About Us - Publications - Broadcasts - Audio & Video - Contact Us - Home

- Broadcasts -

Rainbow Divider
MCM Broadcast

TV Broadcast #979

Commander of the Army
of the Lord

July 10, 2011

Return to Transcripts

Transcript of message from TV Broadcast 979 -- taken from Closed Captioning Text

— Brother Phil Enlow: The war is not just the things that we see. There is an unseen battle. There is an unseen warfare that is going on. And when Adam and Eve sinned, they didn’t just cut themselves off from God and…they turned over this world system to a kingdom of wicked spirits who are at war with God. You wonder why the world is in the condition it’s in.

We know we quote so often the Scripture, “…We wrestle not against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this world.” (KJV). There is an unseen kingdom that rules over what we call this world system. We don’t see it but its there and it’s real.

But God was in the process of bringing an answer and setting forth a hope for people that would turn their hearts to him and turn from their sins. That’s why he called Abraham. That’s why he promised him that one day in your seed all the nations of the world will be blessed. And because that promise is being fulfilled, has been and is being fulfilled, you and I are here this morning. We have a reason to have hope, to rejoice in our God.

( congregational amens ).

Because that’s part of what this was all about. Joshua didn’t see, as he was buried in the moment, just like we would be—just like we are. We’re way too much buried in the moment. But God has made the promises in spite of the condition of the people, He was faithful to his promises. He was bringing them in and establishing a relationship with the people and a temporary covenant. Great promises as to what was coming in the future.

And one day the Son of God came, and He walked among men, but He didn’t come here just to be a great teacher, a miracle worker, and make people say, wow. He came to give his life, didn’t he? So much of what we sang this morning was about that. In fact, one of the lines in one of the songs talked about angels coming and ministering to Him. While He was in that garden, wrestling in prayer, there were angels of God that were strengthening him.

Boy, would it have been something to have been able to see the whole picture, not just the earthly, physical stuff that happened at the cross, but I mean the warfare in the heavenlies…to see the demons just screaming with joy and a false sense of triumph in what they were accomplishing there. Yet the angels of God engaged in the battle knowing that the victory, the eternal victory was about to be won there. Oh, this was not just some earthly thing.

And that’s what we’re involved in now. You see the picture, this same commander is pictured several places in the Scriptures riding forth with the what? Armies of heaven. You look at Revelation chapter 19 sometime and just read toward the end of that and you will see that exact picture in symbolic language. A rider on a white horse called the Word of God with a sword coming out of His mouth. I’ll tell you, the Word of God is gone forth into the earth, and how people respond to that Word is determining destinies. There are people who say no to that Word and they’re turned over and they become nothing but devil’s food. The birds of the air come and they eat. But that same Word is setting a people free, and it’s calling them to a Saviour. Praise God!

( congregational praises ).

You see what…and the big picture of what God has done is commanded His Son to build a kingdom and given Him the authority to do it. He is worthy of all of it because of what He did in the cross.

( congregational amens ).

Worthy is the Lamb that was slain to receive glory and honor and power and might and dominion and all those things that we read in Revelation earlier. And He has ridden forth and I’ll tell you what, He’s here this morning.

( congregational amens ).

We’re not just a group of people. There’s another dimension that we live in. And…the first thought, the first central thought that has gripped my mind this morning is this word ‘neither.’ God does not need our cleverness. He does not need our traditions. He does not need our ideas. He does not need…He doesn’t need us, but He wants us. He loves us.

But just like Joshua faced that battle that day, he needed to understand his position in the big picture. I mean, I’m sure the weight of responsibility fell upon him at this point. The Lord had told him, don’t be scared, don’t be…be courageous and all that, knowing that he would, knowing that he’d fight those battles. But until this moment, I have every idea that he was fighting off some fear. He knows…God’s told me to do this, but here I am. There’s the walls. What am I gonna do? And he’s just gripped with a sense of responsibility, feeling almost like he’s the top dog. He’s the one. It all falls on his shoulders.

All of a sudden he finds out he’s nothing more than a buck private in God’s army. The General shows up—the General shows up. Oh, praise God! You know, sometimes we can talk about the warfare that we’re in, and the world we live in, and the powers of darkness and demons and we don’t know…you know a lot of stuff we don’t know about some of that, and you might...you know, it’s awfully easy to feel very small, very intimidated, very uncertain, very…this is a pretty dire situation we find ourselves in. I know God’s promised to be with us but…we try to plan and scheme and we’ve got a lot of fears we deal with.

They were just like us. They were just like us. But the Lord wanted them to understand. I don’t need your plans. I’m here. What you’re part of is not something where you’ve got to scheme your way. This is not Jacob trying to figure his way through life. This is Israel after God touched his heart and changed him. This is a situation where you just need to recognize that I’m here.

This is a cosmic war. This is something…this is a conflict between the Kingdom of Light and the Kingdom of Darkness and you are part of it at this point, but your part is not to figure your way through. Your part is to come to Me. Your part is to look to Me and believe in Me and trust in Me. I will tell you what to do. I will go with you. When you go out with your earthly armies, you are not going out alone. There is a heavenly army that is going with you. Not only that, I’m gonna take care of those walls. You’re not gonna have to do anything about those walls. I’m gonna take care of the walls. Does that sound encouraging to you?

( congregational response ).

Anybody got any walls in your life right now?

( congregational response ).

Yeah. Thank God! If we could really see as we ought to see — and I just pray that God will reveal it. Now you know, Joshua was allowed to see physically a man with a sword. But we have to see just as surely, and I believe God can open it up to the heart of someone whose heart is open to Him, to where we can find our place in the grand scheme of things.

You know, we don’t need to feel all important. We don’t need feel so intimidated and defeated that we’re just…well, all is lost. We’ve got the commander of the Army of the Lord who walks and who leads the armies of heaven on behalf, not of our plans and schemes, but of His eternal purpose. And He has called us to turn from our plans and schemes, and to seek His eternal purpose.

And so, you know, you could almost imagine that Joshua had maybe conceived some plans, but I’ll tell you, what, when he got to this point, he did not say, well Lord, here’s my plan. What do you think of it? Lord, we’ve got a battle going on here, let me give you my suggestions as to how you might work this out. I won’t ask for a show of hands of those who are guilty of doing that, because I think every hand would have to go up if you’re honest. I guess I’d have both hands and whatever I could put up would be up. Oh we serve a merciful God, don’t we?

( congregational response ).

So what did Joshua do? He did the only thing he could do. Joshua fell face down to the ground. The man that had been placed in a position, in an exalted position among men…position of responsibility, position of authority…. But in the larger scheme of things, this man was on his face recognizing he’s not the top dog. He doesn’t know what to do. And the One who does has just showed up. And he knows that his place is on his face on the ground.

You know that’s something that we need to know in our lives. How often do we get the big head in one way or another, and we live without this sense, this awareness of where we fit. And God wasn’t doing this to him to humiliate him, to grind him down, and make him feel like he was dirt…but to bring him into a place of great blessing and honor. I’ll tell you, God will honor a people who know enough to honor Him, and to take our rightful place before Him. Praise God! Praise God!

So “…Joshua fell facedown to the ground in reverence.” (NIV). Now reverence is a fear. It’s a respect. It’s a conviction of who He is and who I am, and what my attitude toward Him ought to be. That we’re not just…hey, old buddy, how are we doing, kind of thing. This is a reverence for Someone who is so far above us, that all we can do is just bow and worship and praise and just submit ourselves completely to Him.

Oh, we are so proud. And human beings in this world are so full of pride! Man thinks he can solve his own problems and he’s steering the ship right straight into the rocks, on a big picture…you know, the world and the world system. God has so much better for His people. And the way up in God is down. It’s to come off our high horse and bow before the Commander and say, Lord, You’re my…You’re not just the commander in some vague sense, you’re my commander.

That’s the position Joshua took that day. He bowed down “… in reverence, and asked him, what message does my Lord have for his servant?” Now you think about those words and the implication of that. Just tell me what to do. I’m not here to tell You what to do. I’m not here to explain my great plans to You. I’m not here to borrow plans from here and there and everywhere. I’m just here to say, Lord, you are the Lord. You are the One who has been given the authority by heaven itself. My only rightful place is to stand in reverence before you and say Lord, just tell me what to do.

How many of you just like to have that place. I mean your nature is, I just really want to feel helpless, and I just really want to be obedient to somebody else in what he tells me to do…you know, a total faith that whatever He tells me will be right. Does that kind of cut across human nature? Isn’t that kind of what we need to be saved from?

( congregational response ).

To be brought into the right relationship with a God who loves us, the God who made us for Himself, the God who has promised joy that we cannot even imagine, the God whose purpose for everyone who will bow the knee to Jesus Christ is nothing but love and amazing future, amazing grace. When we’ve been there ten thousand years, ten million, ten billion, put whatever figure you want, we’ll have no less days to sing His praise than when we first began. People sing those words and it’s just kind of become a folk song almost. We need to get it because it’s true.

And so here is Joshua, the leader of his people. Every king around would have looked on him as a king, would have thought this is the great man—this is the top dog here. But the top dog was on his face before the Commander that God had sent into the field. Praise God!

And listen to what he said. He doesn’t just say, what message does my Lord have…but it’s for His servant. A better word for servant there was slave. This is somebody who recognizes, I don’t have any rights here. I belong to Him. My only rightful relationship to this One before whom I stand, or kneel, or bow, I guess…is just to say, what do you want me to do? It isn’t my choice to be doing or not doing. He is the Lord. He is in charge.

Oh I’ll tell you what, if we came to a place in our thinking and our attitudes and our actions where we understood our relationship with the Commander of the Army of the Lord, I’ll tell you, we would see a lot of walls come tumbling down in our pathway. I’m talking about as a church. I’m talking about as individuals.

I mean you look around the land today, and we’re not immune to this, but so much of what is called Christianity is nothing more than a tradition. Each one’s got their own brand. This is the way we do it. This is what we believe—this is what we believe.

Don’t you suppose that in every case, the belief is that what I’m doing is right, and because I am doing what is right, because I am believing what is right, the doctrines of my fathers and the traditions that have all been handed down, the ways of doing things…because I am doing all these things, God is on my side. And I have a claim upon His favor in my life and the circumstances of my life because of all these things. Oh God, what a different dynamic you’re seeing here. As I say, we’re not immune to this. The moment we begin to practice Bible Tabernacle religion we have nothing.

( congregational amens ).

We don’t have a thing that’s different from anybody else. Our place is to bow to the Head of the church, Jesus Christ. This is an attitude that needs to totally possess our hearts and our minds. He is Lord. He is head and my place in life is not to scheme my way and try to get Him to bless me. My place is to bow before Him, and to put my hope in Him and to know that, yes, I face a world of darkness, yes, I face a world of wicked spirits, but the Armies of Heaven follow this One before whom I bow and they do His bidding. And there is not a power of darkness that can stand—there’s nothing that can stand in the kingdom of darkness before this One before whom I bow.

Oh what a glorious time it was when he bowed before this Commander. And that Commander gave him a plan that must have sounded like total lunacy, but it was with purpose that God just basically told them, you do your part…you’re basically there to testify and watch me work. I mean, yeah, there’ll come a time when you pick up a sword, but you’re gonna have to do what I tell you to do and let me take care of the walls. That’s not your responsibility to go pulling down walls and figuring out how you’re gonna get through there to the people. I’ve got an army with Me that’s a whole lot greater than your army and they’re gonna be able to take care of business and when your time comes, you’re gonna shout, you’re gonna praise Me, you’re gonna do exactly what I say, and God’s gonna take care of it. And God was testifying to His people. He was testifying to everybody in that land. This is not just an army of men. This is an army led by the God of heaven, Himself.

( congregational amens ).

If we are less than that as individuals, if we are less than that as a church, then we are nothing. We are wandering in a wilderness.

( congregational amens ).

But we need this Commander here. We need Him in our lives. We need to bow to Him. I mean, I’m talking about in the general corporate life of the church, but we’re also in our individual lives. Most of us, in one way or another, are facing our own Jerichos. We know the way lies forward, but there it is, and there are the walls and they look impenetrable.

But there is a Commander of the army of the Lord that if we will look to Him and wait on Him and trust in Him, if our attitude and our actions are consistent with trusting in Him, we have a God who will fight…I was gonna say we’ll have a God who will fight our battles. But what’s gonna happen is we’re gonna wind up fighting His battles. It’s not like He’s gonna come and fix our wagon. We’re gonna become a part of His plan because that’s the thing that’s going on here. This is not just a bunch of little individual lives and their little things. This is an eternal plan that God has instituted to call a people out and prepare them for eternity. The question is, are we gonna be part of that, or are we gonna try to get Him to be part of us? That’s the difference. Do you get it? I want to be part of His plan.

( congregational amens ).

I want to honor Him and look to Him. I want to have the attitude that I don’t know what to do. I need Him every day to open my eyes. I need Him in the little daily battles that I face, the decisions that I make. My attitude needs to be that Jesus is Lord. I want to do His will and not mine. But I know that when I stand in that place there’s an army with Him, and I don’t have to be afraid of whatever the devil mounts against me because I’ve got the armies of heaven.

I mean, how many glimpses do we see of this in the Scriptures? I know you remember the story of Elisha and his servant. There was a foreign king who kept wanting to conquer the land, kept wanting to take an army here and lie in wait here, and somehow God kept revealing to Elisha every plan the man had. So he would tell the king, don’t go there and the king would go someplace else and he said, well, I’ll lie in wait here. I’ll mount this offensive and Elisha would go to the king and say watch out he’s over there.

And the king finally said…got his commanders together and said which one of you is a traitor here. Somebody is telling him our plans. And so one of his servants pipes up and says, no, it’s not that way at all. Elisha, the prophet, is in Israel. God tells him the secrets that you tell in your bedchamber. We serve that kind of a God.

( congregational amens ).

Do you think the devil can sneak up and pull things on God, and do something that He doesn’t know about? So he says, we’d better take care of this guy, that’s our real enemy. We take care of him, then we can go after the king. So they surrounded by night the city where he lived, and he got up in the morning and his servant said, oh master, what are we gonna do? And Elisha said, Lord, open his eyes.

Well, he first said there’s more with us than there is with them. He said, Lord, open his eyes, and when he did he saw the army, but then he saw something behind the army. Horses, chariots of fire, far vaster an army that was with him. In the course of the story he says, Lord, blind their eyes. So he went and took their commander and said, you’re in the wrong place, let me lead you to the right place. He takes them right into the capital city, hands them over to the king, and the king says, what do you want me to do with them? Kill them? He says, no, no. He makes a great feast for them and sends them home. And that’s the end of the story. That king didn’t come bother him anymore.

I’ll tell you, we’ve got a God who can fight our battles. Not because they’re our battles, but because they’re His battles. And if we are rightly related to Him, then our battles are His battles because we are a part of Him. You go off on a…a course of self will, that’s not a good thing.

You can see that in Jonah, can’t you? You know, somebody might be saying, well I thought He said He’d never leave nor forsake us. Well, that’s a pretty good example of Jonah. God told him to go and proclaim a warning of judgment to Nineveh, and he didn’t want to do it. He figured they’d repent and God wouldn’t judge them, and he wanted God to judge them. It’s a little like some of us, you know. You get prejudiced against people. God help us.

But anyway, you know what he did. He ran the opposite direction. Well, did that mean that God left him? No. God never left him even though he was not in the place of blessing. He was not in the place where he was doing God’s will. God didn’t leave him. God actually was right there. He sent a big fish. You remember all the story there how God had a way of getting him to the place where he was willing to go, and he finally went.

But sometimes we can get ourselves in some bad places when we exercise self-will, and God’s not gonna lose you if you’re His. But that’s not a course of wisdom, is it? God has called us out of a wicked world. We live in a world that is overrun with not just bad people but there’s a power of darkness behind that. But, I’ll tell the armies of heaven are available to His covenant people on an individual level, on a church level. That’s what God has called us to. And I just pray that God will so burn this simple truth into our hearts that we will never lose it. We will never lose sight of who we are and who He is and what our place is in the grand scheme of things.

I have all ideas that from that day forward Joshua had a different outlook on things. He understood there was an unseen army with him and his place was to bow his face and serve this Commander and honor Him and just say, tell me what to do.

Is that your attitude when you face the issues of life? Lord, here I am. I’m in a difficult place and I don’t know what to do. Lord, my schemes aren’t gonna help at this point. Just doing what I want because I want it, my desires pull me in a certain direction, that’s not gonna get it. Lord, I know You love me. Lord, I know You see everything. You see what the enemy…You see the pitfalls the enemy is trying to maneuver me to fall into. You see every issue here. Lord, just tell me what to do. Anybody here know a better strategy for getting through this world?

( congregational response ).

God has an eternal purpose. He has called us to walk with Him. He has called us to bow to heaven’s Commander. That’s what I want to do. I pray that everyone here will do that in a larger sense, but in your individual lives, and the issues you and I face this afternoon and tomorrow and the next day and the next. We serve a God who has sent a Commander with the armies of heaven who will fight our battles and I praise Him this morning. Praise God!