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Rainbow Divider
MCM Broadcast

TV Broadcast #1259

Rest for Your Soul
Part One

November 20, 2016

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Transcript of message from TV Broadcast 1259 -- taken from Closed Captioning Text

— Brother Phil Enlow: Yeah, I found it very interesting what Deanna said this morning, because I had had a thought and a scripture, and the scripture that I had begun with and thought about was the very one she read: “Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened…” (NIV). Funny that! You think maybe the Lord has something on His mind, on His heart that maybe is relevant to all of us this morning?

What an awesome thing that the Lord desires to give people a rest. And it’s not just a physical rest and the kind of thing we might think of. But it’s that deepest part of our being…that’s where we need a rest. We need something that just takes that inner restlessness that just drives everyone in this world, out of our hearts.

And so, knowing the human condition, knowing and observing the people to whom He was speaking, what a thing to say: “Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened….” You know something, before somebody will come to the Lord, God has to awaken in each person a sense of their need of Him, doesn’t He?

( congregational amens ).

Because people will drive on, people will just charge on, sure of their own course, gripping their own life and yet, full of restlessness but always thinking that the answer to that restlessness is something. Something here. Something that I engineer. And yet, there comes a time when God, in His mercy, can bring people, will bring people to a sense that it’s not working…that I have something in here that I can’t fix, and I’m worn out. I’m ready to give up. I’m ready to just come to the end.

In fact, I’ve heard testimonies of people that have said they had come to the point where they’re just ready to throw it all away and commit suicide. A number of times, I’ve heard over the years, of people who were just brought to that place where they had determined in their mind they were going to take their life and end it all. The pain was too great, the restlessness, the sense of futility in life was just so…it just wasn’t working.

And then have the Lord step in and say, well, all right, if you don’t want your life, can I have it? You know, something to that effect. And it comes to a point where they realize there’s nothing that they can do except give their life to the Lord. Why not? I’m giving up on it, why shouldn’t He have it? And the Lord uses that to turn them around.

But here’s the Lord just inviting people to come. “Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest.” What an awesome, amazing thing! And it’s not something, as Deanna pointed out, that we can earn. It’s not something that we deserve. It’s simply…it reveals to us the heart and the gift of God.

And of course, as we’ve heard many times…I know this is familiar scripture to us. We’ve heard, over the years, the Lord minister on this subject. But I’m just praying that He will give us something fresh this morning, something that’s relevant to each one here, in his own particular journey. Because there may well be people here who have not even experienced this first rest.

There are two rests here, aren’t there? There’s one where we just come to Him. We’ve been outside the camp, we’ve been away, separated from Him, but now there’s a coming to Him and saying, Lord, I just…I embrace all that You’re about. I give You my heart. I give You my life. Lord I need rest in here, because there’s nothing. There’s an uncertainty, there’s a dread of death. There’s a dread of life sometimes. There’s a dread of facing You in the Judgement. I’m full of fear and uncertainty and life is just not going where it needs to go. Oh, God! Just come and take that restlessness out of my heart so that there’s no more barrier between You and me.

I’ve got something, even though life goes on and happens and it’s not always easy, I’ve got a reservoir of something in here that gives me a fountain of rest and certainty and hope that can stand the test of life itself and all that life throws at it. But I just…my prayer is for two kinds of people, as is often the case.

Those who’ve never entered in…and most of you will recall the parallel passage, in a way, that kind of unpacks this a lot. It’s in Hebrews chapters 3 and 4. And this is where the writer, as we’ve pointed out so many times, is concerned about people who’ve grown up as Jews and knowing the Law of Moses and putting their hope in that Covenant, and feeling like God’s Covenant with us is a covenant of laws we obey in order to earn our favor with Him, and they just found it difficult to let that go.

And they continued to struggle on and feel like that was the pathway to life and the writer is concerned that they will miss out on what the Lord has done, because He’s come, not to add to the Law, but to do away with it. It served a purpose for a time but all that was done…all it was about was to prepare for something that was eternal, something that would last forever.

The first one was a temporary Covenant, the second one was an eternal Covenant. And, the first one was full of types and shadows, illustrations, pictures. What they did was a picture of the sacrifice of Christ that was to come. And so, it was full of things that were meant to teach. But when Christ came, they didn’t need the Law anymore. All they needed was Jesus.

Talk about just give me Jesus? That’s exactly God’s provision for us. It’s not a covenant of principles and laws and rules and regulations. It’s a Person. It’s a Person who has taken our sins upon Himself, endured the punishment that you and I deserved at the Cross, and He’s taken it upon Himself and cried, “It is finished.” Talk about the shout of a King!

And then He didn’t leave us there. But His promise is to come into our hearts and impart to us a brand-new life. There is a very real birth that is as real as the one that Paisley will be experiencing soon. And others of you ladies know what that’s about. But this is a different kind of birth. This one brings about a life that cannot die! And I’ll tell you, once we have that, there is a peace with God that comes, not because we have earned it or deserve it, but because of what Jesus has done!

But the writer here was concerned and so he says, in verse 7…go through some familiar scripture. “Today, if you hear his voice, do not harden your hearts.” And so, the reality is, when God brings somebody into a relationship with Himself, there is a voice, there is a call. It doesn’t necessarily come from a pulpit, although that can sow seed in hearts, sometimes it does! But there is no rhyme…there is no pattern, I guess is what I’m trying to say. There’s no formula as to how this happens. But the fact is, it comes down to this, God speaks and confronts directly, a human heart.

( congregational amens ).

And boy, I’ll tell you, we need to realize God does not always speak. Boy, I’ll tell you what, you better listen when He speaks! I’ve heard, and I referred to this in that other message…I have heard a number of testimonies over the years, when God would come and speak to somebody to convict them to come and surrender their life and put their faith in Jesus Christ, and the word that came to that heart was the realization, this-is-your-last-opportunity! You either bow and bend now or, it’s over, I’m going to turn you loose. And when that happens, for that particular soul, that’s it.

That’s a sobering thought. That’s why he says, “Today, if you hear his voice…” That’s all we’ve got is today.

( congregational amens ).

So if there’s somebody that God is convicting about your need to surrender your life to Christ, you listen! That’s God’s love and mercy! He doesn’t have to do that! He does it because He loves you! And He wants you to know Him and He wants to spend Eternity with you. So anyway, that’s the word here.

But he’s comparing this to what happened to the Israelites in the wilderness. And God bringing them into the wilderness, out of Egypt, is a type of that period of time, and again, there’s no formula here. But you find out when God is speaking to a person and He brings them to the point of salvation, if we could see from God’s point of view, God has been dealing with that heart over a long period of time. They didn’t even maybe know about it, but there has been a preparation work, the influence of God’s Spirit to prepare a heart, has been going on, many times, a long, long time.

You know, you’ve got some folks that believe you can get on an elevator with somebody and lead them to Jesus before you reach the fourth floor. Well, if God happens to have been dealing and preparing with the heart, I’m not gonna rule out that God could save somebody. But folks, there’s not a formula where you pray a little prayer and accept Jesus. This is a supernatural work! It is as supernatural as their crossing of the Red Sea. That was not something that they could do. They were backed up against the water with no place to go and God opened a way!

I’ll tell you, God has opened a way into a place where we can come to know God. We can come to be acquainted with Him. He can make Himself known to us in a way that we can then put our hope in Him! But what happened to a generation was that they didn’t get it. No matter what God did, every time there was a difficulty, every time there was a challenge to what should have been their faith, they rebelled, they complained, they did everything, they accused Moses! They just did everything to express their unbelief! And He calls it rebellion.

You know, He refers to their unbelief. But I want to make the point, because somebody could hear the Devil whisper in your ear how unfair it is of God to mark off people who just don’t quite have enough faith, as though unbelief is simply a lack of something. It is not a lack of something! It is the opposite of faith! It is a willful rejection of God! That’s the real choice! It’s not, oh, God, I just wish I could believe, I’m neutral here, but oh, if I just had…no! I’ll tell you, there is a choice between a way of surrender and a way of willful continuing in rebellion.

And that’s what happened. And God gave them chance after chance after chance during this period and they simply refused. So he says…speaks of, “…the rebellion, during the time of testing in the desert, where your fathers tested and tried me and for forty years saw what I did. That is why I was angry with that generation, and I said, Their hearts are always going astray, and they have not known my ways. So I declared on oath in my anger, They shall never enter my rest.”

And I see…you know, the idea of going into Canaan land, the wilderness and Canaan land, has been used as an illustration of many things. But in this context I believe what it is, is the coming out of Egypt and spending time in the wilderness is, as I said, it’s a way of getting to know God. It’s a way of becoming acquainted with Him in such a way that there is a preparation work and a surrender that leads to salvation.

The picture that is drawn throughout this passage is not of people who were saved and then lost, somehow. This is a people who were in a period of acquaintance with God, turned and rebelled against Him, went the other way! They stopped short! They never entered in! They came to the door, some of them.

In fact, they did come to the banks of the Jordan River. They were right there. It didn’t take that long to get from Egypt to Canaan! This wasn’t a forty-year journey. This was a short journey and God used the time to acquaint them with Him. But they came right to the thing and they absolutely rebelled. They would not go across. They would not believe God.

You remember how the spies went over and they brought back the report? Ten of them said, there’s giants, we can’t possibly do this. Two of them said, God’s with us. Let’s go up at once and possess the land! We’re well able to do it! And everybody believed…that whole generation believed the negative report, cried all night, wailed, complained in unbelief. God said, all right, you’re gonna wander in the wilderness until that generation passes off the scene.

This is a serious thing, isn’t it? Coming into His rest is not just some, oh, good, I’ll add Jesus to my life and it’ll be better. This is an absolute divergence of the path of somebody who’s in the part of the world that’s perishing, and God calls them to turn around and give their life to Me. And in that act, when I enable you to surrender, you’re gonna discover peace.

How many of you have been through…it was a real conscious thing with you? You went through a real battle over this, over salvation. I mean, it happens so many different ways and so many different periods in people’s lives. But how many testimonies have we heard of people who struggled and struggled and struggled and God finally brought them to the place of surrender and then what happened?

( congregational response ).

Why did I wait so long? There’s this peace. It’s real. It’s in my heart. The war is gone. The barrier between me and God is gone! My sins, I don’t even feel guilty anymore! I know what I’ve done but I don’t feel the guilt of it! It’s awesome! Why did I wait so long?

That’s what was in Jesus’ heart when He was looking to these people. That’s what is in His heart today for everyone who hears His Word! Listen to My Words! I love you! I want to give you My peace! I want to give you My rest on the inside. I know, I see the anxiety. I know how you cover it up. I know how you strive. I know what your life is like. You can put on a nice face, but inside you’re dying, you’re struggling.

Oh, this world is full of…you think of the Lord’s description through the prophet. “The wicked are like…” (KJV).

( congregational response ).

“…The troubled sea…” which what?

( congregational response ).

“…Cannot rest.” This is obviously very closely related to things that we spoke about several weeks ago, but I’m just praying the Lord will give a little bit of a different insight into it, because I need more rest, don’t you?

( congregational response ).

So, it isn’t just for the unbeliever who needs to come to that place of rest. There’s another rest involved and that’s the one I’m interested in beyond the first one. But oh, how this world is full of unrest and how many people just can’t be still! Oh God, the thing they’re scared of…I don’t want to be alone, I don’t want to be quiet. I don’t want to…because the thoughts that crowd in are thoughts of anxiety, their fear. I’m not in control. My desires are raging and I don’t how…I don’t know what to do with them. I don’t know what to do with myself. So, I got to be busy, I’ve got to go party, I’ve got to do something to quiet that.

Oh God, wouldn’t it be nice to be able to be in a place where you’re totally quiet and totally at rest?

( congregational response).

Full of joy and peace and it’s okay to be that way? You know, if there’s something…if there’s that terrible unrest, something’s not right. Something’s lacking. And I just pray that God will awaken every one of us right where we’re at, so that we can enter into what He has given us to experience, because it is a gift, folks. What an awesome thing that it’s a gift! ‘Cause I could never deserve it.

But anyway, and so he warns people about being hardened and turning away. And, I don’t want to try to go through all of this, ‘cause I want to get to some other things. But anyway, “…we see that they were not able…” at the end of the passage, “…to enter, because of their unbelief.” (NIV). And again, unbelief is not simply the lack, it’s a positive rejection.

“Therefore, since the promise of entering his rest still stands, let us be careful that none of you be found to have fallen short of it.” And that’s the point. That really underscores the reality that he’s not talking about people who enter in and then fall short, and then fall away; this is people who stop short. They’re acquainted with the Gospel, they’re acquainted with the call of God, they’re acquainted with their own need, and they just resist, and resist, and resist, and resist, and finally God turns them loose.

There comes that time. And I’ll tell you what the sign of that is, you have no desire. No desire to repent. No desire to really give your life to the Lord. That’s a sad, sad state. But anyway, the point here that he’s making, and he will make this point as he goes on, is that the promise of rest was not simply for people there in the wilderness. God had a glorious provision for them in the Promised Land. That was the symbol of really entering into salvation, in this case. But so many failed to enter into that.

But yet, centuries later…I’ll summarize what he says. Centuries later, David writes these words that are quoted, “Today, if you hear his voice….” Well, this is not a history lesson. This is the voice of God speaking ‘today’ about a rest. Yes, it’s like that. But there still is a rest that God wants to bring His people into, because if David was only talking about history, he wouldn’t have used the word ‘today.’ So, God is still wanting to impart rest. That’s what the point of the passage is.

But the message, “For we also…” verse 2 of chapter 4, “…have had the gospel preached to us, just as they did; but the message they heard was of no value to them…” Why? “…Because those who heard it did not combine it with faith.”

But now, listen to this. “Now we who have believed enter that rest….” So, now you know what he’s talking about. There is a faith that God imparts that is exercised and it constitutes a surrender to God, and those who come to that place of surrender and reposing their trust completely in Him, taking it off of us and causing us to put our trust in Him, that is entering into His rest.

That is the fulfillment of what Jesus was talking about when He said, “Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest.” And that brings us into a state of oneness with God and peace with God, as we’ve used so many times. Praise God! And so, he goes on and he brings out some other factors in this. He talks about God’s warning to them, you won’t enter My rest.

“And yet…” coming on down, “…his work has been finished since the creation of the world.” What an amazing, awesome truth! And how often we’ve emphasized it. But I just pray that God will burn this into our consciousness so that it’s not just a doctrine we’ve heard and embraced with our minds, but it will become real down here, that what we have been called to is something that was finished!

‘Finished’ means you can’t add anything to it. It is complete! What Jesus did is everything that we have need of to take us all the way home! We have but to lay hold of it, to enter into what He has done, but it’s finished! And so, that’s what God is calling us into.

And he compares this, in this passage, goes all the way back to the Creation. And so, what happened in the Creation Story? And it’s more than a story, by the way. You know, we can talk about that another time. But, I’ll tell you, God spent six days, didn’t He? He said that in the Law. In six days, I created everything. I tend to believe Him.

( laughter ).

Duh!

( laughing ).

It’s a God who cannot lie and scientists who don’t know. Anyway, in six days I created the heavens and the earth. Then what happened? What happened on the seventh day?

( congregational response ).

He rested! Why?

( congregational response ).

Because it was done! And that’s the rest that God has for people in this day. It is coming to rest in something that God has completely finished!