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Rainbow Divider
MCM Broadcast

TV Broadcast #1271

A Time to Prepare

February 12, 2017

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Transcript of message from TV Broadcast 1271 -- taken from Closed Captioning Text

— Brother Phil Enlow: We can read these Scriptures, we can believe them, we can profess them, we can sing about them, but somehow until we experience God in times like He’s describing here…maybe not that dramatic, but you know what I’m talking about. Until we truly experience what we sing about, the faithfulness of God in impossible situations, it’s just kind of theory.

And I sense that is what God is doing in many lives. He certainly is in mine, in one way or another. God is bringing us into situations — and this is not new Truth at all — where we have been tossed into the deep end of the pool, and we’ve been brought into a circumstance where there is no answer except, God, You’re gonna have to fix it. God, You’re going to have to act. I can do nothing about this situation, about this need. I just give You the whole issue. I’m not strong enough. I mean, it covers the whole gamut of what we experience that’s negative and difficult. How many of you know what I’m talking about?

( congregational response ).

Yeah. So, if things are not happening in your life now, they will! But you know what? God is going to do whatever it takes to break that self-reliance that is so much a barrier to what God wants to do in us and what He wants to do through us. As long as we’re trusting in ourselves, we’re gonna keep trying to ‘do.’ And God is the only One that can do what needs to be done.

And oh, I’ll tell you what, we’re gonna be…we can come to a place like he describes here. This is the voice of experience writing this, isn’t it? This is not somebody who’s just learned this in Bible School. This is somebody who’s been through some stuff that has brought them to a place of confidence! It’s brought them to a place of hope, of rest, where they actually are able to say, “Therefore, we will not fear.”

And it’s interesting the way He puts that. He doesn’t say, “therefore we never feel fear,” because we all do, don’t we? The first reaction to facing something that is difficult, that’s beyond us, is to be afraid.

But what’s going on here, is someone who knows enough about God, has experienced enough about God, to be able to say, “I will not fear!” Because, here’s what is happening…I’ve got this fearful thing here, but I know that my God is real, that He’s proven Himself to me before! I know His word is real! So really, I’ve got a choice here, don’t I? I could listen to this, I could believe in it, or I could just say, “I don’t receive that, God is faithful!” And when we do that, something grows—something gets stronger.

But there are areas of my life, I know, where they bring fear to my heart. I’m just telling you the truth. And I know I’m just like you in that respect. There are things that I’m not strong enough to handle! But God is going to…God is teaching us! He’s not going to, He is! God is doing things right now that are designed to teach us to rest in Him, to trust in Him! And think about what He’s saying, “God is our refuge.” (NIV). A refuge is a place to hide!

( congregational amens ).

No matter what happens, there’s always…God is around us! If it’s happening to us, if we’re experiencing something that we might not want to experience, but it’s there…God allowed it! God absolutely is around us and there’s nothing that can happen through that thing that is beyond His control or beyond His purpose!

He is a refuge for our hearts! He is a refuge for our confidence! He’s a refuge in every possible sense of the word! We can rest in Him! We can come to Him and say, Lord, whatever’s happening, I am in Your control, not theirs!

You know, you think about the scripture, was it Elisha? I believe it was Elisha. And, the heathen King came to realize that Elisha was getting revelation from God and tipping off the King of Israel about his military strategy. And he said, boy, if we’re going to win, we got to deal with Elisha.

And you remember how they came by night, the armies surrounded the town where he was and the servant got up in the morning and said, “Alas, my master! how shall we do?” (KJV). He looks at them, just like you and I would look at circumstances, and his heart was just full of fear.

And Elisha stood up and said, “Those who are with us are more than those who are with them.” (NIV). And in that case, he said, “Lord, open his eyes.” And all of a sudden, beyond the armies that he could see, he saw the heavenly armies! And he suddenly realized, we’re not the ones in trouble, they are! There’s not a thing the Devil can engineer that can possibly stop what God is doing!

Boy, what a parallel this passage is to Romans 8, where nothing is, “…able to separate us from the love of God that is in Christ Jesus.” But, God is our refuge!

But, he also found something else. God is our strength! There is a secret that I believe God is wanting to teach us, and there are just moments when I’ve glimpsed it! But I guarantee you, this is a need that I feel! How many times do we say, Lord, oh God, I’m weak, please strengthen me? And we think that’s the way it’s supposed to be!

But that’s not what this scripture says! It didn’t say, God strengthens me. He says, God is my strength. Let me illustrate it this way. How many of you would say, oh, God, help me save myself. No! If you’re being saved, it’s because you gave up, and you gave Him the job! And He becomes the Savior! It becomes His job to do the saving, to do all that’s needed in me!

I’ll tell you, I don’t have the strength to live the Christian life! I don’t have the strength to be strong in difficult circumstances! And it’s not a matter of being…oh God, just buck up my strength here so I can handle this! No! This is…oh God, I just surrender! I receive You as my strength, just the way I received You as my Savior!

Just chew on that one awhile! That’s something I feel the need of asking the Lord to help me to get. Because, we have learned, somehow we have learned a religion, in America especially, where we take Jesus as Savior and He takes care of our sins, and then we struggle to live the Christian life instead of letting Him live it in us…learning how to let Him live it in us!

Let me just throw that out there and say, pray with me, pray in your own life. Say, God, reveal this to me, show me! Show me the difference between facing my own needs, temptations, whatever it is, trying to do it in my own strength, trying to measure up, trying to be what You want me to be, instead of just giving it to You and saying, Lord, You are my strength in this, right now. I can’t handle this. You are my strength!

Somehow, the writer of this Psalm had learned that God is not just a place to hide. He is my strength! God is going to teach us these things to where we’re going to be put, as I said, in the deep end of the pool!

But is not the Word of God a testament to that, from one end to the other? Think about a God who would lead His people out of Egypt to an indefensible position, backed to a sea they could not cross, the mightiest army in the world closing in on them! This wasn’t a case of, God, help us to be strong, give us a military strategy out of this. This was impossible!

I’ll tell you, God is going to lead us down paths that are…that are not just difficult, they are impossible! And in that impossibility, He is going to demonstrate to the powers of darkness, He’s going to demonstrate to His people that He’s God and there is nothing impossible! That’s what’s going on in our lives, folks.

But you think about…well, you think people living in a heathen culture. You think about the three Hebrew children. That was a pretty impossible situation! All of a sudden, they’re marched up there, commanded to bow down to this idol! They say, we’re not going to do it…our God’s able to save us from those flames you’re fixing to throw us in! But even if He doesn’t, we’re not gonna bow!

Now, God could have gotten honor in one way, by simply allowing their testimony to stand. But He decided to use that to spread the knowledge of His power throughout the empire of Babylon! And so, they threw them in there. The guys who threw them in died because the heat was so great. And they got in there and the only thing that burned was the ropes! And they were walking around, unhurt by the flames!

You know, we read these things but we don’t relate it to our lives. We think, oh, that’s great! God can do this…look at what He’s done over there or over there! God is gonna do things here, in our lives! He’s gonna bring us into situations that are so impossible that He is going to be the only One, that we can just throw up our hands and say, Lord, I’m trusting You, I surrender! Just like that woman who said, ‘Jesus, I love you, I commit my life into your Spirit!’

That’s an extreme case. And yet, we see a God who could give dying grace! We see a God who can give grace to live and to serve Him. But not only is He the strength that I don’t have to serve Him! And He’s gonna teach me how to just lean upon His strength and not try to be strong! He’s an ever-present help!

But when is He an ever-present help? In trouble! Now, we would love to not have the trouble! But the way God makes Himself real, the way He works in our lives, requires that we have some kind of trouble! If all He does is let us have a smooth, easy ride, you and I would be sorry, we would not be changed one bit! We would just live in the strength of our human nature and that would be the end of it!

But God is absolutely, “…able to save completely those who come to God through Him.” But the process is gonna take us into situations that are beyond our power to fix! I don’t have the grace, I don’t have the strength, I don’t have the courage, I don’t have the grace to deal with a particular difficulty! I mean, you name it! Because, like I said, it covers the gamut of our experience!

But God is going to bring us into things, and it’s ‘in’ those things that He is gonna demonstrate that He’s there! He’s not just standing off watching to see how good we do! He is right there in the middle of it, just saying, trust Me, look to Me, rest in Me! I have brought you this way.

I led you this way, Jesus said, in the wilderness…to humble you, to show you that, “…man does not live on bread alone but on every word that comes from the mouth of God.” How many of you are just experts, you’ve been down every pathway, you know all about that?

( congregational inaudible ).

See. This is what I sense…that between now, going forward into this year, 2016, and going right on down…I don’t know God’s timescale. But I sense that God is patiently giving us an opportunity to grow, to become strong, to realize what life is about, to realize that we need Him!

And He’s gonna bring us through paths where we have to learn that lesson. But when we do, we’re gonna become like the people that were described…we had that message awhile back, about the folks in Daniel…”People Who Know Their God.” How do we know Him? Because we just hear sermons about Him? No, we come to a place where we have just committed our complete destiny into His hands!

But we begin to experience the greatness of the salvation! Instead of just trying to be a Christian, we’re receiving the help that only comes from Heaven, the deliverance that only comes from Heaven!

Let me just go on and read this. “There is a river whose streams make glad the city of God, the holy place where the most high dwells.” And that river is the River of Life! That’s the stream of God’s life that comes from Heaven! It flows through the Body of Christ and it nourishes, it gives life, because we don’t have it!

There’s nothing about human nature, human life, that could stand up to the real battle that’s going on! Like I said, this is not political…there’s no political solution to the world! There are armies that are at work on both sides, on both the darkness and the light, that are behind the scenes. That’s what this is all about! God is going to finish the job of rescuing His people, getting them ready for eternity! And the Devil is gonna be consolidating his power over this planet!

But, it’s in that context that God is going to bring forth a people that are able to stand, whether it means we lay down our lives literally, or whether we stand! God can do mighty things! There are places…the most difficult places on the planet right now are where God is actually demonstrating His power the greatest! Think about His power to reach into some of the areas that are in such chaos right now!

And you know, people there look at America and they’re praying for us…because they see the need! They see a sleeping, compromised church in America! But God is gonna do what it takes to wake up His people.

But I’m thankful right now! I was thinking as I walked around…as I had that thought walking the other day, how merciful God is to us! To warn us, to give us a sense…God, I want You to work, do whatever it takes! The expression has kind of become current. Do whatever it takes in me to make me what You want me to be!

Lord, show me my needs! Show me all the things where I’ve struggled because I’ve done things in my own strength! I’ve relied on me and I haven’t really realized what I have in You! Lord, work in me! Break the hold of things in my life! Take away my fear. Give me a courage!

I’m amazed at how many testimonies I read just in that one book, and certainly I’ve seen them in others…of people who were even fearful of what was coming! But then they went through something where they actually suffered and they actually had to face what were the consequences of following Jesus, and instead of cowering in fear, they felt a surge of confidence and boldness!

And people who would walk into a mosque and hand out New Testaments! And you think about the courage that God can give His people that’s supernatural! Salvation is supernatural from front to finish, folks!

( congregational amens ).

We just don’t experience nearly what God has for us! You talk about higher ground! Yeah! I believe God is going to take us…I’m going to say it positively…God is taking us to higher ground! But there is no other way to do that, than to leave the lower ground and to learn! And learn to experience what the writer of this Psalm has to say.

But now he says, “God is within her, she will not fall; God will help her at break of day. Nations are in uproar, kingdoms fall; he lifts his voice, the earth melts.” Do you think anything that’s happening on this globe is a sign that there’s real danger for those who put their trust in Him?

( snapping fingers ).

All God has to do is snap His fingers! All He has to do is…well, as the old hymn says, “One little word shall fell him,” referring to the Devil! When God says, it’s time, it’s enough. It must be frustrating to be Devil to know you have no real power! But I’m not a bit sorry for him.

“The Lord Almighty is with us; the God of Jacob is our fortress. Come and see the works of the Lord, the desolations he has brought on the earth. He makes wars cease to the ends of the earth; he breaks the bow and shatters the spear, he burns the shields with fire.” Just referring to some of the victories they had seen…they had witnessed God performing miracles!

What about that time when Jerusalem was surrounded by the greatest army of its day, 185,000 soldiers, trying to get them to surrender! And they spread the letter from the heathen commander before the Lord and said, oh God, see what they’ve done! And the next morning they woke up and all 185,000 were dead because one angel went through the camp!

Do you think God can’t take care of business when that’s what His plan is? So that king just got up and went home! What else could he do? I’ll tell you, we’ve got a great God! No matter what happens in this world, He’s gonna be with us!

You know, the day may come when there may just be a handful that will be meeting secretly in homes. We’ll call a meeting at 2:00 a.m. in somebody’s basement, and people will sort of sneak in. That’s how it is right now in many places in the world! Do you think we’re special? God’s gonna get us ready for whatever’s coming!

And here’s a good verse to leave us with. “Be still….” You think about the fearfulness of the world and the uncertainties that we face, “be still.” Are you afraid of something? “Be still, and know that I am God.” Be still, and know that I am God. There’s a willingness, there’s a choice right there. And I pray that God will burn that into all of our hearts! I feel my need of it, certainly!

“I will be exalted among the nations, I will be exalted in the earth. The Lord Almighty is with us; the God of Jacob is our fortress.” I don’t know, I just trust the Lord, that He’s been in this in some measure. I’m like Ron, I don’t have any great feelings. But I know that God is doing things.

And many times He’s gonna do things the way we’d rather He not! We like our comfortable life. But this is not our home. We have another home. We’re only traveling through this. And God is using ‘this’ to get us ready for ‘there’! And before it’s over, God is gonna demonstrate to us, He’s gonna demonstrate to the Devil, the power of His salvation and what He’s really doing! And I want to be part of that, don’t you?

( congregational response ).

I don’t want to be one of those that tries to add Jesus to their life. I want to be one who submits and says, Jesus, my life is Yours. Do what You want to do in my heart. I’m yours. How many of those are there? But that’s the only thing that’s real. But I’ll tell you, God is gonna prove Himself to His people. So, “Be still and know that I am God.” Praise God!