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Rainbow Divider
MCM Broadcast

TV Broadcast #1232

Peace in His Work
Conclusion

May 15, 2016

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Transcript of message from TV Broadcast 1232 -- taken from Closed Captioning Text

— Brother Phil Enlow: God has a schedule. God has a plan. God has a plan for you, to bring you to every — all the awesome things that He has promised through the Gospel. God knows how to make it happen! It’s not my job to figure it out! It’s His creation! It’s unfolding! He’s already done the work! All I have to do is step in to the flow and believe Him, rest in Him, and not listen to the lies that tell me that I’ve got to be, I’ve got to do, and I’ve got to somehow make it happen under my own strength. It’s His work, not mine!

And all of the things that we have heard so many times over the years — what about the vine and the branches? Where does the vine get its energy from? I mean the branch, it gets it from the vine. How ridiculous would it be for a vine, a grape vine to say, come on branch, get with it! Come on, let’s see some grapes there! You can do it! Come on!

The vine is not a cheerleader. The vine is not a law-giver. The vine is the source of life that produces it and all we have to do is learn to believe and to rest and to cooperate with the process. Yield to it. Come to that place of rest and God will do the work, and there’ll be stuff that happens because it comes from Him. And we will know that it wasn’t us. It was Him. He gets the glory for all of that.

What about the Potter and the clay? What is our role in that? It’s just to submit. It’s to be pliable, too, by the way. How many of us are — what’s the matter with You? Come on, You’re not making me right! You’re not doing right! Come on. Look at somebody else! Look at all that — come on, I’m not like them! What’s the matter…? You know.

Lord have mercy! He’s the Potter! We’re His handiwork! That’s what — oh God, help me to be listening to this. This is stuff that we know intellectually, but God is trying to bear down in our lives because He loves us, not to dump more requirements on us, but, to bring us into a place where we can step into what He has given to us because of the cross. It’s a gift that He’s given to us. Thank God!

And you see Paul having to come to that place when he struggled against that spirit that was oppressing him, and all of a sudden he realized, it’s not my power that makes anything happen! I don’t have to feel strong in order to be able to help people! In fact, if I’m strong, if I’m feeling my own oats here, to use the modern expression, relatively modern, at least — if I’m feeling my oats and in the strength of that, I’m here telling people, where is the energy coming from? It’s coming from me and that’s not gonna help anybody.

Paul realized, just like Jesus, the words that I speak have got to come from heaven. They’ve got to have Life in them or they’re not gonna help the people who listen. So, the key to all of this is not my being strong, it’s my being weak and yielding to Him and believing. So, praise God for my weakness!

We don’t like it, but I’ll tell you, there’s no peace in fighting it. How many of you have found peace just fighting against that? Never. Not a bit. But God loves us enough to do what’s necessary. Paul said, “I can do all things through Christ which strengtheneth me.” (KJV).

You know, all these scriptures that we know so well — you know, beginning in 1st Thessalonians, the believers there are told — I’m gonna go ahead and read that one, I guess. There’s just a phrase, a passing phrase, but it’s significant. All right, Paul says “We always thank God for all of you, mentioning you in our prayers. We continually remember before our God and Father your work produced by faith.” (NIV).

Now think about the simplicity of that. There’s work involved, isn’t there? There is work, there is work that changes something. It actually accomplishes something, even though it’s not physical, it’s spiritual. It’s real! Something is really happening. Something is really changing.

But how was it produced? By faith! That means I am depending on God. There’s a conscious dependence that becomes a habit of looking to God and saying, God, You have set something before me. I’m doing it, but I’m doing it with a sense that, God, You have to do this through me if something eternal is gonna happen. What a simple phrase, “work produced by faith.”

Faith, what’s faith? I mean faith in what and who? Faith in God! Has He not promised to work in us and through us? Does He not work in our hearts and through us to do His will? I’m fracturing that scripture but you know the one I’m talking about.

That’s one thing about looking at this. I have been so overwhelmed with the volume of stuff, because this is the picture of the Kingdom of God. And if we can get all of it, in a sense, at least the simplicity of the picture, we can rest, folks We can have rest that we don’t have right now.

So, what is God actually looking for when it comes to the work that God needs to do in me? How many of you look in the mirror sometimes, and you’re just really discouraged? When you think about what God has called us to, and then you look and you say, good God, look at me! I’m probably not even saved. You know, the devil is just gonna pile all kinds of things.

You know one thing we need to learn is not to put ourselves under a microscope. You do and you’re gonna be discouraged. But God doesn’t even do that. He doesn’t have to. He knows everything. And guess what? God’s not discouraged! That’s amazing!

But see, God is looking at a bigger picture. He’s looking at the absolute sovereignty of His work and His plan and His power to make it happen. “He which hath begun a good work…will perform it…” (KJV). How long? “…Until the day of Jesus Christ.”

You see, there’s something that’s very sovereign there. God sees the need. But He is not discouraged or overwhelmed by what He sees in you and what He sees in me. He knows how to bring His power and His love and His grace and His transforming life to make the changes that are needed in us. Praise God!

So my job is to look to Him. It’s to learn, as a habit of life, oh God, my life is not something where I’ve got to strive and struggle. I am looking to You for the requirements of this moment, this moment, this moment, this thing, this situation, whatever it is. Thank you for it, Lord. You’ve allowed it. Your grace is always enough. And so I rest upon Your promise. I surrender to Your will and to Your heart in this thing. But Lord, I am trusting You for the energy that’s needed to make this…to hang with this thing and to see it through, relying on grace.

We sing a song that I wonder how much we practice. “I’ll be still in Thy hand, Lord, for thou art the Potter. I’ll be still in Thy hand, Lord, for I am the clay. Mold me and make me, after Thine image, I’ll be still in Thy hand, Lord, just have Thy sweet way.”

Wow! It’s an awesome truth! But do we really live that way? Do we really grasp this or have we just learned to sing it as a tradition? God wants to make that song real to where our posture before Him every day takes all three legs of this stool into account where I want what He wants. I see it from His point of view, but I also get the fact that if anything is going to actually happen, it’s got to come from His grace.

Now I’ve got something that will stand there. I can rest upon that. And God’s not in a hurry. He’s not anxious. He’s not worried about all that stuff that I see that isn’t what it ought to be, because He’s gonna get us there.

I was thinking about some of the obstacles. One of them is pride. I’m not as bad as He says I am, I can do stuff. Good luck with that. You’re setting yourself against almighty God, and guess who’s gonna lose? He’s gonna conquer you, not because He hates you, but because He loves you. But oh, how we need to humble ourselves under His mighty hand. All of these scriptures that we have heard so many times!

But here’s another one that’s a real obstacle and that’s a faulty view of God. If your God is an angry lawgiver, demanding something of you, always critical, always faultfinding, always showing you all the bad stuff and saying, what’s the matter with you? Why…? If that’s your view of God, this is gonna be tough, to trust Him, to rest, to see Him as the loving Father that He is. If God is an angry faultfinder because you didn’t do it right and “hold your mouth right….”

God deliver us from that kind of a notion of God. Some of us have been exposed to some of that. We need to see that it’s a lie from hell! God is the same one who was in His Son when He met a fallen woman at the well! He told her the truth, did He not? But, He told it to her in such a way that she felt His love and hope and joy and peace, and there was a transformation in her life.

That was the God she encountered in Jesus. That’s the God who longs to change our lives, longs for us to let go and trust Him. Oh, He’s not that angry demanding God. He’s a God of mercy and grace who understands exactly where we’re at. We can come to Him. His throne is not a throne of justice, of angry denunciation! It’s a throne of grace where we find help! That’s what I need.

Praise God! Oh, let’s just see these lies destroyed. Let’s cast down these evil imaginations that rise up against the knowledge of God! Let’s paint the true picture of God. I pray that He will reveal Himself in a greater way to every one of us. I need it! I sense areas of my life that are just — there’s a tentativeness there. There’s a little bit of anxiety. There’s a little bit of fear. It’s part of my personality, but you’ve got the same kinds of things going on in you.

God wants to conquer them, not be denunciation and demand, but by love, until we surrender into His hands and understand Who He really is and what He’s about. Praise God! He didn’t have to do any of this. We don’t deserve it. It’s not about that. It’s about His character. God is love. Thank God.

So that’s about God’s work in us, but what about God’s work through us? Here’s one where every one of us struggles. And that is striving in our own energy to change people and circumstances around us. I know nobody here understands what I’m talking about! Husbands and wives — I know what you’re supposed to be like, what’s the matter with you? Come on! Oh my.

We are such self-righteous lawgivers in our relationships one with another. We need to bring this perspective about who does the work of transformation into our relationships one with another and have just a tiny bit more patience, you think? God didn’t make it your job to change people. You can’t change yourself, for heaven’s sake! What makes you think you can change somebody else?

What you really want, what I want when I go that way, I want something to be more convenient and pleasing for me, because so-and-so annoys me because of the way they are and so, I want them — I know what’s right. So I’m gonna really, I’m just gonna keep hammering. Hammering and yammering.

There’s no place for nagging in the kingdom of God. It does not work. Human anger — if the energy to influence somebody else is coming from me, it’s gonna be wrong. Now there is an energy that can come from God that is filled with grace, filled with patience, filled with love that realizes it’s God’s job to change somebody’s heart.

You know, I deal with it as a preacher. I would love to preach the magic sermon that would just transform everybody and the work would be done. You’d all be fixed up and ready for glory. But I’ve got to learn that my ways are not God’s ways. His ways are not mine. His ways involve my just doing my job and trusting God with the results.

Boy, I’d love to see certain things happen. I’d love to provoke a response. That could be dangerous, if we’re basically preaching to kind of evoke something. We need to learn to just give out the Word. What did Paul say about his ministry? He said, “I have planted, Apollos watered.” Then what happened?

( congregational response ).

“God gave the increase.” You see, our place is just simply to be yielded vessels to the Lord, to whatever He gives, whatever He puts in our path, to be able to express His life and to do it with His energy and His character, above all. And then to say, God, it’s Your job. I’m turning this situation, I’m turning this person over to You. I’m going to love them. I am going to trust You to work.

How many of you have found out you can do it another way? It doesn’t work. All it does is create strife. And God wants us to be like Him. I’ll tell you, we are so natured that God will work on our tough hard heads for 40 years about something. One day we’ll wake up and get it! Then we run to our brother or our sister and say, brother, sister, I’ve found the answer! Get it! Get it! Get it!

( laughter ).

It took us 40 years to get it. We want them to get it in five minutes! You know, we need to learn God’s ways. God is patient. God knows how to work with us right where we’re at. He sees the real needs in our lives and is able to reach in with His love and change us. And our job is just to be expressions of His life and trust Him.

Now you know, I understand that with parents and children, there is a responsibility to nurture them. But nurturing them is not being an angry lawgiver. It’s not being, “do as I say not as I do.” It’s being a model of what God is to us, drawing upon His energy and His strength just to be what we ought to be and not worrying about way out here, but today, this moment, and setting loving boundaries for children, training them up and all that.

But I’ll tell you, it’s — you know, you can’t sit back and say, oh, it’s God’s job to raise my kids. He does give you a place, just like He gives — just like that carpenter — he couldn’t sit back and say the saw is gonna do the job. I’ve got to pick the saw up, but I understand where the power is coming from and I want to be in harmony with that. So you see the balance in all of this.

You think about Paul. There’s a scripture in Colossians 1 that’s significant because it really expresses the balance. Several times he uses very similar expressions. He talks about his ministry. “We proclaim him…” (NIV). This is Christ. Verse 28, “…Admonishing and teaching everyone with all wisdom, so that we may present everyone perfect…” or complete, “…in Christ.”

Now he says, “To this end I labor.” So Paul’s doing some work here, isn’t he? “To this end I labor, struggling with all his energy, which so powerfully works in me.” See the balance. You see God putting something on Paul’s plate. Here’s a job I’ve got for you, Paul. I want you to present, I want you to preach Christ. I want you to give it all you’ve got, but I want you in that act to understand it’s my power that’s really in action here. So when you put forth the effort, it’s like you put forth, I’m gonna be there. You’re gonna have to take a step of faith.

That’s what our lives are called to be, to step out in faith, to do what He calls us to do in the moment, but to understand that I’ve got to have His life in order to do it. Folks, every member of the body of Christ is called to live a supernatural life connected to God, being energized by Him in our character, in our relations one with another, God is going to give gifts, more than we’ve seen. God is going to work in us so that we will have a measure of the gift of Christ that’s going to absolutely do something for everybody else.

I just pray that the Lord will help me to tie this together. How do we do all this? Pray. But how do we do that? In the Spirit. You see, even in prayer, even in my coming to God and asking for what I need, I need His help! I don’t know what to pray for as I ought. But the Holy Spirit helps me in my weakness, “…with groanings which cannot be uttered.” (KJV). So there is an energy…this tool of prayer is awesome, but there’s an energy that has to come from heaven to empower it to make it effective.

So we come to Him, but above all things, we learn to rest, to trust and to be patient. If we really understand what God is doing, we’re gonna be able to rest in what He’s already done and what He’s promised. We’re gonna be able to be patient with the process, patient with each other. We’re gonna know that God, who has begun this good work, is going to finish it.

I thought of one scripture that I sort of penciled into place, this morning. We’ve heard it so many times, but boy, does it fit. Ephesians 3:20. Because Paul has been talking about what God has purposed for us and all the amazing things that He’s laid up for us and given to us, that we’re going to be.

“Now to him who is able to do immeasurably more than all we ask or imagine…” (NIV). Based on what? “…According to his power that is at work…” Where? “…Within us.” You see what the key to everything is? It’s the reality of God’s promise to do a work inside of me. There’s energy that needs to change me. It’s got to come from Him, but He’s promised, and He can do stuff that you can’t even imagine.

( congregational amens ).

We look at ourselves and say I cannot imagine how this can ever be different. Well, fortunately, we are not limited by our imaginations. We’re limited — there is no limit. He’s not limited. If we will just come to Him and say, God, do whatever it takes. Do what is needed in my heart and my life. I’m dependent on what You have promised and what You are doing in my life. I’m going to rest in that. I’m gonna be patient.

I thought of a scripture just to kind of read and close, because it goes right back to Isaiah 26 where we have this promise of peace to those whose mind is steadfast and all that. But you go down to verse 12, and the prophet says, “Lord, you establish peace for us…” You establish it. “…All that we have accomplished you have done for us.” That’s a profound thing. “All that we have accomplished you have done….” Do you see the divine partnership God has called us to?

Praise the Lord! I know there’s a lot in this, this morning. It’s almost too much to give out in one thing, but I just pray that God will take some of this and make it real. If some of you have been trying to live with a two-legged stool, there’s a third leg. God wants us to have a place of rest.

We can be in agreement with His will. We can see things through His eyes, but we can also rest in the process, and knowing that He only requires that we just trust and rest and surrender to what He’s doing in the moment. Let Him worry about all the other moments.

And I’ll tell you, we can enjoy a peace that’s a lot greater than we have ever known before. I believe that’s His heart. I’ve got room to grow in that, don’t you?

( congregational response ).

Yeah. How many of you want to grow in that area?

( congregational response ).

Yeah. Well, I just pray that God will somehow make these truths real, and will unfold them in our lives. Just chew on this. Ask God to make it real. God wants to be the Doer, the Actor, the Source of all of our life and energy every single day. And if we will believe Him and trust Him and rest in the process that He has declared to be certain. I’ll tell you, we can be right in the center of His will and we can enjoy His peace and rest on the inside. Praise God!