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Rainbow Divider
MCM Broadcast

TV Broadcast #966

God’s People Under Pressure

April 10, 2011

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Transcript of message from TV Broadcast 966 -- taken from Closed Captioning Text

-- Brother Phil Enlow: I mean these were lawless, demon driven people. There’s nothing that could have stood in their way normally to just killing people. But God had a greater plan. God saw to it that His people were preserved in a desperate situation.

Now of course at this time none…neither David nor any of his men had a clue what was going on. They did exactly what you and I would have done. “So David and his men wept aloud.…” (NIV). That must have been something to see 600 men just bawling their eyes out. And it says they “…wept aloud until they had no strength left to weep.” Have you ever been like that? Have you ever wept to the point to where you just…I can’t cry anymore--can’t even cry anymore, it’s so bad? I mean they were in a terrible, low place. But who put them in that place? Who really put them in that place?

( congregational response ).

God did, didn’t He? Did He do it because He was mad at them…’cause He hated them? No, this was part of the judgment upon His people. And judgment is not a negative thing. This was a trying, let’s put it that way. That’ll be a better word. This was a trying of His people. This was a teaching situation. This is one of those teaching opportunities, and I believe it should be one for us as well.

And not only that, what happens when people are under pressure? What do they usually do? Complain like heck. The mouth starts getting pretty negative, doesn’t it? And all of the sudden fingers start getting pointed. It’s your fault. David, if you hadn’t brought us here, none of this would have happened, David. It’s your fault! We followed you! We thought you were God’s man, and here we are! We’ve lost everything, and there’s no hope.

Here were all these people following David. At this moment of pressure how did they react? Here’s what we need to do. We need to stone David. We need to take care of him. He’s the one that’s to blame. That’s the strategy of the enemy, isn’t it? God give us the rule over this--God give us the rule over this. How many people get in difficult situations and all of a sudden, all you hear out of their mouths is nothing but negative, criticism, complaint. They’ll go bend anybody’s ear they can get a hold of and just pour in all this garbage. Who created the situation that brought that out? Folks, we need to wake up.

( congregational amens ).

We need to recognize what kind of a world we live in and what the battle is that we fight. I’ll tell you, our warfare is not against flesh and blood. Don’t you go looking and saying this one and that one. I’ll tell you, we serve a God who is over all of that, who knows how to manage our circumstances, who allows things to come, and it’s to bring things out in us that He wants to lovingly touch and heal and change. I’ll tell you, if you’re one who just…everything is everybody’s fault, and you’re just gonna point and blame and holler and fill people’s ears with garbage, God help you to recognize that the one you’re talking about is not your problem. The problem is the one you see when you look in the mirror, just as it is with me.

And I’ll tell you, God loves you. I don’t even think He’s mad at you. He’s not that kind of a God. He’s a Father who loves his children, who knows what’s wrong. What do you do with a little child who fell in the mud? Do you slap them around? What’s the matter with you? Why do you have all that mud on you? No! You wash them, you clean them, you love them. We have a God who’s that way with His children. We need to learn to come to Him and say, oh God.

Think about David later on in his life. He was in that situation where as a king, look at the awful, awful thing that he did. To commit adultery with another man’s wife when he was at home and the…the woman’s husband was off at war, and then to try to cover it up with intrigue, and then when that didn’t work, to commit murder. And he somehow was in a spiritual condition where he didn’t even realize what he had done. I’ll tell you, even men and women after God’s own heart can get in low places.

But the fact that he had that kind of a heart came out, didn’t it? Because when the prophet said, thou art the man…almost any other king of Israel would have taken that prophet’s head off, and done it slowly and painfully. But immediately the conviction of what he’d done, the sorrow for what he had done gripped his soul and he poured out his heart in genuine sorrow…not sorrow that he was caught, not sorrow that he couldn’t have his way, but sorrow that he’d done something that was so utterly wrong and offensive and ugly. It became ugly to him, and he reacted with sorrow and poured out his heart, and God forgave him. There was some consequences to reap from that, weren’t there? But God forgave him. But I’ll tell you, that was a case of somebody being under pressure and how they reacted.

But anyway, we see these men and they’re reacting, probably not unlike most of us would have, if you want to be honest. You think you’re above all of this? You get in that situation and see how you’d react. Man you would be…you had marched for three days. You’re already disappointed to have to even come home, let alone what you find when you get there. And then you find that everything is gone. You’ve invested all of your effort in following this supposed man of God and nothing is…everything has just gone to hell in a hand basket, and they’re ready to stone him. So that’s how they reacted to the pressure.

But thank God they had a man among them who had learned something of the ways of God. He had a faith in God that could see beyond what had happened. I mean, he did his share of crying too. It says, he was greatly distressed because he not only had the fact that his family was gone and everything under his leadership…all these things had happened, but now the men were turning and pointing the finger at him, and he’s all alone!

But David had a secret. And I believe it’s a secret God wants us to know in a way that perhaps we’ve never known in the depth we need it. “But David found strength in the Lord his God.” I’ll tell you, we need…if we don’t have it right now like we need, God wants every one of His children to have a real relationship, a working relationship with God every day. If your Christianity is just being a decent person and coming to church and going through the activities, you do not have what you need to stand in this hour, I can tell you. We are gonna have to be fish who are willing to swim upstream to use that analogy. We’re gonna have to go against what this world is. If we’re gonna be effective, if we’re gonna have anything at all, we’re gonna have to stand against the devil and not be dismayed when he throws everything at us. He is defeated. Whatever God allows him to do, he is defeated--he was defeated at the cross.

( congregational amens ).

We need to be awake and alert. But David’s relationship with God is what got him through! You look at all the distressing things that had happened coming up to this point. David had a resume, as it were, of being in bad places, looking to God and having God deliver him time and time and time and time again. And now at the very lowest point that he had ever experienced while he was on the run, he turned to the only source that he knew. He had a relationship. He had a confidence in a God who loved him. And he found strength, and he turned to God.

Now just think about this in terms of our lives. What do we do when we’re under pressure? What do you do? Things aren’t going right. Everything…it just seems like…things are lost, the situation is out of control, this that and the other. What do you do? Do you begin to point the finger and blame, begin to spew negative talk, begin to do this and do that and begin to react in a human way? Sadly, we all do that too much, don’t we? God help us to step back, see the bigger picture, see the God who is over all and look to Him.

And even if we have to do like David did in the Psalms and stretch forth our hands and say, oh God, I’m in distress, and I don’t have the answer, and I don’t know what’s going on. But God, I praise You. God, I know You love me. God, I know that You’re on the throne, and so I’m just waiting on You. I’m looking to You, Lord. I’m not gonna give up on You because of the way things look.

Folks, that is what we’re gonna have to have to stand in this hour. If you can’t see the loosing of Satan accelerating, then you need your eyes checked--your spiritual eyes checked. I remember what it was like in those days. You could sense something in the air. I’ve spoken about this before. Some of you lived through the sixties. You know that there was something in the air that was just…there was a revolution that you couldn’t even see, but you could feel it. You see the effects of it. It was in the spirit realm. It coincided with the time of all of this. But think about what the world has become. You who lived through that entire era, think of what the world has become today. People’s lives are polluted with demon power. We need God, folks.

( congregational amens ).

If you think you can make your way through this world and say, well, I’m just neutral. I don’t serve either one. I told you this before…but years ago when I was a student in college and we were trying to witness on the streets in Brooklyn a little bit, I actually had a man tell me that. I was trying to say, you need to serve God…whatever I was saying. He said, I don’t serve either God or the devil. Yeah, right! There’s no other alternative. If your life is not given to God, I mean from your heart, given to Him so that He has your life, He has the right to make you into the image of Christ and to prepare you for eternity, if you’re not occupying that place, you are--you are in sin’s prison, and you don’t know it. You’re blind. Satan will dangle the things of the world. He’ll drive you this way, and he’ll drive you that way, and you won’t know whether you’re coming or going. You won’t understand where thoughts come from.

God help us as Christians because the devil talks to us too. We’re gonna have to learn to recognize wisdom that comes from the devil. His wisdom causes strife and trouble and all kinds of stuff. There’s a wisdom that God gives that is peaceable, gentle, easy to be entreated. It brings peace to our hearts. God, give us the ability to recognize the voices that talk in our minds so that we can learn to cast down what’s the devil and say devil, I’m not gonna listen to you. I have a source of truth, and I’m going by what God has said. Oh I’ll tell you what, we need God, don’t we?

“But David found strength in the Lord his God.” So David began to not just change his attitude and his outlook, he began to take action. He went to God and he said, God, show us what to do. And the obvious solution he could envision was, we need to go after these people and get our stuff back and our wives…not to mention our wives.

( laughing ).

( laughter ).

Children and all that sort of stuff…but anyway, get everything back. And so he asked God. God, should we do this and will we succeed? And God answered him! What if David had just stayed in the condition he was in and never turned to God? Oh folks, how much we turn away from blessings that could be ours because in our times of distress, we don’t turn to Him and say, oh God, You’ve promised wisdom. You’ve promised help. You’ve promised what I need. God, I’m looking to you today.

We’re gonna have to get up on our hind legs and say, devil, I don’t care what you do and what you engineer and what you pull, I’m serving God, and I’m trusting in Him. I don’t even have all the answers, but I’m looking to God. The devil hates this church. Well, that’s fine. I don’t much like him either. We are in a battle. It’s not a joke. We are in battles. Satan is attacking on many fronts, but I’ll tell you what, I believe God just as…what God had in mind here, I believe there are things that are beyond our power to imagine that are ahead if we will stay the course and look to God, and believe Him in the face of these things. Praise God! I don’t have the power. I don’t have the answers. I don’t have the wisdom. Don’t look to me. Look to Jesus. He is the head to whom we look and we honor.

“David found strength in Lord his God.” Anyway…so the answer came back. Go after them. So they took the 600 men. They came to the, it calls it here the Besor Ravine. It was a very difficult place to get through, “…where some stayed behind, for two hundred men were too exhausted to cross the ravine. But David and four hundred men continued the pursuit.” The Lord had something else arranged, didn’t He.

It said, “They found an Egyptian in a field and brought him to David. They gave him water to drink and food to eat--part of a cake of pressed figs and two cakes of raisins. He ate and was revived, for he had not eaten any food or drunk any water for three days and three nights. David asked him, To whom do you belong, and where do you come from? He said, I am an Egyptian, the slave of an Amalekite. My master abandoned me when I became ill three days ago.”

Now, let’s think about this. Is sickness ever good? Well, in this case it was. It caused the Amalekites to lay some of the seeds of their own destruction, didn’t they? He turned his slave loose. He’s useless to me. He’s sick. He’s gonna die. He can’t keep up. Just leave him there in the desert. So he’s laying there three days. God had a purpose in that happening because he knew what had happened in Ziklag. He’d been there. He knew where the raiding parties were, and so he was actually used of God to lead them to the party.

And I’m sure they were probably…yeah, it says they were. “He led David down, and there they were, scattered over the countryside, eating, and drinking and reveling because of the great amount of plunder.…” Oh how many times in history have you seen a victorious army have a party, get drunk, and that whole battle get reversed because of their revelry? God had this timed perfectly. “David fought them from dusk until the evening of the next day.”

Joel brought this out the other night. This was not a short battle. You didn’t just go in and…okay it’s over now. This was a protracted battle. But God had promised them victory. And they stood there, and they fought that battle. It says, “…And none of them got away, except four hundred young men who rode off on camels and fled. David recovered everything the Amalekites had taken, including his two wives.” I won’t make a comment about that.

( laughter ).

“Nothing was missing: young or old, boy or girl, plunder or anything else they had taken. David brought everything back.” Everything back! We serve a God who can do what is needed.

( congregational amens ).

He allowed this to happen, but He preserved everything in this instance, because that was His purpose. “He took all the flocks and herds, and his men drove them ahead of the other livestock, saying, This is David’s plunder. Then David came to the two hundred men who had been too exhausted to follow him and who were left behind at the Besor Ravine. They came out to meet David and the people with him. As David and his men approached, he greeted them.

But all the evil men and troublemakers among David’s followers said.…” It seems like you’ve always got people that fall into that category. God help us. But God wanted also to establish something else here that came out of His heart…was a reflection of His heart and not the way people do things. They said, “Because they did not go out with us, we will not share with them the plunder we recovered. However, each man may take his wife and children and go.” Oh, weren’t they generous!

“David replied, No, my brothers…” Do you see something in that? He didn’t say, you rapscallions, you characters, you evil men, don’t you know better than to say something like that? He said, no, brothers. Don’t we need to have a merciful spirit towards each other? Doesn’t God have mercy toward you and me?

( congregational response ).

Thank God He does. And so he says, “No, my brothers, you must not do that with what the Lord has given us. He has protected us and handed over to us the forces that came against us. Who will listen to what you say? The share of the man who stayed with the supplies is to be the same as that of him who went down to the battle. All will share alike.” Praise God! That’s a principle that applies in the body of Christ. God has different ways of accomplishing things, but everybody’s in it together if you recognize that.

( congregational amens ).

The sharing of whatever blessings come, we need to recognize that we are one, and live and walk as people who belong not only to God but to each other. So David didn’t just deal with this one circumstance. It says, “David made this a statute and ordinance for Israel from that day to this.” This set a precedent.

Now here’s David. It says, when he “…arrived in Ziklag, he sent some of the plunder to the elders of Judah, who were his friends, saying, Here is a present for you from the plunder of the Lord’s enemies. He sent it to those who were in.…” He lists a whole bunch of places. But it says at the end, “…and to those in all the other places where David and his men had roamed.”

Can you imagine what the people in those places must have thought of David, during the time when Saul was on the throne and David was on the run? I mean they had to have had their doubts. Many times he would be in a place, Saul would come around and say, he’s over there…people under pressure. But here, God has not only turned this entire situation around, He has given His servant an opportunity to send a token to all of these people that says, God is with me. God has given me the throne. I am blessed of Him, and here’s evidence. I want to repay you for the kindness that you showed me back there. I want to show you that God is with me.

So God took this desperate situation and turned it into the perfect transition into David coming to power, because it’s the next chapter when, what happens? Saul dies…and the pathway is now clear. And so over a period of some time, David was able to consolidate his power and just bring the kingdom together to serve God.

Folks, we need to wake up. We need to realize the world we live in. We can’t just say, I don’t think it’s that way. I don’t believe that. It’s that way. We live in a world in which people’s lives are overrun with demons. We need God. God will be with us. That’s not said…the point of that is not to scare people except to cause people to be sober-minded and recognize. Doesn’t the Lord say, be sober, be vigilant? You’re adversary the devil goes about like a roaring lion. He’s looking for people to devour. That was written to Christians.

( congregational amens ).

That means the devil can do a lot of damage in the life of a Christian who’s not awake and aware. God wants His people to be awake, to recognize when the devil is at work and to say devil, we will not let your work stand. We will take our stand in the Spirit. We are looking to God, and we are claiming the blessing of His presence and His leading. And what the devil intends as a pathway to destruction, God intends as a way to strengthen and bless.

If you think this church can make a difference in people’s lives with a Sunday morning religion, you are sadly mistaken. If you think we can just give out pretty sermons, even if they’re true and all of that, and actually make a difference, we are gonna have to come to grips with all kinds of situations. The very fact that Satan is fighting as hard as he is, is an encouragement to me. He’s not happy. Well guess what? I’m glad he’s not happy. Praise God!

( congregational amens ).

We serve a Lord who is a Captain of the Lord’s Host, and He’s here just as He was with Joshua. Boy, that must have encouraged Joshua to be ready to go into the land. And he meets this angelic being, and he says, who are you? Are you for us or are you for the enemy? He says, as Captain of the Lord’s host, I’m come. Put off your shoes, you’re on holy ground.

Do you know who that was? That was our Lord Jesus before He ever came as the Lord Jesus. He appeared so many times in the Old Testament. He’s the One who made us. He’s the One who led His people in the Old Testament through the wilderness. He’s the One who died for us on the cross. He’s the One who rose from the grave. He’s the One who ascended onto the throne in Heaven, far above all principalities and powers. And He is the One who returned to live in His church.

I want to be His church. I want to be awake and aware. God didn’t show us those things all those many years for us to go to sleep and forget about it. It’s not that we live in the experience of it, but it’s the reality, it’s the truth of what God was telling us. We live in an hour when Satan, in God’s plan, has been loosed. That demonic presence in the world and the greater influence that it has in our world today is a source of pressure.

If you think we can be effective in this world, and like I say…I guess I’ve said it several times, but if you think we can be effective and not have the devil come against us…it’s gonna come against us in ways, before it’s over, like we’ve seen in other parts of the world. We’re gonna need a relationship with God. We’re gonna have to have something that’s real. We’re gonna have to have the knowledge to go to God when the pressure gets hot, to know that He is with us in the fire.

We’re gonna have to have the kind of faith that the Hebrew children had when they walked into that fire. They didn’t even know if God was gonna save them or not. But they knew one thing. They were not gonna bow to that idol. Do you have that kind of conviction in your heart today? We need it. We need a black and white conviction about this. It’s either God or the devil. There is no other choice that we have. We’re gonna serve Him, or we’re gonna be overrun by the darkness of this world. I want to serve Him.

( congregational amens ).

I can’t do it in my strength. He promises me all the grace that I need, but He’s looking for willing hearts that will engage themselves in serving God, and God will be with us. And He will get the glory because He deserves it all. Praise Him! Praise the Lord! Praise God for His goodness to us!

( congregational amens ).