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Rainbow Divider
MCM Broadcast

TV Broadcast #1290

Serve the Lord With Gladness

June 25, 2017

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Transcript of message from TV Broadcast 1290 -- taken from Closed Captioning Text

— Brother Phil Enlow: We’re coming into an hour where we’re gonna need the Lord like we’ve never needed Him before. God is going to raise up lights in the earth. Lights are not great big ‘somebodies’ who stand up on a stage, and everybody says, “Wow.” Lights are ordinary Christians who experience the things of life that everybody else does in one sense, but there is something there that you cannot explain naturally. It’s God who has reproduced His nature in them.

You think about Jesus right before he was arrested, praying in the hearing of His disciples, John 17. Well, let me read it so I get it exactly right, John 17. There’s one verse that just kind of jumped out at me. I looked it up. It would be good if I opened a Bible once, wouldn’t it? In verse 13, Jesus prays to His Father and said, “I am coming to you now….” (NIV).

What an expression of faith! He was about to go into a grave by way of a cross. But He understood that there was something past that, and He said, “I am coming to you now, but I say these things while I am still in the world…” Why? “…So that they may have the full measure of my joy within them.”

Think about saying something like that facing the cross! Yeah, I know He dealt with the horror of it. He prayed, oh God, if there’s any other way, but He said, not my will but Yours. But yet, on the inside, He knew that was the way and instead of being all self-absorbed, He saw the joy. There was an incredible joy seeing the Father’s plan and purpose and what He was going to accomplish out of that. He opened Heaven’s door. He opened the door for a brand-new world for every one that’s part of His kingdom. And He was just so excited about it on the inside in spite of what He had to go through to get there.

Folks, do we realize that we need to go through some stuff to get there, too? Did not Paul exhort the young churches, “…that we must through much tribulation enter into the kingdom of God”? He didn’t say it’s optional. We’re gonna have to go against a whole lot of things from this world. But do you know we can do that and still have joy? Jesus did, and He prayed that we would experience His joy. Praise God!

You know, I thought of one thing that will absolutely keep anybody that this applies to from having any kind of joy at all, and that’s sin. If there’s something in a life that has a hold and it’s unrepented of, unacknowledged, there’s no way you will ever have any joy. Think about David. How many times have we pointed out what he went through? A man of God…how did it all start? He wasn’t where he was supposed to be. It was the time when kings went out to battle and he said, I think I’ll sit this one out. Boy, we’re…it’s so easy give in, isn’t it?

( congregational amens ).

But there was just a carelessness of spirit that began to just sort of… all of a sudden, instead of it’s about Him, it becomes about me and my comfort and my ease, my welfare. What a trap it is to be self-absorbed where we get to be the center of what’s going on, and David fell in it.

And one thing led to another until he was guilty of a terrible sin and so desensitized to what had happened that he didn’t even know. He just didn’t get it until a prophet put his finger in his face.

But one of the things that he prayed…he prayed in Psalm 51. He prayed a prayer that was full of honesty. It was a straight up model prayer for us, for when we get caught in things. He asked for mercy. He didn’t begin to justify. He didn’t point fingers, didn’t do anything except, oh God, I’m exactly what You say I am. Oh God, I have no claim upon You but mercy. You know everything about me.

And it’s, “Against you, you only, have I sinned and done what is evil in your sight, so that you are proved right when you speak and justified when you judge. Surely I was sinful at birth, sinful from the time my mother conceived me. Surely you desire truth in the inner parts….” See, this is where what we do on the outside penetrates into here, and this is in harmony with what we do. You can come in here and sing the songs and your heart not be here. You think God’s stupid, and He doesn’t get that? Oh God, help us.

( congregational amens ).

But He is. “Cleanse me with hyssop, and I will be clean; wash me, and I will be whiter than snow. Let me hear joy and gladness; let the bones you have crushed rejoice.” See the joy and the gladness? He didn’t have any of that. He didn’t even realize it! He got so desensitized, so down in this lower realm, the bottom of the mountain, that he was just lost in the world of self-gratification, self…thinking about me, what’s my life gonna be about today, that he’s lost all touch with God.

And there was nothing of the joy of God that he had sung about so many times there. In that state, he could not have told anybody about the goodness of God, was useless to the kingdom. Down there, he says, “Create in me a pure heart, O God.” Boy, he recognized it was gonna take a miracle. “Create in me a pure heart, O God, and renew a steadfast spirit within me. Do not cast me from your presence or take your Holy Spirit from me.”

But listen to this, “Restore to me the joy of your salvation….” Is there anybody here, and you don’t have any joy, and you know, if you’re honest, that’s there’s something in your life that God wants to put His finger on and have you come honest, come clean about? God has joy for you!

( congregational amens ).

God has cleansing! God has forgiveness for you, but if you cling to that, and you say, no, this is what I want, you’ll stay right where you’re at. Oh, I’ll tell you what, we need to serve the Lord, and we need to serve Him with gladness, don’t we?

He says, “Restore to me the joy of your salvation and grant me a willing spirit, to sustain me. Then I will teach transgressors your ways, and sinners will turn back to you.” You see the connection between having the joy of the Lord in our hearts and being able to do what we do with a heart that’s says I’m glad to be doing what I’m doing?

Praise God! This is awesome! I get to be with the Lord. “I was glad when they said unto me, Let us go into the house of the Lord.” (KJV). David said. Time to pray again? Oh, my God. Time to do this. I think I’ll sit it out this time. I think I’ll, you know…oh, Lord, help us!

( congregational amens ).

As I say, you know, one of the temptations as you get older sometimes is to give in to weariness. But if it isn’t that, when you’re younger, it’s distraction. The world suddenly…activities become so much the center of thought and action and effort, that all of a sudden the things of the Lord get to be just kind of empty shells. You still come. You still do it, sometimes, but there’s nothing really on the inside going on.

I tell you, God is raising up a people who have not just the outside, but they have it in here. They have a heart that connects with God. They have a heart that’s glad, that rejoices, that absolutely opens their heart and says Lord, fill me with Your joy. I’m a candidate. I need a lot of this.

( congregational amens ).

I confess it. I confess to catching myself at times really struggling in this area. Am I the only one?

( congregational response ).

No, I know I’m not. I know it’s one reason the Lord allows somebody up here to go through things, because I know what you’re going through. I know what it’s like. Some of you are younger. I’ve been down the road a little longer than you have. Just wait. You’re full of vim and vigor right now. The day will come.

You remember the words of the Lord to Peter. Right before…well, not long before He ascended, and they were on the seashore there. And the Lord said to him, when you were young, you girded yourself and went where you wanted to go. When you’re older, when you should be old, you’ll stretch forth your hands, and another will gird you and carry you where you don’t want to go.

Now you know how the Lord used that with Brother Thomas that one time. It wasn’t just about being physically crucified. It was, you’re gonna come to the time when you’re gonna surrender to Me, and you’re gonna do things in the natural you wouldn’t want to go, you wouldn’t want to do. You can’t rouse up your natural energy to say, oh boy, I want to go there. This is…your nature’s gonna fight against it. But you’re gonna stretch forth your hand, and I’m gonna gird you and carry you where you don’t want to go.

But you know, it’s awful easy to kind of yield to that ‘I don’t want to do that’ side of it. You see, there is that tension that goes on. He said, this is the way. This is the death by which you’re gonna glorify me. If we’re gonna serve God, we’re gonna have to go against what this flesh demands, what it wants, falling under its dominion by catering to it in so many ways, walking into the devil’s dungeon. Before you know it, you’ll do something you think is harmless and next thing you know, it’s got a grip on you and you can’t break it!

We’re gonna have to do what Brother Thomas used to say so many times, start where you’re at with what you have. And start where you’re at with what you don’t have. Just start. But if the Lord shines a light on something, then He means for us to walk in that, and He means for us to turn around and go the other direction and say, Lord, help me.

And I know this has been pointed out many times. It’s the simple truth again that we don’t wait for feelings of joy to whelm up in our being in order to do what we need to do. We rejoice. Rejoice is an act of the will. That’s a choice that we make in the face, many times, of very contrary emotions.

And out of rejoicing, we will be able to say, by faith oftentimes, thank You, Lord. And I’m not thanking You just as a form. I’m thanking You because I believe Your Word is true! See, even the exercise of faith can be an empty form if we’re not careful. Of course, you can do it…well, thank You [sarcastically].

( laughter ).

But I mean, even when we just say, thank You, Lord, God wants it to come from the heart where we say Lord, I know that the way You have set before me is the right one. I know You know what I need. I know You have the plan. I don’t want to be like the horse and the mule that David talked about. You’ve got to whop them upside the head to get them the go where you want them to go. I want to be able to have a sensitized heart that agrees with You quickly.

I don’t want to be the one that resists the adversary when the Lord’s the adversary of this old nature. I want to agree with Him quickly while I’m in the way so I don’t wind up in prison.

I know this is an area where the enemy works, because if he can undermine and turn what we do, to any degree, into a form, then he has absolutely robbed us of all that matters in our lives individually and as a people. And I want to be one that when the world looks on, they see somebody who has something that radiates from the inside, and it won’t be me. It’s just letting Him dwell there to the point where He’s changed my way of looking at life, He’s changed my values system. He’s changed me into someone who is just willing to be the clay.

Lord, You know my path. You know what I need, and I am in agreement with it to the point where I’m gonna thank You from my heart. I’m gonna let You deal with the emotions. You could give me emotions if You want to, but I am going to rejoice in You, and I’m gonna believe You.

And I tell you, emotions will oftentimes come at the proper time. It’s not that the Lord wants to turn the Christian life into drudgery, anything but. But it’s gonna have to be by faith. If we’re gonna wait like the children…if we’re gonna react like the children of Israel, we’re gonna have a hard time.

They were glad enough to dance and shout and rejoice in the Lord on the shores of the Red Sea…the other shore, not the first one, the other shore after they’d come through and seen the victory. And you couldn’t have shut them up. They were having a party. Three days later, they were ready to…they were full of bitter complaint. They brought us out here to the desert to kill us. We don’t even have any water. What’s wrong? Oh, how up and down, how unhinged we are from simply trusting God.

( congregational amens ).

And the measure of so much of this is simply this. Are you a happy Christian, or are you a grudging, just going through the motions kind of Christian? It got quiet again. But I believe the Lord, again, is not telling us any of this to be condemning. He knows what it’s like to live here. He knows what we go through.

But it surely is a word that should cause every one of us to say Lord, help me. Shine the light where it needs to be shined in my heart. Lord, I want to serve You, but I want to serve You with gladness. I want there to be something there that makes me glad when I think about You and when I think about the Word of God, when I think about prayer, when I think about fellowshipping with the saints.

It’s not just a carnal, hey, I like them. I like being with them kind of thing. But there’s a spiritual connection that lifts my spirits when I think about it. I want to have a joy when I think about serving You even when it’s difficult. I don’t want it to be, oh, my God, I’d rather do something else, but I’ve got to go. I’ve got to put in an appearance.

I tell you, young people growing up in the church have a challenge here. You’ve been raised to come, but at some point, it’s got to get in your heart. You need to see what it’s about. You need to meet the Lord that this is about. And God help every one of us older ones to model this. It is not enough to come in here and sing joy, joy, joy, if we don’t have any. How many of us are weak right now because we’re not believing in, and rejoicing and being in harmony enough with the Lord to experience His joy? He prayed that we’d have it.

( congregational amens ).

It’s the second of the fruits of the spirit. It belongs to us! We have a right to it. The devil has no right to steal that joy from us. We let him by agreeing with him and walking according to the dictates of our flesh instead of believing Him. It’s wonderful when we can be together, and our feelings are good and everything’s kind of propped up.

But I’ll tell you, when we get out there, and it doesn’t go that way, how many of us can come in here and sing, joy, joy, joy and intellectually agree with it? And we’ll sing….we’ll talk about how we know that everything works together for good. We know in the world we’re gonna have trouble, and we just intellectually: yeah, yeah, yeah. And we walk out, and we say, sort of, oh, wait a minute, you mean me?

( laughter ).


( laughing ).

We totally forget to bring that into real life and say, Lord, You have brought me into a place to do something in me that cannot be done any other way. And Lord, this is not pleasant, but I know Your promises are true, and I’m gonna lean on them. I’m gonna take advantage of this. It’s an opportunity to take advantage of the truths of Your Word and learn to lean upon You in a way that will do something that nothing else can do.

Lord, this is awesome! You’re doing this to get me ready for a world that I cannot even imagine at this point. But Lord, thank You! This is necessary. Lord, I’m gonna rejoice in You. I’m not gonna become one of these self-absorbed people that life is all about me, and what’s happening to me, and what somebody did to me that drove me to eat a whole box of cookies. It was their fault!

( laughing ).

( laughter ).

We laugh, but we do it in one form or another. God, help us to get out of that narrowness of self into His heights and depths. And I believe He’s willing.

You know, I thought of one scripture, and this will probably be enough. But think of the words of Peter in the first chapter…because this is a picture of what the Lord wants if our eyes are in the right place. Verse 3, I’ll pick it up at verse 3, familiar scripture, “Praise be to the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ! In his great mercy he has given us new birth into a living hope through the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead…” (NIV). That’s a pretty strong foundation there. “…And into an inheritance that can never perish, spoil or fade—kept in heaven for you, who through faith are shielded by God’s power until the coming of the salvation that is ready to be revealed in the last time.”

Wow! “In this you greatly rejoice, though now for a little while you may have had to suffer grief in all kinds of trials. These have come so that your faith—of greater worth than gold, which perishes even though refined by fire—may be proved genuine and may result in praise, glory and honor when Jesus Christ is revealed.”

Now, how do we react to all of this? “Though you have not seen him, you love him; and even though you do not see him now, you believe in him and are filled with an inexpressible and glorious joy, for you are receiving the goal of your faith, the salvation of your souls.”

What a picture. An incredible foundation based on something entirely that God did! He has brought us into it! Part of the purpose of entering into all that He has for us is that we’re gonna have to do some dying, but the vision is always kept up where it needs to be. I get it. I know, Lord, why You’re doing this. I know why it’s necessary, and I see where this is going, and I am so…I was gonna used the word jazzed. I’ll just do it anyway.

( laughter ).

 I am so jazzed by it. That’s a pretty out of date expression, isn’t it? But anyway. I’m dating myself. But praise God! Isn’t that something to rejoice about?

( congregational response ).

Praise the Lord! This is what the Lord desires for every one of us. If there’s anything in your life that has become a form, if there’s any drudgery, any, oh my God, I’ve got to do that again kind of thing really kind of lurking down in there somewhere, let’s ask the Lord to help us so that we can do what He desires.

He doesn’t want anybody to be like that. He doesn’t get any joy or glory out of people going around, I’ve got to serve the Lord. He wants us to do it with joy, with gladness. Come into His presence with singing. Know the Lord. Know Him that He is the Lord.

And I tell you, there’s a joy that He will enter in to. There’ll be connections with Him where we will experience His joy. You don’t do it just so…like a drug addict, I want the feeling. I want the reality. The feelings will take care of themselves, and they’ll fit in at the proper place. I’ll tell you, there’s something that’s much deeper that God can do in our spirits where there’s a joy that just holds steady, and it shines out to people that are looking on, and I pray that God will do that for every single one of us starting with me. Praise the Lord!