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Rainbow Divider
MCM Broadcast

TV Broadcast #1014

Are You a Child of Abraham?
Conclusion

March 11, 2012

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Transcript of message from TV Broadcast 1014 -- taken from Closed Captioning Text

— Brother Phil Enlow: 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.

Folks, we need to be careful of running ahead of God and trying to fulfill His promise. We need to recognize this is a work that only God can do, and we need to hold out for His promise and continually remind Him “…Give him no rest…” like he said in Isaiah 62, until, “…he make Jerusalem a praise in the earth.” (KJV). This is that city. But anyway, here’s the problem and here’s the situation, “By faith Abraham, even though he was past age—and Sarah herself was barren—was enabled…” ( NIV ). Enabled, enabled. Isn’t that a good word?

( congregational response ).

Are you able for all these things? Is this something that you and I have the ability somewhere to muster and make happen? No! We have to be enabled! What was it that the Lord told Peter? He said, when you’re young you ran, you did, you did all this stuff. When you’re old, you’ll do what?

( congregational response ).

Stretch forth your hand, and then what happens?

( congregational response ).

Another girds you and carries you where you don’t want to go. It’s contrary to the ways of flesh. But I’ll tell you, it’s like Paul said about his own ministry. He said our sufficiency is of God. What makes me able to do what I do is that God gives me the ability. It’s that simple. I don’t have this. This isn’t anything to do with me. God is the architect of everything that has to do with His kingdom. And the sooner we surrender to that, the sooner we believe him for that…that gets right down into the pew folks. If you and I are gonna grow in Him, if you and I are gonna do anything that has significance in eternity, it will be God doing it through you!

( congregational amens ).

And this isn’t just for a select handful of the spiritual, gifted ones, this is every member of the body of Christ. There is an enabling power God wants to give you to serve Him and to be a blessing to the Body of Christ and to go forward. But here is Abraham who just...all he can do is stretch forth his hands and believe...God has put him in an impossible circumstance.

Do you know it’s God who does that? Do you understand that anybody who is called to this is going to be tried? We get that here but we don’t like it much when it actually happens. But I’ll tell you, has anybody been tried this week? You know, you got all excited and then the next thing you know…wham?

Well what do you expect? God is looking for faith. Faith doesn’t go by the circumstances, and the shouts of impossibility and fear, and all the things that the devil throws at us. He throws them at me, I guarantee you. Man, I’m one of his favorite targets, but we all are. But thank God. God is going to put us in situations, He is going to delay, He is going to arrange it so that we’re gonna have to stand and believe God in the face of everything that would come our way and assault our minds. We’re gonna have to say, God, my eyes are fixed. You said it, I believe it. That settles it.

( congregational amens ).

I’m not gonna be turned aside because the devil yells in my ear and the circumstances don’t look right. Abraham stood the test even though he meandered and there were wanderings. The bottom line was that he was strong in faith as Paul said in Romans 4. He believed in the One who has the power to call those things which are not as though they were. A God who can speak galaxies into existence can do what He wants to do. See, we haven’t been called to try to muster something up, we’ve been called to serve Him and to believe His promise. That call is just as much to us in our day as it was to Abraham in his.

But look at the record. Here was Abraham 100 years old, 99 I guess, when the conception took place. Sarah was 90, barren, never had a child, past the age when she could have a child. Everything possible from a natural standpoint was impossible. But he was enabled to become a father. But then it doesn’t stop there, does it? It tells you why: “…Because he considered him faithful who had made the promise.”

That’s the whole deal. It’s not any lack on God’s part. God is looking for a people that believe for Him to do the impossible. It’s like we said recently, salvation itself is impossible. And it’s just exactly the same way, but we have a God who doesn’t go by natural laws and natural conditions. They have no bearing on what He is able to do. If He can bring a nation of slaves out of Egypt, If He can open the Red Sea and open the Jordan, and make walls fall down, my God, He can do what He wants.

( congregational amens ).

And we are no different from those people except that we have…well, we have more responsibility. We’ve got more light. We have the history of God doing all these things. That same God is here today. And I’ll tell you, no matter what you see when you look in the mirror, no matter how many failures you experience, no matter how many doubts assault your mind, God is calling a people to fix their eyes upon Him and to consider, as Abraham did, to consider Him faithful who promised. See, that’s the Word. We’re not basing this upon anything in ourselves, we’re basing it on one thing. God has said it, that’s it. And the result, “And so from this one man, and he as good as dead…” Do you feel that way sometimes?

( laughter ).

“…And he as good as dead…” He wasn’t dead but he was as good as dead. “…Came descendants as numerous as the stars in the sky and as countless as the sand on the seashore. All these people were still living by faith when they died.” I mean you’ve got a faith that doesn’t even say, well, God, I’m getting old. You’ve got to fulfill this while I’m living here or it’s not so. No. They had a faith that went way beyond their natural lifetime. It went beyond this world. It went to the very heart of God’s purpose and God’s plan.

You know, I don’t know God’s timetable. You know, Brother Thomas, I think, lived in the expectation that the Lord was gonna come in his lifetime. Well, he’s not the only one. I can think of others in the past…100 years ago there were men who said, Jesus is coming in my lifetime. Well, He didn’t, did He? Does that make the promise any less true?

( congregational response ).

I’ll tell you, God is gonna call us to serve Him whether we see all the things that He has promised come to pass or whether we, like Abraham, we die in faith. We say, I don’t...I wasn’t privileged to live to see it, but it’s coming. Don’t you turn aside. Don’t you stop looking at God and believing his promise. We’re gonna be like Abraham. Praise God!

They “…were still living by faith when they died. They did not receive the things promised; they only saw them.…” See they did see them. There’s a kind of seeing that’s not with these eyes. There’s a seeing that God enables the heart to do that is so much greater than just simply seeing something with your eyes. There’s an expectation based on the promise of God.

“…They only saw them and welcomed them from a distance. And they admitted that they were aliens and strangers on earth. People who say such things show that they are looking for a country of their own.” Oh thank God. We don’t have any place here that really is ours. I don’t want it. You know, stop the world I want to get off!

I’ve said it, you know, many times. But you know God’s got us here for a reason and a purpose. It’s part of the trial of our faith. It’s part of what He does to work in us. But I’ll tell you, it’s not for no purpose. There is something that is coming and as I said recently, I believe there’s more…a whole lot more than we have ever imagined that’s gonna happen here for a people who will dare to believe God and learn to walk together and die to self.

That’s what so much of this is about. God uses these experiences. God uses the delay. God uses circumstances to cause us to look inward, for Him to put His finger on this and say, okay, deal with this. Bring it to Me. I know you don’t have the power to beat this thing, but I do. If you just give yourself to Me, if you’ll surrender, I can change your heart. I can deliver you. I can set you free, but you’re gonna have to get honest and bring your situations to Me.

Oh, how much unbelief we have. See, this is it. God is looking for a people who will just…it’s not just big picture stuff, it gets down into the day-to-day living where we are. This promise has to get translated down to that level where we actually believe God for the little things that get us to the bigger things. Because there ain’t no way we’re gonna be what God has called us to be without self dying and Christ living in us.

My God, what a glorious thing to which He has called us. You think of the trials, the tests of Abraham’s faith. I mean, God just put him through the wringer in so many ways and it wasn’t to hurt him. It wasn’t to play games with him, it was to demonstrate what real faith was about. I mean, it’s not an accident that God has honored him and called him the father of faith. God enabled him to produce something that was of eternal nature.

“By faith Abraham, when God tested him, offered Isaac as a sacrifice. He who had received the promises.…” See this is an aspect of the promise that Abraham had received. At least he had a son. You know, if I’m gonna have millions of descendants, I’ve got to at least have a son. Okay now he had the son. Praise God, we’re there. We’re on track. Everything is going great. Okay Abraham, go out and sacrifice him.

My God, you think of the faith of a man who could stand in that place. He waited for the son for 25 years, and now he had grown up to a certain age. It doesn’t say exactly how…he was still a boy, I guess. It doesn’t say exactly how old that I recall. But anyway, “He who had received the promises was about to sacrifice his one and only son, even though God had said to him, It is through Isaac that your offspring will be reckoned.”

Well, Abraham did what we do. He tried to figure out how God could pull this one off. It says, “Abraham reasoned that God could raise the dead.…” He said, all right, now I know how this is gonna play out. I’m gonna plunge the knife and God’s gonna raise him from the dead and we’re gonna go on merrily about our way. Well, you know, God had a different plan.

Does He ever a different plan than the one you think? Yeah. Isn’t it wonderful just to learn to trust Him? You know, we strive and we struggle so much with so much of life and God is looking for people who just believe God and trust Him. Oh, praise God! Seems like He’s gonna take us around that mountain until we get it.

But you know He’s doing it because He loves us. He longs for us to enjoy the rest of being able to commit our lives into God’s hands and all the issues of life and know that it’s gonna be okay, that however difficult, however it is with respect to our flesh and earthly desires, I mean we know God is going to have to deal with them, but it’s gonna be okay. There’s peace.

Lord, how many times do we struggle and strive because of earthly desires that get in the way, and God finally brings us to the point where we say, all right Lord, I give up. What happens when you do that? You just feel so bad and so horrible and so…oh God has just taken some vital thing from me. No. It’s peace. There’s peace. There’s a joy. There’s a rest. That’s what God desires for every one of us. Thank God, He’s that kind of a God!

But anyway, that’s how Abraham figured this was gonna come off. “And figuratively speaking, he did receive Isaac back from death.” In other words, he was willing to do it. God had a plan where he substituted, he allowed him to substitute a ram that was caught in a nearby thicket. But so far as God was concerned, he really did it. Because God said, I see that you won’t withhold even your son. Praise God! I’ll tell you, this is what God is seeking to set before us.

Now I’ve thought of another scripture that you’re familiar with. I don’t want to prolong this. I think this is…these are some things that we need. Anyway, John chapter 8…Jesus was speaking to a crowd. I think it was in the temple area, anyway, I’m trying to pick up the context there. But anyway, it comes to a point where verse 30 says, “Even as he spoke, many put their faith in him.” So at this point there was a certain amount of belief that this was somebody who had something from God and they began to have a confidence in that. They began to accept that in some measure.

But it says, “To the Jews who had believed him…If you hold to my teaching, you are really my disciples. Then you will know the truth, and the truth will set you free.” Now that right there tells me that there’s a process, doesn’t it you? If you continue in my word, I think it says in the King James. There is a continuance. There is a sense that what is going to take me to the place where God wants me is to listen to Jesus, that I don’t have the wisdom, I don’t have the knowledge, but He does. And not only that, He is willing to impart it to me if my heart is reaching out to Him, He will respond to that. Praise God!

He’ll respond to you. He listens. He knows your needs. He knows the burdens that you carry. You bring them to Him and say, God, I don’t care how it plays out, I want You. I need Your wisdom. You stand fast on that. There is no plan B to seeking God. But anyway, Jesus wanted to expose something here, but He gives us certainly some truth. “Then you will know the truth, and the truth will set you free.” Do you need to be free this morning? God has something for you if you’ll listen to Him and seek Him with all your heart.

Well, they didn’t like this much. “They answered him, We are Abraham’s descendants and have never been slaves of anyone.” Oh yeah? “How can you say that we shall be set free?” Man. He started crossing their religion, didn’t He? You can stir up a lot of trouble that way. “Jesus replied, I tell you the truth, every one who sins is a slave to sin.”

See this was the slavery that He was talking about. You’ve got a principle that’s ruling in your life and I have come to set your free from that. You are a slave as long as this nature that you were born with is dominating you, is ruling you, is dictating what you do in your life, you are a slave! I’ve come to set you free! My truth can do that! You need to be set free!

They didn’t have a clue what He was talking about. See, they put together a religion that never really dealt with the heart. It was what they did on the outside. It was not a matter of the heart being changed. Jesus warned them and told them that their hearts were…some of these people were like graves. You decorate them on the outside, but what’s inside?

( congregational response ).

And that’s what God was looking for. God’s looking for that from us. He’s looking for a people who will give their hearts to Him. Say, God, it doesn’t matter what I do — well, it does matter. But, the real need is for You to get my heart, change it, fix it, fill it with the love of God. Fix it so that I can be like You and all these other things will fall into their rightful place.

So He goes on and says, “Now a slave has no permanent place in the family, but a son belongs to it forever. So if the Son sets you free, you will be free indeed. I know you are Abraham’s descendants. Yet you are ready to kill me, because you have no room for my word.”

Well, they already had something they were convinced of, and they didn’t have any room in the garden of their heart for this Word that had really come to get to the heart need. Man, I’ll tell you, religion is a horrible defense. It’s an inoculation against Jesus who would change the heart…so much of it. Praise God! You know, there were people scattered among the religion of the Jews that were His sheep. They did hear His voice. God had some people but these He’s talking to here weren’t among them.

“I know you are Abraham’s descendants.” You actually are part of what people call God’s chosen people. You were descended from Abraham. He acknowledged that. “Yet you are ready to kill me, because you have no room for my word. I am telling you what I have seen in the Father’s presence, and you do what you have heard from your father. Abraham is our father, they answered.”

And then He says this, “If you were Abraham’s children, said Jesus, then you would do the things Abraham did.” That kind of tells you that Abraham’s children is a different thing than just the ones that were physically descended from Isaac, doesn’t it? It’s like Paul said, it wasn’t the physical descent that mattered, it was the fact that Isaac was a child of promise. Isaac was a supernaturally produced son. It took a miracle to produce that son. And when he was brought forth, he had faith like his father did.

That’s what God is looking for and so the children of Abraham are not limited to Jews. They are limited by one thing, its people of faith who have faith like Abraham did, whether they were descended from Abraham or whether they were Gentiles. It doesn’t make a bit of difference, or whether they were descended from Ishmael, for that matter. Praise God for every one. That means you and me this morning.

( congregational amens ).

God is calling us to be the true children of Abraham who hear the call of God, who see a vision of what can be by His power only, and say, that’s what my life is about. Let everything else find its rightful place but this takes precedence. I am a child of God. I’m seeking a city which has foundations. I believe the promises of God’s Word and that’s what my life is about.

What defines your life? Are you a child of Abraham? Praise God! I praise Him for his mercy. I praise Him for what He has promised. I praise Him for what He will do, because He is faithful that promised. And so, the call rings out to us today as much as it did to Abraham to get out of your country and from your family and from whatever it is in this world that holds you and say, I’m following Jesus. I realize I need Him. I need His Word. I need Him to do a heart operation in my life and bring me to the place that He has set. And I’ll tell you it’s not just individually, it’s as a people. I’ll tell you, God is building something. He is building a city, isn’t He?

( congregational response ).

Well, I’m trying to think of some of the choruses that we used to sing. “He’s Building a Body” is one of them. “He’s building a body, in the earth today, He’s building a body, and it’s not of clay. A spiritual body, for the glory of God: He’s building a body, in the earth today. Find your place in that body, in the earth today; Get into God’s order, and learn to obey. This death-to-self message will show you the way; He’s building a body, in the earth today.” Then “Come to the City”, the city of God, and all the choruses that we have sung in our past, they need to be alive to us.

( congregational amens ).

They need to be a fresh vision every day of something God has called us. Yes, time is passing. I don’t’ know how much time there’s gonna be, but I’ll tell you, God is looking for a people who don’t pay attention to time, don’t pay attention to circumstances, don’t pay attention to an impossibility. They just say, God has promised, that’s it.

( congregational amens ).

That’s what defines my life. Are you a child of Abraham? Praise God!