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Rainbow Divider
MCM Broadcast

TV Broadcast #1283

Confidence Before the Throne
Part One

May 7, 2017

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Transcript of message from TV Broadcast 1283 -- taken from Closed Captioning Text

— Brother Phil Enlow: Just as a jumping off point, a familiar scripture at the end of chapter 4 of Hebrews…the writer here has been upholding the promise of a rest that we can come to because our salvation, our standing before God does not depend upon our efforts; it depends on something that’s already been done from the foundation of the world in the heart and mind of God. It came into history 2,000 years ago at the cross.

And so the message of the Gospel is not what you and I must do to measure up, it’s what He has already done that we come to find a place of rest in. And folks, if you have unrest in your heart, there’s something lacking. It’s not because there isn’t a place of rest. It’s because there’s still something in us that’s striving and trying and we have unbelief.

And that’s what the Lord longs through His Word and the work of His Spirit in our hearts is to overcome that sense of unrest where we are still striving, because we only come to rest when we come to the end of that and stop trying.

And folks, that’s our problem. We still think that we have got to do something to deserve. There is a legalism that is built in to human nature and it’s not an easy thing to overcome. And we can go along with the Lord for years and still be struggling with it and it’s something…pray for me, pray for all of us that God would help me to get over some of this because I can stand up and preach it and many times I’m struggling with the same battles that you are. I feel this need, I feel this weakness, and I’m trying instead of trusting.

And that’s the whole truth of it. God wants us to come to a place where we can come to Him where He has everything that we need—He is everything that we need.

But anyway, and so the writer leads on through this about the fact that there is a rest that’s available for the people of God, that He knows everything, the Word of God is living and active. This is something where a lot of people can go to Bible school and they can learn the doctrines and they can expound them with human energy and human ability and it accomplishes absolutely nothing, ‘cause it has to be something that is God-breathed.

The original scriptures are God-breathed. But I mean the ministry of them, the proclamation of them has to have God’s Spirit infused in it or it does not do anything. It does not have any power to penetrate where it needs to penetrate. It may educate the mind, but God needs to get all the way past our defenses ‘til we realize how desperately we need Him, until we begin to see ourselves through His eyes. Then alone is His Word really accomplishing something.

That’s that living thing that penetrates all the way down. “…It judges the thoughts and attitudes of the heart.” (NIV). And that’s where life really originates for you and for me. Everything comes forth from the heart. That’s what God is concerned about. And boy, I need a new heart. I need mine changed, don’t you? And I want it to be and I believe that’s what He’s doing.

But you know, in the process of that, we frequently, frequently come to places where we feel destitute, we feel need, we are confronting something, whether it’s on the inside or whether it’s circumstances on the outside or a combination thereof, we run flat into things that are just beyond our control where we feel the wrong kind of spirit rising up in us and we just don’t have the power over it and we try and we worry and we fuss and we go to God, but without any real faith, because I’m not what I ought to be, therefore, why would He listen to me? And you know, around and around we go.

And there is a place where God longs to bring us where it’s not like that, where we understand the truth of what He is and how He is and what He’s done for us so that we can come to Him with a freedom. And so he says, verse 14, “Therefore, since we have a great high priest…” Great high priest! “…Who has gone through the heavens, Jesus the Son of God, let us hold firmly to the faith we profess.”

Now the faith is not just a thing, a feeling. It’s the object of our faith that gives the faith validity. You can believe something totally outrageous and crazy. It doesn’t make it so. You can believe you’re a turnip, but you’re not a turnip. Your faith is invalid.

( laughter ).

 I said it was crazy.

( laughter ).

But I’ll tell you, our faith is something that is a God-given ability and it’s focused not upon what we are but upon what He has promised and who He is and His character. Now we’ve got something we can stand on. See, now we have what he later talks about as an anchor for the soul. And we know what an anchor does for a ship. It gives it a place to grab hold so the waves can’t blow it everywhere. And, how many need that?

( congregational response ).

You’ve got waves that are beating on you right now and we need something that is an anchor for our soul. Anyway, “…Jesus the Son of God, let us hold firmly to the faith we profess. For we do not have a high priest who is unable to sympathize with our weaknesses…” Now take out the double negative. We do have a high priest who is able…let’s see, wait a minute. “…Sympathize with our weaknesses….” He can.

How can He do that? He’s been here. He’s done that. He has been here and felt the things that you and I feel…the loneliness, the emptiness, the sense of just human weakness. Think of what He went through in the wilderness that we’ve heard so much about recently. I mean, God brought Him down to a place where He was utterly bereft of human strength.

And what did He do? He stood simply…I’m sure He didn’t have the feelings to go with this, by the way. He simply stood upon what He knew to be true, the one rock, and that is what God has said.

And, what an example for us, but also it reminds us of the fact that He’s been here and He knows all about what human temptation is about. In fact, he goes on into the beginning of chapter 5, to talk about…he’s talking to a Jewish audience. They knew about the sacrificial system. They knew about the priesthood of the Old Testament and all that stuff. And so he makes the point that the priests are chosen from among men.

Why is that? Because they’re able to sympathize…they experience the same things that the people do and so they’re not looking down their nose and saying, why did you do that? They have to look in the mirror or whatever they had…I don’t know if they had mirrors or not. But anyway…they were in a position to be able to say, hey, I am just like that. I need mercy, too. And so, I can have a merciful attitude toward them.

How much more the Son of God, who came as an expression of God’s own heart, that reached out to us when we really didn’t deserve it, when we were His enemies, when everything was against us having any grounds of hope whatsoever, He was able to step into that breach and demonstrate the heart of God towards every sinner!

And then when he goes to preach the Gospel in the Gentile world, who does He pick? He picks His worst enemy! A young Jew named Saul who specializes in persecuting and killing Christians! And He rescues him from that and He turns him around and he reveals the truth of the Gospel.

And over years He molds his heart and then He anoints him and sends him out to proclaim the Gospel, and he is able to look them in the eye and say, it’s a faithful saying, “Christ Jesus came into the world to save sinners—of whom I am the worst.” I’m the worst! You think you’re too bad? No you’re not. That title’s already taken. I’m the worst. God saved me to prove that He could save the worst of the worst.

( congregational amens ).

There’s no such thing as being too bad. Praise God! Thank God for the salvation that He’s proclaimed. So here we have a priest who is able to sympathize and He was, “…tempted in every way, just as we are—yet was without sin. Let us then approach the throne of grace with confidence, so that we may receive mercy and find grace to help us in our time of need.” Now, we’re not so familiar with the concept of a throne here…sort of.

( laughing ).

We’re getting that direction, aren’t we, politically? This is not a political speech, but we’re not supposed to have kings. But anyway, they understood in the ancient world and many places today that if you’ve got a king, he’s absolute. What he says goes. If you walk in there and he doesn’t like your looks and he wants to take off your head, he has the authority to do that. He has the power to do it, anyway. And so, the idea of a throne is it’s a place of authority.

And yet, they were familiar with the concept that I’ve just expressed that you were at the mercy of that king. You couldn’t just bop in there freely. You remember what Esther’s dilemma was? Yeah, she felt the need of speaking up for her people who were about to be persecuted because of a wicked plot. And her uncle said, you’ve got to do something. She said, if I go in there and he doesn’t hold out the scepter, it’s my life. And she had to make a decision.

Boy, that’s the same decision we have to make to follow Christ. Whether I live or whether I die, I’m His. So anyway, there she was, and God gave her the ability to walk in and He moved on the king’s heart and he held out the scepter.

But I’ll tell you, this idea of being fearful because here is somebody who has power over my life, and I am coming, and on what ground can I hope to find help and mercy before this king? See, if you think in human terms, it puts you at such a disadvantage. It takes away your confidence. It leaves you in a state of uncertainty and doubt.

And how easy is it for us to bring that kind of feeling into our interactions with God. Even though we know what His Word says, emotionally we’re not there. Anybody here who just…you’ve gotten there? Nothing ever bothers you? No matter what need you discover in yourself, you’re just at rest. You know God has the answer. You know you can go calmly and just at perfect rest into His presence and say, Lord, I have this need. I know You know all about it, I’m just….

See that’s where God wants to bring us. And He’s working in us. And where you and I are at in our journey right now…I can tell you where Carl and I are at right now in our journey. Oh God, we need that throne room! Lord, come and do something because we’re in way over our heads here. But I’ll tell you, we’ve got Somebody who wants us to…doesn’t want us to feel like we naturally feel, wants to reassure us, wants us to have a rest and a confidence! Wants you and you and you to have a confidence that we can come.

And that’s what the thrust of this is. “Let us then approach the throne of grace with confidence.” I believe the King James says ‘boldly.’ But the sense you get from the Greek behind this is that we don’t have to go in fearfully, wondering whether we will be accepted. You don’t have to wonder!

Now I’ll tell you, if you’re gonna go in there and say, God, I want You to come and be my servant and make me feel better about myself and my sins, and serve my earthly interests, make me healthy, wealthy and comfortable and all of that…if you’re doing something because you just want to feed your earthly desires, the very thing He’s trying to save us from, that’s one thing. But if you’re coming because He has implanted in your heart a desire to cooperate with His purpose, then you have every right to come to Him with perfect confidence and rest.

( congregational amens ).

How easily do we say that? How hardly do we do it? But that is the hope of the Gospel. That my qualifications to come before, not just an earthly potentate…this is not just somebody here who…I know they’ve got power. I’ve got a problem. I need them to fix it. This is the Sovereign of the universe. This is the One who upholds, “…all things by the word of his power.” (KJV). All things!

You want to know why the stars stay in their place, the galaxies, all of that? Have you ever connected that with Jesus? We need to! We need to see something about how great He is, because it was through Him that the Father created all that is. And Hebrews tells us that all things are upheld by the word of his power. Man, that’s Somebody pretty powerful. That’s somebody who has all power in heaven and earth. Praise God! This is Somebody who is able to do whatever is needed.

But it’s not just the ability, it’s Somebody who actually knows what it feels to be weak, and human and dependent. And so when we come in our worst time—our worst time, we have just failed in some way…we tried, but we just didn’t have what it took, guess what? That’s why I need a Savior—that’s why I need a Savior.

I’m certainly not recommending we get careless, but I’m saying at your best, you’re gonna fail. And we fail when we go along in our own strength and we try to be whatever we think He wants us to be, and we just can’t do it. At our worst moment, we have the right to come to Him with freedom!

He’s not looking down His nose and saying, look what you did! You’re gonna have to stew in your juices for a while and then maybe after a while I’ll relent and let you come and talk to Me about it. He says, I know what’s going on here. I knew that thing was in your heart. I knew that you were careless. I knew that there was a weakness there that just…and I long to help you, but you didn’t realize what was going on in your life. You didn’t know you had that weakness or that it was that bad. You didn’t know your situation. And so I had to allow you to get to a place where you could see that. And I don’t despise you for that. That’s why I came to save you.

Boy, that’s a hard one to wrap our minds around…that God doesn’t despise sinners because they’re sinners. The people He had the problem with were not the sinners. It was the religious people who were determined to gain righteousness their own way. They didn’t need Him. They had the Law. They could just…oh God…like that Pharisee. Oh, I thank You, Lord, I’m not like other people. And the one who was heard said, Lord, be merciful to me a sinner. And he was heard. I want to take that place. I want…when I’m at my worst.

It’s easy when we come here and we leave and we feel good and the Lord’s been lifted up in some special way, and we just feel a confidence. Oh yes, He loves me. Yes, I can come. And that’s good. But I need to have that same confidence when I am at my worst. When I’m sick, when I’m tired, when circumstances look dark, that’s when I need to have exactly that same confidence.

It’s not an emotion. Boy, if I’m waiting for an emotion, I’m gonna be waiting a long time, a lot of times. But we’re gonna have to come to a place where we exercise naked faith, just simply saying, this is what Your Word says. This is what it says, Lord! Boy, I don’t feel it. Nothing looks like this is true, but Your Word says this!

And that’s the ground upon which I come. Lord, You are the One who invited me here. There’s no way I could possibly qualify myself to be in such a place and expect anything. But You have invited me, not to come to brag about who I am and what I’ve done, but to come at my point of deepest need, lay that before You and know, even when I’m deeply ashamed about it, I’m filled with shame, to know that You love me anyway, right then. You’re looking for me to come.

That’s the kind of heart God is actually looking for. You know, when you fall in the mud are you ashamed of it, or are you still mad at somebody else? Yeah. I’ll tell you, when God begins to mold the heart, we’re gonna be more concerned about what we are and what we’ve done than what somebody else has done to us, because we’re gonna realize how unlike Him we are.

Oh, what an awesome God we have, what an awesome Savior we have, who gives hope to the hopeless, who gives strength to the weak…He’s everything that we need. And somehow, this is a doctrine that we profess, but I sense God’s heart reaching out to me, certainly, that He wants us to be able to lay hold of that, and actually live as if it’s true!

Has God in His provision for salvation left anything that is needful for us to be completely saved, completely ready to live with Him in a pure world, has He left anything undone? Anything He’s not thought of? He says, whoops, I’ve not thought of that. It’s gonna spoil the whole thing. Every single thing that you and I need to stand there in Glory one day was provided completely for us freely because of His death, His resurrection and His ascension to power. Everything!

Let’s just look at a couple of Scriptures and remind ourselves of these things, because, it’s one thing to say, oh, I can come, but I know I’ve got to do something. Yeah, come. Praise God! Come! But look at Colossians chapter 2, because Paul was writing to believers here and there were religious teachers coming in and trying to introduce other things that they had to do somehow to move forward spiritually.

So he says, verse 6, “So then, just as you received Christ Jesus as Lord…” Note that. Don’t take him as my sort of side-kick to help me out and I’m gonna remain Lord. No, He’s Lord. There’s a surrender. You received Him as Lord, “…continue to live in him, rooted and built up in him, strengthened in the faith as you were taught, and overflowing with thankfulness.”

In other words, the Christian life is entirely one of drawing upon life and virtue and provision that comes from Him. Nothing that we can do! How did you come to Him in the first place? How did you get rid of your sins? What did He want you to do? Is it ‘do’ something and I’ll receive you? Or, is it give up ‘doing’ and completely put you trust in what I have done in My provision, just like that evangelist. When you become satisfied, I’ll save you. Praise God, that’s my only hope today. There’s not one ounce of goodness that I could possibly bring before Him. But Jesus paid it all.

( congregational response ).