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Rainbow Divider
MCM Broadcast

TV Broadcast #954

The Way Everlasting
Part One

January 16, 2011

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Transcript of message from TV Broadcast 954 -- taken from Closed Captioning Text

-- Brother Phil Enlow: We have a great God, don’t we? Praise God! Praise God! I don’t think we even begin to understand just how great He is. Turn if you will to Psalm 139. It’s a familiar passage but it kind of came to me and I hope it’s something that the Lord can really make fresh. I know He did to me. But He’s the only one that can do that, isn’t He? Praise God!

This is a Psalm of David and he begins with these words: “O Lord, you have searched me and you know me.” Now just think about that for a minute. That’s a pretty awesome thought when you think about it. I want us to see this in a little different light. A lot of times we can read something like this and we could sort of process the information. There is information about the kind of a God, He’s everywhere, He’s this, He’s that and He’s the other…but here is a Psalm written by a man who was known as the man after God’s own heart. This was not just somebody who knew the correct information about God, this was somebody who knew God in a very unique way.

He begins…I mean I feel like in David’s hunger for God, in David’s desire for God, in David’s praise to God, in David’s seeking after God, there was a knowledge of God that came to him, that went far beyond just something we can process in our minds. He began to understand. He began to get it. He began to know what life on earth was about. He began to understand his place in the scheme of things, and just how great and how amazing this God is.

And I feel like there’s a sense that we need a great deal more of this sense in our lives, otherwise we just get buried in the minutia of everyday life. It’s so easy to kind of forget the context in which we live, and the reality of this God, and His desire that we know Him. It’s an awesome thing that David expresses here.

But if I were to…you know, he says, “…Lord, you have searched me…” So here’s David realizing, God, you know everything there is to know about me. All my life you’ve looked into my life, you’ve tested me, you’ve tried me, you’ve searched me. This is almost like he could sense a diligent effort on the part of God to really probe into David’s heart and David’s life…not just watching how he behaved on the outside.

You remember what the Lord said to the prophet when Samuel went to anoint a king. Now the Lord didn’t tell Samuel who the king was going to be, just said it’s gonna be one of Jesse’s sons. So he went to the town there and the elders were all kind of upset…here’s a prophet of God, what did we do kind-of-thing. You ever felt like that?

( laughter ).

Well…they knew--everybody in Israel knew that Samuel was a prophet, and if he said something, you’d better take it seriously. Well, the elders were all nervous and so he said, don’t worry. I’ve come to offer sacrifice. Come join us. And he particularly sought out the household of Jesse, and Jesse’s family came. And, so he said before we sit down…you know, he went from one to the other, and he looked at Eliab, I think. Wasn’t he the oldest one? And he was just a handsome young man, just accomplished, everything you’d naturally want, you’d imagine this is the guy, this is the one, surely this is him. He said no, this is not the one. The Lord does not look on the outward appearance…not like man. The Lord looks on the heart.

So one by one, they went through the sons until they come to the last…well, there wasn’t a last one at that point. Is this all your sons? I mean Samuel is beginning to wonder here, have I come to the right place, did I hear God right? He said, oh no, there’s one more. He’s out keeping the sheep. Well, go get him…and you remember the story of how the Lord said, this is the one. He was the last in the family, but he was a man who was after God’s own heart.

Even though he made terrible mistakes in his life, there was something about him that had such a deep respect for God. Not just a respect in the sense of, I’m afraid of Him and I’d better watch my step kind of feeling, but he had a love, a desire…he said, one day in Your courts is better than 1000 somewhere else. I’d rather be a doorkeeper. Lord…You’re so wonderful, I just want to know you, I want to be with you. And so, you have to read Psalms like this understanding who it is…this is a man who knows that God knows everything about him and somehow it doesn’t terrify him.

Now I suspect…I don’t suspect, I know this to be a fact, that there’s not a person here who would like your life, everything about you from the inside out, to be put up here for all of us to see. You wouldn’t like that much, would you? Every one of us has things that we are ashamed of, that we know aren’t the way they ought to be, and yet here’s David thinking about God and saying, God you know me. There’s not a thing I can ever think about hiding from you.

And yet as you read this, realize in the light of that, this is not somebody who shrinks and runs. This is not like Adam and Eve. When they knew that something was wrong, that they had sinned and they’d done wrong, what was their inclination? It was to hide, wasn’t it? But here’s someone who says, God, you know everything about me. I’m not here to hide. I’m here to come and just to worship you.

I’ll tell you what, this is a key for every one of our lives to have this kind of a relationship with God. I tell you, if we had this kind of relationship, we’d be different people. This would be a different church. We would be a lot more of what God wants us to be.

“O Lord, you have searched me and you know me. You know when I sit and when I rise; you perceive my thoughts from afar.” Oh how we think about God as being way off, but even though in a sense David is thinking about Him that way at this moment, he realizes I can’t even think something--I can’t even think it, without Him absolutely knowing every thought. Boy I tell you, this God better be for us or we’re in trouble!

( congregational amens ).

Praise God! “…You perceive my thoughts from afar. You discern my going out and my lying down; you are familiar with all my ways.” Now listen to this, “Before a word is on my tongue you know it completely, O Lord.” So this is not just somebody who’s waiting to see what we’re gonna do and say, oh yeah, I saw that, I heard that, I know what you just thought. This is somebody who says, I know what he’s about to say. I know what she’s about to say. I know every word that is about to come out of their mouth.

You think we can sneak and hide and sort of suspect, well, God’s busy, He doesn’t see everything I’m doing and thinking right now? Oh no, this is somebody who is completely familiar with everything about us to the point where He knows everything about us long before it happens. Boy, I want to know something about this God, don’t you? This is the way He is.

You know this is a reality we need to be aware of. We need to live in the light of who this God is and just how great He is. But as we read, as I say, just think about this. This is someone that even though He is aware of this in a way that probably nobody else in the world was at this time, he had an understanding of God because he was a man after God’s own heart, that in spite of this knowledge it drew him to the Lord. There’s a lesson in that for us. God wants us to know how great He is. God wants us to know there’s nothing about us that is the least bit secret. I mean, who are we kidding? And yet we don’t have to cower and fear and oh…what’s He gonna do with me kind-of-thing.

( congregational amens ).

Praise God! So here’s David, he goes on, he says, “You hem me in…” Boy here’s the Lord kind of…I mean He’s really got His hand on our lives, doesn’t He. You think things are just happenstance in your life. You think God doesn’t know, you think He doesn’t care, you think He’s just off sleeping somewhere?

You remember the prophets of Baal when they were crying out to their god to come and do something about the sacrifice and Elijah began to mock them and say, yell louder, he’s on a visit or maybe he’s asleep, you got to wake him up. Well, we have a God who’s never asleep. There is not a thing in this universe He is not instantly, fully, completely aware of. And not only that, His hand is on every life in this place. You know why you’re here this morning? You say, well it’s my habit to come or I just thought I’d come. I’ll tell you, there’s a God who’s watching over you and He has moved in the circumstances of your life to be here because there’s something He wants to impart to you this morning. This is a marvelous--this is an awesome God.

“You hem me in--behind and before…” Well that’s kind of taking care of all of it, isn’t it? I can’t run back. I can’t go forward. Lord, I need you. You’re the One…my life is in your hands. Don’t we sing that song? “My Life Is In Your Hands.” “You hem me in--behind and before; you have laid your hand upon me.”

Is that something that scares you? Is that something that causes…something to rise up and say, I don’t like that? I want to do what I want to do. And here’s this God, He’s just always sitting there wanting to rain on my parade. Here I got plans for my life, and here’s a God that I’ve always got to look over my shoulder and know that He’s…and now you’re trying to tell me, He knows everything before I think it, before I say it. He knows everything about me. I don’t like that. I’m not comfortable with that.

Well, listen to the words of someone who is not only comfortable, he is just exulted in his spirit that this God is like He is, that he has the privilege of worshipping Him and knowing Him. It’s not a thing to shun or to fear or to resent. It’s something to be just eternally grateful. “You hem me in--behind and before; you have laid your hand upon me.”

Now here’s his reaction to this point. “Such knowledge is too wonderful for me, too lofty for me to attain.” It’s just, Lord, man ,this blows my mind. I’m just a human being. I’m used to the limitations of people around me. They know some things…they don’t know others, thank you. I can sort of sneak around and I can go here and I can go there and not everybody knows what I’m doing. But oh God, the idea that there’s a Being who is this aware that we are just totally in His presence, and there’s nothing we can do to block His view.

I mean, I’m just thinking of something silly…Superman. Wasn’t it that if he had something lead, he couldn’t see through it? Well there’s no lead suit you can wear that will hide you from God. He’s a whole lot bigger than Superman. “Such knowledge is too wonderful for me, too lofty for me to attain.”

You know we need to have that sense of awe…that this is a God before whom we can do nothing but just bow. He is just so great. You try to understand Him, give it up, just take Him at His Word, just rejoice in who He is and what He is and what He’s like. This is just an amazing, amazing God.

But then he says, “Where can I go from your Spirit? Where can I flee from your presence?” In the course of David’s life, he had come to the realization, it didn’t matter where he was, it did not matter what circumstance he was in, God was always there. And David was in some pretty tight spots in his life. He had to back up to the back of a cave one time to hide from Saul’s army that was coming to get him. Was God with him on that occasion? Absolutely! There’s not a circumstance in our lives in which we are somehow out of God’s presence, when He’s not aware of our circumstances, and that He is not actually ruling over our circumstances. Praise God!

So David says, “Where can I go from your Spirit? Where can I flee from your presence?” So he just imagines, “If I go up to the heavens, you are there; if I make my bed in the depths, you are there.” Now the King James says. ‘Hell.’ The Greek…the Hebrew word rather, is Sheol, which was their word for the place of the dead. They imagined there was some place down there, that’s the realm of death. We don’t know much about it, but that’s death. But David is saying, okay suppose I go down to death, well you’re there, too.

“If I rise on the wings of the dawn, if I settle on the far side of the sea, even, there your hand will guide me, your right hand will hold me fast.” Now as I say, if you are somebody who wants to live a life of self-will--you just want to do what you want to do. You don’t like the idea of somebody bigger than you who has power and authority over your life, before whom you’re gonna have to stand and give account one day, then this is disquieting news. But I want to tell you, I don’t care where you go. You get on a rocket ship and go to the next galaxy, God is there.

Let’s translate it into terms that we understand in the modern world. There’s no place you can go where He isn’t. You know, we think of angels and demons…they’re spirit beings. You don’t see them physically but they have a place. They’re either here or they’re not here. But God is like…it’s like being in the middle of the ocean. If you’re in the ocean, where do you go where the ocean is not? He is a Spirit. He inhabits eternity. He fills heaven and earth. He is everywhere. Didn’t Jesus say that there’s not a sparrow that falls but your Heavenly Father knows about it? He has all the hairs of your head numbered. See, there’s number 3,782. If I keep doing it, then it would be, there’s two, there’s one.

( laughter ).

But God is instantly, completely aware of absolutely everything that goes on everywhere. To David this wasn’t a fearsome, scary prospect, this was something that says, oh, I am so glad I know this God. He is so awesome, He is so wonderful, because not only are you aware of me everywhere I go, I’m there. It says even there Your hand will guide me. So this is not just a God who’s aware of everything, this is a God who is interested and involved in my life to the point where He’s concerned about me!

Do you understand that God is concerned about you? He’s not just some great God of the universe. He is intimately interested in your life, right here, right now! Don’t listen to the voice of the enemy that says, oh that’s fine for everybody else, but I’m different. I’m a special case. I’m such a basket case of needs, God couldn’t care about me. Oh, you’re wrong--you’re wrong. This is a God who longs to bless and be involved in the lives of His creatures if they’ll only give their hearts to Him.

This is a man who understood that. And even when he made terrible mistakes in his life, there was a heart there that said, oh God, I repent. God change me. God fix me. I love you. I don’t want to be the way I am. Lord, help me. But he had experience. This is a man who’s…think of him as on a witness stand. David, have you ever been in a place where God just left you? He didn’t care about you. He was off on a vacation and you were kind of on your own. He said, nope. I have been in so many places where there was no human help and God never, ever left me. He never, ever stopped watching over me. His hand…he didn’t just stand there and shout instructions, He was there. His hand was there, as it were. Now he’s using human language there. Obviously God doesn’t have hands in that sense. But that means He was there, not only just watching to see what was gonna happen, He was there influencing what was going to happen concerning me. Man, that’s a God I want to know about, and worship, and serve. Isn’t He worthy of praise?

( congregational amens ).

Praise God! But listen to what he says after that. He says, “…Even there your hand will guide me.” Well, that’s pretty neat, because I sure don’t know the way to go, and here’s a God who’s willing to help steer me through this minefield called life. But listen to this. He says, “…Your right hand will hold me fast.” Now the right hand was kind of symbolic. I’m sorry for all you southpaws, but the right hand was considered the hand of strength. There was something significant about Him saying not just your hand, but your right hand. This means you’re really committed to me, to my needs, to my concerns. You may be the great God of the universe, you’re everywhere, you’re controlling everything, but you’re involved intimately in my life! You’ve got me by the hand! Praise God!

Have you ever really gotten that in your life? You know we have the song, He’ll never let go of my hand. Has it ever dawned on you that He never, ever, ever, ever lets go of your hand? David was just absolutely blown away with this knowledge. He says, such knowledge is too wonderful, too lofty for me to attain. I can’t figure this out. I’m just so glad it’s true…God, that you revealed yourself to me, that you’re this kind of a God. Praise God!

Even there your hand, no matter where I go…now he’s not talking about living a life of self-will. I believe God even keeps His hand on us there, but this is not the spirit of somebody who says, I can go anywhere I please. God will go with and He’ll help me, and He’ll…no, no. If that’s your heart, you’re not somebody after God’s own heart. Because God’s heart is not to lead us into sin, not to just bless us and think everything’s okay, we can do as we please. He has his own purposes for our lives and that’s the one I want. That’s the way of peace. Praise God!

“…Even there your hand will guide me, your right hand will hold me fast.” You think the devil can get in there and mess with that, and unclasp His hand and say, God, You got to let go, I got him now, I got her now. Oh no! When the hand of the Almighty is about our lives, we are in the ultimate, safe place. I pray that God will just deliver us from our fears. We are so easily made afraid, aren’t we?

Then he says this, “If I say, surely the darkness will hide me and the light become night around me….” Now that’s how we think as human beings. You know we see well in the daylight. And we’re not cats, we don’t see in the dark. And so if I do something in the dark, nobody’s gonna see me and it’ll be okay.

I don’t think that’s David’s spirit here, but still a lot of people think that way…that darkness is somehow…if there’s something I really don’t want people to see, I mean let’s let the real me come out where nobody knows me, or it’s dark or something…and that’s the reason that none of us would want our secrets to be out here…all the difficulties, the temptations, the weaknesses that you and I have that God is still working on, and delivering us from.

But here’s somebody who says, “If I say surely the darkness will hide me and the light become night around me, even the darkness will not be dark to you.” That’s a good thing to remember. You think, I’m getting away with this, it’s okay, nobody’s seeing. It’s like you’re on a brilliantly lit stage, and everything is exactly, completely naked and open and you might as well be walking around naked doing whatever it is you’re doing and the Lord is just sitting there, and angels are having to watch. God help us! God help us to live transparent, honest lives before Him, and to realize there’s no such thing as hiding from Him. Darkness and light’s all the same to Him. He’s not dependent on light rays to detect what’s going on. He has instant, total knowledge, because He knows every atom in the universe. I mean, this is an amazing God!

“The night will shine like the day, for darkness is as light to you.” That’s a good thing to remember when we’re tempted, to say, Lord, just help me--help me to be the kind of a person you want me to me no matter whether anybody’s watching, no matter whether it’s day or night or what the circumstances. Lord, I’m always in Your presence. Every single moment I’m in your presence. Oh God, help me. Help me to let go of everything, not to ever make excuses, not to give in, not to think, well it’s okay here, but it’s not okay here.

If you’re living two different lives, whoever you are, you think God doesn’t know that? You think God’s stupid or He’s not aware? Oh, I’ll tell you we need to bow our hearts before this God, and worship Him, and realize the way it really is. This is the real deal, folks. The world is not what you see, it’s not what the world thinks it is. This is the real thing. This is the God with whom we have to do. Every one of us is gonna stand before Him one day, and there’s not a single thought you’ve ever thought, or deed you’ve ever done that God doesn’t have a perfect record of--absolutely, fully, completely recorded. I don’t want to portray this in a threatening way, but this is a fact.

But isn’t it amazing that David could know all of these things and yet not feel threatened! That tells you something about him. That tells you this is somebody who doesn’t see this as a bad thing. He sees this as a wonderful thing. Oh God, look at the world and the shape that it’s in, wicked men doing all these terrible things, and yet, oh God, You’re so great. You see everything! I’m in your hands! Praise God! Isn’t that…it’s just awesome that there’s nothing that goes on You don’t know about, nothing that’s out of Your control. I just am so blown away that I get to be part of… I get to know you, Lord. That’s what God is after. That’s the kind of a God He is.