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Rainbow Divider
MCM Broadcast

TV Broadcast #1092

A Man’s Life is Not His Own
Conclusion

September 8, 2013

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Transcript of message from TV Broadcast 1092 -- taken from Closed Captioning Text

— Brother Phil Enlow: In verse 4, he says, “For every living soul belongs to me....” Now we think of somebody who has come to a saving knowledge of the Lord Jesus Christ, they belong to Him and others don’t. Well, I’ll tell you, in the ultimate sense, every living soul belongs to God. You were made by Him. He owns you. He made you for a reason. The only question is, do men come to really understand that, and do they ever submit willingly to that and say, yes, I recognize that You own me, that You have the right to my life, and I willingly cooperate with You? I need a Savior, and I recognize Jesus Christ as the One You have given for me. He has met every need…every possible barrier to my fulfilling Your purpose has been met because of what He did. There’s nothing I can do but simply surrender and give my life to You. Folks, that’s the reality.

“I know, O LORD …” Jeremiah says, “… that a man’s life is not his own.” (NIV). But beyond that, there’s another sense in which, basically, Jeremiah is saying not only does God own everybody, but man lives with the illusion that he is in control, that he has the power to make his own way in the world!

And isn’t that the philosophy that you get preached? Be your own man! Do your own thing! Do something great! Achieve something great! You might do something that’s considered great in the eyes of men, but what’s gonna happen in the end? It’s gonna be nothing … it’s gonna come to nothing.

Oh God, open our eyes to see the way he saw, because this is not the kind of knowledge you get from a book. This is the kind of a knowledge that you acquire by a living relationship with God where He imparts His way of looking at things. God, I want to see things the way…I want to see me, first of all! It’s not just that I want to see everybody so I can point fingers. I want to look in the mirror and say, Lord, I’m not my own. It’s not for me to direct my steps.

I have no ability! It’s not just that I have no right, I don’t have the ability to make those kinds of choices! I am in such condition that if I simply respond to things that rise from me, I will go the wrong way every time! I am so unable to withstand the power of what comes from my nature and the whisperings of the devil, that I have no hope of making my way in this world! God, I need you!

( congregational response ).

So you see how this applies to everyone. Folks, if you’re here without the Lord, I pray God will open your eyes! He doesn’t tell us these things, ‘though you are evil’ and ‘it’s not in your constitution to be able to run your own life’ — He doesn’t tell us these things to drive us down and make us feel like dirt, as we’ve said. He does it so that we can see things as they really are, so that we can enter into the purpose, the wonderful, awesome purpose for which He called us in the beginning!

Oh folks, I praise Him! I praise Him for what He’s…for the hope that He’s given. What a revelation! Is this the revelation you really have? I mean, think about it. Look in the mirror. Do you live with this illusion that you have power to chart your own course and make your way in the world? And yeah, ‘I’m gonna acknowledge God’s principles but I’m the one that’s gonna carry them out’. Oh, God! That is self-righteous self-will! Oh, Lord, I don’t need a bunch of laws to tell me how to do better. I need Jesus!

( congregational response ).

I need a new heart. I need a new spirit. I need someone who can whisper in my ear as I go, “This is the way; walk in it.” I need someone who can teach me in a way that I can understand, because I’m pretty stupid. I’m not sure I’m any smarter than that little donkey that doesn’t know any better than to follow that carrot. I need a Savior.

But how do you see yourself? Is there something in you that just rises up against that and says, no, that’s not so? Oh, check up—check up, because this is reality. This is a man of God who came to realize, came to see himself in a different light than most people around him saw. He didn’t see himself as somebody who could just make his way in the world. “I know, O LORD, that a man’s life is not his own.”

These heathen kings that he prophesied about…man, they thought they were something. They were people set over kingdoms, and here’s a simple man of God who simply pronounces a word…it’s God’s power, it’s not his. But he becomes an instrument of God’s purpose and God’s Word! And because he says something, that man’s life, that man’s destiny is altered. And he thought so much of himself, he took his armies out, and he did this, and he did that. And God says, all right, it’s your time. Judgment is coming. And judgment came.

Oh God, open our eyes to see the real deal, because God has so much for those who can understand this. I don’t know any greater example in the scriptures than we have in the Lord Jesus, do you? I forget whether it was Carl or who was it, read the other night or referred to the scripture about His humiliation. Look at Philippians chapter 2 just for a minute. Let’s look at that…what it took and what He gave up to come down here to do for us.

Verse 5 says, “Your attitude should be the same as that of Christ Jesus: Who, being in very nature God, did not consider equality with God something to be grasped, but made himself nothing.…” Now, that’s interesting. I never really noticed that before. He made Himself man, and here it says that He made Himself nothing. Well, logically, what does that make us?

( congregational response ).

( laughing ).

But now, He has the power to make us something beyond our imagining. But I mean, let’s look at this thing from His point of view. “… Made himself nothing, taking the very nature of a servant, being made in human likeness. And being found in appearance as a man, he humbled himself….” He’s already a man. Now He’s gonna humble Himself beyond just being a man.

“…He humbled himself and became obedient….” Oh, we love words like ‘being obedient.’ That means I’m subjecting myself to the will of somebody else. I’m not in charge. I don’t get to make the choices and the decisions. Think about that. “…Became obedient to death—even death on a cross!” The worst possible death anyone could contrive.

“Therefore God exalted him….” Now, here is the other side of this. This is what happens when somebody truly comes to that place where God is allowed to be God, and we are who we are, and we give ourselves over into His will and His plan! “Therefore God exalted him to the highest place and gave him the name that is above every name, that at the name of Jesus every knee should bow, in heaven and on earth and under the earth, and every tongue confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father.”

And you think about some of the things that He said. I didn’t take time or have time to look some of these up. But, what did Jesus come down to do? His own will? No. He said, I didn’t come to do My will. I came to do, “… the will of him that sent me.” (KJV). And everything that He did, He said, “I can of mine own self do nothing.” I do what He shows me. When I speak, I speak the words He tells me to speak. I even say them the way He wants me to say them.

That’s a pretty high standard. God, help us. God, teach us to come to that place where we understand the relationship that we have, and not see it as a restrictive, ‘oh how terrible that is to not get to do what we want to do.’ Oh, how wonderful it is to be delivered from the things that would pull us into slavery and drive us to death if we follow that way! How wonderful it is that God would redeem us from that, and bring us into a place where we can be in harmony with the God of the universe who is love beyond our imagining.

A different way to look at it…but God, open our eyes to see, because He was our example of someone who absolutely saw things as they really were, and He came to give His life, to surrender. He didn’t do His own will. If the Son of God did not live His earthly life using His human powers of, ‘Father, tell me what to do, and I’ll make it happen.’ Oh no! That’s not how it is. You and I can’t make it happen. We need Christ in us.

( congregational response ).

We need to take that same humble place and let Him change us. Because every time, and particularly—particularly if we get religious … that’s worse in many ways than going out and being some kind of horrible sinner, as we would evaluate such things! Because then we can live with the illusion that we are righteous and we’re serving God, and we’re absolutely in the same condition the Pharisees were who were convinced of their own righteousness! And in their righteous indignation, they crucified the Son of God. How blind can you get?

It’s not a matter of God informing us of what He wants out of us, and then we’ll look at it and we’ll say, okay, I’ll do that. It’s a matter of saying, oh God, I can’t do that. There’s nothing in me. There’s nothing good about me. There’s nothing that’s capable of being what You want. Oh, just come and change me. I submit myself to You. I give myself to You.

Folks, that gets down to where you and I live, because we are still infected with this old nature. It’s still alive and kicking, and trying to pull on our strings, trying to lead us. God, help us to get to the place where we recognize our inability to lead ourselves, and we learn to give the issues of life into His hands. You know, I appreciate so much Mike and Kristen. I appreciate that, don’t you?

( congregational amens ).

Yeah. And we see plenty of examples of those who have really sought God’s will! God is honored by that! Let’s pray. Let’s stand with them. Let’s realize that you’ve got somebody who is laying an issue, and a very emotional issue, powerful pull involved in that kind of a thing, but they’re wanting God’s will in it. God is honored by that, and God can absolutely engineer what we can never! If we try to put our hands to it, it will come to ruin! It will come to sorrow. How many times have we heard the scripture about the one who walks in darkness and has no light? What’s he supposed to do?

( congregational response ).

“… Stay upon His God.” Put the issue in God’s hands. Understand that He cares. He knows. He loves. He’s wanting the very best for you and for me. And refuse to follow the pull of our nature to the point where we’re gonna say, all right God, I’ve waited long enough. Now we don’t say that. We just sort of try to make something happen … as though, well, God must be waiting on me.

Well you know, there’s a truth that sometimes we need to … we can’t sit back and do nothing. Because it says here, it’s not for man to direct his steps, but we’ve still got to step. See, there is a response upon us. There are times we need to be in motion in one sense and yet at every point sensitive to the Lord, to where He can direct our steps.

Do you remember what was the testimony concerning, was it Abraham’s servant went to get a wife for Isaac? “I being in the way, the Lord led me….” Well, he was already doing everything he knew to do, but his ear and his heart were tuned to God, saying, I need You to lead me! I’m depending on You! I’m doing what I know to do. I’m gonna take the steps that I do know to do, but I don’t want to get ahead of You. I don’t want to try to make something happen. I’m depending on You to lead me as I go.

That’s an awfully good posture for every one of us, because it isn’t just sleeping in an easy chair, and God picking us up and putting us different places. There is a walking with the Lord. There is a responding, step-by-step. Does He ever show you way down the road? No. But He’s faithful to show us the steps we need, as we need it.

You know, I heard a testimony, a fresh testimony of somebody that we were acquainted with a number of years ago, a young lady. And she’d just gone on to serve the Lord in different ways. And how over a period, I think this was not just months but maybe even years, of becoming acquainted with somebody. And independently, after a long period of time, beginning to pray…could this be the one? And not even bringing it up. Not just running around dating, let’s see…but just saying…in fact, not even in the same place as far as I know…just praying.

We’ve heard other testimonies like this, haven’t we? Somebody doesn’t even approach the person involved … just talks to God about it. You know, R.A.’s testimony has a lot of that in it. Now that happened a lot quicker, but in this case it took a long period of time. And it was just a bringing it before the Lord, and I think the day came when the man contacted the young lady, and I guess expressed in some way what he’d been praying about … and just, let’s pray. Let’s find out, could this be the Lord?

And so, of course, they ran right out and got married. No, they didn’t. They said, all right, let’s continue to pray. And months went by, and they’re just praying. And the young lady finally just had this sense, well, there is possibility here. Let’s just continue to look to God, and over a considerable period of time with a lot of prayer, God has brought it together. Now isn’t that the way it should be?

( congregational response ).

There should be such a freedom from being controlled by our nature that we can really trust God with these kinds of issues. If we’re not, the devil will control us! We are not constituted to do our own thing and have it work out right. How many here can testify to that? Yeah, you tried to make something happen, and it didn’t happen quite the way you thought it was gonna. You didn’t get the results you thought. Oh, we have such an awesome God who is willing, who loves us, who longs to direct our steps in ways that are full of joy. Praise God!

And so we have Jesus, of all people in all of history, who you could have said, well, this is somebody who really does have it in Him. Now, He really could just take the ball and run with it. But He didn’t, did He? He took the same place that you and I occupy.

That’s a pretty good testimony to human nature and what we’re really like. We were made to operate in total union and harmony with God for our highest good. God, bring us to that place in our lives. Issues that you and I face right now, give us that heart of trust that’s willing to say, God, I want Your will above mine. I need You to lead me. I need You to help me.

Oh God, I know. Do you know this? I pray that God will make it real to me, to all of us. I know, oh Lord. This is a conviction that God formed in him. “I know, O Lord, that a man’s life is not his own; it is not for man to direct his steps.” (NIV).

And so in the light of that understanding, he prays a simple thing, “Correct me, LORD, but only with justice…” Well, it says, “…not in your anger, lest you reduce me to nothing.” If you look at other translations, the word justice could be taken in the wrong sense there, because you and I don’t need justice, we need mercy.

But that’s not the sense in which he’s talking about here. There are other translations where it says, correct me, Lord, but do it gently. Lord, don’t unload on me, because I’d be nothing if You just really told me all the bad stuff all at once, and really kind of brought the hammer down. Lord, I recognize that my need, my place of need … I need You, Lord. But I need You to correct me because I don’t even know how to proceed. I need You to show me the things that I can’t even see about myself.

Anybody here, you know everything about yourself? You know all of your heart? No. Well, how are we gonna find out? Trying to search it out, trying to work our way, trying to ask somebody’s opinion? No! I need Him. And I need a humbleness that is willing to recognize that I don’t know.

You think of Solomon ascending to the throne as a young man, and his prayer was not for riches, or for glory, or for fame, or things the Lord did give him. He says, oh God, I’m a child. “I know not how to go out or come in.” (KJV). Lord, give me wisdom so that I can rule these people justly. Oh, God was pleased with a prayer like that.

It’s a good thing to come to God with an honesty of heart, instead of saying, oh God, I’ve been good. You owe me. We don’t say those words, but sometimes that’s our spirit. God doesn’t owe you a thing. He willingly gives mercy to those who occupy the humble place. But to be like Him and to say, oh Lord, I know that in me, my life is not my own. It’s not for me to direct my steps. But Lord, my place of ignorance is such that I need You to correct me, because I am so prone to just, like breathing, to act independently of You. I don’t want to do that. Lord, I need You to show me. I need You to correct me. Everybody loves to be corrected, don’t you?

( laughter ).

See how proud we are? You see what our nature really is like, how much we need Him? But I want to occupy that place where I say, Lord, correct me. But Lord, do it gently. Help me. And I believe the Lord is very, very willing to do that. He knows what we can take. He knows how to work. He knows how to bring us along. He’s so patient, so merciful to us. Oh, praise God! Correct me, Lord, but gently, “…not in your anger, lest You reduce me to nothing.” (NIV).

I don’t know where you’re at this morning, but I know we need the Lord, don’t we? You may be facing issues in your life. You may be pulled in a certain direction. You may be considering this or considering that. I hope you have this revelation.

If you don’t know the Lord, oh, you have no idea what He’s got for you. Think of the words of Jesus, “Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened.…” You know, what do you get when you’re like that donkey chasing the carrot? Does it ever satisfy? You never get there, do you? You never do scratch that itch, never do satisfy that longing that’s in there.

That’s what Jesus was appealing to…to somebody who gets to that place where they’ve run out of gas. They know there’s no answer in this world! They know, they come to understand, there’s nothing…I can’t fix it! I’m just broken, Lord. I need You. And I’m willing to come, not trying to bargain my way in, not trying to say, I’ll do better. You can’t. Just coming as a lost, helpless, broken sinner needing a Savior.

But then He says something else. It’s, “… Take my yoke upon you and learn from me.…” This is life. This is a way to live where we stay close to Him. We stay in tune with Him. We pray like Jeremiah prayed. We look to Him. And what is His promise? “… Learn from me, for I am gentle and humble in heart, and.…” What?

( congregational response ).

“… You will find rest for your souls.” Oh, what a place of blessing it is to be in His will, to know that He’s with you, and He’s leading you, and He’s helping you. Yes, you’re gonna be in perplexing places. Yes, you’re gonna be in difficult places. God’s gonna use those difficulties to shape you and me, to work in us those things that are needful.

But there is no greater place than just to humble ourselves and say, Lord, I want to be like You. I want to learn Your ways. I know that it’s just not in me to lead myself. I need You to lead me. Thank You for Your promise. Lord, I’m trusting in You. Praise God!