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Rainbow Divider
MCM Broadcast

TV Broadcast #1076

Our Greatest Roadblock
Part One

May 19, 2013

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Transcript of message from TV Broadcast 1076 -- taken from Closed Captioning Text

— Brother Phil Enlow: Good morning. Praise God! When I came to service this morning I didn’t really have anything particular or definite or…I just thought maybe this is one of these I’m gonna get to sit back…but anyway, I just had a germ of a thought. Don made a passing comment to me this morning about something and it kind of connected with another passing thought that had meandered through my mind earlier. And it just seemed like there was a quickening there, so let’s just start and see where the Lord goes and if I run out of gas and the Lord sits me down, there’s plenty of others here that can pick up. So, praise God! Isn’t it good that we’re dependent on the Lord and not us?

( congregational response ).

I mean, we don’t have to try to be something we’re not. That’s a great blessing if we’ll ever submit to it. But anyway, turn to 1 Peter, chapter 5. Praise God! 1 Peter, chapter 5, a very familiar scripture. And the Lord is first exhorting elders and how they’re to be toward the flock. They’re to be shepherds and not lording it over, not selfish, not self-seeking, but there’s a spirit of service that flows from a humble heart, doesn’t it?

It’s not somebody that’s trying to be somebody, but someone who’s stepping into a position that they’re called of God to do to help the sheep and to be a strength to others. So, it’s just the opposite of what we see so much of in the world where people who are in leadership really are kind of proud and glory in it, and try to use it to control people, and use it in just a totally different spirit than the Lord intends.

And then he says in verse 5, “Young men, in the same way be submissive to those who are older. All of you, clothe yourselves with humility toward one another.” (NIV). So, it gets down to everybody here, doesn’t it? God has a prescription that I feel like we, starting with me, need to understand in a deeper way in all of our lives because if we don’t get this, there’s going to be a roadblock. We can pray all we want to but if we don’t get past this particular roadblock, we’re not gonna get anywhere.

And he tells you why that we’re to clothe ourselves with humility and it’s not just some private little, okay Lord, I’m real humble. This is one that has to reflect itself in our relationships one with another, because that’s where pride tends to get expressed, isn’t it? So, this is what we’re told to do. This is Peter’s instruction, inspired by the Lord.

But he said, “God opposes the proud but gives grace to the humble.” Now that sounds like a simple little thing. It’s easy to pass right over it. But I am persuaded, perhaps in a deeper way than I have been before, just how critical this is. This is not a minor issue. This is not just, oh, you ought to be this way, you ought to be that way. This is a key to our spiritual lives. This is the key to coming to Christ in the first place, but this is a key to Christians.

We have no idea the degree to which we are eaten up with pride, and the degree to which it’s a hindrance to us—every one of us. You can be just as humble as you want to be. You can make a career out of being humble. Now some of you literary people remember a character in Charles Dickens who just made a…oh, he just couldn’t quit talking about how humble he was. It turned out to be he was a crook. He was using all of that to be a cover for his crime.

But oh, God, I don’t care how you manifest it, we are absolutely eaten up with pride. But, what’s the consequence of that to our spiritual lives, and our getting along in the world, and our fulfilling the purpose of God? What does God do to people that move in and are motivated, are energized by a spirit of pride in some way?

( congregational response ).

He resists. So, sometimes the resistance that we are feeling is not the devil. Let that soak in. But it’s God seeking to deal with something in us that He can’t bless…that until we are willing to come to a place of submission to Him, we’re not gonna go any further. We’re gonna sit there, we’re gonna spin our wheels and wonder what’s wrong, and we’ll be resisting the devil and quoting the Word and doing all kinds of things, and we will sit there until God works.

And how faithful He is! But until He works and we get off our high horse and take the position that is the only rightful one that we could possibly take before such a mighty God, God opposes the proud. Are you one today that God’s opposing? That’s a sobering thought. Think about that. I don’t want to have God…I mean, I have enough problems with me, and I have enough problems with the devil, without God kind of standing back. I need His help!

( congregational amens ).

And isn’t that what grace is? I mean, aren’t we saved by grace? That means without God’s help, I can’t even begin to be saved, let alone go through the process of being saved at every single point. Salvation is by grace. It means God has to help me. I simply do not have the power to engineer anything that has anything to do with His purpose. And so, if I’m going to try to live and act by any other principle, I’m going to be wasting my time and spinning my wheels and wondering what’s wrong. Anybody here identify with any of this, or with all of it, maybe?

( congregational response ).

Yeah! This is not a small issue. And this is why it says, “Humble yourselves, therefore…” What? “…Under God’s mighty hand.” What that brings…see that brings another dimension into this…that God acts upon us. He brings circumstances in our lives. He works in us to do what? To humble us. To bring us to a place where He can bless us.

Thank God for the grand order that exists because to us, humbling ourselves is a terrible thing, by nature! We suppose that if we humble ourselves, we will be trampled upon and abused, that we will lose something that is precious to us, that we will somehow suffer because we’re not assertive. Aw, we need to be assertive. We need to strike out for self. You know, if I don’t do it, nobody will. That’s the spirit of the world.

And so, when it comes to the things of God, we just naturally act and react according to the nature we received when we were born into Adam’s family. And all we’re doing is fighting against God without realizing it most of the time! Much of the time, we don’t realize it. Until God has to do something or allow something, somehow God has to intervene, and He intervenes in such a way that we suddenly wake up one day, we realize, oh, I get it.

And sometimes, you’ll hear about somebody that has a real crisis experience with God, and sometimes people make a religion out of that, and try to say, oh, this is how it’s got to be with everybody. Well, everybody is different. But there are many cases of somebody who has a crisis breakthrough experience with God…well, what’s happened in some of these cases, at the very least, is that you’ve got a strong-willed person. By God, I’m gonna do it. I’m gonna make my way. I’m going to triumph. I’m gonna overcome. I’m gonna do this. I’m gonna do that. And they struggle and they struggle, and they try and they try and they try, and all they’re doing is fighting against God. And so when they finally run out of gas and God breaks that, it’s a…

( snapping fingers ).

…Really, man it’s a crisis. It’s coming from way up here to way down here, and so there’s a huge change in their life all of a sudden. With many of us, it’s a lot more incremental. God will deal with this issue, and deal with that issue, and deal with this issue, and He’ll bring about what He’s seeking in us. But oh God, this is not a small thing. And the Lord has ways of reminding us how critical this is. If you and I need grace, and we do, we jolly well better be in a position to receive grace, because until God can get us in that position, we will be, basically, struggling on our own.

Now thank God there is…for anybody that’s really, really come to Him…fundamentally you’ve given your life to Him, now you’re dealing with the issues and the outworking of that, God’s hands are there. He’s not gonna let you go. But He surely is going to work in your life. He is going to humble you, by one means or another. Isn’t it wise for us to recognize what’s really going on and to say, yes, Lord I get it? Not only do I get it, I will gladly, by Your grace alone, I will humble myself. When you come to me, I’m not gonna fight You.

‘Cause there’s a lot of stuff that we buck against, we fight, we struggle and we are struggling against God without realizing it. And many times it’ll involve other people. It’ll involve all the issues of your life. You will just…there’s somebody that rubs you the wrong way, and by God, you’re just gonna…something’s gonna rise up in you, and you’re gonna assert your will and your way, and you don’t realize God allowed them to do that. What was His purpose in doing that? It was to work in us.

Now, you think of the insight that David had when Shimei went out and cursed him, and his men wanted to go out and take care of business and cut Shimei’s head off. You don’t talk to the King that way. And David said, no, leave him alone. God’s bid him to do this. Why? He just didn’t leave it there, did he? He said, God’s bid him to do this so that he may do me good. I’ll tell you what, there’s a place of blessedness that God desires for every one of us but it is not for the proud. It is not for the proud.

Now there’s a whole lot you could look at, but just look for a moment at the origin of pride. I thought about Isaiah 14. It’s a familiar scripture to many of us. I mean, where did all this stuff come from? How did we come by it? Well, it goes back to Lucifer, doesn’t it? It goes back to this mighty, beautiful servant of God, created in order to serve God, and he was given a place of great honor, great power, great beauty.

And it says in verse 12 of chapter 14, “How you have fallen from heaven, O morning star, son of the dawn! You have been cast down to the earth, you who once laid low the nations!” So, this is really looking into the future. But, it really looks back at how this character we know as Lucifer, or the devil or Satan, how’d he get that way? Where did this come from? What’s going on in his mind and his heart to bring him to this place of judgment and rejection by God?

And here it is, “You said in your heart…” So this is something that went on, on the inside of Lucifer. He’s serving God and he’s doing outwardly what he’s supposed to be doing, but something’s going on in here. Something is deceiving him. Something is working in him on the inside. He says, “You said in your heart, I will ascend to heaven; I will raise my throne above the stars of God; I will sit enthroned on the mount of assembly, on the utmost heights of the sacred mountain. I will ascend above the tops of the clouds; I will make myself like the Most High.”

Whoa! Talk about setting yourself up for a huge fall. This guy wasn’t the Most High. But somehow, he got to looking at himself, and looking at his situation, and looking at God and envy and whatever came in, but pride…I will. ‘I’ is the center piece of what God says about this character right there. It’s about me. I’m gonna assert myself. I’m gonna look good, feel good, do what I want to do, be exalted in everybody’s eyes. Now, no one here would be affected by any of this. I get that. You know, we’re all saints here.

( laughter ).

Oh my! If we will look in the mirror and be honest, we are polluted with this kind of stuff. And so, you go back to the garden and you can look at what happened. The interaction between the serpent, that’s the guise under which the devil came to Eve and tempted her. But you can see that from many angles, but pride is certainly at the heart of it, isn’t it?

And now, obviously, the devil called God’s motives into question. He just wants you to be his pet and do what He says. He’s holding you back from your true destiny. He knows that if you do this, you’ll be like gods yourself. You don’t have to be…He doesn’t have to be your God. You can be a God, too. Isn’t that kind of where he went with his thinking?

That same logic began to be thrust into her mind. He sowed seeds and she began to think about it, and it began to appeal to her. And so she said, yeah, that’s a desirable thing. I want to lift my…I want to be somebody. I want to be somebody in my own right. This is my ticket.

Oh, God! And from that day to this, we have been infected with a nature that comes from Lucifer himself. Boy, I’ll tell you what, you see this theme everywhere in the scriptures. You certainly see it in what happened to Nebuchadnezzar. I won’t turn to it but it’s in Daniel. And here’s a heathen king, a mighty Emperor in his day, certainly the number one guy on the planet in terms of being the greatest king, the greatest Emperor, whatever you want to call it.

And God has some of His servants, Daniel and a number of others that had been, in the providence of God, brought into his court, and he has even come into a knowledge that there is a great God. This is a man…now at this point in his career, he watched as three young Hebrews, who would not bow down to his god, got tossed in the fire and survived. And he had to admit, this is a great God. This is somebody really, really mighty and great. But yet, that man didn’t quite….he wasn’t there yet, was he? He didn’t get it.

And so, the Lord even warned him. In a dream, the Lord warned him of something that was going to be coming. And he saw himself…in the dream he was pictured as a great and mighty tree that gave shade all over the place. All the creatures, all the birds of the air found shelter in this mighty tree. And that tree represented him.

Of course, what he didn’t know was that God was the one who grew that tree and made him mighty. He didn’t do it. I mean, God is the one who lifted him up in the providence and the purpose of God, he lifted up a man who was just…that was no different than anybody else. But in the purpose of God, he was lifted up.

But of course, it’s pretty hard to be lifted up, it’s pretty hard to experience any kind of success in life, in the eyes of other people, without taking credit for it. You begin to think, well, this is the case because I’m somebody, I’m different, I’m better. No you’re not. Nor am I. God help us to be honest and realize what we are. Because once we really get what we are, suddenly the grace of God becomes amazing. Oh, that God would take somebody who is as low down and rotten to the core as we are, and to lift us up and give us a hope of eternal life, and being transformed into His sons and daughters to live with Him forever. Oh, God!

That’s not so great if you think you deserve it. If you think He’s shown you favor because of something in you. But oh, when you realize, when you get it, that you and I are completely, completely unworthy, and suddenly, oh what a glorious message it is!

( congregational amens ).

And we don’t have to try to be anything except just to say, Lord, thank you! Lord, I surrender. I do humble myself under Your mighty hand. Lord, just do whatever it takes. Oh God, I need You to change me. I need You to do whatever…oh, I’m so thankful that we have a God who doesn’t despise that. Because one of the features of human pride, which we got from the devil, is that we despise the weak. If there is somebody who’s weak, who can’t, let’s say rule over something in their life, or in some other respect they just don’t have it together like other people seem to, don’t you tend to look down on them? Sure. But what did Jesus do? He reached down with love and compassion.