expectation that You’re going to speak to us and give us the personal instructions that we need to deal with the things that are at that point in the journey. Do you think God is gonna not hear that prayer?

( congregational response ).

Man, that’s exactly the thing He’s looking for from every one of us. Oh, I praise God. I want to be like Abraham looking forward. There’s something in that. Abraham didn’t look back, did he?

( congregational response ).

There’s no indication that when Abraham left that he ever turned around and said, boy, I wonder what they’re doing back there in Haran, or I wonder what they’re doing back there in Ur? I sort of miss all the parties. I miss all the get-togethers. He looked forward.

What direction are you looking in your life? Are you looking around? Are you looking at this life and all these things? Or are you looking forward? Are you like Paul? He says, God’s called me to something, he says, is it in Philippians 3? God has called me to something. It’s heavenly. It’s a vision. He’s made provision for me in Jesus. He says, I don’t count myself to have apprehended all this. I haven’t really obtained it all. This is not something I’m in possession of at the moment. But one thing I do. What did he say?

( congregational response ).

Forgetting those things that are behind — that includes your failures, by the way. God wants us to be able to lay down all those things and realize that He’s big enough to handle that. Praise God! We don’t have to carry that baggage with us. Praise the Lord!

Forgetting those things that are behind, but what? It’s not just forgetting that. It’s reaching…there’s a sense of, God, I need things in my life right now. You haven’t called me to sit in a certain place. You called me to walk, You called me to go on a journey, there’s a place, there’s a destination You have out there for me. Let that dominate my thinking and let it be my way of looking at life. You haven’t called me to a static thing where I’m just camping somewhere. Lord, I need to grow. There’s always ground to take, there’s always a place to go. We’re not there yet. We are pilgrims heading for a city.

And you know when God gets through with it, it’s like we said recently, the glorious pictures that we have in Revelation…to what degree they’re symbolic, I don’t know, but they’re gonna be real. Man, what God has planned! But I’ll tell you, there’s a whole lot between here and now and then that God wants us to possess. And He has made all the provision in the world for it.

Abraham seemed to somehow get that. He was looking forward to the city with foundations. Boy, our foundation is Christ. You’ve got a better one than that? Praise God! A “…city with foundations, whose architect and builder is God.” Well, I believe that God who has called a people to all this will never leave us nor forsake us. Don’t you believe that?

( congregational response ).

“By faith Abraham, even though he was past age.…” So now we’re dealing with some of the details. Part of the promise of God to Abraham was, in your seed, your seed’s gonna be like the stars in the sky and all that stuff. You’re gonna have a great heritage of people, nations are gonna come from you, Abraham. Great, Lord! I don’t have a son…minor little detail here. You didn’t forget something, did you?

( laughter ).

But you know, that’s part of faith. If the architect and builder is God…see, why do we try to engineer so much? You know, part of walking with God and part of a walk of faith is keeping our eye on the promise in spite of the circumstances, in spite of time factor. Again, this wasn’t something where he could go to some great faith conference and find the secret and then push the button and make it happen. This was years and years and years. We could talk about it in a few minutes, but for Abraham it was years and years and years and years and years and years and years until, what happened at one time, he said, well, I guess God is waiting on me. I guess I’m gonna have to work this out and just ask Him to bless it. Nobody here has ever done that.

( laughter ).

But anyway, you remember what happened. I guess they had a custom that if you had a barren wife, you could, by her servant or somebody, they could kind of be a proxy and produce children that would be legally be his and legally be hers. And so they had Ishmael. And anyway, praise God. I was gonna say, been trouble ever since. But thank God. You know, God has a people among those who were descended from Ishmael. God has a people among every tribe and tongue and nation in the world.