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Rainbow Divider
MCM Broadcast

TV Broadcast #1287

Are You Stuck?
Part One

June 4, 2017

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Transcript of message from TV Broadcast 1287 -- taken from Closed Captioning Text

— Brother Phil Enlow: I would just pose a simple question this morning to you and to me. Are you stuck? You know, we sing the song, “I’m pressing on the upward way, new heights I’m gaining every day; still praying as I onward bound, Lord, plant my feet on higher ground.” And, we know that that’s the way the Christian life is meant to be, where we literally are taking ground, we’re growing, we’re getting stronger.

And I believe in many ways the Lord is certainly doing that in our midst. I see the evidence of His work. But if you’re like me, there are plenty of areas in our lives where we have just sort of settled and we’re stuck. There are things that we know are not in conformity with what the Lord wants for us and what He’s provided for us, but that’s just the way it is, and we’ve sort of almost accepted it.

Am I the only one that’s aware of those things in our lives? I believe with all my heart that God wants to get some of us more un-stuck than we are and to help us to find out what the missing ingredient is, because there’s…how many of you believe that there’s something that we really need to be what God wants us to be, but He hasn’t provided for it? He’s just leaving it all up to us. He’s just said, here’s what I want you to be, but it’s all up to you, go for it, work it out, strive, struggle?

No! Everything that you and I need to be everything God has called us to be has been given, has been provided in the Gospel. That’s the heart of the Gospel, isn’t it?

( congregational response ).

You know, we referred the other night to Jesus’ words, the most profound in all of history, “It is finished.” (NIV). And the message of the Gospel is not a road map that we are to, in our own strength, somehow traverse and somehow to get there. It’s a finished product. It’s a finished work. It’s something that God has accomplished. In fact, the Scriptures tell us, I believe it’s in Hebrews 3 or 4…4, I believe it is, that the work has been finished from…

( congregational response ).

…The foundation of the world. I mean, even though in history it was accomplished at the cross, we serve a God who is above and beyond all of history! I mean, time is something that He created. We live within the confines of time and space. He’s outside of that. He’s not limited by anything that happens in here. Praise God! That’s a wonderful thing, isn’t it?

( congregational response ).

We can get our eyes off of the limitations that we encounter in our lives and we see that there’s a God who is above and beyond it all. But He has provided for us a perfect and a complete salvation. And yet, somehow—somehow, we find ourselves in places in our lives where, I’ve gained ground in this area, I’ve gained ground in this area, but this other area, well, that’s just how it is. And I’m just sort of stuck here and I don’t have any…it’s just gonna have to be that way.

And I see in my own life needs and I see areas where I know God has better. I know it’s not supposed to be this way. I know that there are things that have the upper hand, that I need to have the upper hand. And, the question becomes, where is the issue?

I thought about…and I don’t think I’m gonna say anything we haven’t heard, but I hope the Lord will put it together in a way that really makes sense for where we’re at, and makes sense of what I’m talking about. I thought of the picture that is painted by the events leading up to the crucifixion. And you remember how Jesus had supper with His disciples and He told them many things. We see Judas going out to betray the Lord and the Lord is trying to prepare them. He’s talking about the significance of what He was about to do to offer His body and His blood, and that that was going to become the foundation of our standing before God. Praise God!

But then He also warned His disciples. He said, every one of you is gonna run away and flee from me tonight—every one of you! I’m gonna have to go through this alone. You’re gonna run. You’re gonna run in fear. And every single one of them said, no way! We would never do such a thing! Lord, we have been with You through thick and thin! We’re going all the way with You! Lord! Let’s have a rally here. I’m exaggerating just a bit, but, I mean, the spirit of it was…and they were absolutely sincere, weren’t they?

( congregational response ).

So, what you have here are people who have…they know what’s right. It’s not a question of…do I really go with this guy? Do I really think He’s…no! There was an absolute conviction in their hearts! They knew He was the Son of God! They had witnessed His power. Not only that, they had experienced His power flowing through their own hands to heal and to do all the amazing things that God enabled them to do by divine power.

And so, it wasn’t a question of their convictions. It wasn’t a question of their intentions! They weren’t wrestling with, am I really wanting to go with this guy, or not? Am I really on board, here? And the answer was very simply, yes…100 percent! Lord, we’re willing to go with You to the death! Oh, we’re on board with this.

So, they go out and, of course, the Lord warns them, especially warns Peter, because Peter is the most vocal of the bunch. He’s always the one to speak up. And so, he says, though everybody else denies You, I won’t. I mean, he was so sure that it wasn’t a question of going along with the crowd. He said, even if the crowd leaves You, I won’t ever leave You! How many of you have ever made promises to God like that?

( congregational response ).

God, there’s this issue in my life, but I will never—I’ll never do that again!

( congregational response ).

Never! Lord, I’m completely on board with Your program here! I’m with You all the way. Well, that was Peter. And the Lord warned him and said, before the rooster crows today, you are going to deny three times that you even know Me. And, I’m sure Peter is sitting there saying, no way, Lord! You’ve got to be kidding. Seriously? You know I won’t do that.

And the Lord warned him and He said, in one of the accounts, He said, but when you’re converted…praise God for the hope that we have even in such circumstances. When you’re converted, help your brothers. Peter had a deep lesson to learn that you and I need to learn in a deeper way than we know. I certainly can raise my hand 100 percent on that one. We just do not understand what we’re up against. We think that our religion can be reduced to proof-texts, to little principles that we can just sort of snap off…

( snapping fingers ).

…And go on about our business, and the Devil is just gonna flee, our flesh will just lose all of its hold over us, and we can just skip our way to heaven. And it isn’t that way. And Peter had no clue what he was up against. Not only that, Jesus said in one place, Satan has desired…Satan has gone to the Lord and asked, can I try this guy? Let me prove to him that he’s not really one of Your followers. I’m gonna really get to him. And the Lord had evidently given him permission!

Now it wasn’t to destroy Peter, but it was to bring him to a place where he could learn something that he had to understand if he was going to be an effective servant of God! Folks, we are going to have to understand some things if we are going to effective and not just church players.

( congregational response ).

There is a real war, there’s real power with which we must contend and Peter did not understand that. He had seen satanic power and he’d seen God fix it and drive demons out of the way, but he still did not understand the real source of Satan’s power! Satan has real energy, but I’ll tell you, he has got an ally in here.

( congregational amens ).

And Peter didn’t get that. He didn’t understand what he himself was made of and how weak he was. And so, you remember how the Lord just let it drop…told him the truth, gave him a hope and gave him a promise. Peter, I’m gonna bring you through something and when you’re done, you are going to be in a position…I prayed for you, Peter.

( congregational amens ).

Now, notice that. He didn’t just say, I’ve put in a good word, or I’m sort of for you, I’m rooting for you, Peter. He said, I’ve prayed for you. Somehow the Lord was able to know, God revealed to His Son what was about to happen and He knew Peter couldn’t handle it. And He knew he had to go through this and to experience something in order to learn a spiritual lesson that was going to be critical in his life, but at the same time He was moved by the Father to pray for Peter! I’ve prayed for you that your faith…do you think that’s incidental that the Lord put that in there?

( congregational response ).

No, it isn’t. There was something that he needed that Jesus was able to provide, but only because He actually spent time and prayed for Peter. And because Jesus prayed, there was something that was holding him, that kept him from going over the cliff, as it were. Oh, I’ll tell you, I’m so glad I’ve got One like that, that prays for me.

( congregational amens ).

“…He is able to save completely those who come to God through him, because he always lives to…” do what? To make intercession! There’s Somebody that’s standing for you and for me even though we fall in the ditch sometimes, even though we experience all kinds of symptoms of our own need, there is One who stands in heaven for us. Praise God!

And of course, these accounts are familiar to us and we all know what happened. So they go out and pray and this is what Jesus finally wound up doing. He went out…think about what He was facing. Now, Peter was facing a little maid saying, “You were one of them,” and him feeling threatened by that. Jesus was carrying the weight of the world!

Everything that’s ever been wrong with you and me, He carried the burden of that. He bore our sins. He bore our sorrows. You think of all the wickedness that has ever transpired in this wicked world! He bore the guilt of all of that and felt for the first time in His existence a separation from the Father, and the Father’s wrath and displeasure, not against Him, as a person, but against the sin that He represented.

You think about what He was facing. Did He just say, oh, no problem, I can do all things through the Father who strengthens me, I’m good? Is that what He did? No, it isn’t. he went out and He poured out His heart and His soul and He cried out to His Father. And there was an intensity about it that was just staggering. In one place it says the sweat came out like drops of blood. I’m not a doctor, but I’ve read accounts of doctors who’ve said that there’s an extreme emotion involved in something like that, the intensity of what He was having to deal with, the battle He was fighting.

And He fought and He fought. Every part of His being was in revolt. I don’t know if we understand that. It wasn’t just, not My will, Yours be done…I’m cool. This was a power that was coming from…not only from within, the oppression on His mind, but everything about human nature cries out, not to die, not to suffer, not to have anything bad.

And, oh man, the sense of…how do you even put it into words? The sense of what He was facing was just weighing on Him like you and I could never imagine. And His response was not just to quote a Bible verse and go on. It was to go to God and to cry out to Him.

Do You think He had to cry out because God was reluctant, or is there a secret here, that maybe you and I need to understand in a deeper way? He needed to have the upper hand in this battle that He was fighting, and the only way He could do it was to cry out to God until God answered. There was a channel that needed to be opened to divine power because human power wasn’t gonna get it. Human power was not enough.

Oh God, do we understand the battles that we’re in? It’s kind of quiet. It lets me understand that some of you are getting this. Jesus did. He knew what it took to accomplish God’s will, and He was able and willing to fight that battle and to stand, and I know God helped Him. I’m getting ahead in a way, but there He was praying.

And He comes back after an hour…He’d warned the disciples, pray with Me. And He comes back and they’re asleep. Somehow they don’t understand. Somehow…you think about what’s going on here. We’ve been following Jesus for three and a half years. We’ve seen Him. We’ve heard Him. We know He has the words of eternal life. When all the crowds were leaving, we wouldn’t because we knew He spoke the truth!

They knew He spoke the truth, and yet when He warned them about this issue of their needing to pray, they didn’t believe Him! I wonder how many times, we really just don’t believe God? He tells us something about ourselves…yeah, yeah, yeah, and we go on and we don’t really accept it, we don’t really believe it.

I’d have to confess I’m guilty. But I praise God for His mercy and His patience, that He doesn’t throw us out because we’re weak and because we’re kind of stupid sometimes. We don’t listen. He knows and He knows because He was here and He had to go through it Himself.

But anyway, there they were. They didn’t listen, so they were asleep. They thought they had it handled, and they went through this three times. In one of the places, I think it’s in Luke 22, He says at the end, “Get up and pray so that you will not fall into temptation.”

How many of us run into things in our lives that are stronger than we are? And we know they’re not the way they’re supposed to be, but time and time again they overpower us. Do you think there just might be a secret here? What’s the connection? What is the connection between the complete provision of God and my actually enjoying and entering into that? Think about that. Do you think there’s a truth here that maybe we need in a deeper way?

You know, I think back to the history of just this church, but it’s certainly a principle that’s often occurred in the growth of God’s Kingdom. We are heirs, in many ways, to some wonderful things, aren’t we? You know, you can always look and see, well, this was not perfect, that was not perfect, and human beings were involved. But I’ll tell you what, we were raised up by a man who had an anointing from God…unquestionable.

And, this church was born with a tremendous emphasis on prayer and the need for God. There are things that we just sort of float along in today that were hewed out in prayer, by people laying hold of God. I remember when I first came and I know that there was an unusual move of God going on, but we’d come to church and prayer rooms would be full, and it’s not the form, necessarily. But there were people who were energized by God. They were crying out to God and you could just feel the atmosphere. God was just inhabiting that atmosphere.

It wasn’t a matter of coming together and regurgitating our doctrines, singing our songs, going through all the outward…and how easy is it to do some of that? You wind up with a hand-me-down religion and the feeling is, if I say it right, if I do it right, if I assert the right things and we do everything, we sort of follow along the history of what we’ve got, then we’ve got it! God will show up! We’re good!

But that’s not the way it is in God’s Kingdom. We are dealing with power, like I say, that we don’t understand. The spirit of the world…do you think that’s just kind of a neutral thing of people saying, no, I don’t go along with God? No, there is a force in the darkness of this world and we know…we’re told in Ephesians 6 that we’re not dealing with flesh and blood. We’re dealing with powers and principalities, the rulers of this darkness, this present darkness. There’s a spiritual kingdom that rules over this planet.

And the reason men are blinded to the Gospel is because there is satanic power that has them in a grip. There is no human persuasion that can break that. I don’t care how you explain it. I don’t care what you say, what words you use. I don’t care how sincere, how nice the sounds are, the melodies, the harmonies! None of that will touch Satan’s power over people’s lives, let alone us. We need God’s presence. We need God’s power!

We need God to invade, because Paul talks in Colossians chapter 1…I’m trying to remember the exact scripture. But the Lord talks about how He has translated us, He has rescued us from the power of darkness! He doesn’t even just say from the kingdom. He says, rescued us from the power of darkness and, “…translated us into the kingdom of his dear Son.” (KJV).

There is a power where God literally has to mount a rescue mission to capture somebody who is hopelessly entangled under Satan’s power and dominion. That’s the nature of the Kingdom of God. That’s the nature of the Gospel. That’s what it takes to serve God.

Folks, if we’ve just got a Sunday-go-to-meeting, assert the right things, sing the right songs, say a ‘now I lay me down to sleep’ prayer, we are in worse shape than Peter. And we wonder why things in our lives don’t give way, why we don’t have power over them. And I’ll tell you what, God is wanting to teach us the nature of His Kingdom. If we don’t come to a place, if I don’t come a place where we recognize the weakness that we have and how desperately we need Him, we’re gonna muddle through, at best. I want to be useful to the Lord in this hour, don’t you?

( congregational response ).

I believe God has a purpose in raising this people up and bringing us together. We’re not here just to play religion, play church. We’re here for Jesus Christ to have a beach-head, an outpost, if you will, of His Kingdom where He rules, where He can bring people and they can actually have power that will break Satan’s hold over their lives, open their eyes to see the need of a Savior!

But it’s not just Satan’s power out here, is it? It is the power of this old, corrupted life that we have! Man, it does not want to die! And the only way we could ever be a part of God’s Kingdom is for it to die.