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Rainbow Divider
MCM Broadcast

TV Broadcast #1175

The Way of Peace

April 12, 2015

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Transcript of message from TV Broadcast 1175 -- taken from Closed Captioning Text

— Brother Phil Enlow: 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!

You know, we mentioned Wednesday night about the fact that God does not change. There’s an utter faithfulness to Him. I thought of a scripture that I have read in several contexts recently and it is, “If we believe not, yet he abideth faithful: he cannot deny himself.” (KJV).

What an amazing thing it is that when we live yo-yo lives, God doesn’t change. Now in our yo-yo thinking, we imagine that God is following our moods. That He’s in a reactive position where He’s just waiting to see what we’re gonna do. And if we’re down, well, He’s just sort of looking down His nose at us, and if we get up where we’re supposed to be, ‘okay, I’ll approve you today, I’ll smile upon you.’

There’s an utter sameness to God. Oh, does He want us to get to the place where our thinking is so fixed upon Him and His faithfulness that we don’t do this yo-yo number all the time, that we realize that when we’re down, when we’re struggling, His love hasn’t changed. He’s not sitting there disgusted with us.

I believe there’s times His heart gets sad, but that’s not the same thing as, ‘I’m just disgusted with them, I’m not gonna pay much attention to them, I’m gonna wait until they get up on the high end of their yo-yo here.’

( laughter ).

‘I’m tired of all this yo-yo business. I’m…they’re supposed to lift themselves up.’ Oh, my God. I don’t have the power to do that, folks. I’ve got to look to a source that’s outside of myself!

And God is going to bring you and me right down into the daily minutiae of our lives. And this faithful God is going to arrange your circumstances and mine! And He is going to expose the ways that we think that are contrary to Him, that bring us so much unrest that we are unable to surrender that and to say, Lord, let that go to the cross. Lord, apply the cross to that thinking. God, I open my heart to Your Words. I believe what You said. I believe Your promise to me in this circumstance right now.

( tapping for emphasis ).

Oh God, give me grace to let go and to let You have my heart and my mind, and change the way I look at this, Lord! It isn’t just some magical feeling that is conjured up! There’s a different way that I have to look, because this peace that God wants has to do with my mind being steadfast, not being changed.

And you know, this morning was a good example. I came in here real…having a hard time focusing. Anybody else relate to that? You know, I go through times when, man, the Lord is so real, He’s so wonderful, I just sense…His peace is real and then…where’s the Lord today? You know, you just wake up and you don’t feel the same. You don’t feel the same feelings, and oh my God, He must be gone somewhere. Something is wrong, this, that and the other.

God, help us to be steadfast, to know that He does not change with the weather, He doesn’t change with our circumstances. God is there and He’s willing and He’s able to give us strength. He’s looking for a steadfastness, because you and I…as I said, this world is sailing into rough waters and we need to be a people who don’t depend upon our outward circumstances for our joy and our peace!

( congregational amens ).

Nothing in this world is worth that level of trust! We need the Lord Jesus! We need our heavenly Father! We need to see that there is a faithfulness to a purpose that started way before eternity. It had to do with you and with me, that He is going to be faithful to the end.

Was it appropriate that we sang that this morning? He who is faithful to the end—to the end! Many times we’re gonna be in the middle of circumstances that look like something is really, really gone wrong and God must be mad at me. This must be the case. Oh, God help me.

And He’s just right there, wanting us to see what we’re experiencing through His eyes and we’re gonna have to go to Him. We’re gonna have to listen to His Word. We’re gonna have to allow it to reshape our thinking, recognize that my opinions about things, my ideas about things are not the way it really is!

Of course, that comes real natural, doesn’t it? See, God has to do some painful things sometimes, because it just…as I say, we are relentless in the way we think. I thank God that He is faithful enough to do whatever it takes to get me to think His thoughts and to realize that I…well, you look at Jesus.

Did He go through His life just in a state of turmoil, and just, what’s wrong with this, why do they do that, just constantly thinking like an earthly person? There was a constancy about Him. Yes, He went to God in prayer. He drew strength. He knew where His strength came from, but it came to the way He looked at things and how He evaluated things. He saw it through heaven’s eyes.

Whether the crowds followed Him or whether they didn’t follow Him, it didn’t make a bit of difference. He was trusting His heavenly Father. He knew that God had the power to change people’s hearts, that if He didn’t do that they were gonna go. He didn’t trust…in one place it says that they trusted Him or they believed in Him, but He didn’t entrust Himself to them. See, He recognized what was really in their hearts that was a superficial thing.

Oh, we are so prone to put our hope in this, this job, this relationship, the money we have in the bank, the house we have, or the house we want, or the car we want, or a gazillion other different things, the career, what we want for our kids, what we expect from our parents and all these things, we just…our thinking is so geared to the world and to self.

And God is looking to set us free from every one of those considerations so we can see that the hand of God is faithfully working in our lives. Are you willing? Am I willing to let God change me and to let Him do what is needed in our lives?

“Do not conform any longer to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind.” (NIV). Obviously, that is something that God has to engineer. It’s not like you and I can go and have a course and look up the information, and simply subscribe to that and go through some sort of little exercise where we fix our minds. God has to do it!

What we have to do…the dynamic we need is one of yielding. It’s one of recognizing the hand of God when He works in our lives and yielding to it. Almost, invariably that hand of God is going to be shining a light on something that is a part of us that we think is so central to our welfare that we struggle to let go. And God has to continue to put the pressure on until we get it, ‘til we understand.

That’s something that He is seeking to deliver me from. It’s not my salvation, it’s the problem. And as soon as we let that go, then suddenly that peace returns. But, wouldn’t it be nice if we learned to live that way, if we learned to stay close enough to the Lord to where we would much more quickly, much more readily react and let Him change the way we look at everything. Praise God!

It’s kind of quiet but that’s all right. I need my mind changed, don’t you? Be transformed, be ‘being transformed.’ Live this way! This is the way that God is gonna work. “Then you will be able to test and approve what God’s will is.” Oh, do we know what God’s will is! Man, I’ve got this career. I’ve got a career path. I can see my future unfolding. I can see who it’s gonna be unfolding with. I know what God’s will is.

Do you? Are we willing and able to lay our thoughts and ideas on the altar and say Lord, “…not my will, but yours be done”? Do we really trust His promise that, “…no good thing will he withhold from them that walk uprightly”? (KJV). That His thoughts toward us are ones of peace and love.

You know, David realized at one time that His thoughts toward me are more than the sand by the seashore. Can you wrap your mind around that one? Put your name in there. God thinks about you and His thoughts are so many. You and I can’t have that many thoughts. He’s pretty great. He can have all kinds of thoughts. You can measure His thoughts about every individual by the sand by the seashore. That’s an amazing God.

Oh, if we just learned to trust Him. If we just learned to let go and ask God to give us the grace and the strength. You know, there’s another little secret I believe the Lord wants to teach us. Because, we can preach things like this, and talk about them, and somehow the devil arranges it in our minds that this is one more thing you’ve got to do.

This is something that you’ve got to find the spiritual strength to do. You’ve got to muster this up. You have got to let go. You have got to…you know, and we’re looking within, not understanding God’s plan, not understanding what salvation is about. We are looking within for the resources by which we are supposed to do what is right and to respond to God.

So how many fall into that trap? Yeah. Yeah. But you know, there’s a wonderful spiritual secret. And I believe God has demonstrated it in some lives over the years. And it’s that every virtue that I need, including the ability to trust, the ability to yield, the ability to believe, they all come from Him.

I don’t have to qualify myself. I don’t have to earn my way into that privilege by being good enough. You’ll never be—you’ll never think you’re good enough. You’ll always see reasons to doubt…but to realize that Jesus paid it all. That His salvation is not a matter of, I’ve got you in the door, now muddle through. It’s I’m coming in to live, and it’s by your life that you are now to live.

So when I see Him asking me to trust, and I look within my own heart, I don’t see the ability there. Do you? I mean, it’s just not part of our natural DNA to do that. That’s what happened in the beginning. There was a loss of trust in Adam and Eve of the heavenly Father’s purposes in the earth. They said, no, He does not have my interest at heart. I am better off doing what I want and pursuing my own god-hood independently, and that’s still the way we are by nature.

If I’m going to act and react differently, I’m gonna have to get it from somewhere. So rather than mustering up what I need to relate rightly to God, and to enter into the blessing that He has given to us here, I need it from Him, don’t I? So instead of saying, I trust you in everything, I have to come and say, Lord, I’m not, by nature, a trusting person, but You are. Your Word tells me that You’re in me, that You live here. So Lord, instead of me trying to trust, You trust through me, Lord.

You see the difference? Now you’re into the living sacrifice because, Paul said, “I am crucified with Christ: nevertheless I live; yet not I, but Christ….” Does that sound like it harmonizes pretty well? It isn’t ‘I’ that has to do all this. It’s not I! It’s not my responsibility to muster this up and do it!

I can turn that job over to One who has no trouble doing that, because it’s His nature to trust His heavenly Father! He knows everything about Him! He was there in the beginning! He’s the One who made us! He’s the One who now…the One who created you and me now lives on the inside if you’ve given your heart to Him. It’s His nature to trust and to believe and to rest.

I’ve just, here and there, tasted that…what I’ve read in the lives of others, and it’s the truth. It’s not some mental trick. It’s not some psychological gimmick. He really lives! How do I know? He lives within my heart. And He who lives within, His nature is love, joy, peace, patience, longsuffering, gentleness, peace, all the rest of them. Anyway, I can’t quote it right now. I’m lost between translations, but that’s alright. But all these spiritual virtues are basic to His nature! He doesn’t have to struggle to come up with all of this. It just flows.

So, my place then is to just say Lord, I give the job to You. I’m willing to let go. Instead of ‘trying to,’ I am ‘refraining.’ I am giving up the job. I’m saying, Lord, I’m willing to not be angry at that person who just cut me off in traffic, but it’s not in me to do that. But Lord, just give me Your peace and Your love toward them. I’m gonna rest.

Lord, my bank account is pretty skimpy right now, and I’ve got all these bills and responsibilities, and it seems like it’s just going downhill. It’s not my nature to not worry about that. But Lord, I know that I’m in Your hands. Lord Jesus, I just let You rest and trust through me. I put my hope in You, Heavenly Father. I know You love me.

That’s not hypothetical. Do you remember what Paul said to the Philippians? He said, “I have learned, in whatsoever state I am, therewith to be content.” Now, how did he come by that knowledge? He had to learn it. In order to learn it, he had to present himself to…he had to come to school. He had to give his life to the Lord as that living sacrifice.

But in that process, God took him in places where he had a lot and he had to learn not to rely on that, not to glory in it, and just have the kind of spirit that we tend to have, of pride and self…you know, this is because I’m somebody. In all of those things, he had to learn how to handle that.

But then God took him down to where he had nothing, and he discovered that God was just as faithful in both circumstances. It wasn’t because God was pleased with him one time and mad with him the other. He was just teaching him how to trust.

But in the process of learning how to do that…it wasn’t just, this is what I ought to do. It comes down to, this is how I do it and he realized it’s the life of Christ within that enabled him to do that. And so he said, “I can do…”

( congregational response ).

“…All things…” How?

( congregational response ).

“…Through Christ which strengtheneth me.” So you see how all this begins to fit together? It isn’t…spiritual knowledge is not just a matter of, here’s the deal, here’s what you do. It has to get beyond what we do. It has to get to how we do it. And we do it by giving the job to Him in faith and saying Lord, I just surrender my heart and my will in this thing. I just give it to You. You are faithful.

Do you suppose when we attend this school faithfully, and we really just let go and recognize God’s purpose and His love toward us, and we’re on board with it and we’re willing for Him to change us, we don’t cling with this relentless clutch we have…this cling we have to our own ways and our own thinking…do you suppose He can begin to peel back our little fingers from that to where we let go?

Do you think there’s gonna be some peace in that? Do you think there’s gonna be some confidence in God that will carry us through all kinds of circumstances that are gonna come? Do you think we are gonna be in a position to glorify Him?

“You will keep in perfect peace him whose mind is steadfast, because he trusts in you.” (NIV). I pray that God will teach us these spiritual secrets. But I think the biggest one is the how. I just pray that God…I sense God teaching us in this, and I don’t want to get this just as a mental thing. I want it to be something where as I go through the day and I come upon things that would bring a lack of rest and a lack of peace that I’m able to say, Lord, by Your grace I’m trusting in You.

The Christ I serve is in me. I don’t have to feel Him. I don’t have to try to detect Him through circumstances, He’s there. Your Word has declared all these truths, and I believe Your promise and I believe Your Word.

I want to be like Abraham who believes when I don’t see and when I don’t feel. I know that You’re here and I know that, by Your power, I can be what You want me to be and so, Lord, I’m just looking to You. In Your strength I’m trusting in You, and I know that You’re gonna bring me right through this, and You’re gonna give me peace in the process. Anybody a candidate for any of this?

( congregational response ).

Yeah. I believe the Lord is…oh there’s a longing in His heart. He smiles when He thinks of what He’s doing in you and what He’s called you to. There’s a joy in His heart as He can see down the end of the road and He knows what He’s got planned.

But I believe it makes Him sad when He sees the struggles that we go through, just not really laying hold of some of the things that He’s given to us. The riches of God in Christ Jesus are without end. We will never plumb. We will never come to the end and say, well, that’s all. He’s gonna amaze us throughout all eternity, but He can amaze us right here, if we’ll let Him.

He can take us from people that just live a life of yo-yo, at best, and get us much more on an even keel where we learn how to trust and rest…but you can’t do that unless your mind thinks differently. Our mind will never think differently until we give it to Him to change and then cooperate when He does that work.

But as He does that, we’re gonna enjoy a peace that we’ve never known before and God’s gonna be honored. I believe we’re gonna have a light…that light that will come in us, it won’t be us. It’ll be Jesus living down here, shining His Light out of our lives.

And I’ll tell you, God’s gonna call some people to that light before this is over. Darkness is gonna be so great, but there will be light in this world, but it’ll be in His people. It’ll be Jesus walking the dusty roads or the paved roads, whatever, of this world. And God’s gonna be able to shine His Light into somebody’s heart that needs this Savior. I want to be one that is not so bound up in me and what I want, that I can be one who can let go and let the Lord have His way. Don’t you?

( congregational amens ).

That’s what He longs for. Let him pour that love and that peace into your heart, it’s yours. Don’t let the devil talk you out of it. Let’s give Him glory. Praise God!

( congregational amens ).