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Rainbow Divider
MCM Broadcast

TV Broadcast #1177

Don’t Give Up

April 26, 2015

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Transcript of message from TV Broadcast 1177 -- taken from Closed Captioning Text

— Brother Phil Enlow: I’ll tell you, we’ve got a God who can work if we were to learn to trust Him. But how easily do we give in to our fears, to our exhaustion sometimes. You know, Paul has talked about being weary. I got to thinking about that. You know, why would we be weary? Why would we be weary on the inside?

I mean, I understand that the effect of being sick, for example, being really, really tired physically, all those things, they play into it. But why would we get that way on the inside, if it were not for the simple fact that we are running in our own strength at that point? Because God has strength that can carry us through even in the times when we truly are weak and circumstances are terrible.

But our tendency so much of the time…and we don’t realize it, we are going on our own strength. We are running in our own wisdom, and so we get down to a point where that’s not working anymore. It’s pretty easy to get discouraged, and it’s pretty easy to get to the point where it’s ‘what’s the use?’ Why should I put forth any effort anymore?

So anyway, here’s David under those circumstances. Now there’s war. The Philistines go out to attack Israel, and they come out to defend themselves, and Saul is scared to death. He goes and tries to inquire of God. God is silent. He decides he’s gonna go consult a witch, trying to bring Samuel up out of the grave.

( laughing ).

( laughter ).

And he actually succeeds. God allowed all of that. I tell you, there’s a whole lot of power in this world that we don’t know anything about and we need to leave alone. The kingdom of darkness is real. But anyway, Samuel came up out of the grave and prophesied, this is what I’ve told you is gonna happen, and you’re gonna be dead, and your sons are gonna be dead too. Of course, he was panicked, and that’s exactly what happened.

But of course, David, living among the Philistines, he was gonna go right to war with them. Let me come and fight alongside you, oh king, and I’ll show you what I can do, show you what I’ve been doing. And the king is glad of it and says, sure, you can be my bodyguard, until the other four kings of the Philistines got wind of that and decided that’s not such a good idea, and they sent them home.

And so you know, you get some guys all geared up to fight and then tell them they have got to go home, that’s not exactly encouraging. Now you ladies might not understand that entirely, but we guys, that’s kind of the way we’re constituted. So obviously, now they’re going home back to Ziklag, and Ziklag was three days away.

And you know, they’re fighting off discouragement, fighting off all kinds of negative stuff. Look at the mess we’re in. We’re in a foreign land. Nobody trusts us. We’re all on our own. You can just imagine the stuff that was going on around their heads. They say, well, at least when I get back, I’ll get a good meal and see my family.

And so the Lord had that arranged, too, didn’t He? The Amalekites, good old Amalekites, they seem to show up every time something bad is gonna happen. They had come in, and they had destroyed the town, carried everybody off, burned everything. There was no meal. There was no food, no nothing. And if you think you’ve ever been discouraged, and I know we’ve all experienced that.

The scripture says that they wept. Well, it says in chapter 30, “So David and his men wept aloud until they had no strength left to weep.” (NIV). I mean, that’s a pretty low place. You’re in a situation that calls for grief, but you don’t even have the strength to grieve anymore. Your gas tank is empty. What do you do?

And of course, the men reacted in their unbelief as we’ve pointed out so many times, they were ready to stone David and blame him for all of it. I think sometimes we jump to this conclusion, to what happened a little quickly and don’t really get some of the process. “…David encouraged himself in the Lord.” (KJV). Boom, boom! You know, just like he pushed a button.

I don’t know what David’s emotions were, but I doubt they were quite like we picture them. We can sit here in the safe confines of these walls and talk about all this, but I know many of you, many of us have been in places where it doesn’t work that way. Your emotions don’t just bounce back.

But there’s a dimension to this that I don’t know if I’ve seen before. If I have, I’ve just forgotten it, I guess. But why were they in Ziklag in the first place? Because, “…David thought to himself….” (NIV). So on top of the circumstances, David has now got to deal with the fact, I screwed up. I moved in myself. I didn’t trust God. I didn’t look to God. God didn’t lead me here. I’m in a mess.

See, you’re not dealing with somebody like Joseph who didn’t do anything wrong. He’s just there. He’s having to trust God. Sure it got tough, but Joseph wasn’t in prison because he messed up. He didn’t do anything wrong. But David had really, in his human weakness, had gotten himself, in a sense, in this place.

Does that not tend to undermine your confidence about coming to God at a time like that? Do I deserve to…will He help me? I’ve got myself in this! And of course, the devil is quick to jump in and say, you’ve gotten yourself in this mess! You’re gonna have to get yourself out of it! Then maybe God will pay attention to you. You ever experience that? Yeah. Dealing with your own personal sense of weakness and even failure. Peter, again, is the example.

So David had a lot to overcome. But you know, David was a shepherd too. You remember the picture that we’ve had painted for us many times. Sheep are pretty stupid…a lot like us. They tend to live in the moment, follow their nose, express their independence, and the results are not always good, are they?

Sometimes, sheep wander off and they get caught in the brambles. Suppose the shepherd said, you’ve gotten yourself into this, you better jolly well get yourself out. Is that the picture we get of the Divine Shepherd? Even a human shepherd is better than that. But a Divine Shepherd! How He can turn our mess-ups into something of eternal worth in our lives, it reveals something about God that is awesome. And should cause us to lift up our hearts and say what an awesome God we have!

Lord, I don’t want to mess up. Lord, I need Your strength. I need You to teach me, but it’s so wonderful to know that in my lowest, worst moment, when I’m in a place because I’ve made bad choices…I’ve followed my own weakness, I fell into this. I was like Peter. I said I wouldn’t do it, and I did it! And here I am. Oh, God! And yet, at that place, You don’t say, pull yourself up, and then I’ll meet you. He meets us right where we’re at and says, I love you. That’s why I died for you. That’s why I went to that cross.

Somehow David, at that moment, not just dealing with the circumstances, not just dealing with I’m hungry, I’m exhausted, I’m…all of my stuff is gone. I’m worried about them, the men who are trying to stone me. Not just that, but I’m the one who got us here! He’s dealing with that, and yet in that moment somehow, his heart was enabled to turn to the Lord, and to realize God is still somebody to whom I can turn. Even now, I can turn to Him, and He will listen to my situation.

I tell you, we’ve got a God who knows how to put us in circumstances. You try your best. You’re gonna have times in your life when your emotions are flat. Your strength is gone. You don’t feel like praying. You don’t feel like doing anything. And you know, as I say, at lot of times we get there because we’re striving in ourselves, we’re running in our own strength, and that’s what’s happened.

The answer is not to muster up more strength so we can just kind of put one foot in front of another. The answer is to look up to Heaven and to know that He is faithful, to know that He is there, that’s it’s not by any effort we can mount that we can move forward, we can take that next step. But instead, we just confess our weakness, our failures, if that’s involved, whatever it is. Lord, here I am. I need You right now to help me, to cleanse me, to strengthen me, to give me the grace that I need. Show me what to do even now.

You know, David talked about the Lord rescuing him from a pit. I tell you, that Lord wasn’t afraid to get right down in the pit with David. I don’t know maybe, was this the pit? This was certainly one of them. And he experienced God reaching out and remaining faithful to him even though he had messed up.

How many of us make choices? And we reap consequences from some of those choices, but yet God is merciful. Sometimes we have to live with some of the consequences…like David and Bathsheba. Did the Lord leave him forever? The Lord wrapped His arms around him. He had consequences from it, but he was restored. God loved him, continued to be with him, continued to bless him, continued to help him. He’ll do the same for us, for every single one of you this morning.

( congregational amens ).

Am I the only one that experiences some of these things? I don’t think so. Every believer comes to that place. And you come in here, and you’re struggling. You have no…you have nothing, it seems like sometimes. Sometimes we’re full of joy! Praise God! That’s wonderful! It is that way. It should be. And we can encourage each other, and that’s all part of it.

But sometimes you come in here and even that’s not enough. And you look around, and you’re tempted to be discouraged. You’re tempted to be…to think, I did something. Or maybe you really did, and you’re dealing with the guilt of that, and the devil’s just piling it on. You have no right to expect God to pay any attention to you. Look what you did. Oh my, we sang about the blood and its power to cleanse…

( congregational amens ).

…To reach down to the darkest, weakest place that we could ever experience in our lives. And there’s something that God puts in the heart of His child at that time that doesn’t let go. It’s there. There’s an anchor for the soul, and it’s that hope that He has buried in our hearts.

And it was that that caused David to just lift and say, Lord, You’re my only hope here. You’re my only answer. I know I’m here because I made some bad choices. I ran in my own strength. I got myself here. But I know even so, I know You love me. So I’m looking to You in this hour of need. I want to do what’s right. I wanted to do what’s right all along. I just…in my weakness, I just didn’t do it right.

Every one of us is in that place a lot. But God knows how to take those very times and use them to make Himself real, to teach us about our weaknesses, to teach us to trust Him. And so that’s what David did. And so I find interesting the contrast between David thinking to himself, Saul’s gonna get me. I better run to the Philistines. And on this occasion, in verse 7, “Then David said to Abiathar the priest, the son of Ahimelech, Bring me the ephod. Abiathar brought it to him, and David inquired of the Lord.” Good time.

( laughing ).

Good time to inquire of the Lord. But what an awesome thing it is that he felt somehow, he knew enough about his God to feel like, at that moment, he could do that! Do you know that? Do I know that? At that moment, we can come to God with confidence that His love has not run out! He’s not like us! Praise God!

( congregational praise ).

Praise God! So even in the midst of this, we find God reaching out to him, and he asks the question, “Shall I pursue this raiding party? Will I overtake them? Pursue them, he answered. You will certainly overtake them and succeed in the rescue.” Now, we would picture them, oh, praise God! Get your armor! Let’s go! These guys were still tired. They were still wiped out! I don’t know what they ate. Six hundred guys, they come home, and they’re expecting a hot meal! And the entire village is gone, burned to the ground! There’s nothing left, not an animal, nothing at all. They were hungry!

And many times when we start out in those circumstances, we don’t just push a button and suddenly feel a shot of exhilaration, and strength, and courage. And we don’t rise up like that. But somehow, there’s something that enables us to put that one foot in front of another, even with or without the emotion and go forward.

How many times are we looking for an emotion to somehow validate where we’re at? God, if You love me, tickle my spine a bit. If You’re really for me, I want to feel it. I’ll tell you, God is looking to teach a people not to depend upon such things. God is wanting to grow His people up. If we are that dependent upon how we feel and how things look and how circumstances look, we’re not walking by faith.

( congregational amens ).

We can say we are. We can come in here and say all the right things when the bank account’s full and everything’s going great. But when all of that is gone and when the emotions are gone, that’s when faith has to…that’s when all there is, is faith. It’s just trusting God in an extreme situation!

And they did it. And I don’t think they did it with, as I say, any immediate burst of energy. At least they had a direction, didn’t they? They had a direction, and so they got up, and they started marching in that direction and started walking in that direction. But you get a sense of where they were at, because they come to a certain valley that apparently was physically challenging. Two hundred of them said I’m done here. I can’t go. They were just too exhausted to even go forward.

And somehow the other 400 and David went forward, and you remember the story of how God gave them a victory. They brought everything back. Not only that, they brought everything back that the Amalekites had gotten from everywhere else! And the Lord turned this horrible circumstance into a glorious victory. And he did it in spite of the choices that David had made that got him in the situation in the first place.

Now, is the lesson there that we can do as we please, and God will bless us anyway? No. David wasn’t trying to do his own thing. He wasn’t trying to use God to get what he wanted out of life. He was trying to serve God. He wanted to serve God, but in his human weakness, didn’t always do it right, did he?

You know, later on in his life he said, you want truth in the inward parts. He got to a point where he realized this lying to get himself out of a situation wasn’t exactly the way God wanted it to work. We can look at something like that and say, sure, everybody knows that. Do we? But I guarantee you, there are areas of weakness that we gloss over, and justify, and excuse in our lives that God wants to deliver us. There’s sowing and reaping He wants us to avoid.

But even in that process, there has to come a place where we learn how to trust God and rest in Him and understand the kind of a God He is. And as I say, it’s in those very times when we learn the most wonderful things about God It’s when we are in a bad situation, we got ourselves in that situation, and yet, God is merciful and faithful! Man, I want to serve a God like that.

( congregational amens ).

Oh, and He can reach down into the greatest depth of our need that there is, and He’s deeper than that. And He doesn’t walk away. He wraps His arms of love around us. Praise God! I’m looking forward to the day when our emotions will just…our present frame couldn’t even take what God is gonna give us, the glory, the exhilaration of it, the joy that He set before us. We couldn’t stand it. We couldn’t stand the brightness of Heaven! But God will constitute us so that we can experience the fullness of joy.

Right now, we are in a walk of faith, and unless God puts us in places where…and allows us to experience places where our strength absolutely that we have been actually running on more than we think, when God allows that to totally dry up and run out, and we have nothing…unless He does that, we’re not gonna walk by faith. We’re not gonna learn that God is faithful. Because it’s in those times of our lives that He proves Himself faithful to us. But the Lord is so faithful to show us that He is the One upon whom we can lean and trust in our darkest moment. And when we have run out of gas, we can look up.

And of course, Isaiah 40…surely someone has thought of that, about how the Lord’s strength is limitless, and how even the young men will, what? Utterly fall. You think of young men as the ones that, man, they’ve really got it going. They’ve got all the energy and all the strength in the world. But even the young men are gonna utterly fall.

“But those who hope in the Lord…” or wait on the Lord…and it just means it’s an inward attitude, because the problem is inward to begin with. Even when we have run out of physical strength, there’s something else going on in here. It’s when we begin to go with that, and sort of believe in that, and except all the negative thoughts that come. But if in our inward being, on the inside, we can just lift our hearts and say, Lord, regardless of all of this, my hope is in You. My trust is in You. My confidence is in You.

And I’ll tell you, God…that opens a valve, if you will. There’s something that begins to flow into us. You might not, as I say, begin to suddenly jump and jerk and have a spiritual experience, but I’ll tell you, there’s something that begins…there’s a change happens. There’s strength to begin to stand in that and to be able to push back that darkness and say, Lord, even though I am weak, You glory in weakness. Your strength is made perfect in my weakness. You’re not looking for me to be strong. You’re looking for me to trust!

And even though I brought myself…I’m a least partly responsible for being in this circumstance, and for not reacting very well when I got here! But Lord, You brought me down to that place where I just look to You. I turn my heart again to You, Lord. I confess what I need to confess, but I put my hope again in You. How many know what I’m talking about? You’ve been there and done that.

( congregational amens ).

You’ve got the t-shirt, as the expression goes.

( laughter ).

And did God prove Himself faithful?

( congregational response ).

Well, He’s faithful today, too. I believe with all my heart the Devil has been working overtime to discourage, to bring us to that place where we’re just not putting up much of a fight. Well, I don’t have any fight. I don’t have any strength, but I have One who does. I have One who not only has the strength, He’s already beaten the foe that we’re fighting against. That victory was won back in history. It’s not something that’s yet to be done! He’s done it! He’s given us a full and a complete salvation and an able Savior.

And boy, He’s gonna teach us, isn’t He, to trust Him and to love Him, to experience the blessing of all that He’s given to us. Praise God! I don’t know, I think that’s all I have to say this morning. Maybe somebody else has got something in their experience, or the Lord’s given you something else to add to this, but praise God! Don’t we have an awesome God?

( congregational amens ).

Don’t, “…be weary in well doing: for in due season we shall reap, if we faint not.” (KJV). God is faithful. Praise the Lord!