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Rainbow Divider
MCM Broadcast

TV Broadcast #1358

Are You Planted?
Conclusion

October 14, 2018

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— Brother Phil Enlow: God wants people who are not only planted, but who send out their roots, because…life happens. How many have discovered that? Life happens. There’s gonna be stuff that happens. But it’s what we do when it happens that makes all of the difference.

And for someone who has been planted in God, there is a source to which we can go regardless of the circumstances on the outside. You see the picture that’s being pictured here—being put before us? This is a tree planted by the water that sends out—it sends out!

There is a deliberate…Lord, I need you in this circumstance! There’s something, there’s a need that has come to me and I am putting out a root because I know there’s a source of help out there. I know that you have what I need to meet this present need! And it’s an ongoing process, isn’t it?

And so, the third category that seemed to come to me as I was thinking about this, is the person that has been planted, but maybe they’re still in an immature state. And how easy is it for any of us to be like Brother Thomas was on that occasion, and we get embroiled in a situation and all we can think about is the situation and how it’s wrong. You know, especially like the argument Thomas is talking about…I’m right, I’m right, I’m right. And there’s still a lot of that in us. And so God is going to bring us into circumstances that will bring out the very…the need! What do we do?

So you see there’s a situation here where somebody can really be planted, and yet you looking on and you’re saying, boy, it doesn’t look like it. If they were really a Christian they wouldn’t act this way or they wouldn’t react that way. God, help us. We need to grow.

But that’s one reason why the Lord tells us to put up with each other, because we are in an imperfect state and learning. And part of the reason He would tell us something like this is so that we would realize what’s really going on, because a lot of times we don’t get it. We don’t understand why things would happen as they do. Oh God, what is Your purpose in this? Lord, I don’t understand. Here I am, I was doing fine…the sun was out, the rain was coming and now it’s dry all of a sudden.

See, isn’t that the picture He paints here? Yeah! Because it does not fear when heat comes…doesn’t say, if heat should just happen to come…when it comes! There is a certainty that there will be seasons in your life and in mine. The path of the just is not always through the wonderful, beautiful meadows. Sometimes it’s through the valley of the shadow of death.

God is going to lead His dear children along, isn’t He? He’s gonna lead us in paths of His choosing and every single step that we take is going to be meant to teach us, train us, change us, into His image, so that we can be what He wants us to be in that day.

Everything is designed based upon His character and His character is based on what? Love. And it’s not this sentimental, mushy kind of stuff that we call love here. This is a love that is sacrificial in seeking the benefit of the one who is loved.

Oh my God, I’m so thankful that there’s Someone out there that cares about me when I really mess up. When I run into a situation and I don’t act like a child of God, He loves me. And He loves you.

But isn’t that what God is seeking from every single one of us? There’s stuff going on in everybody’s life right here this morning. Life has hit you this week. And God is looking for a heart that says, Lord, I’m a blessed person. I’ll bet you this stuff happened to every single person here and that was not your first reaction. Lord, I’m so blessed! Thank you that this happened! I’m blessed! Oh my God, this is wonderful! Because I’m trusting in You and I know You’ve got this—I know You’ve got this.

But that wasn’t your first reaction, was it? You see, there’s a place of maturity. That would be the fourth category, where God brings us to that place where we just, we understand in a greater and greater measure.

You know, I had this thought, I guess in connection with this. We talk about our young people and we need to, and we need to love them, we need to pray for them. But I sometimes wonder what they see in us. This isn’t just a bunch of religious teaching they need to gather second-hand and kind of make it the deciding factor in their life. They need to see Christ.

( congregation amens ).

That’s what He seeking to produce in every single one of us, so that what they see, what people see, is Him. You know, when the sun is shining and then there’s rain and all the conditions are conducive to a healthy tree…you know, either one of these trees could look pretty good, couldn’t it?

But what happens when outward conditions change? And then you begin to see the difference, like you did in that particular yard. One was kind of hanging on for dear life and the other one…oh, it had a source of life that was down there. It wasn’t dependent upon the circumstances. How many of you know we’re not dependent upon what happens to us?

( congregational amens ).

Oh, we need to get to a place of maturity where our happiness, quote, unquote, does not depend upon every little thing being just right. If you’re looking for a God who just smoothes your feathers and smoothes your fur, rubs it just the right way, He wouldn’t be helping you if He did, because so much of our desires is shaped by the corruption of our nature.

But I’ll tell you, we have a God who loves us enough to do what is needed to bring forth what He’s going to bring in our lives. And the focus of this is fruit bearing, isn’t it? Praise God! That’s what it’s all about.

You know I had a…I’ll just stop and inject this. I had this picture of what a tree, what the first tree is like. What would you think of a tree…of course this would have to be a mythical tree that could talk and think. But anyway, what would you think about a tree that said, I don’t need anything! I’ve got everything I need within myself, my own capabilities? I can handle anything.

Trees aren’t made that way, are they? Trees are made to draw their sustenance from outside. And it’s all very well if it comes from the weather and all of that. But boy, if the weather changes, you better have a source of something.

Folks, the weather in this world is changing. And it’s not gonna get better. But God has given us a stream. You know, I think of some of the scriptures in the Psalms, there’s a stream, there’s a river, the, “…streams make glad the city of God…” (NIV).

Oh, I’ll tell you, there are rivers that flow from the very throne of God. What is that river? It’s His life. It’s His life that He wants us to draw from. He wants us to drink in, He wants it to become the motivating factor behind what we do and how we think and how we act.

You know, I just this morning I had to stop and think…I had run into several things where my natural reaction was one way, and I had to say, wait a minute, Lord. You let that happen because You want me to be a different kind of person. I got to start making a choice here, don’t I? Am I just gonna give in to how I normally handle and normally react to somebody or something? Or am I just going to say, Lord, reproduce Your character in me in this thing.

You know, I thought of one of Ken’s favorite scriptures there in Galatians. And that’s Galatians chapter 5, where we discover the fruits of the Spirit. Is that not what He’s talking about? Is not God seeking for us to able to produce in our lives the various qualities of His nature? What are those fruits? Love…verse 22, “…the fruit of the spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control.”

Now if I’m in a situation where the sun is not shining, it’s dry, there’s no rain, that leaves me feeling a need, feeling a hunger. And if I’m just acting out of human nature, I’m going to react against that. How many do that?

( congregation inaudible ).

Yeah, we all do. How many of you have been in situations this week where there was somebody and the right thing from God’s point of view to do was for you to love them? But, you didn’t love them. You got bitter, angry, you allowed thoughts to crowd in and to take the place of that.

Why do you think that happened? Why do you think God puts us in contact with people where it is the opposite of our nature to love them, but yet God says to love them? How do we do that?

Well, how does a tree survive a draught? It could just sit there and say, well, I’m just gonna sit here and wait for the rain. Or it could say, there’s a stream and I’ve got roots and I’m gonna put forth an effort. I’m gonna reach out. I’m gonna reach my roots…this is an opportunity for my roots to grow and to reach into a source of water that’s gonna provide what I can’t do in myself.

I don’t have this ability in myself. Not one of us here has the ability to produce these things. We may come up with imitations, but God wants the real thing. And I’ll tell you when the real thing really shows itself to be real is when conditions are just the opposite of what would produce these kinds of things.

I mean, joy…where do people get what…of course, they’re looking for happiness not joy. But joy is an abiding reality that causes me to see beyond all of this and say, my God has given me life! He loves me! He’s put me on a path to eternity! I love Him! I have a reason to rejoice here! Praise God!

Sometimes, many times, we have to do that by faith—we have to assert what we know to be true in the face of all of our feelings and all of our circumstances! But do you see the picture that’s being painted here of a tree that is now in a dry place, in a dry time, but yet it knows that there’s a source of water and it is planted? Now what do you do?

Now you send your roots out and you say, I know where I can get the ability to be joyful. I’m gonna turn my attention to God and I’m gonna reach into Him – expectantly – because I know this is what He wants. I know this is why this has happened. I know He loves me so I am going to go with confidence and get what I need.

He offers himself in every circumstance that we meet in life, offers us the ability to draw from Him, with confidence, with faith, not looking in the mirror and saying, I don’t deserve it. Well, of course you don’t! That’s why it’s salvation. But we can come to Him because we come not based on what we are but based on Him and His promise and His provision. But everything we need to live the life that He’s called us to is there, for the taking.

And the peace…you know, there’s a scripture that we use all the time, don’t be anxious about anything. Well why would we be anxious? There is a circumstance that has come up that has caused us to be fearful and uncertain. And if we think about that we’re gonna sit there and simmer with a spirit of anxiety which is really another word for fear.

So what’s the solution? What is the action? What is the sending out our roots mean in that context? It means turning to Him and taking…and our praying about it, and committing all the issues to Him and then simply just receiving from Him the peace that, I’ve turned this over to Him.

Casting all your care and your anxiety on Him. Why? Because He cares. So if I’ve transferred the burden to Him do I not have the right to just be at peace because I know He loves me and I know He’s working something out?

But you see how God arranged the circumstance so I could experience that, so I could produce fruit. And somebody could have been looking on who sees what you’re in the middle of and sees your reaction and says, my God, I don’t understand that a bit, doesn’t make any sense to me. How could they possibly react that way?

Well, how could this tree, how could this tree produce fruit in the dry time? Because its trust was not in itself. I’ll tell you, that’s a huge lesson right there, for us to learn in practical reality, I cannot depend upon my own strength. Boy, the sooner we learn that, the better.

And yet we see somebody like Paul, the scripture we’ve used so many times, of reaching a place in his life when he had to come to understand that it was not his strength that God wanted, that God wanted him to come to Him in a place of, in a sense of weakness, the sense that I cannot do this in myself.

( congregational amens ).

But not only is that not a bad thing, it’s an awesome thing. Because now it opens my spirit up to understand, I need God! God’s put me in a situation where there’s something I need to do and I can’t do that.

But oh what a joy to come to the place where you realize that’s what He wanted in the first place. Here I had this desire to serve Him, and I was trying with everything I could and it wasn’t all that He wanted, and He had to bring me to a place of weakness where I knew I was weak. And then I turned to Him and I realized that’s what I needed to be doing all along.

Has God done anything like that in your life and brought you face-to-face with a need? Where what comes out of you is not this? Yeah! Do you understand what’s happening? In everything God is not looking to condemn. He’s not looking to discourage. He is looking to bring us to a place where we experience Him in a way that produces fruit that other people can actually see. And we can enjoy being like He is. Joy, peace, patience…all that “terrible” stuff!

How many of you are patient with everything? How many of you can thank God when something comes along that makes you impatient? Wouldn’t that be a good place to start? To say, Lord, I know why You allowed this. I’ve got it. This is in me and I need to learn how to overcome it.

You can go right through every one…kindness. We’re not always kind. There are people we just don’t like. Actually, if we’re gonna be honest, and just go by natural inclinations, sometimes we feel out of sorts and we feel perfectly…perfectly justified, because we’re having a bad day. We don’t have to be kind. We don’t have to be nice. That’s kind of like a drought, isn’t it? The Lord put you in a dry place, but are we helpless and hopeless in such a situation? No! We’ve got a choice, don’t we?

( congregational response ).

Gentleness, faithfulness, all these awesome qualities…we don’t have any of these things. Self-control, boy! Oh my! I’ll tell you, everything we need has been given us in the Lord. But again, one of the controlling things in that picture in Jeremiah is the reality that the heart is deceitful.

And I know that everyone here who knows the Lord, you’ve been planted. God’s working in your life. You’ve been planted. That’s not the question. But you’ve been in situations where you thought you knew, you thought you could, you thought you were, you thought you were right. And God had to bring you face-to-face with the truth. I cannot depend on my own understanding.

Trust and leaning on myself don’t go together. You know, Proverbs 3:5-6, “Trust in the Lord with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding; in all your ways acknowledge him, and he will make your paths straight.”

I’m so glad that God hasn’t given up on me. If I looked at what I deserve, He’d have thrown me in hell a long time ago. But He is so merciful, so patient. These are the qualities that He exhibits towards me. He’s patient with me when I’m not even patient with Him.

But you know, there are scriptures like the offering of the sacrifice of praise, the sacrifice of thanksgiving. Why is it called the sacrifice? There’s something dying…that part of us that wants to go a different way has to sort of let go and die a little. But again, what is that? It’s exercising a choice, isn’t it?

So you know this is, like I said, there are different kinds of people that are affected by this scripture, the one that has never really given up their life and their heart, I just pray that God will bring you to that point. I can’t do it, but He can!

But if you’ve been planted. If you have really set your course and given your heart and your life to Jesus, He wants every one of us, starting with me, to understand what’s going on in our lives. He is going to bring you face-to-face with situations that evoke in you a response that is not like this. Then what do we do? It’s like the conditions of drought, out here on the surface. The weather is not conducive, it isn’t going the way you want it to. Well, boo-hoo!

( laughter ).

It’s going the way He wants it to because He has His own plan. He has the perfect plan for your life and mine. If we can just trust Him. Blessed is the man who trusts in the Lord, who is confident.

But when it comes down to the nitty-gritty of everyday life it means, God, I’m reacting impatiently, I’m reacting with a lack of self-control, I’m reacting with a lack of love, there’s a bitterness, there’s something that’s trying to rule me right now. And I need help. I’m not producing the fruit that You intended that I produce. Oh, God!

You see how God provokes a reaching, a sense of need, a sense where I need to go to Him. That explains a whole lot of what’s going on in every one of our lives. God is gonna do what it takes to cause us to lay hold of His ability to be the kind of a person that He wants us to be. We have no right to make any excuse and say, well, they did this, or it’s just the way I am. Well, just the way “you am” …

( laughter ).

…Is why you need a Savior. You think you’re gonna be like that in heaven? No! God’s gonna make…there are gonna be some changes made in you and me. But oh, how pleasant and how peaceful it is when we experience these kinds of things.

Look at the world around you. They’re so full of anger and strife and every negative thing…all the fruits of a life that people try to live apart from God. But oh, what a place of peace and joy and rest and hope God has prepared for us! And how little we enjoy of that.

God’s not gonna just let you and me rock on, deluding ourselves as to how spiritual we are if we’re not. But in His creating in us the sense of need, do you not see a heart of love? He says, I love you, I’ve got more. And the only way I can get you to get more is to make you feel your need.

So thank You, Lord. Just at the very time when I think I’m…man, He must hate me, I’m cursed. We can say, I’m blessed! He has blessed me! Even though I’m in this dry place right now, I am blessed of a holy God because He planted in my heart this sense that I need Him. And He’s got that river and I know where to go. I know what to do. So I’m gonna do it in faith and trust Him. And He’s gonna get the glory and His fruit is gonna be seen. Praise God!