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Rainbow Divider
MCM Broadcast

TV Broadcast #1113

What is God Looking For?
Part One

February 2, 2014

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Transcript of message from TV Broadcast 1113 -- taken from Closed Captioning Text

— Brother Phil Enlow: Praise God!

( congregational amens ).

Thank the Lord for His mercy and His presence. Why a God like He—like Him would come and be with people like us is a testament to His character and His love and His mercy. But, let me just read a scripture…I’ve had so many thoughts that have…and it’s just been trying to focus on what needs to be said, what the Lord wants to say, ‘cause I don’t want to stick my two cents in. The Lord will give me grace. But let’s turn to a familiar scripture at the end of Isaiah chapter 66, one that’s been used many times. And let me just read this and then we’ll see where the Lord wants to go with it.

And the Lord says this, “This is what the Lord says: Heaven is my throne, and the earth is my footstool. Where is the house you will build for me? Where will my resting place be? Has not my hand made all these things, and so they came into being? declares the Lord. This is the one I esteem: he who is humble and contrite in spirit, and trembles at my word.” (NIV).

You know, it never ceases to amaze me that whenever the Lord seems to emphasize something to me, and it almost sounds like a broken record at times, maybe but, it’s amazing to me how often that same message will come from many sources, and it’s a witness to me that God is trying to say some things to His people. I believe He’s trying to get His people ready for things that are coming.

Part of it is simply to be ready for the coming of the Lord. Did not the Lord say…it talks about the time of the Marriage Supper of the Lamb, that time has come, because what? His people have made themselves ready. There’s a preparation, there’s a readiness for the coming of the Lord that only He can engineer. That’s the thing that we need to realize.

But nonetheless, there is a part that we play of understanding what He is about and being on board with it, and cooperating with it…and God is gonna take us there. He’s gonna come for a church with[out] spot or wrinkle or blemish or any such thing. I have no power to make that happen, nor do you. But I believe His promise. I don’t know how He’s gonna do it, but I know He’s promised to do it, and I know it’s gonna happen.

But I see also that there will also be opportunities in the days to come. Every time a country, it seems, has run into really dark, difficult days, God has used the darkness and the difficulties to cause people to feel their need of Him. I mean, you can go round the world and through history, and you look at the things that Corrie ten Boom experienced in World War II, where all of a sudden, these women from so many places, some of them high society people, suddenly found themselves in a brutal Nazi prison camp, where all of their sense of security and self-sufficiency, and whatever else they thought they had was gone!

They needed God, and man, they just drank in the fellowship…and again, it didn’t matter whether they were Baptist or Presbyterian or anything, I believe God has a remnant of people. And I want to have a heart that’s open, that’s able to see beyond boundaries, that’s able to see brothers and sisters, and know that God can take care of walls and issues.

I believe when He comes, I don’t believe there’s gonna be walls among His people. And only He can do that. We can’t get together and say, hey let’s hash it out, let’s get together. No, God’s gonna have to break every wall down in us, first of all, and that’s where it starts.

But the thing that, I guess the central thought that has been in my heart the last few days especially is, “What is God looking for?” or “What is God looking for from us?” What does He want? Because evidently, what this prophecy addresses is, the spirit of man is looking to “do” something for God.

And is that not a pretty good description of religion? But yet it leaks over into our thinking and our lives. If I’m going to somehow do what God wants, it’s a matter of doing, it’s a matter of building, I’m gonna do something for God!

But I’ll tell you what, the needs that we’re gonna see in the days ahead, the real need in God’s Kingdom is not better programs, it’s not bigger churches, it’s not getting committees together and focus groups and coming with a strategy to get the job done, there’s a thousand and one ways that men have of doing something, using their own abilities, their own intelligence, their own initiative, their own zeal, and then hoping that somehow they can present that to God and it will be what He wants. There is none, there is no one else who can build His Kingdom, but Himself! But He’s looking for something from you, He’s looking for something from me. What is it?

( congregation inaudible ).

And that what He says here. It’s not a matter of activity. Activity will come! Understand that. There’s a place for doing. But unless it is something where God has shaped a vessel and empowered a vessel, and that vessel is doing…it’s really God doing something through the vessel, then that doing is in vain. But if God continues, and He is…if He does the work in us that is needed, we will be the kind of people that He can do whatever is appropriate at the time.

And I just…there’s a hunger that I sense and there’s a hunger that I sense as I listen to others giving this same message. God is seeking to bring us down to a humble, low place before Him, so that He can do…He can do what He wants to do! He’s got to strip some things from us before we can be of any use to Him. We are just gonna get in the way.

And I just praise God, I want to be…I want to get this. You know, it’s like I said. It probably sounds like a broken record, but there’s a reason that God keeps emphasizing this. We need it, folks. We are so full of ourselves that we don’t know it! Oh my! God’s not looking for somebody to build Him a house.

But you know, it’s an amazing thing. You know, there are people that God thinks a lot of? Think about what He’s saying there. God holds certain kinds of people in high esteem. That’s amazing! How God would look at any human being and say, “now there’s somebody I really think a lot of.”

What could it be? Could it be that we are just really full of zeal, and we’re gonna be righteous, we’re gonna do right…by God, we’re gonna…no! Is that what it is? “…He who is humble and contrite in spirit, and trembles at my word.”

Man, there is no place in God’s Kingdom for pride. And I certainly confess to you that I’m like you. I’m polluted with it. Boy, it rears its ugly head in so many ways. And God is so faithful—He is so faithful to bring me face to face with that. And this is not just sort of some experience you have. This has got to become our way of thinking and our way of understanding and living, that we understand who God is!

We sang about it this morning. This is an awesome God. This is a great God! This is Somebody that, if our eyes could suddenly be opened, we would, “oh yeah, now I get it.” We’d suddenly see ourselves in a different light, and we would be able to take that place and just say, all right Lord, You’re in charge. What You say goes. I’m gonna stop struggling against You. I’m gonna stop resisting You when You come to me. And you see the humility is, first of all, understanding who He is and who we are, and living with that.

But obviously, we’re pretty imperfect creatures, aren’t we? That’s something that has struck me many times as I’ve listened to different saints of God, people who have served the Lord for years and years, and come down to late in life, and you’d think, oh my God, they’ve got it handled by now. They have reached Beulah Land, and they are sailing above it all, and self is now dead, and they have arrived. And then you hear their testimony when somebody is really honest. And they say, oh my, this and that just rose up in me, and it was so ugly, and I just was so, “oh, how could that be?” Folks, while we’re in this flesh, self is going to try to raise its ugly head, and we’d just as well be honest about it.

And so, that’s what the second part of this is about. It’s somebody who’s contrite. How do you and I react when God brings us face to face with something about us that’s not really pretty? How do you react? “No, that’s not so!” You deny it. You rear up and say, I’m not like that at all. You don’t quite understand. It’s not quite as bad as you say.

We’re just trying to convince ourselves. How many times do we deny something that’s obvious to everybody else? But we’re walking in this nice little delusion about what we are and who we are. Oh my, there’s freedom in just letting go. Somehow the devil has some people convinced that they’ve got to be something in order for God to accept them.

The truth of the matter is, what are we? We’re nothing! We just need Him! He doesn’t set His love upon the people that raise themselves up and present themselves to God and say, here I am God, You’re lucky to get me. Oh, it’s the ones who come to the end and say, Lord, I’m nothing, but You love me. You did everything! Jesus went to the cross when I should have been the one to go there. I deserved it, Lord. I offer no excuses for what I am and for what I’m doing, but I’m coming to you because You’re the only One that has the power to fix the things that are wrong in me. I am helpless, oh God.

You see the attitude of contrition. It’s a spirit that says, that recognizes, oh God, I need You. There are so many examples in the scriptures of these things. One of them is Isaiah. I heard something and some of you heard it, too, recently that reminded me of the progression…think about…this is Isaiah, by the way, who’s writing these things. And there’s some interesting progressions in the words of Isaiah that I think are instructive, that give us an insight into our need and into ourselves.

And one of them is to compare chapters 5 and 6. Now God sent Isaiah to Israel in a time of great apostasy. The people were just rebelling and living in rebellion against God, serving foreign gods, living immoral lives, everything that could be wrong was wrong. And so, over and over again in chapter 5, he says, woe to the people who do this! Woe to them, woe to the others!

You know, it’s easy if you get a message like that to begin to see yourself as up here and them as down there…isn’t it? I’m up here with God, and man, we’re just giving them “what-for”! Woe to all you sinners down there!

And so, I sense that the Lord wanted to do something very special for Isaiah, because right on the heels of all of those “woes,” you come to chapter 6, and what happens? I saw the Lord, “…high and lifted up, and his train filled the temple.” (KJV).

And then what did he say? “Woe is me!” It’s not, woe is them anymore. He wasn’t thinking about all those people down there. Now he’s saying, oh God, now I understand. It isn’t just those rotten sinners down there. I’m in just as much need as they are. Woe is me!

God had to bring him to this realization of who God was. And in that light, he saw who he was. I pray that God will give us that revelation. It doesn’t usually come that way…where we have this grand experience, and we just turn on a dime, and we understand. But I’ll tell you, the principle is the same. God is going to reveal Himself, and He’s going to reveal ourselves in the light of who He is. Praise God!

But oh how wonderful it was because I can imagine…I don’t think I have to imagine very hard. My imagination doesn’t have to be very much to understand that Isaiah was in a place where, not only did he say, woe is me, but it was…my God, there’s nothing I can do about it! “…I am undone.” I’m helpless! The situation here is hopeless! I could never be at home in this place. It’s too pure. It’s too amazing. But God, at that very moment that he came to that realization, God did something about it! That’s the wonder of the Gospel!

( congregational response ).

It’s that though we are in such a place of need, we have a God who steps in, reveals the love in His character and in His heart by doing what is necessary to fix the situation! He said, “I am a man of unclean lips.” This was the man whom God had used in such a powerful way to proclaim God’s message…woe to this one, and all the things that he had said. And suddenly, “my lips are unclean!” But God sends an angel who takes a coal…where does he get it, by the way?

( congregation response ).

It was an altar. What’s an altar?

( congregational inaudible ).

It’s a place of sacrifice. Something had died there. And out of that environment, the altar, he takes a coal and he touches his lips and says, I’ve purged it. I’ve taken care of your sin. That’s what we need, folks. That is what’s available to everyone who comes to Him with that kind of a heart. Oh, praise God!

And so, then God was able to commission Him. You hear the conversation in heaven. “Whom shall I send, and who will go for us?” And he speaks up and says, “Here am I.…” I’m here Lord, send me. But you see, now he was equipped. He was a different man. He could give the message that needed to be given without being lifted up and feeling self-righteous and above everybody else!

It’s the same Isaiah that wrote the words we’re so familiar in chapter 57. And you think about this in the context of who said it. Now I understand God anointed it, but it came through the lips of this man whose lips had been cleansed. Verse 15, “For this is what the high and lofty One says.…” (NIV).

Did Isaiah know something about that? Oh my, he had seen the high and lofty One with his own eyes. He knew what kind of a God this was. “…He who lives forever, whose name is holy.” So what is it He says? “I live in a high and holy place, but also with him who is contrite and lowly in spirit, to revive the spirit of the lowly and to revive the heart of the contrite.” Praise God!

You know, you can almost imagine…it wouldn’t be hard to imagine that when God talks about us living in a humble-contrite-trembling-at-His-Word kind of state, that it’s almost a “oh my God, we’ve got to grovel 24 hours a day.” We’ve got to sit there and say, I’m nothing but a worm, and go through this pose.

Do you think that’s the way God wants His people to live? No! He dwells with this kind of people to do what? To revive! What is “to revive”? It’s to give life! God wants us to come to a place of joy and freedom that I need! Does anybody here need that in a greater measure? Yes! God longs to do that if we will get in the place that He esteems highly. God is going to be…God will absolutely breathe life and joy and freedom into our lives!

And what we’ll be free from is self! That awful tyranny of that nature we were born with that just wants its way relentlessly! We’ve got a God who’s able to deal with that. He’s able to help us.