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Rainbow Divider
MCM Broadcast

TV Broadcast #1168

The Ways of Faith

February 22, 2015

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Transcript of message from TV Broadcast 1168 -- taken from Closed Captioning Text

— Brother Phil Enlow: We’ve got a power that comes from God that will keep us until that day! It’ll keep us all the way to the end of the way. Oh, praise God! Some of the songs we were singing…”on that day when my strength is failing,” and time is drawing near. Oh, what a glorious thing to be able to think about that and realize it’s not the end! In fact, it’s graduation, as we sometimes use the expression. It’s an awesome, wonderful thing! Praise the Lord!

But anyway, he acted on his faith. Faith caused him…faith was the motivation that caused him to do something, and it was strong enough that it was able to withstand everything else in his life, everything else in the world. And God respected the faith. It wasn’t the work that earned him God’s favor, it was the expression of the faith that was birthed in his heart.

But here’s the other thing, “By his faith he condemned the world.” (NIV). Folks, if we’ve got real faith, it’s not that we go around and shake our fist at the world, but by our conviction, we stand in contrast to everything this world stands for!

( congregational amens ).

And as I said, he was called to stand in a time when he had to almost stand alone. I mean, his family was with him, but he had to stand alone. You think of the words of Jesus to His disciples when He was warning them as to how the world was gonna treat them. He said, “...you will be hated by all nations…he who stands firm to the end will be saved.”

Well, which of us could stand up to that in our own strength? I can’t. Oh my. And you think of Christians who have been imprisoned and tortured for their faith. Where do they get what it took to stand up to that? It takes something supernatural. But you know, we have it in Christ.

You know, what I sense in my spirit, and I know it’s true for me, but I believe it’s true for all of us, that God wants to encourage us that we have a power that He has put within us, that if we will seek Him, if we will believe in His power and His work, there is a lot more that can happen. There’s a lot of things that…that will happen in our own lives.

We can see victories won that maybe where there’s struggles and there’s almost a sense of futility sometimes. Not almost, sometimes that’s the way we feel. Yeah. Let’s just be honest. And there are situations that God has given us a power that can overcome situations, because it’s introducing God’s work and God’s power! He has allowed us to exercise something of His purpose! Praise God!

So, it was God’s purpose to save the family, and He gave them the power to do it, and they did it.

But here’s Abraham. Abraham was, “…called to go to a place he would later receive as his inheritance, obeyed and went, even though he did not know where he was going. By faith he made his home in the promised land like a stranger in a foreign country; he lived in tents, as did Isaac and Jacob, who were heirs with him of the same promise. For he was looking forward to the city with foundations, whose architect and builder is God.”

You know, elsewhere it tells us…I don’t know if it does later in this passage or not, but it tells us that the reason Abraham was called a righteous man was not because he believed God’s promise. He believed God. Do you understand the difference? I could listen to somebody and evaluate what they say and say, yeah, I can go along with that.

But unless I have an unhindered conviction about the person, I’m gonna sit there and look skeptically at everything they say until I feel like I can go along with it. But if I have a real bedrock conviction about the person, it doesn’t matter what they say. If they say it, it’s gold.

Think about that. That’s what God is seeking from us. The service Wednesday night was about the aspect of faith that is trust, because trust is really faith in action. That’s faith in the moment. That’s God, I’m trusting You. I believe You in the big picture, but I trust You in this instance. I can put my confidence in You even though I do not understand what’s going on.

It doesn’t look like everything’s right, but I know You’re in control, and You’re allowing me to experience what I’m experiencing. And so in this situation, instead of belly-aching, instead of being anxious, instead of complaining, I’m trusting. And because I’m trusting, I find a rest in my spirit and my soul. I’m able to rest even though I don’t…all these things are contrary.

Do you see the conflict? Do you see what we talked about in verse 1, where there is that quality that would rebuke everything that would go contrary, even within us? Boy, do I need that. How about you? Do you ever need that?

( congregational response ).

Yeah. Do you ever have every part of your being screaming out, this isn’t right?

( growling ).

Everything’s “going to hell in a hand basket.” And then there’s that quiet voice, ‘it’s okay, I’m here, I’m allowing all this. I told you you’re gonna have trouble in the world, but I also told you don’t worry. I’ve overcome the world.’ He didn’t even say, don’t worry, I’m going to overcome the world. He said, I have—I have overcome the world. What an awesome God we have!

But anyway, what Abraham was doing was really, simply putting his confidence in a promise that was to come, and he couldn’t see it, and he couldn’t even account for it! You know what he went through when he came to the point where Sarah couldn’t have a child by any biological means, and yet God was faithful. He maintained his conviction even in the face of that, and God honored it.

And then we know that God put him to the test when He said, go sacrifice Isaac. I mean, you think about...you better have a conviction about the Person if you’re gonna…if you’re not gonna fall down under into that. And however he reasoned it out, this writer thinks he supposed that God would raise him back from the dead or something.

But, however…have you ever been in a situation, I know you have if you know the Lord and you’ve been with Him a while, where you trusted the Lord, you went along, but you imagined how it was gonna turn out? And it didn’t. It was totally different. God had a whole different idea.

Well, God had a different idea here. God waited until he raised the knife and said, “Wait.” Because as far as God was concerned, God saw the conviction of his heart that was gonna follow through. Short of being stopped, he had as good as done it, as far as God was concerned. Boy, I’ll tell you, that’s a conviction God wants to give.

But I noticed something else in this. It wasn’t just Abraham, was it? It was Isaac and Jacob. But you go back into the record, and you will see in each case it was not a second-hand faith, was it? The same God that appeared to Abraham, appeared to each of them. It was personal. It was not something where they said, Abraham told me this was going to happen. This is our family religion. This is what I’m gonna…this is the conviction I’m gonna go with. It’s our tradition now.

No. We don’t need tradition. We don’t need second-hand faith. We need something where every individual comes into a relationship with God. Isn’t that the New Covenant?

( congregational response ).

He said, this is the covenant that I’ll make with them. I won’t remember their iniquities anymore, and every man will know Me. Everyone’s gonna know Me, from the least to the greatest. There’s nobody that should be coming here and depending on me, or Carl or anybody else. Praise God! You need to know Him yourself!

( congregational amens ).

And He longs to make Himself real. I believe with all my heart He’s doing that in hearts and lives. His heart is reaching out to people, and we need to pray for people here, people that may see this that we don’t know anything about.

You know, we keep hearing reports from one or another that somebody is watching us on the internet or watching the broadcast. We don’t know where this is going. Certainly, there’s no credit to us. We’ve just got an awesome God. If He take a bunch of no-count people like us and do anything, that’s wonderful! Praise the Lord!

But each one of these patriarchs had a personal revelation from God, and in the strength of that they were able to persevere even though the fulfillment of the promise…you know, you think about descendants as many as the stars in the sky. Now, obviously that’s not the number in the universe, but certainly the ones they could see. It gave them a sense that there was not gonna be some small number. Of course, the sand by the sand by the sea shore, that’s another matter.

But anyway, this promise was something they lived with. It’s something they wound up dying with. Not one them came to the last breath and said, well, I guess it just wasn’t so. I put my confidence in this, and it’s let me down. They held on to that.

And not only did they do that, they did something. They blessed the next generation. See, there was a quality, there was a power, that faith was not just a conviction of something that was real. That faith was something that gave them the impetus, the power, the engine to do something.

They actually were able to take that faith and literally bless. It was not just, I hope you have a good life. I wish this for you. This was a conviction that, I have the power to speak things into existence in these lives. I have the power…I have something that I can impart that is beyond earthly, beyond human.

You think about faith as not just something, not just a passive thing, where I just…okay, I’m gonna endure. I’m gonna sit back in my rocking chair and just believe that God’s gonna do everything. Sometimes that faith impels us to ‘do’! So there’s an active principle in faith, isn’t there?

And every situation is different! Sometimes it is a call to endure! Sometimes it’s a call to do something. But in these cases, they came to the end of their life, and they literally imparted something to the ones that came behind.

Do you believe that was just a form? Do you believe it was just sort of a ritual, a tradition? No, I believe something really happened. I believe there was real spiritual substance to that.

And I tell you, there’s a God today who can move upon us and who can enable us to impart His Spirit one to another. Isn’t that the essence of the Body of Christ?

( congregational amens ).

It’s everyone having a relationship! It’s the working of God in every part of His Body, to where we have a relationship with Him that is founded upon the faith that He has birthed within us! And in the strength of that, we can move in harmony with His will! See, they didn’t make blessings that were outside of the covenant of God, did they? It was all in harmony, and that’s another thing about faith. It is absolutely based upon a revelation of God’s will and God’s purpose. Do you think Jesus just went around doing whatever He pleased and doing whatever He thought was right?

( congregational response ).

No. He said, I do just what the Father shows Me. You know, we need the Lord, don’t we?

( congregational response ).

But I believe that God wants to teach His people more how to move in Him so that we know when to pray. You read instances where so and so saw somebody in the crowd and discerned that they had faith to be healed. Now how did that come about? There was a connection, wasn’t there? There was a spiritual sense that God was in this. If that man has faith to be healed, where did he get it? See, you sense the purpose of God, and so you can move in faith in something like that.

But I’ll tell you, faith is not about trying to make what we want to happen, happen. That’s how people use it. And you know what people want? Well, they want a lot of money. They want blessings, earthly blessings. That’s where the ‘blessings gospel’ comes from. It’s all about earthly stuff. But I’ll tell you, we need the purpose of God, don’t we?

( congregational amens ).

And you fast forward through this, as I say, you could follow the theme here. You have a sense of people being able to endure, people being able to have a conviction that keeps them on a different course from the world. You have people who actually do things! They accomplish great things, all of it fueled by faith!

But you come down to the end of it, verse 32, it says, “And what more shall I say? I do not have time to tell about Gideon, Barak, Samson, Jephthah, David, Samuel and the prophets…” Do you suppose any of them had a personal contact with God that gave them faith, gave them that conviction, enabled them?

Listen to what they did. “…Who through faith conquered kingdoms…” Boy, that’s what I want. Give me, give me power, Lord! I want to go out and conquer a kingdom! “…Administered justice, and gained what was promised; who shut the mouths of lions, quenched the fury of the flames, and escaped the edge of the sword; whose weakness was turned to strength; and who became powerful in battle and routed foreign armies. Women received back their dead, raised to life again.”

Oh wow! ‘That’s what I want. I want that kind of faith.’ And sometimes that’s God’s plan, because in every instance where that happened, that was God’s plan. And what you had was somebody who stepped into the flow of that plan! God had planted the faith within them, and in the strength of that, they went and did these things, and they accomplished God’s will and God’s purpose.

It’s no different today. We have the same God who wants to be real enough to us that we can sense what’s He’s doing and our place in it, and move with that and see Him accomplish all kinds of things.

And that’s what I sense. Like I say, I sensed it in the prayer meeting especially that God was wanting us to exercise real faith. But the question that we run into all the time is, well, what is God’s will? I believe there’s a God who wants to help us in that area.

And there’s no magic button we can push where we just oh, boom! Now I know everything. No. We start where we’re at, and we say, God, I need You. God, I can’t even have faith unless You give it to me. It’s just make-believe. It’s trying to make something happen if it’s just me trying to operate under some religious principle. I need You to show me what You’re doing so that I can flow.

Isn’t that what Jesus said? He said, the Father works, and I work. All He did was to find out what the Father was doing and His place in it, and He acted accordingly, and the Father acted through Him. He didn’t go off and say, I have pity on that person. He went to the pool of Bethesda and healed one man. Imagine the healing evangelists of today. They turn it into a show to begin with, some of them. Oh my, we just need the Lord.

But listen to what else. “Others were tortured and refused to be released, so that they might gain a better resurrection. Some faced jeers and flogging, while still others were chained and put in prison.”

To hear some people talk about it, you’d say…they would say, they just didn’t have enough faith! If they had enough faith, they would have perfect health and plenty of money, and all their relationships would have been fine. Their enemies would have been vanquished. Life would have been just one tip-toe through the tulips, but it wasn’t that way.

Yes, God called some to conquer kingdoms. He called some to give their lives, and to stand in the face of that. That’s why we can’t make formulas. That’s why we can’t say what God’s will is in every case. We need to Lord to show us. We need a growing relationship where we expect that He will help us. Isn’t that what faith is? We believe that He is, but we believe that He is a rewarder of those who do what?

( congregational response ).

Diligently seek Him. Well, I believe God can teach us the ways of faith. “Some faced jeers and flogging, while still others were chained and put in prison. They were stoned; they were sawed in two; they were put to death by the sword. They went about in sheepskins and goatskins, destitute….”

Oh, the prosperity preachers don’t read this one. Destitute! How could somebody be a man of faith and be destitute in this world? Because God is the Sustainer. And God is glorified just as much in the one as He is in the other.

You know, somebody like Joni Ericson Tada…you can imagine she’s done a lot of wrestling with all these ideas. And she went through a period where she was just believing God to heal her and get her out of that wheelchair — and He didn’t. And it’s so evident to anybody looking on, that God has been so glorified in her life.

Oh my, there’s a movie coming out, and she has a song she sings in it. And it was actually, to the displeasure of some, it was actually nominated for an Academy Award. And what a lot of people don’t know about that song is that she couldn’t hit the high notes. So when they recorded it, her husband actually had to work her diaphragm so she could hit those extra high notes. I’ve heard her sing. She’s got a beautiful voice, very sweet voice.

But you think about what glory God has gotten through her life, and the joy she’s gonna have when she skips and hops and jumps around in Heaven. And yet some people would have looked and said, you just didn’t have enough faith. There’s something deficient in you spiritually. Oh my, we need to find out what God’s plan is in every situation and say, thank You, Lord. Thank You for the grace to endure. Thank You…but we need to not do away with the other!

( congregational amens ).

When God wants to act and do something, we need Him to be able to empower us and give us faith to see something happen.

( congregational amens ).

See, we can’t just always hide on, well, if it’s Your will, Lord. We’re still standing at a distance, aren’t we? We’re still just sort of trying to figure it all out ourselves instead of saying Lord, You’re able to show. You’re able to minister faith. I need You to enlighten my heart. I need You to minister faith. If I’m gonna have real faith, it’s got to come from You anyway.

And You can give faith to be healed. You can give faith to endure whatever it is. But here’s somebody who’s destitute, persecuted, mistreated. The world…what is Heaven’s evaluation of these people? I know what religion would say…some of it. “The world was not worthy of them.” That’s what God thought.

I want to know, I’m more interested in what God thinks. I don’t care what people say. “The world was not worthy of them. They wandered in deserts and mountains, and in caves and holes in the ground. These were all commended….” The ones that conquered kingdoms and the ones who were destitute were all commended for faith!

“…Yet none of them received what had been promised.” That’s the amazing thing! Every one of them, in a sense, had been given a knowledge of something that went beyond their lives. You know, that’s probably the case here. I have a strong conviction about what God’s gonna do in His church because of what He says in His Word, and the fact that He’s ministered that. He’s gonna have a church without spot, wrinkle or blemish.

I can’t figure that out. I can’t tell you how it’s all gonna happen, but I believe it! There’s a conviction in here that something has not happened yet, that I can’t see or touch or even figure out how it could happen, that it’s real. But you know, it’s very, very possible that my time to pass off the scene will come before that happens.

So what do we do? We just say, well, God, I thought it was gonna happen? We’re gonna have to die in faith and say, Lord, it just isn’t time yet. But I have confidence that You are going…You are building toward that. You are working toward that. It is coming because it is Your purpose!

And I’m gonna remain faithful to Your purpose regardless of what this world says or does, by Your grace only. I don’t have the strength for that, but I’m looking to You. Lord, my hands are raised. My weakness…bring forth strength out of my weakness, because that’s all I’ve got to offer You, Lord.

( congregational amens ).

I have nothing. I’m not smart. I’m not any of those things compared to what I need to be, but You have the plan, You have the purpose that was conceived in eternity. Lord, I just want to remain faithful to You.

Oh God…but in the meantime, teach us Your ways. Teach us to have more faith than we do, to be able to pray in faith and see God work, to be able to see God give strength where that’s needed, healing where that’s needed. I believe God wants to teach us more than we know. I believe He’s gonna.

( congregational amens ).

To Him be the glory. Praise God!

( congregational amens ).