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Rainbow Divider
MCM Broadcast

TV Broadcast #1055

Be a Sheep
Conclusion

December 23, 2012

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Transcript of message from TV Broadcast 1055 -- taken from Closed Captioning Text

— Brother Phil Enlow: 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. I cannot lead myself. I cannot make choices. How can I lead Your people?

You think of Solomon. For a time, Solomon partook of this when he was young and he ascended to the throne. He went to God and said, oh God, I’m a child. I don’t know how to go out or to come in. Who can lead this great people? Oh God, give me wisdom to be able to do it. God was pleased with that prayer, and gave him so much. Later on it all went to his head, didn’t it? Oh, what we’re made of.

But do you think you can make your way through this world? Lord, what we see is bad enough, but you have no idea what you don’t see. There is an unseen world! The Word of God tells us that, “…We wrestle not against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this world.…” (KJV).

There is a kingdom of very real beings that you and I do not see! They are real. They hold absolute sway over most of mankind! People think that they are doing their own thing, they’re acting in self-will, and they’re capable, and all the while they’re just being led around absolutely under the dominion of wicked spirits who rule them through their natural desires. They are no more free than somebody who’s chained up and thrown to the bottom of the ocean.

And into that horrible, wicked, dark, imprisoned world, a Savior came…One who knew your name, One who just didn’t say, come on, get up, and let’s go. We’re going to a different place. He had to come and cut our chains. And He did it at the cost of His own life’s blood. Praise God!

( congregational amens ).

That’s the One I want to serve. That’s the Shepherd that I need. I need somebody who’s not just a demanding ruler, but somebody who came down, who understands. He Himself was a Lamb, wasn’t He? When He went to the cross, the Word calls Him the Lamb of God who takes away the sin of the world. He was like a lamb, before his shearers is dumb, so He opened not His mouth. There was a sense of utter dependence in our Savior upon His Father. And He has brought us into that same relationship where we need Him as much as He needed His Father at that time. Oh praise God!

And so, here is David’s picture. This is my world view—this is the way I see the world! This is the way I see myself! I occupy a relationship of utter, complete dependence upon the One who made the stars. Okay, well what good does that do? Oh, what does he say? “I shall not be in want.” (NIV).

How many times was David in a dark place? Everything looked bad. I don’t know if he knew where his next meal was coming from. Well, there was one place where he was hungry, wasn’t he? He went to one of the priests, and all the priest had to give him was some of the shewbread from the Tabernacle there. But I’ll tell you, he knew from absolute experience, he saw God time and time and time and time again meet his needs. Anybody here know what I’m talking about?

( congregational response ).

You were in a bad place. You didn’t know, but I’ll tell you, God has a way of taking care of His children. And how many times does He do it in a way where He makes it not look like everything’s gonna go all right, and then all of a sudden, He comes through? Praise God!

I mentioned this before, but I remember back in Bible college. There were some people there that were really looking to the Lord. A lot of them were there with a great deal of faith on the financial end of it. I remember this kind of thing happening more than once where somebody would come up to a time when a payment had to be made. Money was a whole lot different then. It was worth a lot more. But anyway, maybe they had a bill that had to be paid that day, $75.37. I mean, I remember situations with that specific of an amount. They would go to the post office, open a letter that they weren’t expecting, and find a check for $75.37. I mean, we’ve got a God who knows the details of our lives to the point where we can look to Him. He wants us to look to Him, and to really and truly believe that He knows how to meet our needs!

( congregational amens ).

I have all ideas that the devil was pounding that person, or the people in what I described with a thought, God’s forgotten you. You’re gonna have to go home. Your dream is just a fantasy in your mind. Who are you to think…look what you did the other day. What right do you have to think that the God of Heaven is gonna pay attention to you?

And yet to be able to stand and say, yeah, I’m trusting in Him. I’m looking to Him. If He wants me to go home, that’s fine. There’s a surrender in being a sheep, ‘cause you’re not in control. It’s not up to you what you do and what you don’t do, who you are and what happens. You are under the care of a Shepherd.

( congregational amens ).

Oh, that’s people’s problem. They don’t want that kind of relationship. They’d like a God who would come and fix their circumstances, and make life better for them…but surrender! No way! I’m doing my thing. I know what’s…bless God! You know, there’s an awful lot of people that are like that. I don’t want to be that way. I don’t want to be so cock-sure. I want to have that sense where…I need to get up and do exactly what was said this morning, to get up and just listen.

A lot of our praying, we need to shut-up and listen. And listen with an expectant heart, not just trying to get some sort of a great revelation but just saying, Lord, I need You. I don’t understand. Maybe You’re not gonna give me the answer I’m looking for right now, but You can give me something that will give me hope and give me faith to stand, and wait, and trust, and just do things Your way.

( congregational amens ).

Not try to set the time table…like Jimmy says, hurry up, you could do it better this way. Oh my God, how we need Him. But how faithful He is, and his testimony, “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…” my name’s sake…wait a minute. “…For his name’s sake.”

The Lord is gonna do things in our lives that are gonna bring Him glory. The minute we get that out of order and we start seeking our own glory in some fashion…’course, we don’t say it that way, but that’s really what really is going on…God’s gonna have to do something about that. I want to be in a place where that’s not what I’m seeking, and I’m letting Him do what He needs to do to change what needs changing.

But oh what a glorious thing! You talk about living in a world that I described, that is literally under the thumb of demons that you can’t even see that rule this planet. God does not tell us those things so that we’ll live in fear. That’s the glorious thing. We don’t have to be afraid.

( congregational amens ).

We serve someone who has set His Son on a throne. That Son has a name, the name of Jesus. It’s above every name. It’s above all the power of all these enemies. Every wicked spirit will absolutely bow before that Name. They know He is Master. Folks, that’s why we need Him.

( congregational amens ).

There’s no way you and I are gonna get through this world. We’re not smart enough for the devil. We’re not strong and willed enough. We don’t know. We think we know! We think we’re able to assess things and make choices, but we’re not! We need Him! We need His wisdom! We need His strength! We need His grace to even do what He says to do!

And so many times we’re trying to squirm and be angry with Him, and fuss at Him because…why isn’t this changing? Why am I where I’m at? And we just need to humble ourselves and say, thank You, Lord. You have me where I need to be because You love me.

( congregational amens ).

And I surrender to Your will in this thing. Help me. “ I will fear no…” Wait a minute. I think I jumped ahead there. “Even though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil.”

Now you know what kind of jumped out at me as I was thinking about this…it suddenly occurred to me…if the Lord is his shepherd, how did he get there? How often do we really connect that? Let’s connect the dots here. I mean, are you gonna say, well, that was one of those times where I was willful, and I got in a bad place, and He was with me anyway. Well, that can happen. But I’ll tell you, that’s not what he’s talking about here.

This Shepherd who takes over our lives when we surrender to Him and who sets us on a course for forever, dwelling in His house…that path leads through many kinds of places. One of them is this dark valley where it looks like there’s no hope. It can look like this is a dark place. I’m gonna die in this place. It is no…it doesn’t look like there’s any hope. And you say, how did he get there?

The Lord, the Shepherd, led him into that place. How do you think David was able to say, you can be in that kind of place and not have to be afraid, if he hadn’t been there? How many times did David go through those exact circumstances in one form or another, and God brought him through, and he was able to look back and say, yes, that was a dark place…but He never, ever, ever let go of my hand! He had me every step of the way. He wanted me to see and sense the kind of a world that I had to live in and to know that He could bring me through. And so I didn’t come through that more fearful, weaker. I came through that stronger, having more confidence in my God. Praise God! Anybody here in that place? Anybody here know what I’m talking about?

( congregational response ).

Yeah. Don’t you blame the devil. Don’t you look in the mirror and say, well, I must be such a bad person, I’ve just got to be in this place. Yeah, we all are. But I’ll tell you, it isn’t punishment when God allows us to go through the kinds of things that we have to go through. You can be doing just exactly…I mean David wasn’t looking for trouble! David was trying to survive! And yet time and time again, he found himself in a place of trouble that was not his choosing!

See, that’s what he’s talking about! He’s not talking about willful, sinful, ‘I’ve got myself in a bad place, and God was merciful to get me out’! This is, ‘I was minding my own business’! I was serving God! I was trusting Him, and look what happened! That’s what he’s talking about. How did that happen? God led me that way!

( congregational amens ).

And it was all part of the path that leads to eternity. And I discovered even in that place, I did not have to be afraid. He was with me. He didn’t throw me in there and say, you let me know how you handle this, and come out, and we’ll talk on the other side. He said, He walked right through it with me. Praise God! “I will fear no evil.” And you know, even in those words, isn’t there a choice? Does not that convey a choice?

( congregational response ).

I will! So David is having to do some responding, some choosing here, isn’t he? Because the fact is, you find yourself in these circumstances, you do have a choice! I have a choice! I can belly-ache and complain and try to give God advice…and we all do. But of course, it’s like we were saying recently, when we say, like in that devotional book, when we complain, what are we really doing? We’re saying, God, I could do a better job than You! You don’t know what you’re doing. Oh, He knows what He’s doing.

( congregational amens ).

He is so much more wise and loving than we could ever imagine. Praise God! I will! There’s a choice! What choice do you and I make when we get in those places? David knew enough to say, “I will fear no evil.” I will not bow down before the circumstance that I’m in…and give in to the fear! Why? “For you are with me; your rod and your staff, they comfort me.”

God will never take you through a place without giving you what you need to go through it. You listen to Sister Shirley’s testimony this morning. She’s been in a tough place this past year. God never left her side. And He fed her with manna that she didn’t know about.

( congregational amens ).

He fed her soul and He strengthened her. That blessed me! Did that bless you this morning?

( congregational response ).

Yeah! See, that’s real! That’s not just theology, that’s testimony! That’s what this passage is! This is David’s testimony we’re looking at here this morning! “You prepare a table before me in the presence of my enemies.” Now whoa, let’s think about that a minute. What am I doing in the presence of my enemies if He’s leading me? You ever make that connection before? Yeah. God led you that way.

( congregational amens ).

He wanted you to have to face that, and to experience His provision at that particular time. You see God’s mercy and His Hand upon your life? He knows your name. He knows everything about you, and me. “You prepare a table before me…” Where? “…In presence of my enemies.” Praise God!

“You anoint my head with oil; my cup overflows.” And so the conclusion of his testimony is, “Surely goodness and love…” or ‘mercy’ in the King James, “…will follow me all the days of my life, and I will dwell in the house of the Lord forever.” You want some hope this morning? You think you can muddle through this life and do it your way? Good luck! You have no clue what’s going on. You are blind! You are wrapped with chains. Devils have your life. They are taking you down a road that leads to destruction. There is one way out, and that’s Jesus.

( congregational amens ).

One way to peace through the power of the cross, and His banner over us…

( congregational response ).

…Is love! He has made the one way out! And I’ll tell you, I want to be a sheep.

( congregational amens ).

I want to be a sheep. I want to take that place of humility and dependence and recognizing that He loves me. That doesn’t mean He won’t give us things to do and empower us to do them. That’s not talking about a wimp. That ‘is’ talking about somebody who understands their place in the order of things, and willingly takes it!

I’ll tell you, if there’s something in you that’s just bucking against that, you need to bring that before the Lord and say, now wait a minute. Help me, Lord. Help me. That sense of pride, that’s what is the essence of what’s wrong with us! It’s that thing that wants to rise up and say, no, I don’t need You, God! I can do this. I’m strong. I’m this, I’m that.

No, you’re not. The most loving thing that God can do for any of us is to show us. Telling doesn’t do the job most of the time. Showing. And God will let you fall flat on your face, and say, okay. What happened? Why are you there? Well, I did it my way. I trusted myself. I thought I could figure it out. I thought I was strong. No, you aren’t. You need Me.

But oh what a resource He is. Everything that we could possibly need on this journey, He willingly supplies. I won’t take time to turn there, but there’s a Psalm that came up in my Bible reading plan. It’s Psalm 81, if you want to read it, but it just describes the awesome things that God did for His people. And how He brought them out of Egypt, and just gave them so much.

And then it comes down to a certain place and says, but My people didn’t understand. They rebelled against Me. Oh, what I would have done for them, how I would have blessed them. I would have given them honey out of the rock and all these things, but they would not. I don’t want to be like that. I don’t want to have that kind of a spirit that says…bless God, I’m gonna do it my way. I want to do it His way.

( congregational amens ).

His way is a way of peace. Jesus is the Good Shepherd.

( congregational amens ).

He gave His life for the sheep. And He came to give us life and life more abundantly. Praise God! That’s what I want today. So are you a sheep? You know, we’ve used other illustrations. Be the clay. Be a vine…or be the branch, I guess. He’s the vine. But this is another one. Be a sheep. That’s the only way to live, because we have got a Shepherd beyond all shepherds. And at the end of the journey is eternity. Praise God!

( congregational amens ).