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Rainbow Divider
MCM Broadcast

TV Broadcast #1107

Our Need of His Presence

December 22, 2013

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Transcript of message from TV Broadcast 1107 -- taken from Closed Captioning Text

— Brother Phil Enlow: Oh, God! Help us to walk, even in the mundane things that we deal with every single day, and never leave His presence. He wants to be real when you’re doing the simplest things. When you’re doing the laundry, when you’re doing your homework, He wants to be there.

He wants to have a communion with…I mean, this is God we’re talking about…actually wants to have a relationship with you and with me! You talk about love in its out-working. Oh, that’s incredible! And we’re so quick to just dismiss Him and go off and do our things. Oh, what would it be like if we looked to Him, and if we sought Him, and we cried out to Him and we said, oh God, we can’t live without Your…without You being real to us!

Teach us Your ways, Lord. Oh God, help us to cultivate that sense of Your presence with us. You think it would make a difference? And yet, how often do we just come into the services, and we sort of expect to switch it on? It’s kind of quiet, but that’s the truth, isn’t it?

( congregational response ).

What the Lord wants is for every individual to cultivate a life with the Lord. This is a corporate thing, but it’s an individual thing, too…where God wants to be real to every individual. If we walked with Him, if we were partakers of His presence, and His life was real in us, and through us, and we came in here, do you think devils would hang around? Do you think the Lord could do what He wanted to do, and the things He wanted to do? Yeah, I do too.

He’s not limited a bit. We’re the ones who limit Him. We try to bring Him down, and make a religious form out of Him, and what He’s done, and how He’s done it. And, He just doesn’t pay a bit of attention to that. He doesn’t care how He did things before. He’s gonna do something fresh!

That’s one of the traps people fall into when they’re talking about seeking the Lord’s presence. They want a sign. They want a certain manifestation of that. And, what they’re really trusting in is the manifestation. Oh, if God is really present, I will feel a certain way. This or that will happen. I will have icicles running up and down my spine. This or that will happen. We’ll feel a certain way, and I’ll have power to raise the dead, and this or that.

We each have some kind of conception of that, don’t we? If God is real, this is what’s it’s gonna be like. We’ll be exhilarated. Well, all those things could happen! But you look at when God draws near…in the pages of scripture, it happens all kinds of different ways. He came to Moses in a burning bush!

Well, let’s not start a denomination about that. That was a one-off thing, but He did it. And He spoke to him, and He commissioned Him. And then all the things He did in Egypt, some of them were pretty spectacular. He had Aaron throw down his staff, and it turned into a snake. Well, that’s a sign of God’s presence and blessing! Well, it was then. That was what God wanted him to do. He just did what God said to do, and God made Himself known through that thing.

But you know, I talked about how He manifested His presence on Sinai. Shook a mountain! Thunder and lightning! Earthquake! Everything in the world that would just naturally terrify people and cause them just to be in awe of His power!

But how many of you remember what happened centuries late to a man named Elijah? Well, he went back to that same mountain, didn’t he? He said, things have gone-to-hell-in-a-hand-basket. I’m the only one left. God, kill me. Please take my life. I don’t want to live anymore.

That was one discouraged prophet. And so he went right back to Mt. Sinai! They call it the other name, Horeb. It was the same mountain. And there he said, here’s where it all began! I’m gonna go back, and this is where I’ve got to go to meet God, it looks like. Everything else has gone crazy.

And so he goes there, and what happens? There’s an earthquake! Well, I know that’s God! Shook the mountain! There was a rushing, mighty wind! Well, he didn’t know about Pentecost, but I mean…a rushing mighty wind! This was a much stronger wind than at Pentecost. This one tore the rocks. That’s a pretty strong wind. Oh, I know God’s in that.

And there was a fire. Oh, remember when Moses was here? This mountain was on fire! That’s got to be God! What happened? A still small voice…that’s how God made Himself known on that occasion.

I’ll tell you, I don’t want to tell God how to His job…but we do. We, everyone, have our expectations about how things are supposed to happen. You remember Naaman? Oh, he finally was persuaded to go to the prophet of Israel…it was Elisha, I think. And Elisha didn’t even come out.

The man had leprosy. A little Israeli maid of his had told him about the prophet. He went there with his entourage, and man, he presented himself at the door. This is an important man. Elisha didn’t even come out. He sent a servant. He said go dip in the Jordan seven times.

What was his reaction? He was mad! Who does that man think I am…treating somebody like that? Lord, I thought he’d come out and he’d stretch his hand over the place, and cleanse the leper. Oh God, deliver us from our expectations. Help us just to do the right thing, and have the right attitude of heart, and have a seeking, listening heart to where God can make Himself known to us however He pleases! He’s God. Every time we try to put Him in a box, He’ll do end run around. He doesn’t care about our boxes. He’s God!

( congregational amens ).

Anyway, fortunately, for Naaman’s sake, his servant had a little common sense and said, lord, if he’d told you to do some great thing, wouldn’t you have done it? How much more is it to just do the simple thing? And he humbled himself, and he did it. I want to have that kind of a heart that just says, Lord, I’m not gonna look at somebody else and try to model my experience on theirs. Now, nobody here has ever done that, right?

( laughter ).

Just about 100 percent of us. Oh, if God’s gonna be real to me, that’s the way it’s got to happen. Well, I fell into that trap one time, and I won’t go into all the particulars. But I was just really mad with God and disgusted because He hadn’t been real to me like He was, seemingly, to people around me. And He let me stew in my own juices for a few days until I finally humbled myself and said, all right, Lord, if You never give me a sign, I’m gonna believe in You and trust in You.

You know what happened? Peace! It wasn’t any great manifestation. It was just that something was different on the inside. The strife was gone. Anybody here ever been through something like that?

( congregational response ).

Yeah. God is gonna bring us to a place where we are willing to trust, and surrender, and obey Him, and believe Him without any pre-conditions. Lord, You’ve got to do it this way. You’ve got to fix my stuff. This is the manifestation that I’ve got to have. Let’s let God be God, and come and just meet with us.

But oh Lord, I just sense this thing whelming up in me at times. Oh God, we need You. Lord, we’re just like these people. We don’t know where to go. We don’t know what we’re gonna face, but we need the overshadowing of Your presence, God. We need You to show us the way to go. And we don’t need to worry about tomorrow. We just need to have Your presence here today, and do what You say today, and know that You’re gonna be with us tomorrow, and You’re gonna tell us what we need to know!

Oh, don’t you see this everywhere in the Word, how God has lead His people and been with them? It’s just wonderful how faithful He is. The secret place of the Most High, it’s a secret place, too. The world doesn’t know about this. They don’t even believe in it. But to actually be in a place, and be absolutely safe from anything the enemy might engineer. That doesn’t mean nothing bad will ever happen from the earthly standpoint. But it does mean that no purpose that Satan has engineered against God’s people can prosper.

( congregational amens ).

And you know how many times we’ve brought up the example of the Ten Boom sisters in World War II, “The Hiding Place.” You might look at that and know that they hid Jews from the Nazis, and you’d say, oh, that’s what “The Hiding Place” is about. No, that’s not what the hiding place was. The hiding place was being in the center of God’s will in the middle of hell, and they weren’t shy about calling it that. The horrific things they were called to live through, and it brought Betsy down to the end of her life.

But yet, God used her in a powerful way to reach people that could never have ever, ever been reached. They saw! What did they see? They saw Christ with her, in her, through her! There was a light that just shown out of her even in her death. Some of you have seen the movie, and it depicted what happened. And she died, just wasted away and died. And yet, when she died there was such a look of health and peace and joy on the face that she left behind, that it was just an incredible testimony to the nurse that had been taking care of her. I’ll tell you, they were in a ‘hiding place’ of all hiding places.

( congregational amens ).

If we will serve God, and make Him the center of our lives and trust Him, we can face the kind of world we live, and have a confidence that it’s gonna be okay. And we don’t have to stock-pile $500,000 worth of food somewhere. Praise God! If you do that, I’ll come around, and you can feed me.

( laughter ).

But you know what I’m saying. I don’t want to get so obsessed with that side of it, that I miss what God’s purpose is, because they were in an impossible situation, and God brought them out. And the fact that Corrie survived was a miracle. She was scheduled to be executed, and somehow the paper work got shuffled around, and next thing you know…here’s your release, and she walked out the gate, not quite knowing even how to face the world.

She didn’t even know how to hold a spoon and fork, things had been so terrible in there. It was like she had to learn all over again how to live as a civilized person. But God brought her out. And she went around the world as an old lady, ‘tramp for the Lord,’ she called herself…telling about how no matter how deep the hell is that we’re in here, God is deeper still.

( congregational amens ).

How faithful He was, and how faithful He had been. We have that same Lord here.

( congregational amens ).

Oh God, we can have all the doctrines we want. We can have all the impassioned, well-delivered sermons we want, but if we don’t have Jesus Christ here, resident in His people, expressing Himself, we have nothing! But if we have Him, we have everything! What else will distinguish us from anybody else on this planet, if it’s not the Lord and His presence with us? That’s the thing we need to prize above all else.

I just pray…like I say, you can go through scriptures, all the way through the Bible, you find them. Let me look at one that just confirms this. It’s in Isaiah chapter 4…one we know. In Isaiah chapter 4, the prophet was, on the one hand, talking about the horrible spiritual condition of the nation, and how judgment was coming to those who were religious, kept up the form but in reality, their hearts were completely away from God, and things weren’t gonna be good.

But then again, in verse 2, there is a promise of what was to come, and it came through Christ, didn’t it? So this applies to us. This isn’t just something that was for them way back then. This was looking forward. This was pointing God’s people to what Jesus was gonna be doing! And he couched the language in language that they knew out of their history and their heritage would have been meaningful to them. “In that day the Branch of the Lord…” (NIV). Well, who’s that?

( congregational response ).

That’s Christ. It grows right straight out of His life. “In that day the Branch of the Lord will be beautiful and glorious, and the fruit of the land will be the pride and glory of the survivors of Israel.” So it’s not everybody. These are the ones…these are the true children of Abraham. But of course, we know that isn’t limited to natural Jews, is it? Praise God.

“Those who are left in Zion, who remain in Jerusalem, will be called holy…” There’s a separation. There is a uniqueness to which God has called us! We’re not called to be part of the world or like it! We’re not called to find the most successful church out there and imitate it! We’re called to seek God, for His presence, and Him to come and to work, and to change hearts and change lives! That’s the only way anything eternal is gonna happen. But I’ll tell you, it will as He’s present.

“Called holy…” separated to the Lord. It’s not a list of do’s and don’ts, so much as it is a condition of our spirit where we belong to the Lord and it’s no question about it. Every devil in hell knows that one belongs to Him. Praise God!

“…All who are recorded among the living in Jerusalem.” God has a record, doesn’t He? God’s got names written down in Heaven. I’m glad He does. Now, how does the cleansing that is necessary happen? It says, “The Lord will wash away the filth of the women of Zion; he will cleanse the bloodstains from Jerusalem…” Is there anything in your life that needs a little cleaning? Do we need some house cleaning? Do we need some deliverance and some cleaning?

( congregational response ).

Well, we got a Lord that’s pretty good at that. He’s able to do what you and I cannot do for ourselves. What we can do is present ourselves and agree with Him, humble ourselves in His mighty hand, but He’s gonna wash it away, “…by a spirit of judgment and a spirit of fire.”

God’s gonna institute in our lives those things that will deliver us. They’ll burn up the things that we trust in in ourselves so that what we’ll be left with is Christ. Man…who am I to be up here saying these things? I need it as much as you do. We need Him. God, deliver us. But oh, what a result.

“Then the Lord will create over all of Mount Zion and over those who assemble there a cloud of smoke by day and a glow of flaming fire by night…” What’s that?

( congregational response ).

It’s His presence. I’ll tell you, when God cleans up His people, the more we get like Him, the more we get free, the more His presence is going to be able to be there. Praise God! That was the problem with the Israelites. God had to kind of dwell outside the camp or dwell here, because there was a bunch of rebels. He couldn’t dwell amongst a bunch of sinners.

But I’ll tell you, when we come to Christ, and we walk in the light as He is in the light, His blood cleanses…there is a…His blood is what has made us clean. He can live with us! Why? Because we’re perfect? Because we’ve earned it? No, because His blood has washed away the filth.

( congregational amens ).

We have a right to go into the very holiest place because of the blood of Jesus. He can actually dwell with people like us. Praise God! Look what happened after the day of Pentecost. Were those people any different than us?

( congregational response ),

No. But in God’s time and in His purpose, He met with them in such power and such presence that…man, they were in another realm, they were a different people, and everybody knew it. He made Himself known in miracles. He can do that, if that’s what He wants, or He can allow us to, “…walk through the valley of the shadow of death.” (KJV). But what did David say at that point? “I will fear no evil…” Why?

( congregational response ).

“…Thou art with me.” We have a Lord who can make His presence known and effective in our lives no matter what the circumstances are. And so it’s not my job to say, well, if Your presence is really with me this is how I’m gonna feel. This is what I’ve got to do. I’ve got to earn Your presence, Lord. Oh my God, we just need to come and believe His promises and seek Him. Don’t you think that if we seek Him, He’ll answer?

( congregational response ).

Is God reluctant about this? Is this something that He’s just doing grudgingly? Oh, I guess I’ve got to do it. I said I would, so…this is the longing of His heart. To know Him is what we were made for. This is not incidental to His plan and His purpose. This is His purpose is to have a people that He calls out.

He said, “…Come out from among them…” What did he say? “…Be ye separate, saith the Lord.” And I will be your God, and you will be My people. I mean, it’s everywhere in the Word, God’s call to His people to come. This has implications for you and for me right where we live right now.

I’ve said a couple of times in recent services, we are great spiritual technicians. We’ve got our religion down to believing this and doing that. And if we believe this and do that, then God will like us. In some vague…I know He’s out there somewhere, but this is what I’ve got to do so He’ll be happy with me.

Oh, God doesn’t want that kind of a relationship with anybody. That’s a bunch of legalism. We can’t earn our way into His good graces. He’s given that freely through His Son. We can take His promises, and we can believe them. We can seek Him. We can cry out to Him. We can praise Him. We can reach out and enjoy His presence whether we feel it or not.

And the interesting thing is that time in my life when I did get mad at God, and I just felt that sort of quiet peace. It was about two days later I think I had the most exhilarating spiritual experience that I’d ever had. I guess the Lord was just bearing witness.

Now I have no right to say, okay God, You did it there. If I will just gear myself up, then I can get to that again. No, that’s not the way it is. He did that then for that purpose. He might want to take me into a dark place and give me a peace in my heart and a rest that I can enjoy even there. He might do this. He might do that. He might manifest this way. We just absolutely cannot tell God what to do.

But I tell you, we can have a confidence in His promises that He loves you, that He’s made provision for you, and you, and you, and me. God wants us to simply trust, to believe Him in the worst of circumstances, in the best of circumstances, to just believe His promise.

Lord, I’m gonna seek You. I’m gonna draw near to You, Lord. I’m gonna do my part by faith. I can’t earn this, but You’ve told me to come. You’ve said, draw near to Me. Draw near to God. He’ll draw near to You. Well, Lord, I’m gonna do what I know to do. And I’m just gonna trust Your promise.

If You want to make Yourself known by making me feel all goose-bumpy, that’s fine. If You don’t, praise God! I’m not gonna go by that. That’s not my spiritual barometer. I’m not gonna look at circumstances and feelings and say, well, that’s the way I know. The devil’s in that kind of business. He can counterfeit anything God can do, but he cannot counterfeit the reality of God’s presence with His people.

And I’ll tell you, the more we experience of that, the more people are gonna see, not our doctrines…they’re not gonna be convinced by our sermons. They’re not gonna be convinced by our doctrines. They’re gonna be convinced because Jesus, they encounter Jesus, and He makes Himself known, and He confronts their heart with their need and His love. And it becomes about falling in love with Jesus and not about adopting a religion. That’s what God is looking for from His people.

And I’ll tell you, if we will do that, if we will look to Him going forward, God will be with us, and He will help us. He will take us to the other side. Praise God! There’re so many other things that could be said. I’m gonna give other people opportunity here.

I just had…I don’t know, I cannot get away from that sense, that that’s the greatest need we have. You can…we need to go by the Word. We need to learn the Word, and walk in accordance with the Word, but you know, you can almost make that a substitute for Jesus, if you’re not careful.

Now, Jesus is gonna take us to the Word and we’ll see Him in it. But the point of the Word is to establish a relationship to where we walk with Him. And He will take us and make this Word alive to us.

But you can take this almost and make a rule book out of it. That’s not what God wants. We need to be lifting up the Person, and falling in love with Him, and walking with Him. And every day becomes a new adventure, if you’ll see it that way for what it is.

I mean, what’s this devotional that so many are using? Isn’t that what it’s about? “Jesus Calling.” And it’s all about relationship. It’s all about living in His presence. That’s what God is looking for from His people in this hour. It’s always been that case, but my God, do we need it? Do we need to be one of those groups of people that’s really seeking Him, and wanting Him, that has light around it in the middle of the darkness of this world? That’s what I want.

I pray that everyone here that wants that, will just cry out to God, individually. And then come in here expecting God to be present. And yet, don’t measure that by what happened 45 years ago, or what happened someplace else, or this or that. Just say, Lord, we just need You. You come. You do it Your way. You do what’s right, now, for this occasion, for my need, for the needs of the people that are here. Just come. And we’ll be satisfied with Your presence. Praise God!