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Rainbow Divider
MCM Broadcast

TV Broadcast #1077

Our Greatest Roadblock

May 26, 2013

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Transcript of message from TV Broadcast 1077 -- taken from Closed Captioning Text

— Brother Phil Enlow: 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. The folks He had a problem with were the folks that thought they had it together. He didn’t have anything for them at all. They were fine. They didn’t need a doctor. They were well. But the sick…oh, they came to Him with love and with joy, and they drank of His love.

But anyway, you saw this warning to Nebuchadnezzar when he saw that tree in the dream, cut down. And he saw…I don’t remember the details. I didn’t take time, obviously, to look this up. But anyway, he saw something…there was a judgment. This tree was gonna be gone. He was gonna go out and live like a beast for seven years. But there was a glorious thing…do you remember something in that dream? There was a ring put around that tree—the base of that tree. Do you know that God is over all?

( congregational response ).

That no matter what happens to us, God can bring us through. Oh God, do we hang on and struggle and strive to make things happen instead of just surrendering to God. You think about a man who experienced what he did…you know, about a year later he was standing on the wall of his palace and looking out at all the wonderful things he’d done. He’d built this and built that project. And there were gardens, the Hanging Gardens of Babylon, one of the Ancient Wonders of the World.

And he was just…everywhere he looked, he saw his handiwork. And man, he said, isn’t this great Babylon that I have built for the glory and honor of my name? And oh, he was just full of it. But you would have been, too. If you’d been in his position…it might have been worse, if I’d been in his position. Oh how easily are we deceived by appearances.

And so this man, all of a sudden, there was a word that came from heaven and the dream began to be fulfilled. And all of a sudden he went out of his mind in some fashion. He was driven from among men. And he lived out in the fields like a beast. He ate grass. His fingernails and toenails grew out like claws. And I can imagine…this is seven years now. What in the world is that out there, that crazy looking something? Oh, that’s old Nebuchadnezzar, he went crazy a few years ago. Oh my!

But you talk about a hopeless situation. There’s no such thing with God! God wasn’t doing that to destroy the man. He was doing it to deliver him. That’s the key to what everything that God does for us. It’s that He does it, He humbles us! He does whatever it takes to break that spirit of pride in us, not to destroy but to save!

( congregational amens ).

To bring us to the only place where we can truly realize that we exist by nothing else but the grace and the mercy of a loving God! Praise God! And that’s what the Lord had in store for this man. He said, at the end of those years suddenly his reason returned. I imagine the devil would’ve loved to have intervened somewhere in this process but, obviously, he couldn’t. God had it well in hand. That ring was there. God put it there. No devil could take it away. If God puts a ring around your life, no devil can get in and mess with it.

But anyway, God just gave him his mind back and suddenly he remembered. And what was his reaction? He humbled himself. He said, now I know. There’s no one like Him. He reigns in the heavens. He does as He pleases among the armies of heaven and the inhabitants of the earth. No one can tell Him what to do. No one can stop Him or tell Him what to do, or say why are you doing this?

And so, not only was that for him as a man to understand that God put him in that place, and he needed to honor the God who put him there, and take a place of humility before that God! Not only did God reveal that to him, but I’ll tell you, the knowledge of that went to the ends of the earth.

You know, God had so many ways, even in the Old Testament, of getting His name out. Oh, my! You think of Solomon. You know, there was a day when Solomon was the greatest king of the ancient world. And we think about…yeah, Solomon, he had a nice kingdom there. Solomon was probably greater in many ways than Nebuchadnezzar ever was. He had a power, he had a wisdom that caused people to come from the ends of the earth just to hear his wisdom and see the greatness of his kingdom.

Gold and riches were so plentiful in the kingdom that silver didn’t have any real value. I mean, it’s like, silver, big deal. Talk about God prospering a nation, prospering a word. And everybody knew that he didn’t have this wisdom of his own. Everybody knew this was wisdom that God had given him and they honored the God of Israel. I don’t know how many people that came to hear Solomon that we’ll see one day. You never know. God has a way of getting His Word out.

In this particular instance, He used a heathen king who came to a knowledge and understanding where he humbled himself under the God of heaven. And God restored him. I mean, you think about the natural problems, if you imagine somebody going crazy for seven years and living like a beast and then trying to come back. Hey, I’m okay. I’m back now.

( laughter ).

You know, there just might be one or two people who would object to that. But you know, God was in charge and God restored him to his position, gave him more than he had before. And he used that position to disseminate the knowledge of God.

You know, you might be one here today that just…that’s all that’s keeping you out of the kingdom of God is your pride. You’ve just got self-will…self is on the throne, doesn’t want to let go, doesn’t want to admit you’re a sinner like everybody else. Yeah, if we had some ‘wino’ or somebody that came in whose life was just wasted and totally broken, and everybody would see it and know it. You’d say, yeah, now there’s somebody that really needs salvation, but me, I’m… you know.

Before God ever brings somebody to salvation, you’re gonna have to come to a place where you recognize you are a lost, broken, helpless sinner who is on the road to hell. And unless you humble yourself and come to God on that ground, then you’re gonna die and go to hell. I mean, it’s just got to be put out there plainly. That’s the simple truth.

Oh God, do we need to come with that kind of a broken spirit. And so many people…well, I think that’s the issue with everybody. You can say it’s this. You can say it’s that. But it’s pride! It’s me. It’s what I want to do. It’s…I’m at the center of everything. No, unless God becomes the center, you’re gonna die and be lost. I just pray God will do whatever it takes. If you’re here and you’ve never really bowed the knee to Jesus Christ and let Him become Lord…then I pray God will just turn you every way but loose. Because if He doesn’t, what’s the alternative? It’s not good.

I’ll tell you, if you ever see what your sin cost Him—if you ever see your sin and then you see what it cost Him, and then you really see the love that He has for you, by divine revelation it will melt your heart, and you will let go, and you’ll wonder why you’ve waited.

So many people are trying to come to God by struggling and striving and trying to make themselves acceptable to God. It doesn’t happen that way. It happens because people come and say, just as I am—just as I am, dirty, ugly, nothing I can boast in, absolutely nothing, Lord. I have nothing to offer You but myself.

That’s what He wants. That’s all He wants. Oh, I tell you, there’s something that gladdens the heart of God. How polluted, as I say, we are with pride. We look down and despise somebody. Oh, they shouldn’t be that way. They ought to be strong. They ought to be this. Oh, no. God’s heart is just moved by somebody who will come to Him that way and say, oh God, I’m broken, and I can’t fix it. But I can come to You and give You my life and let You make out of it what You want it to be. Praise God! Praise God!

Oh, I pray that somebody will get this that has never gotten it. I can’t help you. I can’t make it happen. Only the Lord can do that. But I pray that He will. Let’s pray, my God, that people will get this. But Lord, the truth of the matter is, we who know the Lord need to get this.

( congregational amens ).

We need to get this. Oh, the scripture is full of examples. Some that we’ve used quit frequently of Peter confident that he was, you know…I got it handled, Lord. I would never deny You. Well, he did, didn’t he? And God brought him way down to where he was weeping bitterly.

You know, that tells me one thing. It tells me he cared. He tells me he really did love the Lord. He just didn’t understand how to serve the Lord, how desperately he needed the Lord! And so God had to allow that to happen.

You think about the dynamics of that particular occasion. Satan had to get permission to tempt Peter, didn’t he? That didn’t just happen. God said, I’ve got a job for Peter to do. Just stand back from this thing, and see it from God’s point of view. There’s Peter. Peter is full of himself. He thinks he’s got it handled. He’s got confidence in his own ability, his own intentions. But I want to use him! I want to use him mightily! His brothers are gonna need some help, and I want to use him to help them! I want there to come a day where he can stand before the multitudes and declare My Word with power, but he’s not there yet! He’s not ready for that. I’ve got to do something.

And so of course, the Lord got him down at the altar and he had a great…no, He didn’t do that, did He? Lay some mighty hands on him and just suddenly dump a whole lot of power, no! That’s not how it happens. Praise God! God stepped back and said all right, Satan. You asked to test him. Go for it. But oh, what a glorious thing was it the Lord prayed for him? Do you suppose the Lord heard that prayer? God had somebody that was praying.

And so even though Jesus warned him, you remember what happened. We’ve certainly used the story many times. He didn’t pay any attention. He was confident, and so he collapsed spiritually. Have you ever done that? Yeah. Every one of us can raise our hands and our feet and everything else, everything that can be raised and say, yeah, I’ve been there, and I’ve done that in some form.

But oh, I’ll tell you what, the devil meant it for evil, but God meant it for good. He allowed Peter to remain in that state where he just was broken-hearted at his own weakness and his own failure…long enough to do the job, to completely destroy all of that self-confidence, and to bring him all the way down, down, down, down to a point where now it was time. He could lift him up and give him hope. And now suddenly, Peter’s relationship with the Lord in his own mind and his own heart, completely changed. Oh, he didn’t see himself as somebody that God went out and got because of all his qualifications. He saw himself as a broken, needy, helpless sinner, a recipient of God’s mercy.

And I’ll tell you, God can take a man like that and use him, as Jesus had foretold, to strengthen your brothers, because when they experienced their weakness, he could go back and say, look where I was. Look at me. Look at what I did. I trusted in myself and I fell flat. But Jesus was so wise to put me, to allow me to be in a situation where I have experienced that failure so that He could lift me up and show me that there is a power. There’s a forgiveness. There’s a power that can enable me to stand, but it’s not my power anymore. He gets all of the glory.

Folks, our Christian life is defined by this principle. God is going to continually be doing things in our lives that will remind us, and point out and expose this principle of pride in our lives. You’re gonna bump into people and situations that cause that to just rise up in you, and you’re gonna sit there and justify it based on their deficiencies, their something. Something about them makes it okay for me to feel this way. No, it doesn’t. God is concerned about you, and it doesn’t matter if it’s the devil himself, and every wrong thing really is wrong! God’s interested in your reaction!

( congregational amens ).

God’s interested in forming your character! He called you to His Kingdom, and that’s why He says to humble yourselves under His mighty hand! That’s His mighty hand working in us. And if God continually or repeatedly allows you to get into situations where you think, I can handle this. I’ve got this handled. I can serve the Lord. I can…and you don’t. And you fall in the mud time and time again. God is trying to get your attention and mine to come to the place where just like we come to Him as we were, just like we came to Him as we were to be saved in the beginning, we’re gonna have to Him as we are every moment of every day and say Lord, I need your grace right now.

Thank God He doesn’t dump every issue of our life on us all at once, but He sure knows how to bring us step by step through this transformational process, because that’s what the Christian life is about. It’s not about success in this world. It’s not about religious works and all those things.

There’s a place for every aspect of the Kingdom of God, but I’ll tell you, the fundamental thing comes right down to this. God is remaking us from children of Adam into children of God. He’s remaking us from people who have lived under the dominion of darkness and were headed for hell, into those who are capable of living with Him forever, set free from all that’s wrong with this world!

Well, you and I still got a lot of that in us. And we need to be honest, because we love to come here and put our game face, our Sunday face and say, I’m great! How are you? We’re not honest with ourselves and we’re not honest with each other about how much we need the Lord. So many times that plastic face that you put on…and I’m not saying we have to grovel. You know what I’m saying. We can just be what we are.

You can make a career out of saying I’m so bad, I’m this…and that’s just false humility. That’s just pride. It’s another form of pride. But I mean, God wants us to be real. We all come in here with our plastic face, and somebody that is really dying on the inside looks at us and says man, what’s wrong with me, oh God. That’s pretty discouraging.

But oh, if we could see behind the façade, you’d find a lot of needy people in this place today. You’re struggling, and the devil is attacking you in a 1,001 different ways, and you’re struggling with it, and you’re trying to grapple with it. Oh I’ll tell you, this is the principle. God is seeking to bring you to that place of dependence. Oh, we hate that! Because that means that we’ve diminished in our own eyes a little bit…or a lot. Oh God, isn’t that what we need?

( congregational response ).

I need that. The greatest obstacle to what God wants to do in me is not the devil. It’s not even you. It’s me, trying to somehow hang on. Oh God, I’m gonna work this out. I’m gonna do it. I don’t want anybody to know. I don’t want anybody to think I’m struggling. I need…I’m gonna work it out. Oh God, we need to humble ourselves under His mighty hand.

Sometimes say to somebody else, look, I’m struggling. I need your prayers. I need help here. So that we can help each other and encourage each other. Man, if you’re one who looks down on somebody in that position, there’s something majorly wrong with you. I’ll tell you, if you’ve got the Spirit of Christ, that evokes a spirit of compassion, doesn’t it?

( congregational response ).

How many times have we had somebody come up here and just really confess a need? What does that cause you to feel? It causes you to feel a great compassion for that person. Something rises up in you. That’s the Lord! Isn’t that an indicator of how He looks upon us?

As I said at the beginning, look at how He dealt with the needy and the weak. The woman that those bunch of hypocrites threw down and said, Moses said to stone her. What do you say? Oh, what did He wind up saying? “Neither do I condemn thee: go, and sin no more.” (KJV). That’s a revelation of the very heart of God towards you and towards me.

What are we afraid of? Why are we afraid to let go of this awful principle of pride? You don’t think you’ve got it? You’ve got it in spades, and so do I. It manifests itself in so many ways that are so sneaky that we don’t even get it. It’s like the air we breathe is just pride.

And our whole life, as I said…I guess I’m repeating myself at this point, but that’s what the Christian life is about. God is gonna have to put His finger on all these issues, one by one by one. And my place, if I want His grace and I want His strength and His help to deliver me out of that, I’m gonna have to say, yes, Lord. I’m exactly what you say I am. I’m not gonna make any excuses. I’m not gonna pretty it up. We’re good at that, aren’t we? Yeah, I messed up, but I’m basically a good person. No, you’re not. I didn’t get any amens on that one, but…

( laughter ).

…But it’s the truth. There’s only one good, and that’s God.

( congregational amens ).

Until we reckon on the truthfulness of this Word about things like that…see, we’re good at trying to perform religious activities, and religious professions, and all that kind of thing, but this is the real issue. Are we going to really, really surrender our lives issue by issue to that God who sent His Son to die for us, who’s given us the hope that He’s given us, and let Him change us at the cost letting go of self?

That’s what salvation is all about. And if we’ll do it, there is no limit to the grace, the strength, the help that God is willing to give. But if there’s little grace in your life right now, could it possibly be because you’re trying, and the engine of your effort is pride and self? Could if just be that that’s what God’s trying to move? He’s trying to move that roadblock so that He can bless, because there is a low place where His blessings flow. They’re abundant. They’re all we could ever, ever need.

And there’s a heart of the Heavenly Father that just reaches down in such love and such compassion for those who are willing to take that place. Is God touching an issue of pride in your life right now? His Word to you is to humble yourself under His mighty hand. He’ll take care of the exaltation part, but it won’t be exalting you. It will be lifting you up into a place of freedom that you haven’t had before. It’ll be something that will bring glory to God. Praise God!

I want to take that place. There’s so many issues that God’s dealing with me about. He’s letting the devil attack me in many ways, but it’s for my good. I need it. You start asking God, take me to a better place. Help me to know You better, to be a stronger Christian. Get ready. There’s reasons you’re not. The reasons are not that bad devil out there. The reasons are this one in here…where God’s gonna put His finger. And the more we fight for that, the more we’re gonna be fighting against Him, and He’s gonna be resisting us. But the more we humble ourselves, the more grace is gonna flow, and the more freedom is gonna flow. Praise God!