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Rainbow Divider
MCM Broadcast

TV Broadcast #1016


March 25, 2012

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Transcript of message from TV Broadcast 1016 -- taken from Closed Captioning Text

— Brother Phil Enlow: That needs to be a way of life with us. If we’re not living a life of sensitivity where God can actually talk to us and show us the degree to which self rules then what’s happening? Nothing. But God has called us to a life where He is going to do some changing. But the fact that this is a present tense verb just helps to communicate this is a process. This is life-long.

But there’s something else in that verb. This sounds like an instruction. This is a command. If anyone will follow Me, he must—must, must…this is the Lord’s command to us. Submit to the process to which I have called you. This is God’s command to every single one of us. Praise God! Let’s see if I can remember what the other one was. Oh yeah. The question is, is this active or passive?

( congregational response ).

It’s passive, isn’t it? Now again, active is when you hit somebody. Passive is when somebody hits you. There’s an action involved in the verb, but where is the action directed? See the Lord is saying, you be conformed. This is something that I have to receive. This is something that happens to me. The impetus for what happens is not arising from me. I’m not on a self-help program here where I have…this is what I need to be. Okay now, here’s how I get there. I’m gonna work it out…I’m gonna have affirmations every morning. I’m gonna use all these psychological techniques and by God, I’ll make it.

No. This is something where we take a place of submission. Lord, it’s not my castle anymore. You can come in a do what You need to do. You can rearrange my furniture. You can do whatever. It doesn’t belong to me, and I’m not gonna sit here and resist. I’m not gonna be like that dog that’s just biting and resisting. That’s our problem so much of the time. The Lord is trying to put His finger on something and we’re just…no, no, no. We’re just back pedaling and resisting. And the Lord has called us just to stop resisting, and say Lord, I surrender to the process. God, You own me. You love me. Your purpose for me is wonderful.

What fruit is there in continuing to cling stubbornly to self and not be honest? God, give us a heart that’s honest. When God puts His finger on something we say, yeah, that’s what it is Lord. I’m swimming in a septic tank here. There’s no way I can make this better, pretty it up and say, well, it’s because of this, it’s because of that. It’s not so bad. It’s what it is. Folks, we are a mess. The sooner we quit trying to pretend that we’re something we’re not, the quicker the Lord’s gonna change us.

( congregational amens ).

Salvation is not pretending to be a good Christian when everything is wrong in here. It’s coming to Him with an honest heart and saying, Lord, this is what I am. I need You. There are changes that have to happen in my life, and I can’t do it.

But you see, this process of just surrendering to His working in our hearts is one of…it’s that simple. We complicate it. God’s not requiring things of us that are way out there. Thank God He doesn’t dump all this on us at once. Now sometimes He does…for good purposes He will bring us to a crisis in our life where we’re suddenly confronted. We have a certain amount of vision of just how needy we are. But He does that, why? To discourage you? No, He does it so we will let go and realize oh my God, I really, really, really need You.

( congregational amens ).

Then we step back and we’re able to take that place of just okay, Lord. That sounds like a place of rest to me. Doesn’t it to you?

( congregational response ).

We’re not trying to work it out in that sense. We are cooperating with Him. But what we’re saying is, Lord, You are the One who knows everything about me. I don’t know. I will lie to myself. I will allow sin to deceive me. I will continue to think the thoughts that were formed in me as a natural man unless You change me. And the way You’re gonna do it is a step-by-step-by-step, issue-by-issue-by-issue, day-by-day-by-day thing. And You’re the One that’s gonna set the pace. Thank God for that.

( congregational response ).

There’re things that He will undoubtedly deal with me about today…and has. Anybody else?

( congregational response ).

Yeah. Well, how foolish would it be to say, but Lord, what about all that other stuff? Oh God, oh! Just deal with today. This is what the Lord’s put His finger on. Lord, I surrender. That attitude that I had, that’s not right Lord. Change that. Change the way I think. Change the way I see that situation. Fix this, Lord.

How many of you have ever had to break a bad habit? How many have never had that experience? Yeah. How does habit…where do habits come from? You just keep repeating something long enough, you don’t have to think about it. And of course, human nature is its own habit, but there are many other habits that we acquire just by living and acting and repeating and all of that. It happens.

God has got to change a lot of that. And there’s where some effort comes in. But it’s an effort that is Heaven directed. It’s God putting His finger on an issue and our saying, all right, Lord. I really need help with this. And then we fall back into the other? No! There’s a conscience effort. That’s the only way I know to break a bad habit. Anybody got a better way? You’re gonna have to replace it with a good one. You’re gonna have to do some conscious, conscious effort.

But I’ll tell you, the Lord is seeking and will bring us to a place where so many of these things in which we have needs are actually going to become a habit with us. Wouldn’t that be wonderful? Did Jesus have to stop and think when somebody said something nasty to Him? Oh wait a minute, I’m not supposed to be that way. No. It was just formed in Him.

Paul talked about being concerned about the Galatians “until Christ be formed in you.” That’s what’s happening. There’s something that’s got to replace Adam in our whole being, in the way we live, and the way we think. And folks, if we’re not walking, from our hearts I mean, in what he describes, the life he describes in 1 Corinthians, chapter 12, then we’re not there yet. We have no possible justification for just staying where we’re at, and saying, I’m okay.

But oh thank God that He doesn’t look at us with disgust, with contempt, but He looks down on every one of us with mercy and says I love you. I see where you’re at. I know. You’re fighting it. You’re resisting Me. You’re biting my hands sometimes because you don’t know it’s Me. You think you can’t let go. You think that’s just too ingrained, that’s too hard, I’ve been that way too long. Just give it to Me. Let go. I’ve got a better way. Let Me recalibrate your brain. Cooperate with Me in this and take a stand against the enemy. Take a stand against the flesh, and I will deliver you. I have the power to deliver you.

That’s what He’s saying. Folks, this makes it obvious to me that the mind is a real key—the mind is a real key. If our whole way of thinking and looking at life and looking at our relationships is formed by the world, this is foreign territory. There isn’t a thing in this chapter that makes a lick of sense to the natural man. But oh it’s the very coin of the realm in the kingdom of God.

You look at the things that he deals with here just in general terms. I mean, the very first thing he talks about is the body of Christ, isn’t it? And notice what he says, “For by the grace given me…” (NIV). Now how was Paul able to say what he did? By the grace given me…this wasn’t natural ability for Paul. Paul had come into a place of surrender. Lord, I belong to You. What is my function? What is my place? And God gave him grace to be able to share with the body of Christ the truth that was needed. That’s how it happened. It was actually Christ doing it through Paul.

“…By the grace given me I say to every one of you: Do not think…” Well there’s that word think. See everything that follows verses 1 and 2 is the outworking of the process that he has described in verses 1 and 2. This is where we’re headed. I want you to think differently than you’ve ever thought before and you’re gonna have to surrender to Me every day. Every time an issue comes up, give your heart to Me and let Me change the way you look at something. Don’t cling to your own way and your own thoughts.

And here’s just one example. “Do not think of yourself more highly than you ought…” Nobody has that problem, right…like 100 percent of us! “…But rather think of yourself with sober judgment, in accordance with…” What? “…The measure of faith God has given you.” Praise God! I can’t be what God hasn’t made me. Neither can you. But you can be what God has made you.

That’s what He’s seeking to bring us into. Everybody here matters. But this whole idea of…well let’s go back to this concept of individualism. I mean isn’t that a part of Adam’s nature? Life is about me. I am the captain of my soul. I am…what was that famous poem, Invictus? “I am the master of my fate, I am the captain of my soul.” This is the nature of Adam. I’m about me. I’ve got this little citadel, and I’m in charge of it, and ain’t nobody gonna get in here.

But to take something like that and to make it a part of a whole where we are members one of another, we are not just individual people…. It’s not only the nature of Adam, but how about American culture again? Man, are we individualistic. It is about me and my spiritual life is private, me and Jesus and nobody else. No. God has called us to a larger vision. It is totally foreign to the way anybody down here thinks, where you and I become a part of each other. There is a bond formed that’s not just because we like each other and we naturally gravitate together. It’s because Jesus Christ, the Head of this church has put us together.

( congregational amens ).

And it isn’t always fun. It isn’t always pretty. But I’ll tell you, it does something to the self-life that nothing else can do. Man, there’re a lot of folks running around who in their own thinking are spiritual giants. They have this private pipeline relationship, at least in their own thinking, with Heaven. But you put them in a close relationship with somebody else and you’ll find out there’s something else in control. But God in His wisdom is building Himself a house and we are the parts of that house. And as we surrender to that process, I’ll tell you, God is going to challenge these things in us that are not like Him at all. And He’s going to deliver us. Praise God!

( congregational amens ).

So this is the heart. This is a picture of where he’s going. It’s to be members one of another. It’s the gifts that God has given us, belong to the whole. We have different gifts, down in verse 5. “So in Christ we who are many form one body, and each member belongs to all the others.” Is that the way you think? It needs to be. If we understand, if we get it, we realize not only am I not my own with respect to Him in Heaven, but I’m not my own with respect to the ones that He’s put me with. I belong to you. Good luck!

( laughter ).

You’ve got a lot to put up with. But that’s all right. I do too.

( laughter ).

But God is so wise and so gracious and so loving. And all the things that are wrong, He has His way, His process, if we’ll just yield, and believe, and stand upon what His promise is. Even if it’s like being in that cocoon for a long time, and we can’t see or feel or anything. We can’t see the changes that are happening. If we’ll give ourselves to Him and let Him touch the things that hold us captive, we’re gonna see changes made that will amaze every one of us.

I’ll tell you what, I don’t know any other way to get there. How else is the self life ever really gonna be challenged except God put us together, because that’s where self rises up. Everything about the Adam man, everything about the world and its ways is gonna rise up in self defense, self justification, self seeking, self everything.

But you look at the things here. “We have different gifts…” verse 6, “…according to the grace given us. If a man’s gift is prophesying, let him use it in proportion to his faith.” He doesn’t try to be more than he is, but he’s not less either. “If it is serving, let him serve; if it is teaching, let him teach; if it is encouraging, let him encourage; if it is contributing to the needs of others, let him give generously; if it is leadership, let him govern diligently; if it is showing mercy, let him do it cheerfully.”

Well, none of this is the ways of the world. This requires a work of grace to reproduce the nature that allowed Jesus to do what He did in us so that we start living for the benefit of one another, just as the parts of our body do. As we’ve said before, there’re no selfish parts in our body. Every part has a function. Every part receives, every part gives. Every part takes its direction from the head. Praise God!

But look at what he says in verse 9 and following just for some examples of what God has called us to, “Love must be sincere.” Now everybody’s got that nailed, right? Never ever have to pretend, never ever…I love you.

( laughter ).

( mumbling ).

That dirty so and so…what they said. God wants to make it all the way through from the depths of our soul, even where there’re needs, even where there’s things that are wrong, we have the same capacity in us to love and to seek their welfare as God has toward you. Oh, I’m so glad that God doesn’t treat us like we treat one another. But see, as long as we’re not there, we need verses 1 and 2. If that’s not our lifestyle, what is our lifestyle? What are we living for? We’re just pretending and playing church, if it’s not headed in this direction. And it’s a Heaven-directed thing. That’s the glorious thing.

“Hate what is evil; cling to what is good.” Boy you let the world affect you very much and that’s gonna get awful gray—awful gray. And God wants us to have a sharp conscience so that we look at the world, we look at things the way He does. Not that we’re looking down our nose and constantly frowning at everybody. Jesus didn’t do that. But man, He didn’t compromise either, and everybody knew where He stood.

Be devoted to yourself. Oh, wait a minute! “Be devoted to one another in brotherly love.” Boy that comes from Adam, doesn’t it? “Be devoted to one another in brotherly love.” Oh here’s a great one, “Honor one another above yourselves.” Flows right out of Adam, doesn’t it?

( laughter ).

Oh that’s just so easy. Let’s go on to something tough here. My God, do we have a sensitive conscience that gets up in the morning and says, Lord, I know I’m not what You want me to be? I’m not there yet, and I can’t manufacture this, but I’m looking to You today. Give me an ear that’s sensitive to You so that when self rises up, You can talk to me about it and I’ll listen. And instead of fighting back and resisting and justifying, I will say yes, Lord. Fix that. I surrender. I confess it. I want to be different. Not only do I want to be, I’m believing that Your life in me can enable me to be different. And so I’m going to act in faith in accordance with what You have promised in Your Word.

You see how our sensitivity to His voice, the Word of God that reveals His purpose for us, all works together in this day-by-day-by-day change that God is seeking to bring in every single one of us. I’ll tell you, when we’re forced to live with each other, self will have many opportunities to rear its ugly head. It will! Everything that you do in relationship to somebody else, self is gonna rise up.

God does that not to discourage you, not to beat you down but to show you. And every time that snake comes out, we need to be ready with an axe or…a machete is what I was trying to think of. God is gonna bring the snakes out. You and I are full of them. Don’t look at me and be so righteous in your own mind.

( laughter ).

You’re just like me. We are full of self and don’t realize it, because it’s just so natural to us. But we’ve got a faithful God who’s gonna put it, lovingly, lovingly put His finger on things. And our place is to surrender and say, yes, Lord, truth, Lord.

( congregational amens ).

Change me, Lord. Help me to right now make a choice between serving you and serving self. Help me to choose serving You, in acting and reacting. And do it enough so that that becomes the norm, that becomes the way that we are, and it’s Jesus that’s seen in our place. “Never be lacking in zeal, but keep your spiritual fervor, serving the Lord. Be joyful in hope, patient in affliction…” There was another one we love. “…Patient in affliction, faithful in prayer.” Man, do you need God’s help to do any of this?

( congregational response ).

Yeah, like all of it, all the time. I need Him, and He is going to put us, as I said, in situations that cause all these other things to rise up. That’s how we know what we are. When you can step back and say, did I do that? Was that really in there? And then we realize, and we are able to say Lord, that’s what you came to save me from. Lord, I see what Your Word says. I see what You’re like. I want to learn from You, Lord.

We fight a lot of battles. You can go on through and you will see the details here like verse 16. “Live in harmony with one another.” That’s another easy one, isn’t it? But you see every bit of this is a description of where God is taking us. But this process of surrendering to this metamorphosis is how we get there. But you’re not gonna be changed and I’m not gonna be changed if we don’t just surrender to the process, and say, Lord, this is what my life is about from here on. I have left where I was. I’m not going back to that. Lord, You have set glory before me in my pathway, and You’ve given me a hope of that through Jesus Christ. But Lord, there’s something You want to do in me while I’m here, and I’m in. And I need You to work in me today, and I need that grace to be sensitive when Your voice speaks to me, and yield.

Now how many of you find this just so…what’s the word, appealing? Does the devil ever try to make you afraid about things like this? Yeah. That’s crazy talk. You can’t be like that. You can’t give that up…1,001 things that provoke a reaction of fear. But what do the writers say in Hebrews chapter 2, that the Lord came to do? Deliver us…I better read it.

There’s one about a spirit of fear, but this is one in particular. He’s talking about bringing many sons to glory. But in verse 14, chapter 2 of Hebrews, “Since the children have flesh and blood…” Since the children were in the septic tank, “…he too shared in their humanity so that by his death he might destroy him who holds the power of death—that is, the devil…” But it’s not just that, is it? “And free those who all their lives were held in slavery…” Why? What caused us to remain in a place of slavery?

( congregational response ).

Fear of death. It’s afraid to let go, afraid to surrender, afraid to let go of what self wants and the way self thinks! This is something we’re gonna have to contend with. If we’re gonna be participants in this process He’s describing in Roman’s chapter 12, we’re gonna have to be willing to recognize the devil’s role in this thing, where he is going to continually make you afraid to die. He’s gonna say, man, that’s terrible. You’re gonna lose out. You’re gonna miss out. It’s gonna be awful. Oh, what a horrible life He’s called you to. This is misery. He’s never told any of you that, has he?

But what did Jesus say about this? “Come to Me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you…” misery…I mean rest. “…Take My yoke upon you and learn from me, for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls.” Isn’t that what the Lord is seeking to bring us to? Where does all of our unrest and strife and misery come from. It comes from self and trying to…and the devil’s sitting there throwing coals on the fire. You’re gonna be miserable if you let that go. And we’re miserable because we hang on. And the Lord is seeking to bring us to a place of just letting go and saying, Lord, I want to be like You. I want to have a rest in my soul. Praise God! Does this make any sense this morning?

( congregational amens ).

Is this where you’re at, where I’m at? God is doing something awesome in our lives and most of it is unseen. But He is reproducing Himself in us. And as we surrender to His working in us, we’re gonna see some of the things that have held us in captivity begin to drop away. The devil is gonna lose his hold as we stop believing him, and start believing the Word of God. We’re gonna start to experience the freedom that He purchased.

And since it involves the whole and not just us as individuals, it’s going to increase the life and the presence of Christ and the freedom that He has to express Himself in the whole body. Like I say, this isn’t sexy, short cut religion, but this is the way it really is. This is the real deal. This is what God through Paul taught. This is our reasonable service and reasonable response to what God has done, is to give ourselves to Him and let Him change us step by step, day by day. And He’s gonna get the glory. Praise God!