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Rainbow Divider
MCM Broadcast

TV Broadcast #1195

In the Boat With Jesus
One Part Only

August 30, 2015

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Transcript of message from TV Broadcast 1195 -- taken from Closed Captioning Text

— Brother Phil Enlow: Praise the Lord. It seems like we’ve got a theme going this morning and I believe it’s because we all need encouragement. There are a lot of things going on and the Devil is not happy, and I’m glad he’s not. But he’s one we don’t need to fear. We need to come together…you know, one of the biggest things about the Body of Christ is not some highfalutin’ thing. It’s just encouragement. It’s just coming together, and being faithful to gather together, because every one of us is frequently, almost continually in need of encouragement.

And the reason we need encouragement is because there are so many things in this world that would discourage us, that would rob us of our courage, cause us to give in to fear, give in to every kind of negative thing, which really is all summed up in one word: it’s unbelief. And the Lord knows, however, our weaknesses, He knows where we’re at, and He longs to encourage us.

So…I don’t know how much time this is gonna take. I’m just gonna go ahead and look at a familiar passage and remind us and myself, including myself, of this passage in Mark chapter 4. It’s familiar to us. But it surely illustrates not just a…I mean, it gives us a real incident, but it’s a pretty good illustration for us right now where we’re at in our individual walks with the Lord.

And it begins in 35 and says, “That day when evening came, he said to his disciples, Let us go over to the other side. Leaving the crowd behind, they took him along, just as he was, in the boat.” (NIV). Now He had been preaching to such great crowds and they were along the seashore, that in order to be able to be seen and not be pushed into the water, basically, He had gotten into a boat and was off…basically using the boat as kind of a platform or a way to speak to the people where they could all see Him.

So, “…Just as he was, in the boat. There were also other boats with him. A furious squall came up, and the waves broke over the boat, so that it was nearly swamped. Jesus was in the stern, sleeping on a cushion. The disciples woke him and said to him, Teacher, don’t you care if we drown? He got up, rebuked the wind and said to the waves, Quiet! Be still! Then the wind died down and it was completely calm. He said to his disciples, Why are you so afraid? Do you still have no faith? They were terrified and asked each other, Who is this? Even the wind and the waves obey him!”

And you know, the application to our lives is pretty obvious, isn’t it? With respect to the big picture, the Gospel, has not the Lord called us to go to the other side? I mean, He has set before us a goal where He doesn’t just say, here’s the road, start, and if you make it to the end, great. If you don’t, well, too bad. This is a certain thing. This is a promise—the Gospel is a promise of God of eternal life. It’s a promise of One who has the power to take us to the other side. It’s not about my ability or yours, or my worthiness or yours. It is based entirely upon the purpose and the will of God as was the case here.

God had a reason. This was not just a random…hey, yeah, it’s a nice day for a boat ride. God had somebody in mind, in this particular incident, that He intended to reach. And I’ll tell you, when Jesus said, let us go to the other side, we know from His own testimony that He just didn’t do things at random, did He?

( congregational response ).

There was such a close walk with His Father that when He did something, it was purposeful. You know, I appreciate, and many people have commented on how Timothy emphasized so many times in his one…I was gonna say speech, one message that night, about the fact that we have a purpose.

And Jesus came to the earth to fulfill a purpose and that particular day, the purpose of God, not just something…a nice thought of a man, this would be a nice thing to do…the purpose of almighty God, the God of the universe was wrapped up in a man who was in a terrible, terrible, bound condition, full of devils, hopeless state! Do you remember the man who had the legion of demons? Well, this is where this is going. But the God of the universe saw that man, had a purpose to send His Son, completely away from the crowds to help one man.

( congregational response ).

I’ll tell you, we’ve got a God who is interested in the smallest details of our lives, as well. There’s nothing random! And a lot of the distress that we deal with, a lot of the anxiety, a lot of the fear, a lot of the unbelief that we struggle with on a daily basis, is somehow failing to see the sovereign hand and the purpose of God that is at work in our lives.

We forget that He’s in control. We forget that everything if purposeful, even the distressing things of our lives. We forget that in everything, God is at work. His hand is with us. He hasn’t left us. Not only that, the promise of God is not undermined in the slightest, based upon the ups and downs of our feelings and our experiences.

And it’s pretty evident to me that a lot of us are experiencing some of the ‘downs.’ And, our emotions are not on a very high level, necessarily…now maybe yours are, mine certainly aren’t. I came in like Ron, feeling very, very weak and not knowing what…you know, I had some thoughts yesterday and they evaporated. Well, praise God, they need to evaporate if they’re not what He has for today.

But, God hasn’t gone away. God’s faithfulness is not measured by my emotions. My spiritual barometer is not how I’m feeling and what’s happening in my life. The barometer is the promise of God! The unchangeable truth, the Word of One who cannot lie, who had promised us in His Word that He will take us to the other side!

And I refuse to give in to the Devil, who would just overwhelm me with feelings and doubts and questions and fears of every sort, because they arise from things that will pass away. Every fear has to do with something about me, my will, what I would prefer to have, my comfort…what are my prospects, what’s going on in my life that threatens to overwhelm me. They all arise from these things and we serve a God who is in control!

Does this event in the life of Jesus not illustrate that perfectly? Because, I have a strong feeling that the devil had a feeling when Jesus was headed that way…I don’t think he was privy to God’s plans. But I’ll tell you, the Devil sometimes has a way of kind of…’I’m suspicious here, I don’t know where He’s going, but I better do something.’ Do you not recognize that the enemy is attacking us for a reason?

( congregational response ).

His attacks should not discourage us, they should encourage us!

( congregational amens ).

Because it’s the Devil who feels threatened! He knows far better than we that he lost his power at Calvary! His power was destroyed by the cross and by the resurrection, and he knows it!

( congregational amens ).

He has only one weapon against us and that is the lie, and the lie, in this case, that he told the disciples was, ‘you’re gonna drown, because there’s a storm here that’s too great for you. You can’t bail fast enough to save yourself from this storm.’ And that’s the kind of thing that He does with us.

But if you will analyze, if you will really step back and think about everything that he plants in your mind and mine, it is a lie that is absolutely contrary to the Word of God, to what God has told us! And if God is putting you in that kind of a storm, and He is, then He’s doing it, not to discourage us, not to destroy us, but simply to cause us to re-orient our faith so that we begin to have more faith in the promise of God than we do in the storm.

( congregational amens ).

Is there anybody here that doesn’t need this, that doesn’t struggle with these things? I would put up both hands very quickly, because we all go through the very same battles! The thing is, if those battles weren’t necessary to change us, to shape us, what purpose would there be? But God has left us here so that we can learn to walk with Jesus!

Did He not call us? You know, we sang songs about peace and rest. Didn’t Jesus say, come to me? “Come unto me, all ye that labour and are heavy laden…” (KJV), “…All you who are weary and burdened…” (NIV), depending on the translation. You’re tired! You know, it’s like you need a break. God, hold off the wind a bit. I’m really going under here. This is more than I can handle.

Well, yes it is! But our life, following Christ is not about our ability to handle stuff! It’s about our ability to let go and trust God and draw upon His strength and realize that we are in His hands! So, Jesus’ invitation was not to come to me and I will teach you the secrets. “Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest.”

Where does the rest come from? It comes from letting go and letting God just do His thing. You know, the problem is that we don’t like ‘His thing’ a lot of the time. We would prefer that He would do things our way.

You know…back in Pilgrim’s Progress, we’re like the two Pilgrims walking along a particular stony part of the journey, and they looked over the fence and there was a nice, pleasant meadow. What could be wrong…I mean, it’s walking right along the path. What would be wrong in jumping over the fence and walking along that meadow? And at any time, we could just hop right back onto the path.

And how did that work out, those of you who know the story? They wound up in the Castle of the Giant of Despair being beaten within an inch of their lives until they remembered they had the Key of Prayer. And they prayed and God gave them strength and the giant lost his power and they managed to get back onto the path.

But oh my, we’d better walk the path the Lord gives us and not try to find the short-cuts, but simply learn how to draw upon Him, because in every point He is teaching us to rely upon Him and not upon ourselves. You won’t find peace any other way. You might as well give it up. That’s what the world is looking for.

And yet, the world, trying to do things its way…what does the Bible describe that as? That’s the wicked…to say, God, we’re not gonna go Your way. We’re not gonna submit to you, we’re gonna do things our way! That is the fundamental definition of wickedness. We think of wickedness as certain things. Wickedness is a spirit that rises up in rebellion against God and says, I’m gonna run my own life, thank you, please…thank you, pretty please or whatever. You can tell I’m tired today, too. That’s all right. Praise God! He’s not tired!

( congregational amens ).

But the wicked are what? “…Like the troubled sea, when it cannot rest, whose waters cast up mire and dirt. There is no peace, saith my God, to the wicked.” (KJV). Man, I don’t want to learn from them. I don’t want to be like them. I want to take advantage of Jesus’ invitation to just come to Him and find that rest that He promises.

And the first rest, of course, is simply when we come to the end of ourselves and realize that we can’t do anything about our sins that separate us from God. We can’t do anything about living for God in the strength of our own life. We just need Him to come in!

But then, we take His yoke and learn from Him. That’s the process of living for Him, that’s walking the road of life. But in that process there’s still some learning to do. Just coming to Him and finding rest is great, but that does not eliminate the second half of that verse, or that passage, where we have to be willing to learn from Him.

Well, the disciples were in a situation…they were in school, though they didn’t know it. They were just along for the ride. We’re going somewhere, but we don’t know where it’s going, but Jesus is going, so it’s got to be okay…and, isn’t it a beautiful day…you know. And these were guys who were used to being on the lake. They were fishermen, most of them, many of them.

And so anyway, it’s obvious that the Devil, as I’ve said, somehow must have sensed something is going on here. He’s not…I know this Jesus. I know who He is. I know He doesn’t just go places to take a boat ride. He’s got something in mind. I better do something. And so, he caused the storm.

I’ll tell you, the Devil has a lot of power in the world. He has a lot of power. He doesn’t have the power to overrule God! But I’ll tell you, there are a lot of things…this world has little concept—most of this world has no concept of the Kingdom of Darkness that is arrayed against the human race. There is demonic power that is real and it’s more than we can handle, but it’s not more than He can handle.

( congregational amens ).

And it’s not something for us to fear! It is something for us to be aware of and simply constantly look to Him and say, Lord, I need You. I can’t make my way through life with my own wisdom and my own strength. I need you at every turn. But I need You to give me a sensitivity so I’m able to recognize what’s going on.

Jesus wasn’t…I mean, He was asleep! He wasn’t worried about the prospect of getting where He was going. And when He woke up He didn’t say, oh my God, I thought we were going to the other side and it’s storming!

( laughter ).

I mean, that’s how we would do, if somehow we were able to sleep to that point, we’d wake up and, oh! But it didn’t bother Him at all. He knew instantly what was going on. I’m here on a mission from Heaven! There’s a devil; he’s real! He’s trying to stop it. And I’ll tell you, in our lives, in this church and our lives individually, God is doing a work! Do you know that?

( congregational response ).

Do you understand that? God is doing a work of bringing us to a place of greater faith, greater maturity! Do you think the Devil—do you really think the Devil is just gonna sit by and say, oh well?

( congregational response ).

He knows he has a short time! He has…talk about purpose, he has no other purpose in his existence except to oppose God, to hate and oppose people! To use, abuse and destroy! And he’s gonna do everything he can, while he can. Thank God for a Savior who defeated him completely at Calvary! We don’t have to be afraid, but we need to be awake and aware. We have power over all the power of the enemy through Jesus. Praise God!

But…we need to learn from the example of Jesus and not the example of the disciples, who was able to stand up…I don’t know if He stood up physically. But He got up anyway. And He was able by faith to rebuke the wind and say, “Quiet! Be still!” (NIV). Praise God!

You know, right now, wherever you’re at in your boat, whatever storm is raging in your life, whether it’s just the simple things of discouragement or whether it really is some external thing that’s coming against you, do you know Jesus is in your boat?

( congregational response ).

That’s one of the great lessons of this…that God does not simply give us a promise and a hope of eternal life and then turn us loose on the sea of life and say, make your way and I’ll see you on the other side! Jesus goes in the boat with us, to every purpose that is under the sun in our lives! He never leaves us, never forsakes us!

Now, many times He does not give us some physical, emotional indication of His presence. We like that, don’t we? We would love for the Lord, every time He’s present…oh Lord, tickle my spine again. That feels good. Lord, I want to feel that exhilaration that I felt. Oh God, just…hit me again, Lord.

( laughter ).

But, there’s not much faith in that, is there?

( congregational response ).

When we get to depend upon signs and feelings and all those kinds of things…my God…I’ll tell you, the people whose faith God prizes the most are those who, totally, by naked faith, just trust Him in a time when there is no other reason to trust Him!

Did not Abraham, our father, do that? You tell me what reason he had to continue to be faithful and continue to trust the promise of God. When he was 99 and Sarah was, what…90 or something like that? And she wasn’t gonna have any children by natural, any natural means. And there he was waiting 25 years, whatever it was…it was a long period of time. God had promised him a son and an heir. He’d tried to do it himself and made a mess. But I’ll tell you what, did that mean God had left him?

( congregational response ).

Abraham, against hope, believed in hope and became the father of all them that believe, we’re told in Romans chapter 4. I want to be one of his children and learn. But you know, we don’t learn this, even just here…this is good. The Lord ministers, He ministers to our hearts, He sows seed in our hearts that has the ability to spring forth and to bring forth fruit in our lives. But we really don’t learn it here, do we?

( congregational response ).

We learn it when it hurts. We learn it when we need the truth of it. When that truth is the only thing standing between us and sometimes catastrophe…when we’re sick, when we’ve lost our job, when some other circumstance in our lives, there’s something that’s really gone wrong, oh my, we need to run to Him. We need to look to Him at that time and just give it to Him and just trust Him with all of our hearts and pray and walk in this Word, and never give up!

What reason is there ever to give up when we have the promise of a God who cannot lie? And who has the power and the will to follow through with His promises! All power in heaven and earth belongs to our Savior! Oh man, I need it! I need His power. I need His strength. I need everything He’s got. So praise the Lord!

You know, the lessons are so obvious here, aren’t they? Now there they are. The promise of God, the presence of Christ in the Savior! Boy, I can come up with a nice sermon outline here, can’t I? Do it the old-fashioned way. Well, that’s all right, if the Lord’s in it. But anyway, He got up and He rebuked the wind and said to the waves, “Quiet! Be still! Then the wind died down and it was completely calm.”

But that wasn’t the end of the lesson, was it? He looks at the disciples, “Why are you so afraid?” You know, our natural reaction is, why, duh! Look at what we were facing! Of course, we’re afraid! What’s the matter with You? But in this Kingdom to which we have been called, Jesus has the right to look at you and me in our circumstances and say, why are you so afraid? Why are we afraid? We are believing more in our feelings, in our circumstances of life than we are in the promise of God.

And there’s nothing that will bring about a weakness, an inconsistency, an immaturity to any Christian’s life than to be in that state and just constantly fail to learn those simple lessons that the Lord wants to teach us. Praise God! You get the picture? You know why God’s been doing things the way He has, why He’s let the Devil attack you? In this case, there was something mighty good coming.

( congregational amens ).

The attack of the Devil was not a reason to be discouraged, but encouraged! To know the Devil feels threatened! I believe he feels threatened here! Not because we’re anything, but because Christ is working.

( congregational amens ).

He is in His Body, He’s real, He’s alive, He’s here, regardless of how you feel today, or what’s going on in your life. He is here and He’s alive, and He longs to take us forward, and He wants to encourage us to stand strong in the storm because there are good things coming.

And of course, we think of good things as, oh boy, praise God, I’m gonna get in there and have a vacation. Things are gonna be wonderful and smooth. No, we’re gonna grow in our faith, and our strength, and our effectiveness, and our Christ-likeness. There weren’t too many times when Jesus just had it easy, were there? But there were always times when He had what He needed. He gave out what the Father gave Him and He was effective.

And that’s where the Lord’s bringing us. So, Praise God! I’m glad that He is so faithful to encourage us! I need it! I don’t think I’m the only one. But He’s faithful. Praise God!