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Rainbow Divider
MCM Broadcast

TV Broadcast #1333

Two Unchangeable Things
Conclusion

April 22, 2018

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— Brother Phil Enlow: You know, in the illustration of the scriptures, particularly in the life of Abraham, is that what was needed in Abraham’s life for the Word of God to come true and to be fulfilled was a miracle, wasn’t it? God fixed it to where he and Sarah were way too old. It was impossible for the promise to be fulfilled by any natural process.

Abraham had already tried that one. He tried to go around and figure out another way. This must be how it’s gonna happen. And God says, no. At a certain time, Sarah is going to have a child. Well, she laughed. But it happened anyway, didn’t it? Praise God!

God didn’t pay any attention to her wobbles and his wobbles of unbelief. He knows what…but He saw that the basic…the fundamental faith that he had was not something that was going to be turned aside by the difficulty! There was a faith that came by hearing the voice of God and believing it, internalizing it, resting his hope upon it.

You know, this is the other part. This thing declares there are two unchangeable things, God’s purpose and God’s promise. But it gives us a way to access that. How does God’s purpose and promise become our possession? And it becomes our possession by what He says.

Let me get back over to chapter 6. When the writer says, “We do not want you to become lazy, but to imitate those who through faith and patience inherit what has been promised.” (NIV). Well, where does faith come from? Were you born with it? No. It comes from hearing and hearing by the Word of God. And I’ve got to emphasize that hearing the Word of God is not simply hearing a preacher read scripture.

( congregational amens ).

Now, God could speak in the context of that, and it’s wonderful we have the written Word of God. But I’m gonna go back to this that I said earlier. There has to come a point where God speaks to your heart before you’re even in the Kingdom, let alone what we experience on a day to day basis.

God wants to speak to you and to me every day single day. He wants to bring verses out of this Word and make them real and personal. You know, we spoke recently about how individual and unique our race is that we’re called to run. And God knows exactly at what point you and I need to hear His voice. You might run out here and say, oh God, I’ve got so many needs. Speak to me. Well, God knows how and when, doesn’t He?

( congregational response ).

God knows exactly how and when to speak to the very need that is in your heart. And part of confidence in His promise is the willingness to just say, all right, Lord, Your time, Your way. Bottom line, I believe Your promise. I believe the promise of what You have called me to and where it’s headed. But I am trusting You with the details of my life right now. I’m trusting You with the needs that You’ve caused me to feel, that when that time is right, You’re going to speak a Word that’s gonna change that.

You know, I thought about one thing that I’ve referred to out of the testimony of John Bunyan many times and the process by which the Lord called him into the kingdom. And for purposes of God’s dealing with him, there were periods of time when it seemed like he was left alone. There was something in him that wanted God, but demons were allowed to literally scream in his ear, to seize on something that he had thought, something that he had said, something that he had done and to hammer that and hammer that and hammer that!

And sometimes, it would go on for days and days! All he would hear was this terrifying voice in his head. You’ve gone too far! God will never mess with you now! He didn’t use that expression then, but…oh, he heard just this hammering. And somehow, under the onslaught, there was something in him that said, no, I will not yield to that! Oh, God…I can’t yield to that! There was faith. There was enough confidence to hang on and to say, I need God’s voice in this. I will not yield to that.

And all of the sudden, God would speak ten words, five words into his heart, and he would know it was God. It would penetrate right to the depth of his soul. And suddenly, the screaming stopped. It might not be so dramatic, but I’ll tell you, there’s a God who can speak at the right time to your need and to mine.

( congregational amens ).

And until He does, you and I are called to stand in faith. The word patience, as we have said many times, is not simply a time lag, although, obviously, that can be that. But there is a sense of endurance. There is a sense of, I will not turn aside. I am going to wait on the promise of God. I’m gonna wait on His time. He knows what He’s doing. He knows how to speak the words that will dispel Satan’s lies and fill my heart with His rest and His peace. Praise God! That’s what I need.

( congregational amens ).

I mean, I’ve just had moments lately when I’ve sensed the peace and the joy in ways that I haven’t always. And I confess my need. But I’m gonna confess the unchanging purpose of God.

( congregational amens ).

I’m gonna confess the promises of God that are unchanging, the provision that is real and absolutely lasts forever! I will not turn aside to something else! I know that the God who made me knows the needs that are in here! I know that at the right time, He can bring me…He can speak His Word right in here that’s gonna begin to change and mold and do what’s needed in my heart. I believe the same for you. I believe God wants you and me to face this year with a confidence we haven’t had.

( congregational amens ).

He’s gonna change, He’s gonna address things that need addressing that are a whole lot deeper than just simply coming and reiterating the stuff we know. God wants to change lives.

You know, Paul said something about his ministry. He says we don’t war like the warfare of the world. The weapons we fight with are not carnal, but they’re, what?

( congregational response ).

Mighty, how?

( congregational response ).

It wasn’t his rhetoric, was it? It was mighty through God to doing, what?

( congregational response ).

Pulling down strongholds. Where do the strongholds come from? The stuff that’s down here. How did it get there? The devil put it there, didn’t he? Pulling down strong holds, casting down imaginations or reasonings, “…bringing into captivity every thought to the obedience of Christ.” I’ll tell you, I need truth down here. I need life changing, God-inspired, spoken in the moment truth that’s relevant to my need.

And I believe there’s a God who will do that for every hungry heart that’s willing to stand in faith and say, God, I know Your purpose is true. I know Your promises are true. And my hope rests not upon anything I can do. Lord, I face this year knowing there’s a whole of changes that need to be made in my life, but my confidence is not in me. It’s in You.

( congregational amens ).

I know that You know what You’re doing, and I know that You started this in me. I didn’t call myself to this. You reached out. I didn’t deserve a thing. You reached to me in such mercy and such grace. You love me. Oh, praise God! Praise God!

I’m gonna get emotional here in a second. We need to. We need to be able to sense in the moment the reality of what God has done for us. Praise God! Oh, my goodness. What unchangeable things there are in His character and His love. And He doesn’t, like I say, He doesn’t change because you and I…in our ups and downs and our wobbles.

You know, you’ve got to go in confirmation back to our favorite passage in Romans 8, because that just says the same thing in different words. Verse 28, “And we know…” And you know, I’ll back track here. And He’s talking here about the glory to which God’s gonna bring us. He made His sons. He’s made us His children. He’s declared that there’s gonna come a time when all this will be passed. He’s gonna bring us to glory. It’s the same thing He’s been saying.

“And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him, who have been called according to his purpose.” It’s an unchangeable purpose, isn’t it? But in accordance with that purpose, He calls people and says, you, surrender your life to Me. Put your trust in me. Put your hope in me. I have provided for you. I’m calling you to leave your life and this world behind and to become Mine.

Oh, and there’s a purpose that absolutely attaches itself to everything. And I’ll tell you, do you think God’s purpose in things that have happened in your life and mine just began yesterday? There are people here that have gone through traumatic things in your life. You can look back and see terrible things that have happened. Do you think that was random? Do you think any of that was without purpose in the mind and the heart of God?

I’ll tell you, if we will stick by the stuff and look to God, God’s gonna bring us to the end, and we’re gonna look back and see the most painful thing that ever happened to us, and we’re gonna see the purpose of God in it.

( congregational response ).

It played a key role in shaping us and making us the person that God wanted us to be. It may have killed something in us that needed killing. It may have brought to us the sense of our need so that we would cry out to Him and say, all right, Lord. I see my need. I surrender to You, in all things. Everything has to do with that purpose that’s unchangeable, “…for the good of those who love him, who have been called according to his purpose.”

And here, He expresses again the purpose. “For those God foreknew he also predestined to be conformed to the likeness of his Son….” There it is again, bringing many sons to glory. I’ll tell you, God’s gonna have a big family one day.

And it’s gonna be an awesome, beautiful earth. Some of you’ve been in great places. I saw some pictures a little while ago. Some of you went to the mountains. We went to the beach. That’s all right. We saw some pretty things too. But the beauty that we see in a fallen creation, do you have any idea what the new one’s gonna be like…the incredible beauty, the incredible joy and freedom that will be there? It just boggles the mind to even begin to think about it.

But, “…those God foreknew he also predestined…” See, God knew all about it before-hand, and He planned to be, what? “…Conformed to the likeness of his Son, that he…” the Son, “…might be the firstborn among many brothers.” He wasn’t satisfied with just one Son. He wanted a family with whom He could share His life, His love and all the things that His heart just…drove Him is not the word…inspired Him to do.

God’s greatest joy is gonna be doing things that please and delight us. And we, in turn, will just worship and praise Him and enjoy Him. I mean, it’s just so different than anything we know down here. We serve an awesome God.

“And those he predestined…” Now, here’s the certainty that we’ve been talking about, the unchangeableness! “…Those he predestined, he also called; those he called, he also justified.” That means He dealt with the sin question, put it out of the way! “…Those he justified…” Made righteous, that is, “…He also glorified.” The past tense!

This is a God standing outside of time who can see you and me as we will be. He says, I’ve already done it. Put your hope in Me. Put your trust in Me. Today, you’re in the middle of the process. Stuff’s gonna happen today, tomorrow, next week. And we’re gonna have feelings and thoughts come to us that assault that faith.

But God is calling us to be like Abraham. He didn’t duck the reality of what he was facing, did he? He faced the fact that his body was now dead, and Sarah’s womb was incapable of having a child. He faced it! And he said it doesn’t matter! The impossibility of this doesn’t matter! My God has promised, and that’s what I’m going with!

That’s what God wants to do for every single one of us. When you look…you’re at your lowest point, and you look in the mirror and say, it’s impossible. It’s hopeless, well, you and I can face the reality of what we are and the depth of our need and still say it is not hopeless, because my God is able!

“…He is able to save completely those who come to God through Him, because He always lives to intercede for them.” What a hope we have today! “What, then, shall we say in response to this? If God is for us, who can be against us? He who did not spare his own Son, but gave him up for us all—how will he not also, along with him, graciously give us all things? Who will bring any charge against those whom God has chosen?”

You feel like a failure today? I’ll tell you, we have a God who’s taken care of all of our needs. Not that He leaves us in our sins. He doesn’t save us in our sins, but from them. But in the process, we always have a place to go. We always have a place where we can come and humble ourselves and know that we’re gonna be received, because it’s not based upon our…anything in us. It’s based upon His own unchangeable promise. See, His promises don’t change, do they? Praise God!

“Christ Jesus, who died—more than that, who was raised to life—is at the right hand of God and is also interceding for us. Who shall separate us from the love of Christ?”

And you know what He’s enumerating here, should remind us of the book of Hebrews, chapter 11, and all those who had this quality, this characteristic of faith that He’s talking about throughout the book. Every single one of them heard something from God that was personal, that registered in their hearts, and ‘that’ became the defining conviction by which they lived.

Some of them went out and led armies to great victory! Some of them went into the fire and weren’t burned! One of them went into the lion’s den, and they didn’t bother him. But others were killed. Some were tortured. There were all kinds of different circumstances God had the purpose and the way He was gonna work it out in every single life. And every single one of them was just as honored.

Man, we think in such earthly terms. Oh, if I just had faith, I could make everything wonderful. No, faith is having confidence that God knows what He’s doing. Faith is having confidence in His eternal purpose for me, because it has to get down to something that’s personal. It’s got to get down with me, right here with all of my needs, this time frame in which I live, the needs that I’m gonna confront today, tomorrow, the next day.

My place in all of this grand scheme of what God is doing is to trust Him, to look to Him, to say oh, God, speak to me. I recognize my needs. I am not gonna pretend that I’m something I’m not. I don’t have to try to be religious to impress You, Lord. I can just be what I am, but I’m gonna be what I am [with] the hope and the expectation that You know what You’re doing in my life. And that every point of need, You are going to speak to my heart and give me, change my convictions. You’re gonna give me faith where there was unbelief and doubt and struggle and all those things. You’re gonna replace all that’s wrong with me with all that’s right with You. Praise God!

( congregational amens ).

So, all the things that He enumerates here that could happen, praise God, “Who shall sperate us from the love of Christ? Shall trouble or hardship or persecution or famine or nakedness or danger or sword?” You know, what if some of those things begin to happen? I guarantee you the devil will be right there to explain it to you.

( congregational response ).

This just proves what I’ve been telling you all along. You’re really not His. Has anybody here not heard that one?

( laughter ).

I mean, it’s crazy. The Lord has showed us that He works through adversity. So, why do we so readily interpret adversity as something negative about us that God doesn’t really love us? You think about that. It doesn’t make any sense, does it? We’re gonna have to learn to think the way God thinks and see the way God sees and learn to stop listening to that other voice and to say God, I know You. Your purpose hasn’t changed. Your promises don’t change. Your end game doesn’t change. Right here, where I’m at, I’m trusting in You. I know You’re gonna fulfill every promise that You have made to me. You do it Your way. You do it in Your time.

In the meantime, I’ve got a throne I can come to. I’m in need, but I know there’s Someone I can go to with confidence, because He’s been here! He understands everything! And the first thing He’s going to give me is not a lecture, but mercy and grace! That’s what I need. I need Him to show me mercy because I don’t always get it right. But I need His, I need grace which is the help I need to be a different person. It doesn’t come from me. It comes from Him. But there’s a place I can always go. Praise God!

“For your sake we face death all day long; we are considered as sheep to be slaughtered.” There’s that part of us that has to die in order that that can live. “No, in all these things we are more than conquerors through him who loved us.”

And Paul says, “For I am convinced….” Now how did Paul get convinced? Did he go to Bible school and learn it all, learn the theology? Paul had been in some rough places. Paul had been there, done that and had the T-shirt, as the expression goes. He had been in dire circumstances where he had to…all he could do was cry out.

You know, he talks about the time when he thought he was gonna die. Then yet, God turned that around and ministered something to him that was so real that he had a treasure that he could hand off to somebody else and say, God will be with you. In the worst of circumstances, my God will be with you. I’m convinced! He’s never left me yet. He’s always been there. He’s allowed me to go through some terrible things, but He’s real! And He’s there with me in it!

And what the Devil says about it is never the truth. We’re gonna have to learn to listen to the promise of God in all our adversity. It’s, “…in all these things we are more than conquerors through him who loved us. For I am convinced that neither death nor life, neither angels nor demons, neither the present nor the future, nor any powers, neither height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation…” Just runs out of specifics…anything else, nothing can do it, nothing, “…will be able to separate us from the love of God that is in Christ Jesus our Lord.” How many of you need some hope going into this new year?

( congregational amens ).

Yeah. Well, there’s only one hope. And it’s a hope that’s an anchor of the soul, that there is a God, and He has a purpose. It doesn’t change. It doesn’t change with your ups and downs or mine. His promises don’t get…they aren’t good one day and bad the next, because He feels bad or you’ve done bad. His promises are true. They’re rock solid.

He wants every one of us to go forward with an expectation that He is going to work in our hearts, that we have the right to come to Him with every need, with an honest heart and say, God, I need You. Speak to my need in whatever way You choose, whether it’s a still small voice that we just hear in private life or whatever it is.

Whether it’s just something that comes from here or something that somebody says, just speak to me, Lord. I need Your voice in my life. I need to hear Your heart. I need to hear that living Word, that Word that has the power to go out and create galaxies. I need that to create something in me, Lord, that isn’t there.

But You’ve promised that You can do. You don’t have to have something to work with. Lord, there’s nothing in me to work with. Everything has got to come from You, but I rest upon the unchangeable nature of Your purpose and Your promises. And so, my hope is undisturbed.

I stand looking to you as I go forward. I’m expecting that as God brings me to a awareness of needs that are in me, that He does it, not so I will be discouraged, but so that I will bring them to Him with an honest hungry heart, expecting Him to strengthen me to stand and be patient when I need to be, but also to answer that and to bring the deliverance that’s needed in my life, and the changes that I need in my life.

Folks, we have every reason to lift up our hearts this day and look forward to this year. I don’t care what happens in the international scene, the wars, politics, you name it. It’s gonna go downhill. We know where this world is headed.

But I know where I’m headed, and I know why. I can’t look in the mirror and come up with a single reason why God should show me any mercy, but He did. That mercy is for all who will open their hearts and hear. But He wants us to enjoy it as we go. Two unchangeable things, His purpose, His promise. Let’s latch on to that hope with all of our hearts and trust Him as we go forward through this year. Praise God!