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Rainbow Divider
MCM Broadcast

TV Broadcast #1369

The Foundation for Peace
Conclusion

December 30, 2018

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— Brother Phil Enlow: Where are you at this morning? Is there something going on in your life and you can’t even imagine what kind of a solution there might be? I serve a God who can do more than I can imagine! And I praise Him for that!

But listen to what he says here, “As a prisoner for the Lord, then, I urge you to live a life worthy of the calling you have received. Be completely humble and gentle…”(NIV). Which is our nature, of course! “Be patient, bearing with one another in love.”

Boy, if I’m gonna do any of this, I’ve got to have help! I’ve got to have somebody, I’ve got to have the Prince of Peace living His life through me, because if I resort to how I feel about you and about things, we’re gonna have a fight! Because I don’t like you!

( laughter ).

No, you don’t like me either, see? It works both ways. All it takes is something that just crosses us just right and man you’re gonna — something in here is just gonna rise up. But I’ll tell you, if you’ve got the Prince of Peace living in here, we’ve got One to whom we can turn, if we will…

( congregational amens ).

…In every circumstance. Paul is not telling us to do something we cannot do. Now, we can’t do it in ourselves, but he is telling us what to do by faith in His strength and His power to do it in us! That’s an awesome thing! If we’re willing, we can live a supernatural life. Praise God! And so he says all these glorious things.

“Be completely humble and gentle; be patient, bearing with one another….” You know, if he says this, there must be some reason why that’s needed. Obviously, he’s not talking to perfect people. He’s talking with people who need somebody to bear with them. In other words, there are faults—there are real faults that we still have. And yet, the Lord is telling us to be patient with other people. Of course, we’re expecting them to be patient with us, right?

( congregational response ).

I mean, after all, it’s us we’re talking about.

( laughter ).

But now, you, you straighten up! I have no patience for how you’re behaving! Oh, I’ll tell you, we’ve got a lot to learn, don’t we? But you see, even in the midst of real faults and real conflicts and real issues that arise, you see where God, where the Lord would drive us. He would encourage us, is a better word, to lay hold of the new life that He’s given so that we can handle it in a different way than people naturally handle that. I can’t do any of this, but I can with Him. I can do all things through Him who strengthens me. Praise God!

“Make every effort to keep the unity of the Spirit through the bond of peace.” See, there’s that word again. There’s that sense of a lack of conflict. But the whole thing is established by Christ. It’s His kingdom. It’s the very atmosphere of His kingdom is one of peace.

You know, I was just thinking about this. Think about God and the peace that He has. I guess I’m getting ahead of myself, in a sense, but think about the kind of atmosphere there would be in Heaven. Certainly there’s joy, there’s praise, there’s all of those glorious things. But I think if you had to pick one word, it would be peace. It would be the utter lack of conflict and strife and struggle and anxiety and all the things that bedevil us.

( congregational amens ).

Do you think that there’s a single thing that God thinks about and deals with that He’s upset about, that He’s anxious, He’s fearful? What am I gonna do? Call an emergency meeting! There are no emergency meetings in Heaven. Wherever God is, there’s peace. Wherever His presence is, it brings the very atmosphere of Heaven and it’s one of peace. Oh, praise God! How many want to, want to experience that in a greater measure? Here? And you know, when the time comes, praise God, it’s better where we’re going!

( congregational amens ).

We get to enter into that place where there’s just that, the very atmosphere, as I say, of His Spirit, is one of peace. Praise God!

Well, that’s what He wants us to learn how to experience here. He has brought us into a community, where if we really drink of His Spirit and we’re willing to learn from Him, we’re willing to become the kind of people that He has power to make us, man there’s gonna be a bond formed between you and me and us that the Devil himself can’t break if we’ll walk with Him, if we’ll humble ourselves and do what He’s talking about here.

We’re gonna find that there’s a Christ who lives in us who is greater than him that’s in the world. Right in the middle of this world we can be a community where there is peace. And people who come in here can feel that peace. I pray that people will, in a greater and greater measure.

But you know, just having that relationship with God is a wonderful thing, but I think we are aware that there’s more to it than simply saying, okay, I’ve made my peace with God. There’s a practical side to this, where God is desiring that I not only enter into a legal, so to speak, relationship with Him where my sins are gone, the enmity between me and Him is gone, I’m on board, I’ve changed sides, I’ve left the world behind, I am now His, but I’ll tell you what, we’ve got a long ways to go, many times, in learning how to practically live out what He’s talking about. Because this is not peace in Heaven, this is peace on Earth.

I think if I were to ask everybody today, how many of you here have just absolutely perfect peace, right now? I don’t think there would be a single hand that could honestly be lifted up. We may have a measure of it. I trust that we do. But there is a growing in grace, isn’t there? There is a learning from Him. There is a drinking from Him. There is a learning how to handle things.

I mean, the song that was sung this morning — I love that second verse. I can’t remember all the words, but when somebody says something bad and I want to fight — what are the words in there? I have a choice? I have a choice. That’s an awesome line! How many times do we realize that we’ve got a choice in how we handle life, how we respond, what we do? We’ve got a choice in every single thing.

But one of the things that I see that just seemed to jump out at me as I was meditating on this over this — here and there throughout the last week, was God’s heart in this. Do you think that God wants us to experience His peace? Or do you think He’s kind of holding out and waiting for us to measure up and straighten up and fly right?

His heart—His heart is for every single heart here to experience His peace, in the present, to know Him. You see this everywhere we go. How does Paul begin most of his letters? “Grace and peace to you from God our Father and the Lord Jesus Christ.” Almost without fail, those are the words, or some variation of that. Grace, the help I need from Heaven, the life from Heaven. But as a result of that and my yielding to that and becoming changed by that, I’m gonna experience the very peace of God!

Praise God! That’s God’s heart for you, this morning. Whatever you’re experiencing, whatever is going on in your heart, whatever conflicts there are in your life, God’s desire for you, not just some vague, general, oh, peace on Earth kind of thing, God wants you to have peace! If there’s strife, that’s not from Him! That comes from someplace else.

Every time you see some Divine encounter in the scriptures that would cause somebody to be terrified — oh my God, an angel just visited me, or I saw this tremendous vision of God’s glory, almost the first words are, peace! Be at peace! I’m not here to scare you. I’m here to help you. I want you to have My peace. I’ve got a message for you, but peace first. You know, breathe.

( laughing ).

( laughter ).

That’s something we all need, isn’t it? But oh, what — when He met them after the resurrection, what did He do? He suddenly appeared in the middle of a room with locked doors. That would scare most of us to death! Natural reaction, oh my God, if somebody can do this, I need to be afraid!

What are the first words out of His mouth? Peace be to you—peace be to you. Oh, can you see that? Do you really believe that God wants you to have peace? Do you really believe it, or are these just words that we’re supposed to say?

I just pray that somehow — I can’t spin the words and make that happen, but I pray that God will minister to every one of us, the depth of His desire for you to experience His peace, right now, in your heart and in your life. That’s God’s heart for you, this morning. And I just pray that that will somehow resonate with our spirits, that He longs to bring us into that place.

But I’ll tell you, if there’s something in you that conflicts with Him, you want your way! By God, you want to do — there’s something you’re attached to, to the point where this is my will and it’s contrary to His will, you’re not gonna find a moment of peace until you let that go, ‘til you surrender.

( congregational amens ).

We’re gonna have to be aligned with our hearts, our minds, our wills, our convictions, with the Prince of Peace if we’re gonna experience His peace. Oh, my! What peace He can give us, too. His will, not ours. His Word, not ours. I was trying to think of how we, how we put it in those messages. I don’t want to go back through that. But I’ll tell you what, somehow I believe that there are things in our lives that God longs to touch.

And I thought about something that actually ties in with last week. And I’m gonna go ahead and touch on that and go back to Hebrews chapter 12, ‘cause I think it gets down to something that I’m trying to get to.

We talked last week about the fact that every one of us has a path that’s marked out for us, a race that’s marked out for us. God has individually designed a course for your life and for mine that will lead us through the paths of His will, through the paths of His blessing, His usefulness. We’re gonna experience God living in and through us. But every one of us is different and unique.

And He goes on to develop that thought in ways that let us know that it’s not an easy road. It’s not an easy road that leads to glory, is it? It’s one that is full of challenges. It’s full of things that God allows in a very specific way to train us and to teach us and to help us to learn things about ourselves.

Listen to — let’s go on from the beginning of that, down in verse 4. It says, “In your…” because he lifts up Christ Himself as the example, back in verse 3. “Consider him who endured such opposition from sinful men, so that you will not grow weary and lose heart. In your struggle against sin, you have not yet resisted to the point of shedding your blood.

“And you have forgotten that word of encouragement…” Isn’t that interesting? He throws encouragement in there. “…That addresses you as sons: My son, do not make light of the Lord’s discipline, and do not lose heart when he rebukes you, because the Lord disciplines those he loves, and he punishes everyone he accepts as a son.”

Now, we think of punishment as lawbreaking, rule breaking. But this is the kind where His desire is to lead us into the way of peace. For example, if you have a little child and they’re about to play with a coral snake, because it’s pretty, and you’re a loving parent, you’re gonna intervene. You’re gonna do whatever it takes to end that situation, even if it’s to give them a bop on the behind and say, you need to leave that alone.

What’s your motive in that? ‘Cause they broke a rule and you’re mad at them? No! It’s because you love them enough to try to pull them out of something that’s gonna be a destructive force in their life.

That’s what God is doing with every single one of us. If you and I are going through adversity of any kind, God is seeking to touch things in your life that will destroy any possibility of you having peace!

We are in God’s hands! He is the one who is making us into His image! And if I’m gonna have peace, I’m gonna have to surrender and agree with Him about things that He touches, because He loves me! Praise God!

“Endure hardship…” So, this is what he’s talking about. “Endure hardship…” hard things that happen in our lives, endure them, “…as discipline.” The word discipline means child training. It’s not punishment as in, I’m mad at you. It’s, I am going to do something that is clearly and forcefully to get your attention because I love you and I don’t want you going that way. I don’t want you wandering off the path and getting in a dark and dangerous place. This is the way, I’ve got it for you, don’t go that way.

You remember how the Lord spoke to Paul when He met him on the Road to Damascus? Yeah! He said, “It is hard for thee to kick against the pricks.” (KJV). In other words, what God is saying, I’ve been trying to get your attention for years! You stood there and you held the coats of those who stoned Stephen and you heard his words and you didn’t pay any attention. I was trying to speak to you and you didn’t listen. You’ve been running as hard as you can, fighting against me. And the Lord says, “It is hard for thee to kick against the pricks.” ‘Course, you and I would never do that!

( congregational response ).

Never! There would be not the slightest little bobble in our thinking, in our ways — unless we woke up in the morning! But I believe with all my heart, God is working in our lives to bring us to that place of the promise. We can have peace right here.

( congregational amens ).

We don’t have to live in a stew all the time. We don’t have to live constantly trying to scratch that itch. We can bring it to Him.

“Endure hardship as discipline; God is treating you as sons. For what son is not disciplined by his father? If you are not disciplined (and everyone undergoes discipline), then you are illegitimate children and not true sons. Moreover, we have all had human fathers who disciplined us and we respected them for it.” (NIV). I hope you do.

“How much more should we submit to the Father of our spirits and live! Our fathers disciplined us for a little while as they thought best; but God disciplines us for our good, that we may share in his holiness. No discipline seems pleasant at the time, but painful. Later on, however, it produces a harvest of righteousness and peace….”

Doesn’t it? See where God’s going with all this? Whatever is happening in your life, you want to know where God’s going with it? Is He slapping you down because He’s mad at you? No! He longs to bring you to this place! Oh, why are you so hard-headed? Why are you so stubborn? I love you! Hear my voice! I want to bring you to a place that you cannot imagine, if you’d just let go. Let Me have My way!

“…Produces a harvest of righteousness and peace for those who have been trained by it. Therefore, strengthen your feeble arms and weak knees. Make level paths for your feet, so that the lame may not be disabled, but rather healed.”

You know, I was thinking about the issue of peace and our having peace in this world and how many things there are that wind up getting buried. We talked about this in the past, but how many things there are that we have experienced in our earthly walk and our relationships with others, the circumstances we’ve endured, that have left deep places of hurt and scarring way down here?

It got quiet, didn’t it? Because every one of you know what I’m talking about. There’s stuff that happens to us, and God’s heart and His desire is to not just have this peace that sort of sits out here somewhere and we acknowledge it and, thank You for Your peace, Lord. But He wants to have that peace go all the way down to the depths of your soul and mine.

Isn’t that interesting language about lameness and healing? How many things are there that are buried in our hearts and our minds that hinder us, that hold us back, that cause us to be lame in our spiritual walk, that we’re always fighting against something. We’re trying to drag — there’s a hindrance!

Didn’t he say, cast away, throw off all the hindrances, everything that hinders? And the stuff that hinders is not just out here. The stuff that hinders is in here. It’s things that we’ve been through in our lives. Relationships with other people that have done something in here and that wound is still there and it’s just never really, the Lord’s never really gotten to it. We’ve never let Him in.

He may be the Prince of Peace and we may say, wow, isn’t that great and say, praise God for all of that that we just heard on that video, and mean it! But how many of us are really willing to let Him in to all those places and say, Lord, I’ve carried anger, I’ve carried bitterness all my — all these years, because of stuff that happened, things that I’ve just never been able to get over.

I’ve always had feelings about this situation and that person and somehow it’s just always festered and it’s always there and it just keeps coming up and I keep trying to bury it and keep trying to make myself feel better by doing this and doing that, but it’s still there. How many of you believe that’s the way the Lord wants us to live?

( congregational response ).

He came to bring peace, didn’t He? But I’ll guarantee every single one of us needs this kind of peace that comes from humbling ourselves under the mighty hand of God and letting Him work, and letting Him touch those deep areas. He wants to share His peace with every single person here and everyone, everywhere that will open their hearts.

So, I’m gonna ask two simple questions. Have you ever truly made peace with God? Have you ever come to that place where you’ve just, like the Japanese were brought to in war, but under the mighty hand of God, the loving hand of God, have you ever really made your peace with God, laid down your arms, and just surrendered your life into His hands? Have you ever done that? Do you know Him? If not, why not? And when? When do you plan to do it?

My prayer is that God will so convict you, if that’s the need, He will so take this Word and just bring it down into your heart ‘til you can’t get away from it, not because He’s mad at you, ‘cause He loves you! He wants you to have His peace. He wants you to know Him. He loves you.

But here’s a question for everybody else. Are you enjoying His gift of peace today? Is that the condition of your heart? Are you enjoying it? He gave it to us. If not, why not? And when? What do you plan to do about it? I guess I need to ask those questions of myself as well.

But I believe with all my heart that what the angels said that day was true. Glory to God in the highest, peace on earth—peace on earth. We can have it now. But if we can have any measure of it now, think what it’s gonna be like. Man, I want to be on board with Him, the Prince of Peace, because, “Of the increase of his government and peace there will be no end.” Praise God!