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Rainbow Divider
MCM Broadcast

TV Broadcast #1084

Light that Shines in Darkness

July 14, 2013

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Transcript of message from TV Broadcast 1084 -- taken from Closed Captioning Text

— Brother Phil Enlow: You’d better have something that’s real.

( congregational amens ).

You’d better have something that’s so real to you that you will stand no matter what!

( congregational response ).

We’ve got brothers and sisters we need to remember in other parts of the world who are giving up everything because they will not let Jesus go. They know that He is real. They know the hope that He’s set before them is real. It takes a revelation of God to see that!

( congregational response ).

Religion won’t do it! We’re gonna have to have a conviction, the same kind of conviction that Abraham had! What was it that kept Abraham on course except that when God spoke, he believed, not just the words, but the Person who spoke the words.

( congregational amens ).

God set a vision before him that reached way beyond the boundaries of his lifetime! And so, the scripture says, he died in faith! And it spoke of others that who died in faith, not having received this promise because of the length that it took to fulfill it. But God had something better for us! You can read this in the end of Hebrews 11…that they, without us, would not be complete.

See, God had you and me in mind today when He was dealing with Abraham back there. We are part of one grand picture of God gathering a family of sons and daughters out of this world.

( congregational response ).

And I’ll tell you, what is at the heart of this is that you and I possess the same faith that God imparted to Abraham. It’s a supernatural thing. I cannot muster this! God has to so convince my heart that His Kingdom is real, that my destiny…the choice before me is eternal, it’s real, that I need to cast my lot with Him completely to the point where I turn my back on the world and I’m gonna follow Jesus no matter which way the world goes. Because it’s going one way and we’re going the other, folks, if you know Him. But oh, we’ve got Someone who’s going with us. Praise God!

But anyway…he preached, “…Jesus Christ as Lord, and ourselves as your servants for Jesus’ sake.” (NIV). Didn’t Jesus, Himself, come as a servant? He didn’t come to be served and to be made Mr. Big. He came as a humble servant. And how He demonstrated that to His followers. He’d take off His outer garments, dressed as a slave, take a pan of water, and wash their feet. You talk about humility.

And He says, you need to do this to one another as I’ve done to you. And he said, in another place, I didn’t come to be ministered to, but to minister, and to give my life as a ransom for many. Oh, may God impart that heart and that spirit to us, because Jesus is still alive. He’s not just over there, He’s alive in His people.

( congregational amens ).

But the thing is, to what degree are we really living and walking in harmony with Him so that we are a true expression of Him in the earth. That’s what he’s working on. See, that’s what He was working on in Paul, and He had done it to the point where Paul was able to go out and preach the Gospel and gather churches and teach them.

Of course, he was dealing with a lot of real situations here. This was not a church…this was not a model church. And yet, it wasn’t so different than us. They had a lot of real, real problems that Paul had to deal with. And yet, in the mind and the heart of God, he begins the book and calls them saints.

You think of a God who is able to look at people like us and call us saints, and say, I know what’s wrong with you and I have the power to fix it. Just trust Me. Give your heart to Me. Put all your hope in Me. Just like we sang awhile ago, “All my hope is in you.” Is any of your hope in you?

( congregational response ).

You got a handle on life? Do you know what you’re doing? You’d rather run your own life and do your own thing and make your own choices? You have no clue. You are blind. You are running around in a fantasy world. But I’ll tell you, that’s exactly a picture of this current world. Satan has so filled minds and eyes with a world that does not exist, that they cannot see what God has called us to, and what God has set before us.

But oh, I pray that…I’ll tell you, if God ever shines His light into your heart, open it with all your heart—open your heart. Lay hold of that like you’re drowning and it’s a life preserver. It’s God’s love for you.

( congregational amens ).

It will challenge the very core of your being. And that core will fight for its right to exist. But that sin principle in you will destroy you if you don’t give it up and let it go. It will destroy you. And it’s God’s love.

Man, what a picture it was, that proud business man, the other night in that movie. Oh my. Just withstanding and defying. ‘I’m doing okay.’ ‘I don’t need you.’ And then he went out and died. I’m gonna spoil the movie, but I don’t care. I’ve seen that four or five times, myself and I could watch it again and just enjoy it, and live through every moment of it. It’s powerful. But what a picture. Don’t be like that. You saw the heart of Jesus in reaching out. Well, He’s still reaching.

But listen to what Paul says here, because he’s really giving a testimony and he’s including others, but it’s still his own testimony. “For God, who said, let light shine out of darkness, made his light shine in our hearts to give us the light of the knowledge of the glory of God in the face of Christ.”

Man, there’s a lot in that. You think about the picture and the comparison that Paul is using there. He’s going back to the creation and said, you know there was a time when there was just nothing but darkness. Isn’t that what he said? “In the beginning, God created the heaven and the earth. And…darkness was upon the face of the deep.” (KJV). I don’t remember the exact language but that’s essentially it. And what did God say? “Let there be light: and there was light.”Now what could that darkness do about the situation?

( congregational response ).

It was just there. It took the sovereign intervention of God to change the circumstance of that darkness. And by His own will and for His own purpose to declare, let there be light. Folks, that’s what’s got to happen in you and me. I pray that it’s happened for many. But that’s what it takes. It takes God invading your life and mine with His light. And I’ll tell you, it’s His initiative from beginning to end. As I say, don’t you take the smallest smidgen of credit for God showing you mercy, if He has shown it to you. Oh, what a merciful God we have.

And Paul knew this better than anybody. I mean, what could have turned Paul around? Could somebody have walked up and handed him a tract, and I’m not against doing that, by the way. But could somebody just…with their own initiative, I’m talking about, just as a human thing, walked up and explained to Paul…Paul, let me explain to you about Jesus…or Saul? Would that have worked?

( congregational response ).

Now you know, we need to share the Lord, but I’m just saying, would that have done the job? No! God had to do something. This was a tough case. This was a hard case. This was a guy that Satan had complete control over and he didn’t know it! He thought he was serving God! That’s a pretty good picture of the condition that people can get in, in this world, even to think they’re serving God and they’re absolutely serving the devil and don’t realize it.

That’s the hardest case there is. I mean somebody that’s in the gutter or what everybody considers to be sin and wrong, they’re on a real inside track of getting out of that, because everybody knows that that’s bad. But religion, it’s right. We’re going by the Word of God! We’re going by the Bible! But doing it with the wrong spirit, and the devil in charge…man, there ain’t no darkness greater than that. How great is that darkness.

( congregational amens ).

It took God, absolutely sovereignly reaching out. You know Scott read a verse this morning where Paul was describing how God, how Jesus appeared to him on the road there. When he was going all…full bore, he was going out to persecute Christians. He had gotten letters from the authorities in Jerusalem. I’m gonna take a company of men and we are going to Damascus and we are taking care of business. We’ve got to stamp this awful thing out called Christianity. Well, whatever they called it then.

And then God did something, didn’t He? Jesus made himself known to Paul, in a way that Paul could not deny. He knew something supernatural was coming. Who are you, Lord? I’m Jesus, whom you are persecuting. Whoa! Can you imagine the shock? It’s a wonder that man didn’t die of a heart attack. You are going…every fiber of your being is going in a certain direction and all of a sudden you realize, you think you’re serving God and you find out that you’re fighting against Him! Whoa, talk about the wind coming out of your sails.

That man was knocked off his horse, and blinded and humbled. And then to have Him stand there and say, you’re a chosen vessel. I’ve called you to go and to carry My message to the Gentiles. Well, that was another blow. You know what the Jews thought of Gentiles? Oh, my! I mean, absolutely, God cut across him…talk about cutting against the grain. Exactly, 90 degrees! But oh, the mercy of God that reached down to a man like that.

That’s what we need in our lives. We need to see that in our midst where I don’t care what your condition is, God reaches down in the depths of your soul and shows you your life. You know what light does when it comes into darkness, when it intersects with darkness? Until it comes, you don’t know it’s darkness. You’re living virtual reality. You’re thinking one thing, and another thing is true. But I’ll tell you, when light comes, you can look at that and say, oh my God, that’s darkness!

Man, I want to be…when God shines His light in my heart and He shows me something about me, I want to say, yes, Lord. I’m not gonna defend. I’m not gonna explain away. I’m not gonna excuse. I’m just gonna say Lord, this is what You came to save me from. Oh, Praise God!

See this applies to us, to everybody in here. It applies to somebody coming to Christ. I’ll tell you, let that light shine on that darkness. See it for what it is. But then let your eyes see Jesus for who He is and just run to that Light and lay hold of it with every fiber of your being. Put your faith in Him, and then there’s something gonna happen in here. There’s a miracle that God will perform in your life! And He will set you on the road to eternity. Praise God!

( congregational response ).

“For God, who said, let light shine out of darkness, made his light shine.…” (NIV). Where? He explained it to my mind, and I have thought about it, and I finally reasoned it out, and I agreed with Him. No. He went right past all that. He went right down to the core of my being, and He showed me what was really what. And all I could do was say, yes, Lord. Truth, Lord. Truth, Lord!

Made it shine in our hearts…to do what? “To give us the light of the knowledge of the glory of God in the face of Christ.” That’s how God makes His light shine to us! When we see Him for who He is and because we see Him, we see God for who He is. And we know that He’s Someone that loves with an everlasting love, and He has mercy that goes beyond anything you and I could ever imagine. May God just possess our hearts with that same kind of thing.

And of course, where he goes with it from this is…how do we do this? How do people like us actually handle such stuff as this, because, “…We have this treasure in jars of clay.…” Folks, I’m not there yet. I’m in the process of being made like Him. I’m not like Him yet. I’ve got a lot of baggage. I’ve got a lot of stuff that’s going on in me. I am so geared, naturally, to relying upon my own abilities, and my own estimation of evaluation of things! That’s what I go by! I live by that! That’s what I breathe. I just naturally do it. How can I take this and convey this to somebody else where it’ll be effective in their lives? I’m just a jar of clay. That’s what he’s getting into.

“We have this treasure in jars of clay.” Now for what purpose? “To show that this all-surpassing power is from God and not from us.” I know, in a small measure, what Paul has expressed in many places, when he came to the realization that when I’m weak, I’m strong. When God shows you what you are, and how weak, and wrong, and everything like that that you are, do you resist that, and fight against it, and object? Mighty quiet. But I’ll tell you what we need to do. Again, we need to humble ourselves and say, truth, Lord.

( congregational response ).

We need to see that as the wonderful thing that it is, because, what is the alternative? We’re gonna walk in the energy of our flesh. We’re gonna turn the grace of God into religion that can’t help anybody. And instead of living water flowing through our beings, there’s gonna be sewer coming out. Oh, God, help us to realize what the issues are, so that we as a people understand Jesus is not here in His own body of Jesus of Nazareth. He’s here in us! He wants to express Himself through us!

We are jars of clay! We don’t have it in ourselves to give any adequate expression of Him. The only thing we can do is to stretch forth our hands, as the Lord said Peter was gonna do one day, and allow him to gird us and allow him to carry us places we wouldn’t even want to go. Has He done that with you? Has he taken you places you don’t really want to go…in His will, in His plan?

Oh, how wise His plan is. We are gonna look back and say, oh God, why did I kick? Why did I buck? Why did I complain? You were so merciful to me! You saw things that were wrong with me I wasn’t even aware of at the time, and I was complaining about how You were doing things! Oh, how merciful God is to us.

But this is the way He’s chosen to do it. In the process of changing me into His likeness, there’s stuff in me that’s got to go. In the process of being able to minister His Life to somebody else, there’s stuff that got to go or it’s gonna get in the way. Just like, that pride issue that brought Paul to that place where he said, I’m gonna glory in my weakness. Lord, I was complaining. I was praying, get rid of this thing, Lord! Now I’m gonna take a different line here. I’m gonna say, thank you, Lord. Lord, I’m weak. Praise God! Isn’t that wonderful?

Now how many of you are at that point where you can glory in it? You know somebody comes along and says man, I’m full of the power. I’m full of this and I’m full of that. You know, maybe some of them are, I don’t know. Some of them are just full of it.

( laughter ).

But I’ll tell you, Paul got to the place where he didn’t glory in that. He gloried in the fact that he was nothing. But in his realization of being nothing, he also had the realization that, hey, He’s everything. And so my place is just to say, all right, Lord, come and be who You are. Just flow in spite of my weakness. Maybe because I let go or because I’m aware of my weakness, just come through me. Lord, let that be what people see and experience from me, from their contact with me. Otherwise, it’s just gonna be me and that’s gonna cause all kinds of mess.

“We have this treasure in jars of clay to show that this all-surpassing power is from God and not from us.” Folks, if you’ve got anything at all, it’s Him and it’s not you. Praise the Lord! So this amazing thing that is so perplexing to the natural mind, they don’t get this at all. This is nuts. This is foolishness. “We are hard pressed on every side, but not crushed.”

Are you hard pressed on every side? Do you feel that way sometimes? But do you see the hand of God who loves you and He does not allow you to be crushed? There’s something that He wants to do to that part of you that’s gonna get in His way. And so He passes sentence on that. But oh, it’s always within the boundaries of His…we’re never out of His hands. We’re never destroyed by it. We’re always set free by it. It’s just enough, just enough to do the job. And He’s got His hand wrapped safely around us.

“Perplexed.…” Now that’s more a description of life, I guess. You don’t understand what’s going on? You don’t understand things that are happening to you, right now? Something just doesn’t make sense to you? I know Somebody to whom it makes perfect sense. Praise God! Doesn’t He do that so that we will learn to just say, okay Lord. I just don’t know. I haven’t got the answers right now, but I know that You do. And so I am not gonna be in despair. I’m not gonna give up hope. I’m not gonna turn. I’m not depending on my understanding of everything. I’m depending on You. And You put me in this place so that I would stop trusting in me, realize what I truly am, and turn that trust into You so that You can come forth.

“Persecuted.…” Well, we haven’t got a whole lot of that going on here. A lot of our brothers do. But I’ll tell you what, when that happens, don’t you think God will ever abandon you. You and I may be in places where it’ll feel like that. I’m just reading a part of Jeremiah where they’re right at the point in the prophet’s life when Jerusalem is being destroyed, and he’s having a rough time.

The fellows inside the city…I mean, Nebuchadnezzar outside laying siege to the city, and he’s in there saying, surrender! God will bless you. Just surrender to the king, and they’re in there saying, man, he’s just trying to discourage the people. Got to do something about it, got to kill him! At one point, they lowered him down into a cistern where he sunk in the mud. And some guy who was not even an Israelite went to the king and said, this isn’t right. You’re gonna leave him down there and he’s gonna starve to death. The king said, take some men and get him out.

You know God saved that man’s life later. He was from some place in North Africa. Somehow he had more faith in God than most of the Israelites. And God absolutely saw that and said…He had a prophecy through Jeremiah and said, this city is gonna fall, but I’m gonna save your life.

I’ll tell you, we’ve got a God who, no matter what happens in the circumstances of this world, He never loses track of His children. We are always in His hands, even in the hard things, even in the things that we can’t explain. God is always at work to help us and to set us free and to keep us safe for His eternal purpose. There’s nothing that can happen in this world that can destroy us. We know that.

And that’s what he said, “Struck down.…” Struck down! Do you ever try to do something and you get struck down? “…But not destroyed.” Praise God! “We always.…” This is a description of Paul’s life. “We always carry around in our body the death of Jesus…” Why? That’s kind of a hard way to live. Why would I want to carry around the death of Jesus? Wasn’t what He did for me good enough? No, we need it, too. We carry that around. There’s a sense in which the sentence that was passed upon him is passed upon this old man that we live with.

“We always carry around in our body the death of Jesus…” Why? “…So that the life of Jesus may also be revealed in our body.” That’s what God is after. Even Jesus didn’t live His own life. He gave over His earthly life so that His Father could live in Him. And what He does is call His Body, the church, to give over our earthly lives so that He can live in us in the world today, and express that glorious light that there is in the face of Jesus Christ.

“For we who are alive are always being given over to death for Jesus’ sake, so that his life may be revealed in our mortal body. So then, death is at work in us, but life is at work in you.” That’s a challenge to me, certainly. How do we affect the people around us? Think about that. It’s a sobering thought, isn’t it?

( congregational response ).

How do we affect the people around us that don’t know the Lord? How do we affect one another in the Body of Christ? What is it that they experience from us? Is it just us, being annoyed with them, being impatient? Well, that’s certainly high on that list of all the things that we are so naturally prone to. Oh God, may He make us like Him. Oh, what a light God has given to us. But he did it and He did it in His mercy. But oh, may that light shine. May His light shine in this place. May those who, for whom He is going to command that light to shine in their hearts…Lord, may there be a light that can shine in their hearts.

Let’s pray that God will reach out, that God will absolutely bring us into contact with those He wants to reach. You know, it was one of the things expressed this morning that we’re not here just to come and have church…that we are meant to be a light in the world. May God enable us to do that and realize our lives are not just about us and doing our thing. It’s about serving Him and expressing Him in the world.

Man, we don’t have long. I’m not a date setter. I don’t know. It may be a 100 years, for all I know, but that’s not long. It might be next year. It might be tomorrow. I don’t know. We need to live as though that’s what we’re living for, and being ready regardless of whether the Lord has us here a while or whether He’s coming tomorrow. We need to be ready to serve Him.

But you sure can see the handwriting on the wall if you’re paying any attention at all. There’s a darkness that is gripping the minds of men, that is blinding them to God, that is absolutely strong delusion. It’s taking over more and more lives. It’s not just out in the secular humanist places, it’s in churches. It’s just absolutely…it’s a deception that’s taking over this world.

You see it in all the various ism’s that are rising up to oppose Christians. You know, we’re losing more and more battles in this country, as well. There is a persecution of Christians that’s happening right now, and we’re gonna need to have something on the inside that’s real.

( congregational response ).

And we have a God who is real, who’s greater than all of that. Jesus Christ…I don’t care what happens in the world, what He allows, He sits on a throne. And He, and He alone, will have the last word. Praise God!

( congregational amens ).

Praise the Lord!