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Rainbow Divider
MCM Broadcast

TV Broadcast #1231

Peace in His Work
Part One

May 8, 2016

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Transcript of message from TV Broadcast 1231 -- taken from Closed Captioning Text

— Brother Phil Enlow: Well, I still feel like the Lord is wanting to open up some areas. The more I dig into the subject we’ve been looking at the last two or three weeks, Lord have mercy, you could preach a year and not cover it. But, I’m not gonna do that.

( laughing ).

We’ll just ask the Lord to guide us with respect to that. We started with that scripture in Isaiah 26, a passage there, two verses. “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). And somehow, in that Wednesday service the Lord just kind of quickened three areas that particularly pertain to whether we are really enjoying that ‘peace, peace’ that He gives to us.

And, surely that, along with many other scriptures, indicates His heart toward us, that He’s not wanting us to struggle. He’s not wanting us to live with unrest, anxiety, uncertainty, all of the things that disturb peace. But He’s wanting us to truly enjoy peace.

And, those areas that seemed to be quickened to me were the fact that we need His will and not ours — I said that wrong last week — but His will and not ours, His Word and His Truth, not ours, and His work, not ours.

And you know, the last couple of weeks we’ve talked about the first two…the fact that the human race is at war with God, even in things that human beings consider to be good and righteous. The fact that we are doing them independently, with self at the center, is in effect, in reality, an act of war, because we’re pretending to be something that we’re truly not. And we were not made to live independent, selfish lives. That’s absolutely a corruption of God’s intention. And so the human race is at war with God and we need to, first of all, have our wills aligned with His.

That’s one thing that God’s going to deal with every single one of us, where our will is pulling in one direction, God is gonna bring us to the place where we align our wills—we want what He wants. We come to the place where it’s not my will, but His that needs to be done.

And, the second area that we talked about was His Truth, His world view, His way of looking at reality. And it’s not just looking at reality, it is reality. Everything else is really Satan’s holodeck. It’s an illusion. It’s something that he creates out of thin air to deceive. It seems real to us, but it isn’t. And for so many in this world, it’s going to be too late before they wake up and realize, hey, I have been lied to.

I praise God that He has shown mercy to me, because in myself, I have no hope. I’m not smart enough, I’m not wise enough. I’m as much a part of this world as anybody else apart from His grace. Thank God! Does that not reveal His heart?

( congregational response ).

My word! But, the other part of it has to do with His work, and not ours. And I just have been more and more conscious as I’ve come close to this weekend how important this part of it is. If we don’t get this, we really miss out on the peace that He has for us.

And you know, I had this thought: what is work, I mean, just the definition of “work”? I didn’t Google it, but I just kind of thought about it. And, a simple definition of work would be something accomplished by applied energy.

And if you think about that in the physical sense, my Bible is just sitting here and unless something acts upon that, it’s going to sit there, isn’t it? That’s just an on-going condition. But if I take muscular energy and I lift and I overcome the gravitational pull to a certain degree, I’m applying and I’m changing its position.

What we need, what every one of us needs in order to be a part of what God’s purpose is, His plan from the foundation of the world, we need some energy applied, we need some change, don’t we? There has to be some work that is accomplished. And of course, that raises the question, what is the source of the energy, what is the source of this work that I need to make those changes in myself? This is where we trip up.

And so, I’m just thinking about — it’s obvious that the truth of the matter is that God is the One that’s got to do the work. But I want to kind of lay a little bit of a foundation, because the very nature of God’s Kingdom is that it is a creation. It is something that God is literally creating. And if you go back to the beginning, you will see a model, in a sense, for what He is doing now in that, God simply spoke and it happened, didn’t it?

We know, by faith, “…that the worlds were framed by the word of God, so that things which are seen were not made of things which do appear.” (KJV). I’m sort of half quoting that. It’s Hebrews 11:2, if you want to look it up. But the fact is, God acted, didn’t He? And when Adam and Eve came onto the scene, what did they have to do in order to enjoy the creation?

( congregation inaudible )

No. They didn’t have to create, did they? They didn’t have to make it happen somehow. God didn’t say, here’s a blank slate, you go to it and make what you want. He created it! He did the work! In fact, it says, “…on the seventh day he rested…” didn’t He? (NIV). And why did He rest?

( congregational response ).

He rested because it was done. Now, there’s another side to that. Did that mean that Adam and Eve could just sit around and lollygag, and just have a — no! They had a place within the created order. It was a place of great privilege. It was a place of great responsibility. There was work expended by them. But they did not work “for,” they worked in harmony “with” God’s purpose. So you see there’s a perfect balance.

And, if you look at a scripture like Hebrews chapter 4, we see that these two ideas are very much tied together. And we see where — if I can find it here, praise God! We see where the writer is concerned, in the Book of Hebrews, with people who have grown up in Israel, that what they understood in terms of their relationship with God is, God gives me laws, I obey the laws, He receives me because I obey His laws. It was very much a legalistic thing. They did not understand that God did not give the Law to be a pathway to righteousness and acceptance with God, but rather to show us that we need a change, we need divine action, we need a Savior! And so, the question that concerned the writer was that people would stop short. They would know something about Jesus, but they would somehow not be able to let go of their own ideas.

Is that a problem for anybody coming to Christ? Are we not full of our own ideas as to what reality is? See we’ve got a lot of these “Satan’s lies” that were just sung about. And I pray that God will expose every one of them, because I’m in need as much as you are. We have all bought into ideas and things that we think are true, that we need God to shine light on. And He’s doing it because He loves us! Praise God!

But the problem here was that they were not really coming to a place of entire rest in what God had done. And, the writer also relates it to what God had promised the children of Israel in giving them a land. He promised them a place of rest, of enjoyment. This is yours! I’ve given it to you. That didn’t mean they didn’t have to fight, but God was with them. Literally, it was something they had the right to possess because God had given it to them. It was all done! They didn’t have to earn it.

And so, he called the fact that a whole generation failed to enter into the promise of what God had given to them, why? Because they didn’t believe it! They continually — there was this continual resistance in their heart to just letting go and trusting God. And boy, it is so contrary to our nature. It’s not as simple as it sounds. But anyway, it talks about how this whole generation did not enter in.

And it says in verse 3, I guess, “And yet his work has been finished since the creation of the world. For somewhere he has spoken about the seventh day in these words: And on the seventh day God rested from all his work. And again in the passage above he says, they shall never enter my rest.”

And so, it brings us to the point that God has done something, and we have the privilege, if we will surrender, of resting in something that He has done. So it was the nature of the first creation. It was the nature of what God had given them in the land. It is the nature of the Kingdom that we have been called to today. God has done something. It is completely done. He calls upon us to cast our souls upon it, to rest upon it, to embrace it.

And, so that’s why he says, let’s see, verse 9: “There remains, then, a Sabbath-rest for the people of God; for anyone who enters God’s rest also rests from his own work, just as God did from his.” There are so many people that want to try and do whatever they think will make them acceptable to God. They will be as religious as all get-out. They will strive, they will struggle. I’m not what I ought to be, God couldn’t accept me like this, I’ve got to change, I’ve got to be this, got to be that.

And they never come to the place where they simply say, God, I turn it over to You. Lord, You have done everything that is needed to make this whole creation happen. It’s not just a plan — I don’t know how to put it. There is literally a creation that’s going on. And we know scriptures that talk about, “If anyone is in Christ…” What is he?

( congregational response ).

“…A new creation.” See, there is something that is brand-new that happens in the heart of a person who comes to that place where they are literally born of the Spirit of God! It’s not a matter of learning and being religious. It’s a matter of coming to the end of ourselves, realizing our need! God reveals to us our need and reveals His provision.

And we just lay down our arms and put ourselves in His hands, and He literally comes in and imparts a brand-new life. It is a new creation. There is something that is imparted to the heart of a human being, with all of our faults and all of our needs, nonetheless, there is something that is eternal, that is just as real as anything else that there is.

You know, when Jesus Christ came forth from the tomb, a new creation was born. Have you ever looked at it that way? God was beginning something. He planted His Son in the ground like a seed. Jesus said that in His own words. “Except a corn of wheat fall into the ground and die, it abideth alone: but if it die, it bringeth forth much fruit.” (KJV). There was a life that was in Him!

And when He came forth then that life destroyed the power of death. That created life now is resident in heaven, and it is being spread to everyone that opens their heart to Him. There is a new creation that was born. I’ll tell you, it is unfolding. It is not happening exactly like this first one did, but it’s unfolding in a way that’s going to last forever. It’s unfolding here this morning. God is working in lives here. I believe there are people here today that are part of something that’s eternal that began, well, it began before the foundation of the world, didn’t it?

( congregational response ).

But God began to do something. He began to invade. Praise God! Look at a scripture that’s familiar to us in Ephesians chapter 2. I mean, I’ve got a lot of scriptures that I potentially could look at. Every one of them is familiar to us! But what I want to do is to see if the Lord can help us to paint a picture, to use scriptures that we know and to put them together in a way that will shine light on what this whole subject is about, that God wants to bring us to a place of peace and rest in Him. And this is so much central to it.

And, of course, in this passage he paints the picture of what we were apart from Christ and how God took the initiative! Isn’t that the way it has to happen? God has to act! God, in His rich love and so forth, He called us. He made us alive with Christ. He gave us a hope of something that will go on forever! In the coming ages, He’s gonna show His incomparable kindness, the riches of His grace and so forth.

But down in verse 8, “For it is by grace you have been saved….” (NIV). Now grace, again, is divine energy that influences, that does work. This is producing work. Just like I’m producing work by lifting this Bible, there’s work that’s needed. If I’m gonna have faith, if I’m gonna have a heart that wants to repent, that’s able to repent, I need divine energy to act upon me. That’s grace, okay?

But, “It is by grace you have been saved, through faith….” So that’s putting, that is a surrender that even, it says here, God enables that. “…This not from yourselves, it is the gift of God.” So the faith to believe — the song, “give me the faith to believe” — see, I didn’t plan that song. I believe the Lord did. Praise God!

And so, God has done this work and it’s my job to respond to His initiative. It’s not that He stands back and says, okay, do this and I’ll accept you. This is, surrender to My work. Just surrender. I’m gonna supply everything you need. I’m not asking you to come up with something here. I just want you to surrender and let Me do something that only I can do. That’s the nature of salvation. “…It is the gift of God—not by works, so that no one can boast.”

Now, I saw this the other day in a deeper way. We tend to think that when it says, “not by works,” we think of legalism, that is, again it’s not that God gives us something to do and then responds to our doing and then rewards that. But I’ll tell you, the whole process of salvation is not “by works.” In other words, the energy that changes me, that does the work that God wants done, does not originate in me.

Do you see that — that dimension of it? It isn’t just this little thing in the beginning. This is the whole journey that I am on. God is never looking for energy that originates in me! That’s the key to, I think, about everything that I’ve thought about today, that I believe the Lord wants to really highlight, because I’ll tell you, I believe we can come to a place where this is the missing ingredient right here.

But listen to what he says after this to relate this to the creation. He says, “For we are God’s workmanship….” Does that sound like — where’s the work coming from?

( congregation inaudible ).

Yeah. He’s the Craftsman! He is doing something! God is initiating! God is doing something! But what’s the nature of that? “We are God’s workmanship, created…” Where? “…In Christ Jesus….” Do you see where Christ Himself coming forth from the tomb was the foundation of a whole creation? It was there in Him! What we’re seeing now is the unfolding of something that only God could engineer and He calls us to come and be a part of it! It’s His gift! He supplies everything that’s needed! Praise God! We’ve got an awesome Gospel!

“We are God’s workmanship, created in Christ Jesus…” What? “…To do good works, which God prepared in advance for us to do.” See, what we do — again, it’s like Adam and Eve, for a short time, at least, they cooperated with God’s purpose. They acted in accordance with it. They ruled over the works of God’s hands. And so everything they did was a result! They didn’t do anything to earn that. They took the life that God had implanted in them and they used it in a way that was in harmony with God. That’s what He calls us to do. I don’t have to bring any of my natural energy to this process. I need His. Praise God!

All right, and that’s the key. There’s a lot of scriptures that you could use, and again, I don’t know how far to dig into this. But, you think about the fact that everything about the Kingdom of God, again, is a divine initiative. That means God acts first.

( congregational amens ).

And I hope we can see before I get done, how we get tripped up by this. We run ahead, we strive, we’re anxious. God has to take the initiative in everything that happens. And did He not at the cross! What could we bring to Him! Nothing! But what did Jesus cry right before He died? “It is…” What?

( congregational response ).

“…Finished.” That’s the thing! God has given us a creation and a kingdom that everything that could possible ever be needed in your life and in mine, to make us what He has purposed us to be, was already done. Oh, how Satan loves to obscure this truth! Boy, he’s certainly opposed it in my thinking! And I’ve sensed his oppression against it. I know he hates this! He knows it defeats him! He knows he has no answer! He knows he was paraded in defeat by what Jesus accomplished for us on the cross! And God wants us to see that it was done forever! Praise God!

Turn to a familiar scripture and let’s refresh our minds in Hebrews chapter 10, because the writer here is still going on talking to Israel, to Jews. He’s seeking to compare the New Covenant with the old one, where in the Old Covenant they had sacrifices they had to keep on offering. They would offer one and they’d be good. And then they’d sin some more and they’d have to go and offer another offering. It never quite did the job.

But oh, what a glorious thing happened when Jesus went to the cross! Jesus said — or it said in verse 9, “Then he said…” referring to Jesus, “Here I am, I have come to do your will. He sets aside the first…” the Old Covenant, “…to establish the second. And by that will, we have been made holy through the sacrifice of the body of Jesus Christ once for all.” Praise God! Do we have a place to rest today?

( congregational response )

Praise God! “Day after day every priest stands and performs his religious duties; again and again he offers the same sacrifices, which can never take away sins. But when this priest…” That’s Christ. “…When this priest had offered for all time one sacrifice for sins, he sat down at the right hand of God. Since that time he waits for his enemies to be made his footstool, because by one sacrifice he has made perfect forever those who are being made holy.”

Boy, does that sort of sum it up? You think of the time-line involved in this. He “has” made! That’s past, that’s done, that’s finished! That’s what Jesus did on the cross! But He’s made holy, how long? Forever! Now you’re talking about the future that never ends! But he also says, those who are, what?

( congregational response )

Being made holy! So you see the process, you see the finished work, you see the outcome, but you see a process that’s happening in the middle. That means that God is setting us apart. God is taking us out of the world, changing our hearts, our minds, everything about us, imparting a new Life, making new people out of us, but that’s a process.

And so, at any given point, we’re gonna have our times and our struggles. We’re gonna come through battles. We’re gonna come through situations. But I’ll tell you, we are part of something that is eternal! And we have every reason to be at peace even in the midst of our storms, because we are resting on something that God has done.

And you think about how invested the Father has been. And it wasn’t just that Jesus came and did all this and tried to convince His reluctant Father to go along with it, it’s that God was in Christ! “…God was in Christ, reconciling the world unto himself.” (KJV). Praise God!

You think about what Jesus said in John 10, John 14, rather. He was talking about the fact that — they were wondering — first of all, they wanted to see the Father. And He said, have you been so long time with me and you haven’t seen me? “Anyone who has seen me has seen the Father.” (NIV).

See, the very nature of His own life was that He allowed the Father to live in Him in spirit. And so what He did, the words He spoke, that wasn’t just Jesus. That was the Father working through Him. Do you see the divine partnership? That’s what God is calling us to! I’ve got a lot of room to grow and to learn in this area. Anybody else?

( congregational response ).

Yeah. God has not called us to a life of striving and trying. He’s called us to life of believing and resting and receiving, and having divine energy work in and through us.

( congregational amens ).

Praise God! That’s what I need! That’s what the world needs to see. But anyway, what He finally said to them was that, the works that I do, I don’t do by myself but, “…it is the Father, living in me, who is doing his work.” And so I’ll tell you, whatever you see Jesus doing in His ministry, how He dealt with people, how He related to them, the love, the compassion, all of those things, you weren’t just seeing a man, you were seeing the God who sent the man. You were seeing both, of course. But you were seeing God in action!

Praise God! That should encourage us to see the compassion that we see in Christ! That’s God! That’s the God of the universe! That’s how He feels about our need! That’s how He longs to reach out and help and lift us up and break chains in our lives! We have an awesome God who is absolutely taking the initiative to take people like us and give us a hope and future!