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Rainbow Divider
MCM Broadcast

TV Broadcast #1247

Lord, Give Us Courage

August 28, 2016

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Transcript of message from TV Broadcast 1247 -- taken from Closed Captioning Text

— Brother Phil Enlow: We need God to come in a fresh way, and destroy satanic strongholds in lives! How many of you believe that God can do that?

( congregational amens ).

How many of you want Him to do it in you and in others that you know about?

(congregational amens ).

Yeah! And so, here’s Peter, on the day of Pentecost, preaching and pouring his heart out and talking about the reality of the resurrection and the fact that they were witnesses of all that happened. He says, even though you did it, even though you used the hands of wicked men to carry out your desire to crucify this guy, God planned it. God was the one who was behind this. It was done by God’s set purpose, verse 23.

“This man was handed over to you by God’s set purpose and foreknowledge; and you, with the help of wicked men, put him to death by nailing him to the cross. But God raised him from the dead, freeing him from the agony of death…” (NIV). And so forth. And he goes on and talks about what God had done through Jesus Christ and he proclaims the message in a way that…you think devils had an answer for this? You talk about the Word of God being with power. This was not just a Sunday School lesson. I’m not demeaning that…you know what I’m saying. This is not just ideas. This is not doctrines coming out of a theological cemetery…I mean seminary.

( laughter ).

This is something that was being spoken by the Spirit of God and it had power in it! Jesus said His words were not just words, right? There was power in His words. When He spoke, devils felt that! It was the same thing as you walking up and striking somebody in the natural. Oh, they hated it! They felt the power of it. They knew they didn’t have any power against it.

That’s what we need as Christians! And God is going to raise up a generation of Christians in this hour of darkness, that know Him in a way in which we don’t have to knuckle under the darkness. It may mean we give up our lives, but I’ll tell you, we’re going to be able to look at people, in this world, with the same boldness that Peter and them had on the day of Pentecost and in the days to follow.

You think about what God had given them and how God used that to break through every demonic stronghold in 3,000 people! You think those people were just neutral? You don’t think Satan had an iron grip on their hearts and their minds? That the darkness was…this was darkness that was not the absence of light, this was the presence of evil.

And yet, there was a power there that was able to break through that, push it away, and get right to the heart of people and change their convictions and impart to them a grace to repent and believe! Three thousand of them did and the church was born. Praise God!

That’s the nature of the Kingdom to which we’ve been called! God deliver us from ever just devolving into a religious tradition with our particular set of doctrines and the way we do stuff! If that’s all we have, we have nothing! Even if our doctrines are right! We need Jesus in the midst!

And so, Peter said…there’s many other things that are not particularly recorded in this message, but at the end of the day, 3,000 people were added to the church of Jesus Christ. They continued with a great unity, with a great joy, and learning every single day, meeting together, praying, eating together, all the wonderful sense of being part of something brand-new was there.

And then of course, you have this example of what happened when Peter and John were used to heal this man. And of course, once again, now he has a God-given opportunity to look the people in the eye. And he says, “The God of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob, the God of our fathers…” This is chapter 3, verse 13. “…Has glorified his servant Jesus. You handed him over to be killed, and you disowned him before Pilate, though he had decided to let him go. You disowned the Holy and Righteous One and asked that a murderer be released to you. You killed the author of life, but God raised him from the dead. We are witnesses of this.” And so forth, and he goes on.

Boy, we live in a day when the worst sin you can commit on this planet is to offend somebody! To make them feel bad! Well, I agree we don’t need to be in our own selves, just kind of getting worked up and trying to have that kind of a spirit. But I’ll tell you, when truth comes with power, it will cross people’s hearts and lives! It will offend! It will challenge!

And we’re gonna have to have the courage of our convictions to look people in the eye and tell them the truth in love. It doesn’t have to be with hardness. People are caught and they don’t know it. They need the love and the mercy of God, but they need the truth! And they need it with enough power to get past all that satanic power that’s got them in captivity.

And boy, Peter had it that day, didn’t he? And he, this man who couldn’t even stand up to a servant girl, all of a sudden is standing there in the Temple, looking them in the eye and telling them the truth, and there is authority! There is power!

And so, he does that and of course, you remember what happened after that? This is late in the afternoon and there’s a palace guard. You know, the religion of the day, they weren’t just a bunch of religious people. They had a little army. And so, the palace guard came up there, arrested them. It was too late in the day to do anything. Let’s put them in jail overnight and then they bring them out. And then…let’s see, we’re over in chapter 4.

So all of a sudden now, “…The rulers, the elders and the teachers of the law met in Jerusalem…” Verse 5, “…Annas the high priest was there, and so were Caiaphas, John, Alexander and the other men of the high priest’s family. They had Peter and John brought before them and began to question them: By what power or what name did you do this?”

Oh, how easy it is just to kind of try to slide by, and smooth. Peter looked them in the eye, and what does it say? “Then Peter, filled with the Holy Spirit….” God has put him in a place to give a ringing testimony before the religious authorities of that day. And he didn’t have to do it in himself. There was the boldness that you saw in that movie. I’ll tell you what, that’s what we need. We need to be able to look people in the eye.

And he did and he said, “Rulers and elders of the people! If we are being called to account today for an act of kindness shown to a cripple and are asked how he was healed, then know this, you and all the people of Israel: It is by the name of Jesus Christ of Nazareth, whom you crucified but whom God raised from the dead, that this man stands before you healed. He is the stone you builders rejected, which has become the capstone. Salvation is found in no one else, for there is no other name under heaven given to men by which we must be saved.”

Whoa! No mealy-mouthed answer unto that question. This was look-you-in-the-eye, power-on-power. Praise God! “When they saw the courage of Peter and John and realized that they were unschooled, ordinary men, they were astonished and they took note that these men had been with Jesus.”

It goes on to talk about the fact that they felt like there’s nothing they could do. I mean, the guy is standing there healed and everybody knows it! What are they going to say? So what they do is they threaten them. All right, don’t you say any more about this name of Jesus! Get out of here! Verse 19, “But Peter and John replied, judge for yourselves whether it is right in God’s sight to obey you rather than God.”

( laughing ).

Whoa! “For we cannot help speaking about what we have seen and heard. After further threats they let them go.” You know, we’re gonna be in situations where we’re going to feel Satan’s attack. We’re gonna feel Satan’s power. And there’s something about this passage that I find very significant, because here are men who had been with Jesus, they had cast out devils, they had gone through the experience of realizing that it’s not just doctrines and ideas and personal courage. I need power from Heaven to do what’s called for here. I’ve waited, I’ve experienced God’s power to preach, to confront the powers of darkness and yet, at this point in the narrative, what do they do?

Let’s see what they did. “On their release, Peter and John went back to their own people and reported all that the chief priests and the elders had said to them. When they heard this, they raised their voices together in prayer to God.”

But wait a minute! Pentecost has already happened! We’ve already got it all! Do you see something of the relationship that we’re meant to have with God, where we’re gonna have to go, not just on behalf of other people with that kind of boldness? Yes that…but in order for our own courage, our own strength, our own…the wherewithal we need to serve God, in a world full of devils that are going to be coming against us, we need Divine power! We need energy from Heaven if we’re gonna have what it takes.

And so, here is somebody who’d just come through this experience of standing before the people, then standing before the religious leaders giving them a clear answer with Divine authority, they’re coming back and they’re praying! You’d think they ought to say, just hey, Praise God, this is a cakewalk! We’ve got Divine power, everything’s gonna be great! No! They went to prayer.

“Sovereign Lord, they said, you made the heaven and the earth and the sea, and everything in them. You spoke by the Holy Spirit through the mouth of your servant, our father David: Why do the nations rage and the peoples plot in vain? The kings of the earth take their stand and the rulers gather together against the Lord and against his Anointed One.”

So now he’s looking at Psalm 2, and they’re talking about the reality of the world that we live in. If this was true then, do you suppose maybe it’s true right now? This is the world that we live in. You see what’s going on? There is a separation coming. The darkness is going to get to the point where we’re gonna know who’s on which side. We’re gonna have to choose sides.

( congregational amens ).

We can’t be sliding through and just try to quietly live our lives and then go to Heaven one day. There are going to be confrontations. You think of what happened when Elijah reached that point where it was time to confront the darkness of Ahab and his wife, Jezebel, was it? And all this wicked, heathen religion they had embraced, these were supposedly God’s people! And he gets out there and he confronts them! God gave him that power to do it!

And he confronted all those hundreds of prophets of Baal and God answered by fire, didn’t he? And he had every one of them killed. I mean there was something…there was a lot more going on than you could see. It wasn’t just the human beings present, there was an array of the Kingdom of Darkness and the Kingdom of Light. You go through the whole scripture and you see that.

Joel referred, the other night, to what happened with Daniel, when he saw in the prophecies something that was coming and he began to seek God about it. He began to pray. He set himself to pray. And he prayed for how long? Twenty-one days with no answer! But he kept at it, didn’t he? He kept assaulting Heaven, kept saying, oh God, I need an answer. I’m seeking you about this.

Finally, an angel came. Well, what took him so long? You remember what happened? We get this little glimpse into what’s going on. That angel said that he was sent from the very moment that Daniel began to pray. So why didn’t he get there? There was a wicked prince over that whole region of the world. This was Satan’s governor, if you will. This was a real being, unseen by natural eyes, who ruled that part of the world and he withstood that angel! He said, you can’t get to Daniel. He’s part of a Kingdom and you just can’t get to him.

And so there was a real warfare that took place. And another angel, I believe, came and helped him in the battle. I have all ideas that Daniel’s prayer was very central to that. The fact that he kept on praying, kept adding fuel and strength to those angels and God sent another angel! There was enough power now to break through. This was a heavenly invasion it took.

We don’t have any idea of the battle and the warfare in the real state of this world. But we’re gonna find out. And we’re gonna realize we’re not up to the challenge just by having a right form of religion. We need the presence of Christ in our midst!

( congregational amens ).

And so anyway, they go to prayer and they’re recognizing the reality of the world that they lived in. They said, Lord you told us that it was gonna be like this. So now, all of a sudden, these guys, they’re set against You! “Indeed Herod and Pontius Pilate met together with the Gentiles and the people of Israel in this city to conspire against your holy servant Jesus, whom you anointed.”

Boy, do I love this next part, because it’s a fresh reminder that it doesn’t matter what the devil does. There’s no weapon that’s formed against God’s people that’s gonna prosper. God is going to use everything the devil does to accomplish His purpose!

( congregational amens ).

Praise God! It says, not only what they did but it says, “...They did what your power and will had decided beforehand should happen.” So God used their ignorance, their rebelliousness to accomplish the very thing that was necessary for their defeat. Boy, you can’t lose…I mean you can’t win on that side. I want to be on the winning side, don’t you? Praise God! This is Somebody that no devil can possibly conspire against and win.

So now, he says, “Now, Lord, consider their threats and enable your servants to speak your word with great boldness. Stretch out your hand to heal and perform miraculous signs and wonders through the name of your holy servant Jesus.”

Now think about what’s going on here. These are men who had already experienced all these things. They’re men who had just stood before the people—just stood. And here they are saying, oh God, we need boldness. You think there’s a lesson in that for us? That we need to be in a position where we are constantly going to God and saying, God I don’t have what it takes to be…just to live as a Christian, let alone to confront…when you arrange circumstances to be able to speak the truth and speak life and to do it with power and conviction.

Lord, I know what’s right but I don’t have what it takes. Lord, I realize we’re in a battle. This world is arrayed against you and it’s gonna be arrayed against me, but I need to be able to be an instrument of Heaven when you arrange circumstances so that there is a boldness and a courage that does not originate in me! That I can stand there with Heaven’s authority and speak, and devils will have to give ground. Do you believe God wants that for His people? For every one of us?

( congregational response ).

Yeah! So what does it take? It takes going to God with an expectation. Because, when Peter preached on the day of Pentecost, he talked about the gift of the Holy Ghost. He said, the promise is to you, to everybody the Lord will ever call. That includes a good company here and in other places.

But I’ll tell you, having His life in us and having Him with us in power are two different things. And I need—I need His power. We need His power. We need to pray that God will just fill this church with Himself, with His life. It’s not a matter of seeking a show. It’s not a matter of seeking miracles, or signs and wonders, or experiences. It’s a matter of saying, God, come! Do what needs to be done in lives.

Give us the courage to rise up in prayer and realize we don’t have to depend upon our own righteousness! We don’t have to depend upon our own strength to psych ourselves up! We need, simply, the authority to speak the words and to pray, and to expect Heaven to work and to act. And when we’re in a situation where it calls on us to stand and look the Devil in the eye, we can stand there with confidence because we realize we’re on the winning side.

( congregational amens ).

They are the ones that are in trouble. We are seated with Him in Heavenly places in Christ, just as we spoke last week. Do you sense, do you see where we’re at? Do you see our need? We’ve experienced some of these things in the past. It’s not that we want to go back. I don’t know how or what God wants to do or when, but I know that God’s people need His presence and His power.

It’s wonderful that we have truth. Thank God for the truth. We need it. We need to stay anchored to that. But we need the life and the power and the authority to go with that truth. We have the right to call upon God from our hearts and say, oh God, You see what we’re up against! You know, in our circumstances personally, corporately, situations…you know what we’re up against, Lord!

You know that we have no power to just explain people out of their bondage and out of their trouble! We have to go to Heaven and get power! We need to see You supernaturally move and work in hearts and in lives! Because you’re the One who’s building this kingdom! We just want to be workers together with You, Lord. Help us! God, show us!

Teach us about Your life and Your authority and Your power and how to move in You to where it’s not just us trying to put on a show. We don’t need that. This is not about us, it’s about Him! Jesus is just as alive today as He was this day. But I want you to get that.

Here were people that already experienced all of these awesome things and now they’re coming to a place where they’re crying out saying, oh God, give us courage! It’s not a one-shot deal, is it? This is a moment by moment thing where we are going to God with expectation and saying, God, we just want to do Your will.

We don’t want to back down. We don’t want to fail in this opportunity You put before us. Lord, they’re threatening us. They have raised the ante here, and we’re not gonna just sit here and stay like this and accomplish anything. We need You to lift us up here so we can still go out with authority and power and, what happened? “After they prayed, the place where they were meeting was shaken.” It’s not about something like this necessarily happening either. “And they were all filled with the Holy Spirit and spoke the word of God boldly.”

God will answer when His people call upon Him with an expectant heart, because they want to be participants with Him. They want something for His glory. And they’re not trying to be something they’re not. They’re just saying, oh God, wherever I’m at, whatever sphere of life I’m at, I need you to fill me. It’s not me, it’s Christ in me the hope of glory. He is alive, He’s real and He want to be more real than He’s ever been.

And the question is, what do we want? Are we content to just sit here and practice our religion or do we want Jesus to be alive and real in our midst and breaking strongholds in lives? I know what He wants.

( congregational amens ).

And I know that He is working to bring us to the place, and not just us, His people, scattered around. There is an awakening going on where we’re realizing what we’re up against and we’re realizing we need God in a way we haven’t experienced Him before. Are you believing that God is going to do this or is this just something where we’re getting excited? I believe God is behind this.

( congregational amens ).

And I believe He has made every provision. We’re not standing here because we’re anything, we’re standing here, or sitting here, because Jesus is Lord! And He has made every provision that we can have everything that He bought and paid for at the Cross! Praise God! Praise the Lord!