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Rainbow Divider
MCM Broadcast

TV Broadcast #1174

The Way of Peace
Part One

April 5, 2015

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Transcript of message from TV Broadcast 1174 -- taken from Closed Captioning Text

— Brother Phil Enlow: Let’s start with a familiar scripture in Isaiah chapter 26. And this is a prophecy that was specifically to the land of Judah in that time, but I believe it enunciates principles that are absolutely true in every age. And the prophecy begins in the last half of verse 1.

“We have a strong city; God makes salvation its walls and ramparts.” (NIV). Praise God! The thing that underlies everything about us is God and His purpose, and His purpose from eternity. And He is the doer. He is the engineer of all salvation. It’s not something where He dumps a bunch of commands on us and says, work it out. But He has done everything that’s necessary. Folks, there’s a place of rest that we can enjoy and I believe He longs for us to have.

“Open the gates that the righteous nation may enter, the nation that keeps faith.” And this is the scripture. “You will keep in perfect peace him whose mind is steadfast, because he trusts in you. Trust in the Lord forever, for the Lord, the Lord, is the Rock eternal.” Praise God!

You know, we read that and we even sing…we have a chorus where we sing about that. And, I think sometimes we sing it and we say, yes, it’s so. But in practice we just sort of muddle through and we don’t really enjoy a lot of this, do we?

( congregational response ).

How many of you have perfect peace and nothing ever ruffles your feathers? But you know, I think a lot of times we look at something like this and we say, yeah, there’s this magical place where God’s people don’t have to worry, they don’t have to fret, they don’t have to be afraid. There’s just perfect peace all the time, but that’s just a pipe dream, we’ll never see that.

And so, then we think there’s almost no exit on that highway. Once you drive south of that, there’s no exit until we get off where we live and that’s where we’re constantly in a panic. And we just don’t enjoy very much of this, or every once in a while we’ll panic and then we’ll cry out to God, ‘oh God, help me.’ And then He does in a measure, and then we get through. And then the next crisis hits.

But I believe with all my heart that God is seeking to bring His people, at least upon this road…you know, I believe there’ll be tests, there’ll be things that will challenge this peace as long as we’re in these bodies, but I believe that there is a much greater place of rest and peace that He has for us.

( congregational amens ).

And, notice that it’s God’s job to keep us in perfect peace. It’s not something we have to work up. It’s not a feeling we conjure up. This is something that God gives to His people. You know, we read the scripture the other night and we often read it, where we’re told not to be anxious, but with prayer and supplication and thanksgiving, we’re to bring out needs to the Lord. And what does it say after that?

( congregational response ).

“And the peace of God, which passeth all understanding, shall keep your hearts and minds…” (KJV). So there’s a state of being that God longs for us to enjoy where His peace is not just something that comes and then goes, and comes and goes. We’re not called to a life of being a yo-yo. God longs to have that steadiness.

But notice what it is here. Obviously there’s a trust that is at the heart of this. It’s because he trusts in You and that trust is something where God is looking to break the earthly ties…I mean, Lord, have we had this theme lately? We can’t seem to get away from it. But He’s seeking to break every earthly consideration that we might rely upon and trust in, in order that that trust might be moved to Him who is the only Rock, the only eternal God.

Nothing down here is trustworthy in the ultimate sense. Jesus even said, “Heaven and earth will pass away, but my words will never pass away.” (NIV). So there is something upon which we can truly trust, but yet by nature we all trust this, we trust this. Our trust is basically earthly…it’s rooted in earth, and earth’s ways and ways of thinking.

And so right in the middle of that between the peace and the trust is the key. “…Him whose mind is steadfast…” And, I believe in the King James it says, “…him…whose mind is stayed on thee.” There’s a position where the mind has a focus, and if we really are to enjoy the peace, that mind cannot be here and here and here and here like the yo-yo. God wants to bring us to a place where there is such a steadiness, such a consistency of mind, that no matter what rises up to challenge it, it doesn’t lose that sense of security, of ‘everything’s okay because God’s got it in hand.’

My hope is not in this anyway. If it looks like my life is going to hell in a hand-basket, well, praise God! I’m not trusting in the things that would tend to cause me to feel happy and secure here. I’m trusting in something that’s way beyond me.

But you know, the problem is when we start talking about our mind coming into play, we’ve got an enemy, because the way every person naturally thinks growing up in this world is…what did Paul call it? Enmity against God. Our mind is the enemy of God. It thinks the opposite of the way that God thinks. It puts all of its hope in this world.

And, that’s what we tend to trust in. We simply arrive in this world, we learn from our environment, we imbibe the views, and the thoughts, and the feelings, the opinions of those around us. And that forms our way of coping with life and trying to respond to the urges and the desires that arise from within and we just try to muddle through and make our way. And there’s this conflict and strife, but it’s all about this world and it’s all about me, of course.

And that’s the way our mind naturally is geared, and if we’re gonna ever enjoy something different, something is going to have to change. We need some change in our thinking! Because it’s all well and good to assert these things and to come here and say, ‘there is a place in God where rest is complete.’ And we sing it, and we sing it sincerely! But we go out of here and you know…we just forget all about it and it doesn’t really make any difference, does it?

But I sense God teaching us. I sense a greater peace in my own heart, and I know it’s not because of anything that I am, or certainly not because God is now pleased with me, I’m such a good guy. It’s just that He’s getting my eyes more and more, here and there, little bits and pieces, He’s getting my eyes off of me and off of my thinking, and my way of thinking, and beginning to bring it into line with His thinking. I mean, you think about the God that we’re talking about. He’s described as a Rock. He’s an eternal Rock.

But you go back into eternity, do you know when He started thinking about you?

( congregation inaudible ).

Yeah, before the foundation of the world. There was no star. There was no earth. There was no creation. There was no space. Even the scientists say, space and time are all something that just were created. They’ve got their own theories about it. They don’t use the word ‘creation,’ but I mean it’s all part of the creation.

But here’s a God who’s outside of that and He was thinking and planning for you. He knew your name, knew everything about you! And we’re gonna rely on our wisdom! Give me a break! We’re idiots if we do that. And proud and blind…but isn’t that the condition of the world? This world has been utterly blinded by the enemy of their souls—of men’s souls, until they’re totally unable to see the light that comes from heaven that would absolutely lift us out of the darkness in which we find ourselves! Oh my! We just need Him.

You know, there’s a popular saying that turns up on a lot of TV movies, and a lot of places in our society: ‘Follow your heart.’ Well now, that’s good advice…considering that, “…the heart is deceitful above all things…” (NIV). That’s the worst thing you could possibly follow is your own heart. It’s gonna lead you astray every time because it’s so geared to your fallen nature and your blind mind!

Follow your heart indeed! The scripture also says, he that trusts in his own heart is a fool! And a lot of times, you get a bunch of fools listening to other fools, and they’ve all got it figured out and they think they know something. And here’s an eternal God reaching down in love to bring us into this place, this relationship where we can have peace.

What do you think is gonna happen when things really start going bad, to people who are trusting in this, trusting in their own wisdom. I want something better. I don’t have it. The further I go, the less I know, and the more I realize I don’t know, of course. But, oh thank God for His mercy to help us and to teach us.

And I pray that everyone here is a student. And you know, that’s what it takes. It brings into play another familiar scripture that we know so well and that’s in Romans chapter 12. And it’s one of these that you’ll say, oh yeah, that again. Well, yeah, that again, because we need it again.

You know, we can stop preaching about all these things when we’ve really learned them…when it’s so ingrained in us that we don’t need to hear it that anymore. Praise God! We’ve just got that so built into our spiritual DNA and we’re living it, and walking in it, that we can just go on past that and just praise God. Well, praise God! We can praise God anyway, but we need this.

And, Paul says, “Therefore, I urge you, brothers, in view of God’s mercy, to offer your bodies as living sacrifices, holy and pleasing to God—this is your spiritual act of worship.” And you know, as we’ve pointed out many times, a sacrifice…this must have sounded strange. Everybody knows a sacrifice is something you kill, right?

In the Old Testament, they brought a lamb, for example, or a goat to be sacrificed…that lamb wasn’t coming back. That was a one-way trip to the slaughter house. There was absolutely…there was something that was going to die and not come back.

But yet, he’s talking here about a living sacrifice! Now you think about what God has made possible, that we have a way in which we can die and yet we can live! Isn’t that amazing?

( congregational response ).

The wisdom of God to give us a way to let go of what we are and to see that die, and see it lose its hold, and ultimately be gone! And yet there’s a life that is growing up, that is going to be just like Him and live forever! That’s an awesome God!

( congregational amens ).

Praise God! Oh man, won’t it be something when there’s nothing left but the glory of heaven and our lives are just filled with that, we breathe the air of heaven! None of this…none of the aches and pains, but none of the impulses that flow from this old nature…they’re all gone! Oh, praise God! Won’t that be awesome?

( congregational response ).

But the Lord wants us to enjoy some of that now! You know, some people’s concept of Christianity is just get in the door. You can’t really expect much, just muddle through, try hard, and when you fail…it’s all right, God’s taken care of it all.

There’s more that the Lord wants. He wants to literally change us in a progressive sense into the image of His Son! And He’s the only One that knows how to do that. I don’t get that. It’s not within the power of my wisdom nor my will to bring that to pass. But there is a way that it can happen and it begins with my recognizing my need. I mean, you don’t come to Christ without recognizing your need, do you?

( congregational response ).

God has got to invade your heart and your space and show you that you’re not the good person you think you are. You’re not just a basically good person who makes a few mistakes. You are a…a person fundamentally infected with sin, a sin from which you have no power to escape! You do it by nature, but you do it by choice, too. You’re willingly God’s enemy! By wicked works, by thoughts, by deeds, by everything…even if you could clean up on the outside, your heart is still God’s enemy.

And until God shows a person that, they never come. And you can’t say, there’s one standard experience…everybody’s exactly the same. But in some form or fashion, God has got to invade the heart and He’s got to show you that need, until you realize, I’m gonna have to face Him one day, and I’m gonna have to answer for my sins, and I’m hopeless in myself. Oh God, what will I do? How will I do that? How can I stand?

And oh, once that honest assessment comes to pass and you realize what you are and how desperate your need is, then He shows you a Savior who is able completely to save you for time and eternity because He took those sins of which you are so guilty. He took them upon Himself and He bore them as we sung about this morning. Praise God!

And do you know what happens when the mind is involved with that, when the mind just lets go and embraces that truth, and there’s faith that God gives, supernaturally, He gives it, and you’re able to transfer your trust from yourself to Him? What happens?

( congregational response ).

Peace. Isn’t that what we’re talking about this morning? The peace of God enters the heart and suddenly the wall between you and God is gone! Praise God! Isn’t that an awesome thing? But God wants that wall down all the time, because we tend to enjoy that and then we start walking by nature and our own thoughts and our own ways, when what the Lord wants us to do is basically to hand over our lives.

Now you know, there’s a sense in which we do it for time and eternity when we really come to Him when we’re born again. But God wants us to consciously cooperate, to understand what He’s doing…to get it, to understand what is my life now about? Where am I headed? What principles govern my life and my thinking?

And the whole deal is my life is no longer my own. I was bought with a price. He paid for my life with His own blood, and He did it because He loves me and has an eternal plan for my life. So my life is just to be given to Him. He is the Potter, I am the clay.

Oh God, I lay down my life. That to which I would naturally cling is to be put to death. And I need You to do that in me, Lord. I don’t know how to do any of this, but I’m trusting in You. My life is in Your hands. I’m laying it down, and I realize that there is something that has to die, but there’s also something that is alive because You put it in my heart, and it lives.

And I know that as I put my hope in You…this is my spiritual act of worship, this is my reasonable service! As I do this, You’re gonna take my life and re-shape it and mold it. I’m gonna be changed. Oh do we love change!

( laughter ).

See this is really part of the death that we die, is letting go the things that we think are so critical to our existence! That’s me! That’s the problem. You’re not the solution, you’re the problem…so am I. Praise God!

And so this is where the mind gets in. he says, “Do not conform any longer to the pattern of this world….” Now where do you get your values and your opinions from? You know, it’s awful easy for somebody to come into a place like this and listen, and just sort of…and then go out…but what’s really in here, the ideas that really rule you up here have not come from the Word of God. They have not come from heaven. They have come from the spirit of this world.

And this world is passing away. And you need to get that. You need to know that. There is gonna come a day when, if you don’t get it now, you will get it and it will be terror, because you will know that Jesus Christ is Lord! The One who came out of that tomb is reigning in heaven and He is finishing a work on this earth. That work involves a whole lot of people that are sitting right in front of me and those that perhaps will hear later. Oh God, help us to get what’s going on and to cooperate with what He’s doing in the world.

“Do not conform any longer to the pattern of this world.” It’s passing away! This world is passing away, and the lusts thereof, as John says. “…But be transformed…” And how many times have we pointed out that this is a continuous thing. This is not an event. This is not something where you can come down to the altar and have someone lay their hands upon you and your mind is just changed like that!

( snapping fingers ).

All of a sudden, you think like Jesus! Boy, that would be nice, wouldn’t it?

( congregational response ).

That’s because we want the easy way. We want the short-cut. But this is a life-long journey that God has called us to, and it makes it a lot easier if we get it, if we understand what it is that He’s seeking to do. Because every time we assert our will, our way, we assert our ideas and look at things from our point of view, and cling to that…every time it brings unrest and misery and strife and trouble!

Every time we come to a place where we understand, we look at the Word of God and we see His love for us and His mercy that would deliver us, and we let go, what’s the result? It’s peace, isn’t it? And so God’s prescription for me, for every one of us, is that we learn how to let go and how to enjoy the peace that He has purchased for us at the cross.

Oh my, do I need to have my mind changed? You better believe it! Man, when I was a teenager, I knew everything, too. I was just like you. But oh my, the longer I go, the more I realize, I don’t know anything as I ought to know it. As high as the heaven is above the earth, so high, so much higher are His thoughts than my thoughts, and His ways than my ways.

And His ways are ways of peace, aren’t they? You keep coming back to this same thing. There really is a place of peace! And it’s a place where we stop fighting against God and we say, God, change the way I look at life, change the way I look at my circumstances!

And you know, you’re speaking in generalities by saying those kinds of things, but I mean it gets right down to what’s happening in my life now, today? And I mean right down to the place where we…how do we react in traffic, as we have pointed out, humorously, at times? How do we react when somebody says something, when we encounter things to which we naturally react? How do we handle that?

Do we really seek the will and the purpose and the mind of God? Do we actually want Him to change the way we look at things or, do we enjoy our little attitudes? Do we feel entitled to our attitudes? How much peace does that bring? Not much.

Oh, God help us. We are just relentless sinners, folks! We need a Savior! We have got no hope whatsoever except for a God who doesn’t give up! There’s a faithfulness to Him that is unbelievable! That’s why the imagery of the rock is used there in Isaiah 26. And obviously, the earthly rock is a pretty poor thing to trust in ultimately. But He is so much greater than that! He is the Eternal Rock! He is the One who never changes!