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Rainbow Divider
MCM Broadcast

TV Broadcast #953

Salvation: Submitting to God

January 9, 2011

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Transcript of message from TV Broadcast 953 -- taken from Closed Captioning Text

-- Brother Phil Enlow: But God will author every circumstance in our lives to change us, to bring us face to face with who we are and what we are. And therefore we are faced with choices, aren’t we? What am I gonna do? Am I gonna cling to my way or am I gonna surrender to Your way? That’s the issue.

But listen to how serious this is. Verse 4, “You adulterous people….” (NIV). What do you mean? I’m not an adulterer…let’s hear what he’s saying. “…Don’t you know…” Don’t you understand this? Don’t you get it? “…Don’t you know that friendship with the world is hatred toward God?” You’ve got two very different kingdoms, two very different ways of life going on here. You’ve got a kingdom of darkness devoted to sin, devoted to rebellion, devoted to destruction, devoted to corruption, devoted to every evil thing you see going on in this world. That’s what Satan’s kingdom is about.

You know, in one sense you can look at the paper and look at the news, wherever it comes, the internet or on the boob tube. Every bit of news you have, so much of it is so negative, it’s so horrible. Man, there isn’t a day goes by but what there isn’t something that is just…oh God, how could anybody possibly be that way. It’s just so utterly wicked, corrupt. God, how could that be?

That’s what this world is about. Man, you can paper it over with all kinds of sweet songs about what a wonderful world, it’s a beautiful world but, God is going to burn this place up. If everybody’s nature in this planet was suddenly unfettered, what kind of a place do you think this world would be? How long do you think we’d live? Man, all you have to do in certain circumstances, maybe there’s a natural disaster and suddenly law and order breaks down. What happens? You’ve got big problems. You’ve got gangs of strong people who go out and murder for a loaf of bread or something. I mean, it’s just…human nature is absolutely the enemy of God.

This system, this world system is built on that principle. And I’ll tell you, for us to choose to align ourselves with those values by clinging to self, I’ll tell you, that’s to be God’s enemy. We are acting like His enemies even when we claim to be His friends. Friendship with the world is hatred. You’re saying, God, I hate your ways. I want me. I want what I want.

Oh God, I thank Him for the love, that in my blindness, in my helplessness caused Him to come to rescue me. I want to have my eyes opened. I want to be…I want to appreciate His love. Not just some tyrant, as I said earlier, who wants to bring me under his thumb and make me do what he wants. Oh no. You want to live your life? Do you want to cling to your life? You know…what does Jesus say? He who loves his life in this world…what happens? What’s the consequence of that? You love it, you say no, I don’t want your way, God, I want mine. You lose it. You have no future.

You’d better get what you’re gonna get ‘cause this is all there is. You’re gonna struggle and strive and your life is gonna be filled, just chock full of “empty.” The whole of your life you’ll have these moments of seeming pleasure and then the rest of the time you’ll just be grasping after something that’s not quite there.

But he who loses his life for My sake and the gospel will keep it. For this world? Forever! Oh, praise God! I want to be…I want to understand, I want to flow and cooperate. If we want revival, it’s gonna happen as we come into line with the will of God. These circumstances that God brings in our lives where our will and our way is pitted against His will and His way, that’s either gonna end in trouble for us if we assert our way, or it’s gonna end in surrender.

I think there’s a lot of folks here who understand what happens when they reach that point of surrender. What happens? You feel like you’ve been taken advantage of, beaten down? You say why was I such a fool? Why did I wait so long? What was so important that I couldn’t let my way go? Oh, God, you fill my heart with such peace and assurance and love. Oh wow, that’s awesome, Lord! That’s what it’s about.

Anyone who chooses to become--chooses to be a friend. You see this is where…this is choices that come in. Now this applies in different ways, I think. To people who don’t know God to begin with, this is the category they’re in, whether they want to admit it or not. But God wants you to be His friend. God wants to rescue you out of it, but you’re gonna have to take the place we described back there in Romans, of a needy sinner who just comes and you see that Jesus is the answer to your need. He has the power to obliterate your guilt and to come in and to make you a child of God.

As I said, this is written to Christians, isn’t it? “Anyone who chooses to be a friend of the world becomes an enemy of God.” I’ll tell you, sometimes we can be in that place as a Christian where we just are pitting our will against God, and by God we’re right! God, this is right! I even prayed about it, God. I prayed about it. Look at your Word. I’ve prayed about it. All the while it’s flowing out of self and self-will and pride and all these things that drive us.

“Or do you think Scripture says without reason…” You know, it was for no reason…God just threw this in there. It didn’t make…it didn’t mean anything but He just put it in there. “…Do you think Scripture says without reason that the spirit he caused to live in us envies intensely?” That’s a pretty good description of our condition and why salvation is necessary, and why we can’t do anything about it. You mean, we’re gonna take these corrupted desires and somehow engage them and exercise ourselves in such a way that we can defeat them? That doesn’t make any sense. I need a Saviour. I need a power outside of myself.

But oh, we need to be cooperative, don’t we? When we hit the issues of life, we need to be willing to recognize when our will gets hard and strong and adamant and resistant and critical and all these things that come no matter what the circumstance is…especially when we’re right. But you know how many times have we heard, you’re wrong even if you’re right, if your spirit is wrong?

See, we’re focused on the issue, as I said. God is focused on our character. If there is a situation that needs God’s attention, he’s much more likely to do something about it after he’s done something about you. My job is not to fix the world. My job is to surrender to the process of salvation and let Him change me. We act like God doesn’t really…isn’t on the job and he’s just gone to sleep, and why did he let this happen? and why is this? and God won’t you fix that?…when God is interested in fixing you. So that even if the world goes to hell in a hand basket, and much of it will, sadly, we can look Him in the eye and say, Lord, I trust you, no matter what happens to me, no matter what they do, I’m in your hands, Lord. Oh, God.

But oh, thank God for what he says in verse 6 because here we are by nature, we’ve got this spirit that’s in us that envies intensely. It just wants its way. “But he gives us more grace.” This is divine power that is stronger than all of this intense desire that arises in us. There’s a power that is greater than that. And if we will but avail ourselves of that, if our wills will just reach out to him, in those times, at that time, and say oh, God, help me. This isn’t about that. It isn’t about this, or that, or the other thing. This is about me. This is about what you’re trying to do to change me, to put peace in my heart, to enable me forgive.

You know I saw something yesterday or the last couple of days, maybe some of you have seen it. My heart went out to everybody concerned. It was the…I guess it must have been the sentencing phase of a murder trial. I kind of came in the middle of it, but this man was guilty of killing a couple of daughters of this family. And the focus of the news story was the family just really giving that guy “down the country,” just unloading on him. You know, I pray God will never forgive you. You’re gonna go to the deepest pit of hell, just…man.

There’s no question…you can all understand the feelings of somebody like that. But, I pray for the people who felt that way as much as for the man, because there is hope for somebody like that. There’s hope, if he’ll just turn to God. Yeah, he can’t undo what he did, but God can take that broken life, and put it back together again, and give it meaning, and give it hope.

My Bible says if you won’t forgive them, neither will my heavenly Father forgive you. Well, the folks that felt that way, understandable as it may be, they need God’s grace, too. You’re never so righteous that you can take an adamant attitude toward somebody else. That’s not righteousness. God gives more grace. Thank God!

“That is why Scripture says: God opposes the proud but gives grace to the humble.” Isn’t that our problem so many times? We just won’t get off our high horse about something. It’s…I mean, we’re gonna hang on to our will, and our way, and our opinion. I’m right! Don’t you mess with me! You come in and sing, Oh, Lord, every moment of every day, every breath that I take, I’m yours…but God don’t mess with that!

( laughter ).

Don’t you dare! That’s off limits. I’m right! They did me wrong! I’m gonna hold my opinion still. No. That’s what this is about. See, we need to learn how to take these truths, these songs that we sing, and make them relevant to the day-to-day lives that we live. Then God is going to be able to live and express His nature through this church and we’re gonna see a life greater than perhaps we’ve ever seen. I’ll take the perhaps out of that. I believe we are.

So then here it comes to the crux of what’s going on in all this process of salvation. What is my job? If I’m the recipient of salvation, I’m not the actor here. God’s the actor. He’s doing the saving. I’m the one in need of saving. So what’s my job? To assert my will? No. It’s submit.

When does peace come when you’re having one of these controversies, and you realize suddenly the One that you’re really mad with and out with is God? He wakes you up. When do you get peace? When you submit! You say, all right Lord, I confess, I’m the one. My spirit is the one that’s wrong here. Lord, I maybe don’t even understand what’s going on. I don’t understand the circumstances. I don’t understand why you let this happen, but God I let it go.

This is faith, folks. Do we trust the love of our heavenly Father to know what He’s doing, or do we not? Do we really believe that He has the circumstances of our lives under control or don’t we? You know, this is where we demonstrate whether we really believe that or whether it’s just something we say on Sunday. I certainly say ‘we’ here.

“Submit yourselves, then, to God.” See all this stuff he’s been talking about, that’s the solution. The solution is not, pray to God, straighten out the circumstances and then everything will be just great. No. It’s submit--submit. That’s what Jesus did. He said, not my will, but yours be done. There’s two wills at work here. God’s will to change us. Do you need changing? Anybody here that’s like what God is gonna…? No, we’ve got a long ways to go, folks. We don’t have anything to brag about. We need a Saviour. We are truly sinners saved by grace.

But I’m glad we’re saved by grace, aren’t you? I don’t want to put the focus on the wrong thing there. It’s God at work in our lives. I want to be cooperating. So this is what the apostle is doing. He’s recognizing, realistically, these are things that go on among Christians. We squabble. We fight. We fuss. We have all these things go on at times, but God is just rubbing us together, bringing all these things out. He’s not doing it to straighten them out; he’s doing it to straighten you out. I need to be a committee of one to say Lord, I submit. Even if the situation is completely unjust, I’m willing to trust you, Lord. Even if it looks like I…you know, I really was in the right, I’m being falsely accused, God. That’s a tough one, isn’t it? But oh how much we strive for ourselves.

You know, the Psalmist dealt with the same thing. He said God will bring forth your righteousness. Rest in the Lord. Wait patiently for him. He’ll bring forth your righteousness. If there’s righteousness there to bring forth, he’ll bring it out. He’s wanting that self-will that’s trying to make it happen our way, to be willing to just let that go, and say Lord, I submit to you.

Of course, there’s another side to it, isn’t there? “Submit yourselves, then, to God. Resist the devil, and he will flee from you.” Boy, every time we exert our wills we are just saying…I can’t whistle so some of you are gonna have to whistle for me. I’m a terrible whistler, but just…come here devil. That’s a pretty pitiful whistle, isn’t it?

( laughter ).

But all we’re doing is inviting the devil to come around and feed. What does the devil feed on? He feeds on flesh, doesn’t he? Dust will be the serpent’s meat. That’s what we’re made out of. I’ll tell you, this is what God has consigned him to do, to try to gratify his evil nature through us. Well, I don’t want to cooperate with that, do you? Well, that’s what he’s gonna do if we let him. If we assert our will, all we’re doing is feeding devils. And I want to do what James says here, submit to God. When the thing happens, submit.

Boy, it would be so nice, wouldn’t it, from our point of view, if God could just bring us to some crisis point and we could pass through that and find the victory and then…

( exhaling ).

It’s done. Salvation has happened. It’s all over. No more battles. As long as we’re here, you and I are gonna be confronted by a wonderful, faithful Father who’s gonna be putting his finger on other things that still need work.

You know, I’ve watched saints of God get down toward the end and fight the same battles you and I fight. There’s issues that come to light at that time of life. Oh, there’s still so much of this that just wants its way. But my victory comes from submitting myself to God and not only that, I need to recognize that I’ve got an enemy. Resist him. Talk to him. Tell him what’s so. Tell him you’re God’s servant, you’re not his. You recognize what he’s trying to do and you resist him. Quote the truth of God that affects your situation.

I’ll tell you, if we do like Jesus did and we quote the Word and we stand on that Word in our spirits, the devil is going to…he doesn’t have an answer to that. But he’ll mess with you all day, as long as you want your way, as long as you’re stubborn about it. He’s got access to you. As long as you’re so focused on the other person, they’re the problem, they’re the cause of my problems, if they’d change I’d be all right. You’re the one that needs the change. You’re the one. You don’t worry about them. That’s God’s problem.

“Come near to God...” Come near to Him. “…And he will come near to you.” Do you want God to be near? You come to Him with this kind of a spirit and this kind of a heart and say, Father, I love you. I want to please you. I want to grow. I want you to have more of my life. Lord, teach me, help me. Get ready, he will. But, he’s also gonna come near, and you’ll know him in ways that you didn’t before.

“Wash your hands, you sinners…” He’s talking to Christians here, by the way. Let’s not forget that. “Wash your hands, you sinners….” You people that are just…you’re operating under a different principle than belongs to the kingdom of God. You’re doing things like the world does. You need to be cleaned up. “Wash your hands, you sinners, and purify your hearts, you double-minded.” Oh we’re pretty double-minded, aren’t we? We acknowledge truths in here then we go out and we have a different mind, a different attitude towards life where we have to live it. And God wants us to be the same all the time.

“Grieve, mourn and wail. Change your laughter to mourning and your joy to gloom.” You’ve got somebody he’s describing here that’s so…got such a head of steam for their own way, and they might even glory in it. They might even be sure that they’re right! God’s saying, you’re way up here in your own mind. You think you’re this and you think this, and that, and the other. You’re looking down your nose at other people. You need to get right down here.

You know, I said recently, if the Lord’s presence really, really, really, invaded this place, do you know where we would be? We’d be on our faces. We would have such a sense of our unworthiness and our uncleanness compared to him that it would just level us, and if it weren’t for God’s love and mercy, that would kind of be the end of it, wouldn’t it? But oh, it’s a good thing when He brings us to that place where the only way up is to get down and to humble ourselves in his hands and trust him to do the lifting up. Praise God!

Well, I think that this is probably…I had other thoughts, but I think that this is probably enough today. I think I will read one thing. It’s a blessing. I don’t know if it fits in here or not. Carl read this on Friday night. It’s just such a blessing to us. Because one other aspect of God’s dealings with us is that things don’t happen instantaneously. You know we have a problem in that when God shows us a need in our lives, many times, what we’re seeking to do is…okay, God I recognize this, push the magic button. Make this go away. I don’t want to see it or hear it any more. I want this gone now.

( snapping fingers ).

Well, has anybody ever had it happen that way? It doesn’t work, does it? And one of the main problems we have is the same problem that we observe in little children. They are filled with patience.

( laughter ).

If you tell them to wait, they say, oh, sure. No, we don’t wait very well, do we? But you know that’s part of God changing our nature. Part of real faith is the ability to let God do things in his time. Didn’t we say that at the beginning? At the proper time God did such and such. God brought conditions to be exactly the way they’re supposed to be. And so this poem is one we need to consider from time to time.

“Desperately, helplessly, longingly I cried.
Quietly, patiently, lovingly, God replied.
I pled and I wept for a clue to my fate,
and the Master so gently said, Child you must wait.

Wait, you say, wait, my indignant reply.
Lord I need answers. I need to know why.
Is your hand shortened?”

(See now we’re blaming God.)

“Is your hand shortened or have you not heard?
By faith I have asked and I’m claiming your Word.

My future and all to which I can relate
hangs in the balance and you tell me to wait.”

(You see what’s going on. We’re so focused on ‘that’ and God’s focused on ‘this’. If we understand, it goes a lot easier.)

“I’m needing a yes, a go ahead sign,
or even a no to which I can resign.

Lord, you’ve promised that if we believe,
we need but to ask and we shall receive.
And now I wonder do you hear my cry?
I’m weary of asking. I need a reply.

Then quietly, softly, I learned of my fate
as my Master replied once again, you must wait.
So I slumped in my chair, defeated and taut
and grumbled to God, so I’m waiting for what?

He seemed then to kneel and his eyes wept with mine
as he tenderly said, I could give you a sign.
I could shake the heavens and darken the sun.
I could raise the dead and cause mountains to run.

I could give what you ask and pleased you would be.
You would have what you want but you wouldn’t know me.
You’d not know the depth of my love for each saint.
You’d not know the power that I give to the faint.

You’d not learn to see through the clouds of despair.
You’d not learn to trust just by knowing I’m there.
You’d not know the joy of resting in me
when darkness and silence were all you could see.

You’d never experience that fullness of love
as the peace of my spirit descends like a dove.
You’d know that I give and I save for a start,
but you’d not know the depth of the beat of my heart;

The glow of my comfort late into the night;
the faith that I give when you walk without sight.
The depth that’s beyond getting just what you asked
of an infinite God who makes resources last.

You’d never know should your pain quickly flee
what it means that my grace is sufficient for thee.
I could make every prayer that you’ve prayed come true,
but oh the loss if I’d lost what I’m doing in you.

So be silent, my child, and in time you will see
that the greatest of gifts is getting to know me.
Even though my answers might seem to be late,
my wisest of answers is still but to wait.”

Do we have a wonderful Lord, this morning? Do you get what he’s trying to do for us? He is saving us. Salvation is a life-long process. It involves surrender of our will and it involves faith in waiting on God and trusting in him completely. You got a better way? I don’t. He’s wonderful! He’s worthy and oh to enjoy the peace that he gives all along the way. Praise the Lord!