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Rainbow Divider
MCM Broadcast

TV Broadcast #1127

Why is Life So Hard?

May 11, 2014

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Transcript of message from TV Broadcast 1127 -- taken from Closed Captioning Text

— Brother Phil Enlow: Don’t we need this, folks?

( congregational response ).

Don’t you and I need this every single day? How is that we can read a Scripture where Jesus said, without me you can do…

— Congregation: Nothing.

— Brother Phil Enlow: And then we go out and we try to do stuff! And we wonder, what’s wrong? God, You’re not being fair to me. I don’t get this. Then we come back into church and we hear, “…without me ye can do nothing.” (KJV). And then we go out and we do the same thing, and round and around and around we go! You think maybe the Lord really, actually means that? Oh, Praise God! I believe with all my heart that He does.

As I say, you can grow from one end of Scripture to the other, and you’ll see saints of God, I mean, you think of Moses and how dire the situation got there in Egypt. He waited ‘til the oppression of Pharaoh was just so heavy. He sent a guy who had no self-confidence, gave him a stick, and said, go deliver My people. Does that kind of sound like maybe I need the Lord a little bit? Talk about ridiculously impossible! But, that’s how God did it. Man, He wanted them to get it.

Moses, at one time was over-run with self-confidence and zeal to get the job done, and God couldn’t use him that way. Do you think maybe that’s the reason God is doing some of the things in our lives? Because He knows that a lot of stuff we’re doing, man, ‘we’re’ doing it! In our own energy and in our own zeal, we’re trying to get God’s job done for Him! We’re trying to help Him out!

And He is relentlessly working to bring us to that place where, okay, ‘now, I’ll do it.’ Just trust Me. Wait on Me. Work with Me. Yield to Me. I know how to do it. I know when to do it. I know what to do, and you don’t. I’m not depending, the Lord is saying, on anything in you. It doesn’t matter how smart you are, and how strong, and how physically able, and all these things. That has nothing to do with it. I’m able. I just want somebody who’s ready to humble himself, come as they are, and trust Me, and I can do what needs doing.

Well, Moses struggled along and, of course, you remember the first time he goes back and demands, “…Let my people go…who is the Lord, that I should obey Him…” (NIV). And things got worse. Have you ever taken a stand for the Lord and it got worse?

( congregational response ).

Have you ever not taken a stand for the Lord and you not have it get worse?

( laughing ).

( laughter ).

Well, anyway, you know what I’m trying to say. Yeah, that’s kind of an indicator that the devil is getting a little upset and a little concerned. He’s kind of had you in a certain place, and now whoa, my place is threatened here. I’d better dig in and discourage them. Make them think they’re on the wrong track.

No, you’re not on the wrong track. That’s where we have to take our stand in Him and trust Him to absolutely fight the battle for us, because it is not our battle! You think about that relationship that He described where we are literally a part of Him? Does that not make it His battle? He’s not fighting for us! He’s fighting for Him! Because we’re part of Him!

He doesn’t see you and me as separate from Him. If you know Him, if His spirit dwells in you, you’re a part of Him. He is not gonna quit until you are as fully redeemed as He is…’til you and I stand there with the glory of God, and all of this stuff is behind us. Oh, Praise God! I can’t do that, can you? I need Him. But He is so faithful.

Well, of course, you know how that all played out. How God was absolutely, no matter what the devil mounted in the way of resistance, God overcame it until they finally said, get them out of here. I’m sick and tired…and this place is gonna be destroyed if we don’t get rid of these people.

Then he still mounted up the opposition! They still came to the Red Sea! Have you come to a Red Sea in your life and there’s no way back, no way forward? Well, what did the Lord say? Speak to my people that they go forward. But it’s wet!

( laughing ).

( laughter ).

It’s deep. I can’t do that. The Lord would be saying, in effect, I’m not depending on you. Will you trust Me? Will you obey Me? Will you believe Me? I’ll tell you, the God of heaven got such a name for Himself. Every caravan trader that went out across the world told the story, ‘Did you hear what the God of Israel did? Did you hear what they did to the Egyptians? He opened the Red Sea in front of them. They went through on dry land and when they got to the other side, the army followed, and every last soldier was drowned in that sea! Did you hear what He did?’ We’ve got a God who can glorify His name if we’ll believe Him, and trust Him, and quit trying to do it ourselves!

( congregational amens ).

And they got to the other side and they found out that there was a God who didn’t need their strength. Praise God!

Of course, David is the…all the examples we’ve used go right on down. David and how God brought him to such a place where he understood the battle. He got what was really going on. Everybody else saw things in human terms, and measured by human ability, and he understood, it’s not my battle, it’s God’s battle. The battle is the Lord’s.

And so he went forth in the name of the Lord. He didn’t go with a spear and all that kind of stuff. He said, God’s given me a little bit of ability here with this. I’m just gonna take it and use it. But I understand that that’s not really enough. That’s not where my strength is at. It’s my obeying God and trusting in Him, I’m gonna sling the stone and it’s up to God what He does with it, where it goes.

It took one stone, didn’t it? Oh my, we can accomplish more with one little stone, trusting God, than all the battle plans and strategies and struggles that we mount against the things that come our way. God longs for us to occupy that place of rest where we’re gonna see Him win some victories in us and on behalf of others. Oh, I just pray that God will bring us to that place.

Well, I know you all remember the story of Gideon and how many times we have told it. But Gideon…the Israelites got in a bad place and the Midianites were oppressing them, and finally He raised up this man who had no idea…

( laughing ).

…Who am I Lord? God deliberately picked somebody who had no self- confidence, and told him and proved Himself to him, and sent him out there. He sent the word out to gather the army and a whole bunch of people came. All right everybody who’s afraid go home. 10,000 were still left. And the Lord said, it’s too many.

Why would He do that? Why would the Lord look at an army of 10,000…would He not say, these are men who are not afraid? This is who I can use. These are My people. I’m gonna send them out and they’re gonna win the victory. Why did He not do that? Does anybody remember? There was a reason. It was because lest Israel say that ‘my own arm has won the victory.’

So he devised that test that took 10,000 soldiers down to 300. So it went from difficult to totally ridiculous. And when it got to the point where it was totally ridiculous in human terms, God gave them the victory. Their only job was to do what He said, and God did the rest. That’s what…isn’t that a lesson?

You know, Paul said in 1st Corinthians 10, that these things that were written aforetime were written for our learning. Well, he said something similar to it, anyway. They were our examples. Now they were negative examples that he was referring to there, but these are positive examples. God longs, by the example of His Son, by the example of these men of God, who had to trust Him when, by our understanding of that 1st Corinthians 10:13, God was not doing right. God was absolutely putting more on them than they could bear. Wasn’t He?

( congregational amens ).

You think about the three Hebrew children. Do you think God put more on them than they could bear?

( congregational response ).

I guess so. They didn’t know whether God was going to deliver them. We look back and we say, don’t worry, guys, Jesus is gonna show up. It’s gonna be okay. They didn’t know that. And so here they are, having to stand against the emperor and all of his people. They’re all angry that they won’t bow to the idol. Tie them up! Throw them into the furnace! They didn’t know, but they were willing to trust in God in a circumstance that put them way beyond human ability, and human strength. But God was faithful, wasn’t He?

( congregational response ).

God showed up with exactly what was needed and a testimony, a mighty testimony happened in their lives. And I’ll tell you, instead of the idol being lifted up, and the name of the emperor being lifted up, Nebuchadnezzar turned around and sent a proclamation to the ends of his empire. Did you hear about this God?

Oh, we have a God who can absolutely get His job done if we will just simply quit trying, and start trusting. I mean, isn’t that what salvation is about? When did you enter in? You, who know the Lord, when did you enter in? Did you try hard, and harder and harder and finally God let you in? No. It doesn’t happen that way. It happens when we come to the end of ourselves, and we get it. It’s not by trying, it’s by trusting.

But you know, every day we get up and we do the ordinary stuff of life. God means it to be the same way. But somehow, sometimes, he has to bring something into your life that truly is over your head. You will cope with it as long as you think you can. But then there comes a day and there comes a point where you say, all right Lord, I get it. This is way over my head. And then all of a sudden we step back.

Why didn’t we step back to begin with? You think maybe God would want us to learn in even the simple things of life, Lord, I’m trusting You? Lord, help us to come to that place of rest and trust a whole lot earlier than we do. Praise God!

Obviously you can go through the Scriptures and talk about Jehoshaphat and all the saints of old, and all the examples that we have of this principle. But I’ll tell you, I hope that we can, when we read this, “No temptation has seized you except what is common to man,” thank God, for that. We’re not unique, in that sense. “And God is faithful; he will not let you be tempted beyond what you can bear.”

But how? That’s the issue. When we read that, as I say, we read that based upon our resources! It has nothing to do with that. It means, that by His strength we can bear what He brings.

( congregational response ).

We can stand up under it. It’s, though I can do nothing in myself, in Him I can do…

( congregational response ).

…All things. All things are possible. “With man this is impossible, but with God all things are possible.” You get this everywhere in the Scriptures! But somehow, it so often does not get from here to here. And the struggles that you and I face every day would be a lot less stressful if we’d quit struggling, and quit striving to make something happen, and say Lord, it’s Your battle—it’s Your battle. Lord, you can give me the answer to the problem. You can give me strength, if it’s a matter of endurance. Often, it is. God is wanting to make Himself so real to you.

He is wanting to do for you what He did for Paul. He proved Himself faithful in an impossible situation. God…he didn’t just receive the sufferings of Christ, he received the comfort. He received the strength. He got something in his heart and in his life and in his spirit that gave him the ability and the confidence to share that with somebody else!

God is longing to share Himself with us in deeper ways, and I want to get out of His way. I want to hear His heart. You know, we don’t know half the stuff we think we know. We’ve come from religious backgrounds, and we come thinking we’ve got all the answers. I’ve got my religious background just like so many others. Some of you have been born and raised here, and you think you’ve got all the answers because of that.

Folks, we have Him. He is the answer! We need Him to lead us in every circumstance, in every situation. But He truly ‘is’ our strength! That’s the reason that no matter what comes, we can stand, because He is faithful.

As we’re pointed out so many times, it’s not always that He comes to deliver us ‘out of.’ Many times it’s so that…it’s the grace that He gives is so that we can bear it, so that we can continue to stand without it defeating us. It becomes a means of sharing life with others.

Again, you take someone like Joni Eareckson. God didn’t deliver her out of that circumstance. She is still living with it. Every morning she’s got to get up and deal with this life-long disability that has all kinds of stuff that has to go with it. She’s got to bear with that. So does her husband. But what life God has brought out of that!

( congregational amens ).

What amazing life God has brought out of that circumstance! How many people around the world have been blessed? How many places has she been able to go? To openly give her testimony in China, for example! What can they say? God has put her in a unique place to be able to lift up the name of Jesus, who gives her joy in the midst of a humanly impossible, difficult situation! He is faithful! But He is not putting you…He’s not testing you to see how strong you are. That’s how we take it. Okay, God, dish it out. I can take it.

( laughing ).

Get ready!

( laughing ).

You can’t.

( laughter ).

He loves you enough to take you through. And He’s not mad at you. He loves you enough to say, look, you don’t get it, you don’t understand My plan. You don’t understand how you were designed in the beginning. You were designed to be a reservoir of My life. When I am in you and I am energizing you, you will be…you will be somebody. It’s not for your glory, but you will be all that you can be.

Talk about ‘be all you can be’! This is the only way I know. You can try, in the energy of this world and by the principles of this world. Good luck to you! But, if you want to be all you can be, you need Jesus. You need Him in your heart and your life.

You know, I was thinking yesterday, I guess a lot of this came as a result of an old song, an old poem that came to my mind. And I just kept thinking about it, over and over and over again. And, you know, before the day was out I looked it up. I knew that it wasn’t going to be hard to find. It’s probably in our hymn book. But it was a poem by Annie Johnson Flint.

I don’t know how much you know about her life. She was born in New Jersey, I believe it was, in 1866. I didn’t remember all this. I just looked it up. And, when she was three years old her mother died giving birth to her sister. She was Annie Johnson at that time, and life became pretty difficult. She was farmed out by her father who apparently had his own issues, and couldn’t take care of them. That didn’t work out very well, and somebody took pity on the sisters, and they were adopted for a pretty good period of time by a family named Flint. That’s where the Flint came from. Annie Johnson Flint.

And so they grew up as Flints. They were really trained in a Godly way. I mean, they knew how to be resourceful, and how not to go into debt, and all the good principles of serving God, some of them practical, some of them spiritual. And God used that to form them, their characters.

And then, on up in their teen years they were orphaned again. Their adoptive parents died. One circumstance led to another, and it came to pass when she was still a pretty young woman, she began to have real health problems. I think it was some form of arthritis. Whatever it was, she began to be crippled, and just greatly hindered in her life.

And she went to this sanitarium somewhere where the doctors were supposed to be able to help her, and they finally had to tell her, you are going to be an invalid. That’s your lot. There is no medical answer for this. Your lot in life is to be an invalid. And it wasn’t just a matter of being an invalid, she was a painful invalid.

Somehow, in all of this, God began to work with her heart and make Himself real to her. And from her pain-filled hands came some tremendous poems. Many of them have become hymns. And, you know, over time her work began to spread. She published articles and poems that became a source of help and strength to people everywhere. It became a source of income to her.

You know…there are a whole lot of ideas in Christendom. We really want to bring God down to a formula and a manual, and some people have this idea that…some good people have the idea that healing is in the atonement. What they mean by that, is that we have, as Christians, as much right to health as we do to forgiveness of sins. Well, I want to tell you, that’s a false doctrine. Now the other ditch is just as false, that God doesn’t heal. But I’ll tell you, God has an individual plan and a purpose for each life. There are people that he will heal dramatically for His glory! Praise God! He does it!

( congregational amens ).

He gives the faith, and He gives the witness, and the knowledge of what to do, if we’ll look to Him! But there’s no manual. You don’t say, I’m sick therefore…this is what I do, push this button. Doctrines like that have brought people into all kinds of bondage, because how come they got healed and I didn’t? Something is wrong with me.

Well, some well-meaning people came around and tried to pitch that to her, just like they did to Joni, by the way, and no doubt to Amy Carmichael, and other who were in similar situations. And, of course, she took it to the Lord and prayed, and just looked to God, and she came to the conviction that really wasn’t the case. It’s true, God can do that if that’s His purpose and His will. But He had a particular course of life for her, and out of that suffering, out of all that she went through, she came into a deep relationship with God. And she discovered that His grace was enough.

How many people since have derived help, and strength, and faith because she stood her ground and said, God is faithful! I will not get bitter at my lot in life! I will trust Him! His grace is sufficient! And when she would read a Scripture like this, it was not, God knows how much strength I have, and He won’t push it beyond! No! It was that God will give me everything I need. Whatever he puts, He will, with it, give me what is needed.

The words that just kept coming to my mind came from this hymn that we all have probably sung or heard at one time or other. “He giveth more grace as our burdens grow greater.” Now just stop there for a second. Let’s set this in the light of the way we read that other Scripture. This is burdens growing greater…what’s the answer? Well, He hasn’t reached the end of my strength yet. No. This is God sending burdens, allowing burdens, but, always measuring the grace based upon the burden that is meant to be carried. Always!

“He giveth more grace as our burdens grow greater,
He sendeth more strength as our labors increase;
To added afflictions He addeth His mercy,
To multiplied trials, He multiplies peace.”

You see that balance everywhere. The same thing Paul was talking about. Yeah, I was in a place where it was beyond my strength but, God gave me the comfort to go with it. Always there was that wonderful balance in God.

“When we have exhausted our store of endurance,
When our strength has failed ere the day is half done,
When we reach the end of our hoarded resources,
Our Father’s full giving is only begun.

“Fear not that thy need shall exceed His provision,
Our God ever yearns His resources to share;
Lean hard on the arm everlasting, availing;
The Father both thee and thy load will upbear.”

Wow, that’s just great poetry, let alone the thought and the truth that’s being said. Think of the pen that was having to write these things, painfully writing. She corresponded with people. She just wrote extensively, personal letters. Later in her life, she got to the point where she had to dictate it, she just couldn’t write anymore, but, my word…it makes me ashamed of my complaining.

And then the final verse, I think we sing as a chorus:

“His love has no limits; His grace has no measure,
His power no boundary known unto men;
For out of His infinite riches in Jesus,
He giveth, and giveth, and giveth again.”

( congregational praise ).

Praise God! Praise God! Does that sound encouraging to you?

( congregational response ).

Why is life so hard? Well, God is longing to get us to the point where we’ll just turn every bit of it over to Him, casting our care upon Him. How many times have we heard these things? Do you see that it doesn’t matter how many times we’ve heard it! We need it!

( congregational response ).

Because, we just don’t quite…it just hasn’t quite worked itself out into our lives. We don’t enjoy these infinite resources that He gives to us. And I’ll guarantee the Lord is gonna try this thing. But, when we do it, when we respond to the things that happen in our lives, God give us the grace to turn immediately to Him.

( congregational response ).

Even the routine things of our day, that you think, okay I’ve got a handle on that. We need to bring those to Him as well. Say, Lord, even the stuff that I know that I think I can handle, I need You. I want You to be the source of strength for my life this day. I want to enjoy Your peace and have the sense that I’m along for the ride, in a sense. I don’t have to make it on my own strength. I can ride, I can rest on Your breast, on Your bosom, and know that You will give me, and You will ‘be’ to me everything that I need.

And He will. May God bring us to the place that we can truly live by His life and not by our own. Praise God! Praise God!

( congregational amens ).