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Rainbow Divider
MCM Broadcast

TV Broadcast #1054

Be a Sheep
Part One

December 16, 2012

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Transcript of message from TV Broadcast 1054 -- taken from Closed Captioning Text

— Brother Phil Enlow: I don’t know what all I’ll say or how long it’ll be, but let’s just turn to a familiar passage in Psalm 23. This came to me in a particular…with a particular focus, although, I don’t know if it was last night or this morning, but anyway…I think I’m just gonna read it first and then we’ll see, we’ll comment as the Lord helps us.

“The LORD is my shepherd, I shall not be in want. He makes me lie down in green pastures, he leads me beside quiet waters, he restores my soul. He guides me in paths of righteousness for his name’s sake. Even though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil, for you are with me; your rod and your staff, they comfort me. You prepare a table before me in the presence of my enemies. You anoint my head with oil; my cup overflows. Surely goodness and love will follow me all the days of my life, and.…” (NIV). See, you’ve got the earthly and the heavenly here, don’t you? “Surely goodness and love will follow me all the days of my life, and I will dwell in the house of the LORD forever.” What a deal! Praise God! And Jesus won it all, didn’t He?

( congregational amens ).

And like Sister Shirley said, He’s not looking for us to qualify ourselves for this blessing, He did all the qualification that’s necessary. Is He qualified for this?

( congregational response ).

Yeah! Well, in salvation—in real salvation we become a part of Him just in the same sense that your leg is a part of you. You know, whatever happens to you, your leg comes along. It’s a crude illustration but it’s the truth. Have we not been made a part of our Savior? And so, we have become joint heirs with Him. We are one with Him. And God has done this. It’s a miracle. Praise God! I don’t know, let’s just, as I say, let’s comment as the Lord helps us.

This, first of all…I just was thinking about this and had the sense…so much of what we hear is…you could sort of almost qualify it as theology. You know, Shirley was talking about having heard the Word and being able, for so many years, to give assent to it. Yeah, I know that’s right. Sure, I know that, that’s true. And you hear biblical propositions and you know to say that they’re true, don’t you? But there’s a difference between knowing things with your head and actually experiencing it in a way that makes a difference—a life-changing difference to us. And so, David did not begin by saying, the Lord is a great Shepherd, did he?

( congregational response ).

Yeah. In other words, this is not theology here. This is not just the reasonings of a man who studied out a subject, and come up with some good ideas, and he’s gonna tell us about God. No! This is personal. This is a living testimony. This is not somebody who went to school and learned some propositions. This is a guy who’s been through the arena of life, experiencing things in probably a greater depth than you and I may well ever experience. I don’t know. But of course, God knows, doesn’t He? We are individuals! And God will absolutely put each of us in the crucible He has designed for us because of His purpose in what He intends to make us in the end. Thank God!

And course David, you know, his destiny was to be a king. God had a man that He elevated to that place, and the man became eaten up with self-will and pride, and he disobeyed the Lord in several instances, and God finally rejected him as being king, didn’t He? But all the while He was in the process of setting one aside, He was raising up one and working in his life.

And you know, we all know the process of how David, after he was anointed, he basically was on the run for his life for a matter of years. He got to where he couldn’t even find a place to hide in all of Israel. He had to go live with the Philistines for a year. I mean, it was…it seemed like the more he went, the farther he got from his supposed destiny, but God had His hand upon him every moment of that time. And this Psalm, along with many others, is a testimony to David’s sense of, not only Who this was, but what kind of a relationship he enjoyed with Him. And it’s one that you and I need desperately, if we’re to enter in to the joy of God’s purpose.

And you know, you see from the end of this, it’s like Jimmy says, he’s read the last chapter and it turns out real good. Well, this is…if you kind of start from the end of this, you see that God does have an eternal purpose and where it ends is awesome! It’s beyond our power to even comprehend. We can sort of assert it, but the moment we open our eyes and see eternity and see heaven, see anything beyond this, we are gonna be so…oh my God, I just had no idea it was this awesome—it was this great!

But God gave David at least the sense that it was going to be that way, and that everything that happened in his life was a part of a path. And it was a path with a destination, and this was the destination. And so, it caused him to see himself in a certain light. You know, people see themselves in a certain way. They think of themselves…like Shirley thought she was no good. Well, in the sense that she’s talking about, none of us are. But oh how we get pigeonholed as human beings. And, so many people are eaten up with inferiority. Others are eaten up with pride and with self-will!

But David’s…the beginning point of David’s life, I mean, if you want to capsulize the center of this is, “The LORD is my shepherd.…” This expresses everything you need to know about David. You know, everybody in that day, and I suppose in one form or fashion today this would still be true, everybody serves something or someone. And, you go into any nation, and you could ask them, all right, who are your gods? Every nation had their own gods. Now we know from the scriptures, what they were actually worshipping was demons who were masquerading as divine beings, and ruling over them, and demanding obedience, and demanding human sacrifice, and all kinds of crazy stuff. But everybody had their gods.

But David understood something…that the One he served ‘was’ God. He ‘was’ the Most High God. He was the One who inhabits Eternity. He’s the One who made everything! You know, brother Harold reminded me of something I said, maybe it was last week, I don’t know, but just a kind of a humorous picture of God and how great He is, that He’s so great He could sneeze and make a galaxy.

( congregational amens ).

You know, and we have this…

( moaning ).

…We act like we’re gonna have to walk on eggs in life and not realize who our God is! But this God that revealed Himself to His servant David, brought him to a place of such confidence, that he understood it wasn’t about him! He didn’t have to be Superman. He didn’t have to be anything. He just had to know who his God was, and things were going to be okay.

God taught him simple lessons out keeping sheep. And one of those lessons was that a lion came out. Well, you know what the lion was after. Sheep are pretty dumb. You know, I’m hungry, I want a meal. Let’s go have a snack. There’s a bunch of sheep there, all I have to do is walk out and grab one and I’m good. Well, God gave David, somehow, not only a sense of responsibility for his sheep, but gave him the courage to confront a lion.

And it wasn’t just that, hey, I’m superman, I can do anything. This was not human bravado that David used—relied upon when he did that. He had a sense that, God put me in this place! I have a responsibility and if somebody attacks what I’m doing, I have a right to look to God!

( congregational amens ).

And so he did. And he occupied the place. You know, just like his sheep occupied a place of dependence upon him, he occupied that same place with respect to the Living God. And so he confronted that lion and took him by the beard and killed him. How many of you would like to do that? He did the same thing with the bear. I don’t know about the beard part, but he took care of the bear.

And so, God had used that to take him down to the place where he had to face a giant named Goliath. How would you like to see a guy who’s probably nine feet tall, or thereabouts? And a huge warrior, you could barely pick up his spear, it’s so heavy. And, he comes out and he defies the armies of the living—defies Israel. But see, David understood something! This was not a contest between Goliath and people. This was a contest between Goliath and the God of Israel! And so his relationship with this God was such that he didn’t just timidly march out there and say…

( speaking fearfully ).

…I sure hope God will be with me. Oh, I know I’ve got to do this but I hope…you know. There was no timidity about him. Not only did he go out there with confidence, he ran! He didn’t run from the trouble, he ran to it in confidence that his God was gonna be with him! And God enabled him with a stone to defeat a giant! And the other army turned tail and ran. God won a great victory.

But every statement that David makes in this Psalm is a fruit, not of theology, but is a fruit of real life. And just like we’ve heard testimony this morning of things that God has brought both Jimmy and Shirley to, they would never have entered into in the way, unless God had brought them by that path.

But I’ll tell you one thing, David knew who his God was. He understood this is not just, well, you’ve got your gods, I’ve got mine, we’re good. This is ‘the’ God! This is ‘the’ Lord! This is the one who’s absolutely at the top of the heap. My life is in His hands and man does that give me a sense of purpose! Not a prideful purpose, but a sense of confidence so that I don’t have to live my life in fear and timidity. I don’t have to back down from anybody! God is my help! God is my source! I’m looking to Him. “The LORD is my shepherd…”

( congregational amens ).

You know how we’ve emphasized in the past. It’s not just in a vague sense. This is not just in a theoretical sense, the Lord ‘is’! ‘Cause life consists of real moments! We don’t live yesterday or tomorrow! We live now! And a lot of times we can think in this theoretical sense, yes, the Lord is my shepherd, but here I am in this moment, and man, it’s not good. But I’ll tell you, we need that sense of immediacy, no matter what things look like, no matter how things feel, no matter what we don’t understand, we have got a God who ‘is,’ present tense, He ‘is’…he ‘is’ right now, present tense, He is the One to whom I have every right to look! He is…I’m not here alone. He is with me right now! He ‘is’!

( congregational amens ).

Is that a present tense reality in your life? God wants it to be, so that you’re never just visiting Jesus on Sunday, and then going and living your life apart from that. No! This is a reality that God wants every one of us to live every moment of every day. He is my source! He is the one to whom I look! Praise God!

That makes all the difference! You can have all the theory and all the correct theology you want to, but if it does not impact your real life, what good is it? You can assert all the right stuff, but God wants us to experience His love and His reality. We’ve sung about it this morning. It’s real! Thank God that it’s real! Praise the Lord! But you know, this is not just ‘the Lord is a great shepherd of Israel,’ is it? What’s that fourth word? “The LORD is my…” Can anybody here count? Praise God!

( laughter ).

I got no response there.

( laughter ).

You can answer. But anyway, “The LORD is my shepherd.…” What good is it to just talk about Him being out there somewhere, if it’s not personal to you? Has God become real to you? You know that He knows your name! He cares about you! He is intimately involved in the details of your life, whether you feel like it or whether it seems that way or not. This is a God that I am personally looking to. He is ‘my’ Shepherd. Mine, personally. Out of all the people in the world, He has seen fit to reveal Himself to me! Praise God!

( congregational amens ).

I’ll tell you, if you really get the whole picture, that won’t fill you with pride. That will fill you with incredible humility.

( congregational amens ).

And love. A response of just, oh my God, how could I do anything else but just love You and serve You? You paid attention to me. You could sneeze stars and galaxies, but you paid attention to me. You know my name! You know where I’m…you knew all about me before I ever arrived in America—You knew me. Praise God!

David had that sense. Oh, he didn’t have to think that, well, God’s kind of for me today but He’s gonna be against me tomorrow. No, He’s my shepherd. My life is truly in His hands. And the sense of a shepherd…I mean, you think about what that conveys. David knew what he was saying! He knew, basically, how stupid sheep are. Okay? So what David was really saying is I am like those sheep! I need Him exactly the way my sheep need me! I am not capable, in myself, of steering my course through this world!

God, we have an incredible delusion of adequacy in this world! That means we think we can handle life in some fashion. We think we can…we act like we can go on without the Lord. And even when we know, in a general sense, yes, I need the Lord—I need the Lord, how many times do we get in trouble, and fall in the mud, and we get careless and we get complacent? What’s the root of that? Well, it’s self, it’s pride. It’s thinking, I’m good here, I can handle this. Oh no, you can’t! Oh my!

Has the Lord reminded anybody recently, through something you went through, just how…you thought you had a handle on something and you found out you didn’t? Oh, how wise and how loving our God is! And He doesn’t look down on us in disgust and contempt when we come short. Oh, Praise God! Praise God for His mercy!

( congregational response ).

He knows exactly what we need. He knows exactly what we’re made of. The problem is, we don’t. We are so prideful, willful. Oh, we’re like Shirley, we’re trying to qualify ourselves. You’re not alone in that. We all do that. You didn’t know that? Yeah, I mean, in some fashion, we’re all the same way. My God, we’re…you know, I’m capable…we don’t like to be sheep, when you really get down to what a sheep really is like! I’m not really like that. Well, David was.

Now you think about David’s qualifications. I mean, according to the scripture, he was a pretty good-looking guy. He was a fine young man. Redhead, I believe, by the way, in case there are any redheads here, you can take comfort from that.

( laughter ).

But anyway, He was a warrior! He was somebody with confidence. He was somebody…he was a leader! People looked to him! Even though he was a young man, he had people from all over the country that rallied to his side, and he became their leader! This was a young guy in his twenties—early twenties. And, David was somebody who could run out in battle, and it would be easy to suppose, well, I’m capable, I’m different from most people.

But David understood something. He says, I’m not all that. I’m a sheep. I am just as helpless as those sheep out there that I had to watch day and night and protect. Sheep are so focused on the moment. I’ve never kept them, so maybe some of you know more about it than I do, but that’s all right. I think we can get enough lessons. But how many…you get this picture of a sheep. What’s he focused on? The next mouthful of grass.

( laughter ).

That looks good. That looks good. You know, he’s just…wolves? What are wolves? They’re just so focused on the moment and on what…they’re just so totally helpless and dependent. You think about the apostle Paul. I mean, you get a parallel sense here of what this is about in what he wrote in chapter 3 of Philippians.

Now, he’s talking about some people that had confidence in their flesh. He’s talking about a religious sense there. But he said, I…we’re the folks that don’t…I don’t have any confidence in my flesh. Now there’s another scriptural thing that we know to say, yeah, that’s right. But, is that really true for you? Or do you really kind of think you’re strong, and you’ve got a good will, and you’ve got a good mind, and you can kind of rely on that a little bit? Oh God, we need to be sheep. We need a Shepherd who cares about us.

Now, thank God, He’s not leaving us in that place of dependence and stupidity forever. He’s seeking to bring us to son-ship, to where we truly can be His sons, and handle responsibility in the new heavens and the new earth. That’s all gonna be done—done with! But I’ll tell you, to get there, you and I are in a place of great need—far greater than we realize. And I’ll tell you, we’ve got a God who has a way, like I say, of reminding us exactly how much we need Him. And from the hands that went up, you know what I’m talking about. We need Him!

You think about the people of this world and the condition that it’s in. My God, people are blind and helpless. They are bound with chains. They are ruled over by the kingdom of darkness, wicked spirits they can’t even see. I mean, just get a picture of the kind of world you and I have to live in. You think we can handle that? Yeah, I mean, sure we’re able to get up, and dress ourselves, and feed ourselves and all of that! But I mean, in terms of things that really matter for eternity, you think we have any capability of extracting ourselves from this mess without divine…without a Divine Hand to work in our lives?

( congregational response ).

Oh, praise God! I need him every moment. I need Him more than my next breath!

( congregational amens ).

Without Him I will absolutely go astray. We are so willful! You know, I’ve probably mentioned this before, but…when I was young, I was one of those willful little boys. And if we had…let’s say we had an adult that was taking us on a nature walk. We’d be off down the trail in the woods. Well, I was one of those boys that would run out ahead. There probably was one or two others in that particular group that would do the same thing.

And I was so proud. I was out there leading the parade until…it was very humbling to look around sometimes and realize that they weren’t following me anymore. You know, the adult knew where they were going, and so the adult had turned off on whatever trail they were actually supposed to follow. Next thing I knew, I was at the tail instead of the head.

But we’re like that! We suppose that we can figure things out. We suppose that we can make judgments, that we are capable of charting our own course. That, yeah, in a general sense we need the Lord, but basically in the in-between places we can just kind of make our own choices and our own decisions. God, we need Him!

( congregational amens ).

We need Him. And I feel that sense in my own heart how much…how desperately I need to be a sheep. I need Him. And I’m so blessed that David had that sense. Here was this capable man, heading for a throne, ruling over a nation, and yet his own testimony was, I’m a dumb sheep.