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Rainbow Divider
MCM Broadcast

TV Broadcast #1250

Have Faith in God
Part One

September 18, 2016

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Transcript of message from TV Broadcast 1250 -- taken from Closed Captioning Text

— Brother Phil Enlow: I was just sort of ‘mousing’ around on my computer. I have a Bible search program, which I use mostly for looking up scriptures and running references and that sort of thing. But, I had forgotten that it has an incredible library of classic books and stuff, and one whole section is devoted to Andrew Murray. Most of his main books are on there.

And I just was glancing at one little snippet of a book on prayer and there was a thought that he had that is…boy, have I heard it expressed so many times today! And I’m not going to try to regurgitate what he said, but the central thought came down to the question we all wrestle with and we know what the Bible says about having faith. You know, “…if ye have faith as a grain of mustard seed…” (KJV) and all of that stuff.

But the question comes to every one of us, okay, how do I get there? Where do I get this faith? And so, his particular article was answering that and there was one thing that he said that, my goodness, almost everybody this morning in the men’s meeting said the same thing…and what Donald just said.

And his thought came from Mark 11. And this is in the last life of Jesus…last week, rather, of Jesus’ earthly life, prior to the cross. And He had come to Jerusalem. He’d had the so-called Triumphal Entry. And He was on His way into the Temple at some point after that, and that was when He had that little incident of seeing the fig tree that didn’t have any figs. And so, He cursed it, basically, and said, “May no one ever eat fruit from you again.” (NIV). And His disciples heard Him say it and so they went on.

And this was the occasion where He cast everybody out of the Temple, who were making merchandise of the people, and said, “My house will be called a house of prayer…” (KJV). Well, on the way back, past that tree they noticed…well, I guess it was the next morning, they’re going along and the tree was, “…withered from the roots.” (NIV). And so, the disciples called attention to that and said, “Rabbi, look!” Peter, of course, was the one who spoke up. “Rabbi, look! The fig tree you cursed has withered!”

And the truth that Andrew Murray made was this…we’ve read the scripture, “Have faith in God, Jesus answered. I tell you the truth, if anyone says to this mountain, Go, throw yourself into the sea, and does not doubt in his heart but believes that what he says will happen, it will be done for him. Therefore I tell you, whatever you ask for in prayer, believe that you have received it, and it will be yours.” And so forth. “And when you stand praying, if you hold anything against anyone, forgive him, so that your Father in heaven may forgive you your sins.”

And you know, most of us are familiar with this scripture and we just sort of…in one sense, when we think about it as a truth, we say, wonderful, awesome! When it comes to me, that’s when our eyes glaze over and we don’t really see this as somehow relevant to us. And I’ll tell you, in our day and time, if we were to move a mountain, we’d have trouble with the Environmental Protection Agency, but…

( laughter ).

Man, we’d have everybody all over us. But anyway, the point that Jesus was making had to do with the centrality of faith to Christian living. We don’t live by sight, or by feelings, which we sadly, often do, but we live by faith, and there’s this principle that operates.

But you know, a lot of times I think we are thinking of this far too much as a principle, as almost a technique. You ever kind of looked at it that way in your mind? Okay, what’s the formula? What are the words I say, what feeling am I supposed to conjure up? And that’s kind of how we respond, naturally, to some of this truth but, there’s something that Jesus said before this business about ‘saying to this mountain.’

And those are the four words that Andrew Murray emphasized in this and I believe he’s exactly right. Because…before we can get to this point where we’re gonna be exercising a lot of faith, this first part has to be true. “Have faith in God.” And there’s a profoundness and a simplicity to this that we miss.

And the basic point is we need a relationship with God. We need an apprehension of Him that is so real, that is so personal, that in the light, and in the strength, and in the energy of that, we can begin to be…we can exercise His faith, His power, His will, His wisdom, and His purpose!

And that’s what Jesus did. All of His life, there was this perfect bond between Him and the Father. There was not one little thing that the Devil could ever slip in there to cause them to be separated, in any sense. And so, at every point, Jesus would go out and He would spend time with His Father. There was this perfect communion.

And in that relationship He would discover His Father’s will. That would be communicated to Him. Did He not say that whatever the Father shows me, that’s what I do? That’s the relationship that He had. Now, was that only for Jesus, or is that something we can have and we can at least grow into? I believe it’s exactly what the Lord wants for me and for every one of us.

And I wrestle with these exact same questions that I know have occurred to every one of you that have sought to believe God about something. But there’s a difference. As soon as I read this, it just immediately occurred to me, there is a major difference between believing ‘in’ God, or having faith ‘in’ God and having faith ‘that’ God. You understand what I’m saying? We want to have faith ‘that’ God will do this, ‘that’ God will do that, ‘that’ God will do something else. But it really goes back to having faith ‘in’ God.

And you know, the point was made, I think Reid made it particularly this morning, that our estrangement, our difficulty with having this relationship with God goes back to the Garden, doesn’t it? Before that, there was a perfect harmony. There was no barrier between God…if the Lord came down, whatever form He took to walk with them in the Garden, it was run to meet Him, it was pure joy, there was no barrier, no hindrance, no feeling of discomfort! I mean this is a Holy, pure, righteous, awesome God, and yet they felt completely at home in His presence! Think about that.

Because that’s not where we’re at. It’s where the Lord wants us to get. But as soon as they listened to the Lie, as soon as they put self and self-will and self-interest above the will of God and His purpose—His loving purpose that had been revealed for them, instantly there was an estrangement that happened. And the next time the Lord came, what did they do?

( congregational response ).

They ran and they hid, didn’t they? And what did they say? You remember what Adam said, I believe it was, when the Lord came and found them? He said, why are you hiding? He said, I was afraid—I was afraid. Fear! Fear is at the root, and guilt, and shame and all of those things cause us to feel that now we cannot have a relationship with God.

And it’s so easy for us to somehow have a spiritual life in which God is somewhere out there and we’re never quite sure how we stand. I mean, we know what to say. We know to sing the songs that we sing. We know to affirm the truths that we’ve heard. But when it comes to the real inner life of the individual believer, we’re struggling with that. We’re struggling with, how do I really stand with Him? How does He really feel about me? Can I really have this kind of a confidence? Can I be at peace in His presence? It’s almost like, I’ve got a little bit of Adam in me. Am I the only one that ever feels this way?

( congregational response ).

No! I’ve got a little of that Adam in me. When I think about, oh Lord, I want to come and just bask in your presence, there’s a part of me that shrinks from that, out of fear, out of uncertainty.

Do you know all of life feeds that? We are so uncertain in our relationships. There’s a fear there. We’re constantly feeling like, I’ve got to…well, this was expressed this morning. I’ve got to look out for myself. I can’t trust anybody. Every one of us has a certain amount of that in our lives. And we try to trust and we try to…and sometimes we do and we get burned, and that has that long-term effect upon us and it begins to get in our DNA, and somehow we have a hard time not perceiving God as sort of just a big version of us.

And we project onto Him human characteristics as though He’s just bigger than everybody else, stronger, greater than everybody else, but He’s basically like us. And if I’m gonna…I’ve really got to toe the line. I’ve got to be something. I’ve got to measure up. There’s a thousand and one barriers that Satan loves to place between us and God so that we just don’t really feel close to Him. And I’ll tell you, that is not what He wants.

( congregational amens ).

You know, that’s the biggest barrier. And I confess—I confess, I wrestle with some of these very things. There’s something that wants to…there’s an unsettledness that wants to try to creep into my spirit when I think about getting alone with the Lord. Anybody wrestle with that? Yeah! It’s just…ooh, I know what it says, but somehow I have a hard time really believing it for me, here, now, after what I just did, with what I’m like.

And Satan is constantly putting all of these…bringing up all these issues. If God really cared about me, this would be different. We’re judging by outward things. There’s not really this confidence, this trust in God. That’s got to be the anchor of my soul, folks, if I’m gonna have any rest or any ability to just enjoy His presence and enjoy His life and experience His goodness and have a faith that enables me to move in Him and have faith to see other things happen!

You know, we all have things that we would like to believe God for. But somehow, it’s like I say, we want to be able to speak to the mountain without having faith in God, without having faith in the person of God.

And you think of Abraham. What did it say? That Abraham…that God appeared to him, He gave him this great promise about what was going to happen with his descendants, the blessing that was gonna come that was gonna reach out to all of the world. And, what does the scripture say? It says, “Abraham believed God.”

There was such an apprehension of the person of God, that all of the other doubts were enabled to be kept in check because he could always go back to the home position, God is who He is, He’s in charge, He’s made a promise, He cannot lie, that’s what I’m going by. I don’t care if it takes 25 years, which it did. If He tells me later on to take that very son of promise and go sacrifice him on an altar, I’m willing to do it!

You see, you don’t do that by taking a case by case…okay, I’m gonna analyze this and see if I can make sense of it and then, how do I make this work? A lot of times we’re serving self when we do that. But see, he came to a point where he had such a confidence in the person of God, that he was able to absolutely trust Him, regardless…before he ever heard what God wanted, he had a perfect trust.

And I see that as a real key to where all of us are in our spiritual lives. And I know one of the things that the Devil sometimes uses is the fact that we know that God is awesome, and He’s powerful, and He’s Holy, and He’s a God of wrath and judgment. Anybody ever struggle with trying to reconcile His judgment and His love, and how can I really have confidence towards Him? And I know He’s gonna pour out His wrath upon the wicked.

I’ll tell you what, if you’re somebody who is harboring self, you’ve never surrendered, you’re going through this life living by the wisdom of the world, you’re going through this life living for yourself and what you want and what you think, and that’s your god and that’s the center of your heart and your life, you have reason to be afraid. Because the fear of the Lord…there is a fear of the Lord that’s like that, that’s right. Because that thing…if God ever convicts you, ever shows you the danger—the eternal danger that you’re in, then God can begin to bring you to a place of repentance.

And there is a fear of God that we’re supposed to have as His children. But I believe, many times, the Devil will take that idea and cause it to cause us to see Him as a…you know, don’t get too near, Lord. I’m afraid of You. I know there’s a bunch of dirty stuff in here. I just don’t want You to get too close, Lord. I’m glad You said You love me, but You stay out there somewhere. Don’t we feel that emotionally, sometimes?

( congregation inaudible ).

Yeah. But I’ll tell you what, the fear of God is not that kind of cowering fear. How many times do we see in the scripture where there is some manifestation of Divine power and life? Whatever it is…whether it’s an angel, whether it’s Jesus, whether it’s God’s glory that Isaiah saw. Over and over again, there is this terror that seizes whoever is in that experience, because they know they’re just…they know they’re not right, they know they have deficiencies and sins, and they’re not right with God in every sense, perfect. But yet, there He is. What are they gonna do? And they’re terrified. What’s the Divine response over and over and over again?

( congregational response ).

Don’t be afraid. Don’t be afraid! I believe that’s God’s heart for His people! He’s not looking for people to serve Him out of cringing and terror. And there’s so many people that try to teach it that way. They try to intimidate people with the Law. You better straighten up! You better come down here and repent! You better do this…and, that doesn’t produce anything. All that produces is a life of intimidation and fear. God is way off somewhere ready to strike me down because I’m not perfect.

Oh I’ll tell you, we’ve got a God who is just not like that! Thank God! We’ve got a God who wants us to be close, wants us to be able to come into His presence. And you know, one thing that encourages me, when the Devil tries to put these anxious thoughts, and tries to inject this little negative emotion, when I’m thinking about coming into the Lord’s presence, the people that knew the Lord the best in scripture, testified that it’s the most awesome, wonderful, peaceful, joyful thing to be in God’s presence! That rather than coming there and feeling like, oh God, I don’t belong here, I can’t wait to get away, they’re there, they don’t want to leave!

God help us to push through because…you know, one thing I was thinking about this. It says, “Have faith in God.” There is an encouragement for us to participate in this. It’s not like, just sit back and wait for it to happen. These are choices that God is calling upon us to make. And I appreciate the way that Carl started it, or I guess you were second this morning in speaking down there, and you spoke something that I’ve had to wrestle with. And I’ve had to come to. If we are not believing God, what’s the problem? Is there some deficiency on His side?

( congregational response ).

Something He’s left out? Something He hasn’t done? Some fault in Him that we’re blaming Him because we just don’t have enough faith? No. It comes down to choices.

( congregational amens ).

It comes down to choices that you and I make. Especially if it’s really gonna be faith, we’re gonna have to learn to make choices against all of the evidences available to our senses. I’m gonna have to be willing to say, God, I don’t feel this. I know I’m not worthy! If I were gonna try to base it on that, I have no reason to think…to have any confidence toward You.

But Lord, I am choosing to believe the revelation of Your Word concerning the kind of a God you are! And I am going to seek You! I’m going to reach out to You! I’m gonna push through all the clutter and the noise and the failure and the history and the hurt and everything that needs healing, because…how ridiculous is it for us to suppose that I’ve got to fix all that, so that I can come into His presence? I need to come into His presence so all that can be healed!

( congregational amens ).

We get it exactly backwards and we listen to the enemy! Oh, there’s such a reaching out in the heart of God. God surely knew what was going on in the Garden, but what did He do? He came, didn’t He? He came seeking! Oh, I’ll tell you what, there’s a heart that reaches out. Adam, where are you?

He might be saying that to somebody here this morning. Where are you? I love you! I’ve made provision for you! Why do you hang back? Why do you fail to believe me? Why do you choose this life of listening to the voice of the enemy and robbing yourself of all that I would give you? I sent every…I gave everything for you! Why do you linger in unbelief?

But the thought that Carl expressed was a very simple one and it’s the truth. If we are not…if we’re not choosing to believe, folks, that’s something we need to repent of!

( congregational response ).

That’s not just an ‘oopsie.’ That is sin! “…Whatsoever is not of faith is sin.” (KJV). Folks, we can’t just come and say, oh God, I’m just weak, You’ve just got to accept me like…we need to say, God, forgive me!

( congregational amens ).

God, the problem is not out there, the problem is my heart. If I’m not trusting You and reaching out to You based on everything that I know, Lord, You’ve…we’ve got all this history of Your dealing with Your people. We’ve got all these promises and yet we linger back in unbelief because it just couldn’t apply to me! I’m just too bad. I’ve got too much wrong. My circumstances are different.

No, they’re not! If God could save Paul, or Saul the Jew, and God could save the kind of people that He saved in the scriptures, my God, He has got everything that…every reason…He’s given us every reason to trust Him, to love Him, to draw near!

And you know, sometimes you almost think, oh yeah, Jesus now, I can hang with Him. He’s…I see the kindness, I see the gentleness, I see the mercy, I see the love in Him. But God, I don’t know about Him. He’s just too big, too great, too ‘somewhere.’ He’s off somewhere. You know where God was during the life of Jesus? He was everywhere, true. But, “…God was in Christ, reconciling the world unto himself.”

( congregational amens ).

You remember how the disciples, when Jesus was getting ready to…I guess it was shortly before the cross, wasn’t it? They were in the garden there, heading toward it. And one of them says, Lord, show us the Father. You’ve been talking about the Father all this time, show us the Father and we’ll be satisfied. I think it was Philip, as a matter of fact.

And the Lord said to Philip, Philip, have you been so long with me and you haven’t seen me? “He that hath seen me hath seen the Father.” The words that I speak, I speak not of Myself. It’s the Father that dwells in me that’s doing the work. See, they were already…they had been living with the Father! All those years! They didn’t know it! They didn’t understand!