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Rainbow Divider
MCM Broadcast

TV Broadcast #1319

Don’t Follow Your Heart

January 14, 2018

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— Brother Phil Enlow: “As the Holy Spirit says: Today, if you hear his voice, do not harden your hearts…” (NIV). You know, every time that God convicts, every time He talks to you and begins to point out something, a need in your life, and you brush it away, you have a way of side-stepping and saying, no, it’s not quite like that. You don’t quite get it. Every single time that there is a resistance to the truth that would come searching in our hearts and we say, no and we find a way to side step it, hardness happens.

And there does come a day when that hardness is so hard that the Word of God with all its power has no more effect. Oh my God. “…Do not harden your hearts as you did in the rebellion.” Now he’s quoting the Old Testament, looking back at the Israelites who saw all the amazing things that God did. It wasn’t just a question of coming and hearing a sermon, even though there’s life in it. It wasn’t just that. They saw a mountain on fire. They saw the Red Sea open up before them. They saw God destroy the armies of Egypt. They saw the wonders that He had done! They knew that this God was powerful and real!

And yet, there was a persistence in going by their own thoughts, their own ideas, their own way, their own desires! Everything was about them and what they thought! They never came to a place where they trusted this God. It was always question. Always, You tell me what You want, God, and I’ll decide. We’ve got to get the point where we trust, period! We understand what He’s about and how much He loves us.

So, don’t do it, “…as you did in the rebellion, during the time of testing in the desert, where your fathers tested and tried me and for forty years saw what I did. That is why I was angry with that generation, and I said, Their hearts are always going astray….” The center of their being never got on track. All that happened to them…if there was a blessing like crossing the Red Sea, they were… man, they were stoked! They had a party. That was awesome! They could rejoice! They could dance and sing and praise this God for what He’d done! But it never got all the way down here. Never touched the depths of their being, never changed them on the inside.

“That is why I was angry with that generation, and I said, Their hearts are always going astray, and they have not known my ways. So I declared on oath in my anger, They shall never enter my rest.”

Now, here’s the thing. “See to it, brothers, that none of you has a sinful, unbelieving heart that turns away from the living God.” You know, I mentioned Judas, and how easily he was turned aside. But what a testimony of a man named Demas. What about him? Here was somebody who actually traveled with Paul…seemed to be part of it…everybody looking on. In fact, one time he sends greetings from Demas.

In his last letter, he said, “Demas hath forsaken me, having loved this present world…” (KJV). There was a deep reserve somewhere down in here where he had never let go. God had tried to touch it but always there was this closed up, hardened area. You know, God’s promise of the New Covenant had to do with the heart, didn’t it? He said, “…A new heart…a new spirit will I put within you; and I will take away the stony heart… and give you an heart of flesh.” What’s a stony heart?

( congregation inaudible ).

There are hard places in there, isn’t there? There’s resistance. There’s something that where self is so crystalized in a certain area that it just hangs on and hangs on to self and what self thinks, and what self wants. And as long as we’re doing that, we’re basically saying, God, I don’t trust You. I don’t think You really love me. I don’t think You really understand. This is too important, Lord. I’ve got to do it my way. I’ve got to think what I want to think.

Oh my word! And here’s the Lord, looking on and saying, yeah, and your way is gonna take you straight to hell, and I’m trying to help you, and trying to rescue you. I love you. Listen! “See to it, brothers, that none of you has a sinful, unbelieving heart that turns away from the living God. But encourage one another daily, as long as it is called Today, so that none of you may be hardened by sin’s …” What? “…Deceitfulness.” (NIV).

Once again, you’ve got a power in sin that lies to us! It causes us to feel like we’re doing the right thing, we’re doing the best thing for us, we’re doing what appeals to us in some fashion! There’s a logic we can build, a rationale to make everything seem so good and so right! And it’s nothing but a big house of cards. It’s a lie! All God has to do is to go, ‘poof’…and it collapses in a heap and we see there’s nothing there.

“…Hardened by sin’s deceitfulness. We have come to share in Christ if we hold firmly till the end the confidence we had at first.” I thank God, he’s not talking about, if we could hang on for dear life by our own strength. He’s talking about confidence—the sense that I need Him. I am trusting Him. I’m actively looking to Him. I am trusting Him with whatever He shines…wherever He shines His light, I need Him and I want Him. And my confidence in fixing what’s wrong in me is not in me! It’s a confidence in His power to save!

What was it that should have given them confidence in the wilderness to go right on in and take the land? It was the promise of God! They had every reason to believe this God, as we pointed out all the things that He had done! And now they’ve come to the land…oh, there are giants over there, we can’t possibly do this. That fundamental unbelief, lack of trust just rose up and the people rebelled against the promise and the heart of God.

But I’ll tell you, there’s something that’s born in the heart of His people, that always the bottom line…whatever the struggles we have, and we do…the bottom line is, I know He’s God. I know He loves me. I know His Word is true and I know whatever tries to rise up against that is a lie. And even though I don’t feel it, even though it doesn’t look like it, even though everything seems to be arrayed against the promises of God, I believe Him! My heart is fixed, as David said! My heart is fixed! I’m going to trust in Him come what may!

And that’s the thing that carries the people of God through, because that is not a self-effort. That is leaning upon the everlasting arms. That’s saying, God, I believe in Your power. You are mighty to save! And it’s not just some vague, general thing, You’re mighty to save me with all that’s wrong with me, if I’ll just believe You and trust You and stand fast. Oh, that’s what God is looking for.

So, all of them fell because of unbelief. “Therefore…” in chapter 4, “…since the promise of entering his rest still stands….” In other words, there’s still a promise. It wasn’t just about that. There’s still a promise that you and I can enter into a place of rest where we are resting upon the power of God and not anything in ourselves. We’re resting upon His truth, His wisdom, His love…all of His provision! It’s a place of rest because it’s something that He did! It still stands!

“Let us be careful that none of you be found to have fallen short of it.” That lady we talked about last week came to the brink of the Kingdom and something held her from going forward and stepping in and saying I surrender—I surrender all. That’s the Gospel. There’s no other gospel out there.

“For we also have had the gospel preached to us, just as they did; but the message they heard was of no value to them, because…” Why? “…Because those who heard did not combine it with faith. Now we who have believed enter that rest, just as God has said.” Praise God! I’ll tell you, this is a hard issue, isn’t it?

( congregational response ).

“He that trusteth in his own heart is a fool.” (KJV). Oh, young person, old person, I don’t care who, if you have bought into this world’s wisdom, if that’s what governs your life,..if that’s what’s really down here, here, wherever it is.

( laughing ).

( laughter ).

It’s not a physical thing. This is the center of our being. If that’s what governs you down here, that’s what determines what you do and what you think, if you follow that, you’re gonna perish. But God has opened a way, at the cost of His Son’s sacrifice on the cross, where we can give our hearts to Him and He can begin to remake them. Folks, this applies to believers. We need Him, don’t we? We need His Word to come searching.

( congregational amens ).

That’s why He comes down in this same chapter, and he says, “For the word of God…” verse 12, “…is living and active. Sharper than any double-edged sword, it penetrates even to dividing soul and spirit, joints and marrow…” (NIV). These are all symbolical things, but it means it gets right down to everything, whatever there is, it’s able to penetrate.

“…It judges the thoughts and attitudes of the heart.” See, we can fool one another, we can fool ourselves. That’s how deceptive all this is. But there is a light that is coming from heaven if we will open our hearts to it that will absolutely show us the truth. Now, we don’t like the truth. We don’t want to face the truth about ourselves. But I’ll tell you, there’s deliverance and peace and joy and freedom when we do!

( congregational amens ).

 Praise God! I need that light to come and I need it to shine in me. I know there’s things there that God’s working on. You know, David cried out for God to cleanse his heart, to purify his heart, to search his heart. All these things remind us that though we’ve even come and put our faith in Him, there’s still God working on areas where our heart has really still got holds on them. Where Jesus was tested in every point, you and I are still being tested. And if these things are coming out and they are just persistent in our lives, it’s because they’re in here and we need a deliverance in here.

( congregational amens ).

You know, we’re warned in James. And I’m just gonna refer to the scripture. It’s a few pages over. Because this is written to believers, and it’s warning about the conditions that can exist even among believers…fights and quarrels and all those kinds of things. Where do they come from? They come from in here, don’t they? “…Don’t you know…” in verse 4, “…that friendship with the world is hatred toward God? Anyone who chooses to be a friend of the world becomes an enemy of God.”

But he says later on, to purify your hearts you double-minded. God is looking for us to come to a place where our hearts are only going one direction. We’re not constantly being pulled in this other direction, but we’re willing to submit to that and say, God, you have the right to change my heart. You have the right to tell me the truth, because You love me!

You know, I had several thoughts along this line. One of them is this, that it’s awfully easy when we begin to see needs in ourselves, to become discouraged, to wonder if there’s any hope. To wonder, oh, my God, this is deadly serious and I feel so hopeless and so helpless in myself. Do you know God does not give us His light to make us feel that way? He never speaks to us to take away hope, to cause us to feel discouraged.

It’s interesting if you go back to chapter 4 of Hebrews…this is where it also, by the way, talks about how nothing in all creation is hidden from God’s sight. “Everything is uncovered and laid bare before the eyes of him to whom we must give account.” No one is gonna arrive on that day and say, well, God doesn’t know about this. God knows every, everything. He has got a perfect record of every thought, every motive, everything. Folks, who are we fooling?

But it’s in this context, he says, “Therefore, since we have a great high priest who has gone through the heavens, Jesus the Son of God, let us hold firmly to the faith we profess.” This is a confidence that’s placed in Him, not in us. “For we do not have a high priest who is unable to sympathize with our weaknesses, but we have one who has been 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.”

Isn’t that an interesting way to put this truth that sounds so scary? Oh, God knows everything. We’re gonna have to tell Him about it. We’re gonna have to face it one day. But yet, to put that Scripture right next to this…don’t be afraid, don’t be discouraged. You’ve got Someone in heaven who understands. You’ve got Someone there who’s ready to help. You’ve Somebody who will shine the light in your heart, but He’s also going to ride to the rescue with the help that you need!

( congregational amens ).

If there’s sin, He can cleanse! If there’s weakness, He can make you stronger! He can help you and He can give you a new heart and a new spirit put within you! So, the light, it becomes not our enemy but our friend! It becomes the pathway to deliverance, one from which we would naturally shrink, but it’s our very salvation if we’ll humble ourselves and look to Him.

You know, one of the scriptures I ran into was…I’m not going to turn over there, I’ll just…I think I can quote it basically. But it had to do with Asa, one of the kings of Israel. And he was a man that had served God and been blessed of God and God had given him victories, he had sought to honor him in so many ways…King of Judah.

And late in in his life he came to a place where he was threatened with war and instead of going to God about it, where he had always gotten the help before, he calls the King of Syria…sent some of the temple treasures to him and says, come help me in this war!

Folks, we need to trust God! But what the Lord told him through a prophet was, “...the eyes of the Lord run to and fro throughout the whole earth…to show himself strong in behalf of them whose heart is perfect toward Him.” (KJV).

And I’ll come back to this. God is, in this hour…God is aware of every human heart. And I’ll tell you, He is aware if your heart is turned toward Him and wanting Him and saying, oh, God I need You. Lord, I see the weakness. I see the things that are wrong. But oh, God, I need You to help me. I want You to help me! God hears that!

( congregational amens ).

God is merciful! God is loving and He’s kind, and that’s what He’s looking for…that kind of humility, that kind of reaching out to Him! And I’ll tell you, that same God is aware of every heart where people are going like this, and saying, no, I’m gonna think what I want to think and I’m gonna do what I want to do. It’s my life. Nobody can tell me what to do.

And I’ll tell you, the eyes of the Lord are searching in this hour. And we are coming down to that time where it’s like the days of Noah. And when it’s over, as I said earlier, there will be absolutely a division on planet earth. I don’t know how many believers will still be here. There will be some, because there will be some when He comes. They will rise to meet Him in the air.

But there will be a small remnant of people, relatively speaking, whose hearts are still looking for Him, given to Him, set free from this world. Totally…the path has diverged and there’s a small group over here and there’s another clueless group over here that doesn’t realize that disaster is about to strike.

( congregational amens ).

But we’re pointing in that direction right now. And decisions that we’re making every day about truth, about the Word of God, about what God would say to us, and how He would convict us and work in our hearts…decisions are being made every day that affect which group we’re gonna be part of on that day. Oh man, I want to be with Him.

( congregational amens ).

I found it interesting running into this scripture where Jesus was inviting us to learn from Him. But He says, “…I am gentle and humble in heart.” (NIV).Think about who He was and yet, there He was, a human being, saying, I’m humble in heart. I know I need my Father. I’m not full of self-confidence in thinking I’m somebody really great. I’m taking the place of a human being.

Lord, I want to have that kind of a heart. Do you realize anything that goes like this when God speaks to your heart is nothing but pride and self? And that’s the very thing that I need deliverance from. I want to come to that place of deep rest on the inside, where I know, “I know whom I have believed and am persuaded that he is able to keep that which I have committed unto Him against that day.”

( congregational amens ).

So, whether it’s a believer and there are areas of bondage in your life, don’t say, I’m just human, or, it’s their fault, or you know…say, it’s because of a condition in here that I need deliverance from. And, “…he is able to save completely those who come to God through Him, because He always lives…” to pray for us, to make intercession. (NIV).

But oh, if you don’t know Him, if you’ve never really, really surrendered, and God stabs you in the heart, say, thank You, Lord, I surrender.

( congregational amens ).

I’ll tell you, if we give Him our hearts, He can do something with it. We have no power to fix it. See if I can remember this, I was getting ready this morning and Sue was humming a hymn, an old hymn, and it sounded familiar. I could remember some of the words. And I walked out, and I said, what was that you were just humming? And she said, I was just about to come and ask you.

( congregational laughter ).

And then she remembered the title. What was the title again? “Living for Jesus”, I think, if I can remember the words to the chorus because that’s what she was singing. “Oh Jesus, Lord and Savior, I give myself to Thee, For Thou in Thine atonement didst give Thyself for me. I own no other Master—my heart shall be Thy throne. My life I give, henceforth to live, O Christ, for Thee alone.” Isn’t it interesting that she just happened to singing that this morning with what’s been on my mind? Think maybe the Lord was trying to tell me something?

( congregational amens ).

Oh folks, give Him your heart.

( congregational amens ).

It’s the only safe place for it. You trust in that, it will take you down for the count. But we have Someone here who has stretched forth His hands in love and mercy so that we can have hope, who would have none otherwise, because the human heart is beyond cure. All He had to do was step back and we would have every single one perished forever. But He didn’t let that happen, did He?

But oh, what do we do when we hear His voice, when He comes and He convicts our hearts of our need? What do we do? Do we cling to the world’s ideas, to our ideas, to our…are we still on the throne or do we really make our heart His throne? The difference is eternal. Praise God!