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Rainbow Divider
MCM Broadcast

TV Broadcast #1080

Living by His Life
Part One

June 16, 2013

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Transcript of message from TV Broadcast 1080 -- taken from Closed Captioning Text

— Brother Phil Enlow: Praise God! I’ve been wrestling with the Lord, and I trust it was the Lord, that I think He finally won. Have you ever done that?

( congregational response ).

Yeah! Well, praise God! It’s a walk of faith, isn’t it? You know, I think, particularly, the thoughts that I’ve had this morning, I feel like are ones that I greatly need but I also have a measure of fear and concern about them. And I guess it goes back to a memory.

You know, when Sue and I were in college, at that time it appeared that our prospect was to be missionaries. And part of what I did a fair amount of at the time, was to read missionary biographies, and books by missionaries and so forth. And one I read was by Hudson Taylor. Anybody read Hudson Taylor’s life?

Tremendous man of God, and he wrote, I guess it was part of his biography or autobiography, I don’t remember which, but he wrote about a concept that he called The Exchanged Life, where we give God all of our brokenness and all that’s wrong with us, but it’s a trade. It’s not just a one-way thing. It’s something where we take His life in return and we live that life instead of ours.

Well, that sounded pretty great to me. I remember the first opportunity that I ever had to go actually speak in a meeting of some kind. I guess I had been in the public and I’d sung a little bit, but to actually say, okay, you’re the speaker. That was new territory. And so, I remember Sue went with me. We went to, actually, a small youth group. So, it wasn’t a big deal. It wasn’t like something like this. It was just a small youth group in a living room.

And I remember, vividly, being sick, just struggling just to get to the meeting, let alone through it. And of all things, I tried to speak to the young people there about that subject. I mean, it was way over my head, let alone theirs. And I’m just…they’re sitting there…well, anyway, it’s one of those experiences where you just say, okay, Lord, thank You. Let me learn something from this.

But anyway, and of course, the next thing was that I had a speaking engagement that weekend, or assignment I guess, that very weekend, so I had to do it all over again. And that was in a mission in New York City. But the Lord was merciful. It was about a ten minute message but the Lord actually helped me to speak.

And not only that, I had some people behind me with their collars turned around, from some of the fancier churches in New York. They were there to see what life was…what that sort of thing was like. So I’m sitting there with them behind me listening in, and it was an opportunity to say, Lord, I’m in way over my head here. I’m just gonna let her fly and let you worry about it. But you know, isn’t that the way it’s supposed to be? You know, the fact is, none of us has anything that we need to serve the Lord.

( congregational response ).

And so, it’s got to be that. You know, last week, I believe the Lord had a particular reason and purpose for our gathering in Columbia, and he blessed the service and we heard it Wednesday night. It was certainly all Him. And I guess the theme there was that our relationship with the Lord kind of is colored by, and indicated by how we treat one another.

But there was another thought that was very central to that whole thing, and it was something that the Lord was dealing with me about because the fact is, we have Adam trying to rise up and control us all the time and probably a lot more in control than we’d all like to admit.

( congregational response ).

And the Lord had just given me a thought that it’s really not some grand thing. You can’t go and get an experience that just puts Adam to death once and for all and then you’re good to go. It’s really a daily thing…in fact, it’s more than that. It’s a moment by moment thing, where, if I have something that wants to rise up and control me, what I need to do is to bring it to the cross, and recognize what Jesus did for me there.

You know, I was talking with Carl afterwards and it was almost clearer to me…and this happens a lot. I’ll sit down and think of half a dozen things I should have said or I could have said it better.

You know, let’s think about a simple thing that we all are afflicted with and that’s getting angry. Now, you can call it righteous indignation if you want to, but that’s just a big lie. But you know, how do we handle that? I mean, think about how we handle it when somebody does something or some circumstance comes and we get angry about it. It just rises up. Every one of us does it, has that feeling. It comes from being born into Adam’s family.

What do you do with it? Well, there’s different ways people handle it. One is denial. I’m not mad. And we cover it up or we deny it…or there’s some aspect of our personality, something we’ve done or some way we are and it’s obvious to everybody but us and we’re just living in denial. I’m not that way. This isn’t so.

And unfortunately, that doesn’t make it not so. You know, we’re gonna put blinders on and pretend that it isn’t so, but that’s the way a lot of folks cope with what they are. That’s a tough way to live. I mean, everybody else can see it, just as plain as the nose on your face, but we pretend that everything is fine when it really isn’t.

But, another way we tend to deal with that sort of thing is well, it’s just the way I am. We just sort of accept it. Well, you know, God understands. You know, Jesus died…it’s just the way I am. It’s just my personality. And we basically kind of accept how we are and don’t think that it matters a lot. And you know, we try to maybe put a curb on it here and there, but we’re really just kind of accepting it.

Well another way we do it that’s kind of along the same lines is we don’t just accept it, we justify it. And instead of looking here and saying, thou art the man or thou art the woman, we say, look what they did. My reaction to that is totally justified. Well, does that work?

( congregational response ).

No! God is interested in you. And if you look at Jesus, Jesus never, I mean, He never exhibited any of that. And obviously, look at the things that were done to Him. You think things have been done to you? What about the things that were done to Him? And yet, He didn’t rail back. He didn’t threaten. He didn’t do all the things that we would do in those same circumstances. We would be inclined to anyway, unless God gave us great grace. But anyway, we justify, but none of those things—none of those things obviously, really deal with the issue, do they?

But then there’s somebody comes along and says, okay, I really am that way but oh, I need to do something about this. And so, our attempt to do something about it is to try hard. By God, we are gonna get the mastery of this, if it’s the last thing we do. We’re gonna overcome this, we’re just gonna…

( grunting ).

…Grit our teeth and try harder. And you know, as we’ve said so many times, how does that work out?

( congregational response ).

It doesn’t work at all. We’re simply trying to use Adam to overcome Adam and that’s like picking up your…trying to jump or lift yourself off the ground by pulling up on your shoelaces. The same gravity that holds you on the ground is holding your effort. You’re all subject to gravity. You ain’t going nowhere.

And what the Lord wants us to do, I believe, is first of all, to bring that to Him, to recognize that He did something about that, that He’s not just left us to sort of flounder in our weaknesses and all those things that are wrong with us. But He really, actually did do something about it.

And you know, a scripture that’s come back to me many times, and usually in a time of great need, is the scripture, I think it’s in Colossians 2. I wasn’t necessarily, well, I could look at it, briefly I guess. Colossians 2, then I could read it accurately.

And we have used this before but in verse 6, Paul uses this thought, expresses this thought in a number of places. But he says, “So then, just as you received Christ Jesus as Lord, continue to live in him, rooted and built up in him, strengthened in the faith as you were taught, and overflowing with thankfulness.” (NIV).

So…you have to go back…in order to learn how to live the Christian life, we’ve got to go back to the beginning. How did we get in the Christian life to begin with? And the answer is that God shined a light in our hearts, and He showed us what we were. He showed us our need. He showed us that we were sinners, that we have no hope of escaping the power of sin.

Surely we can do nothing about the guilt of sin. It’s simply a fact. And, the only way we’re going to do anything about it is to be able to do exactly what the song that we just sang, we’re gonna have to come to Him just as we are. We can’t pretty ourselves up and sort of earn our right to be able to present our case to Him. We’re simply gonna have to come with all the ugly, just be totally honest with Him, and present it to Him.

But we do that because, not only has He shined the light upon our condition, He has then turned the spotlight onto Jesus. And He showed us what He did for us that we could never do for ourselves. That our sins were literally put upon Him and that when we put our faith in Him, there is a provision of God that our sins can be blotted out as if they had never happened, and we are then free to receive the gift of eternal life.

And so, purely on the basis of surrender, of repentance and faith, we then receive the benefit that was promised, namely, the forgiveness of our sins. Okay? That’s how we got in this, if we’re in it at all. There is no other way to come to Him except by surrender and repentance and faith.

But isn’t what Paul’s saying here, this is the way you live as the Christian life? It doesn’t change. It’s not like we get saved all over again, in the sense that it’s all in doubt. But in terms of apprehending that which I need today, it’s the same principle. I’m going to have to not live in denial. I’m going to have to not just accept the situation. I’m not gonna try to fix the situation. I’m gonna have to bring it to Him, just as I am.

So I’ve got to come to Him and say, Lord, here it is. This is ugly. This came out of me and I feel it and I’m struggling with it and I can’t beat this, Lord. I’m gonna have to come to You with total honesty and just bring it to the cross.

But that’s only half of the picture, isn’t it? Because God’s aim, in all of this, is not just simply to kill us. Now that’s part of it. Because there’s no way to deal with the life that we received from Adam except to put it to death. But God’s design is not simply to kill us and leave us there. God’s design is that we partake of His very life, so that instead of being energized by Adam, we are energized by Christ instead and something else happens.

And there is a power that—there’s a literal power. Just as there was a literal, real forgiveness of sins, there is a very real energy and strength that comes into us. Thank God! Sometimes it heals too, doesn’t it?

( congregational response ).

Praise the Lord! But there is a real measure of God’s very life that enters into us, and because of that we find that we have the power to love. We have the power to forgive that we do not possess in ourselves. Anybody here need this basic thing?

( congregational response ).

You know, I think one of the things I have struggled with in most of my life, and I think…we all have things from our own religious background. We come with grave clothes. We come with traditions. We come with ideas that get formed in us, and to us they’re right, and they absolutely influence. God deliver us from all of that and get us back to just this, and just strip away everything that really is not quite in focus. And I certainly am a prime candidate for that.

But I grew up in a movement where there was a great emphasis on ‘the deeper life’—’the deeper life.’ This was like deluxe Christianity. And it was entered into by a handful that somehow reached that point and discovered that secret, and man, they were just in a different realm than the rest of us.

And I think that, as I say, that colored my perception of a lot of things. And so, I would look at something like what Hudson Taylor wrote about The Exchanged Life and say, wow! Man, that’s great! But somehow, I could not ever connect me with that.

You know, I was just working on one of the transcripts. Our ladies are so faithful to do transcripts of the broadcast, and the reason they’re doing them is because they’re able to put them in for closed captioning, so that people who can’t hear what’s being said, they can read it off the screen. Well, we multi-purpose that and actually post those on the website.

And so, I was working on one that was from some time last year or earlier this year, I guess, and in that particular service I was referring to Corrie ten Boom. Now, does everybody know who she was? She was the Dutch lady that, with her family, hid Jews in Holland during the second World War and then went through hell in a woman’s concentration camp. Her sister died, she lived…and went on to have a tremendous global ministry talking about the grace of God that’s able to carry people through hell, in terms of an earthly experience.

She went about as low as you could go and saw such brutality. And she saw God work in mighty ways just to get her out of there, and then to preserve her and to bring her back. You know, she was so broken when she came out of there, the first time she sat down at a normal dinner table, she didn’t hardly know how to act. And you think about somebody who was used to that kind of life then can actually go through an experience that could take her so low and so far from that, that she didn’t hardly know how to pick up a fork and use it, and thought she didn’t even belong in that scene. And yet God brought her through.

But what struck me, as I had listened, I think, to a message, a recorded message, obviously she’s gone to Glory…but what she was talking about was her own deep struggles with her own nature. And this is a lady who’s 70 or 80 years old, surely if anybody’s entered into this ‘deeper life,’ this was the lady. And yet she was talking in terms that I could identify with. This lady had the same struggles that I have.

Hey, this must be normal to feel these things and to have to deal with them. Maybe this is not just for some certain, special people that just somehow break into this wonderful…where they fly like eagles and soar over all of life’s problems. Boy, that’s a picture the devil would like to paint because he’d like to keep us right where we’re at, instead of recognizing that we have the privilege, not because of what we are or anything we’ve done, we have the privilege of coming to Him…

( congregational response ).

…And coming to Him just as we are, and bringing all of the ugly to Him, but not walking away empty-handed. Actually coming to Him, just as we’ve received the forgiveness of sins, we can receive strength to be what God wants us to be.

And I’ll…it comes back to mind, obviously referring to Corrie ten Boom was the circumstance that she describes herself that we’ve used before, when she was going around ministering to people, after World War II, and it was pretty fresh in everybody’s mind there in Europe. And she was going around ministering to different groups, talking about the wonderful ways that God worked and preserved His people, and even worked to save people in the middle of all that hell.

And one night, she was doing that and who should be in the audience but one of the most sadistic guards that she had remembered. This guy was just brutal. He didn’t care about the lives of those women in that camp any more than he’d care about a gnat. There was just an ugly, ugly satanic spirit about this guy. He was just one of the worst. They were all bad. But this guy was really right up at the top of the list. There he is.

And she gets through and he walks up to her. Now, what kind of reaction are you gonna have to something like that? This is a human lady. I mean, she’s not some sort of spiritual somebody. She hasn’t graduated yet. And he walks up and says something to the effect that, God has saved me. And I know that I did some horrible things and I just want to ask your forgiveness.

Well, I mean, we can sit here and say, oh yes! Oh yes, I’m so glad to do that! Oh, wow! Everything, all the images, all the feelings that had been buried there just rose up in her and inside she said, oh, I just can’t! How can he…look what he did! Oh, it’s horrible. How can I forgive him?

And somehow…I wish I could remember every detail of it, but somehow, there was enough of a spiritual sense in her to say, well, Lord I can’t. I know I ought to, but I can reach my hand out. I can do that much. And so she said, as she reached her hand…that was an act of faith. You know, Kenny was talking about responding in faith, and Mildred too. When you don’t feel like it, we can reach out. We can do what we can do. And if it’s truly an act of faith, reaching toward the Lord, the Lord knows where we’re at, and He knows how to reach back. He knows better than we do our complete and utter inability.

( congregational response ).

He’s not depending on how you feel or how I feel or our abilities to live this life. It’s impossible without His help.

( congregational amens ).

But all He’s looking for is somebody who will reach up to Him with all the inability that we have and say, oh God, I can’t but I’m willing if you’ll only help me. And so her testimony is, as she did this, something happened on the inside. The love of God just flowed into her for this man and that horrible wound inside of her was healed. And she was able to shake his hand, embrace him as a brother in Christ.

It takes God’s mercy and grace to do something like that. But all the little things that we experience, we think they’re little, all the little things that we experience every day in our lives fall into the same category. You and I, we just absolutely, without question, live under the dominion of Adam far more than we realize. And we deny it. We justify it. We accept it. We struggle in the flesh against it. And we stay right where we’re at.

Well, suppose you had tried to deal with the forgiveness of sins issue that way. That’s how some people do it! They’ll deny it. They’ll justify it. They’ll struggle against it, trying to be what they think God…trying to earn their way in. What happens when you do that? What happens when a sinner stays in that place? They’re gonna stay in that place, aren’t they? It’s not that there’s anything lacking in what Christ did, but they have no access to it because they’re not willing to come just as they are in faith and access, believe that that promise is theirs. That the right to claim that has been won by what Jesus did, and not by anything they could ever do. Oh, praise God!