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Rainbow Divider
MCM Broadcast

TV Broadcast #1135

Fighting God’s Battles
Part One

July 6, 2014

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Transcript of message from TV Broadcast 1135 -- taken from Closed Captioning Text

— Brother Phil Enlow: Well, thank God for His presence. Thank God for the hope that we have that He is going to be faithful to the end…that’s a song we sang. I’m glad because we don’t do so good in the faithfulness part. We have our ups and our downs, but He never has any downs. Praise God!

I appreciate the men’s meeting this morning. I appreciate the prayer meeting Friday night. I was much blessed on both occasions with the sharing. And, I don’t know, I’ve just had some thoughts and I’ll see if the Lord can pull any of it together. And it’s certainly been confirmed by many things that have been said. But I was blessed by one thing in particular that was said the other night and it was by Candy. You all know that she’s been having a pretty severe trial and we need to continue to hold her up and to pray for her. But something that she said that really struck a chord…that the Lord had laid on her heart to reach out to somebody else.

And I wonder many times if that’s not a real key with every one of us. We are very prone to be self-absorbed when we have a problem. Every one of us…that’s our nature. We become focused inward. You know, Robert spoke about being focused inward. Well, this is one way we get that way. It’s, I’ve got a need, I feel bad, this is going on in my life, what’s wrong, and we’re consumed by that.

Or we have a real burden and a real bondage, and a need that we sense in our lives and that just kind of paralyzes us because…well, I can’t do anything until this is fixed. Anybody here identify with that? I know some day, one day, magically, God is gonna do something wonderful and He’s gonna use me, but that’s impossible because….

And I confess very much that I feel that this morning and it was a real challenge to get up here for that very reason. We tend to focus our warfare and our battles upon ourselves, and I believe with all my heart, God longs for us to fight, not just individual battles, but to fight a collective battle, to fight for other people. And I believe with all my heart that if we will do that more than we do, in faith, we’re gonna find out that God is going to come to our rescue in ways that will surprise us. We’re gonna experience victories in our own lives as we fight for somebody else.

And, I just sense that in the Lord’s heart. You think about it. His own nature is love, isn’t it? One single word that characterizes our God, and that is love. Well love, by definition, is focused on the welfare of someone else. It’s never focused upon self. It’s not self-love. This is love that just longs to do for somebody else, longs to bless, longs to see them prosper, longs to see them come to a wonderful state. And, what is the essence of God’s law that we see in the scripture. We know this! What is it?

( congregational response ).

Love…well, and specifically, how did He state it? What is the one commandment that Jesus gave us?

( congregational response ).

It’s to love one another, isn’t it? And, you think about the dynamic of that…that puts the focus, not on me and my needs and my problems. It puts the focus on others in ways that I think we fall short. And, like I say, I believe God longs to do things for us. I thought of a scripture and I remembered it in the King James translation, as I often do, because that’s what I used most of my life. But there’s a scripture in Proverbs that speaks about, he that waters…

( congregational response ).

…will be watered. I think in the NIV, I finally found it…it’s, he who refreshes, will be refreshed. It’s the same thought. That someone who is focused on somebody else and their needs, there’s a promise of God…that God will see to our needs if we flow.

And you think about the flow of water itself. Well, let’s think about the Dead Sea. The Dead Sea is so far below sea level that everything flows into it and what happens? Where does it go? There’s nowhere for it to go. It sits there. That’s why it’s called the Dead Sea. The salt all builds up. Nothing can live there. It’s a one-way deal. Everything flows in, nothing flows out.

But I’ll tell you, when God works in our lives, His plan is that He does flow in, but also that what He does in us flows out to others, because we are not simply a collection of individuals. We are a body. That’s the very nature of the Kingdom of God, is that we are literally connected one to another. That’s not just an illustration. It’s not just a vague, oh, it-ought-to-be-this-way. This is really the case! We really are the Body of Christ! We are members of Him! We are members of each other. We share a common life.

And I think I’ve made this point before. You think about the human body and how inter-dependent it is. There is no part of the human body, at least not so much as I know about, unless it’s cancer…you have no part of the human body that exists for itself—that simply takes, but offers nothing to the body itself. Everything has a function.

( congregational response ).

Now, we use our mouths in all kinds of ways, some of them not so good, but yet our mouths also are the means by which we take in nourishment. That affects every single part of our body…the blood vessels, the heart. Everything affects the welfare of everything else. And what happens when there is an injury? I mean, what’s the built-in natural reaction of the human body when there’s an injury, outside from saying, ‘ouch’?

( congregational response ).

Yeah! Everything rushes to that! The blood flow goes to that…every resource is marshaled to deal with that thing. If it’s a germ, there are antibodies that are built in that rush there and try to fight that thing. And I believe with all my heart, don’t you, that God has equipped the Body of Christ in ways that are far greater than the human body in terms of dealing with needs and with problems that come up?

And I see it in a measure that we’ve entered into much of this. I see where there is a concern one for another, there is prayer. Thank God! But I also see, and I experience it my own self, that so much of the time I am focused on me. And I’ll tell you, we have no idea the resources that we have. We have no idea what God longs to do.

You know, the emphasis the other night, Wednesday night, and it was talked about a lot at the men’s meeting was the fact that we do need to be reaching out. We need to ask God to provide opportunities. Now that doesn’t mean go out and button-hole everybody and try to preach at them. But I believe God can expose His Life out in the darkness through us, if we’re aware and we’re living outward lives instead of closed-up, inward, oh-poor-me kind of lives. If we’re actually living with a positive sense, God can contact people by His Spirit through our actions, through our words, whatever is appropriate. God can absolutely shine a Light in a dark world.

But you know, you can’t sit back and say, well, when I reach this level then I will be able…see, that’s a fallacy. That’s a trick of the enemy.

( congregational amens ).

God mightily used Paul, the Apostle—mightily used him! But he never presented himself as somebody who had arrived. Do you remember him talking to the Corinthians about the things that they were experiencing and one little statement sticks in my mind? He said, “…Who is offended, and I burn not?” (KJV). In other words, Paul experienced that emotion just as much as anybody else did. Now that doesn’t mean he gave into it and just went with it! He didn’t allow that to take root. But the fact is, he was a man who was in the journey himself, having to fight, having to overcome the same things that the people were to whom he was ministering.

God does not call perfect people, does not call perfect churches! He calls us to seek Him and to walk with Him! But in the process, we do not simply look to our own selves and our own needs, and get so wrapped up in that that we don’t have vision, or we don’t believe that we can have a positive effect outside of ourselves!

I’ll guarantee you, there are a lot of people here that at times, you get so involved with your own sense of failure and need! Who hasn’t done that? And it’s just like, ‘oh, God couldn’t ever do anything with me, I am so….’

Oh God! There isn’t one of us that couldn’t say that. Why did Jesus say, “…Without me, ye can do nothing,” if it weren’t true? There is nothing that we have in ourselves. But I’ll tell you, with Him we ‘can’ do everything that needs doing, and we need to wake up, I believe. I need to wake up in a greater way and realize that I have a responsibility to carry your burdens, and to make a difference in your life, and to see challenges that I believe God has set before us. And not simply accept them, but be willing to rise up and fight.

I thought of another scripture that I just looked up briefly. I won’t even try to find it right now, but it’s so matter of fact that it’s almost comical in a way. You know, David was on the run from Saul for many years. He was the one that God had chosen to replace Saul because Saul was rebellious and unbelieving.

And, it took a matter of years when David was on the run, and then there was a period of about seven years where there were wars going on and he was ruling over Judah, his own tribe. And eventually, everybody realized, hey, this is God’s ruler. We better gather around him. Let’s bring him to Jerusalem and put him over everybody, and so they did.

Well, in Jerusalem there was a fortress. That fortress was inhabited by Jebusites. They were natives of the land and because of that fortress, nobody had ever thought they could ever be dislodged. They were so impregnable and so confident that nobody could touch them and everybody had just kind of believed that. And so there they were…this is going to be capital of Israel and right in the middle there’s an enemy encampment with the walls around it.

And the Jebusites testimony when David came to Jerusalem was, you won’t get in here. And the scripture says, nevertheless, David got in there. David captured the city and that became known as Zion.

You know, we sing about Zion. There are scriptures about how God has chosen Zion. But Zion was a conquest of somebody who refused to say, ‘Devil, you win, I give up!’ Think about that…because don’t we give up in our minds? Don’t we just spit in the wind and say, well, I’m supposed to pray about this, but it ain’t gonna happen. God, help us.

You know, it’s amazing to me how many times I will sit there and kind of go over transcripts that the ladies work up for the broadcast. And I’m trying to keep them ahead so that we can post the actual transcript on the website. And the one I transcribed yesterday, or worked on, was from the November meeting. And it had to do with this very thing about prevailing prayer and that sort of thing, a burden that God would actually work, that we would see real victories. And I’m saying, all right, Lord I get it. I’m….

( laughing ).

It’s like it comes back in my face. I need this. It comes back months later just at the right time when I’m the one in need. But one thing I remember that was interesting, and Ben got up right at the end, I believe, and he used a very clear, simple analogy of how we often view the church as kind of a fortress. But we view it from a defensive standpoint. And we’re almost like the Jebusites. Devil, we’ve got guards posted, we’ve got the Lord, you ain’t getting in here. But it’s a very defensive posture.

But in the meantime there’s another fortress, there’s another encampment over there, and that’s the Devil’s, but the problem is, he’s got people in there that are captives. And here we are in a defensive posture when God wants us to be in a posture where we have a vision that goes out and says, ‘wait a minute, that’s one of God’s, and we have a right to go in there.’ Now what did Jesus say? “I will build my church…” And what?

( congregational response ).

“…The gates of hell shall not prevail….” Now gates are the thing that the enemy would enclose his encampment with. They are a barrier that the devil himself would erect, so that nobody can get in there and mess with his kingdom. But here’s Jesus saying, Devil, I know you have got a fortress in this world. You have got everybody under your dominion and control. Sin and death rule and you rule over them. And your prisoners have no power to escape. But, I will build my church and your gates will not prevail against me.

( congregational amens ).

Think about that. Now that is an offensive view. Not ‘offensive’ in the wrong sense, but this is an offensive view of spiritual warfare. And I just pray that God will burn in my heart because I believe it’s not just me, it’s not just something to be worked up about. This is His heart!

There are people that He is concerned about that if we will stop being so self-absorbed that we actually realize we have a part to play. We can actually make a difference. We can call upon the power of God and see dominions broken over people’s lives. We can look at impossible situations and see them become possible because nothing is impossible with God! Praise God!

There is a scripture that we have used. In fact, Michael quoted it the other night in the prayer meeting, and brought it back to all of our remembrance, but certainly mine. And it’s in Revelation 12, a very familiar scripture. This is a picture like so many of the visions of Revelation…I was having a conversation the other day with Shelly and some others I think, Steve, the other night, and Revelation is not a book that is in chronological order. You don’t finish this vision and then start here…

( snapping fingers).

And then you move forward and the time line moves along. You have vignettes, you have pictures of certain truths that apply many times to the whole age. And so you have this where it says, “A great and wondrous sign appeared in heaven: a woman clothed with the sun, with the moon under her feet and a crown of twelve stars on her head. She was pregnant and cried out in pain as she was about to give birth.” (NIV).

Now I don’t want to spend a lot of time on the details, but I believe this is a picture of the believing Jewish remnant. This was God’s people to whom He had promised a deliverer, a Savior. And there was a time when she was going to be in pain and bringing forth. And this was a picture of something that had happened, that that time came.

And it said, “Then another sign appeared in heaven: an enormous red dragon with seven heads and ten horns and seven crowns on his heads.” Now it says later on who that is, but you know who that is. That’s the Devil. That’s a picture of the enemy of our souls. He knew what was coming. But look at how this thing…look at the scope of this vision. It says, “His tail swept a third of the stars out of the sky and flung them to the earth.” Now what’s that a picture of?

( congregation inaudible ).

When did that happen?

( congregational response ).

That goes way back to the beginning. This talks about how the Devil himself was able to influence…when he fell himself, he was able to lead a third of the angels of heaven in rebellion against God. So you’ve got a vision right now that’s looking all the way back to the beginning.

Now we come to the time when Christ is to be born. And now his forces are gathered to do something about that. “The dragon stood in front of the woman who was about to give birth, so that he might devour her child the moment it was born.” Now who was that child?

( congregational response ).

That’s Jesus. Right. “She gave birth to a son, a male child, who will rule all the nations with an iron scepter. And her child was snatched up to God and to his throne.” Praise God! It’s kind of a very encapsulated picture, but all the devil could do was not enough. This child not only fulfilled His purpose, but He is on a throne. Praise God! He rules in the armies of heaven, just like it said in the Old Testament, “…among the inhabitants of the earth: and none can stay his hand.” (KJV).

So, “The woman fled into the desert to a place prepared for her…” (NIV). And so forth, “And there was war in heaven. Michael and his angels fought against the dragon, and the dragon and his angels fought back. But he was not strong enough….” Thank God! Which side do you want to pick? Praise God! I’ll tell you, if you hear His voice, he’s calling you to the winning side.

( congregational amens ).

He’s calling you to the side that Michael is on, this mighty angel. In fact, didn’t Daniel say, he’s the angel that has to do with God’s people and fighting for them? Well, here was a pretty good example of it. “…Was not strong enough, and they lost their place in heaven. The great dragon was hurled down—that ancient serpent called the devil, or Satan, who leads the whole world astray. He was hurled to the earth, and his angels with him.

“Then I heard a loud voice in heaven say: Now have come the salvation and the power and the kingdom of our God, and the authority of his Christ. For the accuser of our brothers, who accuses them before our God day and night, has been hurled down. They overcame him by the blood of the Lamb and by the word of their testimony; they did not love their lives so much as to shrink from death.” Praise God!

“Therefore rejoice, you heavens and you who dwell in them!” He’s talking about the spiritual realm, the Kingdom of God. “But woe to the earth and the sea, because the devil has gone down to you! He is filled with fury, because he knows that his time is short.” What an awesome picture of a victory that was won by somebody else. This is not one where the Lord is standing back, giving us instructions, saying, now go out and go for it. I expect you to go out and defeat this devil. He’s already done it.

( congregational amens ).

Praise God! This is the reason we can be here this morning and have hope. There’s not a one of us here who would have a bit of hope except for the fact that Jesus has paid it all! He has won a complete and total victory!

( congregational amens ).

But here’s the thing that drew me to this passage in this context. How many of us think of this pretty much from an individual, defensive standpoint? This is about me. This is about my standing. This is about me overcoming. This is about the Devil coming against me, and me having a solid ground for defense against him. This is spiritual warfare, but it basically is centered…it’s a defensive war on my own behalf. Anybody tend to think about it that way?

( congregational response ).

I always have! Sure! Hey, this is my victory. This is about me having a means to stand and not be condemned! And I’ve got something I can fight against the Devil with. And when he comes, he talks to me, and he’s ready to take me down and defeat me. I’ve got some way to fight back. It’s all about me. Do you suppose that just maybe, this might have a larger dimension?

( congregational response ).

If Jesus has done what this says, and if He intends to build His Church and bring the captives out, in spite of the gates of hell, if He has told us to love one another, then maybe, just maybe, this warfare is not just about me. Maybe I’m meant to participate in the warfare of Christ for everybody else.

I’m not a cancer cell sitting here trying to draw nourishment to me…it’s all about me. I am one who has been united to Christ. I’ve become a partaker of His Life. What is in Him flows into me and it’s not just so I can sit there and…well, it’s like what Robert said. His Light doesn’t come in so it can reflect back and make me feel good like I’m full of light, and the rest of you all can go to Hell. That’s an extreme way to put it, but it almost gets to that. I’ll tell you what, His Life is meant to flow into us and to one another.

( congregational amens ).

And you talk about the Church bring brought to the fullness of the stature of Christ and being able to be presented to Him in the kind of glory that He describes. It ain’t gonna happen with a bunch of us fighting defensive battles. It’s gonna happen as we learn to join with Him in fighting offensive battles.