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Rainbow Divider
MCM Broadcast

TV Broadcast #1226

Peace in His Will
Part One

April 3, 2016

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Transcript of message from TV Broadcast 1226 -- taken from Closed Captioning Text

— Brother Phil Enlow: You know, I have not been able to get what the Lord gave me Wednesday night…was just basically in spite of my fatigued brain…I couldn’t even remember the points I was trying to make.

( laughing ).

But anyway, there’s just a simple thought and I just have not been able to get it out of my mind. I’ve continued to think about it. And my first thought was, well, maybe this is something that just needs to get fleshed out on Sunday. And, the more I thought about it, the more I realized there’s no way I can cover the things that have come to my mind in a service.

Now, I’m not going to be presumptuous and announce a series, but I wouldn’t bet against the Lord continuing some of these things. So, obviously, we have to be open and led of the Lord in whatever we do. But, those of you who were here will remember that I began with Isaiah chapter 26, verses 3 and 4. And so I’m just gonna go ahead and see if the Lord can’t help me to unpack this a little more than we did.

But this is an awesome promise, and it’s written to God’s people. And through the prophet the Lord says…well, it says of Him, “You will keep in perfect peace him whose mind is steadfast, because he trusts in you. Trust in the LORD forever, for the LORD, the LORD, is the Rock eternal.” (NIV).

Now it’s interesting, I was looking this thing up, just to trace the word ‘peace’ around. And many of you will recognize that one of the words for ‘peace,’ the most common word in Hebrew is, shalom. How many of you have ever heard the expression, shalom?

( congregational response ).

Yeah. It’s still used in many parts of the world today in the Middle East. It’s a greeting. It’s a, ‘I wish you well being,’ ‘peace to you,’ that kind of thing. That’s the word that’s used. And what’s very interesting is the expression, ‘perfect peace’ is actually shalom, shalom. It’s not the word ‘perfect,’ it’s just kind of a ‘double peace.’ And it’s a…you really kind of get the idea that God wants His people to have peace.

And, I kind of began to break it out a little bit into areas of our lives that are affected, and it really kind of broke down to, His will, not my will. And Sue helped me with the alliteration here, His Word, not my word. As I had His truth…but anyway, the alliteration works better so my homiletics professor will be happier.

( laughter ).

His Word, not my word, and His work, not my work. But I’ll tell you, you start exploring that, there’s a lot to that, that is extremely relevant. And it should be relevant to every single person here.

And you know, I had a very distinct thought when I sat down and I wrestled with whether to get up and try to get back up again. I don’t like to do that. But anyway, the thought was a very simple one. If you don’t have what he’s describing here in your heart, if you’re not actually experiencing that, it’s because of one of these areas.

Now that’s something to think about, isn’t it? If I am not actually experiencing what God has promised that I can have, it’s because either my will’s not aligned with His, my thoughts and my word is not aligned with His Word, or maybe I am struggling and striving in my flesh, in some area. Now, these are very interrelated and Billy added another one…His way, not my way, which really kind of encompasses some of this. But I’ll tell you, there’s a lot of rich truth in that, that we really need to get a hold of.

I mean, do you think that God truly is all about peace? That’s His nature, isn’t it? It’s part of the very nature of God! There’s no conflict within His nature. You and I are very conflicted, many times, aren’t we? We do this but, but this…there’s always this kind of unrest. Even in things that we have a sort of a confidence, yeah, I ought to do this, but I’m still not quite sure. And there’s always this conflict.

There’s no conflict in Him. I’ll tell you, if you have an atmosphere where God’s Spirit is totally…that’s the atmosphere, it’s just God, you will have an atmosphere of perfect peace! There will be no strife. There will be no anxiety. There will be perfect rest. It’s not a rest of...

( snoring sound ).

…I’m gonna snore and go to sleep and do nothing. But in whatever happens within that atmosphere, there is a perfect alignment of every part of our being. Wouldn’t that be an awesome thing? Let me say that differently. Won’t it be an awesome thing when God gets through with His people?

But yeah, I’m with you. I’m right here. I don’t experience this all the time and if I’m gonna be honest, I’m gonna have to look inside because God…God’s nature is…He’s the God of peace, isn’t He? Paul describes Him as the God of peace. And we have that awesome promise of the coming of the Messiah in Isaiah chapter 9. And one of the titles of Jesus is, what? The Prince…

( congregational response ).

…Of Peace. And it even talks about, “Of the increase of his government and peace….” Don’t leave that phrase out. Yeah, there won’t be any end. But, it’s His government, His rule. Wherever His Spirit rules, there will be peace. There will be this atmosphere we’re describing.

And you know, you get this sense, whenever people have encountered God in some manifest way, there’s an angel, or appearance of Jesus or something, almost the first words, almost invariably, the first words, ‘don’t be afraid’ or ‘peace be to you.’

Jesus met with His disciples on numerous occasions after His resurrection and, our natural reaction to something like that would be, oh, my God! I’m scared to death! This is beyond my control, I don’t understand this. And He said, “Peace, be unto you.” (KJV). There’s always this sense of peace. And you know, peace and rest are very much intertwined, aren’t they?

( congregational response ).

They’re kind of two sides of the same coin. And did not Jesus invite people to come to Him and find rest for their souls? But then He also said, “…learn from me.” (NIV). Or, you’ll find rest. “…Learn from me…and you will find rest for your souls.” Boy, I’m a candidate. I need to learn a lot more about Him. Because, if I’m gonna be honest, there’s a whole lot that’s not really that restful going on in here, not like He wants it to be.

You know, if we know the Lord at all, we experience seasons of that, or we experience maybe moments is a more honest way to put it. But, I believe God wants to bring us to a place where there is a great deal more rest.

You know, that testimony of…praise God…the Chinese missionary…what was his name? Hudson Taylor. It’s come back to me several times. When the Lord brought him through trials and tests, and all kinds of things in his life, and he came to a point well into his career…tremendous responsibilities, tremendous pressures! And yet, he came to a place where there was an inward rest.

And somebody would come with terrible, distressing news…we’ve got to do something. And he would go around humming the hymn, “Jesus, I am resting, resting, in the joy of what Thou art.” See, this was old-time language. This was the 1800’s. But what an awesome thing that it is!

You know, Jesus made the promise to His disciples. He said, “…my peace I give you.” So, almost one of the last things He said, “…my peace I give you.” And you think about what He had to do in order to open that possibility up. You look at the…you look back at Isaiah 53. I’m gonna go ahead and flip over there just for a second so I can read this accurately. But the wonderful promise of what He was going to do in coming…I think we read some of this, maybe, last week, in the context of suffering.

But, let’s look down…just use verse 5. “But he was pierced for our transgressions….” Has that ever dawned on you…that He died because of you and your sins? Wow! Yeah! “…He was pierced for our transgressions, he was crushed for our iniquities….” But listen to this. “…The punishment that brought us peace was upon him, and by his wounds we are healed.”

Praise God! This thing of peace is something that’s in God’s heart! It’s for His people! And I believe there’s something going on right now where God is just reaching out to us, wanting to bring us into a larger place of peace, and to heal the areas of our hearts and our lives that just give us trouble, that cause inward unrest! I mean, is there anybody here, you’ve just got past that? You’ve just got perfect peace all the time?

You know, one thing that’s probably a good thing to do is to kind of ask the simple question, what is peace? Because people in this world, they’ve got all kinds of ideas, don’t they? And what is peace? Oh, that’s sitting on a beach somewhere, looking at a beautiful sunset. Or they think of it as something outward that, basically, what it breaks down to is that circumstances are very, very pleasant right now. Everything is just the way I like it. I’m…oh, that’s beautiful and that’s my sense of, oh, just enjoying that, and my fur is being rubbed the right way.

There’s no conflict right now. I’m free from strife. I’m not at work. I’m really…I’m sitting here just, oh, in utter peace. But that’s just an external circumstance. I mean, that’s what they call ‘happiness’ or it’s one manifestation of what they call happiness, which is based on, what?

( congregational response ).

What happens! And what happens doesn’t stay that way. We don’t live in that kind of a world. We live in a world that is anything but. So, it’s not just the outward circumstances. You think about Jesus. He certainly did not base His peace, the peace that He possessed, that He later gave to His disciples, He didn’t base that on what was happening. If He did, He would have been in a mess all the time. ‘Cause people were forever against Him, in one way or another, and ultimately, they killed Him. And if He’d been spending all of His time engaged in that, trying to draw His peace from external circumstances, He’d have been in a mess.

And that’s where our trouble comes from. We associate peace too much with what’s going on outwardly in our lives in the world. But, it’s not that. And it’s not just an emotion. You know, what Josh said, our emotions, they come and go. That’s exactly right. And so, we can’t base our sense of peace and well-being on how I happen to feel at the moment. You know, everything’s just the way I like it. Oh God, how self-centered that is!

( congregational amens ).

You know, peace…another way to express it, peace is the opposite of war or some kind of conflict. There’s something going on and it’s…there’s a conflict between this and this, and it’s just not settled. Everything’s topsy-turvy.

The Old Testament, in the early part especially, you will find the concept of peace being applied more to military situations, relation of nations, so and so…Israel had peace for forty years. Well, what did that mean? That meant enemies weren’t coming in and harassing them. They could just live their lives. And so, a lot of times, the word peace was used in that external sense, wasn’t it? There was an absence of that kind of outward conflict among nations.

But the peace that God desires us to have is a matter of the heart, isn’t it?

( congregational response ).

Because if your sense of peace comes from happy circumstances, you are in for a rough, bumpy ride in life. And I already pointed out how Jesus lived in the middle of…I mean, He was certainly the Devil’s target, His whole earthly existence. The Devil came at Him from every angle. He was, “…a man of sorrows, and acquainted with grief.” (KJV). And yet, there was in His being a perfect rest and peace.

My God, how is that possible? How is such a thing possible? But the thing is, true peace is independent of outward circumstances. If you want to break down what peace really is, peace is absolutely peace with God! You want to know what the foundation of real peace is? It’s peace with God!

And so, I’m not sitting here dependent on what happens to me. I’m anchored in…of course, the scripture we started with talks about the rock. It compares God to a rock. There’s something that is solid, something that doesn’t change! Where all of my circumstances will change, God doesn’t change! So, I have this privilege of anchoring my soul in Him!

But there has got to be a union between me and Him that’s way down in the depths of my soul, and if I can learn to live there…to the degree I learn to live there, and my heart is aligned with His heart, I’ll tell you, there is a reservoir of peace that we can have that is peace ‘in’ the storm, that is irrespective of what happens on the outside!

So what’s the problem? And I think we all know the answer to that. The problem is human nature. From the very beginning, God had a plan, didn’t He? They had an unbroken fellowship and a relationship. Adam and Eve did, with each other and with God. And it was awesome until Eve was deceived and Adam made a conscious choice to turn and rebel against God…to declare, God, I don’t trust you. If I’m gonna seek my highest welfare and well-being, I’m gonna have to chart my own course, do my own thing.

And so, you see the issue of ‘will’ coming right into the picture. All of a sudden, God had one plan, Adam had another one, and there was a breach. And what happened was, God had invested in humanity all of these awesome abilities, these desires, these natural capacities we have for pleasure of many kinds! Within the original will and purpose of God, they were pure and holy and awesome and wonderful!

But you start putting self at the center and all of a sudden they become raging infernos of lust and desire of many kinds, not just physical lust I’m talking about, but every sort of natural desire becomes something that, instead of my servant, it becomes so easily, the master. And so, you’ve got a human will that is absolutely geared to pleasing self!

You look at Romans 1 and you see how God has given a witness in nature. If people will look at nature with an open mind, they will see God! Not just that there is a God, but they’re gonna learn about Him! They’re gonna see the beauty of nature that is reflected, even in a fallen world! And yes, they’ll see the ugly. But they’re gonna see that as a witness to what happens when people turn their wills and set their wills against God! That’s what happens when you go against it. But there’s the beauty, there’s the order, there’s the awesome witness to God!

But man’s nature is to shut that out and say, no, I don’t want to listen to You! I’m gonna serve myself, I’m gonna do my thing, I’m gonna…that’s my course, I’m gonna chart it and go that way. And so, there is a fundamental rebellion of will against God.

But you look, even among believers. I’m gonna just turn over to a scripture. I may look at it again…but in James chapter 4. I mean, this doesn’t just affect the world. We’re still…as we heard this morning, salvation is very much a process. God is having to address areas of our lives where we still need saving! We need deliverance! I certainly do! And God is putting His finger on it—on things in my heart and in my life. It’s not pleasant, but the fruit of it is wonderful, if we don’t fight Him. That’s the problem. We fight Him.

But listen to this. This is written to believers! “What causes fights and quarrels among you?” (NIV). Wait a minute. These are Christians? And they fight? “What causes fights and quarrels among you? Don’t they come from your desires that battle within you? You want something but don’t get it. You kill and covet, but you cannot have what you want. You quarrel and fight. You do not have, because you do not ask God. When you ask, you do not receive, because you ask with wrong motives, that you may spend what you get on your pleasures.”

See, you’ve got a problem with a will, right here, that is so geared to self and what self wants, that it destroys peace down here. It absolutely colors the relationship that we would otherwise be able to enjoy with God. Praise God!

But listen to this interesting scripture, that some of you may have thought about in Isaiah 57. This is a sobering one. There’s a promise of healing and God’s people have been in a bad place but there’s a remnant He’s gonna reach out to. Verse 18. “I have seen his ways, but I will heal him; I will guide him and restore comfort to him, creating praise on the lips of the mourners in Israel. Peace, peace…” There’s the double ‘peace’ again. “…To those far and near, says the LORD. And I will heal them.

“But the wicked are like the tossing sea, which cannot rest, whose waves cast up mire and mud. There is no peace, says my God, for the wicked.” Now, one of the things that jumped out at me from that scripture is the simple expression, ‘they cannot rest.’ What we’re talking about! The world is looking for peace of some kind, some kind of inward assurance, some kind of rest, some kind of hope, some kind of peace on the inside. And what God is saying, it’s impossible if you occupy this place of what He’s talking about…the wicked.

Now of course, we’ll read that and we’ll say, oh, the wicked, I know who that is. That’s people who are cruel, they’re murderers, they’re despots, they’re guilty of all kinds of great, awful immorality. I’m not like that. That’s what He means by wicked. I’ll tell you what He’s talking about here. He’s talking about anybody that remains in a state of rebellion against God!

( congregational amens ).

Anybody, who in their heart of hearts, self rules! Self reigns. And I’ll tell you what, this is a…I don’t know quite how to put this, but I just pray that God will help to get this across. Because this issue of our will and Hill will coming into alignment in order that I can have peace and really experience His peace in here, this affects two kinds of people. Now it affects people who don’t know Him, first of all. The world, as we just indicated, is in a condition where peace is impossible! I don’t care what you do. I don’t care how much money you get. You will never be satisfied.

( congregational amens ).

I don’t care how much pleasure you experience, you will never ever reach the bottom. You will never scratch that itch and say, oh, now I have gotten there, I have arrived. The most miserable people on the planet, many of them, are the ones who have achieved the greatest success in the eyes of the world. They are full of themselves.

They’ve reached…everybody admires who they are and what they’ve accomplished and yet, there they are, empty on the inside! How many people there have been, through the ages, who have committed suicide because they got everything they thought they wanted, that they thought would give them peace and satisfaction, and found it was still just emptiness? You never reach the end of it! It’s never enough!

( congregational amens ).

You know, just a couple days ago there was a banker on Wall Street who jumped out of a high-rise and splattered on the sidewalk…anyway, it wasn’t pretty. We’re gonna see more of that kind of stuff. We’re living in a world where people are trying what is impossible.

And you know, you can look out and see the world and think, oh, that’s them. But, I want to tell you one thing that concerns me — And I believe it concerns God — is, how easy it is for people to either grow up in church, or to come in and become part of something that is religious, and they adopt its ways or they learn its ways and learn how to modify their behavior to conform to a Christian standard of some kind. They profess the right beliefs but ‘self’ has never, ever, been conquered in here!

( congregational amens ).

And you wonder why there’s never any rest down here. I’ll tell you, you’ll never have rest until that heart is surrendered.