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Rainbow Divider
MCM Broadcast

TV Broadcast #1220

Stand
Part One

February 21, 2016

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Transcript of message from TV Broadcast 1220 -- taken from Closed Captioning Text

— Brother Phil Enlow: I’ve just had burdens and thoughts on my heart the last several days that have just been very persistent. And, coming out of the service Wednesday night and then going on through the next couple of days, particularly on Friday, I just had one word that kept coming back to my mind, over and over and over again. It was the word “stand.”

And then I came into the prayer meeting Friday night and as I began to share, Patti shared something right off the bat. I mean, she couldn’t just put it exactly into words…the very thing that I’d been thinking about was how many situations, how many battles, how many things does the Lord want to do, and yet we have a vital part to play in the work of the Lord?

And, how many times do we sort of take a stand and then we back down, and we’re sort of a little bit uncertain? And so, I don’t know, I just want to try to share some thoughts in this area. And I’ve had so many that they could never fit into a message so, I’m just gonna ask the Lord to pull out of this failing memory here. But He’s good about doing that, isn’t He? He can do what He wants.

( congregational amens ).

And He’s the one that we need. Obviously, when you mention a word and a theme like that, your mind immediately goes to Ephesians 6, that we’ve used so many times, but you know, the Lord can bring out something fresh.

( congregational amens ).

And, just because you’ve done something doesn’t mean you’re just kind of going through the motions and talking about a scripture. I believe there’s a certain thing that the Lord has on His heart this morning.

And you know, as I thought about the wonderful passage where we’re told to stand against all the tricks the Devil pulls, and we’re told to put on the whole armor and stand in the evil day, and all of that, there’s a reason, I believe, that that passage is where it is in the book. It’s at the end.

And, the thing that I believe we need to see, always, when we think about this particular passage, is to see it in the context of what Paul has been writing. Because it isn’t just something he drops in as a separate stand-alone thing. It’s part of the flow of thought.

And, many times my mind has gone back to a book that I read—a small book. And I guess I was the age of a lot of you young people when I read it. But it was by Watchman Nee. And most of you probably have at least heard the name, Watchman Nee. He was a much blessed, world-famous, Christian leader in the Chinese church during the first half of the 20th century. He was born in…I sort of looked up a quick summary of his biography. And I’m glad I did because there’s one thing that jumped out at me. But he was born in 1903 in a nominally Christian home.

Now, you know what nominally Christian means? It’s that they profess to be Christian in religion but there wasn’t any reality to it. And I’m afraid we’ve got far too much of that in America. But, the Lord knows them that are His, doesn’t He?

But in any case, when he was about 17, he had no real interest in the Lord but there was a revival service—revival series of meetings, evangelistic, really, that were being held and his mother went. And after she came home that night, she came to him and apologized for something that she had either said or done, that she had felt convicted about. And her apology touched something in him. It did something to his heart and it woke something in him that caused him to go the following night.

And so he did, and afterwards he was just wrestling with himself…am I gonna surrender, am I gonna put my faith in Jesus?’ And as he thought about it, suddenly…boy, this breaks me up thinking about it. I have to stop and catch myself. But suddenly, he just saw in his heart, his mind was opened to the fact of the enormity of his sins and he just was aware of the depth of his need.

But at the very same time, he saw, in his mind’s eye, the Savior with His arms nailed out to the sides, being punished for his sins! But then he saw that scene in a different light, and he saw the arms of the Savior reaching out and saying, I’m welcoming you, come! And you know, his heart just melted with the reality of that revelation. You know it takes that?

( congregational response ).

You can’t explain people into the Kingdom of God. God has got to deal with the heart! And that was a perfect example of a case where God just touched this man’s heart. And, he evolved into a teacher who, because he traveled in the West and wrote some things, he became world-famous. He went through all the deprivations of World War II but, there was a significant, a wide-spread church movement that he started, that was very real.

And of course, when the Communists took over, they didn’t take too kindly to him, and so they trumped up a bunch of charges and threw him in prison in 1952, supposedly for 15 years. And, that sentence never ended until he died in 1972. But I’ll tell you, a great man of God. Most of the books that are out there are actually from notes taken from his teachings.

And that particular one that keeps coming back to my mind is called, “Sit, Walk, Stand.” I’ve referred to it before. And, it’s a perfect outline of the book of Ephesians. Because, before we can stand, something else has got to be in place. We can talk about how we’re supposed to stand and do this and that, but unless we really get the rest of the book, and understand what’s behind us, what’s going on with all of this, we don’t have a lot to stand on.

We can talk, we can say the words, but the truth is, we need a different attitude, a different spirit when we’re talking about the spiritual battles that we fight, because we do have a kingdom of darkness that is in control of this world system! It’s arrayed against us. It fights every day against every one of us. But are we in a position of weakness or are we in a position of strength?

And, that was the first part. Because until we get the ‘sit’ part, none of the rest of it makes any sense. And the essence of that is, basically, you start from the beginning and just kind of summarize what it’s talking about. You know, we begin with an eternal purpose of God. We begin with God doing something. We begin with Him reaching out in mercy to us, and doing it, not because we deserve something, but because He had a loving heart and a purpose that was for His pleasure, to have a kingdom that was eternal.

And not only has He had that purpose in mind, but He has declared that there is coming a day when everything is going to come together. He has elevated His Son to a position of authority and rule, above every other rule in the universe. Of course, he goes into that later in chapter 1, but He’s also declared that there is going to be a day…this is in chapter 1. Let me just go ahead and read some of this.

Verse 9, “And he made known to us the mystery of his will according to his good pleasure…” (NIV). So, that’s the foundation of it. “…Which he purposed in Christ, to be put into effect when the times will have reached their fulfillment—to bring all things in heaven and on earth together under one head, even Christ.” Praise God!

And so now, he begins to talk about the Ephesian believers and how they were chosen, and God reached out and worked with their hearts, and gave them the seal of His Spirit, that was guaranteeing that they were part of this. And so, we become God’s possession.

And then, the passage we’ve used so often, I’ll just refer to it, from verse 15 on, which is where he talks about his prayer that we would gain a real understanding, not just an intellectual understanding, but I mean, the eyes of our heart. So it’s something we can live as if it were true. You understand the difference?

( congregational response ).

Yeah. We don’t want people who are simply educated in Christian doctrine. We want…God wants us to have such a conviction, a knowledge, that it will fuel a conviction that will enable us to be able to stand.

( congregational amens ).

Because if there is doubt, if we are uncertain about His purpose or uncertain about our place in it, we’re not gonna do much standing, are we? We’re gonna back down every time. Sorry, Mr. Devil, sorry I bothered you. I mean, we don’t say that but, I mean, that’s kind of how it works. God help us!

But anyway, Paul wanted just…oh, there was a longing in his heart, because he’d seen this…to cause them to understand their place, to understand how great Christ was and the victory that He won when He arose from the dead and ascended to Heaven, the place He occupies!

( congregational amens ).

He’s above everything! But it’s not, again, so that He can simply be, wow, Mr. Wow! It’s so that He can rule over everything for us! In other words, every enemy you and I had today, everything that we see that’s wrong, He rules over that! He rules! And He does it for us! And He wants us to get that.

And so, he goes on and he talks about our place. Now, how did we come into this? And the amazing truth is that you and I started out completely dead in sins. We were 100 percent lost, jailed, imprisoned in a system ruled over by Satan, blinded, just following our natural inclinations! Let me tell you today, if your life is yours, and you’re simply living to please whatever desires arise in you, you’re part of this that he’s talking about. It’s a world system that is headed for the fire!

( congregational amens ).

And, it’s only the mercy of God that can pull somebody out of that and turn them onto another path! So this is not talking about people finding out about God and saying, oh, I want Him! This is God having to do something, supernatural, to the heart!

And so, the picture here is that glorious ‘but’ of verse 4. Because though we were objects of wrath, it says, “But because of his great love…” Certainly not because of anything He found in us! “…Because of his great love for us, God, who is rich in mercy, made us alive with Christ even when we were dead in transgressions—it is by grace you have been saved.”

So, what happened when Jesus came forth from the tomb was a whole lot more than just Him coming forth from the tomb! He brought forth a whole, brand-new creation with Him, because everything that was part of that creation was in Him. Just as our life—our natural life came from Adam, our spiritual life came from Him. He is the progenitor of a great, new family that is born of a different kind of life that’s gonna live forever.

And so we see…and of course, we see not only what He’s done for us, but we see the ‘sit’ part, ‘cause this is where this comes in. ‘Cause it says, “And God raised us up with Christ…” And! “…And seated us with him in the heavenly realms in Christ Jesus.” Does that not make a difference in how we approach spiritual battles?

( congregational response ).

Personally, and on behalf of others? What is your position? You know, Ron talked about how prone we are to look at our own infirmities. Well, we are. And that’s part of being able to stand. We’re gonna have to get past that. It’s not a matter of saying, oh, none of that matters. It’s a matter of what do we do with it?

And that’s what the Gospel is about. The Gospel has an answer for every situation, every need that we possibly have. We don’t have to sit here like paupers and beggars and… “Oh, God, He couldn’t do anything for me. These are glorious truths, but not for me.”

Boy, if the Devil can convince us of that, he’s won. ‘Cause we’ll just throw down our arms and say, I’m sorry, Mr. Devil, like I’ve said, we’re not gonna bother you anymore. We’re gonna feel like he’s up here and we’re down here. Our entire mentality is gonna be, I’m a victim, I can’t do anything. I can sort of throw up a wish list to God and hope something good happens, but, I don’t really expect it.

You know, my dad used to tell the story about the…I guess this was to illustrate faith, but, the illustration of the woman who had…and I’ve told this before, but there was some tree out in her property somewhere that she didn’t like, it was in the wrong place, blocked her view…I don’t know what it was. Somehow, she wanted it gone. And, she read about moving mountains. So she prayed, “Oh Lord, move that tree, move that tree, move that tree.” And she went to bed, she got up in the morning and looked out and said, “Just as I expected.”

( laughter ).

( laughing).

And that’s the problem! Our expectations don’t match up with our prayers, many times. And God wants us to see our position in Him! Because if we don’t see that we are truly seated with Him…if we think ourselves up here in a position of authority…let me tell you something, devils are terrified of you. If you know Christ, if He’s in your heart, devils are terrified of you!

( congregational amens ).

Because, they know who’s in you. It’s not you. Devils are terrified of you. I thought about this incident. Maybe Tim will forgive me, this is Tim in South Carolina…will forgive me for telling this. Maybe I’ve told it before, I can’t remember. But, some of you remember he was at one point a school principal? And there was a girl in his school one day who just went out of control. Just…nobody could control her.

They called the parents to come get her. She was still just absolutely beserk, out of control. And he recognized what was going on so, he took her in the office, quietly. And he didn’t do any great mumbo-jumbo, he just looked at her and said, “Look, there’s nothing in me, but in the name of Jesus, you be still.” Instantly she was still, looking up at him like…I’ll tell you, if we understood who lives in us, that He’s really, “…greater than he who is in the world…” (KJV) we would approach a lot of things differently.

We are afraid of things that we don’t need to be afraid of. I’ll tell you where the fear is coming from. The Devil is terrified of you. So, he took her by the hand and walked her out and everybody was just dumbfounded. But you know, it’s a spiritual battle. Our warfare is not against people. Our warfare is against the spirits that work. And we are the ones with the upper hand. Somehow, this is just…I guess I’m gonna keep coming back to this. But, we are the ones who are seated on a throne! We have the authority!

( congregational amens ).

We have the upper hand over the Devil that works in us, that works on other people that we’re concerned about. We are the ones in a position of authority! Do we use that? Do we stand upon that? Do we believe it? I mean, I’m looking at you and I see me. This…’yeah, yeah.’

( laughing ).

May God help us to get it. But you know, we’ve got to start somewhere. We’ve got to proclaim the Word and just pray and ask God to make this live and make this real! Because, our attitude in battle makes all the difference! If we approach it as, look, we have the upper hand! Devil, you’re gonna have to leave! You’re gonna have to give in! And, I’m not giving up. I’ve got the power! I know I’ve got the power! I know the one that’s in me is greater than you! You have to listen to Him!

How many of our issues do we approach that way? God help us! You know, we can sit here and sing all the glorious songs and profess that we’ve got the victory, we’ve got the victory, and we go around and it’s not quite like it ought to be, is it? May God help us! But this is a reality.

And so, this was the first part of Watchman Nee’s message. Because he understood, before you can get to the stand part, you better find out who you are and where you’re at. If you’re down here “under the circumstances,” that’s not where we’re meant to be. There are circumstances, to be sure, but we don’t have to be under them in the sense that they’ve defeated us. We are in a position of authority that we need to step up and believe.

And, I know there are people that run amuck with this. There are people that convene conferences and try to cast the Devil out of cities. Well, that’s just fantasy land. But I mean, within the will and the purpose of God, we can be laborers together with Him and we can take authority where He commands. Jesus didn’t drive the Devil out of cities. One place he took a man out of a city and healed him and told him not to go back. You know, we’re getting to that place.

But I believe God has purposes. He has things that He has given us power to do. He’s not gonna just magically go out and do stuff. He does it through us. And there are ways that He does it. And you know, I see my own deficiencies in this area and it just kind of...it makes me angry at myself. But yet, all we can do is walk where we’re at on the journey. We just have to grow, we have to learn.

But I believe God’s heart is ready to say, hey, wait a minute, there’s stuff I want to do, but I want to do it through a people. That’s the way it works in My kingdom. I’ve given you everything! I put you on a throne! What are you doing with it? Are we just sitting back and doing whatever? God help us!

And so, this is the starting point. I mean, you think about some of the pictures in the scriptures of people who came to such a conviction of the reality of what Christ…of what they had in God, that they had a heart that was willing to stand up no matter what. Folks, we’re gonna need that kind of a heart in the hour, at any hour of history, but in this hour particularly.