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Rainbow Divider
MCM Broadcast

TV Broadcast #1105

The Hope of His Promise

December 8, 2013

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Transcript of message from TV Broadcast 1105 -- taken from Closed Captioning Text

— Brother Phil Enlow: God has a way of getting His job done in a way that brings glory and causes His name to be known! He allows things to become impossible so that we know that God, and God alone, was at work!

( congregational amens ).

Amen! That ought to give every one of us some confidence this morning to face our impossibilities and say, well, that’s only God setting up the deal here! He’s not the least bit dismayed by my circumstances. And so, of course, we know how the Lord opened the Red Sea and they went through on dry land. He dried it off pretty quick, didn’t He? And the Egyptians charged in after them, and that didn’t do them any good. They wound up being overthrown in the sea.

Over and over again, they were able to march on the land and overcome giants. And yet…as a whole, the nation was a bunch of idol-worshiping rebels. Boy, you get down into the passages of Isaiah…but don’t you see the goodness of God? You read the last part of Isaiah…he’s talking about, yeah, the things are bad, but he’s giving a word of encouragement to that faithful remnant, that remnant that He preserved.

Always there was a handful that were looking for that day! But you know, there wasn’t anything that remnant could do, but just stand fast and trust God, because that was not the time! God had a perfect time to do everything! There was a time when Isaiah 60 was fulfilled! Behold, darkness is upon the face of the earth…gross darkness upon the people! But arise, your light is come! The glory of the Lord will shine upon you. I’ll tell you, when the Lord was ready, when the time was right in the unfolding of the purpose of God, in the fullness of time, Jesus Christ came.

( congregational amens ).

And do you know there were people who were just in a state of readiness, in a state of expectancy when He came? Most of the people were just lost in their little lives, enmeshed in their religion. But God had a few people who were absolutely waiting, watching, expecting! I want to be one of those people, don’t you?

( congregational response ).

Regardless of whether I live in…what period of time in the unfolding of God’s purpose, I want to be one that says, God, I believe You. God, I look to You in the face of every impossibility. I mean, if you look abroad in religion today, there are churches that are just filled up with people excited about their religion! I’ll tell you, a lot of it would evaporate in a moment if there were real persecution that ever arose. So very much of that…I’m not gonna categorize, I’m not gonna generalize about everybody. Thank God, God’s got a people!

( congregational response ).

He does! But so much of what you see today is…the appeal is to people! The appeal is to natural instincts, natural desires! Come and be part of this, and God will bless you and make your life more successful, da-dah-da-dah-da-dah. It’s just a humanist kind of message.

But I’ll tell you, you preach the truth, you preach that men are lost, that they need a Savior, that they’re helpless to help themselves, that Jesus paid it all, that they’re gonna have to cast everything upon Him, believe His promise…give up their lives to serve Him and have the promise of one that will last forever. Man, it takes a miracle of God to open a heart to receive a seed like that and see it sprout and bring forth eternal life.

But there’s a God who is doing that! In the midst of all that we see, in the midst of the darkness that’s over-running our world, God is reaching His people! He will not miss a single one that He has foreknown from the foundation of the world! Are you one of those? Praise God! Boy, if you hear His voice, do like Abraham did. Believe it with all of your heart!

There are a lot of things in this, and I want to just hit some of them. One of them that jumped out at me as I was thinking about this was in verse 19. “Without weakening in his faith, he faced the fact….” (NIV). Now that’s quite a contrast because when we start facing facts, they become rather discouraging.

As I say, just looking abroad and seeing the lack of interest in so many in the real message of the Gospel. People don’t want it. They want something that will tickle their ears, and make them feel better, and just encourage them to live their life and do as they please, and think that they’re going to heaven. People don’t want the truth, so many of them. So what is the danger there? The danger is that people will begin to compromise in the name of ‘well, we’ll get them in and then we’ll make Christians out of them.’ Yeah, you will. God’s gonna do that!

( congregational amens ).

And He only does that by just preaching the Truth. Pray, trusting God to sow the seed of His Word in the hearts of people. Praise God! As I look out, I just see different ones that there hasn’t been any great explosive experience, but there’s people that have begun to drink in the Word, and you see the change in their heart and in their life. You see it taking root. You see it growing up. You see faith. That’s God’s work!

( congregational response ).

He’s the only one who can do it! It’s done on a schedule, His schedule, not ours! Man, we can’t have the magic altar call, and just push all the right buttons and get everybody who is lost saved. It doesn’t work that way. God has a time for everything. Just like he had a time for Isaac to be born. Exactly, the right time, God intervened in an impossible situation and a child was born! At just the right point in history, God intervened and a Savior was born! No devil in hell could stop that plan from unfolding, from Him opening that door of hope for every one of us.

But, the reality is, if we’re gonna really do business with God, He’s got to bring us face to face with our need. Folks, if you feel a need, you are incredibly blessed. There’s no other way to put it. It’s the folks who don’t…who think they’re okay, like the Pharisees in the New Testament. They were convinced that they were among the righteous. They didn’t need anything that Jesus had to offer. They were just fine, thank you very much. Don’t interfere with us. Don’t mess with us. We’re good. And they didn’t have any idea.

But Jesus went to the poor. He went to the hopeless. He went to people that were completely caught by the power of sin, who couldn’t do anything but say, help me, Lord. And He helped them. And He reached out in love and mercy, and the power of God was able to reach down and transform lives. Why? Because they felt a need…they faced it. They recognized, I am helpless, I cannot help myself. I need help that only God can give. Everything about my situation is impossible.

But you know, that’s not just for people who need what we call salvation. We use the term salvation as just like entering in the doorway where you’re born again. Salvation describes the whole deal! You and I need a whole big dose of salvation today! You might not realize it, but you do and I do! I need God to continue this work of changing and deliverance!

And, you know, the worst thing that I’ve got to overcome is not my circumstances, and they can get very discouraging at times. You see something that seems relentless and it won’t change, and no matter what you do, there it is every morning when you get up. That’s bad enough. But the other thing is much worse than that. It’s when I look in the mirror in the morning, and I see that I’m still here. And I realize some of the needs that God wants to shine His light on in my heart, they’re real! They’re there! They seem relentless, they seem impossible! And yet, I read the Word of God. What am I gonna believe?

And that’s the conflict that every one of us faces. What am I gonna believe? Am I gonna believe that my seeming impossibility really is impossible, or am I gonna believe in a God for whom nothing is impossible? That’s the fight of faith. Carl was talking about that this morning…that this business of faith is not just something that happens in a vacuum. This is a real warfare!

( congregational amens ).

There is a real adversary to faith. There are circumstances. That’s why it says in verse 18, “Against all hope, Abraham in hope believed and so became the father of many nations.” (NIV). Everything about your life, everything about this world will scream in your ear if you will listen, this is impossible! This ain’t gonna happen! You can say all you want to that when we’re there we’re gonna be like Him. It all seems very ethereal, very ‘okay, I believe that as a principle.’ I mean, I know what the Word says…that somehow, I don’t know how God could do such a thing. Do you know we serve a God who can do what it takes?

( congregational response ).

And the things that you and I are facing today that seem impossible, God is calling us to stand our ground, and to refuse to listen. But the other side of it is not to look for the magic button, but to stand in faith, just like Abraham did. There wasn’t anything that he could do except wait on God. God worked over time to do something in him.

And how many testimonies do we hear right among us where somebody has come through something difficult. We heard some this morning. They weren’t things that happened in five minutes, they were things that happened over a period of years, sometimes. And yet, God…the testimony is God was in this! He worked in me! He taught me! I came out stronger! I came out with a greater knowledge of God! He brought me through this and I’m better because I came through it.

I’ll tell you, we learn some of those…we experience some of that, and we know that we have a God that we can trust with all of our hearts, and know that His plan is right. That we’re not just part of something to get us muddling through this world, but it’s taking us to something that is eternal, where we are fellow-heirs, not just of Abraham, but of Christ.

Isn’t that what Paul said? We’re “…heirs of God, and joint-heirs with Christ.” (KJV). How could such a thing be for somebody like me? That’s the kind of a God that we serve. A God of such incredible love and mercy that He is able to reach down to people just like us.

I don’t know what it is in your life today, but I’ll tell you what, whatever it is that’s got you discouraged, we need to lift up our eyes. We need to remember the kind of a God that we have. When God fulfilled his promises to Abraham, he was not counting on any ability that Abraham possessed to fulfill his promise. It was a miracle. Praise God!

What was the old song that we use to sing when I was growing up? “It Took a Miracle.” Praise the Lord. An old John Peterson song. You don’t hear it so much anymore, but it’s a great and simple truth. “It took a miracle of love and grace.” Well, that’s what it takes for you and me today. It takes a miracle for us to stand and say in the face of…just how you fall into the mud again. Anyone know what I’m talking about?

( congregational response ).

How could I be here again? This must be impossible. I must not…and then the devil will pour all kinds of garbage in your ears. I wonder how many times Abraham, over the course of 25 years, you don’t think he had doubts? You don’t think he struggled? You don’t think there were things that assaulted his mind, and said, what in the world, you idiot? What are you doing here? How could you believe such junk? Look at your circumstances! Nothing like that could ever possibly happen.

But oh, I’ll tell you what, what changes everything is the fact that God is the author of every bit of this. And look what it says about God. Because, you look at the things that are impossible to us…look at verse, what is it, 17? It speaks about the God who gives life, to what?

( congregational response ),

To the dead. It doesn’t say well, He just heals the sick, He does this. You know, we could sort of say, well yeah, the doctors did that, or this, that or the other. I’ll tell you, this is a God who doesn’t need you to have any life. He can impart it. He is the author of life.

( congregational amens ).

And the kind of life we’re talking about here isn’t just life for here! This is life that can never die! It’s His own life that He shares with us. What an awesome thing. Oh, God. That’s what the passage here is about justification. It’s about how I can be righteous. And, of course, that’s something that He did because we couldn’t. He did everything that was necessary so that we could simply believe in His promise and be completely cleaned of every sin, so that He is now free to come and impart His life to us, and we can have a relationship with Him, in spite of the fact…in spite of what we are, in spite of all of our needs.

But oh, He doesn’t leave us right there, does He? He doesn’t leave us as little helpless newborns. He works with us every step of the way through every circumstance of life. He brings us face to face so that we, like Abraham, we face the facts. How many of you come to places in your spiritual life and you’re…there’s a real issue? It might be something that nobody else knows about, but you do. And you’re struggling. It’s getting mighty quiet in here.

( congregational response ).

There must be a few people that this applies to…and you struggle with it. You work, and you resolve, and you do every natural thing to try to change the situation, and you just…it never happens. It gets worse. It gets worse. Has God gone away and forgotten you?

( congregational response ).

No. The greatest thing He has to do for every one of us is to bring us down to a place where we throw up our hands and say, I give up. I cannot fix this. There’s nothing I can do, but Lord, lift my hands to You.

( congregational response ).

And acknowledge Your promise to me. It’s not based upon my being something, my measuring up. It’s based upon Your purpose for me, one that You conceived in Your heart from the foundation of the world. Praise God!

( congregational amens ).

Oh, and then we just let go, and let God do the job that only He can do. He can bring life out of the dead, from the dead. But look at the next thing. “…Calls things that are not as though they were.” (NIV). See, what God is dealing with is a creation. When He created the universe, what did He work with?

( congregational response ).

All He had to do was speak and galaxies happened. My God, this…think about the God that we’re dealing with here. It’s the same God that we have here today. This is a God who can speak and all those things, all that we see comes to pass, simply because He speaks. It wasn’t there before!

Are there things in your life that are utterly impossible? There’s no way, there are no resources, nothing...no way you can see how it can possibly happen? God doesn’t need any of that, any more than He needed something to be there to mold and make into a universe. He just speaks.

And when it’s time, don’t you worry, God is in the process of fulfilling every purpose He has declared for every one of us. Even though the process is time consuming, even though it’s painful, even though there are seasons we go through of discouragement, because we listen too much to the voice that says, there’s nothing that’s gonna happen. We have a God who doesn’t pay a bit of attention to that junk. He is God. He calls things which are not! They don’t have to exist for God to do something about it! He can bring them into being, if necessary. Praise God! Isn’t that a God that we can trust this morning, and have confidence in?

( congregational response ).

You know, it’s the big picture. When I look at the world today and the condition of the Christian church and I read the promises in the Word that say we’re gonna be…He’s gonna present a church without spot, wrinkle, or blemish, and His bride has made herself ready, I say, whoa! How do we get from here to there? Well, how did Abraham get from where he was to the fulfillment of that promise?

( congregational response ).

He just waited, and he trusted God, and he believed the promise in the face of every obstacle. Folks, that’s our job. It’s to stand fast and proclaim the promise that God has made to us, and to stand upon it in the face of the darkness that is over-running, and it’s oppressing our lives, and it’s over-running our world. God’s Word is true.

Just as those…that little rag tag bunch of believers that were waiting for the first coming of Christ, they continued day by day to look to God and say, God, I know You’re coming. I’m just waiting to see the fulfillment of the promises You made to our fathers in the Old Testament. I’m waiting for that.

And some of them were able to see it. Simeon and Anna are two that it mentions specifically. They were aged people that God had shown them that they were not gonna die until they saw it. Folks, I don’t know where we are on the scale of God’s program. God…Jesus can come this afternoon, as far as I’m concerned. If that’s His purpose, it’ll be right. It could be 500 years from now! I don’t know! That’s not my job. Our job is to serve Him faithfully, and to stand for His truth, and to look to Him to work in our lives, and to believe that he can and will change us into the image of His Son.

( congregational amens ).

And he will use every circumstance of our lives to break down the resistance of our old nature, and to cause that new nature that He has birthed within us to begin to come forth. He is able to do what He has promised. We have a mighty Savior who, “…is able to do exceeding abundantly above all that we ask or think.” (KJV).

You think of all the promises that we’ve got. My goodness! Why are we discouraged? But, we all are. We all struggle with this. I certainly do. I’m just like you. Man, I look in the mirror and, whew…Lord, I see this…I know what God has promised, and here I am. It seems like nothing…this is never gonna happen. Oh, God! And all of you can explain it to me, because you’ve all arrived here.

( laughter ) .

You’re in a position to just tell me, just do this. Push this button and everything will be grand. No. We’re just gonna have to stand fast in faith. We’re gonna have to do what Abraham did.

( congregational response ).

But as we do, we have a God who will unfold His plan. Everything will happen when it’s supposed to happen, in the way it’s supposed to happen. “He which hath begun a good work in you will perform it…” (KJV). How long?

( congregational response ).

“…Until the day of Jesus Christ.” And I’ll tell you, He’s got a day on His calendar. Don’t you know He’s looking forward to that day? Oh, and every one He can just present them to Himself in glory, finished products of His grace—His grace alone! And that’s because He’s found a people that will just let go and trust Him.

I don’t know where you are in your life, but I’ll tell you, feeling your need is a glorious thing, because we’ve got a God who’s not the least bit dismayed with your need, or mine. He just looks for us to believe His…to hear His voice, believe His promise, trust Him with our lives. Let go and let Him do the changing. He is a wonderful Savior. He is able to do all that’s necessary to do a complete job of saving us and presenting us in glory one day.

I just leave it with you, and just trust God to do what He’s gonna do with this. But I trust this is an encouragement to you. It certainly is to me, and I need one.

( congregational amens ).

You don’t realize how the devil works. You see somebody up here and you say, oh well, they’ve got it made. You know, Brother Thomas struggled with depression? How many of you know that? I can understand it. You spend and you expend a lot of energy giving out the Word of God, and then you sit back and the devil starts talking. It’s easy. We’re made of the same stuff you are.

But I’ll tell you what, we’ve got a God who is able. And we just need to encourage one another, and pray for one another, understand that we are all in the same boat, and we need each other. But we have Someone we can look too. We are never without a resource…who can do the impossible. If He can call things which are not as though they were, nothing is impossible with Him. Praise God! Praise the Lord!