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Rainbow Divider
MCM Broadcast

TV Broadcast #1303

Overcoming the Beast

September 24, 2017

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Transcript of message from TV Broadcast 1303 -- taken from Closed Captioning Text

— Brother Phil Enlow: How many of us can say, Lord, I love You? I want to serve You. I thank You for the freedom. Lord, have people point to me because they’re gonna see You.

You wonder why we’re experiencing some of the things that we’re experiencing right now. See, the Lord is wanting to take us closer and closer to that place. It’s not a leap where you suddenly are there. This is a process. This is a journey, not a destination. But it’s a journey we need to take and not just throw up our hands and say, this is the way it is. I’m just stuck here.

“…Live by the Spirit, and you will not gratify the desires of the sinful nature.” (NIV). And the words behind this next expression about ‘the sinful nature desires what is contrary’…there’s an adverse relationship. They are enemies. You have two literal life forces that are at war with each other!

As I say, sin is not just a list of things not to do. Those are expressions of a nature that is opposed to everything about God’s nature. And I’ll tell you, God’s nature defines His creation. The other life is like a cancer. It is a wicked life form that destroys everything it touches!

And what’s deceptive about it is it promises and actually delivers moments of pleasure! It appeals…what it does, what sin nature does is take the gifts of God that He gave us in His creation and perverts them into a selfish use that totally twists His purpose in giving them to us in the first place.

God is not against pleasure. We haven’t even begun to taste what pleasure’s about. There are pleasures forevermore at His right hand. But they will be free from all of this selfish kind of thing that just takes a hold and takes people down the road like that woman said. She was terrified by how out of control this thing felt to her. She just…it had become the master.

I’ll tell you, the pleasure that He gives doesn’t do that. It sets free. We can enjoy the sense of peace with God and the love and all the fruits that He’s given to us. We can enjoy them. The closer we get to Him, the more real pleasure there will be!

But oh, there’s a war going on. There are these adverse life forms. We possess it. Don’t you look in the mirror and say, I’m different. You’re not. You’ve got it, and if you listen to it, if you go by it, it’s gonna take you down a bad road.

You know, I think we read recently the scripture about, in James 1 about not saying when you’re tempted, God’s tempting me. Because we’re tempted when we’re drawn away by our own lusts. “Then when lust hath conceived, it bringeth forth sin: and sin, when it is finished…” (KJV). See, it’s not an instantaneous thing. “…Sin, when it is finished, bringeth forth death.” Oh, thank God there’s an answer for that awful beast!

( congregational amens ).

Thank God! I hope, in one sense, if you’ve never felt the terror of that beast that you will. Because what it does is help us never again to take it lightly, to blow it off and just think we can handle life. You can’t. If you just run through in your own strength, sin will take you over in one form or another. It will rule your life.

So, “They are in conflict with each other, so that you…” This is the reason. “…So that you do not do what you want.” (NIV). This is the reason Paul felt that helplessness. It’s because they were adverse to one another.

“But if you are led by the Spirit, you are not under law.” And so now, he gives examples. “The acts of the sinful nature are obvious.” This is not sin itself, but this is what sin does. These are some of the things. “Sexual immorality, impurity and debauchery; idolatry and witchcraft: hatred, discord, jealousy, fits of rage, selfish ambition, dissensions, factions and envy; drunkenness, orgies, and the like.” So, it’s not a comprehensive list, is it? “I warn you, as I did before, that those who live like this will not inherit the kingdom of God.” That’s a description of the world.

“But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control.” Boy, we need that last one, don’t we? “Against such things there is no law. Those who belong to Christ Jesus have crucified the sinful nature with its passions and desires.” So, Paul is constantly going back to what God has done for us, isn’t he? Thank God there’s always someplace we can look where there’s hope.

But listen to what he says here. Verse 25 is revealing. “Since we live by the Spirit, let us keep in step with the Spirit.” Now, what does that tell you? They’re not the same thing, are they? It’s possible to be born of God’s Spirit and have His life in you and yet not walk in accordance with that. Why would he spend so much time in the Scriptures warning about this issue if it didn’t matter?

You know, it’s quite a balance to take this thing so seriously that we recognize the power of that beast and yet, not to be discouraged, not to be down, not to be defeated, not to have the sense of futility that you could get if that’s all you looked at. I want to have that balance.

I believe Paul did, don’t you? He was honest enough to say, man, you have got a real enemy here. You’ve got something that, if you’re gonna serve God, you’re gonna have to fight. You’re gonna have to gain the upper hand. You’re gonna have to rule over this thing if you’re gonna successfully serve God.

But thank God we have got the answer to everything that rises up in here! There is a power that is greater that’s available to every single one of us! We didn’t earn it! We don’t deserve it! But God has given it to everyone who will take a hold of it.

And I know everyone who’s served the Lord any length of time, you know the difference between kind of walking with the Lord, and there’s a measure of peace. There’s a measure of victory. It’s not just feelings. And then all of the sudden, you get tired, and you kind of drift. And the next thing you know, you’ve got things start coming into your mind. You’ve got things that begin to, begin to work on you and begin to take you down roads. And I’ll tell you, if you’re not careful, it’ll take down some bad roads. Thank God, we’ve got an answer.

But there’s that admonition, “Since we live by the Spirit….” We have His life. If we’ve come to Christ, if we put our faith in Him and recognize Lord, I come to You as a sinner. I come to You because I need salvation. Lord, let the blood that was shed back there cover my sins. I need that new life. I need that new life that’s gonna blossom and gonna live forever. I’ll tell you, there’s a God who’ll answer a heart cry like that.

But then, the Christian life begins. Then is when we need to learn how to walk by the Spirit, how to spend time. And it’s not just religious rites and activities. It’s lifting our hearts to Him. You know, when we’re awake, it’s just lifting our hearts and saying, Lord, I love You. Lord, I need You. Lord, help me to solve this.

And I feel this thing coming against my mind, and it’s not just a bunch of patter. God has to teach us how to live with a consciousness of Him, that’s not just activities, not just, okay, I’ve got to read this, I’ve got to do that. You can reduce the Christian life to a bunch of duties if you’re not careful.

But I’ll tell you, there is something real that He’s describing here. It’s a real war, but God has made provision that you and I can have a real victory. And so, I hope this helps all of us to understand some of the battles that we’re in.

Romans 6 is certainly a chapter, and I don’t want to spend a lot more time. But let me go to Romans chapter 6, because this is the one where Paul is really dealing with this issue in a very straightforward way. He’s just informed us that those who live by the Spirit, those who draw upon God’s grace in this life have the ability, by that grace, by that strength that we receive from Heaven, to reign in life. That is, we’re in charge. Sin’s not in charge. That’s what it comes down to.

And where sin got stronger and stronger because of God’s law, God’s grace is greater than that. Thank God! Thank God there’s a source of help and hope that we have in Him! It’s always greater.

But now, Paul goes back to the Cross and to what happened there and the resurrection and helps us to understand. And something more happened than simply Jesus dying for the guilt of my sins. It’s that He took me with Him. I died with Him. It’s not a matter of how I feel, not a matter of whether I even understand it, because the people to whom he was writing, this was new stuff, I’m sure, to them.

But this is something God did knowing that I was going to face the issues that I faced this week, the last week before that, wherever, whenever it was, the issues that you’re facing right now, God knew that. God knew that there was something that was going to rise up in us that was contrary to Him that we’re gonna have battle against and overcome! And He already put us to death back there.

So, we’re not trying to make something happen that hopefully will happen someday. We are laying hold of something that’s already happened. Do you understand the difference? Think about it. Praise God! I’m in a position where I’m just right there with you, trying to lay hold of the reality of what God has done.

When He died, I died. When He was buried, I was buried. God put me in the ground. When He came forth, there was a new life. The life that’s in me was in Him when He came out of that tomb. And now He has shared it with me, and He’s shared it with you if you’re His. Thank God, it’s real!

( congregational response ).

Let me see where I want to pick this up…verse 8, “Now if we died with Christ, we believe that we will also live with him. For we know that since Christ was raised from the dead, he cannot die again…” Thank God. “…Death no longer has mastery over him. The death he died, he died to sin once for all.”

It represented not just a death because of sin, it was a death to it! It was a rejection of that beast! It said I’m gonna face you and I’m gonna beat you the only way that I can. I’m gonna surrender my body to death, and I’m gonna rise up with a new life that you can’t touch. Praise God!

“…He cannot die again; death no longer has mastery over him. The death he died, he died to sin once for all; but the life he lives, he lives to God. In the same way, count yourselves dead to sin but alive to God in Christ Jesus.”

There, now, here’s where it gets down to the practical side, because what he’s about to say, if we did not have…I mean, if it was sort of an automatic thing, we come to Christ and, praise God, sin has no more power to do us any damage, why would he say what he’s about to say? “Therefore do not let sin reign in your mortal body so that you obey its evil desires.” It’d make no sense to say that if it wasn’t possible.

“Do not offer the parts of your body to sin, as instruments of wickedness, but rather offer yourselves to God, as those who have been brought from death to life; and offer the parts of your body to him as instruments of righteousness. For sin shall not be your master, because you are not under law…” Thank God. “…But under grace.”

And he goes on to talk about the fact that when you offer yourself, if you and I are tempted in some area, there are areas of weakness in every one of us. Your area might not be getting drunk and falling in the gutter somewhere, but you’ve got other things where Satan has had access to your heart, to your spirit, to your mind. And under the right conditions, he will cultivate that. He will work in that. There are habits that develop in the way we think, the way we act, and God is shining His light in our lives.

You wonder why the battles? God is interested in delivering us from strongholds that we may not even realize we have. And so, as painful as it sometimes is, as humbling as it is, thank God for that, too, we have reason to rejoice. We have reason to say thank You, Lord for the light, because I didn’t realize this had such a hold on me. God, help me! God, help me to be honest with myself! Help me to face what’s going on, to realize the enemy has created a habit of thinking and acting!

You know, I had this thought also, thinking about this. It talks about ‘don’t yield,’ but when is it that we actually yield? When do we actually yield? I think I used this silly example one time. It was from…what was that crazy movie? Sheriff Buford T. Justice was in it. Anyway, you remember what I’m talking about.

But anyway, he had arrested some young punks for trying to steal stuff from a car, and he left them putting their hands on the car. He said wait, my deputy will be here. And he says, don’t even think about it. You know, don’t think about doing anything else. He said well, you can think about it. Just don’t do it.

( laughter ).

But you know, that illustrates, I think sometimes, the approach we have. We think if we don’t actually do something that it’s okay. At what point are we really yielding? If you’re letting negative thinking and angry thoughts or self-pitying thoughts, if you’re letting those possess your mind, you’re already yielded. Now, that may unfold and lead you down a path to an act, but the yielding doesn’t happen down here, it happened back here.

It’s a lot to think about, isn’t it? But you know, I’m so thankful that what Paul is talking about here is not simply a negative battle not to do stuff. It’s…we have another alternative. We don’t just ‘not’ yield to this. We yield to Him. There is a reaching out after God. There is a reckoning on the reality of what Jesus died to give us. There is something that is real that God has laid up for you in Heaven. It belongs to you! It belongs to me!

And the very fact that everybody is so quiet right now tells me that this is a battle. It’s a battle to realize that, in spite of what I am in myself, that really is mine. Am I the only one who fights this battle? No! You know, the devil will…as soon as we feel, as soon as we realize the weaknesses, or as soon as we sense something that’s not quite like it ought to be, oh man, our focus goes to that.

And suddenly, oh, this glorious provision, well, that’s wonderful for somebody or later or something when I get myself back up a certain spiritual level. I don’t deserve it. I don’t…you know, I just can’t quite bring myself to believe that it really is mine now.

You know, I believe with all my heart God is longing to teach us that that’s the very time—that is the very time…if we’re going to fight the good fight of the faith, that’s the time we’re gonna have to be willing to rise up and say, Lord, that’s mine. Devil, you are lying to me. You are doing everything in your power to keep me as your slave.

Because Paul talks about, if you offer yourself to somebody, and you obey what they tell you, you are making yourself their slave whether they have a right to it or not. There are people here right now with strongholds in your lives that didn’t happen because…I mean, the reason they happened is you yielded. I yielded. There are things to which we have habitually yielded in our lives that God longs to see us delivered from so we can be effective for Him.

But thank God, He’s not just standing up there with His arms folded, looking down at us with a disgust, and saying, straighten up and fly right. He’s saying I know what you’re feeling. I’ve been here. I have the answer. I have a source of life that if you will exercise yourself, if you will simply pray, if you will lift your heart to Me, if you will praise Me, if you will fight against, if you will resist those lies and declare them to be what they are, if you will feast upon the promises of My Word, if you will do all these things, there’s a source of life that will flow into you that will give you a strength to stand up and say, Devil, I don’t have to listen to you. I don’t have to yield to your lies. I don’t have to go down that road. God has given me the victory. Thanks be to God who gives us the victory!

( congregational amens ).

Praise God…1st Corinthians 15, if you want to look at that at the end of the chapter. I want to go back and just go back to one scripture that I referred to in Timothy. I’m not even gonna look up where it’s at right now, but where he says, “Fight the good fight of faith…” (KJV). What does he say next?

( congregation inaudible ).

In the King James this is how I tend to remember it. “…Lay hold on eternal life.” See, it’s not just fight the good fight of the faith. Draw upon your resources! Get your will power geared up, and you’ll…no! It’s ‘lay hold.’ There’s something there that is real. If we are not victorious in any area of our life, it’s not because God has failed. It’s because we are not laying hold of what He’s given to us.

Just like the Israelites, God gave them the land, but they had to go and possess it. This is the land He wants us to possess. And so, along with God’s call and God’s working in our lives to make us into the vessels He wants…like Paul, “we have this treasure in earthen vessels…” and there’s a part that we play. We’re gonna have to do some fighting. We’re gonna have to do some laying hold of what He has given to us through the Cross.

And so, I think this thought we need to be left with is not, oh my God, this beast is so terrible, and I have no chance. It’s rather, I have all that I need in Jesus Christ.

( congregational amens ).

His promises, His grace transcend everything that…I don’t care how bad that beast is. I don’t care how long He’s been around. He was defeated at the Cross, and whether I can just rise up right now and suddenly be totally free, I can start. I can believe God today. I don’t have to worry about tomorrow or yesterday. I can put yesterday under the blood. I can let God take care of tomorrow.

Right now, I can stand there and say God said this. This is where I stand. I do not have to listen to you. I am going to become the slave, as Paul put it, to righteousness rather than a slave to sin. And I can do that because His grace is greater. And so, I’m going to…in my pursuit of what you have called me to, I’m gonna stand when You allow something in my life that tests my faith.

But this is the greatest test. This is the greatest battle we fight. It’s not the devil out there. It’s in here. It’s what’s in here, and God has given us the victory over this, as well. His salvation has touched every issue that you and I could ever face. So, if your life is caught by something, I want to point you to Jesus. If you’re fighting a battle and you’re discouraged, I point you to Jesus. He is the answer!

He rules, and he reigns! He didn’t do that for Himself! He did that and went to the Cross because of us and our need. And I don’t want to be one that says it’s not enough. It is enough, all that He did. Thank God for Jesus Christ.

So, “fight the good fight of faith, lay hold on eternal life.” It’s there. It belongs to you, because He paid the price. You and I don’t have to earn that. We don’t have to pay it. He did it. It’s complete. To Him be the glory forever and ever!

( congregational amens ).

Praise God! I believe, with all my heart, God is bringing forth a people who are going to rise up and begin to say, no, to things that we have been caught by. And we’re gonna do it, not because we’re strong or worthy, because He has won it. He has won the battle at the Cross. To Him be the glory. Praise God!