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Rainbow Divider
MCM Broadcast

TV Broadcast #1249

Wake Up!
Conclusion

September 11, 2016

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Transcript of message from TV Broadcast 1249 -- taken from Closed Captioning Text

— Brother Phil Enlow: You know, I was reading this week, because I was working on a transcript of a broadcast that’s going out sometime in October, I think. And it’s from a service back in October of last year, I believe is when the original service was. It had to do with ‘first love.’ I don’t know if you remember that.

But my mind went, obviously because of reading it, my mind went back to it, and it had to do with the Church at Ephesus. Ephesus was a very key city in the province of Asia Minor and God wrote, through John, letters to the seven churches who were in that region, and Ephesus was the first one in chapter 2 of Revelation.

And you remember, what we talked about was the heritage that church had. I mean, they had Paul. They had Apollos. They had Timothy there for a while. They had John the apostle, who had settled there before he wound up on Patmos. I mean, they had a long history of really being grounded in the faith, brought out of heathen darkness, but grounded in the faith. And you see the Epistle to the Ephesians. You see the letter of 1st Timothy which was to him while he was at Ephesus.

They had a foundation and the Lord begins to enumerate all the wonderful things they could do. They were staunch in their defense of Truth. They recognized false leaders who would try to come in with deception. They were faithful. They didn’t give up! There was just a long list of things where we would have said, man, that is a model church!

And yet, when it came right down to it, the Lord said, but there’s one thing I have against you. Oh, great! Just one thing! Lord have mercy, we’ve got almost a perfect score there, and now all we have to do is bump this one up a little bit, and we’ll be good. He said, you’ve left your first love.

Something had happened on the inside. They didn’t stop preaching the truth. They didn’t stop meeting together. They didn’t lose their ability to recognize deception when it would try to come in and take over the church. When trouble came, they didn’t give up! They had a spirit of endurance! In other words, every outward manifestation of what we would think would be a model church, they were good! They never left that outward form, but what they lost was the inside. That’s the only thing God is really concerned about!

( congregational response ).

We could have many different outward forms, but I’ll tell you, what God is looking for is from the heart. And to the extent that we just sort of bop in here…and it’s like, okay, it’s another service. All right, it’s about 12:00. Let’s hurry up and finish so we can go do whatever we want to do. It gets to that, before you realize it. And, I sense the Lord’s heart and I sense His burden, but I know that you can’t just psyche people up about this. God has got to invade.

( congregational response ).

God has got to do something to shake His people up! You know, I’ll get back to what Paul was saying that he understood that for him to be effective in ministry, for him to be able to do what he had been called to do, God had to literally put him to death! He did it through circumstances that caused him to have to look to God, in faith, to find the grace to push through. And as he did it, the old nature lost its hold, lost its power over Paul, and he was able to draw strength from heaven and minister life! That’s the call of every Christian!

( congregational amens ).

But our desire for tranquility, our natural instinct for tranquility that we equate with blessing, is not a blessing. If God’s blessing always took the form of plenty of this, and perfect health, and perfect circumstances, and sweet people all around us, and all those kinds of things, we would be spoiled rotten. We would be slumbering and sleeping and supposing that we were spiritual giants, when we would be spiritual infants at best.

Oh, God has to stir up our little nest. I’ll tell you, sometimes the most loving, wonderful thing that God can do is to send trouble, because it wakes us up to the fact that we’re desperately in need of Him!

( congregational amens ).

We need His life on the inside! We need our hearts energized from heaven! We need to be awake and aware of what’s really going on and what our life is about! God, help me. Am I growing in You? Am I learning from You? Am I able to handle things? God, you’ve put me in a circumstance, I have no choice but to look up. But Lord, that’s what You wanted me to do in the first place! Maybe I could have avoided that if I realized, if I were engaged in faith because I understood what You’re after. There are a lot of thing we could probable avoid, don’t you think?

( congregational amens ).

But I’ll tell you, God is faithful, isn’t He?

( congregational response ).

God is faithful to His purpose. You know, I thought about…oh, there are several scriptures that basically say the same thing. One of them is Romans chapter 13, isn’t it?

( pages turning ).

Romans chapter 13. He’s talking about loving one another as the centerpiece, in the middle of the chapter…of what life in the Body is supposed to be about. But then he says, “And do this…” verse 11, “…understanding the present time. The hour has come for you to wake up from your slumber, because our salvation is nearer now than when we first believed. The night is nearly over; the day is almost here.

“So let us put aside the deeds of darkness and put on the armor of light. Let us behave decently, as in the daytime, not in orgies and drunkenness, not in sexual immorality and debauchery, not in dissension and jealousy.” (NIV). Boy, that takes it all in, doesn’t it? You can do away with the sins of the flesh and still have the other…just as damaging. Dissension, people not getting along…jealousy.

“Rather, clothe yourselves with the Lord Jesus Christ, and do not think about how to gratify the desires of the sinful nature.” Now think about this. Again, we think in terms of ‘wake up’ as a message for the end time. Christ is about to come. It’s almost like, until then, it’s okay just to slumber. I mean it’s almost the unspoken consequence of that idea.

But when did Paul write this? Almost 2,000 years ago, and he wrote it to people who were alive then. And he told them to wake up! “…Wake up from your slumber…” Why? “…Because our salvation nearer now than when we first believed.” He saw a process of what God was doing to get us ready for something else, because there’s a day that’s dawning! You are in a state of night right here! You’re living in a context where night is reigning, but there is day that’s coming! And your life is meant to be about living for that, putting off the deeds! This is a message that is for every single generation because every single generation has done this.

( congregational amens ).

You know, I started to talk about the down-hill …I don’t know if I ever finished that thought…but the down-hill trend of every group. I guess I did say some things…but has been throughout the ages where God has really invaded in some special way, they begin to preserve it, they begin to box it up, and the next thing you know what you’re left with is the shell and the form of what there was. Folks, we’re not immune to that.

( congregational response ).

I believe, for a number of years now, God has been working to awaken. I thank God for it, because this is His people. But boy, we are not immune! We could sit here and we could preach Brother Thomas’s sermons. That wouldn’t change this. We’d simply glory in the form and the heritage and all that stuff, and we’d build a shrine to that. We need the living Christ in our midst now!

( congregational amens ).

“The path of the just is as the shining light, that shineth more and more unto the perfect day.” (KJV). Day is dawning. God wants to give us a light and a presence. He wants to live in the midst of His people and have our minds and our hearts in tune with what He’s doing! We’re gonna be able to recognize what is going on in the spirit realm. We’re going to recognize when devil’s are at work and we’re gonna be able to go to God and find a strength.

Folks, there is so much in this book and I have this…you know, at times I guess I listen to the enemy too much and he makes me feel frustrated. My God, there’s so much in here that we just don’t live in! We affirm it! But we don’t have it! Why? It’s like those Israelites! They had a certain little carved out territory that they lived in, but over there was so much riches.

When the Lord sent them in there, he said, I’m gonna give you houses and lands and hills out of which you can dig brass and all…there are riches there of every sort. The only problem is, those folks that lived in those hills, they won’t let us come in here and dig for that. Folks, God is looking for a people who are gonna be hungry, and to say to God, we’re not satisfied.

( congregational amens ).

You didn’t call us to sit here and practice a religion until we die or until Jesus comes. You want a people who are alive and engaged, who remember their first love, and it’s not just a psychological emotion. Many times we serve God without emotion. I had to get up here this morning without emotion, I can tell you. But God is wanting a people who will simply step out and take Him at His Word and begin to push. We’re gonna have to go into the ‘war room,’ folks.

( congregational amens ).

We’re gonna have to realize how this works. We’re gonna have to go to God, not just with a lot of empty words, but be engaged, and have the Spirit of God enable us to pray with authority and pray based upon the Word until we see things change in our lives and in others. Has God failed to give us what we need? Is there anything He has failed to give us? Anything that is not in the Gospel? We have the unsearchable riches of Christ. And yet, we sit here living like paupers and talking about how rich we are. Oh God, help us.

( congregational amens ).

You know, I was thinking about what happened, we’ve used it so many times, with Peter. The Lord warned him and said, watch out. I know you say that you’re gonna stick with Me, but before the night’s out you’re gonna deny three times that you know Me. Pray, so that you don’t fall into temptation. And so, after they reach a certain point and Jesus felt the burden of what was going on…there’s the model. There’s the contrast.

You had Jesus that was facing the greatest battle in the history of the universe. And He faced it as a man, but armed with the knowledge of what was coming, that God had revealed to Him what was about to happen. He knew. What did He do? He just said, ‘oh, praise God, God is sovereign, this is gonna be cool.’

[No.] He went out and he poured out His heart. And He even said, Father, if there’s any other way, let it pass. Let me not have to go through this. But yet, the real battle was not with God. The real battle was with His own will. What He came…it came back to the same thing every time that he prayed. Nevertheless, not what I want, but what You want.

He poured out His heart and He poured out his heart, and it wasn’t just a little prayer. He went out three different times over three hours. He had told the disciples, watch with Me. I need your help in this. I need you to pray. I need you to get…but He had to go out and He did it alone, didn’t He?

What happened? When He finished praying, do you remember what happened? Angels came and ministered to Him. Do you know that there is strength? We’re in a battle that’s too big for us.

( congregational amens ).

We’re living in a realm, we’re operating in a realm, in a battle realm that is way too big for us. We need heaven’s strength. Jesus knew how to obtain that. Jesus knew what He needed on that occasion. He went out and cried out to His Father, oh God, I can’t handle this. Lord, I want to do Your will. And angels came and strengthened Him. But do you remember how he kept going back to the disciples and what happened to them?

( congregational response ).

They were asleep. In one place, it says that they were just exhausted from sorrow. I mean, they sensed, obviously, what was going on. Jesus had told them what was gonna happen, and that He was gonna go away and leave them. And they were trying to take all of this in, and their response to the challenge was to sack out.

How many times do we spiritually sack out when pressure comes? When trouble comes, that’s our…we want to hide. We want to crawl under the covers and just make it all go away. What was the result of that? When the time came they didn’t have what they needed, did they?

That’s quite a lesson, quite a model for us, isn’t it? If they had done what Jesus did, yes, they would have had to fight through a lot of the tiredness, a lot of the emotions that they had, but I’ll tell you, there’s a God in heaven who would have heard that prayer.

( congregational amens ).

The Scripture was quoted in a service recently about, “…how much more shall your heavenly Father give the Holy Spirit to them that ask him?” How many times do we really, actually believe that? Ask Him in a specific way, Lord, I need Your Spirit. I need a measure of Your Spirit. I don’t have what I need to do what I’m doing. And Lord, I’m not just gonna beg and hope.

Do we do that? A lot of our prayer is begging and hoping, instead of lining it up with the Word and saying, God, I am basing what I am asking You on Your promise. You’re the One who made this promise to me. I didn’t come up with this idea. You’re the One who told me that I could come to You and I could expect the help that I need.

And here’s…I guess this is as good a place…there are a lot of things that you could say about this subject of just being asleep and being awake. But the Ephesian church was certainly, they didn’t use the word ‘asleep.’ But yet, that was the effect of it, wasn’t it? He said, you’ve forsaken your first love.

Forsaking is a process of…it’s a lot of little choices, isn’t it? To give in, to slide, to compromise, to just let go, to continue with the form, but not really put anything into it. And they’d reached a point where He warned them. He said, you’re gonna lose your candlestick. That represented their place in His Kingdom as a church. You’re in serious danger. You’re doing everything right on the outside, but you’ve lost what it’s really about.

I pray that we will catch such a vision of what He’s about and be so engaged in it. Only God can enable us.

( congregational amens ).

That we will never, ever go down that road. I believe we were a long ways down that road a number of years ago. I believe God is continuing to reach out. You know, that’s what it takes. It takes God reaching out. It takes God intervening. If God left us to our devices, is there one of us who wouldn’t go to sleep?

( congregational response ).

God has to invade! The secret to not yielding to that is to learn to listen! It’s to learn to accept what He says and embrace it, and open our hearts to it and agree with it, instead of saying, no, it’s not quite like that, Lord.

It got quiet in here. But, we do that. We find ways to sort of side-step what the Lord wants to do. I’ll guarantee He’s gonna put His finger on things in our lives and it’s not just about changing activity. It’s about our hearts. If our hearts get right, these things will take care of themselves.

( congregational amens ).

Now we’ll come to choir practice when it’s announced, assuming that there isn’t some legitimate reason like Ben and Beth were out of town. That’s one thing, but you know, there are a lot of things where we begin to get a little bit careless. We begin to get a little bit…oh, it’s okay, I can come or I cannot come, I can slide. The next thing, what’s happening? Where did that come from? Is that from the Lord? Is that how the Lord wants to encourage us to serve Him?

And again, you’re not…you’ve got to divorce this from a legalism that says, oh, we’ve got to preserve a form. If we have the heart, the outside will take care of itself. That’s what we need. May God warm our hearts and God awaken our hearts so that we want Him! When we get into a situation where we need to learn how to listen to what he says…what did he tell the Ephesians? Think about what His remedy was. He didn’t just say, come on let’s do a little better here. Let me spark it up. He said repent.

( congregational amens ).

Because anything short of this is a fruit of sin in some form. It may be just the carelessness of our spirits. It’s so many things, where we just go through the motions. We sleep walk too much. God is wanting a heart that can…instead of saying, Lord, thank you, I’m doing great generally, but I just need to be sparked up a little bit. There’s a place for genuine repentance where we come to God and say, oh God, forgive me. Oh God, convict me. Lord, if I don’t even see it, open my eyes.

( congregational amens ).

Can we pray that? Can we pray and say…do we have enough courage to say, Lord, shine the light down in here? Show me what I need. Help me to not be afraid of Your light. Help me not to be so married to this and that and this in my life that I can’t let go when You shine the light. Help me. I know how you feel because, I feel the same way. There’s a fear the devil puts in there, isn’t there?

( congregational response ).

Yeah. What am I going to have to give up? That’s not what it’s about. You could give up every little thing and do everything just right and still miss what he’s talking about. Because, then it would just be a religious form. Oh God, breathe life in a greater way into Your people. Bring us to a place where we are really His church and not just another group of people. Lord, may this be a place where people can come and find You in a life-changing way. God change us! God forgive us. Where we are participants in the spirit of slumber, God, forgive us. God, help us. God, move in our hearts and help us.

I don’t know what else to say, but, like so many things that I preach, there’s plenty of room for the devil, if I let him, to say, what are you doing saying all this? It applies to you as much as to anybody, and it does. But I’ll tell you, I sense in my spirit the Lord reaching out, and He’s crying out to His people.

And if you hear His voice, don’t say, no. Don’t blow it off. Say, oh God, open my eyes, show me. Give me the hunger. If I don’t have the hunger, give me one. Lord, meet me where I’m at. Lord, if I don’t have the faith, help me to believe. Help me right where I’m at, Lord. God, I need a Savior! I can’t do this, but I can cry out to You and I know You’ll hear me.

( congregational amens ).

I know you’ll hear me, Lord! That’s Your promise! It’s a promise of Your Word! Lord, we need You. And I’ll tell you, if you don’t have a sense of needing the Lord, you really are asleep, or dead. I pray for every one who hears this, that God would just do with it what He will. But I pray that He’ll do it in me, too.

( congregational amens ).

We need some ‘war rooms’ going on.

( congregational amens ).

If we don’t have that, all we have is a form. And the power will just sort of dissipate out. We’ll just go through our form and we’ll be unaware. Do you think the Ephesians were aware? Do you think, just maybe, they were shocked at what the Lord said? Because by every human measure, everything you could see and touch and feel, things were great, except the one thing that mattered to the Lord was gone. May that never be said of us. God, help us and He will. Praise the Lord!