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Rainbow Divider
MCM Broadcast

TV Broadcast #962

What Do You Want?

March 13, 2011

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Transcript of message from TV Broadcast 962 -- taken from Closed Captioning Text

-- Brother Phil Enlow: But I see this in lives and I just pray that God will help everyone who has an issue, has a problem, has a need in your life, to seek Him. Say, Lord, I am gonna serve You. I don’t care what happens. I don’t care how this or that thing works out, I want You. I trust my life into Your hands. That’s all there is about it. I’m just seeking You, Lord. I want to be like Paul. I want to be like these people in the scriptures, because if there’s anything else, God sees that. God is not gonna have any god above Him, is He?

All we’re doing is compromising, and we’re saying, we’re trying to…I mean, anybody that’s serving some earthly dream, some earthly desire, and that’s really--that’s really the more important thing, all you’re saying is, God, You’re not God, this is. And I’m expecting You to fix this for me. That’s what’s happening. I’ll tell you, this pulls on people more than we realize.

You know you’ll read in one of Paul’s letters at the end he extends greeting to the saints and one of the people he extends greetings from is a man named Demas, who was at that point a fellow laborer of some sort. He was part of Paul’s company that went around and was ministering. But toward the end of 2nd Timothy, he had the sad duty to write to Timothy. He said Demas has forsaken me having loved this present world.

All that time there was something down in his heart, his real attachment was to this life, to what he could get out of this world, and when circumstances didn’t go the way he thought they should, and Paul was imprisoned, things didn’t look good. He said, that’s it. And his real love came out. God is seeking out of every one of us an undivided heart.

I just want to look very quickly at a passage in Psalm 84, I believe it is, and I think illustrates the vision and the understanding of someone who gets this. Because up to this point, this is teaching, this is instruction, this is…these are the words of Jesus saying, seek first His kingdom. But here is an expression of a heart that understands this principle way back here in the Old Testament.

This writer says, “How lovely is your dwelling place, O Lord Almighty! My soul yearns, even faints, for the courts of the Lord; my heart and my flesh cry out for the living God. Even the sparrow has found a home, and the swallow a nest for herself, where she may have her young--a place near your altar.”(NIV).

You know, I’ve often wondered about that. You know, it sounds wonderful and cute and poetic and beautiful and all that, but I almost wonder if the writer here is not referring to having noticed that in the altar…they had a literal altar in those days, that perhaps there were some birds that were able to fly in there and have a nest and God didn’t kill them and say, hey, you shouldn’t come in here. That was a sense that that was a place of peace. That was a place that they could find a home. And so, this just presents another way of saying this is a great place to be. This is the place where you want to be. It’s a place where even a sparrow can find a place of rest. And of course, the implication is if they can, so can we.

“Oh Lord Almighty, my King and my God. Blessed are those who dwell in your house: they are ever praising you.” See, he’s looking right past earth. The writer is looking past everything of this world and he’s seeing eternity. He’s saying, oh God, what an awesome thing it is to be in Your presence. Anybody who is there with you in your dwelling place is…has a life of joy, a life of peace, a life of praise.

There’s just something so real and so wonderful about that. I just long to be there. I see…I have to be here right now, but I long for that. That’s where my focus, the focus of my life is. I’ve experienced You enough, Lord, to know what You’re like. You’ve drawn near to me. You’ve made Yourself known to me. I know You’re a wonderful, awesome God, but You aren’t doing that just so I can have something here. You’re doing it to draw my heart towards eternity. And that’s where my focus of my life is about. That’s what the psalmist is expressing.

Now he goes on into another section here and he is talking about the life here. He said, “Blessed are those whose strength is in you.” Anybody here need strength? Anybody here who’s got the strength to do all the stuff that we need to be doing in this earthly journey? No. But I’ll tell you, we’ve got a God who knows how to strengthen His children. He doesn’t just dump this on us and say, you figure it out, you muster the courage. He says, I’m gonna be…those who set their hearts to one day walk with me and to be with me, I guarantee I am going to be right there. You…I am gonna be your strength. There will never be a time when you can’t look to Me and ask me for the strength that you need to put one foot in front of another. I am your strength.

And the writer is saying, man, what an awesome thing. There’s a man that looks to God and God strengthens him. He is the most fortunate among men. He is someone to be envied. Someone to be looked up to and say, this is a fellow that I want to be like. You know, I don’t care about the movie stars. I don’t care about the sports heroes and all that stuff. This is the guy I want to be like. He is someone who walks with God and God gives him strength to put one foot in front of another.

“Blessed are those whose strength is in you, who have…” Done what? “…Set their hearts on pilgrimage.” There’s a lot in that, isn’t there? That’s a pretty good description of this life. Instead of seeing this life as the end product and this is what life…this is what everything’s about. Get all you can while you’re here. Live for pleasure. Fulfill your dreams. He’s saying, this life is a pilgrimage. We are not at home here. We are passing through. We are going somewhere else. We have seen a vision of a heavenly city and we are headed there.

And, I guess the greatest picture outside of the Bible, would be Pilgrim’s Progress. Because that’s what he did. In fact his name is Pilgrim, or at least the title of the book. But here was somebody who lived in the City of Destruction and God showed him through an Evangelist that there was a city that God had prepared. The city he was in was going to be destroyed and he needed to set out on a pilgrimage to go to that city. That’s where he would be safe and full of joy and hope, and all the good things that his heart longed for.

How do you see your life? I mean, think about what it is that motivates you when you get up in the morning. How do you see your life? What do you see? What do you want? It’s a pretty important question, isn’t it? To look in the mirror and be honest and say, what do you want? Because I’ll tell you, God is looking for people who want Him. He longs to have people who want Him above everything of this earth and who’s said, oh God, I see you.

Like Paul. Like so many others. Lord, you’ve shown me eternity. I give You my heart. Lord, show me how to walk between here and there. Show me what this life is about. But my life is not about here. My life is a pilgrimage. I’m going somewhere. I’m not going where this world is. I don’t care what their values are. I’ve got my eye on something that’s different. I’m a pilgrim here. I’m a stranger like Abraham. He lived in a place that wasn’t his own. But he served God. He just did what God laid before him.

“Blessed are those whose strength is in you, who have set their hearts on pilgrimage.” Have you set your heart on pilgrimage? I mean is that the thing that motivates your very innermost being? Have you set your heart to serve God and to go His way and to put your trust and your life in His hands? I’ll tell you, every life that’s in His hands, don’t you worry. He is able to bring us through. It’s like the song we sing ‘My Life Is In Your Hands.’ Oh, praise God! That’s a place that, April, you and I, if we just pay attention to that, the Lord can take away all that anxiety away, won’t he? Praise the Lord! He is so faithful.

It says, “As they pass through the Valley of Baca…” or however you say it, “…they make it a place of springs; the autumn rains also cover it with pools.” I have heard all kinds of explanations of that. And you know, some people would translate it as the valley of weeping, valley of tears, valley of balsam trees is another way to actually translate some of the Hebrew. But I think the consensus is this isn’t a good place. This is a difficult place. This is a tough place. And yet, there it is. It lies on the pathway in between where you’re at…the pilgrimage you’re on and the goal that you’ve set…here’s a valley to go through.

But here’s something, here’s an amazing thing that when God’s pilgrims go through places that are like this, that are difficult, that are dry, because of the God they serve, there is a…God is able through them to turn that into a place of water, into a place of springs, into a place where there’s refreshment for somebody else.

How many here have, either you’ve been there or you know of people that have been through tough times in their lives. They’ve been through a hell, perhaps, you could call it that way--you can say it that way. You’ve been through an awful time in your life but yet God brought you through. God turned that thing around and it became something that was a blessing. You were able to help somebody else and you were able to offer living water, because of where you had been.

I’ll tell you, trouble is not just…there’s just trouble in this world, period. I don’t care whether you serve the Lord or not, you’re gonna have trouble. You might as well mark it down. But oh, I would rather live a life of purpose, a live of meaning, a life of trust in the Heavenly Father who ultimately made me, a life of trust in the Savior who not only created me in the beginning but came and gave His life for me. Oh I’ll tell you, that can make any Valley of Baca into something different than it naturally is.

I was thinking of Joni Eareckson, we’ve referred to many times. Joni Eareckson Tada is her name now. And I know that her life didn’t turn out the way she planned it. She was a beautiful, young, vibrant 17 or 18 year old, something like that, just full of life, athletic…just love to go and do and run, and she dove into some water and her life completely changed. Her spinal cord was snapped and it was permanent quadriplegia, and she went through some pretty dark, deep times, for any of you who have read her testimony.

I mean she’s brutally honest about what she said and how she felt, and she was mad with God, and dark pits of despair, and all kinds of…why did this happen to me? And you know, she could see her life stretching out ahead of her, but I’ll tell you, God has turned that life into an incredible source of blessing. That lady can go anywhere in the world and be respected and she has. She’ll go into China and they will just…what can they say? Here’s somebody who’s been through hell and can stand there and point to Jesus Christ and have a ring of victory in her voice and her whole demeanor. She has touched millions and millions and millions of lives.

Her pilgrimage has not been what she planned, and it’s still no fun. It’s no picnic. In fact, I think a couple of mouths ago, they announced that she had breast cancer on top of everything else. You know what her reaction was? Now I’m gonna be able to relate to people who have cancer. I’m gonna be able to give them hope.

I’ll tell you what. But you look at this from the point of view of eternity. Her life is full of purpose and meaning. Do you think she’s gonna look back and say God, you did me wrong? God, I missed out on everything I planned, all the stuff that I wanted to do, I had it all mapped out in my mind. I was gonna marry Prince Charming, and we were gonna live in a nice house, and we were gonna participate in a nice church and wonderful activities, and we were going to be this…none of that happened.

But her life has been one of meaning and purpose. God turned all of that valley, that she was called to walk into, into pools of water that have flowed across continents. I’ll tell you, we serve an awesome, awesome God who can do such things as this. I want to trust Him, don’t you? I don’t know any other way to live.

But listen to this. He’s talking about a pilgrimage. He says, “They go from strength to strength.” So there is the sense that this doesn’t all happen at once. This is a process. This is a pilgrimage, but yet always, there’s something, as long as I’m in this world, there’s something more I’m gonna need. Like I say, young people don’t figure you’re going to get to be 30 and then everything’s going to be smooth sailing from there on. You get to be 90, there’s gonna be problems. There’s gonna be issues. There’s gonna be things that you’ve never faced before…that all of sudden you’re gonna be facing. You’re gonna have to go to God, and say, oh God…You helped me when I was young but now I’m old. This is different. I’ll tell you, we’re gonna need Him every step of this pilgrimage.

But yet, what happens to those who put their trust in God? “They go from strength to strength.” God develops, builds, grows. He’s getting us ready to live with Him forever. Man, do you have a better purpose for your life than that? I don’t. That’s all of what life is about. If you’re living it for any other reason, if there’s any other things that possesses your heart, you don’t get it. You don’t understand. I pray God will open your eyes to His wonder and His amazing grace.

“They go from strength to strength, till each appears before God in Zion.” That’s the goal. There’s gonna be a time when they have reached the end of the goal. Can you imagine what it would be like, I mean, what it’s gonna be like. Having lived here, gone through stuff, fought off doubts and fears and questions and trials of every sort, then to stand there and realize, I’m here! My race is run. It’s over. I will never, ever have to go back and experience that again. All that I lived for, it’s real. God is real. It’s awesome. Oh, it’s beyond everything I could possibly have described or imagined.

I’ll tell you, we’ve got people who have gone before us here. Do you think Brother Thomas is sitting around crying? Oh my, He’s skipping around like a young man, and there’s a joy in his heart. I was just thinking the other night, I was looking around, how blessed he would have been have seen. Praise God! I remember some of the remarks I made on his 85th birthday about how we’d really would honor him and that would be in the future, when he passed off the scene and we would honor him by following in his steps and looking to Jesus Christ, the Head and having a live church. I believe God is doing that. He’s doing it. To Him be the glory! I just want to keep on being a part of that.

He says, “Hear my prayer, O Lord God Almighty; listen to me, O God of Jacob. Look upon our shield, O God: look with favor on your anointed one.” So there’s a sense of a need to continually lift up our hearts and acknowledge Him and draw everything from Him that we need for this pilgrimage to which we’ve been called. But he says, “Better…” Now I mentioned earlier about the evaluations of men. “That which is highly esteemed among men is abomination in the sight of God.” (KJV). Now here’s the evaluation of somebody who sees the way it really is.

He says, “Better is one day in your courts than a thousand elsewhere; I would rather be a doorkeeper in the house of my God than dwell in the tents of the wicked. For the Lord God is a sun and shield.” (NIV). See He’s light and protection. “The Lord bestows favor and honor.” Now here’s something to remember with every issue of life. God will bring and does bring every one of us face to face with things that we naturally desire, and He calls upon us to lay them on the altar and put them in His hands and trust in Him. I mean trust, period, to where it’s truly not my will but Yours be done.

He says, “No…” Listen to this. “No good thing does he withhold from those whose walk is blameless.” Now he’s not talking about sinless perfection there. He’s talking about somebody whose heart is set, somebody who seeks first His kingdom and righteousness. This is the heart of one who understands what life is about, that it’s a pilgrimage, and he has called on us to live with eternity’s values in view.

But now here’s…the person who is doing that, who still needs things in this life and we already know what Jesus said about that. Your Father knows what you need. He’s gonna give it to you. Don’t worry. He takes care of sparrows, he’ll take care of you. But here’s other things that you might say, well yeah, I guess I can live without that, but I sure do want it. His promise to you is no good thing will He withhold from those who walk uprightly, I think it says in the King James. There’s not a single good thing.

But who defines what’s good? That’s the key. Because if we, in our natural apprehension of things, just following natural desires, if we define what…this is good. It’s like saying, God I don’t care what you say, this is good. If we define that, we’re gonna have a divided heart and we’re gonna get into a lot of trouble. But if we can say, Lord, I sure do want this, but I leave it in your hands.

I’m sure Joni Eareckson would have liked, naturally, I know she would, from what she said, a different path for her life. But yet, she looks back now and sees the wisdom and the grace of God. There were many things that she naturally wanted that were withheld but she has had so much greater, so much greater than anything she ever gave up. She’s got so much greater than you could imagine. You know, we serve a God who can deal with natural issues.

I thought about, Brother Andrew, God’s smuggler. In his own testimony of how…he reached the point early in his work where he was lonely. I mean this was a hard bitten, young man, angry, he’d been at war, and God had saved him, and now he had this vision of carrying the Word of God to places where it was suppressed behind the iron curtain, at that time…the Soviet Union and all of their satellite countries, putting his life in danger to carry the Word over there and to find believers and encourage them.

But then he’d come home and he was just empty. There was a longing in his heart and he prayed. You know, it’s not wrong to take these desires to the Lord. You don’t know what His plan is. There’s nothing wrong with praying. Paul prayed when he had the thorn. God didn’t rebuke him and say you shouldn’t be praying for that. But he gave him an answer. And Paul showed where his heart was, that he was so geared into what God wanted, that he was able to say, oh, okay, I understand it. Praise God, I accept it completely. Let the thorn go. Let it live on.

But, Brother Andrew reached the point where he was really lonely for a mate. And he prayed and he kind of just put it aside, and he came back a little later from another trip and felt the same thing. I’m trying to recall the details, but it’s the essence of it. And he reached a point where he prayed again, and in his prayer he said, well, Lord, I’m willing…I sure do want a mate. I’m willing to live like this if this is your plan for me, I accept it. But Lord I sure do feel this need.

And the third time he went back to the Lord, but in that spirit, you understand what I’m saying. That’s the only way to approach God. You approach Him the same way Jesus did. He said, Lord, if there’s…Father, if there’s any way I could avoid this, I’d like to, but, not My will but Yours be done. Every issue of life that we take to God has to go that way.

But I’ll tell you, the Lord looked down at His servant’s heart. I believe He allowed him to continue to pray that to build that principle of faith and surrender in his heart…didn’t answer him the first time. But all of a sudden the third time, there was somebody who came into his mind. It happened to be a beautiful young lady that had been used of the Lord to bring him to Christ in the first place. Just wham, out of the blue. And of course, the end of the story is that he courted her and they wound up being married.

So God was concerned about those things. God is concerned about all these other issues that you’re concerned about--that we’re concerned about. But our ‘one thing’ is the same ‘one thing’ that drove Paul is to serve Him, it’s to set our heart upon heaven and to say, Lord, whatever I’m to experience in this world, I am totally trusting into Your hands. No good thing will you withhold from those who walk uprightly, to those whose walk is blameless.

And so he continues, I mean he concludes this wonderful Psalm by these words, “O Lord Almighty, blessed is the man who trusts in you.” That’s the bottom line. If we want something, we’re waiting on God and if He’s too slow, and we do it ourselves, we’re not trusting Him, are we?

Has that ever worked out for anybody? Anybody here gotten into a mess doing things that way? Yeah. It doesn’t work. Hear the testimony of these people of God who said, this is what life is about. It’s about serving God and putting our trust and our hope in Him and every issue in His hands and knowing that He is concerned about every detail of our lives and He’s able to bring things to pass that we could never engineer in 1,000 years.

Oh, what a burden that is to be lifted from our shoulders when we get it, when we understand. Oh God, I can trust You. I can let You handle the affairs of my life, and one day I’ll get to be with You. Oh what a blessed thing it is to serve the Lord. Praise God! So I’ll pose the question again. What do you want? Jesus’ admonition is to seek first the kingdom of God and His righteousness and all these things will be added. I believe Him, don’t you? Praise God!