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Rainbow Divider
MCM Broadcast

TV Broadcast #1242

I Want to Know Christ

July 24, 2016

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Transcript of message from TV Broadcast 1242 -- taken from Closed Captioning Text

— Brother Phil Enlow: The very Maker of the universe has come to live in our hearts, and His life and His power are there. And what He’s longing for is for us to experience that in practical ways in our lives. That’s what this is about.

And Paul got a glimpse of that. There’s a goal out there. I want to be like Him. How can I get there? The law won’t help me. How is that possible? But what I could never do, He has given me through His Son. He blotted out my sins so I can be related to Him without a barrier! And now, He gives me His life that I can learn to draw from! I can learn to live by that instead of the other.

But oh, it’s a progressive thing, isn’t it? It’s a battle. So that’s why He’s talking about this in terms of a process. I want to know Him. This, again, is walking with Him. This is not just visiting Him on Sunday. This is walking with Him every moment of every day and looking to Him as we face the issues of life. We don’t face everything all at once, thank God. But as we face things, it’s Lord, help me to handle this. Lord, I’m trusting in Your strength, and I’m gonna act like it really is there.

Isn’t that kind of one way to put faith? Oh God, help me. God, help me. And we sit there and wait for a feeling, instead of acting like He really is going to fulfill His promise. Lord, help me with this situation. And Lord, I didn’t do so good, but help me to learn from that. Help me to go on. Help me just…there’s a talking with Him. There’s a communion with Him. There’s a meditating on His Word. There’s a looking to Him.

There’s a sense that, Lord, You’ve been here, and I want to know You in a sense that I can experience what You have given me, what You paid such a high price to give me! I want to know it. I want to grow into that.

But he also understood that in order to do that, something had to go. I wonder what that might be! Yeah, this body, these bodies that we live in are not just neutral, are they? There is a force, there is a life that lives in every one of us that hates God. It hates what’s right. It loves sin. It ain’t going without a fight! And so that’s what it comes down to. Who’s gonna be in charge of this vessel? Am I going to experience Christ living in me, or am I just going to go right ahead and yield to this old nature that wants to go the other way?

And so there’s a battle. There’s something that has to die is what it comes down to. And it’s not die, in the sense that it doesn’t exist anymore. It dies in the sense that it loses its influence, its power to control us.

And so he talks about the fellowship of sharing in His sufferings, because that’s part of it! Whatever form suffering takes whether it’s outward persecution, whether it’s physical something in our bodies, whether it’s social, whatever it is, circumstances, if it’s something that challenges our faith in God and our trust in Him, it is an opportunity to say, yes, to Him and, no, to that and for that to begin to lose its hold over us.

There was nothing that came Jesus’ way that He just threw up His hands and said, oh, I can’t deal with this…even to the point of having to pray for three hours in the garden and saying, oh God, if it’s possible, take this cup from me. “Nevertheless not my will, but thine, be done.” (KJV).

What happened? God sent angels to strengthen Him. You know, we don’t get to see those kinds of things. But do you know that when we are in that kind of need and we’re crying out because we want to do what is right, we want to do His will, and we don’t have the strength, do you know there are angels that come?

( congregational response ).

That’s one way He can do it. We would be amazed if we could see into the other realm!

( congregational amens ).

You know, years ago the Lord gave us a glimpse of some of that stuff. But I’ll tell you, it’s real! We don’t have to see it to know that it’s so!

“…Becoming like Him in His death…” (NIV). There’s that sense that, not only was my old religion garbage, it’s my life! It’s something that just needs to die. I need to die to it.

You know, I just was reminded how many times this has been rightly compared—this process has been rightly compared to Israel and the Promised Land. Now, think about God’s gift to His people. God gave them the land, did He not? Gave it to them! I mean, that was His promise, His provision. And He told them, wherever you put your foot, it’ll be yours.

Unfortunately, or fortunately, there were giants living there, and they weren’t about to just say, okay, we’re leaving. There was a warfare that it took. And so, even though it was a gift, it had to be fought for.

But think about this. How did they fight? Did they just strategize and just try to muster all of their resources? When they were successful, it was somebody who looked to God, got their battle plan from God, and even when it didn’t make much sense like marching around the walls of Jericho and shouting, they were obedient to God! And as they did that, God’s power came to their rescue, drove the inhabitants out, and gave them the territory for which they were fighting!

And you had an old man named Caleb who was fighting for everybody else, and he came to Moses one day and said, give me my mountain! You promised me this place, years ago! Well, there were giants living there, and he was 85 years old! And, Joshua, I guess it was he came to. And Joshua said, go for it, in our language.

( laughter ).

And, he went for it, and God…in very simple language, God gave that old man and whatever men were with him, the strength to drive those giants out, and he was able to possess territory that God had promised him, and it became a blessing to somebody else! He had springs of water to share with other members of his family.

And over and over again, you saw these accounts of how God’s power went to work when they were doing God’s business. When they were acting with a sense of dependence upon God, and belief in His promise, belief in His help, and they stretched forth their swords, they did whatever He told them to do, God’s power went to work. Is that not a picture of what God is looking for from me and from you?

( congregational response ).

We don’t just sit here and say, oh well. Because that’s what some of the Israelites did. You look toward the end of Joshua, and you’ll see a sad tale. Such and such a tribe, they possessed this, but they couldn’t drive the people out of here. And so, they live among them to this day.

I tell you, when stuff like the old giants of sin and unbelief and all of that, still live, they are trouble, they’re a snare. God is wanting us to experience the victory that was won for us at the Cross in a deeper way.

This is what had Paul’s attention. He was saying, I don’t want to be like those Israelites who just went so far and settled. I want to go forward. As long as I’m in the flesh, there’s ground to take. But I already learned the hard way that I can’t depend on myself, but I believe in the power. I’ve got a revelation that there was power that came out of that Cross that’s mine…out of the resurrection. God did that so I could have a channel of His own life to help me become what He wants me to be. That’s what it’s about.

So here he’s talking about…so I’m gonna attain, “…to the resurrection from the dead.” I’m gonna live as one who has God’s life even though I’m still living in this realm of death. I was there. I’m here. But now he encourages us, because it would be easy for us to say, oh yeah, that’s Paul. He’s way up there. I could never be like that.

“Not that I have already obtained all this, or have already been made perfect, but I press on to take hold of that for which Christ Jesus took hold of me.” Now you have a sense of God’s purpose in this, God’s sovereignty! Many of you remember the message that Brother Timothy preached on purpose, and that certainly relates to our place in this life! But I tell you, you talk about the ultimate purpose of God! It’s to make us like His Son! That’s the central driving force of his life. I press on to take hold of that! He took hold of me so I could become like Him.

But He’s put me in a place where I have the responsibility of laying hold of that day by day, piece by piece, bit by bit and entering in, experiencing, driving out the giants. Anybody got some giants in your life? Yeah. Yeah. Well, I’ll tell you, who’s gonna win, Christ or the giants? Praise God! Do you remember the movie “Facing the Giants”? That was the theme of that movie. Praise the Lord!

So here’s the sense, “I press on to take hold of that for which Christ Jesus took hold of me. Brothers, I do not consider myself yet to have taken hold of it.” So, Paul’s describing the whole focus of his life, basically, to say, this is what you need to emulate. This is what salvation is about.

Folks, your life is not about here. It’s not about the things that go on in the world. It’s about becoming like Me. Now you will deal with many things in the world, and I will use them in your life. I will expose giants! But I will expose them, not so you can be dismayed by them, but so you can rise up by taking hold of what I have given you, and you can defeat those giants, and you can gain victories! And you can become more like Me. And then tomorrow, you’re gonna go forward some more, you’re gonna go forward some more. And always this sense, I haven’t arrived yet. I’m on a journey.

But listen to this, but in all of this, “…One thing I do.” One thing. Isn’t that amazing how focused Paul was? One thing! What is that? “Forgetting what is behind and straining toward what is ahead, I press on toward the goal to win the prize for which God has called me heavenward in Christ Jesus.”

Oh, how we mess up the simplicity of this. How we drag our past along. Do you know what God wants for every single one of us? It’s for us to be able to lay everything, prior to this moment, at His feet, and receive whatever. If we need cleansing, forgiveness…praise God! That was provided at the Cross. But to come to Him and leave it there, and begin every single day as a fresh start, completely unburdened by the past!

God is not dismayed by what’s in your past or mine! He’s not looking for you and me to fix it. He’s not punishing us. He’s not…so many of the things that the devil will put in our minds, but what a trap it is to be hung up on that! May God deliver us to where we see the richness of what God has provided! He has provided a way where that can be completely obliterated! We don’t even have to face that direction! We can look here and leave that behind! We don’t carry the burden of it.

( congregational amens ).

Every single day we start new and fresh with God! What a salvation He’s provided! It’s amazing! Oh, I’ve got a lot to leave, don’t you?

( congregational response ).

But He invites us to leave it. Why would Paul say such a thing if God were not inspiring him to give us a nugget of truth that is so crucial to the success of our moving forward in Him? Oh, God! What are you carrying today? Oh yeah, but you don’t know. I’m a special case. I’m different and you don’t know what I did. There was Paul, who’d gone out and murdered Christians, thinking he was doing God’s service. And God redeemed that man and gave him a different heart and a different life.

( congregational amens ).

And that man who had murdered Christians to serve God, supposedly, was able to leave that in the past and walk away from it, without feeling like I’m the scalded dog, and He’s about get me because of all I’ve done. That’s the Gospel, folks!

( congregational amens ).

You can leave it in the past. It’s not yours to carry. He carried it to the Cross!

( congregational amens ).

It was nailed there!

( congregational amens ).

He took you and me into the tomb! When He came out it was with a different life! That’s the life that He gives to you and to me. You see why Paul was able just to leave it there. It’s not something I could achieve anyway. He gave it to me. I can go forward. There’s a goal.

Not only can I go forward, but remember, I don’t have any confidence in myself. Is that an obstacle? No. It’s the doorway to putting my confidence in Him and His provision, so that I can become more and more the person He wants me to be. Yeah, today I’m gonna discover that I’ve got some stuff. I’ve got some giant. I’ve got some rebels that are still living in this territory, and I’m gonna have to face them. I’m gonna have to rout them out. I’m gonna have to deal with them honestly.

But I can do it, because He’s with me, and He knows about all those rebels! He knows they’re living there! I can go to Him for the wisdom I need as to how to put this into practice! I can act against them without waiting for a feeling! We need to think about that one. How many of you struggle with that? Oh, I prayed, I prayed, I prayed, and He just doesn’t answer.

How do you know? What did he ask the people who crossed the Jordan River? What was their part? Wait for a feeling? Wait for the water to move? Wait for all these? No! Put your foot! They picked their foot up and put it down, whoever was the first in line, and God moved the water. God is waiting for us to believe His Word, and act like it’s actually true.

( congregational response ).

And persist in acting like it’s true, because our faith is gonna be tested. God’s gonna allow it to seem like it’s not so. In fact, the battle might get hotter. That’s no sign that God is against you or that you’re gonna fail. That means the Devil’s scared. We need to realize what we’ve been given in Christ and rise up and do something, in the spirit in which Paul describes here.

“But one thing I do: Forgetting what is behind and straining toward what is ahead.” Straining sounds like it’s a hard work. In one sense it is, but it’s a work of faith, not striving in the flesh. You get the difference? Yeah, there’s gonna be some hardness to it. There’s going to be some enemies to have to stand, but we’re gonna have to always do it with that sense that God’s with me. Lord, I’m depending on Your strength. Lord, I want to do it for Your purposes…not trying to use me to have a better life here and success in life.

You’ve set a goal. I want to be like You. Your goal is that there’s another world coming. But I want to be fit to live there. I want to experience what You have given me so that I can become more like You and all this other stuff can lose its hold. I mean, this is stuff that we’ve heard before. But I’ll guarantee there are people here who need to hear this, who need to get refocused, need to come back to the simplicity and the completeness of what God has given us in His Son, and to refocus on what our lives are about.

“All of us…” Paul says, “…who are mature should take such a view of things.” This is the way you need to live. This is how you need to see life. “And if on some point you think differently, that too God will make clear to you.” We’re in a process of learning.

But again, let’s come back to this ‘knowing Him.’ This is something where He literally walks with us. Yes, He’s there, but I tell you, by the Spirit, He’s here! And we can talk to Him about our deepest fears without feeling like He’s gonna reject us. He knows all that stuff. Who are we kidding? We can talk to Him about our deepest burdens and hurts and all those things, and bring them to Him and seek His help to heal, to do whatever.

Lord, I need wisdom. How do I fight this battle? How do I fight that battle? I can’t go to a book and find a formula. There’s wisdom sometimes in the testimonies of others, but every battle was different. Did you notice that when they went into Canaan? No two battles were ever the same! God is an original God.

You notice when Jesus healed people how many different ways He did it! He’s original. He’s personal, and He cares about you enough to die for you. And He loves you and He knows where you’re at in your journey. And He longs for you to get your eyes off of whatever’s going on in your life and focus it back on the goal. Leave your past in the past. Embrace the method of looking to Him and believing in the life that He’s given you, and go forward. And if you fail, fail forward. Learn and grow and realize He’s not mad at you. He loves you. He’s for us. I don’t know how else to put it, but praise God.

( congregational amens ).

“Join with others…” verse 17, “…in following my example, brothers, and take note of those who live according to the pattern we gave you.”

And now he’s warning: “For, as I have often told you before and now say again even with tears, many live as enemies of the cross of Christ.” And that simply means they refuse to die, because that’s what the cross represents. It’s not just His death, it’s mine.

“Their destiny is destruction, their god is their stomach, and their glory is in their shame. Their mind is on earthly things. But our citizenship is in heaven.” Thank God! You look at this world…I don’t find much hope here, do you?

( congregational response ).

And I’m a citizen in one sense here, but my citizenship is there. Whatever happens down here, I’m a citizen of that, and the devil can’t touch that. Praise God! Because that’s a supernatural work of God! I rest in what He’s done.

“But our citizenship is in heaven. And we eagerly await a Savior from there, the Lord Jesus Christ, who, by the power that enables him to bring everything under his control, will transform our lowly bodies so that they will be like his glorious body.”

So you see what’s going on. Our sins are forgiven. Now we’re getting a new life, and we’re having to learn how to possess ‘this’ land. But we’re doing it by His direction, learning from Him, drawing upon His power, but in the hope that one day He’s gonna end that war. He’s gonna change this so it will not be my enemy anymore. There will be total harmony, in harmony with the eternal purpose of God. Praise God!

So I don’t know where you’re at today, but I pray that God will encourage your heart to stand fast, to understand what God is looking for from you. He’s not looking for your resources. He’s looking for simple trust in Him. He’s not looking for perfection. He’s looking for direction.

He’s looking for us to get up in the morning and acknowledge Him and say, Lord, help me to walk with You today and learn from You. I know I’m gonna face stuff. I know I’m gonna face my own stuff that’s wrong with me. Help me not to back down. Those are giants. Help me not to back down or think that they’re gonna cause me to be disqualified in Your eyes. You love me. Help me to face them. Give me what I need to grow, and help me to do it for Your honor and for Your glory.