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Rainbow Divider
MCM Broadcast

TV Broadcast #1120

Standing by Sitting
Part One

March 23, 2014

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Transcript of message from TV Broadcast 1120 -- taken from Closed Captioning Text

— Brother Phil Enlow: My thoughts have been all over the map, with respect to this morning, but I think I’m going to just start with a very familiar scripture and just see where the Lord takes it. And that’s in Ephesians chapter 6.

You know, the thought that I had in that last service of the convention was the fact that God has given us some truth, He’s given us things that we can carry forward and move forward in our spiritual life. But we cannot expect to be unopposed, and we’re gonna have to learn how to take a stand and not backpedal every time we take a step.

You know, the tendency is sometimes to say, all right, Lord, I’m gonna go for it, and then the devil rares up in our face and we say, all right, maybe not, and we take a step back. But I don’t believe God wants us to ever take a step back in this sense. We need to have the same sense that Paul had in pressing forward. But there’s ways that we do that and there’s ways that God undergirds us and I believe He wants to prepare us for a lot of things that are coming on the earth. And I’ll just read some of these verses, for the moment.

Beginning in verse 10, “Finally, be strong in the Lord and in his mighty power. Put on the full armor of God so that you can take your stand against the devil’s schemes. For our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the powers of this dark world and against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly realms. Therefore put on the full armor of God, so that when the day of evil comes, you may be able to stand your ground, and after you have done everything, to stand.” (NIV).

And, the day of evil is one of the things that has jumped out at me because many times we rightly take this in a very personal level that we all have times in our lives that you could call this the day of evil, this is the time when Satan, particularly, gets up in our face and we’re opposed, circumstances are bad, this, that, and the other comes and we’re having to really battle. Just to keep forward, just to put one foot in front of the other, just to move forward, we’re having to battle and it’s an evil day.

But I think that, if you have any discernment at all and you know anything about the scriptures and the way history is trending, we can see greater and greater evil days coming, in a broad sense. And I believe God is going to have a people that will stand. And it’s been that way throughout history. This is not new in that sense, but I believe it’s going to be unprecedented in its scope.

We look at the events that are unfolding with incredible rapidity, that are just utterly changing our own society, just for example. And we look out at people and say, how can you be so blind as to just throw off every pretense that there is a God, and that He has a moral order to the universe? And you don’t get to make it up yourself as you go along. And that’s where we’ve come.

And you know, what is happening, and I think I’ve said this before, what is happening makes perfect sense. If there is no God, and if you and I are nothing but the accidental descendants of pond scum, if that’s true, then anything goes. If it feels good, do it. There’s no moral order, there’s no purpose to anything. But that’s not the way it is. There is a God!

( congregational amens ).

There is a God! And He rules and He reigns and He has a purpose. He made us! He made the world for a reason. And we know again, from the Word of God and from history that the reason people are in the condition they are in, is simply because they reject light. You don’t reject light without darkness coming upon you. Jesus said, “Walk while you have the light.”

There was a span of time when God made Himself known in a very special way to the people of Israel. But I’ll tell you, it was a last call, if you will, to the nation. When Jesus came, that was God’s last call to that nation! And there were those among that nation who heard that voice, and who listened, and who received it, and over the next decades, as the Word of God went out among the world, there were pockets of Jews in many places, and among them God did harvest a people. There were some that were His.

But the nation, as a whole, hardened their heart and they sank into a deep darkness that led to a terrible, terrible, terrible judgment. And are we not heading down the same road in our world today?

( congregational response ).

We know that we are. You know, I think I wrote in this last article something that I heard, and I have heard this ascribed to Billy Graham. I don’t know who said it first. I absolutely could swear that I heard David Wilkerson, one of the few times I’ve heard him in person, say this. But what he said was, if God does not judge America, He is going to have to resurrect Sodom and Gomorrah and apologize. And do we not see the same conditions unfolding here. I mean, you have even liberals who are all for all this stuff, exulting and just saying, oh, can you believe how far we’ve come in the last ten years or so? And it’s how far we’ve fallen.

( congregational amens ).

But I’ll tell you, this is going to be quite a time for God’s people. We’re gonna have to have the goods. We’re gonna have to know our God. We’re gonna have to be like the people that the Lord told Daniel about in Daniel 11. He enabled Daniel to foresee many things that would be happening to the nation over the coming centuries.

And one of those things was the rise of a terrible, wicked ruler. And we now know from history he was Antiochus Epiphanes. And he was a ruthless ruler of a kingdom just to the north of Israel, and he conquered them, he trampled them, but he also won a lot of people over by flattery. He knew what to say and who to say it to, in order to get his way, and absolutely destroyed and totally undid the priesthood.

Somebody came to him, and flattered him, and offered him money, and he overthrew the Aaronic priesthood and put in a family that…the priests that were there in Christ’s day, they had nothing to do with Aaron. They weren’t descended from him at all. This was all a political thing that had happened centuries before. But what did the scripture say about that? “…The people that do know their God…” (KJV).

( congregational response ).

“…Shall be strong…” and the King James says, “…do exploits.” And I think the NIV says they, “…will firmly resist him.” The reason there’s such difference in the translations is there are almost no Hebrew words there. You kind of have to fill in from the sense of what’s going on, what exactly it’s saying. But you get the point. People who really know their God, they’re not taken in by all of this. They’re able to stand their ground.

( congregational amens ).

And that’s what God is looking for. And even in that He says, many will fall. Many will stumble and fall, and they’ll be tried and all of that. But it’s to purify them! It’s to get them ready. And I see that coming in a greater and greater measure. And I see God’s mercy working in our lives right now, to build a people of conviction. People who know their God, people who know how and why they stand and are willing to stand upon the Word of God! Because there may well come a time, as I said many times, where you and I will have to take a bullet, or compromise! And I’ll tell you, I don’t have that kind of strength, do you? My God does!

( congregational amens ).

That’s what I need! That’s the One that I need, and I want to have what I need when the day comes. And I see a God of mercy who knows how to prepare His people. You think what He did for David. How many times we pointed out how God had a call upon that young man’s life? He didn’t know anything about it, his family certainly didn’t. Because when Samuel came…bring all your sons out, he didn’t even bother to bring David out. And David was the one God had laid His hand upon.

But there was David out doing what it was his job to do, taking care of the sheep, being faithful with what God had given him to do, and God said, you know something, the day is gonna come, he’s gonna have to have some confidence in me. And right now things are going a little bit too good. Anybody relate to this? I think I better send a bear out there. I think I better cause a bear to think about having some nice lamb chops.

( laughter ).

And so the bear comes out, and now David, who has just been sitting there singing psalms to God, has got a problem. He’s gonna have to do something about this, and God gave him the faith, somehow, to stand up to that bear and say, you cannot have my sheep. I’m not just some hired guy. These are my father’s sheep. He’s given me the responsibility, and I’m not gonna just stand here and let you have lunch.

And so God enabled him to stand up to that bear and then the Lord said, you know, that was great. I’m beginning to build some faith and some character in this guy. I think I better give him some more stuff, because he’s got a real challenge coming one of these days. And so, He sent a lion out. Same deal. This time, he grabbed that old lion by the beard and killed it. How many of you would like to do that?

( laughter ).

But somehow, God enabled him to know that he could do that, not because of who he was and the strength that he had, but because of his God. And so when the time came, of course, when Goliath showed up, David already had some real experience under his belt where he knew his God.

And he wasn’t looking at that as an earthly battle, was he? He didn’t see just a bunch of bad people out there, and oh, God, how are we gonna deal with this? And there’s a giant, and nobody’s a match for him. He said, wait a minute. This is not a human battle we’re fighting here. This is a people that the devil has stirred up, and he has sent them against, not just us, but our God! And we have a God who will fight for us if we will stand our ground and call upon His name, He will be with us in the battle, and we can win the victory! He said, it’s not our battle, the battle is the Lord’s!

( congregational amens ).

Praise God! God is wanting to build a people who know that, and we’re able to stand our ground and move forward. And of course, this is what Paul says here. He’s reminding us, and how many of you look at the news and you just…

( growling ).

…You want to go strangle somebody almost, straighten out the mess in Washington, straighten out the mess here, and the mess there. But the fact is, God is letting man have what he wants. I’ve said it before, we have been having a slow motion Communist revolution for decades now. We’re getting awful close to the endgame. But I’ll tell you, God is over all. God is over all, and He is going to be the hope of His people. Regardless of what the external circumstances are, He is absolutely on the throne!

( congregational response ).

And our battle is not with the politicians. There’s a power, there is a real kingdom, a real power that is behind all of that, pulling the strings! And you know, it really, in a sense, it doesn’t matter who gets in there because we are being herded. Do you know how you get cattle into a pen? Think about it. You get behind them, and you make them afraid of something, and you kind of get them pointed in the direction you want them to go, and you just keep steering them, and the next thing you know they’re in a funnel, and the next thing you know they’re in a pen and they can’t get out.

Well that’s exactly what is happening to the world. We are being herded like cattle. And, I just pray…I know God is going to be faithful to give us wisdom, to give us insight. But folks, if you’re just looking at the world on a natural scale, and thinking about I’m gonna have this career, I’m gonna do that, I’m gonna do the other, may God open your eyes to see what’s going on, and why we’re here, and where this is headed. Because we are getting down closer and closer to the day when it will be the evil day of evil days. But I’ll tell you, God is absolutely on the throne. He knows all about it and He’s able to help us.

“…Our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the powers of this dark world and against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly realms.” There is absolutely an organized kingdom that inspires, that manipulates. And I’ll tell you, when men say, God, I don’t want you, I reject you, we don’t want Christ, we don’t want anything. Do you see that in our society?

( congregational response ).

Yeah! They don’t want to even hear about Christ. They’re gonna be pushing us back inside the doors of our churches. Don’t you mention Him outside. And then they’ll be coming here and closing the doors before it’s all over. Just mark my words. I don’t know when all this is gonna happen, but I’ll tell you what, that’s the spirit that is driving this world. They don’t want to hear about God. They don’t want to hear about Christ. Don’t you dare say anything against…what to stand for, regardless of which issue you’re talking about.

But I’ll tell you what…but you know, we use this, as I say, a lot of times in a very personal sense. Now here is something else that I’ve really, as I was thinking about this, I thought back to something that I read, and it probably goes all the way back to high school. It’s amazing I can remember that far. But anyway, I read a book called, “Sit, Walk, Stand.” Anybody ever read that one? What it was was a compilation of messages that were preached by Watchman Nee.

Watchman Nee was a great Chinese Christian leader, apostle, in the first half of the 20th century, and the Communists finally had a fill of him when they took over, and they put him in prison. The last many years of his life he was in prison, died in 1972, as I recall. But, he didn’t do much writing himself but there were people who followed him and took voluminous notes, and out of those notes came that book, “Sit, Walk, Stand.”

And “Sit, Walk, Stand” was basically based on the book of Ephesians. And it unfolds the message in a very simple way. What a simple way to encapsulate the whole message, because here we are in chapter 6, and he’s talking about how we’ve got to stand. You look at chapter 4, up to this point, and it’s basically, this is how you walk. This is how you live as a Christian. This is what it means to be a Christian.

But all of that rests back upon the ‘sit’ part. And that goes back to the beginning of the Book, and the fact that we are seated with Him in heavenly places in Christ Jesus. It starts with a position. It doesn’t just dump a bunch of, all right, this is how I expect you to live. It gives us a real foundation for every bit of it.

And so, I want to just see if the Lord will help me. I don’t have this organized, as you can tell, and is usually the case. But I want us to see what he says here about standing, and about fighting, and about the armor, but see it in the context of the whole book, and the fact that he has absolutely laid a foundation for this so that we can stand. It’s not just that we wrap ourselves in a little bunch of cute armor that we got in Sunday school, this is real! This is real armor that will stand against the devil, that he has no answer for.

You remember, those of you who have read or seen renditions of “Pilgrims Progress.” There came a point in Christian’s journey where he went to a castle, and he spent some time there, and it was a time of teaching and resting and learning. But before he left there, they took him into a special room. It was an armory. And they had all this armor, and the King, who is the Lord, the King had provided all this armor for any of the pilgrims in order to help them, to prepare them so they could fight the battle as they walked along the pathway to the Celestial City. And so, he received all this wonderful armor, and was trained in how to use it and all of that.

But how did he get the armor? Did he earn it somehow? Did he have to make it, and did he have to go out to a forge and make his own? No! It was totally provided by the King. You and I, we have a King today.

( congregational amens ).

We have a King who has provided every single thing that you and I will ever need. When we struggle, when we sort of give way under the assault of the enemy, it’s not because we’re trusting in the armor that He has given us, it is because we get our eyes off of that, and we begin to see ourselves in a different way than God sees us.

And just go back to the beginning, a little bit, and just kind of skim through and look at some of the things that it says about us. Because folks, if we don’t see ourselves as God sees us, then we are thinking wrong and we are in a place of vulnerability. We see ourselves as down ‘under.’

How many times have you talked to somebody and they say, well, I’m doing fine under the circumstances. And, of course, the cute response to that is, well, we’re not supposed to be under the circumstances.

But you know, that’s true, isn’t it? You and I are gonna face a lot of circumstances in our lives. But God, who is sovereign, who never makes a mistake, never gives His children circumstances for the purpose of destroying them or discouraging them. Just like He gave David the lion and the bear, it was so David could win a victory. In other words, it wasn’t a bad thing, it was an opportunity to grow.

Any of you had any opportunities lately? Yeah, I’ve had plenty of them last night and this morning. Praise God! I don’t think the devil wanted this this morning. In fact, I know he didn’t. And it’s not because I can do anything. But I’ll tell you, there are simple truths that God wants us to know. Verse 3, “Praise be to the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who has blessed us…” Now what’s the verb tense of that?

( congregational response ).

It’s past tense. This isn’t something where maybe He’s gonna do this. This is, He’s done it! He has done it! Every point—at every point where we are facing the enemy, we are facing issues, we need to look back and realize God has already done everything that’s needed.

You know, like the song that Tim and the group sings…I’m fighting battles that You’ve told me You already won. Yeah, we all do that. But I’ll tell you, He has already, “…blessed us in the heavenly realms with…” What? “…Every spiritual blessing in Christ.” Every one! Not a thing is lacking in His provision for us.

Now what an awesome thing the next verse is. “For he chose us in him before the creation of the world to be holy and blameless in his sight.” Oh, do we see this thing as some unattainable, oh my God, I’m just nothing, I’m nobody, I’m nowhere? Or do we see something that God did?

Do you understand that God knew you before there was a star? Just let that sink in. God knew you! He chose you! He loves you! He didn’t do it because you were something! He just did it because it’s His nature to love. Oh, my! Does that change your perspective just a little? Think about it. Meditate on it.

Ask God…you know, this is something that I see a need in myself for God to make these things real, so that these are not just doctrines we teach. These are spiritual realities that we can pull out of our spiritual armor. We can pick up the sword and use it, because we know that God has absolutely given us His promise and His Word, and we rely upon it. And it works! And the devil has to give way because he knows it’s true!

( congregational amens ).

He chose me, “…in him before the creation of the world…” Oh, my! This is a great God! This is an awesome God! To be what? “…Holy and blameless in his sight.” Man, that’s not something I could ever be in myself. All I can do is just say, oh Lord, I surrender to Your power to do what You’ve purposed before the foundation of the world to do. Open my eyes to see what You’ve done for me and what You promised me. And to base all of my thinking and all of my hope on that, and not a bit on what I think I can do, or my faithfulness! Praise God.

“…Holy and blameless in his sight. In love he predestined…” You get that sense again, God has purposed something ahead of time. You think there’s a devil out there, on that most evil day of evil days, that can stop what God has predestined? Is there?

( congregational response ).

Say so! “Let the redeemed of the LORD say so…” (KJV). Is there a devil that can stop what God has said is going to happen?

( congregational response ).

No! Praise God! You’re awake!

( laughter ).

But we need to think that way. Not just here, but when we’re in the heat of battle, and the devil is discouraging us, and things don’t look good, and we don’t feel good. That’s when we need to rise up and say, wait a minute, devil. You’re painting a black picture that doesn’t make any sense. Here’s what God says.

You know, I was blessed by the prayer meeting the other night. We had a lot of wonderful testimonies, many of them. And one of them that blessed me and specially, I think, touched every one of us was such a simple one, Danny Downing. And I don’t know the words, I don’t remember all the words he said, but the essence of it was that he was…things weren’t looking good or feeling good. Is that about right? One day?

And he was struggling with it. And, don’t we all? We struggle to try to find God, and feel God and make…get the sense, okay, things are all right. And finally, he just quit struggling and said, wait a minute. Thank You, Lord! You’re right with me. You just start reckoning on the simple fact of what He’s promised. We don’t have to try to get Him to come. He’s here!

( congregational response ).

Now sometimes we don’t feel that. We don’t have the sense of that all the time, but He’s just as real! And you know, peace can come, and all of a sudden, things look quite a bit different. Danny, I’m right with you, brother. I go through the same thing, except I don’t always as readily do what you did. But I need to. Praise God!

Are we gonna reckon on what God says, or are we just gonna try to feel something, feel our way through life? You know, I’m not trying to say anything negative about what you said. I believe God can give us a sense of His presence and His reality. But it isn’t a feeling, as in emotion, that we always have. We don’t go through life with euphoria. There are a lot of tears. There are a lot of times when we have…but yet, there’s something deeper than all of that. And that’s a rest that’s all the way down in our soul that we know we’re in God’s hands, and He is with us.

( congregational response ).

And it’s gonna turn out all right because His hand is around us. We’re in Christ’s hand, and Christ is in the Father’s hand, and there ain’t no devil in Hell that can unwrap that!

( congregational amens ).

Praise God! “…He predestined us to be adopted as his sons through Jesus Christ, in accordance with his pleasure and will.” His pleasure! His pleasure and will, not based upon us! This is something He just longed to do because of His heart of love. To what? “…To the praise of his glorious grace…” This is that divine enablement that comes and makes all this possible. “…Which he has freely given us in the One he loves.”

Oh, man, is this out of our hands or not? This is something God did! This is the foundation for all of our doing and all of our standing. If we don’t get this, we’re gonna be struggling in our own strength to do something that…He’s already given us everything we need.

“In him we have redemption through his blood, the forgiveness of sins, in accordance with the riches of God’s grace that he lavished on us…” Doesn’t sound like He’s stingy at all, does it to you? “…He lavished on us with all wisdom and understanding.” He’s not missing a trick. You think He started out to do something and didn’t figure on something happening? Oh no! He’s got all the wisdom, all the understanding that anyone could ever need to make all this real, make it all happen.

“And he made known to us the mystery of his will according to his good pleasure, which he purposed in Christ, to be put into effect when the times will have reached their fulfillment…” Now think about this, in the context of history! God is looking…yes, there’s coming a day that is gonna be the evil day of evil days, but there’s something happening after that. There’s a climax! There’s a point in history when everything God has ever purposed, stuff that He planned before He ever made the first star, when all of that’s gonna come together and happen.