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Rainbow Divider
MCM Broadcast

TV Broadcast #1102

The Battle is the Lord’s
Part One

November 17, 2013

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Transcript of message from TV Broadcast 1102 -- taken from Closed Captioning Text

— Brother Phil Enlow: Well, I don’t know, I’m just gonna begin by faith this morning. I don’t have any great icicles running up and down my spine, to say the least. Anybody else here have icicles running up and down your spine? Are you just in a place of exhilaration and everything is great and grand? No! I believe many of us are in battles and many times they’re just battles that you only know about. And, I believe the Lord wants to encourage me. I believe He wants to encourage every one of us to understand, to go forward with an understanding and with a greater faith that we’re able to push through instead of drawing back.

Turn, if you will, just as a starting point, to Joshua chapter 1, familiar scripture. But I believe there are many things in the scriptures that illustrate truths that the Lord would share with all of us, starting with me, as I say.

You know, the situation here is that the Israelites have been delivered from Egypt. They were brought out with tremendous, miraculous deliverance. The miracle of opening the Red Sea…they went to Mount Sinai and saw the whole mountain shaking and on fire with God’s presence. And they were given the Law, and they were…the whole nation was supported for 40 years in the wilderness. They wouldn’t have had to go 40 years if it hadn’t been for a generation that just didn’t believe God in spite of all this. But anyway, the time came when Moses himself passed off the scene and handed things off to Joshua.

And so it begins, “After the death of Moses the servant of the LORD, the LORD said to Joshua son of Nun…” (NIV). That’s N-U-N, his father. “...Moses’ aide: Moses my servant is dead. Now then, you and all these people, get ready to cross the Jordan River into the land I am about to give to them…” That’s not insignificant, is it? “…To the Israelites. I will give you every place where you set your foot, as I promised Moses. Your territory.…” And He gives the dimensions of the territory.

He says, “No one…” verse 5, “…will be able to stand up against you all the days of your life. As I was with Moses, so I will be with you; I will never leave you nor forsake you.” Does that sound familiar? That promise is repeated in the New Testament. I believe it applies to every child of God. He’s promised never to leave us, never to forsake us.

“Be strong and courageous, because you will lead these people to inherit the land I swore to their forefathers to give them. Be strong and very courageous. Be careful to obey all the law my servant Moses gave you; do not turn from it to the right or to the left, that you may be successful wherever you go.”

So they were responsible for the truth that God had given them. We know that all of that, and the giving of the Law was only meant to be a preparatory thing. It was a transition. It was part of the grand plan to get a people ready so that when Christ came, they had an understanding that would have, should have enabled them to recognize and receive Him. And it did for those who had eyes to see and ears to hear.

But anyway, it says, “Then you will be prosperous and successful. Have I not commanded you? Be strong and courageous. Do not be terrified; do not be discouraged, for the LORD your God will be with you wherever you go.” Over and over again, you get the same thing. Don’t be dismayed. Don’t be terrified. Don’t be afraid. Do you suppose there was a reason for that?

( congregational response ).

Yeah! The Lord knew that they were going to be in many situations that looked totally hopeless. And they were going to be called to, nonetheless, do what God had given them to do, and respond in faith, and go forward anyway. Now is anybody in a place like that right now where you’re looking at something that has a strong tendency to cause you to be dismayed? I see smiles and nods and waving hands, and yeah, I would go like this too. Yeah.

You know, I really believe with all my heart, it is the very nature of things that it is that way. And there’s something about us that thinks it shouldn’t be…that we should just simply be able to waltz through to heaven, to simply proof-text the devil away, whenever he comes…just haul out a scripture and poof…

( snapping fingers ).

…He’s just gone like there’s no real opposition, everything is straightforward and easy, every battle takes five minutes. But you know as well as I do, it isn’t that way. And, sometimes it is. Sometimes God just moves in and there’s a…we’re able to speak a word and we see the devil just turn-tail and run. Well, thank God! That’s appropriate. But to suppose that that, therefore, is a principle, a formula by which we should just take that and apply it to every situation, everything, and oh God, if it doesn’t happen, something’s wrong.

But there are many, many kinds of battles that we fight in many kinds of situations. And if you will look ahead into the actual historical record of the conquest of the land, you will notice that it wasn’t a one or two-day affair. This was something that took years, and there were many battles they drew back from and wound up compromising and not fighting. So I’ll tell you what, the Lord was not blowing smoke when He told…when He warned Joshua about the danger of being dismayed, basically looking at a situation and saying, that’s impossible, I give up.

And I believe with all my heart, God is wanting to encourage us to look things in the eye and not give up, and to be able to move forward. Now, you know how the Lord began to deal with them and prepare them. There was the revelation of…well they crossed the Jordan River, and they did that supernaturally. God absolutely dried it up. All they had to do…the priests, acting in faith and on the Lord’s instruction now, they didn’t just presumptuously do this. The Lord told them to do it. Put their foot in the water, and as soon as they did the waters parted, they stopped upstream and dried up, and everybody walked through on dry land.

Of course, that had quite an effect upon the people of the land who were aware of this. They said, oh Lord, we are in trouble now! But anyway, the Lord brought them through, and just began to prepare them. They had to reinstitute parts of the covenant that they had not observed during the wilderness wanderings.

And then, you remember how at the end of chapter 5, Joshua is drawing near to Jericho. That was the first battle. That was the city that was nearest where they crossed. And, “…He looked up and saw a man…” verse 13, “…standing in front of him with a drawn sword in his hand. Joshua went up to him and asked, are you for us or for our enemies?”

Well, I think it’s pretty obvious from the context and the way he reacted that he understood this was not an ordinary man. This was someone who was supernatural. And therefore, it was a pretty important thing. Hey, are you for them or for us? And of course, the answer was I’m not for either of you. I’m here on behalf of the Lord. I’m the Commander of the Lord’s army.

You know, we had a message about that a while ago. I’m here to fight His battle. And I’ll tell you, I believe that is not a small part of what God would have us to realize. We think of battles that we fight as though they are our battles and God is standing off to the side, shouting encouragement to us to be sure, but basically saying, this is your battle, you fight it, when the truth of the matter is, though we have a part to play in battles that are fought relative to the kingdom of God, ultimately it is the Lord’s battle.

( congregational response ).

You see, this was basically…you go back into their history, this was a…Abraham lived among heathens. But God had a purpose for his life, didn’t he? He called him out of heathen darkness, made Himself known, brought forth this nation, most of whom remained heathen in their understanding. They did not have any faith. They didn’t have a clue. This was God’s initiative, in other words. This was God intervening among the families of lost inhabitants of the earth, in order to bring forth a supernatural, eternal purpose to reach a people for Himself.

And so…at this point in history, this was part of it. And so, Joshua, of course, bowed down, he took off his shoes because he realized he was on Holy ground. And he bowed down and he began to take orders. He realized, hey, I’m not on my own. God’s just not saying, go do it, He’s saying, I’m on the scene here. And I’m fighting, and yes, it’s going to benefit you, but I’m fighting God’s battle. I’m taking my orders from Heaven. I’m not here to be your servant.

You know, a lot of people try to treat God that way. They’re looking at their life. There are things they’d like to see happen, and so they’re trying to figure out, what’s the formula? How can I get God to do what I want? How many of you think it’s that way?

( congregational response ).

We need to be bowing our feet and, our head, rather. We need to be humbling ourselves and saying, God, I want to be part of what You want. Lord, it doesn’t matter what I think and what I want. I need to lay all of that, just as Jesus laid down His life, as was mentioned this morning. I need to lay my life down and say, oh God, You’re in charge. I want Your purpose. I want to fit in with Your plan. Oh God, just open it up and give me the understanding that I need. But Lord, I’m not here to get You to be my servant. I’m here to bow down to You and be Your servant.

( congregational amens ).

And I’ll tell you, if we’ll do that, we’re gonna see God work because, again, this is God’s initiative. Praise God! And of course, you saw what happened…that God gave them the rather unusual, to say the least, instructions about how to defeat the enemy there, and they did. And the walls fell, and they took the city, and, of course, there was great rejoicing.

God continued to give them instructions, and one of them was, don’t take any of the stuff. All that nice stuff you see there, don’t take it for yourself. And of course, somebody did. But what happened? The second battle, they look at this little city…I can’t even remember what it was. I haven’t read this. But anyway, it was Ai, I guess. That was the next little city on the agenda. And you know, in the throes of that great victory, I don’t even get the sense that Joshua went to the Lord and said, okay Lord, what’s next? He looked at the city and said, well, that’s gonna be easy. Anybody ever been in that position?

( congregational response ).

How does that work out for you? Not very good. I’ll tell you what, we always…here’s the situation we get into, and I read something yesterday that encouraged me. It amazes me and blesses me how many times the Lord will be dealing with me in a certain area of need, and truth, and whatever, and it comes from everywhere. I mean, I’ve had things that were said in the prayer meeting the other night, things that were said this morning, things that come into my hand that I’ve read that just…boy, it’s like the Lord’s trying to slap me upside the head and say, hey, wake up. I’m trying to get this into your thick head so that you can move forward.

But I’ll tell you what, we do find…I mean, we do go through life thinking we can handle stuff. You know? We come up against problems and say, well, I can handle that. I can handle that. I can handle that. And then something bad comes along, and say, oh God! I’m over my head! I can’t handle this one! Please help me! The truth of the matter is, we’re always over our head. We just don’t know it. The idea that we can handle stuff in a way that really fits in with God’s plans, that’s a bunch of junk!

Now I’m not…when I say that, I’m not talking about someone who has grown in the Lord and they’ve learned. And in the spirit of, Lord, I’m depending on you and I’m believing your promises and I’m exercising myself in faith, that’s one thing. But I’m talking about just…leave all that aside. God I’m gonna come when I need you. I’m gonna call upon you when I need you. But the rest of the time I’m just gonna kind of muddle through and handle problems myself, and handle issues, and my wisdom is good enough. My strength is good enough. No, it isn’t!

And I believe with all my heart, that’s one thing God is seeking to teach us. And one of the ways that He teaches us, of course in this instance, He taught them by causing them to fall prey to a very small bunch of people that ran out of the city, this tiny little city…ran out of the city and chased the Israelites, and killed a bunch of them. And of course, God had to deal with the sin, first of all, that had brought that about, but I believe also the presumption.

But I’ll tell you what, I see something in God allowing situations to get out of control, and to get to where they are obviously overwhelming. Now, one example, many examples in the Bible…one of them is Gideon. And you remember how the Midianites had, in Judges, had oppressed the Israelites and defeated them. God had allowed the enemy to overrun them because of the sins of the nation. And there they were, and it was time for deliverance. There were people beginning to cry out to God for deliverance, and God went up to…or an angel appeared to Gideon while he was minding his own business, and said, “…Thou mighty man of valor.” (KJV). And I know he looked around wondering where he was.

But anyway, you know the story about how God called him. God commissioned this man. Now that alone should tell us that it’s not based upon us and our ability. Folks, whatever God has called us to is a totally supernatural thing that has nothing to do with natural ability. And all we do, when we exercise natural ability, is get in God’s way. And the Lord has a way of teaching us that we need Him, and it’s only in Him that anything eternal can happen.

And so, of course, you remember how they sent out word to all Israel. God has appeared to Gideon. He wants to do something about the Midianites. And so…was it 32,000 gathered? I think it was. And the Lord said, it’s too many. Well, they already didn’t have as many as the enemy. What do You mean, it’s too many? But the Lord was wanting to teach them something. And so, everybody who’s scared go home.

Well, 22,000 went home. I mean, they came because they felt like they ought to, they had to. It was kind of a duty kind of thing. But you know, when it gets right down to it, I’m really not very confident here, so I’m going home. So they’re left with 10,000. Well, maybe we can do something. You know, maybe that’ll work.

But the Lord had a little test, didn’t He? And He said, go down to the brook, and tell them to drink water. He didn’t give them any instruction. But, there are two ways they drank water. Some of them were looking like, were doing like this. And others, they got right down to it. And three hundred lapped like dogs, didn’t they? And, I guess that would make 9700 that did it the other way.

And I’m sure, I’m positive, knowing human nature, that Gideon figured well, okay, we lose 300, that’ll be okay. But the Lord had a different idea. He said, take the 300. Now why did He do that? Who can tell me why the Lord brought it down to just 300?

( congregational response ).

Yeah. What was the lesson?

( congregational response ).

The lesson is that if you mounted a battle, and you’ve got your strategy, and you had a whole lot of people, you’d figure you did it! And the Lord wanted them to understand, you’re not the one who gives victory! I’m the one who gives victory! Even if you do have a big army, I’m the one who determines the outcome. And so, what I want you to do is just do what I tell you to do, but understand, big or little…I mean the little things we go through every day don’t matter! It’s God’s battle!