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Rainbow Divider
MCM Broadcast

TV Broadcast #1235

Let Him in Your Secret Place
Part One

June 5, 2016

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Transcript of message from TV Broadcast 1235 -- taken from Closed Captioning Text

— Brother Phil Enlow: Well, praise God! I find myself in a position similar to Wednesday night when I had thoughts and a burden and no organization at all, and praise God, that’s all right. If that’s the way the Lord wants it, then…you’re just gonna get something disorganized, that’s all there is to it.

( congregation inaudible ).

But, let me start by just saying, there’s something about human nature, and there’s something about the way we think of the Christian life, of church, quote-unquote, that tends to beget a lot of pretense. I want to stop short of saying hypocrisy because I think a lot of it is not intentional in that sense. But it’s that we learn how to…I mean, we have the idea of what it means to be a Christian and a church member, and it’s this happy, happy, free, victorious kind of thing.

And the reality is that the Christian life is not that clean and neat. It’s very messy sometimes. And we are very much in a process of the Lord doing something that oftentimes gets very deep. And so, many times we find ourselves coming in and putting on our game-face, and we certainly don’t want anybody to see that there’s anything lacking in us, and so we put on something that really doesn’t relate to where we’re at.

And it’s not that I think the Lord wants us to wallow in how bad we are and how bad things are, but at the same time, I believe that there’s…I sense the Lord wanting us to be more authentic. And, He’s longing for us to just come to a place where we can be ourselves.

You know, I referred to something Jack had said, Jack Bureau had said in our men’s meeting down there. And how the Lord had brought him to a place where he realized he didn’t have to be something he wasn’t. With the Lord, he could just be himself, and that was good and that was okay, and the Lord was all right with that. We don’t have to pretend.

But you know, a lot of times we come into the service and we’re really going through something on the inside and we’re struggling. But we smile, and somebody down the row is looking at us and saying, oh my God, I’m struggling and look at them! And you’re looking at each other, and each one is having their challenges and their struggles.

And, it’s not incompatible with the truths that we profess, because it’s possible to be in the middle of a struggle and the storm and yet, paradoxically, have a peace and a joy that we can actually genuinely claim and genuinely move in.

So I don’t know, part of it is related to that and part of it is related to what I tried to express a little bit on Wednesday and that is, at the root of everything in our relationship begins with our relationship with the Lord. If we get that down, if we begin to move in that, if we begin to understand what it is that He wants of us, what He’s looking for from us, and we begin to be authentic with the Lord, I believe it’s going to spill out into our relationships with one another, and what we project to the world.

You know, you think about it, if we’re struggling and people sense that we’re struggling, but we’re still doing this, it kind of almost presents a false…you know, hey, they’re just being hypocrites, so they’re not being real, or this isn’t real. And I believe God wants it to be…wants everything about us to be genuine and authentic. And I believe it can be in Him. And we can learn to be honest. We’re gonna see a lot of fruit, I believe, if God brings us to the point that I’m sort of envisioning.

There’s gonna be a lot less judgmental-ism among us. We’re gonna have a lot more compassion. We see this in a measure, and I thank God for the degree to which we’ve seen it, where we can, instead of looking down on somebody who is in a difficult place, we can have compassion, because we know what we are. We know what God saved us from. We’ve been there, done that. And, we’re here to help each other, to encourage each other, to receive each other, as God does, where we’re at, and for Him to bring us along.

But the thing that I was thinking about so much Wednesday, and I’ll just go over some of it, and then get to where I want to get, and the thoughts that I’ve had since. And it had to do with walking with the Lord and how many times we’ve seen in the scriptures where the Lord made special reference to…Enoch was a prime example. “Enoch walked with God.” (NIV).

A very simple statement, but there’s a profoundness to that, that I think we miss because we are…I guarantee every one of us has a degree of this. We tend to compartmentalize our lives. There’s our spiritual life, and most particularly there’s that life that we want to sort of step into between 10 o’clock and noon on Sunday. And then, okay, we’ve got that over with, now we get back to our regular life.

And I believe with all my heart God wants our life to be all the same. He doesn’t want that kind of a distinction that we make where…okay, Lord, I’m gonna spend time with you, and we equate that with activity, spiritual activity, duty almost, at times. And now that we’ve done that, now we’re gonna leave His presence, in a sense, and we’re gonna go do our stuff, as though He’s not really interested in our stuff. If I’ve got to study for a test, well…there’s nothing spiritual about that.

You know, I can say, oh God, help me, but He’s not…to sit there and look over my shoulder and actually share that with me. Or, let’s go get some ice-cream…just imagine for a moment that Jesus is actually walking with us, quite literally. And we get up in the morning and we’d say, all right Jesus, Lord, how do You like Your eggs? And, the coffee pot is over there.

And then we chit-chat and we talk about the day’s news, and He encourages us. And then we get in the car and say, don’t forget to fasten Your seatbelt and we go off to our daily activities, and we confront the normal things that we do every single day, and find out that He is intimately interested in sharing every part of our lives!

( congregational response ).

I mean, you think about the joy that it brought to the Lord’s heart to share the life that He had with Enoch and how blessed He was. I mean, He made us as objects of His love, but to fellowship and to have someone to share. Didn’t He come down to the Garden, and go looking, even after He knew what had happened? He came down looking, reaching out for fellowship with Adam. Adam, where are you?

I mean, it’s incomprehensible to us that the God of the universe, who’s got all this to manage, so to speak—we project ourselves on to Him, and think He’s like us—that He would actually be interested in the smallest details of our everyday lives, that He does not make any kind of distinction between the ordinary and the spiritual, in that sense, that He’s not really interested.

You know, if you’re cooking, ‘how do I do this?’ If you’re working on your homework or if you’re working on your job, or…we’ve got some electricians here and I’m sure they run into problems. You know, the Lord is interested in those things.

( congregational amens ).

He cares about every detail and He longs for us to just be in that relationship where it’s not like, okay, Lord, I know You’re somewhere, I’m gonna come back into Your presence. But He never leaves! And we never leave, and we live and we learn…it’s not an event, it’s more like a way of thinking and a way of living where we just realize the Lord is a part of every part of my life—every part of my life!

( congregational amens ).

And the more we learn to think that way, the more we can just spend time with Him. Now, of course, that raises issues. Are there places that we go and things that we do where we just would be uncomfortable if He came along? That’s something to think about. But at the same time, I think we can get so spiritual…or what we do is kind of have a ‘religious’ view of the Lord, as though He’s only interested in ‘religious’ things. And if I spend all day with Him, all we’re gonna talk about is the Bible. He doesn’t care about the weather or how the fish are biting.

You know, Jesus was a carpenter! He didn’t spend all His time discussing the intricacies of the Law and the Old Testament and all of that stuff. You know, He was dealing with everyday people and fixing stuff for people and helping them. And, it wasn’t like He was doing this spiritual, religious stuff all the time. He was just living an authentic life in fellowship with the Lord, and nothing between.

I remember a song that was often sung as I was growing up, usually sung as a solo, I guess. “Nothing between my soul and my Savior.” And I believe that’s what the Lord desires. I sense His desire for me. And I sense that there are areas of our lives that we need to just…we need to come into a place like this.

Noah was another one. Joel referred to this the other night. It also says this of Noah, that he was a man that walked with God in his generation. And I’ll tell you, if we’re gonna go forward in the Lord, we’re gonna need to learn how to walk with Him in this dark age, because we’re in a similar, a parallel time to what happened in the days of Noah. The world, as a whole, is hardening its heart and turning its back upon God. Has not this country of ours defied—openly defied God?

( congregational response ).

Yeah. What are we gonna do? We’re gonna stand and trust God. And there’s gonna be a distinction that we’re gonna see in the days and years, however long there is, to come. God’s gonna make that. But I want to be one who just…my relationship, my citizenship is there. I’m here as a foreigner. My Lord is there, but He’s also here with me because He’s promised never to leave me, never to forsake me.

But I don’t want to live my life as though, okay, God, I’m gonna do my stuff now. And then I’ve got this ‘duty’ mentality…okay, I’ve got to read my Bible…okay, I’ve done that. I’ve got to pray, all right. And prayer becomes a scheduled activity, a duty, instead of just constantly…Lord, I can talk to You any moment. I’ve never left Your presence. I’m just here, Lord, help me with this.

You know, I believe with all my heart God wants to teach us and wants us to learn from Him. Did Jesus not invite us? He said, “Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest.” So there’s the relationship that gets established when we let go and come to Him. But then it’s, “Take my yoke…and learn from me.”

And, I was thinking about the disciples. That was very, very real and very, very practical. They were not walking with Someone they couldn’t see. They were walking with a real flesh and blood man. They didn’t just talk about God. They ate together. They walked…when they were hungry and walking through the fields, they picked the grain and ate it, and they went fishing. I mean, they did all kind of things.

They went to a wedding on one occasion and when they ran out of wine, He took care of the problem. I mean, He was just intimately interested and involved in their lives. And when they walked…I’m sure there were many times they looked and they came into situations and they were able to look at Jesus and, in a sense, say, Jesus, how do we handle this? Or else, they would charge ahead and He would help them to see how they needed it handle it.

Remember when they went through Samaria that one time and the Samaritans rejected Him because He looked like He was going to Jerusalem. And so, the disciples said, “Lord, do you want us to call fire down…” as Elijah did? He said, “Ye know not what manner of spirit ye are of. For the Son of man is not come to destroy men’s lives, but to save them.” (KJV). And so there was a teachable moment.

Do you know that our lives full of teachable moments, if we’re actually living in His presence and have this sense that, Lord, I’m here, I need you to help me and teach me? I mean, I was thinking about this. We think almost like teaching is just something that happens from the pulpit…it’s kind of a lecture. I mean, here we are in a lecture format…for what it is, that’s where we’re at. I know the Lord can help us. But nonetheless, there’s a place for teaching in this sense.

And certainly they sat and they listened to Jesus’ words, but the greatest teaching is living, because it’s not just about knowledge that we accumulate in our heads, it’s about handling life in a Godly way. How does a child of God live in a broken world? And not only that, we live in bodies that still are in harmony with a broken world, and our place is how to learn how to live the new life and let the old life go and let it die.

We’ve got a lot of challenges, folks, and they’re real! And they get messy, as I say, sometimes. And the Lord is longing for us to just open our hearts, and I see…I was starting to say, this business of teaching is not just lecture, it’s not just googling stuff. Let me pick something, for example…I am not particularly skilled with woodwork. I remember surviving a shop class when I was in junior high and I managed to make a pair of book-ends that didn’t fall over.

( laughter ).

But that’s not my skill-set. I’ve never really particularly learned and I guess I admire it and all of that. But if I wanted to learn how to do something that really required some skill, how would I best go about that? Read a book, listen to a lecture? No! I would sit side by side with a master, someone who really knows how to do that. And probably I’d watch him do it to start with.

But then he would be right there guiding my every step…okay, now what do I do? How do I do this? And, no, do it this way. There would be a one-on-one kind of relationship to help me through that and to help me learn that! That’s what God is looking for and wants to give us in our spiritual lives.

I mean, how many times are we in situations where we interact with somebody, and the wrong thing comes out — again? Now, none of you have this problem, I understand. But you know, I believe the Lord wants us to be in a relationship with Him where, right there we realize He’s there, and we can just say, Lord, I’m sorry, I didn’t handle that right. Please forgive me. But Lord, show me what’s going on here. Help me to understand why I reacted that way and how You would handle it, and what’s the answer to this. Lord, I need You to teach me.

David is certainly an example of someone who walked with God. Now there was that one major lapse in his life, but I mean, the over-riding description of his life is somebody who saw God, not as a threatening Law-Giver somewhere that I’ve got to somehow please and get accepted by what I do, but he saw Him as an intimate Friend. He saw Him as Somebody who cared for him like a shepherd cares for his sheep, and was always with him, always there looking after him and concerned about his every need, and Someone that he could talk to, and Someone that he didn’t just have to go to when everything was great. He could go to Him at his worst moments.

But you remember how many times in the Psalms, you will see David reaching up and saying, teach me, Lord. I mean, the very fact that He would do that, is that not an admission, God, I don’t know?

Every day I run into stuff that I don’t know how to handle, I don’t understand. I don’t understand my own reactions, let alone what’s going on around me. God, You know everything! And I want to be like You. I want to please You. I need help here, and I want You to teach me.

But you know, if we’re listening and we take that humble posture before God, there is a God who wants to help us understand the things that we’re going through. So it’s not like we’re just struggling, and then later on we look back…but I’ll tell you, there’s a God who wants to be right there, in the moment.

And I’ll tell you, one of the things that we struggle with, is that we are so proud, by nature, and we’re so performance-oriented, that when we get that sense that I’ve messed up, that’s not exactly the time where we’re looking over and feeling comfortable that Jesus is right there. We sort of hope that He’s not looking right at that moment, so we can kind of fix it and clean ourselves up a little bit. Then we can go back to feeling comfortable.

And I see enough smiles to where I know that I’m not the only one that’s ever felt this. But this is our nature! And the problem is, we have got it exactly backwards—exactly backwards! We can come in here and sing “Just As I Am”, and in vague, general terms, we can say, yeah, that’s right. Yeah, thank God, we come just as we are, until we get in a place where we feel particularly dirty, and have failed, and feel like, oh-my-God.

And then suddenly, we have to feel like we have to do penance of some sort, instead of saying, Lord, here I am. It is what it is. Lord, help me. I’m sorry. But Lord, I know that You love me. We just…we struggle with the idea that God could love us at that moment when we feel like we’re struggling, when we feel like we have just said and done the wrong thing, with the wrong attitude. Oh my God, this is just a condition, there’s a weakness here. I did it again. I was trying all my best not to do it! Oh, God!

It’s getting quiet. But oh, the Lord so longs to teach us so many lessons. And among them are that we don’t have to qualify for His love. His salvation is not about Him telling us how we’re supposed to be and how we’re supposed to act. And we’re supposed to try to be that somehow in our own strength, and if we aren’t, then we just feel like we’ve messed up, and how could He love us!

There are so many issues that just come into this. And, I sense God’s heart. I’ve just tasted a little bit in the last few days. It’s like the Lord’s trying to open my eyes a little bit more in this area because there are just reactions that we have that are built into our nature and God wants us to know that He knows, He’s aware.