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Rainbow Divider
MCM Broadcast

TV Broadcast #1158

No Guest Room for the Devil

December 14, 2014

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Transcript of message from TV Broadcast 1158 -- taken from Closed Captioning Text

— Brother Phil Enlow: You know, we need to understand we don’t belong to ourselves. If we’ve come to Christ and we’ve got the vision of what He’s called us to, we don’t belong to ourselves. And what a price He paid.

( congregational response ).

Oh my God, do we want to despise the price of someone who allowed them to humiliate Him, and inflict the incredible pain and humiliation of the cross, nail His hands there because of you and me. You say, well, it doesn’t matter how I live. It’s my life. It’s my body. Oh no. He bought it—He bought us for Himself! And He bought us so that He could shower us with kindness throughout all eternity. “Therefore honor God with your body.” (NIV).

There are a lot of folks who would say, well, I don’t do that so I’m okay. Well, what do you think about? Is there anybody here that would like for all of your thoughts to be displayed for all the world to see your own private little twitter—every one of your thoughts out there? I think we would all crawl into a hole and pull it in after us.

But I’ll tell you, there are a lot of ways that the Devil has of compromising Christians because of their thought life. The Devil will stick a thought in there and instead of just recognizing and saying, wait a minute, I’m not going there, we invite the Devil in. ‘Let’s talk about that. I’ve got a nice guest room here for you, Devil.’ Of course, we don’t realize that’s what’s going on, but that’s what’s happening.

And it’s awful easy to start falling into thought patterns where you just yield yourself in your imagination. You might use the internet in ways that aren’t good. I thank God for the communication tool that it is. It lets the Gospel go out, but, there are a lot of ways the Devil has of using that. Where do you go, what do you look at, what do you think about?

When you look at other people, do you see them through Christ’s eyes, or through the eyes of wrong desires sometimes? See how easy it is for us to get…for the Devil to get in and begin to establish a guest room. And we invite him in. We don’t think about it. We think, oh, I’m fine, I live a clean life. But is it clean in here? Oh God, help us to rule over our minds and over our thoughts, and recognize what’s going on, recognize the tactics of the enemy that are there to subvert us and to use us in ways to dishonor God, to dishonor everybody, and to hinder us from being the kind of people that God wants us to be.

You know, I need this because I just need to relax. There’s a whole lot of things we make for ourselves…that I believe God needs to give us a conscience and to help us realize, starting with me. I mean…you think about a subject like this and the devil is faithful to bring up all kinds of needs in you. So I’m certainly not standing here saying, hey, I’ve arrived and you all need to be like me. You need to be like Jesus. But God help us to give us an honest heart about things in our lives that we let the devil have.

What about when young people are going together? What about liberties they take and they think, oh, it’s perfectly all right. I can toy with this. I can handle it. Oh my. You don’t know the power. I was gonna say the power of the dark side, but you don’t know the power of sin.

Peter thought he could handle it too, didn’t he? He didn’t know. He didn’t understand. He was no match for this thing. We have a raging fire going on in our frame. If we just go around cocky like, ‘I can handle it,’ you are headed for a fall. I guarantee it. You cannot handle it. We need the grace of God. So you know, sins of the flesh, they’re kind of obvious, are certainly a category where we need to guard our hearts and say, oh God, help me to be honest.

It’s not just the things that I outwardly do, but what do I think about? What thoughts do I allow to take root in my heart and my mind, and I nurture them, and I don’t just immediately kick them out? What are things that you think about that you let the devil run over and over in your mind, and you would be mortified if anybody knew?

It’s kind of quiet, isn’t it? This affects every one of us in one fashion or another. I believe the Lord longs to give us greater freedom. I want it. I need it. I need Him. Oh God. So many things you think about and you say, oh God, there I did it again. You know, I’ve let this thing…God help us to rise up, and look to him, and recognize that this is not just some little thing.

We think of sin as something we can sort of play with. We’re free now. Christ has blotted out our sins and you know, this is appealing and that’s appealing, and I can sort of go this far and it’ll be okay. You’re like the man who is an alcoholic and thinks he can walk down the street where his favorite bar is. ‘I can walk right past it.’ You know, he’s just…’oh, I can go in. I can say hi to my buddies.’ You know, he just begins to take liberties and doesn’t realize the strength of the hold that’s there. He doesn’t realize that the devil has gone fishing, and he’s put out bait, and that bait is appealing to you and all you see is the bait. You don’t see the hook. God help us.

But you know, this isn’t just about sins of the flesh. It’s awfully easy, sometimes, for someone to get self-righteous, look down on somebody who is struggling in some of these areas and think, well, I wouldn’t do that. I’m well beyond that. Do you know the worst sins are not the ones in the flesh? The worst ones are the sins of the spirit.

You think about the context in which Paul says this statement here about don’t give the devil a foothold. What’s the context? That’s the last half of a sentence. “Do not…” Well let’s go back to verse 26. “…In your anger do not sin: Do not let the sun go down while you are still angry, and do not give the devil a foothold.” Now you’re not dealing with a sin of the flesh, you’re dealing with getting angry.

And we are so prone to justify reactions that we have one toward another and to be so focused on the thing that was said, the thing that was done, the thing that caused us to be angry or resentful or whatever it is, to be so focused on that that we don’t even see that the devil has come in, that he is sitting there feeding us with all the reasons, all the justifications for how we feel, and we have simply given him a guest room in our home.

God, help us to wake up and to realize that when God warns us about these things, not letting anger get a hold. Everybody reacts sometimes, but we have a choice when it comes to what we nurture, what we bring in and what we cling to. We have a choice and God, help us to begin to make the right choices.

‘Cause what happens, we see in the Word that we’re supposed to put up with one another in love. Does the Lord mean that? Does the Lord know that we are different and that we are very imperfect? There are times we are going to rub one another the wrong way, and we’re going to have to say…be able to say, Lord, I see their need, but I love them because they are yours. And I’m gonna just keep loving them. I gonna keep having a right spirit toward them. I’m gonna pray for them and encourage them. I’m not gonna allow the feelings that would be natural to take root in my heart. Now, everybody here, I know you’ve all got this nailed.

( laughter ).

This is something that you all have got really, really nailed. No, this is really Body Life 101. This is the basics. And this is what Paul is talking…this is the context Paul is talking about. Don’t let the devil get a foothold! But we do! We let that anger sit there! We let that hurt sit there! And hurt turns to bitterness! What does the Word talk about…say about roots of bitterness. Don’t let them get settled in your spirit, because bitterness will spring up and it will defile many.

If we want to be free, it’s not just free from going to the wrong web sites, or you know, running around the bars or something like that. It’s more than that. It’s not letting the devil get into our hearts and our spirits. The words that we read about how we are to relate one to another, God means it.

And if we are faced with a situation where something happens and it affects our spirit and we react in a negative way, we are faced with a choice. Are we going to obey the Word of God or are we going to go with our gut and our fallen nature? When we go with our fallen nature, we’re saying, Devil, come on in. You can feel at home here. I’m going with you on this one. I’m not gonna pay attention to what the Word of God says.

Now, obviously, we don’t frame it that way, because the devil is so wise in how he frames his justifications, that man, we can absolutely feel very righteous in God’s eyes, and be absolutely dead wrong! God, help us.

You know, I thought about a Scripture in this regard. It’s in James 1. And this is the one that talks about temptation. In verse 13, “When tempted, no one should say, God is tempting me. For God cannot be tempted by evil, nor does he tempt anyone; but each one is tempted when, by his own evil desire, he is dragged away and enticed. Then, after desire has conceived, it gives birth to sin; and sin, when it is full-grown, gives birth to death.”

But now in verse 22, he says, “Do not merely listen to the word, and so deceive yourselves. Do what it says. Anyone who listens to the word but does not do what it says is like a man who looks at his face in a mirror and, after looking at himself, goes away and immediately forgets what he looks like. But the man who looks intently…” There’s an intention there. There’s a desire. There’s someone who says, I really need what’s in that Word. I need this. I recognize the tendencies of my own nature, but I need what God has for me.

“But the man who looks intently into the perfect law that gives freedom, and continues to do this, not forgetting what he has heard, but doing it—he will be blessed in what he does.” But notice the perfect law that gives freedom. That’s what God gives it to us for. He tells us to forgive. Why? ‘They don’t deserve it.’ It’s not about them. It’s about you being free.

( congregational response ).

Do you think Jesus went around just mad with everybody who looked at him cross-eyed, or do you think he was absolutely free in His Spirit? That’s what He longs to mirror in every one of us. You know, I intimated at one of the biggest problems that we have in this area is an unwarranted self-confidence, and Peter is the prime example. Peter, you’re gonna deny me three times tonight before the cock crows. Me! Lord, I will never deny. I will lay down my life for You! Did he mean it?

( congregational response ).

Was he sincere? Yes! He absolutely meant it! He knew! He was confident in himself. God gave him a way out, didn’t He? Watch and pray that you enter not into temptation. I don’t need that, I’m good. Don’t we live that way with an unwarranted self-confidence? I would never do that. And then you find yourself flat on your face in the mud, and it’s God’s mercy to remind us that we have no strength in ourselves. We need Him. We have everything that we need in Christ.

But oh God, help us to get a hold of this simple principle of not letting…does the Devil have a foothold in your life? Is it a sin of the flesh? Is it just an attitude, a sin of the mind and the spirit, and something that’s just got a root in you? Or is it pride? Is it ambition? Is it…there are so many things that we’re warned of in the Scriptures and we toy with them, and we think, oh, that doesn’t matter, or it doesn’t quite mean this, or I can do this and it’ll be okay. God means it, and He means it for our deliverance and our good. God, help us.

I guess there’s one Scripture that probably several have thought of and I’ll just refer to it as we finish. It’s 1st Corinthians chapter 10. This is continuing a context in which Paul is talking about the question of liberty and freedom, and the fact that, I can do everything, but not everything is good for me. He realizes the inclinations that arise from his natural man are absolutely contrary to serving God.

And so you back up to verse 27 of chapter 9. He says, “No, I beat my body…” Or I keep it under control. “…And make it my slave so that after I have preached to others, I myself will not be disqualified for the prize. For I do not want you to be ignorant of the fact, brothers, that our forefathers were all under the cloud and that they all passed through the sea. They were all baptized into Moses in the cloud and in the sea. They all ate the same spiritual food and drank the same spiritual drink; for they drank from the spiritual rock that accompanied them.” And so forth. In other words, they all had the same experience.

“Nevertheless…” verse 5, “…God was not pleased with most of them; their bodies were scattered over the desert. Now these things occurred as examples to keep us from setting our hearts on evil things as they did. Do not be idolaters…” The last song that was sung, “I Will Serve No Foreign God.” “…As some of them were; as it is written: The people sat down to eat and drink and got up to indulge in pagan revelry.

“We should not commit sexual immorality, as some of them did—and in one day twenty-three thousand of them died. We should not test the Lord, as some of them did—and were killed by snakes. And do not grumble, as some of them did—and were killed by the destroying angel. These things happened to them as examples and were written down as warnings for us, on whom the fulfillment of the ages has come.” So here’s the conclusion. “So, if you think you are standing firm, be careful that you don’t fall!”

You see, what he’s getting at is a spirit of carelessness, a spirit where we think we can just kind of slide by and not take things quite so seriously and we can toy with this and do that and we’re in charge. It’s not gonna get a hold on us. It’s not gonna mess things up too much. I can indulge myself in this direction, even though I know I can’t go but so far. You get the feeling, don’t you? You get the picture. I won’t ask for a show of hands for anybody that’s never bothered by this because I wouldn’t get any hands, I would hope. Be careful that you don’t fall.

“No temptation has seized you except what is common to man.” Now the picture there is something that we didn’t ask for. See this goes back to the devil and this goes back to something that takes...that just comes upon us. It seizes us! It comes when we’re sometimes in a weak place not looking for it. There is a strong pull of the enemy based upon our nature to do something that is contrary to the will and purpose of God.

God allows the devil to test his people. He doesn’t do it to defeat us. He does it to make us warriors for Him. He does it to make us strong, to force us to make choices that will grow us up and make us His people! But they happen and they are common.

“And God is faithful; he will not let you be tempted beyond what you can bear.” But, the thing is, he’s not talking about ‘bear’ in your human strength, is he? Because, if that were the case, then He put Peter in a position he couldn’t handle. But the thing is He gave Peter the answer, didn’t He? And Peter didn’t take the answer. He trusted in his own strength and he fell. “But when you are tempted, he will also provide a way out so that you can stand up under it.” Folks, I am 100 percent in need of the grace of God.

( congregational amens ).

I have no strength to do any of these things that we’ve been talking about. Folks, if you don’t know the Lord, oh my God, you need Him. You need Him. You don’t understand what you’re up against. You don’t understand what’s happening to this world. It is being dragged away to judgment and destruction.

But we who know the Lord cannot live careless lives. We cannot just toy with sin. We cannot allow the devil to get footholds! We can’t invite him in for ride because he’ll want to drive. We can’t give him a guest room in our homes and say, its okay, I’m all right, it’s under the blood. It’s all…we make all these excuses, and what we’re really doing is simply indulging the old nature.

That’s exactly what God has called us away from, to be delivered from. And He’s set us on a different road from this world. We’re not to live like the people of the world. We’re to live as His people and we’ve got to do it by His strength. We’re gonna have to realize that there is a throne to which we can go. And we can find the grace that we need in our time of need.

I thank God that I don’t have to work myself up into a spiritual state so now I can go to the throne. I go when I’m weakest. I go and there’s Somebody sitting there who knows and who understands what I’m feeling and understands my need. I can go and I can be honest. I can say, God, I’m struggling with this. I need You. I need Your help and know that He won’t despise that cry. He runs to it with the help and the strength that I need.

Folks, we have a choice in these matters. We don’t have to give the devil a foothold in our lives! We can wake up! We can be alert and vigilant, as Peter says. We can recognize the devil’s tactics in trying to get these beachheads, is another word, in our lives. You know in World War II when the allies finally attacked, they landed on the beaches of Normandy. That was all they needed to do. They needed to get a beachhead. They needed to establish control over a little bit of territory in France. And from that beachhead they began to launch more and more attacks, and in the end it was just a matter of time before Hitler fell.

That’s all the devil is looking for from you right now is a beachhead. It’s a foothold. You think of the Lord when He was facing the cross. He said, the Devil is coming. The Devil’s coming, but he has no hold on Me. Why not? Because, every time there was a challenge where the devil appealed to him to act outside of the will of God, He recognized it.

He didn’t debate the devil. He didn’t get into a debate and say, well, I know he’s reasonable so I can talk to him about this. He just gave him the Word. He said, it’s written. That’s what I’m going by. I know that God has given Me a Word! That Word brings freedom! That’s what I’m going by. I’m gonna take my stand upon what God said. And the devil just didn’t have any answer for that one.

You try to reason with him, you try to somehow, because you want to do the thing. You want to feel that way. You want to do that. And you begin to reason, and you come up and the devil will be glad to supply you with a rationale and it will sound good. But if it’s not according to this Book…

( tapping ).

…It’s gonna lead to bondage. It’s gonna lead to trouble. And God doesn’t want the devil to have a foothold in our lives or a guest room in our homes, in our spiritual homes. I praise God for His faithfulness. I praise Him for what He’s done for us, for the call that He’s given to us, for the grace that’s available to every one of us to do these things! It’s not in us to do it! But for His glory, may God give us the freedom that Christ purchased for us on the cross. Praise God!

( congregational praise ).