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Rainbow Divider
MCM Broadcast

TV Broadcast #1173

Come Follow Me
One Part Only

March 29, 2015

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Transcript of message from TV Broadcast 1173 -- taken from Closed Captioning Text

— Brother Phil Enlow: I was thinking about in Matthew 16: Jesus had just asked the disciples who people said that He was. And they had reported that, oh, people think you’re this prophet or that prophet. And then, “Who do you say I am?” (NIV). Peter jumped in…and he was always the one, as you could certainly see him depicted in the movie…always the one to step forward and speak up. And he said, you are the Son of God. “…The Christ, the Son of the living God.” (KJV). And the Lord said, you didn’t get this from men. You got this from heaven.

You know, my prayer is that everyone in this place…that God will absolutely reveal who Jesus is because that’s the key. There has got to be something very personal. This can’t be second-hand. It can’t be coming from just some preacher saying, hey, this is who Jesus is, you need to follow Him. At some point there’s got to be a divine encounter between you and Jesus where you come to the place where you realize, like Peter did, I’m the one who needs saving.

( congregational amens ).

I’m the one who needs saving. And, thank God, that’s the foundation of the real church. I know men have built what they call churches, but we want one where Jesus Christ is the Head.

( congregational amens ).

He’s the resident Head, not just some figure-head who’s way off while we do what we want. We want Him to come. We want people who have been born of His Spirit, who have been brought by divine revelation, not some spooky thing, but real revelation to the heart that you need a Savior. Jesus is the One. ‘I have paid it all!’ I’m not looking for any resource from you. I’m just looking for you to surrender. And that’s what it means.

And, of course, Peter…that’s the point at which Jesus began to tell the disciples what was gonna happen. And of course, Peter spoke up again and said, no, we’re not gonna let it happen. I’m gonna take out that sword, we’re gonna defend you. We’ll stick with You.

And the Lord said, “Get behind me, Satan!” (NIV). Verse 23, I guess that is. “You are a stumbling block to me; you do not have in mind the things of God, but the things of men.” They still thought He was there to start an earthly kingdom, but how well it was depicted what the Lord has in mind. Oh, my! There’s an end coming for this world.

( congregational response ).

There’s an end coming. But there’s something that goes way beyond that. And this is the only way to get there to be a part of that. “Then Jesus said to his disciples…” So here’s the part about following Him. “…If anyone would come after me…” All right, you want to follow Me? “…He must deny himself and take up his cross and follow me. For whoever wants to save his life will lose it…but whoever loses his life for me will find it.” Praise God! That’s the flip side of that.

Oh, how strongly are we inclined to follow our own instincts and our own desires and feel like that’s the way to life, that’s the way to happiness. And there’s a God looking on who sees it as the pathway that leads inevitably to death, corruption, everything that’s wrong. And yet, how relentlessly, like a lemming heading for the cliff, the proverbial lemming, heading there to commit suicide, do we run that way until God arrests us! Thank God, He knows how to arrest people!

( congregational amens ).

Thank God, that’s one arrest that we ought to be shouting about!

( congregational amens ).

Thank God, You didn’t let me go my own way! Thank you, Lord, for loving me, doing what it

( congregational amens ).

I was your enemy, Lord. I wanted my own way! I thought I knew best! Oh, I was sure I knew the way to happiness. Surely, it’s not giving up what I want, giving up my life. But that’s exactly what it is. That’s exactly what it costs.

You know, Jesus said in one place, ‘count the cost,’ didn’t He? You know, you say you want to follow Me, you’ve got to count the cost. This is what it costs. Your life for My Life. I want His Life! Praise God!

“What good will it be for a man if he gains the whole world, yet forfeits his soul? Or what can a man give in exchange for his soul?” Can you come to the end and say, well, Lord, I’ve gained the whole world here, I’ll trade it if you’ll just let me live. No such thing. But here we are as believers, struggling sometimes…anybody here ever struggle? Anybody here ever identify with Peter?

( congregational response ).

Yeah! Oh what a message of hope and encouragement!

( congregational response ).

But you notice something about this following Him. It’s taking up the cross and following Him. It’s not a one-shot, I believe in Jesus, I’m born again, now I just go live my life kind of thing. This is a way of life. This is a life in which God is constantly applying a principle of death to aspects of my life and yours.

But at the same time, we are being infused with a new life. There is a change that’s going on that has to happen on an on-going basis. This is not a…well, it’s like Paul said. “I have been crucified with Christ…” Yes, I’m looking back to something that happened there. He says, “…Nevertheless I live; yet not I, but Christ liveth in me.” (KJV).

And what about a Scripture to which we have looked so many times in, what is it? Romans chapter 12…is that the one I mean? Yes. Because there Paul is urging those to whom he’s written…he’s laid out with absolutely clarity the hopeless, helpless condition that every one of us is in without Christ. We’re guilty sinners deserving death and there’s nothing we can do about it. End of story, nothing you can do about it.

Well, not only that, suppose my sins get forgiven. Then what? At that point, I’ve still got the same nature that makes it impossible for me to live in a way that’s pleasing to God. I can’t do it! I’m still…I have a nature that’s still God’s enemy! So where does that leave us? That leaves us in a place of utter, utter need.

And oh, how we fight that. Not me, Lord! I’m not that bad. I’m not like that. I’m not like so-and-so and so-and-so. I do this, I do that. Yeah, that’s what the Pharisee said in the temple. That was his plea. What’s your plea when you come to God? Our plea better be, ‘Just as I am, without one plea, but that Christ died for me.’

( congregational response ).

‘And that you bid me come.’ What other grounds do you have…does anybody have for coming to God and becoming His follower? Can I come and say, Lord, I’ve been to church all my life? Lord, I sing in the choir! Lord, I had this experience or that experience! That plea will never be accepted.

The plea is like Peter in the movie. I tried to save Him…I’m the one that needs saving. And this wasn’t somebody who was God’s enemy in the sense that we think of it. This was somebody who professed to want to follow Him.

Do you ever find yourself in the place? Your best intentions led straight into the mud hole because you were trusting in yourself. And what did the Lord do? Did He sit there and thunder His accusations and His condemnation upon your head? Or did He turn that right around and bring you to a place where you knew you were helpless, you knew you had had no…but yet, the truth about what you are and the utter helplessness that we have—the truth of it, right in the face of it does not come with condemnation. It comes with hope! It comes with an offer of mercy!

You think about it. What other hope do we have except God shows us mercy? You think about the publican, the tax collector who went into the temple to pray the same time that self-righteous Pharisee was there. What did he say? Lord be…

( congregational response ).

“…Merciful to me a sinner.” (KJV). He made no pretension. God, help us, because we are all very good at trying to convince others and trying to convince ourselves that we’re not exactly as bad as He really says we are.

( congregational response ).

Anybody? Yeah. Does not God have some work to do in us…

( congregational response ).

…To bring us to that where we can enjoy the new life? We’re so relentlessly clinging to pieces of the old one, our pride…in so many ways. And now He’s called us to follow Him.

“Therefore, I urge you, brothers, in view of God’s mercy…” (NIV). See, there it is. “…In view of God’s mercy, to offer your bodies as living sacrifices….” That’s a strange expression. A sacrifice is something you kill, and yet he says this is a living one.

I don’t know…I looked up some of those words yesterday. I wasn’t even particularly thinking about the movie at that point. But, ‘to offer your bodies’…the word ‘offer’ in the Greek is to stand beside. I mean, it’s like…I was just picturing the one who would bring a lamb to be sacrificed. He would stand there, in the Old Testament, and place his hand on that lamb, and it would represent his life.

But here you’ve got an on-going situation where I am standing, I am adopting a certain posture before God. There is a standing offer, ‘Lord, I need to be changed.’ I have no power to change myself. And so I’m simply offering myself, Lord, for You to change, to do whatever You want.

The other analogy is I’m the clay, You’re the Potter. You do what You know needs to be done. I don’t know, Lord. I think I’m this way. I think I’m that way. But you have ways of showing me what I really am. That’s discouraging if we focus on that.

But yet, here the Lord…this is what He’s wanting, this is what the Gospel brings us to. It paints an unrelenting picture…uncompromising picture is a better word, of our need of a Savior. Then it lifts up a perfect, complete Savior! So every ounce of my trust, every ounce of my hope, is turned from me or from anything pertaining to this world, and it’s every bit invested in one Person and His name is Jesus.

( congregational amens ).

And it becomes His power to save me. So what is He looking for, on whatever this is…June 15th, I think it is, 2014…what’s He looking for from me? What’s He looking for from you? For me to take that stance before Him, to stand beside myself and say, here I am, Lord. There are things in me right here today that need to die. I need You to touch them. I need You to reveal them to me. I need you to show me what’s really going on. Do whatever is needed in me, Lord. I have no…I can’t offer any more than Peter could offer.

Boy, what a powerful picture that was! Lord, what must I do? It’s not about you. God’s acceptance is not about you, or what you must do. It’s based on what I have done. Oh, wow! Does that give you hope this morning?

( congregational response ).

Praise God! If you are in a dark place, if you’re in a place where you’re feeling your weakness, you’re feeling your need, you’ve experienced something where you’ve fallen in the mud, lift up your eyes, get your eyes off of yourself. Maybe that’s why you fell in the mud to start with, because you were trying in your own strength, and the Lord’s trying to help you to see that you need a Savior.

But it’s never for the purpose of taking away your hope, but turning it to the only source of real hope there is. You and I are going to run into places in our journey where our will has gotten so entangled, we have been so compromised for so long in some area that we don’t even have the strength to say, Lord, here I am, fix me. We need mercy to even be able to do that!

( congregational amens ).

We need God’s help! We need God-breathed energy to enable us to even present ourselves and say, Lord, here I am, I can’t fix this! And just to be honest with You, I’m not sure I want it fixed! Boy, are we good at presenting ourselves as spiritual! Folks, we are not, in ourselves!

( congregational amens ).

But we are very good at reading something like this and getting very sanctimonious. We want to convince everybody else how spiritual we are. But I have to confess…I’m sure I’m not the only one. I’ve gotten sanctimonious in private. You know what I mean? I adopt this real spiritual attitude…all right, Lord. And He’s sitting there…

( sighing ).

( laughter ).

‘I love him, he just doesn’t get it. He’s still trying to convince…he thinks he’s trying to convince Me that he’s really serious. He’s really trying to convince himself.’ Lord, help us! Do we need a Savior or do we need a Savior?

But what we’re really trying to do by our sanctimonious act sometimes…we become actors, and then it’s sincere many times. I’m not saying it’s insincere, but we’re ‘trying’ to be what we think we ought to be. We put on a front and convince God, and convince ourselves, and convince other people that we’re what we’re not, when He’s saying, I don’t base it on that!

You think if you get sanctimonious enough, I’ll help you? Is that the idea? I mean, when you break it down, that’s what’s going on there. No! That’s not the foundation. I show mercy because it pleases Me to show mercy!

You know, there are places in the Old Testament where the Lord made great promises to Israel, in spite of all where she’d been and all the judgment that had been necessary, but He focused His attention on the future and how He was going to bless the remnant and His people. And then at the end of it, He’d say, I’m not doing this because of you.

But that principle applies to you and to me today. He’s not looking down and saying, man, I’m impressed with you, so I’m gonna help. He’s doing this to fulfill the purpose of His own heart, from the foundation of the world, to have a family that is filled with His Life and His glory and is able to live with Him forever. That’s His heart! That’s His purpose!

He is not deterred by your need or by mine, but what He calls upon us to do is to come just as we are and lay every one of these issues…the ones that come up this morning, this afternoon, tonight…and just lay them at His feet and take our stand. Stand beside ourselves, as it were…the sacrifice, and say, Lord, do what You’ve got to do. If my will is weak, fix it. I just can’t fix myself, Lord. I see this need in me and I would love to change it sometimes. I get stirred up, I see the need…but I can’t fix it, Lord.

And of course, in our American thinking, ‘I want it fixed now!’ And the Lord says, be patient. Don’t we need to be patient with ourselves? Don’t we need to be patient with one another? Like I’ve said in the past, the Lord will work on you 40 years to fix something and change you and deliver you. Then you’ll see somebody else with the same need…and you want to drop it on them like a formula.

We are works in progress and we have got a long way to go. But we have got Somebody who is committed to finish the job that He started, who is able to finish the job that He started, who holds the highest level of authority in the universe, other than the Father Himself, who has already defeated every demon that bothers you! He’s already defeated this wicked world in which we have to live, which is getting darker and darker. And He who has begun that work is gonna finish it. Thank God! Therefore, I urge you through God’s mercy! Do you need God’s mercy this morning? I do.

( congregational response ).

But based on His strength, His mercy…not anything I deserve, now I’m able to say, Lord, I offer myself today, this moment as a sacrifice, holy and pleasing to You, separate from the world and its purposes! “This is your spiritual act of worship.”

The main word in that particular phrase is the word from which we get the word logic or logical. That’s a pretty good way to put it. I mean, you look at everything that the Gospel has revealed up to this point, our utter unworthiness, our utter helplessness and God’s mercy. Is there any other response to all of that that is logical, other than to say, I surrender?

“Do not conform any longer to the pattern of this world, but be transformed…” Again, that’s something that happens to me. I don’t transform myself, I surrender and I allow God to replace my corrupted thinking, the corrupted thinking of your peers! We look at the young people, but we were all there.

( congregational amens ).

We’ve been there, we’ve done that. We know how it works. We want to please our peers and be thought well of, and so we’re gonna act like them and think like them. We’re gonna have to step aside and say, God, I’m Yours. I’m not part of this system. Lord, just change my thinking. I want to think the way You think. I want to see the way You see, and I get that it’s a process. You can’t mash a button and make it happen. But Lord, I want to grow today in that. I want You to fix, to re-tune my mind, Lord, so it’s in harmony with Your heart and with Your purposes.

And the more I learn to think like You, then the more my actions and my whole life will begin to be changed and begin to be more like You. Every bit of the energy that makes this happen comes from God and it comes by way of mercy! You don’t deserve a bit of it. The minute we start thinking we deserve something, we’re just turning the spigot right off, turning the valve right off. But the Lord is so patient, isn’t He?

Thank God, for all that He has done. I don’t know…I don’t think there’s anything else necessary, at least for me to say. But I praise God today. I don’t know where everyone is at that’s here. I believe there are many believers, as I say, who can identify with Peter. You’re in the middle of your journey and you’re running into this issue and that issue. This is what God’s looking for from you. He’s not looking for you to fix yourself. He’s looking for you to present yourself to Him to fix, with surrender and with honesty. We don’t have to pretend, before Him particularly. You know, we all get this idea of what a spiritual person is supposed to be like. Of course, it’s exhausting after a while.

( laughter ).

But every once in a while we get stirred up…okay, I’m spiritual, now. God have mercy! Just be ourselves and say, Lord, I want to be just who I am, but energized by You and changed by You. Let me quit pretending. I’ll tell you, churches are filled with people with plastic faces and you’d never know what’s really going on in their lives. We are needy people...

( congregational amens ).

…Who just need to trust in an all-powerful Savior, and love each other and look to Him, and go forward and just quit trying to pretend. We don’t have to. He has got everything that’s necessary and He’s not…you think He’s fooled by all that? Do you think that impresses Him? Do you think He’s sitting there saying, okay they’re doing a real good job of acting now, I’m gonna go ahead?

( congregational response ).

Boy, aren’t we something? But I thank God it’s not about us or what we must do. It’s what He has done. So that’s my hope this morning. And I pray if there’s somebody here and you’ve never really surrendered your life to Jesus Christ, you’ll get it.

And you know, as the Body of Christ, we need to pray. People who are in that condition, many times they can’t…we just sit there and say, oh, preach the Word and they’ll…we need to battle to set people free. And we need to battle with faith that God will break down walls and invade hearts and bring to conviction and faith!

( congregational amens ).

We have young people growing up in the church who need to have their own encounter with Jesus Christ, where their life takes a turn and they never look back, and the bridge is burned behind them. And only God can do that. But He can. How many of you enjoyed the testimony of Chrissy? When did we hear that? Was it Wednesday or the one before?

( congregational response ),.

Wednesday, yeah. I hope they can make some copies. I got all three broadcasts of her testimony and put them on a CD back there. So I hope they can begin to make some copies of that. That’s tremendous.

But here’s a girl who grew up under Jim Cymbala…I mean, it’s his daughter. She grew up in church, loved the Lord, sang, and then began to be sucked away—began to be sucked away by her own pride and her own lusts, got in a dark, dark spiritual dungeon. And that whole church came together and just poured their hearts out to God. And God broke that power that night.

( congregational response ).

There are some strongholds here.

( congregational response ).

And God is calling us to give ourselves to Him, but also to seek Him for others. He has the power in heaven and earth to break strongholds. The gates of hell will not prevail against the church that He is building. Let’s do what Jesus said. Follow Him. He is the Life, the Truth…the Truth, the Way and the Life. Praise God! Praise the Lord!