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Rainbow Divider
MCM Broadcast

TV Broadcast #1038

Our Need for His Presence

August 26, 2012

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Transcript of message from TV Broadcast 1038 -- taken from Closed Captioning Text

— Brother Phil Enlow: “The Lord replied, My Presence will go with you, and I will give you rest.” (NIV). There it is. That’s exactly what Ron was talking about at the beginning. “My Presence will go with you.”

Folks, there are so many people today, and it’s so easy for you to be tainted with some of this, that think its about the whiz-bang program, the great singing, the great this, the great that, the emotions that you can evoke with the way religion is practiced and presented, the great sermon, the great preacher, the doctrines that are this way or that way. You know, and you’ve got them all over the map, and they all think the same way about themselves. God help us.

It doesn’t matter, like Ron said, if we are perfect in those things. If God is not present in His power, then all you have is a perfectly arranged corpse. And I believe we need to seek the Lord about those issues. But those are the fruits of His presence. And what’s happened is that many times God has come down and blessed with a measure of understanding, and then people have built walls, and that’s become the essence, not the presence of the Lord anymore. Okay Lord, you’ve said what’s needed to be said! Now you go back to heaven, we’ll take it from here! We’ve got the doctrines now, we can go. We know the practical…we know how to do church.

Folks, that’s not where it’s at. We need His presence as we have never needed it before. I’ll tell you, there’s nothing that will drive devils out but the presence of God. You can shout at them until you’re blue in the face. But I’ll tell you, when God’s Spirit gets involved man, devils will run, screaming from His presence.

And somehow Moses understood this is what I need. “My Presence will go with you, and I will give you rest.” You know one of the devil’s tricks is to paint this kind of a deeper life, whatever you want to call it, that people have preached over the years as, man, it’s such a spiritual effort. It’s…

( feigned struggle ).

…Like it’ll wear you out. It’s this ‘gear yourself up and just live in this state of spiritual struggle, and striving and all of that.’ But Jesus said, “Take my yoke upon you and learn from me, for I am…” meek, and humble, and gentle in spirit, “…and you will find rest for your souls.” Folks, there is no rest outside of being in the center of His will and with His presence. It doesn’t put you in a state where you’re just having to somehow hang on for dear life. Now there’s battles to be fought, but I’ll tell you, we can fight them from a place of peace. Do you remember the armor? “…Your feet shod with the preparation of…” (KJV). What?

( congregational response ).

Gospel of, what?

( congregational response ).

“…Peace.” Do you know we can be in such a place of strength, not because we’re strong, but because He is in us and with us? We can stand and face the enemy, and not sit there and cower before him, but know that we are in a position of strength. He’s the one that’s in a position of weakness. I believe with all my heart, God wants to lead us into a greater experience of what he’s talking about right here.

You know, we look at the scriptures and we see men who were just laid prostrate, like I said, in the manifestation of the presence of God, and yet what did God do in every case? He lifted them up. He dealt with the need. He said, don’t be afraid. Isaiah, the prophet, a spokesman for God, one that his stock in trade, as it were, were giving out the Words of God. And yet he said, my lips are unclean. He became so conscious of his need.

And what did the Lord do immediately? There was an angel went to the altar, place of sacrifice, took a coal from that altar, and put it to his lips and said, I’ve touched your lips—I’ve taken care of the problem. That’s the glory. Yeah, we see what we are in the presence of God but it’s not a fearful thing as though, oh God, I can’t possibly be in such a place. It’s the place of deliverance because it leads to experiencing the love, and the peace, and the hope, and the joy, and all the things that we read about in the scriptures.

God, give us a hunger for that. I’ll tell you, it’s self that shrinks from that light. We don’t want to come. We don’t want to see the truth. But there’s deliverance in that truth. And the devil—the devil will do everything in his power to keep his people from experiencing this. He will throw up every road block he can think of, in your experience, in your heart, and your mind, and your life. He will hinder you, if you can be hindered. But we need the Lord, don’t we?

Well, Moses understood this. “Then Moses said to him, If your Presence does not go with us, do not send us up from here.” (NIV). And I’ve prayed this many times, and said, Lord, if I can’t do something, if I can’t preach in a way that ministers life and help to Your people, and I’m keenly aware of the greatness of the need…but if I can’t do that, then Lord just get me out of the way. Take me home. Do whatever. I’m not kidding.

But do you know that’s not just for individuals; that’s not just for certain ones; that’s for every member of the Body of Christ. We need to be saying, Lord, if I can’t be an effective member of the Body of Christ, do something. That’s the only thing that matters! You see, the picture of Ephesians chapter 4, is of the whole body being brought into a functioning state. And the growing up into the fullness of Christ is intimately connected with every part working!

It’s not just a preacher and an audience! It’s every member experiencing the life of God and having that life flow, not just into them, in a private sense, but through them, in all the different ways that God’s Spirit makes Himself known to His people. All those ways, they flow through us, one to another. Folks, if we’re gonna be what the Lord has envisioned in the Church, what He’s set before us, we’re gonna have to everyone have exactly what we’re talking about here today!

( congregational amens ).

This is for everyone. You know we sing the song, “There is a place in God where rest is complete.” I’ll tell you, we need to be looking for that. I’m not talking about just seeking an experience. But I’m talking about seeking a relationship that’s real. You know, right now it’s appropriate that there be seasons when we emphasize prayer, but this is not just a seasonal thing either. This needs to lead into a relationship.

As I said, the praying isn’t just, pouring out that torrent of words. There’s times to do that, when the energy, and the leading, and the strength is there to do that. Then it’s effective. Then we can pray according to the will of God and we can see things happen. And we’re seeing things happen. Praise God! But I’ll tell you, there needs to be, like I said, when we come into the presence of God, and we just simply listen, and we humble ourselves, and there’s a contrition, there’s a repentance where that’s appropriate. And it’s kind of appropriate a lot, isn’t it?

( congregational response ).

We need to come with that kind of a humble attitude, but just saying, Lord, I need You. I want You. Lord, I know You’ve made provision for everything that’s wrong with me. I don’t have to come and walk on eggs here. I can come freely into Your presence because of Jesus. We come on a real basis, like He’s laid out in His covenant. We can come with joy and with thankfulness. We can spend time with Him and learn to know Him.

You know this is one of many messages where I stand up here and say, Lord, who am I to be saying this? This is a great need in me. But I don’t think I’m alone—I don’t believe I’m alone. I believe it’s a call of His heart. Someone’s got to say it. It’s a call of God’s heart to His people. What was the Laodicean…what was the call to the Laodicean church? The end of it was, “Behold, I stand at the door…”

( knocking ).

“…And knock. If any man hears my voice…I will come in…” (KJV). And I’ll eat and I’ll drink with you. There’s a relationship that had been severed. They had gotten into a comfortable form of their religion, didn’t understand what it was about. Here’s Jesus outside knocking and saying, I want in. I want to spend time with you. When you get to know Me in that personal level, everything will change. Your eyes will be opened. All the other things that are wrong, I can take care of.

“If your Presence does not go with us, do not send us up from here.” (NIV). Folks, we need to have that kind of a spirit about us. You think of the bold, desperation that God honors. You think of Jacob, whose name became Israel, wrestling with the angel saying, I will not let you go unless you bless me. You think God looked down at him and said, who do you think you are, talking to Me like that? Oh, that’s what He was looking for!

( congregational response ).

That’s what He was looking for! Because what he was asking for was the very thing God longed to give him, but God wanted to know it really came from his heart! Folks, does our prayer about our own needs come from our hearts? Or are we just giving out a formula of a little prayer and thinking that we’ve prayed? God longs to be real in our lives in a way that’s deeper than we’ve ever known.

Boy, he says something here that’s profound. Verse 16. “How will anyone know that you are pleased with me and with your people unless you go with us? What else will distinguish me and your people from all the other people on the face of the earth?” That’s kind of the way it is, isn’t it? I mean, if you have a church, let’s just say a church that calls itself a church, and they don’t have this, they are no better than any religion you can name. Going into their temple, worshipping their idols, doing this, their mosque or whatever it is, there is absolutely no difference. It’s just people practicing religion.

What sets any people apart is the living presence of God in the midst. And if we don’t hunger for that, if we don’t have that, if that isn’t the cry of everyone’s heart, then what is it? How are we different from anybody else? We need to be honest and say, we’re not. Absolutely…we have nothing to boast about. I don’t care…thank God he sent Brother Thomas, but are you gonna glory in that and say, well, because of that we’re special, we’re different? No we’re not. We need the Lord. We need Him now. We need him in our midst.

“What else will distinguish me and your people from all the other people on the face of the earth? And the Lord said to Moses, I will do the very thing you have asked.” Oh, that’s what God was looking for. That’s what He wanted to hear. Those are the words he wanted to draw out of Moses!

Is He dealing with you? He’s dealing with me. He’s dealing with Ron, that’s obvious. Is He calling you to this? Is He making you aware of how much you need Him, and need to spend time with Him, and need to have your heart in a certain frame or mode of approaching Him? It’s not like a formula, but it’s, oh God, I’m coming—I am coming to a holy God, but One who has revealed Himself in Christ. I know I’ve got to come with genuine humility. I’ve got to recognize who You are, but I’m gonna come on the basis of Your Word, with freedom and boldness. I’m gonna lay claim to what You have said. I’m gonna come on Your terms, Lord, period—it’s your terms! I’m laying aside all of my agenda. Oh God, it’s on the altar, I don’t care. Lord, if my place in Your kingdom is to have my…is to stand up before a wall and have them shoot me, or cut my head off with a sword, and that will bring You glory, do it, Lord—do it! And let those who pull the trigger see Christ in me to the point where it makes a difference in somebody’s life. Folks, that’s just how serious all of this is.

We’ve got a world that’s going, that’s running as hard as it can towards hell. But God is calling out a people and seeking to awaken us from that kind of a world. And I believe He’s working. I thank God for what I’m seeing in lives, and I believe God is just reaching out with His heart and saying, oh there’s so much more. But it’s not a blessing that you need, it’s Me.

You know, I grew up singing a song, a hymn. “Once it was the blessing, now it is the Lord.” I can’t remember the rest of it, but anyway…but anyway, the basic theme was someone who had once sought all the things, the healing, the blessing, you know, all these things from God, suddenly saw, hey that’s not what I need. I need You.

The name of the hymn is, “Himself.” Once it was all these things, now it’s Himself alone. If I have Him, if I have the Healer, I’ve got what I need. If I have the Blesser, He can bless in any way He wants to. But that’s what He’s wanting. He’s not wanting me as a selfish little creature to say I need this, I need that, I need…gimme, gimme, gimme. Say, I just surrender. I want You, Lord. If I have You, I’ll have everything.

And how interesting it is that where the devil paints this as a life of religious duty and drudgery…does he do that for anybody else? Yeah, you won’t raise your hand…that’s all right.

( laughter ).

But He says, I’ll give you rest. I know this is real. I tasted it one time, and I just wish I’d walked in it better. Back when I was in college…I’ve told a few people this. I haven’t referred to it very often, but, I used to go to a church that had some life in Brooklyn. It wasn’t Brooklyn Tabernacle. They weren’t on the map then. But, just hungry…I went into a place where there was some life, and I’d come to graduation time, and I was getting ready to work with the New York Bible Society that summer. That was gonna be my summer job.

And it was a ministry of actually going to Coney Island, if you know where that’s at. It’s a beach—a New York beach, amusement area and all that. And they were gonna set up a booth, and we would be passing out gospel literature, and gospel portions, and talking to people and all that. And I had this sense in my heart…I know the Lord put it there, I can’t take credit. I said, Lord, I don’t want this to be a job. I want this to be something that means something. I want it to be a ministry…you know, something other than just a job.

And I had actually given my testimony during the service that night and there was a visiting evangelist. Every time that man came, now he…there’s people that go around thinking they had the power, this guy had it. And he didn’t go around making a show. He was an old time Pentecostal. I mean, some of those folks knew how to walk in God’s power, in the reality. There was a humility, there was a simplicity about him, no show whatsoever. Every time he came, just amazing things happened.

But anyway, we had a time of prayer at the end, as you often do in those churches. My reason for going forward was that burden. God, I don’t want this just to be…I want You to use me, Lord. And that man walked over to that side of the platform, and said, he had word from the Lord for the fellow from the school that I went to…I happened to be wearing a red jacket so that kind of distinguished me…burgundy jacket.

But it was a very simple thing. I can’t even remember all he said…but this man didn’t know anything about me, really. But he said, “I’ve heard your prayer and I will use you. Turn not to the right hand, nor to the left, only straight ahead.” That’s all that I can remember of it, at this point. I don’t think it was much more than that. No big show, just quiet words.

He didn’t say, Yea, I say unto…none of that stuff, just ordinary conversational words. But man, those words had power in them. There was a presence that came over me, and it wasn’t some…wasn’t icicles running up and down my spine. It was a peace that I had never tasted before or since like that. I felt like I was in a spiritual bubble for days. It wasn’t that I was disconnected and yet I was. I was completely aware of everything that was going on and yet I just felt so…peace, just this umbrella of peace. It was real.

And I had occasion to engage people in the next few days in simple ways, and God was with me. I can’t express it. I mean just simple things. I’d speak, and boom, there was something in it. I wish I could say I have walked in that. But I can tell you, it’s real. I can tell you, there is a place where God’s power and God’s presence is real and we need to be seeking it with all of our hearts.

And we need to make this time of seeking Him about that. Yes it’s about praying for the community. It’s about praying for needs in the church…but at the heart of it, is to come into a place, not just to seek a feeling…it isn’t always that way, necessarily. I don’t know. But there’s a place where we can experience God’s rest and God’s peace and assurance, where we’re not dismayed with problems and issues. We just sense, God’s with me. I’m not alone in this. Folks, does that matter to you?

( congregational response ).

Does even hearing something like that make you hungry, and say, God, I want that. It makes me hungry because I’ve experienced it. I’ve had a taste. I know God is real. Oh, how merciful He is to work with us in spite of where we’re at. That should tell us—that should draw us to His heart. God help us.

You know, there’s some incredible promises about His presence in His people. You think of Zephaniah 3:17. I can remember it better in the King James but, “The Lord thy God in the midst of thee is mighty.” (KJV). The Lord thy God…where?

( congregational response ).

“…In the midst of thee is mighty; he will save, he will rejoice over thee with joy; he will rest in his love, he will joy over thee with singing.” That’s God’s heart. That’s what He’s looking for. He’s not looking to make our lives miserable with religious duties. He’s looking for a relationship where there’s joy and peace.

David said, “…In thy presence is fullness of joy.” You sense that his heart, when he says, “As the hart…” as the deer, “…panteth after the water brooks, so panteth my soul after thee.” How did he know to do that? How did…where did that hunger come from? Somehow David had learned to experience God’s presence, way back when he was a shepherd…didn’t probably have much else to do, watch the sheep, and write songs, and sing to the Lord, but God put it in his heart.

There were a lot of shepherds, surely. But this one was different. This one responded when God showed him. He said, when I consider the heavens. He was sitting out there looking, “When I consider thy heavens…the moon and the stars…” that you’ve made, what is man that you’d think about him, or the son of man that you’d care for him? You’ve, “…made him a little lower than the angels…crowned him with glory and honour.” You see what’s going on? This man had come in contact with this God that we sing about, and we talk about, and we pray to.

But somehow, so much of the time we keep him at this safe, so-called safe distance, and God is wanting to eliminate that distance in our hearts. And I pray that He’ll do it…that he will do exactly what Ron was expressing at the beginning. We just need Him. If we have Him, there’s no telling what we will see, the miracles…and it’s not about miracles.

But, you look at the church in the beginning, they were just people like us. They didn’t even have much in the way of knowledge. I mean, they were brand new Christians, didn’t have a clue about doctrine and all those things, but they had the presence of God in their midst. And they moved in power. They loved one another, they…how could they do all that? Well, it was because God was there.

We need Him, folks. Here’s the thing that I guess I need to just say and this brings it home, because I know it’s something where we could focus on it in a way where we say, well, we need Him when we come together. Well, we do. But where does that come from? It comes from the individual relationships that we have with the Lord.

Folks, this isn’t something where it’s just…okay, now it’s time to pray. Now I’m gonna enter into God’s presence. You know, there is something to that, but I’ll tell you, there’s testimony after testimony…you can go back into church history and you will read people…it wasn’t just a matter of coming into His presence like, okay, now I’m gonna go back into the world and live my life. They lived with it. They learned to cultivate it. They learned to stay in communion.

It wasn’t like they were constantly talking, but there’s a sense in which they are walking with God. They’re conscious of His presence, consciously lifting their hearts up to Him, looking to Him, just…there’s a communion. There’s a listening, too. How many of you stay in the Lord’s presence long enough to listen? God longs to have that kind of a relationship with us and if we have that out there and we learn to live and to cultivate and walk in His presence…we come together corporately, we’re gonna have devils that will be just in torment.

( congregational amens ).

They are gonna do everything in their power to stop this simple thing. But I’ll tell you, a people who come into this kind of a relationship with God, there’s no devil in hell that could stand before that people.

( congregational amens ).

Now God may allow many circumstances, but there’s no devil in hell that can stand, and that’s what we need. We don’t need better doctrine. We don’t need this form and that form. We need God. And I just pray that God will put it in our hearts to really seek Him and to get this to the point where we’re gonna seek God and not let Him go until He blesses.

And then when He does, we’re not gonna let Him go then and say, okay, now we’ve got it, we can relax. We’re gonna just…this is gonna be a way of life, and I pray that it will. And I believe God will bless. Praise God!