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Rainbow Divider
MCM Broadcast

TV Broadcast #1041

Under God’s Mighty Hand
Part One

September 16, 2012

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Transcript of message from TV Broadcast 1041 -- taken from Closed Captioning Text

— Brother Phil Enlow: Praise the Lord! Just as a jumping off point, turn if you will to 1st Peter chapter 5. I think if we read…when we read scriptures about the Lord saying all enemies will be under His feet, we tend to think of something out here, don’t we? You know, the enemy I got to worry about most? It’s the one I see when I look in the mirror.

And I’ll tell you, I believe with all my heart that’s the heart and soul of what the Lord is seeking to do in us. And I think many of us are discovering that. I hear testimony after testimony after testimony about the Lord showing us how dependant we are on Him, and how much we need Him. We’re sensing…we’re learning that. I don’t know if there’s anything more important to learn than that we are, because if we don’t know it, we are really walking in delusion. We need the Lord.

And this scripture…the passage is talking about body life. He’s talking about the elders and their responsibilities. But he says, in the last half of…or into verse 5, “All of you, clothe yourselves with humility toward one another, because, God opposes the proud but gives grace to the humble.” (NIV). Anybody here need grace?

( congregational amens ).

Yeah. We just kind of need it, just a little bit, don’t we? Well, I want to be one those people that God gives grace to because I sure need it. Without Him, I absolutely will make a mess of everything. And I do! And I suspect I’m not alone in that.

But here’s what…the scripture that’s been kind of working and coming back to me in my mind for quite some time now, “Humble yourselves, therefore, under God’s mighty hand, that he may lift you up in due time.” And I don’t think it’s any accident that Peter follows with, “Cast all your anxiety on him because he cares for you.”

You know, if you don’t know it, as I said, our enemy is our self, but break that down. You know, it’s one thing to talk about somebody that doesn’t know the Lord, and they’re living a life of self-will, and God needs to turn them around and get them headed in the right direction, and save them. But, I think we understand, if we know the Lord at all and have walked with Him at all, that’s not the end of it. Is it? It’s one thing to totally change your direction and give your life to the Lord in a broad sense. But I’ll tell you, the salvation that I need right here, right now, this moment, is a salvation from everything—every impulse that would arise from self.

And self is characterized by one word and that is “pride.” We want our way and 1,001 ways that we don’t even know about. How many of you have gone along with the Lord and all of a sudden the Lord’s put His finger on something? And whoa! And suddenly, you see yourself in an entirely different light. I mean, that’s a pretty good definition of day to day salvation and being willing to lay down our lives for the Lord. And it’s something that we need to do in a most definite way.

And I’m going to relate this, if you don’t mind, to a scripture that Joel read the other night. Interesting…it came to me about the time he was giving it out…and it’s way back in Isaiah chapter 30. And I believe there’s some principles here that are all connected. I mean, everything about salvation is really of the same sort. We need to be saved from ourselves. We need to be saved from all that we are and all that typically motivates us. We need a deliverance if we’re gonna be brought into that place of blessing that God has for us.

And the context of this is a prophecy of Isaiah to the rather obstinate people of Israel—of Judah, where he typically prophesied. And they were having trouble with foreign kings. I don’t remember exactly, it was probably Assyria. That was something that was going on at the time. But there were some kings from the north that were giving them a hard time and their impulse was to take off and run to Egypt for help. And so, there was a strong denunciation. Don’t you do that! They’re not going to be able to help you. You’re gonna…things are just gonna go from bad to worse.

And in that context, verse 15, “This is what the Sovereign Lord, the Holy One of Israel, says: In repentance and rest is your salvation…” Think about that. “…In repentance and rest is your salvation, in quietness and trust is your strength.…” How many of you know that’s what the Lord has promised to His people? Said, “Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest.”

Now, that’s a rest that comes when we just realize that in the big picture we cannot save ourselves. We’re gonna have to turn the job over to somebody else who has done everything necessary to completely save us. You know, like Don referred to the scripture in Hebrews, “…he is able…” He has the ability to save you and you and you and me, “…completely…” completely, “…to the uttermost…” it says in the King James. “…who come to…” do what? “…who come unto God by him.…” See, that’s when we stop trying to be a Christian and we realize it’s an impossible task and instead we turn the job of saving us over to Him and the result of that is we come to a place of rest because my salvation is not dependent on self-effort. There’s an effort—there’s a warfare that goes on but it is not an effort to somehow save myself.

But we have a problem when it comes to day to day living. We’re still trying to save ourselves. Oh, we think…we live with this horrible illusion that we can do stuff. You know, Jesus said, “…without me ye can do nothing.” (KJV). Now, obviously, when the Lord says you can do nothing without me, He’s not talking about earthly things like tying your shoes, and getting up in the morning, and going to work and those kind of things. People do that. You know, even there, most of the time I wear shoes with Velcro close, but…

( laughter ).

…so I don’t have to worry about the tying my shoes part.

But seriously…obviously that’s not what He’s talking about. But He’s talking about things that pertain to what God is after. God is looking for a product of spiritual life in us. He’s looking for His character. The love, the joy, the peace, the patience, all of those attributes that come only from Him. He’s looking for those qualities to come forth in our lives. There is no way we can produce anything but phony, religious fruit apart from His life absolutely working in us.

But how often do we muddle through our day, disconnected, just kind of…almost on our own? Not almost. We’re on our own. In terms of function, in terms of how we’re dealing with the moment—dealing with things that we have to deal with. It’s just us, trying to live. Oh my God! God is seeking to bring us to a greater place of dependence upon Him. This is the journey of a lifetime. This is not something where you can suddenly…Oh, now I get it…okay, boom! It’s done. I’m going forward and I’m…I got it all licked. Praise God!

You know, I referred Wednesday night to the message that I heard Corrie Ten Boom give and I talked about the illustration of prayer that…where she talked about how blessed it was to bring her suitcase, as it were, full of burdens and cares and give them to the Lord one by one. She felt lighter and better and everything and then all of a sudden she got to the end…oh, I feel so good. And then she picked up her suitcase and put the stuff all back in it and left…just like we do. You know, didn’t Peter say cast your care upon the Lord? He didn’t say take it back. But don’t we?

( congregational amens ).

Oh, I’ll tell you what…but you know what that message as a whole was about total surrender. And I dare say, when we hear words like that, we’re thinking big picture, crisis, great experience, I can just suddenly…every, every issue that will ever arise I can just all at once…I can put it on the altar and then it’s done!

But her point was that’s not how it is. In fact, RJ said something about this in his closing remarks on Wednesday night. And he listened to all that had been said and he said, what’s being described here is surrender. It’s issue, by issue, by issue, moment, by moment, by moment. Since that’s all we can ever live in anyway. The Lord is causing…is saying, I’m going to bring issues to bear in your life. I’m going to allow stuff to happen. Something bad happening in your life? Don’t look around and blame somebody. Say, thank you, Lord.

( congregational amens ).

You’re bringing this thing into my life so that I can deal with it. Now, the question then becomes, how do I deal with it? Do I deal with it by rousing up my spirit and somehow becoming angry, or taking control, or what? Or do I just surrender the impulses that want to rise up that are ungodly? Oh, I’ll tell you what, how many of you know that when you walk in your own strength it doesn’t work very well?

You know, I’ve had this happen many times and it just happened again recently. I just experienced some failure—some point of failure that…and maybe it’s one of those things that just…it’s one of those besetting things? It tends to recur. And how many of you have been there and you say, oh, I can’t believe I did that again?

( laughter ).

Oh! I just can’t believe it. What do you think you are? Isn’t that pride? Think about it. What we’re saying is, I should be able to do that by now. What’s the matter with me? God’s given me this thing to do. Why can’t I do it? But, what are you looking to when you’re doing that? Looking to “me.” Give me a break! You’re a sinner! That’s why it’s called salvation.

You know, in that scripture in Isaiah “…In repentance and rest…” (NIV). I think in the King James it’s “…In returning and rest…” There’s got to be a change of our mind, first of all. Instead of looking for a way for self to deal with the situation, we need to say, all right, Lord, You have allowed this situation. I just bring it to You and I surrender my efforts to save myself here. I need You.

Now, what does he say “…In repentance and rest.…” What are we resting in? We’re resting in His ability, His promise, His strength, His working in our hearts. We’re resting in that. There’s an attitude of faith, there’s an attitude of, I get this Lord. My impulse is to get angry here or to do something, but instead of doing that Lord, I give myself to You. And I’m looking to your…and what does he say? It’s salvation! In repentance or in turning around, and not thinking like we usually do, we’re learning from the Lord. Day by day we’re taking that issue and surrendering it to Him.

And what do we experience? Well, rest. But, in that rest, there’s a salvation that comes. Isn’t that a form of humbling? Isn’t that the essence, in fact, of what humbling yourself under the mighty hand of God is? Here’s God. He’s got a mighty hand. He’s gonna save, folks. He’s not gonna quit. He’s gonna do what it takes to save me, in spite of everything that is wrong with me. He’s gonna be faithful, as like has been said so many times, to continue to work in my life.

But in the process of doing that, He is going to bring me into situations where I am under His mighty hand, folks. What is my response gonna be? Am I gonna buck, and kick and bellyache and complain and say, oh, God why? What are they doing to me? Instead of saying, thank you Lord? You’re doing this for a reason. You’re doing this because there’s things in me you want to deal with. My self-trust, my pride, my anger, my…everything in the world that would rise up against the hand of God that’s actually at work in our lives.

Oh! I tell you, I’ve seen this in so many ways in my own heart in the last little bit, and it’s…the fact is humbling. Well, thank God, it is. We need to be humbled. We are so full of pride. It’s just ridiculous! And God is so merciful to bring us time and time and time again to that place.

And I love the way Ravi Zacharias puts it, God knows how to humble without humiliating. God’s aim in all of this is not to humiliate you, to make you feel like dirt. It’s to bring you to a place where you’re not relying on yourself anymore. Where we’re not…we’re not imagining that we’re better than other people because we do right and we do all this and we do that. No! We are recipients of Divine strength, Divine Grace! And that is the only thing that will ever separate you from any other sinner in this world is God’s mercy and grace to help you and to help me when we need it. I have no power to produce righteousness that could ever be acceptable to God.

Problem is I don’t know that all the time. You know what I’m talking about? And the thing that I have run up against many times…I started to talk about just…there’ll be some point of failure. It doesn’t matter what it is. It could be anything. But you all know what I’m talking about, because you’re made of the same stuff I am. And I’ll just…and I’ll focus on that and say, oh, God! I repent. I’m sorry. I did it. You know, I just…I did it again…whatever.

And you know what’s come to me more than once? Yes, but how did you get there? Are we just in the cycle of repenting of the stuff we’re doing? Or, are we repenting for the failure to trust in God and to walk with Him and to depend upon Him in the first place. Paul said, “…Walk in the Spirit, and ye shall not fulfill the lust of the flesh.”(KJV). There is a principle that God is seeking to bring us into, that will…that can absolutely deliver us in situations where we’re going round, and round, and round, and round, and round. And I am as much in need of this as anybody.

You know, that’s one of the things that encourages me when I hear somebody like Corrie Ten Boom, or it could be anybody, that we think of as…you know, a great saint of God who’s just…they’ve broken through, they’ve got it. They’ve got something they can really impart to us. And then you hear them talk about how…about the struggles that they have in their life. And you realize, they’re exactly like us! They’re in the same school that we are. They’re not standing there and saying I’ve arrived.

Paul didn’t say, I’ve arrived, did he? He said, I don’t count myself to have arrived in all of this, but I do get it. I understand the process. I understand enough what’s going on that I want Him. I’m seeking Him. I know my help only comes from Him. I know that I cannot look to myself.

Oh, we have such an illusion about ourselves. Paul said, I know…now this was the knowledge that God had brought him to. He didn’t know this because he learned it in school. He said, “…I know that in me (that is, in my flesh,) dwelleth…”?

( congregational response ).

…How many?

( congregational response ).

“…no good thing…” Has that ever gotten a hold of your heart, where you suddenly realize you’re not a bit better than the person you might look at in the gutter? And you’re looking at what you’re made of. You’re not made of anything different. I’m not made of anything different. We need the Lord, folks! We have nothing in ourselves to boast in, but, oh do we have a Lord in whom we can glory and rejoice and praise Him for His Salvation!

( congregational amens ).

But oh, how do we…see, what the Lord is talking about through Peter and here in Isaiah as well is the experience…the day by day, where the rubber meets the road, issues of life. How do we experience this Salvation so that it’s not just something we believe? We say, I’m saved. I’m on the road to heaven. Jesus has forgiven my sins. Praise God, everything is great and grand. But the Lord wants us to experience a real deliverance that gives us a measure of victory that we haven’t had. Now, that’s where I’m at. Is anybody else there? I’m sorry, you’re all there. Maybe…

( laughter ).

…Maybe you can explain it to me. Or else you’re too ashamed to put your hand up. Well, I’ll tell you, God resists the proud. I don’t want to be proud. When the Lord puts His hand on an issue—or His finger on an issue, I don’t want to be one that says, No, it’s not that, it’s this. It’s something else. Blame somebody. I want to be in a position where I can say, yes, Lord. It’s exactly what You say it is. Lord, I’ve been fussing and fighting about this being the problem and that being the problem…if You would just straighten that out than all…everything would be grand in here.

That’s not what God’s gonna do. Guess what? God’s not gonna straighten out your world and your circumstances to suit you and make your life comfortable. He would be working against Himself. God is going to measure out…now you think about the mightiness of God’s hand. If God was using His mighty hand, in any sense, against us, we’d be squashed like bugs! But His mighty hand is one that rules over the powers of darkness. There’s not a thing the devil can do that God doesn’t permit. Everything comes from that mighty hand, but it’s on our lives.

And I’ll tell you, if there is a fussing, a fighting, a strife, an anxiety, a restlessness about you, it’s a good time to step back and say, why do I feel that way? Does that come from the Lord? No. Where does it come from? You say, oh, they did it. They did this and they did that. No. It comes from in here. God is exposing things that you and I are not as aware of as we ought to be. And He longs to fill that place with His peace.

I need that. I am more conscious of that as far…as far as I go with the Lord, I’m conscious of how desperately I need to just let go. Oh, Lord, there’s so many prideful things that rise up. I’ll have one reaction, I’ll say, okay, I won’t be that way and BOOM it just kind of turns around and comes at the same issue from another angle and it’s pride still!

Oh, Lord! I’m so glad the Lord doesn’t do it to discourage us, to beat us down, to condemn us. Let me tell you one thing that’s come to me on more than one occasion, and I think it’s an insight that we need. You know, I mentioned about how when we fail we….oh, how could I do that…that that’s pride? Do you know, living under condemnation can be a form of pride? Does God convict us of things that are wrong in our lives to condemn?

( congregational response ).

What are we saying when we are living under condemnation? It’s like we’re trying to live under laws. God’s told me this and I’ve failed yet again. Oh, I’m so bad. That’s just pride…not willing to take the place of a sinner who just needs mercy, and then rejoices in that mercy and can go on with a free heart. Oh, we want to carry the burden of that guilt. Oh, I should be better, I should be stronger, I should…no, you’re not…that’s why you need a savior!

( congregational amens ).

Oh, what a blessed place of peace God desires for us and that He has for us. “Humble yourselves therefore under the mighty hand of God…” He’ll lift you up in due time. There’s a lifting up that is not gonna be in pride. It’s not gonna be for the sake of putting you on a throne and making you somebody big, so that you can do your thing. It’s so that He can be lifted up in our lives.

I’ll tell you, you talk about lifting up…you look at the end of the story…you look at what God has for His own. We will be robed in white…whatever…however that visually, actually plays out. We’re gonna be radiant with the glory of God. There will be none of this left in us.