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Rainbow Divider
MCM Broadcast

TV Broadcast #1199

God is Calling

September 27, 2015

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Transcript of message from TV Broadcast 1199 -- taken from Closed Captioning Text

— Brother Phil Enlow: What is your life about? You’ve got other scriptures that talk about our being called to be holy…called to be saints, called to walk together. I mean, you follow that thought throughout the scriptures, and it’s amazing what all is there.

But here’s God’s purpose for your life and for mine. It’s not to give us a happy life here, necessarily. Certainly, there’s plenty of joy He’s willing to share. But the central point, the purpose of your life and mine…if we hear God’s call, it’s a call to follow Him, to become like Him, whatever it takes in our particular lives in order for that to occur. That’s what my life is about. The Lord has the right to do whatever He wants to.

You know, I watched again this morning, just a very short video that a few of us have seen. I don’t know how many. I sent the link around to some. I don’t know how many actually looked at it, but it was a testimony of a lady in Syria. And this is a mother with a husband and two young children. And she described how she had been praying for revival. She had been praying for God to reach out and work, and what happened?

You look there right now and see what’s going on. The war, the strife, the Islamic extremists who come in there…and their goal—their stated goal is to rid Syria of Christians! Purge them, end of story…by any means possible, and some of those means are pretty ugly. And so in that, she said there are many people that have come to Christ. Look at the answer to her prayer.

And then one day she was praying, Lord, what can I do to serve You? And the Lord impressed on her heart, would you give Me your life? And you think, oh, she’s already given her life, but what He meant was, are you willing to die for Me? If the circumstances…if that’s My way to have you glorify Me, are you willing to die? And she pondered that and prayed about it and said, yes, Lord.

The next day she’s praying, Lord, what can I do for You? What do You want? He said, are you willing to give Me your husband’s life? And she thought about that, and she went to her husband, and they prayed about it together, and talked about what it meant. It’s easy for us. They’re sitting there and at any moment, a knock could come on the door. And they prayed about it and said, yes, Lord, we give You our lives. You can do whatever You want with them. If you want to take them in violence, that’s up to You.

And the next day, the hardest prayer of all, Lord, what can I do for You? And the Lord said, will you give Me the lives of your children? And you can see in the dramatization the expression of a mother, two beautiful children, a boy and a girl. And she went to her husband, and they prayed, and cried, and thought about it and just finally came to the place, yes, Lord. If that’s what it comes to, I’ll give You the life of my children.

And at that point, she felt the need to talk to them about it, and talk about what it meant to really serve the Lord. And she had to tell them that somebody could come to the door, bad men could come to the door with swords, and they could try to demand that we convert. But we need to forgive them. We need to not say anything except I forgive you or something of that order.

And she just explained what could happen, and while she’s explaining that, we’re seeing the dramatization of men coming through the door and literally killing the parents and the children looking at their parents laid out on the floor, killed with a sword. And then the screen goes white as the sword is coming toward the little girl’s neck. And at the end, it comes down to this. This is what it means to be a Christian in Syria — or is this what it means to be a Christian?

( congregational response ).

Phew! We have been so sheltered. But I tell you, the call of God is not about what we want in this life. It’s about a purpose that He has determined from all of eternity. It leads to something that never ends. But that’s exactly how radical it is to follow Him, and to hear, and to respond to the call. Oh, how it’s been cheapened in our modern society. Just come believe in Jesus, go to church, have fun. But, Lord, it means our life. It means everything. It means being willing to lay down our lives for Him if necessary.

I’m just gonna read something that Paul wrote to Timothy. I think it’s in 2nd Timothy 1. I was thinking about this as I opened my Bible program. It’s a very fancy program that lets you search and do many things. And one thing they have on there every day is a “Day by Day,” whatever it is, by Spurgeon…little segments from Spurgeon. And low and behold, the day I opened it, I’m sitting here…is this really the Lord? And it was about the call of God.

( laughing ).

And he used this scripture. And Paul is encouraging young Timothy. He’s realizing he’s come to the end of the way. At the end of the book, he says, “I have fought the good fight…I have kept the faith,” and so forth. (NIV). It’s time for my departure, it’s at hand. But he’s encouraging Timothy; he’s gonna be left behind and facing a world that hates him. And he tells him to, “…fan into flame the gift of God.”

But verse 7: “For God did not give us a spirit of timidity, but a spirit of power, of love and of self-discipline.” Boy, that’s a good thing to remember. If you’re fearful, God didn’t give you that. We have the spirit of power and of love and of a sound mind. We have divine enablement to be what God has called us to be.

That’s a good thing to constantly remind ourselves of. You know, like Hebrews 3:1. You look at that. It talks about the heavenly calling. Since we’ve received this Heavenly calling, fix your eyes on Jesus. It’s amazing when you start running those scriptures.

“So do not be ashamed to testify about our Lord, or ashamed of me his prisoner. But join with me in suffering for the gospel, by the power of God, who has saved us and called us to a holy life….” So he’s not talking about simply calling us to put our faith in Him, get our sins forgiven, get a ticket to Heaven and go on and live our life. This is a call to a life! This is a call to an entire way of life which is absolutely opposite of the way the world is going!

Timothy, don’t you be discouraged. Don’t you be intimidated! You keep going because things are gonna be rough! Things are gonna be tough! You’re gonna be called to suffer. You’re gonna be tempted. In fact, at the end of this book he talks about Demas having forsaken him…sad commentary. There was something unbelieving down in his heart. He never could quite let go! And when conditions got right, he turned, and he went the other way.

Paul is encouraging Timothy, you keep right on. Don’t you worry. You keep facing the direction you’re going, because He has saved us, but He’s called to live a holy life. There’s a purpose for our lives.

And why did he do this? “…Not because of anything we have done….” Nothing! There will not be one of us who stands there on that day, and is received by Him, and stands there in glory, who can sit there and feel self-satisfied. Look what I did. I have no question but that the overwhelming feeling will be, I don’t belong here. I haven’t done anything to deserve such a thing. This is mercy. This is grace. I couldn’t possibly win myself a place here by anything that I have done. Oh, how wonderful God is!

“…Not because of anything we have done but because of his own purpose and grace.” He had a reason! He has a reason for everything He does! He gives us the ability that has to do with every bit of that. “This grace was given us in Christ Jesus before the beginning of time.” You want to know when God started thinking about you? Wow! That blows my mind.

( congregational amens ).

I mean, this is a great God. You want to live your life for what this world is offering? I’ll tell you, you might think this is foolish, but if you ever get your eyes open, you’ll understand, that’s the folly, living your life for this world. It’s passing away. Everything about it is gonna end.

“…Before the beginning of time, but it has now been revealed through the appearing of our Savior, Christ Jesus, who has destroyed death and has brought life and immortality to light through the gospel.” Oh my, what God has called us to is amazing. But all I can do…I don’t know. I feel like I’ve expressed this so poorly, and so little of what I’ve thought about. But praise God! It isn’t about me and how well it’s expressed. It’s about the truth of it.

( congregational amens ).

And I tell you what. Has God ever confronted you? Has God ever really put His finger on your heart and called your name and said, come follow Me? Turn from yourself. Give Me your heart. Give me your life, surrender.

Folks, that’s what it is. Because when you’re His, you don’t belong to yourself anymore. It’s not perfection, it’s direction. There’s a lot God has to do in this process of changing. But I mean, there is a fundamental change of direction and heart.

Young person growing up, have you ever come to that point? I can’t manufacture it. I don’t know how it will happen. You know it happens so differently for people. There are some people that God just molds their heart and works with them and brings them down to a place where they feel their emptiness and their need, and God just reveals His love! And there’s just an opening of the heart to that love. It’s quiet. It’s gentle.

And other people are kicking and screaming and fighting their way, fighting against God. And God has to just bring them down to they feel almost like He’s dangling them over hell and showing them what’s ahead, scaring the hell out of them, almost…and just causing them to really feel their need in such a dramatic way. And they’re just finally brought to a place of just giving up and surrendering.

Everybody’s different. Don’t you ever look at somebody and say, my experience isn’t like theirs. But what’s underlying that is the same regardless of how it gets there. There is a surrender. You are not your own. You have been bought with a price. What we’ve been singing about this morning…the amazing price that Jesus paid to open a way where you and I could enjoy Him and know Him forever, regardless of what we’ve done, regardless of where we’ve been. His blood has the power to blot that out as if it never happened.

( congregational amens ).

Oh, the door that He opened! And He calls people to come, but He says…He talked about in one place with His disciples, Jesus did, about how hard it is to enter, how many try and they’re not able. Are they not able because God just stands in the door and won’t let them? Or is it because they just will not let go? They’re like that guy floating down the river, bound hand and foot, blindfolded and will not surrender to the reality of their need, and just come. They’re gonna have something that’s gonna feed their pride, or they’re not coming.

Oh, I tell you what, those who have come down this way and come to that point of surrender, I’ll tell you what, there’s no going back. Once your eyes are opened to see that the kingdom of God is real, that this is not just some religious dogma, this is reality. This is where this world is heading. This world is heading over a cliff. But God, no matter what the circumstances are between here and there, God has called us, whether it’s to suffer for Him, whether it’s to serve Him…whatever it is, we live for Him.

In the process, He changes us by divine strength and divine work. And He brings us to the other side where together we stand with Him in glory. That’s what He’s purposed. Those He called or those He foreknew, “…Those he predestined, he also called; those he called, he also justified; those he justified, he also glorified.”

You see God standing outside of time, not bound by anything, not bound by anything the devil could possibly muster…who’s able to see, look down a stream of time, and He’s able to see into people’s hearts. Why does one choose, and another …? I don’t know. We’ll find out in eternity.

But I’ll tell you, the choice is not one to, hey, look at me, I chose. It’s, I chose to surrender. I chose to let…it was not an expression of some goodness in me, it was a renunciation of every pretense of goodness in me, to where I know I need a Deliverer. My only claim upon Him is His promise of mercy that I do not deserve. But oh, on that ground, I call. Oh, I call. I look to Him. Lord Jesus, I need a Savior. Those who call upon the name of the Lord!

But do you see what has to precede that? There is a call of God to the human heart! There is a call that comes back from the human heart, energized by the Spirit of God, that is an expression of surrender! It’s an expression of faith! It’s an expression of need! It’s a surrender to the truth that’s embodied in that call!

You know, I remember, like I say, it happens so many different ways. I remember that story I’ve referred to, I guess, in the past that Paul Washer told. And it was about somebody that just felt their need time and time again, run to the altar time and time again, tried to pray the magic prayer, tried to get through, couldn’t seem to get through. And this young lady came and said, what should I do?

Well, in his blunt way, he said there are only two things you can do. You either give up and go to hell, or you just cry out to God until He saves you. And she went home and took that to heart and just cried out and cried out, oh God, I need You. God, I need You. Lord! And she went to sleep doing that, and she woke up a different person. Why would God do something like that? Why would He seemingly stand back?

But I want you to think about that. Was He standing back? Would she have had that inclination, not only to call, but to call with that kind of persistence if God had not been at work in her heart? God was there all the time. There was something in her particular case He was accomplishing by her having to be persistent and cry out. Something was changing in her. Something was breaking. Something else was being strengthened.

Some, it’s just easy, seemingly. And others, there’s a struggle. Everyone is different. But wherever you’re at today, there is nothing that could possibly outweigh the importance of hearing His voice. Right there in Hebrews 3, where the writer has talked about the heavenly call. He goes on six verses later and said, today if you hear His voice, don’t harden your heart. Don’t be like those who heard the promise, had the opportunity, but there was just always something, always the resistance. No, it’s not like you say it is. It is.

Oh, praise God! What a glorious thing just to surrender and say, Lord, I’m Yours. Does it mean life in this world is gonna be easy? No. But you think about different ones who’ve had to stand and had to take that kind of a stand like that girl did. You think about Abraham, God said, go out and prepare a sacrifice. I’m gonna meet with you. Well, there were hours and hours, and He was waiting, beating off birds, sleeping, all kinds of things…waiting. But he stood his ground. There was a persistence in, I need You, Lord. I want You. I want to meet with You. I’m gonna do my part.

Guess what? God came, didn’t He, at just the right time? And I’ll tell you, there’s a time appointed for you. It might be today. It might be…I don’t know when. It might be tonight. But I’ll tell you, everyone has got to come to that point where God says, today.

I mentioned this before, but I’ve heard a number of testimonies where people came to that point and God really said it was now or never. Someone who had heard the voice and heard the message, and they just never quite surrendered to it. And all of a sudden, God made them know on the inside. No one was even involved except just them and God. It’s now or never. And their testimony was, now, I surrender. Oh, I tell you what, you will never be sorry. No one who’s ever put their trust in Him will be sorry.

( congregational amens ).

But I think about our children growing up. God doesn’t have grandchildren. There’s gonna have to come a time when ‘you’ hear the voice of God speaking to your heart, that’s gonna show you your own life and what you want, what you think you are, and what you think you want out of life, and He’s gonna say give it to Me. Surrender it. Let Me make something eternal out of it, and He will.

But there’s a cost in following Him, isn’t there? It means taking up our cross and following Him. You know, many are called, but few are chosen. The ones who are chosen are the ones that humble themselves, and hear the call, and listen. Like I say, I feel like this has been scattered, and I don’t know what the Lord’s gonna do with it. But I just put in out there. Thank God that He calls!

( congregational amens ).

We’d never have a hope or a prayer if He didn’t come searching for us, if He weren’t so patient to wait out our struggles, our resistance. Oh, how foolish it appears to us when we ever really surrender. How could I possibly have resisted such love? Look what He did for me when I was the one who caused these wounds that He was feeling there on the Cross. I’m the one! It’s my fault that He was there! But He did it because He loved me and was opening a door of hope for me. Oh, when He calls my name, I say yes, Lord.

( congregational amens ).

I belong to You. From this day forward, I’m Yours.

( congregational amens ).

It’s not just getting in the door, it’s all the way. My life is going this way and not that way. Oh, I just pray that God will deal with every…will bring you to that place of encounter if you’ve not, and to help all of us to understand more what it means to be His ‘called.’

We are called to be a people apart from this world, not in some self-righteous sense at all, but to live for a different purpose. And we’re gonna have to stand against it, have to stand against a lot through His strength as the days go on. You know, Syria might come to America before it’s over.

I’ll tell you, are we willing to trust Him with every circumstance? I’ll tell you, the call of God, it leads to glory. It is not just a call to these earthly things. It’s ultimately a call to share in His glory. Praise God! What happens? Have you heard the call? When you heard it, what did you do? What did you say? What do you say? Praise God!