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Rainbow Divider
MCM Broadcast

TV Broadcast #1355

Our Living Sacrifice

September 23, 2018

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— Brother Phil Enlow: There’s no way you come down to an altar and ‘get’ this in one step. This describes a lifelong process that I, having committed myself with a company of people to be a living sacrifice, to not belong to myself anymore but to belong to Him and to belong to you…. See? Now, I undergo a lifelong process where God is going to be plowing up my heart and searching me out and changing me from glory to glory as Paul says in another place. And I need that transformation, don’t you?

By the renewing of my mind, and the mind here is something more than just the intellect. This is not like, I learned that George Washington was the first president, so I can take the test. Who was the first president? George Washington. You know, we just regurgitate stuff that we know on a very superficial level. The mind, here, is the very center of what one knows and believes to be true.

The heart is very — it’s almost synonymous, I think, the word he’s talking about, but the mind again, we have truth! We have ideas. And God is going to be — has God challenged anybody here lately? Yeah. He challenged you with something you thought you knew or an attitude you had down in your heart. Yeah.

God, help us. God, help us to have that kind of a heart where we are willing to come to God and say, God, I need to be changed. And Lord — here’s something else. And Lord, everything is on the table. That’s scary, isn’t it? I’ll bet you everybody, when I said that, everybody had this reaction of, in the pit of your stomach, all of a sudden, it was a little bit afraid to say something like that.

But isn’t that what God is looking for? Do you really think it’s frightening? It certainly is to the natural man. But I’ll tell you, we have a God who loves us enough that He wants to share all that He is, all that being that radiates love and joy and peace — all that terrible stuff!

Oh my, how He must look at us sometimes and shake His head and say, I love them, but I’m just gonna have to keep working. They’re just so stubborn. They think they know. Or they don’t think they need me in this area. They think they’re okay. They think they can point at somebody else because they’re ‘so’ okay. I didn’t hear too much reaction to that, but, it’s the truth, isn’t it?

“Be transformed…” (NIV). Be ‘being transformed.’ This is an ongoing thing. “…By the renewing of your mind.” Now, this is interesting here. “Then you will be able to test and approve what God’s will is—his good, pleasing and perfect will.”

Now, what he’s saying here — coming into this, you and I do not even have the ability, to any great degree, to know what God’s will is. So, let’s start a program since we know what God’s will is. We want to win souls.

You see where religion gets in the middle of this? How do you know what God wants? It’s got to start with character! It’s got to start with people who learn how to recognize the voice of God and walk with Him and submit their hearts! What did Jesus have to do before He went out in ministry? He kind of went in the wilderness, didn’t He? What was the reason for that?

( congregational response ).

To be tempted by the devil. He stood up to everything the devil threw at Him. And boy, when He returned, He returned in the power of the Spirit. And He had a relationship with God where He could go to God in prayer, and God would show Him what He was doing. He showed Him! And then He would just simply walk in that, and then He’d go to the Lord the next day. Lord, Father, what are You doing? Show Me what to do. Show me Your place.

God wants to bring us, as a people, to a place where we have that kind of relationship, not just as individuals, but collectively, to be able to go to God and have His presence and His wisdom and to be able to grow in all these things to the point where He can actually show us stuff to do. And I’ll tell you, when we act in that manner, when God brings us to a place, and His presence is here, and His power is here, and we do something, it’s Him doing it!

( congregational amens ).

He doesn’t need us to build Him a kingdom. He is able to build His Kingdom! He just, He wants to involve us in the process, but God doesn’t need our help. He doesn’t need our wisdom, doesn’t need our talents and all those things. He just wants vessels. He wants vessels who are willing to just be whatever He made us to be, and simply walk together in love and relate one to another the way, according to His plan and His purpose.

And I’ll tell you, the more we learn how to do that, we’re gonna be able to test. I’m gonna throw this little thing in, because this was an issue that came up a number of years ago. Somebody read the King James Version: His good, pleasing, and I forget how it gives it. But anyway, it almost sounds like there were three levels of God’s will.

And if you didn’t really, really, really want His perfect will because you wanted something that wasn’t part of His perfect will, well, you can still be part of His “pleasing” will. Good luck with that! That’s not what that means. It’s three different ways to describe the will of God. We’re either in the will of God, or we’re in the will of ‘you.’ And there are consequences to that.

I’ll tell you, God can turn things around. God can work with us, but I want to know His will. I want to be in it. I want to be in a position where if He does something, it’s Him doing it and not me! He’s got a job to change me for that to happen in any degree. But I suspect that’s true of every one of you that knows Him.

Does God have work to do in your heart and your life to bring you to that place? Yeah. Yeah, and the interesting thing is the people who know the most about this, I mean, who are the most sensitive to this, who can shake their heads the quickest, they’re the ones who are already down the road a piece. They know this. They’ve learned it. It’s the folks who say, huh, what’s he talking about?

( laughter ).

You’re asleep! You can be a Christian and not have a clue! And there’s a need to wake up and say, what is this about? God, help us to understand why He did all the amazing things that He did. Oh, He’s building a people in whom He can live, through whom He can work! And the degree to which we come into conformity to what His plan is, is the degree to which we will be effective in His kingdom.

And folks, we need it! Do you not see where this world is headed? Things are going on now that were unthinkable when I was growing up. You know, kids growing up now, they have no idea—no idea how things have changed. There’s a spirit that is relentless in driving us to a one world government under Satan. It’s going to come! God’s going to allow it. But I’ll tell you, God’s gonna inhabit a people in the middle of it.

( congregational amens ).

God has stuff to do. He’s not gonna give us the thing and say okay, get a planning committee, and go to it. Build Me something or other. He didn’t do that with Jesus, did He? Jesus was pretty smart. The Father didn’t say here’s what I want You to do, Jesus. You go figure it out. God had a sovereign step-by-step program. Some villages He went in, He healed everybody. Some places, He healed one.

You know, if it was us, we’d say oh, I got the pattern. Now, I know what to do. No. We’re gonna have to walk with the Lord. We’re gonna have to learn His ways. We’re gonna have to learn to hear His voice!

( congregational amens ).

Man, there’s no substitute for presenting ourselves, collectively, learning, being changed. And I’ll tell you, then, we’re gonna be able to step into some of this.

But I’ll tell you what confirms to me that this understanding of the joint sacrifice is the right one is what follows. “For by the grace given me I say to every one of you: Do not think of yourself more highly than you ought, but rather think of yourself with sober judgement, in accordance with the measure of faith God has given you. Just as….” Now he goes right into the ‘why’ of that. “Just as each of us has one body with many members…” many parts, “…and these members do not all have the same function, so in Christ we who are many form…”

( congregational response ).

One sacrifice, “…one body…” See where that comes in? We, “…Form one body, and each member belongs to…”

( congregational response ).

“…All the others.” I’m not a little law unto myself. I belong to you. But you belong to me. We belong to one another. There is this sense of being literally connected one to another. That’s what God’s looking for.

Oh, how contrary this is to human nature, and how easy it is to assert this without walking in it. I’ll tell you, I think I made this point Sunday in one context. How many times were there when the people of God were called upon in an assembly of some kind, and they made a sacrifice, they made a covenant? And God would just come down. I mean, everything was in order, and God would just come down in power.

How about the day of Pentecost? Everybody was waiting. Everybody was in a sense of anticipation. They were committed to what God had told them to do, and God came. When Solomon gathered everybody together and dedicated the temple, everything was in perfect order, and he prayed this impassioned prayer! Oh, God, come! God, inhabit this! Come to Your rest. This is Your place that You called on us to build.

What happened? Oh, He came. Priests couldn’t even get near the place. It was just so full of the power and the presence of God. I don’t know how God will make His presence known, but I believe we need more of it, more of the reality, more of effectiveness. We need so much life that our young people say, man, I want what you have!

“We have different gifts….” And so, he goes into the responsibility of each one. This is something we’ve talked about many times. I’ll just quickly go over this part. “We have different gifts, according to the grace given us.” So we have the different gifts. A man’s gift is prophesying and so forth. He goes through all of that.

But down in 9, you begin to see what God is really after and how this plays out when he says, “Love must be sincere.” It doesn’t do a bit of good to say we love one another and in practice, what our kids see is fighting and squabbling and struggling and — must be sincere. Boy, we’re gonna need the Lord for this stuff.

( congregational amens ).

If you try to operate out of what you think is right, we’re gonna have a fight. This isn’t gonna be a body where the Lord’s gonna have any rest at all. We’re just gonna act out, and it’s gonna be nothing but conflict and struggle and all the bad stuff. We just need the Lord. “Love must be sincere. Hate what is evil; cling to what is good. Be devoted to one another in brotherly love.” As long as they straighten up and fly — wait a minute.

( laughter ).

Oh, we have so many excuses for not doing this. And I’ll tell you, if there is anything in your heart or mine that is in itself a barrier, I don’t care if it’s because somebody did something, and it really ‘is’ wrong, if your spirit is wrong ‘about’ it, you’re wrong!

Now, you can all do this and go right on like you are. God, give us an honest heart about such things. It’s our nature to look at others and their faults. And God knows we’ve all got them. That’s why He describes it as a process. If we’re in a process — I mean, there’d be one step and we’d be there. But if it’s a process, then we are in an imperfect state.

Therefore, we’re gonna have to learn how to put up with each other in those imperfect states! End of story! That’s why Paul says in Ephesians, “Endeavouring to keep the unity of the Spirit in the bond of peace. There is one body, and one Spirit….” (KJV). And all of those kinds of things. Why does he say endeavor, by the way?

( congregational response ).

Because it takes work!

( laughing ).

And work is going against something you’d rather not do. I mean, it’s doing something you’d rather not do. We’d all like to get everybody else to be straight and everybody else to be like we’d like them. No, we’re gonna have to work at it. We’re gonna have to humble ourselves when it doesn’t feel like that’s the right thing to do, because they’re wrong!

“Honor one another above yourselves.” (NIV). Oh, we love that. But that’s what he says. If we’re gonna have His nature operating out of our hearts, we’re gonna have to have that kind of a spirit. God, help us! But He will if we want Him to. If we don’t protect this little citadel we all have, and we’re willing to say oh, God, I throw my arms down. Lord, if there’s anything other than what You’re describing here in here, then, the need is in me.

If fact, You probably let this happen so that I would know that there’s something in here. And so far as I’m concerned, You’re more interested in fixing ‘this’ than You’re interested in fixing ‘that.’ That takes some pretty different thinking than we’re used to. Man, we need help from the Lord. But I’ll tell you, He’s willing if we ever get to that place.

“Never be lacking in zeal, but keep your spiritual fervor, serving the Lord. Be joyful in hope, patient in affliction…” — Oh, we love that — “…Faithful in prayer,” Like Tony said.

“Share with God’s people who are in need. Practice hospitality.” This is a description of God’s life and God’s character! It’s wonderful to paint this vague picture. Oh, we’re gonna be like Jesus! Great! What’s Jesus like? When you get down to that, all of a sudden, it’s not so — we get down into the particulars, man, we’re good at slipping and sliding around that, justifying and hanging onto what we are down here.

Can you imagine what would happen if a group of people really came the place where we just let go, and we surrendered, and we said, Lord, just take over all the way down into the deep parts? God, change me way down here. Where I have hate, put love in there, Lord, genuine love, not something I’ve got to pretend.

Where I’ve held onto bitterness, oh God, help me to let it go. Help me to surrender. Help me to see the poison that it is. Where I haven’t forgiven somebody, I’m still holding something, oh God, forgive me. You’ve forgiven me, Lord, but I won’t forgive them. Whatever there is in any of us — a judgmental spirit. See, he gets into that in chapter 14.

You go through all of this. You will look in vain for him saying, start a program, get some soul winning going. Every bit of it is all about relationships between the body of Christ and our relationships to the world, because he even gets into government and paying taxes. You love that, don’t you? But that’s the truth. If we’re going to be His people in the world, a people who are going to be able to see God’s life in us, we’re gonna have to be different than we are.

And I have no power to do that except to surrender and let Him do it. End of story. That’s what it’s about. “Bless those who persecute you….” Hmm, give me grace, Lord. “Bless and do not curse. Rejoice with those who rejoice; mourn with those who mourn.” You see the sense of community there. There are so many things — it goes on, and I don’t want to drag this out, but I think the point is made, folks.

What is God wanting out of us? That we would, with one heart and with a sense of what God is doing, we would say, Lord, ‘we’ are Yours. We, who are many, present to You a living sacrifice. It’s a sacrifice in that we are dying, but it is a sacrifice that allows You to live in us.

Like Paul said, “I am crucified with Christ: nevertheless I live, and the life which I now live in the flesh I live by the faith of the Son of God, who loved me, and gave himself for me.” (KJV). This is this fleshed out. This is pictured as a covenant of a people who get this, but they also get that it’s not just me and Jesus. It’s us presenting ourselves and saying Jesus, live in us.

I do not have the full measure of You. I have my part. But you have some, and you have some, and I need what you have, and you need what I have. But as we walk together, there will be a full-orbed expression.

There’s so much the Lord longs to do. But the first thing is He wants a temple He can actually live in. I suspect there’s a bit of cleaning up in our lives, wouldn’t you say? I don’t sense, as I’ve said many times, I don’t sense God’s condemnation in this. But I do sense His heart being serious.

This not just a game. This is not just a theological concept. We’re not sitting in seminary trying to decipher all the doctrines. This is real life. God’s addressing us on a particular occasion, because He loves us, and He wants us to present ourselves to Him as a people in whom He can live and through whom He can work in deeper ways than we perhaps have ever known.

We’re gonna need Him. We need the Lord, folks. But I am so thankful to serve a God who knows the end from the beginning. You know, you follow through the end of chapter 8, remember, and the certainty of everything, that nobody can, “…separate us from the love of God, which is in Christ Jesus….” Praise God!

Presenting ourselves to Him is the ultimate victory over all that’s wrong with us. Have you got a better plan for your life? You got something better to live for? This is what God is calling us out to. We could sit here and sing all the right songs and say all the right words and claim to believe all the right things and miss this completely.

May God give us grace to say, Lord, I want You. God, we need You. We need more than we’ve had. It’s so easy to get to a certain point where we think, okay, I’m basically on track. I’ve got it. Yeah, I have this need, but I’m basically okay. We are always in need of taking more ground.

If God is not in working in the kind of power you see in the New Testament, we’ve got needs. If there are conflicts in families and relationships and brother against brother, sister against sister, there are needs! There are needs for hearts to humble themselves in surrender and say, oh, God, forgive us. We’re letting the devil muck up something You’re putting together that’s beautiful and perfect. How much sense would it be for my hand to get angry at my foot and begin to beat on it — if I could even reach it!?

( laughter ).

But you get what I’m saying. It doesn’t make any sense for the different parts of my body to be at war with each other. It doesn’t make any sense in the body of Christ either. God has called us, in view of God’s mercy, to offer your bodies as ‘a’ living sacrifice, one sacrifice together, “…holy and pleasing to God—this is your spiritual act of worship. Do not conform any longer to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind. Then you will be able to test and approve what God’s will is—his good, pleasing and perfect will.” (NIV).

You can have a lot of activity without this. But I’ll guarantee, a people who have this, it will reproduce, it will express itself in all kinds of activity. But it won’t just be the people trying to do something for God. It’ll God doing something through them. Which do you want? Which do we want? I believe God will help us if we’ll cry out to Him and say, God, that’s what I want. Show me.

( congregational amens ).

Help me just to start where I’m at right now. You don’t have to make some great leap. But God, help me to understand that I’ve got to present and expect You to change me. Do what’s needed in my heart ‘cause there’s a whole bunch of stuff that I need. Help me, Lord. I believe He will, don’t you?

( congregational response ).

Praise God!