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Rainbow Divider
MCM Broadcast

TV Broadcast #1342

Be All You Can Be

June 24, 2018

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— Brother Phil Enlow: God is changing something on the inside. It’s not just a bunch of rules and religion, is it? This is a character change. This is a character transplant, if you will.

Okay, “To this you were called…” (NIV). Down in verse 20…what is that, 21? “…Because Christ suffered for you, leaving you an example, that you should follow in his steps.”

Now, here is the ultimate example. “He committed no sin….” Anybody here can claim that? You are absolutely, perfect and pure? Nobody can be justified in treating you badly, because you’re so holy! Well, He was. “…No deceit was found in his mouth. When they hurled their insults at him, he did not retaliate; when he suffered, he made no threats. Instead, he entrusted himself to him who judges justly.” It kind of came out all right, didn’t it? He went through all of that, but where’s He now? He’s on the throne of the universe, folks.

“He himself bore our sins in his body on the tree, so that we might die to sins and live for righteousness; by his wounds you have been healed. For you were like sheep going astray, but now you have returned to the Shepherd and Overseer of your souls.”

Now, he gets into some…he really goes to meddling here, doesn’t he? Chapter 3, the beginning of it, “Wives…” Oh. “…In the same way be submissive to your husbands so that, if any….” Now, here’s the thing. Just stop there. Man, how much a part of our culture is that? They hate it!

There is a spirit called feminism or woman’s lib or whatever you call it that is fundamentally a rebellion against God. But what they’re rebelling against is a myth that if we were to follow this book, it means women are to be subjected and subjugated and made second and third class and treated badly, and all of that. I think we’re gonna see, as we go along, God has the exact opposite in mind.

( congregational amens ).

Exact opposite! But still, if God has made you a woman, you are special in His eyes, but you have a particular place in His kingdom! You have been invested with certain gifts that are of great value to Him, great value to everybody.

But, here’s the thing. “In the same way be submissive to your husbands….” Now, here’s the case that he’s talking about here. This is not just a good guy. This is not just somebody who’s a fellow Christian and walking with the Lord. This is somebody who doesn’t believe. “…So that, if any of them do not believe the word, they may be won over without words…” So that, “…they may be won over without words by the behavior of their wives.”

What is that God is wanting this man to see from the woman? Does He want her to say, look, I’m a Christian, I know what’s right, bless God, here’s God’s Word! No. What will win him is seeing the transformation in her character.

I’ll tell you, the women of our day have a power, you have no idea. But it isn’t exercised the way the world tells you to do it. And I tell you, this is an area where the enemy wants to try to really mess up earthly relationships, homes.

Why do you think the home is under such attack in our world today? The devil knows that it is fundamental to human society. God established the home. He made them male and female. He declared that the father, the husband, the man would leave his father’s house and be married to his wife. They would become one flesh.

And you follow it through the scriptures, and you see that God meant there to be a union that would produce, that would reproduce His kingdom. There is an order there that, rightly entered into, is awesome! It’s meant to be a microcosm of the kingdom of God!

And I tell you, Satan will invade homes when women start getting out of their place. I don’t have anybody in mind. I just sense that there’s always a need for this, because the world will tell you it isn’t that way. And oh God, this isn’t right. I’ve got to fix it. I’m the spiritual one. I’m…you know, there’s a thousand and one excuses for someone not to do what God says. And all it is unbelief, and it’s an exercise of the spirit of the old nature.

But God has a way of working in and through the lives of Godly women that is powerful, that is awesome. And He wants you to be all you can be. You’d be surprised. I’m gonna read something, I trust, later, that will really highlight this in a very special way.

So, “…they may be won over without words by the behavior of their wives, when they see the purity and reverence of your lives. Your beauty should not come from outward adornment, such as braided hair and the wearing of gold jewelry and fine clothes.”

Now, some people take this and try to make legalistic standards for dress. That’s not what this is about. It means the focus of your heart is to be what God wants you to be! It doesn’t mean you can’t wear earrings or some ridiculous…you can’t take that to an extreme.

But I tell you, if that’s what you’re depending on, if your whole way of living and trying to present yourself to the world is through what you can do with yourself outwardly, you’re missing what he’s talking about here. God wants a beauty in you, but it’s a beauty that comes from in here.

( congregational amens ).

Listen to what he says about that. “Instead, it should be that of your inner self, the unfading beauty of a gentle and quiet spirit, which is of great worth in God’s sight.” You want to know how God sees you? Man, He looks down, and He sees a lady with that kind of a heart and that kind of a spirit. Man, there’s something in His heart that leaps. There’s something in Heaven that rejoices.

You want to know who’s important in His kingdom? There may be all kinds of people. There may be some lady down there that really exhibits the heart and the life of Christ. She doesn’t preach. She doesn’t button-hole people. But she lives out the life of Christ. And the Lord would say, that’s what I’m looking for. That’s what I value. That’s what will be honored.

“…Great worth in God’s sight. For this is the way the holy women of the past who put their hope in God….” Now, you see where their hope is. If you’re trying to fix situations, if you’re trying to fix relationships by asserting self, your hope isn’t in God! Your hope is in you and your ability to fix things and your rightness in doing it! No one here has ever fallen into that trap, have you? But you see the contrast he’s drawing here.

“…Who put their hope in God used to make themselves beautiful. They were submissive to their husbands, like Sarah, who obeyed Abraham and called him her master.” Oh, fighting words! Well, the reason they’re fighting words is because we have a human conception of what it means to have a master and how they behave. We see them as selfish tyrants who use their mastery, if you will, to abuse and to put down and to repress and to keep somebody from being all they can be. And I’ll tell you, that kind of mastery isn’t what you want.

But there still is that spirit that looks and says, this is my place. God has put me here. I am equipped for this place that God has put me, and it’s an important place, and I’m gonna occupy it. I’m gonna trust Him. I’m gonna see past circumstances and personalities. I’m gonna honor Him. “You are her daughters if you do what is right and do not give way to fear.”

Now, let’s look at the other side of the equation. “Husbands, in the same way….” Now, again isn’t that interesting? He keeps saying in the same way--in the same way. You’re carrying through this sense of being submissive to God, of humbling yourself under God’s hand, of having a humble spirit one towards another. So, how does that work out for a husband since he is in a position of headship?

“…In the same way be considerate as you live with your wives, and treat them with respect as the weaker partner and as heirs with you of the gracious gift of life, so that nothing will hinder your prayers.”

Talk about praying? You follow other scriptures that talk about the husband and his place. Man, God has invested you with gifts. How do we use those gifts? Do we use them selfishly to abuse and to dominate, or do we use them to create an environment in which those under that influence can flourish and be all they can be?

You see where God’s going with this? I mean, you see the end game. You see where He’s going with it. But isn’t that what He wants to reproduce here and now as we learn His ways and we humble ourselves under His mighty hand? It’s gonna mean a lot of saying, no. It’s gonna mean a man saying, no, to his selfish desires and saying, I’m laying down my life for you.

Isn’t that what Ephesians 5 says? It says, “Wives, submit to your husbands.” But it also says, “Husbands, love your wives, just as Christ loved the church and gave himself up for her to make her…” and all of that. Everything is poured out. All the gifts that God has given him have given her a realm to live in and flourish. That’s where God wants it. That’s how God wants it to work. You see how these relationships are meant to work?

And I’ll tell you, to the degree this works out in a home…what about kids? I’ll tell you, a Christian home is not one with just a bunch of rules. A Christian home is where God’s life is modeled in the husband and wife, in their relationship, where they see what it means to be a man. They see, not somebody who’s domineering and oppressive, but someone who loves, and gives, and just uses his abilities nurture and to bring into full flower the other one. And she uses the gifts God’s given her.

And together, they see a picture of what the Kingdom of God is like. And yes, there’s a whole lot of rule laying down. In some respects, you’ve got to teach discipline. You’ve got to bring them up. But it has got to always be in that kind of a spirit.

But you know, you’re…there are kids here today. What does the world teach you? What does the world teach you to be your attitude? Nobody tells me what to do. It's a permissive society. If you’re a parent, you have no right to hinder their development. You stand off. In fact, they don’t even belong to you. They belong to the state. Don’t repress them. Let them express themselves.

Yeah, express themselves right into hell! God loves His children! God wants them to come to a place where they’re willing to do what the scripture says and obey their parents! What is your attitude toward them? I’ll obey them if they’re right. I’ll obey them if they do what I want. No, there is a spirit that God wants to produce in you while you’re young. You learn the principle of submission. Ultimately, it’s to Him. You learn how to respect your place and respect authority. And what you’re really doing is stepping into a place in the Kingdom of God. It’s a place of blessing.

You want to be under the shadow of the Almighty? You want to be in that place where His covering is over you, and He’s working in your life and preparing you for what’s to come? This is the pathway. It’s exactly the opposite of what the world teaches. But oh, I don’t know. Somehow, I just…this just captured my attention this week.

“Finally, all of you, live in harmony with one another; be sympathetic, love as brothers, be compassionate and humble. Do not repay evil with evil or insult with insult, but with blessing; because to this you were called so that you may inherit a blessing.” And then, he goes on and talks about how the Lord’s called us to a place of blessing.

There are so many things. I mean, I think of…I’ll just refer to Romans chapter 12 where he talks about presenting yourselves as a living sacrifice, and he moves right from that transformation of our thinking, into the body of Christ and how every one of us has a gift. Everyone has gifts. What are those gifts given to us for?

( congregational response ).

Yeah, they are given to us as abilities by which we can bless others. Everybody here is called to a place where you have the power to bless me and to bless everybody else. And it’s not a…we think we have a hierarchy so easily. Oh, this one is important. This one doesn’t matter. In God’s kingdom, everyone matters!

( congregational amens ).

We serve a God who clothes the lilies of the field, who sees the sparrow fall. Didn’t Jesus say if He takes such care with the lilies of the field, won’t He take care of you? But do you see how God’s value system is so desperately different from everything the world is teaching us? I tell you, God wants to bring His people together in such a way where we can be so set free from selfish living, thinking, acting, to where He can invest in us gifts that will bless others.

Think about what God said in, back in chapter 5 of 1st Peter. “Humble yourselves, therefore, under God’s mighty hand….” Why? To what end? So that he may lift you up in the proper time! You see, God is wanting us to be all we can be, but He knows that if we live selfishly the way the world does, we’ll never be that! He didn’t create us to live that way.

You think about the genders. We were talking about husbands and wives. And I’ll go back to this simple principle. God made us in His image. He made us male and female, did not make men to be women and vise-versa. He invested our ladies with a portion of His own nature and character. There are gifts, there are things that they are gifted to do that men cannot do!

But the same is true on the other side of the equation. God has invested certain areas of His character and His nature and His ability in men. And when they operate in the proper relationship that He has designed, man, you get the whole picture. You get the nature of God being manifested through a relationship. Isn’t that exactly what the Word teaches? Anybody here got room for growth in this area?

( congregational response ).

Yeah. Oh, may God help us to recognize and humble ourselves under His mighty hand. That means, if you’re a wife, and you’re inclined to be kind of stubborn and mouthy and wanting your way and digging in, are you really humbling yourself under God’s mighty hand? He put you there. Do you not think He cares about issues?

Oh, but this is an issue. It’s so important. That’s the Devil’s trick. God knows about issues. He can let something happen that is wrong, but if it accomplishes something in your spirit, He can turn it around and make it something of eternal value.

Every place, whether it’s a position in the body of Christ, whatever it is, every one of us is servant to everybody else. And there are gifts God has given you that are unique to you. And God wants them set free. He wants you to be all you can be.

Do you see how God is putting some of this together? Oh, may God help us to humble ourselves to the place that He has called us. You may be in a place where you’re working for somebody, and it’s not always pleasant. They don’t always treat you right. What’s God looking for from you? If you serve God, you do your work as unto the Lord, you honor Him with your attitude, and God will form character in you that will bring you to a place of maturity where He can flow through your life and touch…there’s no telling what He can’t do.

But oh, if we’re just constantly bucking against Him, or we’re bucking against this situation, or you’re bucking against your parents…I want my way, or you’re bucking against your husband or wife, or whatever the relationship is, sisters or brothers in the church, who are we bucking against?

( congregational response ).

“Humble yourselves, therefore, under God’s mighty hand, that he may lift you up in due time.” Now, what does that mean? Okay, I’ve done my dues…now, everybody’s gonna think I’m wonderful and spiritual. No! God is going to lift up those who humble themselves and allow their character to be changed.

But it’s not gonna be them that’s gonna be exalted. It’s gonna be Christ, because Christ can flow through them. And all the gifts, the wonderful things that He has designed you to be…you can be all that you can be, and suddenly, the river of God’s life is flowing through you to the people in your life in the realms that you touch. And God is glorified and people’s lives are transformed. What else is gonna do it?

You know, I’ll come back to where Thomas started. Prayer is certainly part of this, isn’t it? What do we do? Do we criticize, or do we pray? Do we become vessels through which the river of God’s life can go out and fit and address situations and needs because we see ourselves as their servants rather than their critics? Yeah, you see areas where we need to grow. But I believe God wants to give us a sense and a vision of what it means to be the body of Christ.

You know, we see the picture in Ephesians 2 of God building a temple, don’t we? And what does it say of that temple? It’s, “…fitly framed together…” (KJV). What does that mean? That means everybody’s got a particular place. You don’t just throw it together haphazardly…God has designed a place in His kingdom for you, and He’s shaping you to fulfil that.

We will, ultimately, but I’ll tell you, God wants it here. God wants to form His character in His people here and make of us such a spirit of unity. It will not be a unity where somebody at the top commands it. That’s another thing I want to really emphasize. Spiritual authority is not repressive. It’s not a dominion authority.

Notice, he tells the leaders, don’t lord it over, but he tells the younger, submit yourselves. You see where the submission comes from? It comes from the one in whose heart God is working. It is voluntary. It is, I see God in this. I see God’s hand. I see God’s purpose, and in submitting to my place in the order of things, I’m submitting to God, and I do it willingly.

See, even Jesus didn’t berate people who left Him. He said to His own disciples, will you also go away? There was that sense of a trust of God working in the heart so that whatever obedience, whatever unity was offered was a fruit of what God had done in the heart.

Oh, may we offer our hearts to Him. May we present ourselves to Him to change the way we think and the way see ourselves and our place. I’ll tell you…men, you’ve got a place of authority. How do you use it? You have an awesome place of creating, with God’s help, an environment in which your family can flourish. And they can become all that they are.

Oh, I’ll tell you…and here’s the other thing. We can’t do this, can we? But what is He saying? “Humble yourselves, therefore, under God’s mighty hand, that he may lift you up in due time.” Why? God resists the proud, but what does He do for the humble? He gives grace, doesn’t He? That means I have the right in obeying God and submitting myself to Him, to expect that He will give me the ability to do what He has told me to do. So, then it becomes a sense of, yes, I am yielding to Him in the sky in that sense, but I am expressing it here.

And I’ll tell you, when it all comes into play, God has a home. God is building a house. He’s building a home to live in. What kind of a home are we presenting Him right now? Is there disunity? Is there, are there crossed up spirits? You see how all this plays in? I’ll tell you, God wants us to first look in the mirror and say, God, help me to be the kind of a person that You want me to be in my relationships.

( congregational amens ).

To see past fault, because we’ve all got them…see past all of things and say, Lord, I just want to be the kind of person You are. I want to be the kind of a person my Lord was when He stood before the world, and He laid down His life though He was innocent. I want to have that same kind of spirit because I see past all of that.

I get it. Lord, You’re in charge. You’re fitting me for eternity. I’m just passing through here. I’m a stranger and a pilgrim. I’m an alien here. Isn’t that what Peter said?

I’ll tell you, what God has planned for us, the lifting up part, you have no idea. I talked about the evil of the world and said you ain’t seen nothing yet. I’ll say it of this, we ain’t seen nothing yet. To see and to experience what God has planned for every one of us, how He has created us in wisdom, invested us with abilities we cannot even imagine. They’ve been hijacked by sin and rebellion. But as God purges that out of our lives, His nature is going to begin to be able to be expressed through us. And it’s gonna be amazing. Let’s begin right now where we’re at and look to Him and give Him the glory. Praise God!