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Rainbow Divider
MCM Broadcast

TV Broadcast #1143

Letting Go

August 31, 2014

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Transcript of message from TV Broadcast 1143 -- taken from Closed Captioning Text

— Brother Phil Enlow: What reason do you and I have for supposing that there is something beyond this life, with all of its warts, all of its faults, all of its failings…what reason do we have to suppose that there is anything beyond it that would enable us to let it go?

What about Jesus? What about Jesus? He let His life go, didn’t He? The will of God was fulfilled as Jesus let go and humbled Himself to the very death of the cross. And guess what? That wasn’t the end. Not only was it not the end, it was the very way to the purpose of God that He had! He didn’t stay in the state He was! He let go of this life! But there was another life!

And that is the hope of the Gospel. It’s that it gives us a way to escape this trap, this slavery, this prison house called sin, where we know we’re not getting anywhere, but we can’t do anything else! We’re held captive. And there’s devils constantly beating us, and trying to dangle this carrot out in front of us, and beat us from behind, and then condemn us when we fail and when we do bad. Oh, my God! What a…what a prison. And yet, the natural man sees no other way.

And then the Gospel comes along and says, give up your life. I’ll forgive your sins. I’ll give you another life. That’s the hope of the Gospel. It boils down to two simple things. For those who surrender, turn from their own way, put their faith in Jesus Christ, it’s forgiveness of sins! It’s cleansing of guilt and sin before God! All that can be gone in a moment of time! Then a brand new Life comes to live on the inside.

Boy, is there anybody here that hasn’t ever come to that place? Why not? Why not? It’s no special ceremony, there’s no special thing. It’s just the response of a heart when Jesus comes knocking, and says, yes, Lord, I surrender.

But you know, this principle of being in bondage through our fear of death, it affects a lot of things. ‘Cause even when we enter into that and there’s a new life that’s begotten in us, there’s still a war, isn’t there? As long as we live in these bodies, there is a learning how to live the new life and put down the old one, and we…living in the energy of our own minds, and for our own purposes and scratching our itches, so to speak, is as natural to a human being as breathing.

And it takes God’s power, it takes God working with us right where the rubber meets the road for every one of us, to bring us face to face with areas where we are in bondage because we will not let go. It’s kind of quiet. See, this is not just one or two, this is however many are here. I can think of things where I need Him to help me just to let go, because it’s not even in my power to do it!

How did Jesus let go? It was with the grace of God! But His grace is available. If we are willing, He can make us able. How many of you have been in places in your life when you knew you needed to do…you needed to let go of something and you couldn’t, and you couldn’t, and finally God brought you down to the place where you did? What happened? Peace, freedom.

( congregational amens ).

You know, how many times have we used the illustration of the way monkeys are caught in some parts of the world? And people are observant. They notice the habits of monkeys, and their character, their traits, their weaknesses. And they’re naturally curious. A lot like us. And so, what they do is they’ll take a gourd and hollow it out…or it is hollow, and attach that to a tree, chain it to a tree, and bore a little bit of a hole in it and drop a pebble in there.

And the trick is that the pebble is a size…well, the monkey can get his hand through. And he can find that pebble that he’s curious about, but when he tries to pull it out he can’t get his hand ‘and’ the pebble out. And so basically, he catches himself. His own nature, his own desires, his own inability to let go of something, traps him.

You and I are trapped in a lot of things in our lives because of our inability to let go, and to realize that there is life beyond death. Thank God that there’s life beyond death! Oh, I’ll tell you what, we can be a slave to fear itself, to ‘something is gonna happen,’ I’m gonna get sick. Or, I’ve been hurt and I just can’t let go and I can’t forgive. I’m angry, I’m this, I’m that, life has been unfair and I’m mad about it.

You fill in the blanks of whatever it is that our nature just gets fixed on and we just…like that monkey, we can’t let go, and just say, Lord, it’s all right. We can’t look at Jesus and see what He endured. And all the lies and all the railing, and all the torture, and all the things that He endured, and He was quiet. Like a lamb before his, “…shearers is dumb, so he openeth not His mouth.” (KJV).

God, do we open ours. Where does that come from? It comes from our nature. It comes from something that’s part of that old nature that we struggle to let go. Oh, God! I pray that God will do something for all of us. There are people in bondage here today. And God has everything that you need. He has a place of freedom, and it’s fear that keeps us where we’re at. We’re not like Jesus. ‘I trust You, Father. I trust You with My life.’

Oh, think about—think about what He’s saying here. But then think, too, because He doesn’t just leave it right here. He brings us down to understanding who it is that we’re dealing with here, and how much He understands the battle. He says, “For surely it is not angels he helps, but Abraham’s descendants.” (NIV). Now, this is not meant to limit it to physical descendants of Abraham. That’s another subject. But you go into that and you’ll find out that’s a different kind of descent there. It’s a spiritual one.

But, “For this reason he had to be made like his brothers in every way…” Why? “…In order that he might become a merciful and faithful high priest in service to God, and that he might make atonement for the sins of the people.” When you’re weak and you’re struggling, do you want somebody that’s looking down their nose at you in disgust or do you want somebody who’s merciful and who can understand where you’re at?

( congregational response ).

That’s the Savior that we’ve been given.

( congregational amens ).

This is somebody who’s been here, done that, knows the drill, knows how it feels to be here in a place where there is no help but to stretch forth your hands and say, oh God, I need You. And you talk about feeling guilt. He felt the weight of the sins of the world. And the sense of separation. Oh, God, “My God, my God, why have you forsaken me?” What He felt in that moment, when His soul cried out in anguish! You don’t think there’s somebody who can understand where you’re at and what you feel? That’s how…you see the wisdom and the love and the mercy of God to provide that kind of a Savior who knows!

Where are you at today? He knows! He feels it! He’s not disgusted with you. He loves you. He stretches out His hands and says, I can help you but you’re gonna have to let go. There’s something right now that’s holding you. If you just give it to me, give up your hurt, give up your…whatever it is, give it to Me, trust Me with it. It’s not your battle. It’s not your life.

But the Devil’s got a hold on you right now, and you’re in jail, and He’s got the key. He wants to let you out. Merciful, faithful high priest! See, here’s the One who’s able to represent us before God. I need somebody like that, who’s able to…He’s on my side in the sense that He knows where I’m at.

He’s not on the side that He’s gonna agree with things that are wrong, but I mean, He knows! He can go to His Father and say, Father, I know where they’re at. And I am representing…here’s the payment, here’s the blood that I shed. You’ve already paid…you’ve already punished their sin. You’ve already punished their weakness when you punished me. You can legally dismiss their case. Praise God!

( congregational amens ).

“Because he himself suffered when he was tempted, he is able to help those who are being tempted.” Do you need help this morning? Yeah, so do I. But I know someone who’s more than willing to help. I don’t have to rise to a certain level before He’ll help me. He will come right down to my lowest point.

( congregational amens ).

If I will lift my heart to Him and turn from my own way and my own life, and say, oh, “…God be merciful to me a sinner.” (KJV). That’s the one, that’s the voice He hears. He doesn’t despise someone who comes to Him in that kind of a spirit.

You think about the example of Paul and how many times he spoke of this principle of dying to himself and to sin. And how God had to do things in him that literally put Paul, the very aspects of Paul’s nature, his pride, for example, his sense of self-sufficiency, all of those things, God had to do something to put that to death! Why? So Paul would feel like a worm? No! So Paul would be empowered by a different principle, a different life!

There’s nothing that will get in God’s way but you…more than you and me! If we’re trying in our own strength to do something, God’s just gonna have to stand there and wait ‘til we spin our wheels, and realize we need Him. But He is faithful.

But how many times did Paul talk about how it was that he was able to minister life to somebody else? That literally God’s life could flow through him and help somebody, is when he was willing to die, and step aside and let God work. And even endure things that he didn’t want to endure, but yet he recognized the hand of God in mercy.

God longs to pour out more life in you and through you to others. Thank God for what we’re experiencing! Isn’t it wonderful that God is meeting us right where we’re at, and encouraging us, wanting to draw us on?

You know, I thought about…just a couple of scriptures that illustrate this, I think, and the place of freedom to which Paul came. Think about a familiar scripture in Philippians chapter 1. Now when Paul was writing this letter to the Philippians, he was not at a resort sipping iced tea or whatever. He was in prison. He was suffering. He had been through a long trail of tears to get to where he was. He was in Rome.

And yet, listen to the testimony of how he saw his earthly life. He says, “For to me, to live is Christ…” Now he’s talking about his earthly life. It’s not about me and what I want. If I just make my life about me and scratching my itches, I’m gonna be in a…you’ll never get to the bottom of that itch. You’ll never run out. It’ll never satisfy. There’ll always be something! Always something wrong, and you’ll be in conflict with everybody else who’s doing the same thing.

But my earthly life is not about me anymore, it’s about Christ. It’s about letting Him live His life in me, and changing me so that I’m ready for that. “For to me, to live is Christ and to die is gain.” Now you’ve got somebody who has lost the fear of death. What ground does the Devil have to take hold of somebody like that?

You know, I love the old story about the preacher who went up on the porch to visit somebody and to witness to them who was an old reprobate. The guy met him with a shotgun. And the preacher said, what, are you threatening me with heaven?

( laughter ).

And of course, that got his attention and he put his shotgun down and listened, and God saved him. But I mean, you think about the freedom to be able to say, my life is in Your hands. Lord, whether I live or die, it is okay! It’s not okay with most people!

But think of the freedom! If our life has been given to Him, what else does the Devil have to work with? Did not Jesus say, “…The prince of this world is coming. He has no hold on me.” Why? What is it that would give the Devil a hold? It’s when we hold on to it, we refuse to let it go, we will…you know, it’s something that is self-centered, some desire, some need that is self-centered! We will not let it go and the Devil has a hold. He has a ground to approach you. But what happens when you let that go? Devil, you can talk to me all you want to, but there’s a new owner here.

( congregational amens ).

I gave that to the Lord. It’s not mine anymore. You talk to Jesus. Do you want to kill me? Well, praise God! That’s gain! I don’t have to live here anymore! I see the vanity of this life and what it’s about! But I see, through Jesus, the hope of another life! He did not stay in that tomb! And the One who conquered death, and Hell, and the grave itself is the One in whom I trust, because He has promised to blot out my sins, and to give me the gift of eternal life, and to make me ready for that.

( congregational amens ).

He is able. “…He is able to save completely…” God is. “…He is able to save completely those who come to God through him, because he always lives to intercede….” That’s not just prayer. What he’s talking about in the context of that scripture in Hebrews 7, is priestly ministry. This is a priest who never dies. This is a priest who’s always available, always there to represent us before God!

And He’s able to save us completely. That’s what I need, ‘cause I can’t save myself a bit! Not the least bit. I need Him completely. So, what a testimony of Paul. “For to me, to live is Christ and to die is gain.”

You know, one other scripture that’s along this line, it’s in Acts 20 or 21, somewhere in there. Because in this part of the narrative of the history of the church…I’m sorry, I’m in John…Paul is actually traveling back to Jerusalem. And, I forgot to underline this, but I see it in 21. He’s traveling back to Jerusalem and everywhere he goes there are people who are warning him, they’re gonna put you in prison, they’re gonna persecute you, and don’t do it!

And here is a…in verse 10, it says, “After we had been there a number of days, a prophet named Agabus came down from Judea. Coming over to us, he took Paul’s belt, tied his own hands and feet with it and said, the Holy Spirit says, in this way the Jews of Jerusalem will bind the owner of this belt and will hand him over to the Gentiles.”

Well, the people’s reaction—the believer’s reaction was a natural one. “When we heard this, we and the people there pleaded with Paul not to go up to Jerusalem.” Paul, don’t you do it! Don’t you…listen to this warning! God is trying to keep you from something! Don’t you do it!

“Then Paul answered, why are you weeping and breaking my heart? I am ready not only to be bound, but also to die in Jerusalem for the name of the Lord Jesus.”

And there’s another scripture where…oh, I see it, I did have this one underlined, back in verse 24 of chapter 20. He’s talking to the elders. Verse 23 actually…verse 22. “And now, compelled by the Spirit, I am going to Jerusalem, not knowing what will happen to me there. I only know that in every city the Holy Spirit warns me that prison and hardships are facing me. However, I consider my life worth nothing to me, if only I may finish the race and complete the task the Lord Jesus has given me—the task of testifying to the gospel of God’s grace.”

It’s a lot to think about. But you see the picture of God’s original intention in making us, and what has happened to destroy that, and to just mess that all up and create the world that we see around us, that’s heading downhill every day. So we don’t see that purpose fulfilled, but we see Jesus. We see One who conquered sin and death and the grave, who is come down to our level with a hope and a purpose of God, that we might be brought to a place of glory in Heaven at the end…and on new heavens and a new Earth, actually. There is another world that is to come, and that He’s going to put in our hands. We’ll be able to handle it. Why? Because God is filling us! Our character will be the same as His.

But what messes with us while we’re here is this fear of letting go. There are so many aspects of this human nature that we are born with that are so turned in towards self. And we know that we can’t really find satisfaction! We struggle this way and that way, but we can…but yet, what do we do? We see nothing else. We see nothing beyond it. We can’t let go.

If there’s someone here, and God’s trying to talk to you about something specific, He’s doing it because He loves you. He’s like the father who wants the child to let go of that branch and fall into the father’s arms. There’s a peace, there’s a freedom.

Think about how free Paul was. What could the Devil threaten him with? Stop serving God or I’ll put you in jail. Okay, put me in jail. Stop serving God or I’ll cut your head off. Okay. That’s freedom! When we see, with that kind of clarity…and only God can open our understanding to be able to see that, in faith. But when we see this life and the life to come and the hope and the promise that we have in Jesus Christ as we ought, there comes to us a freedom to let go.

And when we do, the Devil loses his hold. We don’t have to be afraid to die, because life only begins on the other side of the cross. Praise God for the hope that we have! Let’s take hold of the liberty that He’s given to us and believe Him and trust Him as our Elder Brother who has gone before us did. It kind of worked out all right for Him, don’t you think?

( congregational response ).

I think we have a solid hope in Him! Praise God!

( congregational amens ).