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Rainbow Divider
MCM Broadcast

TV Broadcast #1123

Standing Firm in the Faith

April 13, 2014

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Transcript of message from TV Broadcast 1123 -- taken from Closed Captioning Text

— Brother Phil Enlow: We resist, by nature, God’s light that would shine deep in our hearts. And oh, how God longs to pour in His grace and to see us surrender. But I mean, even the conviction to walk with God that way, even the conviction to say, God, my life is Yours! I’m not my own, I don’t belong to myself! That thing needs to be absolutely rock-solid, or the devil is gonna run rough-shod, and we’re gonna keep right on falling in the mud over the same issues.

And God needs to give us that sense of firmness, of ‘steadfastness,’ it says in the King James, where we’re gonna build, by God’s grace, we’re gonna build a stone wall, and we’re gonna be the same person, regardless.

Now, this applies to so many things. I just trust the Lord to help me to do it, to make sense of this. But you see it in a negative sense in Eve, don’t you? She knew what was right! When the devil asked her about the trees of the garden, she said the right thing. But somehow, at that particular moment, her conviction was not very strong, was it? And what she allowed the devil to do was to challenge the truthfulness of God’s Word, and to call His motivation into question, saying, He’s really not got your interest at heart! He’s got His own agenda! You would be better off to take this course than what He says!

And so she allowed the devil to reason with what God had said, and obviously you see what happened. She began to consider. She began to listen. It looked good. It’s good for food. It’s this, that and the other. And one thing led to another, and down she went. And down we all went, because Adam chose to follow her.

But you look at somebody else like Daniel, for example. You remember that occasion when some of the guys who were in government with Daniel became very jealous of him because he was…under the king, he was the top dog. He was the guy that the king looked to and honored and they tried like crazy to find something wrong with the guy. If we can just catch him doing something wrong, something illegal, then we’ll have him! Then we can bring him down. Well, they couldn’t find it, could they? Wouldn’t that be wonderful for someone to be able to say that about us?

( congregational response ).

Man, they are so solid, they are so consistent in living for God that I can’t find any ground to accuse them. It’s mighty quiet in here this morning.

( laughter ).

But this is real stuff, isn’t it?

( congregation inaudible ).

Well, I’ve been walking around with me is who I’ve been walking around with. Well, praise God! But Daniel…you remember what happened was, they finally got together and said, we’re not gonna get anywhere with trying to bring Daniel down unless we find some occasion that has to do with his belief in God. And so they tricked the king into this edict that nobody could pray to any God except the king for 30 days. And he signed it and there was some law that once something was signed, you couldn’t undo it. So a lion’s den was in Daniel’s future there.

But what did Daniel do? What would you have done? What would I have done, for that matter? You know, it would’ve been awfully easy to say, well, I really don’t have to make a show of this. You’d start weaseling and you’d start reasoning, and we start bringing our minds to bear on the situation, and the next thing you know, you’re rationalizing this and rationalizing that. And Daniel could have said, I just have to go in my secret chamber. I can pray and they won’t even know.

But what did he do? He went upstairs! He opened the window that faced Jerusalem, and he got in the window and he did exactly like he’d been doing! He prayed three times a day to the God that was connected with Jerusalem. It didn’t make a bit of difference to him. Next thing you know, he’s sleeping with the lions, and just having a wonderful night.

( laughter ).

But I’ll tell you, we have a God who can honor those who honor Him. But you see, that rock-solid, firm, I don’t care the circumstances, I’m gonna do what’s right. I’m gonna please God. I’m gonna serve him. This is not a small issue. It’s easy to come in here, and we get it, and we see it, and we profess it, and we say, isn’t that wonderful? But, this is not where we measure our lives. Our lives are what we are everywhere.

And, that’s what God is looking at. That’s what the world is looking at. That’s what the devil is looking at. And God is looking, not just for someone who agrees in principle with these things and says, yes, I want God’s will in my life, but, when the rubber meets the road they say, yes, Lord, I surrender that thing that my heart is just so…there’s such a hardness there. But, I’m willing to yield that hardness to Your will, because I see something that’s more important.

You know, you get down to where you want a mate, something that really matters to you in your life, that’s when this matters. How firm are we in standing against the things, the traps that the devil will lay, and he will lay traps. Young people, the devil has got more schemes to pull at you through this world than you have any power to imagine. But I’ll tell you, there’s a God who will honor you if you will honor Him if God can somehow establish this kind of a firmness and a conviction in our thinking to where it doesn’t matter who we’re with. It doesn’t matter where we’re at.

You think about the Hebrew children, another perfect example. The king came up with this grand big statue. I forget how tall it was. It was a huge thing. And man, they were all gonna…he got everybody out there to bow down to that thing, and they wouldn’t bow. And you know, he warned them and they wouldn’t bow. They didn’t really have any certainty as to what was gonna happen.

You know, many times that’s where we’re at. We don’t know what is gonna happen! As far as they knew, they were going to die. Is your faith such that you could stand there and take a bullet for Jesus if it came to that? It may come to that. It’s coming…I mean, that’s reality in many parts of the world right now. But that’s the kind of certainty God wants to infuse into our spiritual life, where His kingdom is so real that that’s what we live for, and it’s not just here in the assembly, it’s in every area of our lives.

God will honor a people like that. Look what He did for them. They stood there against the mightiest…in the face of the mightiest emperor on the face of the earth. God had even put the beasts of the field in his hand. God had raised this man up. And here he was opposing them. And they said, we don’t know…our God is able to save us from the fire, we don’t know if He will. One thing we know, we aren’t gonna bow.

Well, you remember what happened. Of course, he heated the furnace seven times hotter, and the guys who threw them in…he was so anxious to get them in there, that the guys who threw them in were killed. And all the fire did was to burn their bonds. They were tied up and thrown in, and the next thing you know there were four of them in there walking around free and no fire on them.

We have a great God, folks. We have a God who honors those who honor Him. Now, that doesn’t mean that everybody who honors Him gets to live in a situation like that, but I’ll tell you, they ‘get’ to live. If you understand what God has called us to, it’s either we get to glorify Him here or we get to glorify Him there. “For to me, to live is Christ and to die is gain,” Paul said.

Do you have that certitude in your heart, that firmness of purpose? Are you the same person out there as you are in here? Are the things that are wrong here, somehow right somewhere else? I’ll tell you, what’s wrong in the light is wrong in the darkness. What’s wrong when you’re with the Christian fellowship is still…what’s wrong there, is wrong when you’re alone sitting in front of your computer, or out with your friends, or out with people of the world. It’s still wrong.

God wants us to have convictions that don’t shift. We’re not called to be chameleons. We’re called to have such a revelation of who we are and who He is, that we don’t change with the weather. We don’t change our convictions. God help us. God help me, because, I have to look in the mirror and say, Lord, I need help. I’m not always the same person.

You know, what is wrong when we’re feeling strong is still wrong when we’re feeling tired, and got a little pity-party going. What’s wrong when we’re here with people we know, is still wrong when we’re in another city some place and nobody knows us. I appreciate all the nodding heads. I’m glad to get some agreement on this, but, this is real stuff. You see how the devil gets an advantage on so many of us. God help us to have that kind of…this is the difference between it being up here and it being down here. This is what controls what we are and what we do under all these other circumstances.

But somehow, we say, well, I’ve got it. I understand it. I get it. We think that’s enough and it isn’t. Oh God, give us the courage to stand up, because we are in a world that hates us. We’re in a world that mocks us. And it is our nature to want to be liked.

Oh, how good we are at bending and twisting and trying to be more concerned about being liked than we are…and it doesn’t mean we have to have a bad spirit, or be angry, or have any kind of a spirit other than the Spirit of Jesus. But I mean, we have to stand and we have to say, no, that’s not the person that I am. And it’s not because I’m better than anybody, it’s because Jesus is real. It’s because His salvation if real, and I want to serve and I want to honor him.

Oh I’ll tell you what, it makes a difference when there’s a real work of grace in a heart. This is not religion. I mean, religion is full of people who come in and put on a religious mask on Sunday that has nothing to do with what they are the rest of the week. That’s just straight out hypocrisy.

But I’ll tell you, real believers are still affected by this. That’s who Peter is writing to. We, everyone, are affected, and we are weakened, and we become vulnerable to the enemy to do damage in our lives where we don’t stand. And I’ll tell you, when my will, my pride is challenged, that’s where the rubber really meets the road, when God just continually puts His finger on something and I’m…

( straining ).

…No it’s not really like that! No, I can do this and I can fix it. How many of you have played those games? Yeah. When what we need to do is say, truth, Lord…because the real battle is, is God telling us the truth? If God’s Word is true, then it’s true and it’s true everywhere, all the time!

And this is where the devil attacks! He will attack somehow, the veracity, the truthfulness of God’s Word, or he’ll twist it as he did with Jesus. Jesus, himself, went through these very choices of taking another route that would be easier on his flesh, being tempted by the devil, and what He stood for was the truthfulness of God’s Word.

And that means the truthfulness of God’s Word about you and me and our need. We can’t come to God and say, I’m better than other people, I’m this, or I’m that. We are not, folks! We are sinners—hopeless, lost sinners! Without the grace of God, there’s not an ounce of goodness naturally in us! The only goodness we could possibly ever possess is Christ coming in, imparting His own life, and His own goodness.

Oh, what a glorious Gospel we have that reduces us all to the same level where we have a God who loves us in spite of the reality of our condition. But oh God, what a humbling thing it is to take that place and say, yes, Lord. Truth, Lord. I’m exactly what You say I am. I’m not gonna make any protest of my own innocence. I’m not gonna think that I’m smarter than You.

But we’ve all done that, when we reason it out, and we figure, no, it’s not quite like this. I can do it. I can figure, I can work it around, and think it a different way, and conceive of it a different way, and it’ll be okay. It’s what God says. It’s the truth. And I want to have grace to, not only get the process, but be able to stand up to all the efforts of the enemy to divert me from that, when he says, no, there’s another way, it’s not quite like God said. It’s exactly like He says.

Oh, what a glorious simplicity there is to this. I know there’s so many aspects of it, and I feel like I’m probably going to wind this up in a bit and I’m sure others will be able to contribute. But, you can really develop a lot of aspects. But, it’s a way of looking at life according to the truth of God’s Word.

But as God deals with us, there are going to be things that you are going to know in your heart that are wrong. It’s not because there’s a rule somewhere. You’re gonna know that God is not pleased with this. But that doesn’t change based on who you’re with, and where you’re at. As I said, what’s wrong in the light is wrong in the darkness. And God needs to give us that kind of a steadfast heart, when our commitment is based upon the Word of God and what He reveals to us.

But the wonderful thing about this is that it’s standing firm ‘in’ the faith! And, I guess I’ve already touched on one aspect of this. It means it’s based upon the Word of God! That’s one aspect of it, but it’s also standing firm, not in my own…the power of my own resolve, which I do not have. I might be able to muster something for a day or two, but I’m gonna fall flat. My resolve is going to dissolve, if I rely upon that.

But it’s faith…because right within this passage he said, God resists the proud, but does what? He gives grace to the humble! So, all I have to do is occupy that place where, Lord, I know that I’m the recipient of your mercy! I know that without your help I will absolutely fall. But, oh God, I gladly take that place of somebody who’s not smart enough to figure it out, who does not have the strength, does not have anything I can look to. But Lord, I do have One that I can look to and that’s You! And Your promise is true! You have promised that I will have the grace that I need to do what you called me to do.

Now the natural man hates this. He will not take that place of humbleness. But oh, what a blessed place it is. Oh, praise God! It lifts the burden from my shoulders and says, yes, I need to stand strong and firm, but I’m not standing by my own strength! As long as I am constantly pointed to Him, I’ve got all the strength that I need to stand. And so do you. Praise God! Praise God!

And so, of course, that word of encouragement there, he says, “…Because you know that your brothers throughout the world are undergoing the same kind of sufferings.” Now I know that nobody here has ever experienced the devil telling you that you’re the only one, everybody else is being blessed and you’re being singled out. Anybody here ever not had the devil tell you that? It’s a favorite tactic, but it’s a lie like everything else he says.

I’ll tell you, we have a God who is faithful to His Word, and all He’s looking for from us, is that we simply surrender to His Word and the process that it takes to make us over into creatures who can enjoy Him forever, who can enjoy the glory that He has prepared for us.

And that’s why he finishes with this tremendous promise. “And the God of all grace…” the God of all grace, “…who called you to his eternal glory…” That’s how we got on this road to start with. He invited us. He called us…in Christ! “…Eternal glory in Christ, after you have suffered a little while…” So here’s the process. There’s the road. “…Will himself restore you and make you strong, firm and steadfast.” So where do I get this quality from? If I look down deep and…

( straining ).

No, I just say, Lord, I’m not any of this. I don’t have anything to look to. I’m utterly weak! But what does the Scripture say about weakness? His strength is made perfect in weakness! If God puts you in a place that brings you to where you’re facing something and you feel utterly weak, God has done you a favor!

How many of you have ever experience that, and you know what I’m talking about? God has put you in a place and you say, oh God, here I am in this desperate place! I need help, and now You’ve made me weaker than usual! What’s going on? I don’t get it! You must be mad at me!

No, He says, “…My strength is made perfect in weakness.” (KJV). Oh! Well, that puts a different spin on it. Okay, Lord. Thank You! Thank You that I’m weak. Lord, I give my weakness to You. Then what happens? All of a sudden, somehow His strength just carries us through, without half the effort that you’d have to put forth if you were trying to do it. It’s a way of rest. It’s a way of joy. It’s a way of experiencing what He died to give us. Praise God! Folks, do we have an awesome salvation?

( congregational response ).

But oh, God looks for that steadfastness, that firmness of not wavering, not being one person under certain circumstances, and a different person under other circumstances. God wants us to be absolutely consistent 24/7. And He will supply everything that we have need of, in order to make that happen. I just praise Him this morning. I bless His name. Praise God!