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Rainbow Divider
MCM Broadcast

TV Broadcast #982

Keeping Our Eyes Single
One Part Only

July 31, 2011

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Transcript of message from TV Broadcast 982 -- taken from Closed Captioning Text

— Brother Phil Enlow: Praise God. I appreciate the Lord’s presence so much this morning. I appreciate His…I believe the expression of His heart toward us is something that I believe He really wants to make real. I haven’t really been able to get away from the thought that I had in the prayer meeting on Friday night. And it’s something that I need, and I don’t think I’m the only one.

Wasn’t there an emphasis this morning on seeking the Lord, on hungering for Him and reaching out to Him? And surely we have heard this and we know it. It’s something we know as a guiding principle, but I wonder how many times we really are free in our spirits, and that’s the direction and that’s the thought of our heart. That’s the reach of our heart…is to reach out to Him. We sing songs, you know, keep your eyes on the Lord…what was the song we sang just a minute ago?

( congregational response ).

‘Keep looking to the Lord,’ yes! And we hear scriptures like, “Looking unto Jesus the author and finisher of our faith.” (KJV). And the scripture we ended with a couple of weeks ago, fix your eyes on Jesus. And we know that in principle. But you know, I see in my own life how easy it is to look at the things that I’m experiencing in the moment, to look at needs that I’m aware of, and to be so focused on them, that that’s all I see. Now, I suspect you’re like me. What happens when you look at a difficult problem? What does it do to your spirit? What does it do to your expectation to just…it’s consuming your thoughts…that’s what you’re thinking on, that’s what you’re focused on. What happens?

( congregational response ).

That’s real encouraging, isn’t it?

( congregational response ).

Does that sort of minister fear, or…

( congregational response ).

Yeah, it ministers fear. It ministers unbelief, and sometimes I’ve caught myself…many times, praying, but it’s just almost a…it’s almost a hopeless begging. You feel that sometimes? You know you’re supposed to pray. You know you’re supposed to call on God, but there’s no real faith there.

I can’t tell you one time in my life where I ever was strengthened in my faith by looking at a problem. It don’t work that way. And, you know, we’re gonna…we’re told in the Word that in the world you’re gonna have trouble. I mean, there’s no reason for us to ever expect that life is going to simply smooth out, that if only we can find the correct spiritual formula, everything will become rosy. It ain’t gonna happen.

And, if we’re going to be effective for the Lord, if we’re gonna be fruitful, if we’re gonna accomplish anything in the Kingdom of God, we are going to face war. We are going to face battles that are way, way over our heads. Now, obviously the scriptures that we have used so many times…you see it in Jehoshaphat when this overwhelming army came to him. What did he do? He went to the Lord, didn’t he?

( congregational response ).

And he certainly did not sugar-coat the problem, did he? And you know, coming to the Lord in faith is not a matter of just sort of, “don’t worry, be happy” kind of fantasy land. It deals honestly with issues.

( congregational amens ).

It says, this is what it is. This is exactly the situation. Lord, there’s an army that’s too much for us. They are intent on defeating us and casting us out of the inheritance that you promised. And so, I see in that and in many other scriptural examples that there’s no call for us to be unrealistic. There’s no call for us to just say, hey, it ain’t so bad, it’s no big deal.

Life is a big deal, many times. The anguish, the fear, the things that the devil would try to cause us to experience, the difficulty, the impossibility of situations that we face every day…many of them are not major, but we face them every day. They are real. The Devil is real. Evil is real. The world is not going to become a more friendly place. It will become darker. And yet over and over and over in the scriptures we are told, don’t be afraid—don’t be afraid. So on what ground can I possibly believe that? Well, you know, it just makes all the difference where you’re looking, doesn’t it?

( congregational amens ).

And those that experienced the gift and the exercise of faith in God’s Word, were invariably people, who while they were honest about needs, they were looking to God, and their eyes were fixed on Him. They were fixed on Jesus, and looking to Him.

And looking to Him is not just sort of a…okay, I know You’re pretty great and I sure You’ll help me, kind of thing. There’s a much more personal relationship there. Because it’s not just a matter of realizing how great He is. That’s part of it. Yes, Jesus is the One who upholds the universe by the power of His Word. He was the One who was in the beginning speaking galaxies into existence…that’s wonderful, but that still doesn’t make me personally feel very confident. It makes me confident that, yeah, He’s great. But do I have any reason to expect that He actually cares about me?

Isn’t that kind of where it breaks down sometimes? We are really struggling to have faith, and the thought I had during the prayer meeting, and it changed my prayer right in mid-sentence…was instead of just, oh my God, there’s this problem. Oh my God, there’s that problem. Oh God, can’t you please do something? It was just wallowing through, wading through the issues and crying out as though I’m just belly-aching and…oh God, I don’t know, we’re about to go under here. Instead of doing that, all of sudden my eyes were fixed on Him! And instead of seeing just the magnitude of the problems, I began to see the magnitude of Him and what He could do! But it wasn’t just that. There was a sense of His personal care and love, and His interest, and His concern for me, that constantly…you look in the Word…what is His word to His people? “Casting all your care upon him…” Why—why should we do that?

( congregational response ).

Because He cares for…yeah, you! Start putting your name in there. That’s not presumption. That’s believing the Word of God! God, help me, I sense this need. I believe God wants to lift us to a level of faith where we can begin to lay hold of this source of our help and see Him actually change situations that look impossible to us.

( congregational amens ).

Do we believe that He can do that? Do we believe that we have a right to come to Him with an expectant heart?

( congregational amens ).

“Without faith…” The scripture tells us in Hebrews 11:6, it’s what?

( congregational response ).

“…Impossible to please God.” (NIV). That’s the coin of the realm. That’s the coin that works in the kingdom of God. It’s actually an expectation that we have toward God. He that comes to God must do what? “…Believe that he exists…” That’s a pretty good place to start…there really is a God. But what…that He is what?

( congregational response ).

Rewarder of those who casually…wait a minute.

( congregational response ).

Who diligently seek Him. There is a persistence…and I’ll tell you, every time I begin to sink and my eyes begin to become filled with the situation, my faith sort of sags with it. And I believe that’s an absolute key. If we will come to God and bring everything more in the light of who He is and…Lord, here’s this situation, but look how great You are. Look how great Your promises are. Oh Lord, You have brought me to this place. I know that You love me. I know that You care about me, personally.

Now, I won’t ask for a show of hands, but that’s something people struggle with. And I believe God wants to lift us to a place where we have a greater confidence toward God. Wouldn’t that be a great prayer to pray? Lord, reveal Yourself to me. I’ve heard the preacher say, God loves you. But the Devil is pointing out every bad thing about me. And when I come to God I just don’t know if He really…if I really can do this, if He really cares. I mean, look at what I am, look at what I did. Oh God, do I have any right to come before You and actually expect something?

I’ll tell you, we need a revelation, folks. My Bible tells me that in this covenant, we will all know Him, from the least to the greatest. Your faith ultimately does not need to rest in what I say, what Brother Thomas said, what anybody else says. It needs to be something that is real to you and God wants to make Himself real!

( congregational amens ).

It’s our need and the way the Devil portrays it to us that causes us to feel this disconnect, this apprehension, or this…whatever it is. Anyway we’re apprehensive. We’re unsure! God wants you to have the confidence that you can come to Him and that He cares about you and wants you to come to Him.

( congregational amens ).

You know, the folks that had the trouble with Jesus were the religious folks who didn’t really think they needed Him. But what was Jesus’ word to everyone else? “Come to me…” Come to me—come to me! “…All who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest.”

Now I don’t see any qualification there for those who come except that they’re weary and burdened…they’re needy—they need Him! He’s not asking for some personal qualification that we would…by which we would deserve His interference and His help, His intervention. We come because we are needy sinners! But that’s who Jesus came for! He came for people who are in need and who have no other source, no other way to get help.

Oh God, help us! I just sense that God’s heart is reaching out…there’s things He’s longing to do about needs that we can just sit here all day and talk about this need and that need, and that need, and the other need, and the other need, and they’re real! We need God to change hearts in this place! We need God to begin to mold and work and break down strongholds in people’s lives! Does He care about that?

( congregational response ).

Do we have the right to go to Him? Do we have the right to expect that He cares and wants to do something about needs? Yes we do! Everything in this Book tells me that there’s a God who’s longing for us to come! And how easy it is for the Devil to put up that barrier in our thinking, and say, He doesn’t care about you…look at you. You have no right to come to Him. Folks, we need a fresh revelation personally of the cross…

( congregational response ).

…Where Jesus put away our sin and our guilt. I don’t care what it is in your life that makes…that fills you with shame and guilt and a sense that, “I can’t come to Him.” Jesus took that upon Himself…all of it!

( congregational amens ).

He took it upon Himself as though He were the One who was guilty and ashamed, and had cause to be ashamed! He took it and He took everything that the justice of God demanded…His very life. Our sins are gone! Or are we just preaching fantasy? Is that true, folks?

( congregational response ).

Do we believe it, do we act like it, do we come to Him as He says in Hebrews? Do we come freely to the throne of grace? “…That we may…find grace to help us in our time of need.” But somehow that gets twisted so often in my mind and in our minds. We get the help we deserve because we’ve been good people and we haven’t messed up too much. No! I need cleansing. I need help. I need mercy every day of my life.

But I’ll tell you, we have somebody that longs for us to come. All you have to do is look at Jesus and how He treated people when He was here and you see what He’s really like! We let the Devil paint all kinds of pictures for us that are negative, that are designed to minister unbelief! God deliver me. I want to be able to pray in faith about situations, don’t you?

( congregational response ).

Don’t you think we have a right to come to God and say, God, help us with this issue? Help us in this area so that we can begin to pray more effectively, where we’re not just…oh, God, help me. I just don’t really think You’re gonna do anything, but I know I’m supposed to…You’re my only hope. What a waste of time a lot of our praying is.

We just don’t really expect. You know, it’s like the old story my dad used to tell. And I guess we’ve heard it a million times about the lady who heard about God moving a mountain. And so she said, well, I’ve got this tree out there that I don’t like much in my front yard, for whatever reason. And I’m gonna pray the Lord will move that tree. And so she went to bed and she got up the next morning and the tree was right there. And she said, “Just as I expected.”

( laughter ).

And isn’t that the way we do it most of the time? But you know where my disconnect comes so often is, I’ll look to Him and my eyes so readily descend—so readily they’re looking right back at the impossibility, they’re right back at the difficulty, they’re right back at things I can’t change…and I’m just consumed with the darkness of all of this and my eyes just are not where they need to be.

And as I was praying Friday night, it just…all of a sudden, it was like the Lord said, you need to keep your eyes on Me, because as you focus on Me, I will minister faith. Just like looking at ‘stuff’ ministers unbelief and darkness and doubt, looking to Him, and standing on what He says…this is simple stuff, but we don’t do it!

( congregational response ).

That’s my problem! We don’t do it as readily as we ought. We say the right things, but we don’t walk in the faith that we’ve often professed. I believe God, as I say, wants to lift us out of that. But as I began to look to Him, suddenly faith came. He’s the source of faith. I don’t have it. I need Him. I need His life, His faith to flow into me and through me! Is that not what He desires? Are we not workers together with Him?

( congregational amens ).

That’s exactly right. But the way He’s designed it is that He desires to inhabit us. We are His temple, are we not? His desire is to live in us and act through us, as the Father lived in and acted through His Son. His Son was the one who put His hand on somebody and power flowed through that. I believe God can bring us…and it’s not just seeking signs and wonders so much as it is just being His instruments, whatever it is. Just being His people, and just being people who can be honest about issues and needs, but can also see every need in the light of who He is and His power to work.

That doesn’t mean God’s gonna fix every situation the way we suppose He ought to. But I’ll tell you, we can have a confidence in His love. You know, there was a little article tucked into a letter that Ron passed on to me the other day. It was a wonderful little article, because it talks about the fact that God…it was focused on the love that God has, that He really loves us personally. And so we can come to Him with an expectant heart.

If you think of God as just some awesome being up there and I’m just not too sure about Him, because I know what I am and you’re filled with all kinds of things that put a distance between you and God, it’s hard to pray with any kind of faith. But if we can ever come to the point where we see Him as our Father, in the ultimate sense of that word of what a father’s supposed to be. He is our Father! He cares about us as His children. He cares about the issues. Folks, we are facing a lot of things in this church and we’re going to. It ain’t gonna get any better. But I’ll tell you, we have Someone who resides here.

( congregational response ).

And if our eyes are on Him persistently…I mean, it takes an effort. The scripture does not say, fix your eyes on Jesus for nothing. My eyes do not naturally gravitate to Him! They naturally gravitate to the things that I can see and touch and know about naturally. It takes an effort of my will to begin to fix my eyes on Jesus. But I believe that that can become a habit. It can become more and more a way of life.

( congregational amens ).

And I believe as we come into that relationship that He desires, that He can begin to illuminate us as to His will and His purpose. He can minister faith that we can begin to speak words, so we can begin to cry out to Him and actually see Him change lives. He wants to be real to you. Folks, I don’t know where individuals are at here. There’s undoubtedly people here who don’t know the Lord…never really been born again. God wants you to know Him!

( congregational amens ).

God does not want you, when you think of Him, to be full of fear. But I’ll tell you, the pathway to knowing Him is for Him to open your heart to the knowledge of your own desperate condition and need before Him! Don’t be afraid of that! That’s something that is…it’s not fun for us to think of ourselves and to face that. But I’ll tell you, it’s God’s love, it’s God’s mercy to tell us the truth because then the Gospel hope comes behind that and says, but Jesus took your sins upon Himself so that you can go free and be loved by Me forever.

And so cry out to Him! Over and over in the scriptures we see the reality and the truth that God does not tell us to seek Him in vain. God’s not playing games with people. Seek Me and then…okay, I’m not gonna let you find Me. No, God is…His heart is searching for people who will reach out to Him. He is a rewarder of those who diligently seek Him!

So folks, it’s a simple thought and there may be others who want to contribute, but I’ll tell you what, we need…I need a greater focus of my heart in the light of every situation, and every problem, every need of looking to Him…not just as the One who is the Author of Life, who’s the greatest there is, apart from the Father. Not just One who sort of cares for me, but Somebody who loved me to the point where He gave everything. The scripture that Steve read…He that gave us His Son, won’t He give us everything we need?

( congregational amens ).

Is He gonna stop short? Does He not care? What does He have to do to prove Himself to us? The promises of His Word are constantly an invitation. Come to Me. I care. I love you. I’m concerned. I have power to work and to change. That doesn’t mean we can push buttons and get God to do what we want, but I’ll tell you, we can begin to…we can come close to Him! We can walk with Him! We can know that He loves us and that we are accepted of Him! We don’t have to allow that barrier to creep into our heads and our minds. Everything that would separate us from God, Jesus took care of it at the cross.

And if we could ever wrap our minds around ‘by his grace,’ that simple truth, God can allow us to come and know that we are free to walk into His presence, to bow to Him and to worship Him, to say, Lord, all this stuff’s going on, but my eyes are on You. I know You’re able. Oh God, work for the honor and glory of Your kingdom…not for me, not for anything else, but Lord, so that You can be glorified, so that Your name will be lifted up, so that people will be delivered. Folks, if we’ll get a heart like that and cry out to God with faith and not just with begging, we’re gonna see God do things that we have not imagined. Is this just a pep rally? Is this Truth?

( congregational response ).

I just sense that this is God’s heart this morning, and that’s what I want. You know, that line that is in that first song that was sung, or second song, whatever it was…touch this generation. I’ll tell you, there’s something that comes up in my throat every time we sing that line. Oh God, touch our generation. Oh God, do something, because that’s the only way any change is gonna happen. If we want something beyond just a nice church to come to and whatever, and nice little tradition to keep, if we want something more than that, we’re gonna have to reach out to Him, because there’s real spiritual power that’s got to come into play.

There’s devils camped in lives and they aren’t gonna let go unless God’s force comes to bear upon situations. But we have the right to engage in that battle and to look to our God and expect Him to work. It may not be your way and your timetable or mine, but we have a right to expect the Captain of our Salvation to come. It isn’t for us and for our glory, it’s His! It’s for Him!

( congregational amens ).

He earned every bit of this by what He did on the cross! That’s where the merit is. Is Jesus not worthy of those for whom He died?

( congregational response ).

And has He not given us the privilege of being engaged in that work? Praise God!

( congregational amens ).

Praise the Lord! So let’s look to Jesus, but with a little different sense here. Look at the problems, look at the issues, but lift your heart…always, Jesus, I’m seeing this in the light of who You are and what You can do. And I’m coming to You because I know You care.

And Lord, I just…give me the faith that I need. Give me everything that I need. I want to work together with You. I want Your will to prevail here. I’ll tell you, we’re gonna see the Devil have to back up, because he’s no match for Jesus and who He is. Praise God!

( congregational praise ).