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Rainbow Divider
MCM Broadcast

TV Broadcast #1357

Are You Planted?
Part One

October 7, 2018

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— Brother Phil Enlow: I don’t know, I’ve just had the scripture that I mentioned the other night at prayer meeting come back to me in Jeremiah chapter 17. And I’m just gonna trust the Lord to help me to focus on what He wants to bring out of the scripture.

And this is a passage that Brother Thomas used to refer to because it was one the Lord made real to him in some real life experiences. You know, that’s where the Word becomes real, is when we’re in the middle of something and the Lord speaks and gives us light and understanding as to what’s going on. And I know many of you know what I’m talking about?

Anyway, let me just go ahead and read the scripture and I’ll begin in verse 5. “This is what the Lord says: Cursed is the one who trusts in man, who depends on flesh for his strength and whose heart turns away from the Lord. He will be like a bush in the wastelands; he will not see prosperity when it comes. He will dwell in the parched places of the desert, in a salt land where no one lives.

“But blessed is the man who trusts in the Lord, whose confidence is in him. He will be like a tree planted by the water that sends out its roots by the stream. It does not fear when heat comes; its leaves are always green. It has no worries in a year of drought and never fails to bear fruit.” (NIV).

Now this is interesting that this next verse falls in this same context and I believe it’s significant. “The heart is deceitful above all things and beyond cure. Who can understand it? I the Lord search the heart and examine the mind, to reward a man according to his conduct, according to what his deeds deserve.”

You’ve got two pretty utterly contrasting types of people described here. And, as I read this I felt like there were some shades of application of these principles that need to be laid out in a clear way. Perhaps they’re relevant to different people here today.

But, it’s interesting that the Lord…I mean, I think it was understood that when a prophet spoke, when God gave him something and he spoke, it was understood this was the Lord. But yet, you actually have this explicit expression, ‘this is what the Lord says.’ I’ll tell you, when the Lord says something, isn’t it smart that we listen? God is drawing attention to something.

And it’s something where we need to take it seriously because by nature we trust our own minds and our own hearts. And that’s the stupidest thing anybody could possibly do. But we do it, by nature. You know, it’s part of the fallen condition of man where men set out in the beginning on an independent course from God and said, I know best what’s right for me. I’m gonna take control of my life, chart my own course, and, God, if we happen to be on the same path that’s fine…but I’m not really following You, I’m following me.

And that’s kind of what we’re born with…with that inclination. And that’s the reason that the heart ‘is’ deceitful because it’s constantly pulling in that direction, isn’t it? And I’ll tell you, young people today need to understand the world in which they’re growing up. And then you need to understand you have a heart that will deceive you if you listen to it.

Oh, how we love to…the popular phrase, “follow your heart.” And I understand in one sense what that means. But, follow your heart…my God, you’ll follow your heart straight to hell if you just listen to what human nature wants.

And the illusion that you’re in control of your life, if you take control and seize it and do…I don’t care what you accomplish! I mean, the description here of this person, this man who says my hope lies in my ability, my hope lies in, perhaps, other people and other systems, but man, mankind is my hope! Mankind is where it’s at. We’re in charge. We’re gonna chart our own course. You know, you go to universities today, that’s just about all you’ll hear. Am I right?

( congregational response ).

Yeah, Kaitlyn is just not long out of university and there are others. You will run into people who are not shy about screaming this from the housetops, many of them…that there is no God. They will just disparage and belittle and try to silence anything, any other opinion, any other idea! We are in charge! We are God! End of story and anything else is just to be squelched.

So if you want to…you’re gonna have a challenge on your hand if try to go and stand up to that. You better have something, because the tendency of any young person, and it’s pretty natural, is to grow up and you hear all these different voices. You hear one coming from the world. You hear one coming from movies, from television, from school friends, and then you come to church and you hear that and it’s like you’re trying it all out. And you’re the one trying to sit there and evaluate what you think is truth.

But I’ll tell you, there is only one path that leads to life. And it is when God speaks, that there is a heart that yields, that…like was said, that surrenders. There is a, ‘yes, Lord, I recognize this is You and You know better than I do and I know that You love me and so I am going to listen to what You say and humble myself before that voice.’ I’ll tell you, there’s a God who is looking for someone whose heart is along that trail.

But the world is not going that way. It just loves to do its own thing and, like I said, we’ve seen this in history. We saw it before the flood. Mankind reached a point where the imaginations of every single heart were only evil continually! Zero truth! They were going by ideas that they believed and they seemed to work.

Now obviously, there was a lot of trouble and strife and all of that, but still, this seems the right way to go. I am in charge and I have abilities and I’m gonna use my abilities to advance whatever it is I want. If somebody gets in my way, they’re in trouble. But there was a world full of conflict but you still had people that were so deceived that they said, this is the way!

And yet, we know Solomon was anointed of God to say, there is a way that, does what? It, “…seems right to man, but in the end it leads to death.” See, that just confirms what Jeremiah said about the heart being deceitful.

I’ll tell you, there’s an evil power that you cannot see that operates in this world and some of these…oh, I don’t even want to imagine what it’s like when some of these professors who are so rabid and so cocky in their belief, and so…I mean, I encountered some of them years and years ago that I felt like I was under assault just talking to them. They got going on some hobbyhorse and, Lord have mercy, the spirit that was just pouring out! I’m just thinking of one man in particular. God…to have to sit under that and listen to that!

But can you imagine, they come to their deathbed and they leave, their eyes close to this scene and open to the next one…what they’re gonna see? All of a sudden, they’re gonna realize with horror that they have been completely, utterly deceived and there are gonna be some angels, but they won’t be the right kind. They’ll be another kind that are gonna take them and they’ll be screaming and saying, give me another chance, oh, no…it’ll be too late—it’ll be too late.

And God’s heart is…and this is telling the truth so that people will wake up and realize! Oh, God! There is a curse! And you know, it’s not always apparent at first because part of the deception of the enemy is to allow evil people, or people who are on this other road of rebellion and self-will, to seemingly succeed.

And I’ll tell you, on the authority of God’s Word, if you go down…anybody who hears this goes down this road, everything you ever accomplish in life will come to nothing! It will have no impact! There will come a time when you will be forgotten. Everything will be gone. You will have wasted your life completely. But there’ll be one thing left to happen, and that’s the judgment.

And the reason the Lord tells people this is not to threaten them. God’s not looking for people to be scared and pretend to serve Him. That’s not His heart in this. Oh, God. You know, you see the people in Romans chapter 1, and how Paul describes why the wrath of God rests upon people, and what it amounts to.

And the wrath of God is not necessarily Him hurling thunderbolts and directly saying, I’m gonna curse you. I’m gonna do something to you. It’s Him standing back. You remember how He encounters this spirit where, I will not listen to You, I will do what I want, end of story. And so finally, He steps back and says, all right, I’m gonna let you have what you have chosen. But what they don’t realize is what they have chosen is to submit their whole being to the power of Satan who will continue to deceive.

And sometimes, Satan is gonna take somebody, lift them up as a pinnacle of success for a time, and sell his lie through them to millions of people. That’s what he’s doing today, at least. Oh, I pray that God will awaken some people to the realization, because the curse that he’s describing, the wasteland, the place where there’s nothing….

How many time do we hear stories and accounts of people who seemingly are in a place where everybody envies them? Oh, if I could just be like them! They’re famous, they’re rich, they do what they please, they seem to be just…it’s party all the time!

But if you could see what’s going on on the inside, if you could see the emptiness that they’re constantly trying to cover, trying to deal with…and the strife, all the stuff that’s really going on in their hearts.

Oh, God…I don’t want any of that. God has so much better. God is not like any of that. All of that strife, all of that anxiety, all the fear, all the negative things that are part of this world, that doesn’t come from Him. That’s what…He’s longing to lift us out. We sung about the cross and what Jesus did to make it possible. Oh, what a price He would pay to make it possible for us to escape what’s going on in this world.

But you know, I thought about, in a sense, there are four kinds of people this thing describes. One of them is the one I’ve been talking about. That’s the one who just simply hardens their heart and there’s no bones about it…I hate God or I don’t even believe in God! I refuse to listen to Him. I’m gonna go my way…that’s the end of my story.

And there is a spirit of defiance and that is what is taking over the world. And we’re seeing it more and more and it is accompanied by this incredible blindness. I mean, how many of you can read the headlines and read what people say and what they think and what they’re contending for, and you say, my God, that’s insanity! Well, it is if you see something. I mean, if God opens your eyes to see what’s really going on, people are utterly blind and that’s the reason. So that’s one of the categories.

But there is another one and I believe it’s informed by the heart being, “…deceitful above all things, and desperately wicked: who can know it?” (KJV). And you see this in the scripture and that’s the category of a person who lives a life of self-will, but somehow is able to deceive themselves into thinking, I’m serving God.

Now the Pharisees certainly fell into that category. But it has long been an issue where…I’m going to listen, I’m going to give lip-service, I’m going to…somehow I’m gonna go along. I’m gonna go to church, for example. I’m gonna participate. I’m gonna believe. I’m gonna sing. But somehow, there is a spirit within that says, I’m going to do what I want. I’m the ultimate judge. I’m the ultimate decider.

And you’ll have people who will listen to the Word that’s preached, or even read the Word of God and they’ll say, yes, I like this, but I don’t quite agree with this. And there’s a spirit that’s just sitting…you’re the judge. You’re the one trusting in your own wisdom, trusting in your own ability to understand truth, not recognizing the truth about your own heart that you cannot trust it, but yet you do! That’s a terrible place to be!

And you know, there are so many scriptures that bear this out about people who…Jesus said, “Many will say to me on that day, Lord, Lord…” Haven’t we done all these wonderful things in Your name? He says, “…I never knew you: depart from me, ye that work iniquity.” (KJV). The spirit of iniquity is a spirit of lawlessness. That’s someone who simply will not be ruled over. There’s no submission there.

There is someone who will sort of acknowledge, try to have it both ways. I’m gonna try to acknowledge God and I’ll comfort myself that I have yielded to Him that I have believed Him, but really and truly if you go right down to the heart level, they’re in charge!

And I’ll tell you…you know, again, my heart goes out to young people, certainly not limited to them by any stretch, but my heart goes out to young people. You’re trying to figure out what your life’s gonna be about. In the first place, you see a long path ahead of you and I’m gonna tell you, it’s short. It’s a whole lot shorter than you think. You’re gonna get out to the end, near the end and you’re gonna look back and say, my God, where did it go? How did I get here?

( laughing ).

I had all these dreams and plans and now here I am. None of it’s come true, or whatever. But I want to tell you, there are so many voices that will pull you, so many ideas, so much wisdom that really has not originated in here or it has not originated in the heart of God.

And if we can’t come to…if a person cannot come to a place where there is a genuine encounter with God that results in surrender, and trust, humbling, putting one’s faith, not in ourselves, but in Him, recognizing that we need a Deliverer! We need a Savior! There is no other…I’m gonna wind up in one of these categories.

The only way into having a future and having a basis of hope here and in the future beyond this life, is to put my faith in Jesus Christ. He is real! He is a living Savior! He died but He came to life again. God raised Him from the dead! And there was a company of people who saw Him ascend to heaven and witnessed the power that came as a result of His promise.

Well, that same Jesus is here. Folks, those who believe…we need to pray with all of our hearts that God will open hearts! We need the Word but we need God to open hearts and convict, because He loves people. Oh, if we could understand His love this morning, it would make all the difference in the world.

So I see those two categories of people. You’ve got the one that’s hard-hearted, but you’ve got a people that are really in charge of their own lives, but deceive themselves into thinking, I’m serving God and I’m following God. And all I can do is just give out the truth and pray that God will enlighten and open hearts while there’s time, because He’s the only One that can save.

I have no power to save anybody. All I can do is just try to give out what He says. And, obviously we need God’s help to do that, don’t we? I have no power. Praise God! I’m in the place where I’m the one who needs to just trust God and humble myself, because what do I have? What can I do? “But blessed is the man who trusts in the Lord…” (NIV).

The thing that I remember from Brother Thomas’s testimony on this one, and maybe I’ve got this confused with another scripture, but I believe this is it. But Brother Thomas was complaining one time. Now none of you would ever do that, would you? Things weren’t going the way he thought they should and expected they would and he found himself in what felt like a dry place. And…what’s wrong, Lord? Why are things the way they are? And I think, ‘cause I said before, he was probably complaining about some of you.

( laughter ).

But anyway…things just looked kind of “samey,” going on, just going through the motions, week after week just coming. And the Lord listened to him for a little while. Has He ever done that with you? And then finally He spoke up and said, well, who are you trusting?

Brother Thomas thought a minute and said, well, I’m trusting You, Lord. And the Lord said, well what does that make you? And the Lord brought this scripture to his mind. “But blessed is the man who trusts in the Lord….” And so, Brother Thomas was feeling like I’ve been encouraged here…something is wrong here, and all of a sudden, Brother Thomas could say, I’m blessed!

You know, a lot of the problem with some of this is how you define blessing. The world defines it as me doing what I want to do and having what I want to have and being able to please whatever desires arise in me. And boy, if I’m able to do that to any degree, I am a blessed person!

And the reality is, if you’re doing that in the energy of what you desire, you are a cursed individual who has no clue what’s going on and you have no idea what’s ahead of you. But yet, it’s possible for a real believer to be in a place of need, of trial, of struggle and yet, because their eyes are upon Him and their trust is in Him and they don’t turn from that trust, but they continue to trust Him, they are the ones who are blessed!

You and I can be in the middle of a trial, you and I could be hit by something that comes out of left field, but I’ll tell you, we are the ones who are blessed because we are able to instantly look to God and put our hope and our trust in Him! Praise God!

( congregational amens ).

We’re never alone! God is never blind-sided by anything that happens to any of His children. He uses what…everything He sends in his life. I mean, there’s nothing different in this message from so many others, but it’s a different way to look at it, perhaps.

But oh, what an interesting picture this is of a man, “… who trusts in the Lord, whose confidence is in him.” Now other translations will use the word ‘hope.’ So I see the sense of trust as, regardless of what anything looks like right now, or whatever my prospect, whatever’s going on in my life, my hope is in You! I don’t trust me. How many of you can look in the mirror and you understand that you can’t trust you? I can’t trust you. But I can trust in Him.

( congregational amens ).

See, it’s not that God wants to tear us down and make us feel like dirt, He wants to make us feel like His children that He loves dearly and that He longs to share Himself with! Praise God, and we were made to be filled with Him, motivated, strengthened, empowered, whatever you want to put, we were meant to be an extension of His life, yet be all the individuals we are. Praise God! What a wonderfully balanced picture that is!

“…Blessed is the man who trusts in the Lord, whose confidence….” So there’s a present-tense aspect to that, but there’s also this sense of, Lord, I’m confident of You and where I’m going. I’ve got a hope that reaches into the future. I know the road that I am on and I know where it goes! And so, I am standing on that and that’s my confession.

But there’s one thing about this that kind of jumped out at me. “He will be like a tree….” What’s the next word?

( congregational response ).

Planted. Many times, that’s the issue. You’ve got people who will come to church, participate up to a point, but I’ll tell you, there has got to be a point in time where you are ‘planted’ in God.