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Rainbow Divider
MCM Broadcast

TV Broadcast #998

Seek Me With All Your Heart
Part One

November 20, 2011

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Transcript of message from TV Broadcast 998 -- taken from Closed Captioning Text

— Brother Phil Enlow: I’ve had a burden this morning, last night…it’s come to me at different times, and I just trust it’s the Lord. We’ll just see. But, I’d like just to start with a familiar scripture in Jeremiah 29. This is part of a message that Jeremiah, the prophet, sent to Israelites who had been taken captive and were now in Babylon. Jeremiah was still in Jerusalem.

You know how the nation of Israel had become so wicked and so sinful that God had finally carried out the judgment that He had been warning the nation about for so long. Now Nebuchadnezzar had come in and he had begun to carry captives away and there they were living, and there were all kinds of false prophets who were giving them real…telling them what they wanted to hear, basically. That’s a pretty good picture of religion in a lot of cases.

But the Lord was warning them through Jeremiah, I haven’t sent these fellows, here’s the message you need to hear. In this particular case, in the context of this scripture, the Lord through Jeremiah was saying, look, you’re there for the duration. I’ve sent you there. You might as well build houses, get married, increase in number. You try to rebel against this, it’s not gonna go well with you. He even tells them to pray for Babylon since that’s where you’re living, ‘cause if the nation prospers, you will, too. It was basically, submit to me. I’m behind all this.

In the context of that he says this very familiar scripture…verse 11: “For I know the plans I have for you, declares the Lord, plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.” I praise God, even where there is a message of judgment, there’s a message of hope that He gives, because if we got what we deserved, it would only be the judgment side, wouldn’t it?

But thank God that here was a God who was willing in spite of everything the people had done…I mean, you think of a people who’d gotten so benighted that they began to practice the heathen religions around them and part of their religion was sacrificing babies into the fire. Now you imagine that we were doing that, and certain babies that were there…this was the one that was gonna get thrown into the fire. We’d all stand there and heave him in and give obeisance to a heathen god. This was the Israelites. This is where they were at, at that time, except for the remnant that the Lord had preserved.

But even in spite of that, God had reached out. God reaches out to us, too. We don’t deserve Him anymore than they did. We may not have done exactly the same things, but we need Him, don’t we? But then He says this on top of His promise that He had plans to prosper you, give you a hope and a future…He says, “Then…” He says there is gonna be a time when it’s time to pray, it’s a time when it’s time to seek Me, time to have an expectation that I’m going to help you, and that’s the context of this.

“Then you will call upon me and come and pray to me, and I will listen to you. You will seek me and find me when you seek me with all your heart.” And that’s kind of, I guess, the bedrock thought that I had today, because I believe with all my heart there’s people within the sound of my voice, and certainly if this goes out anywhere there’ll be plenty of people within the sound of my voice who need the Lord. Maybe you know Him and you need Him in some area, but I’m thinking about people who really need the Lord.

You know we sang the song this morning, “It Is Well With My Soul”. And the question is, is it well with your soul? Is there an inward confidence and rest that you have come to God and He has…you have a relationship with Him and you have a peace. And if Jesus came today or if you suddenly drop dead today, and none of us has a promise of tomorrow, do we, that it would be okay…because you’re not in the devil’s hand, you’re in the Lord’s hands. You have committed the keeping of your soul into His hands. It’s a done deal. The relationship is established. You’ve turned from your own way. You’ve put your faith in Jesus Christ, that’s settled. There’s nothing…you’re in His hands! And the Father’s hands are around His, and you’re safe in that place.

Folks, if that’s not where you’re at, you are in danger this morning, and I warn you in the name of Jesus Christ, that this needs to be the issue that is front and center in your life, in your heart and your mind, ‘cause if it isn’t, something else is. God’s promise to the people here was, you will find me when you seek for me with…

( congregational response ).

…All of your heart. That’s it. I mean, there doesn’t seem to be any hope for people who just half-heartedly seek the Lord, who want the Lord plus…you know, I’ve got my life but Lord, I know I’ve got a need here. I certainly don’t want to…the Hell thing scares me. I just want you to kind of take care of that part of it, but I’m gonna basically live my life.

That doesn’t work. This is an all or nothing deal. This is eternity. This is everything on the line. This is the purpose for which we were made, is to know Him. And to fail to know Him is to miss the purpose for which we’re made. I mean, that’s kind of obvious. But God has such incredible plans, such incredible hopes, such incredible mercy and grace. How great is our God! Praise God!

In connection with that, I thought about another scripture that I know we’ve heard in 2nd Corinthians chapter 6. And you know we tend to pay far too much attention to chapter divisions. They didn’t exist in the original, not even verses. It was a narrative. It all flowed. So Paul has just been talking about the ministry that God has given to him, and it’s to proclaim the message of God, which is designed for one thing…it’s to reconcile men to God.

Well, why do we need reconciliation? It’s pretty obvious from the teaching of the Word that you and I, as we are born into this world, are God’s enemies. We love what He hates and we hate what He loves, and that’s the direction of our heart. That’s what our heart is attached to. Unless something happens to change that, we remain in the camp of God’s enemy. Here’s the devil and his crowd over here, and that’s where we’re at. And there’s the kingdom of God over there. We’re His enemies. Something needs to happen to bring us together with Him, take away that enmity, that thing that causes us from our hearts to be God’s enemy.

So Paul said this is the ministry God’s given me. It’s to reconcile men to God. So in verse 17 of the previous chapter, he says, “Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation.” Well that pretty good measure. It’s interesting, I read a couple days ago, I guess it’s an email newsletter from a man who writes on various Biblical topics, and from what I’ve read of his testimony, he has quite a testimony coming out of a rather rough background, but God really saved him.

But he had a burden and I wrote him a one-word answer. I said, “Amen.” But his burden was this, it’s the habit of the American church to suppose that they can get people into the kingdom of God by getting them to repeat a prayer. Well it ain’t so. You can repeat all the prayers you want to, if these heart transactions don’t happen, nothing happens. So church pews have been filled with lost people, who’ve been told they’re saved. Folks, this is an issue we need to face head on because eternity hangs in the balance.

( congregational amens ).

If you haven’t come to a place of rest and faith, and trust, and hope in God that’s sure and solid, you need something. You need something you don’t have and God is not saying this to threaten and all that, He’s saying it to warn because He loves. He has the answer to your need and to mine. Thank God! Praise God! But if you’re not a new creation, if God hasn’t done something to the inside, then something’s lacking, isn’t it? It’s pretty plain. If you’re in Christ, you’re a new creature. If you’re not a new creature, you’re not in Christ.

“He who has the Son has life; He who does not have the Son of God does not have life.” There is an absolute, total divide in humanity. Now you’ve got religious people that have blurred that line, apparently to us. It doesn’t fool God at all. I believe there is a burden on the heart of God for somebody that needs to come to a place where you are settled in your heart. You know that you know that you know that God has received you, and that you’re His, that you’re life is His now.

He says, “…The old has gone, the new has come! All this is from God…” Well, that just tells me I can’t do this. This is beyond my capability. I can’t add to it, I can’t do anything except, thank You Lord for what You have done for me, for the provision You’ve made so that I can enter into this reconciled relationship with You. It’s all come from God who reconciled us to Himself through Christ. He did it. Man that’s what I need. I need something God did, because if I put my hand to it, it will be messed up. It will be totally inadequate, there’ll be nothing that comes of it.

“…Who reconciled us to himself through Christ and gave us the ministry of reconciliation: that God was reconciling the world to himself in Christ, not counting men’s sins against them.” Whew! Man, we sang some song this morning about how awesome it is to be set free from sin. Oh, praise God! Praise God! To have all the things that have ever weighed us down, and we know they’re against Him, and we know we have no power to do different. We need something, we need a miracle! We need God to do something. There’s nothing we can do.

“God made him who had no sin…” in verse 21, “…to be sin for us, so that in him we might become the righteousness of God.” What an incredible thought. You know, it’s two things. I think sometimes we only focus on the legal side of it. It is legal to begin with. I give Him all of my sins. He gives me all of His righteousness. As far as God is concerned, my record is clean. It’s clean because He paid it all.

You know we had the service Wednesday night that focused on the justice of God in forgiveness. God doesn’t just forgive us because He feels sorry for us, or He just sort of feels like it that day. There is a solid legal ground. Let’s look at it this way. If you had this terrible debt to some merchant and there was nothing you could do to pay it, but then some rich man came along and paid the debt. Now how would it be if you went in to that merchant and he still tried to get you to pay? That wouldn’t be right, would it?

But that’s the issue with God and forgiveness. When we have put our trust in Christ, our sins are gone, the debt is paid. We have every right to come to Him like it says in 1st John 1:9 that Don read the other night. If we confess our sins, there’s an honesty of heart, He is faithful and just—just, it’s justice, to forgive us our sin. He would be unjust not to forgive our sins, because they were paid in Jesus Christ. Praise God!

I shared this with some of the folks. But, I was so blessed…on Thursday morning, I opened up my email and there was an email from Brother Bob Brown up in New Jersey. Guess what the subject of his email was. It was an article he attached to it. Some of you have read it. It could have been read here Wednesday night. The subject of his article out of the blue was the justice of God and forgiveness. Praise God! Is the Lord trying to tell us something?

( congregational response ).

Man, what a salvation there is in Him! Praise God! So anyway, this is the ministry, this is the message! This is like God saying, all right, you’ve been in Babylon long enough, it time to seek Me. I have plans for you. I have made a provision. This is the time.

This is what Paul says in the beginning of Chapter 6. “As God’s fellow workers we urge you not to receive God’s grace in vain.” I tell you when God proclaims the message, however it comes, as Jimmy says after he hears me preach, that God can use a jackass, can’t He? Well he’s right! Thank God! It doesn’t matter who we are, it matters who He is. It’s not I, it’s Christ.

( congregational amens ).

And I’ll tell you, when He is present and His words are being proclaimed, it’s not me, it’s Him. Praise God! I have every reason to be sitting out there listening. I’m just like you, but God has His own ways of doing things.

“As God’s fellow workers we urge you not to receive God’s grace in vain.” I mean, you could sit here, and consider it, and think about it, and never really embrace it. “For he says, In the time of my favor I heard you, and in the day of salvation I helped you. I tell you, now is the time of God’s favor, now is the day of salvation.”

The question is, where do you stand with respect to all this? I thought about different examples of people who came to Jesus and many times the need wasn’t salvation as we think of it, but there was a need. I think of blind Bartimaeus. You remember the account there where he was just a blind man sitting by the side of the road. He had no power to help himself. That was his lot in life. There wasn’t any illusion. He didn’t say, well, if I could just raise enough money, I could go have an operation, then I’d be able to see. No, there was no natural…there was no hope! That was his lot, that was his life, except that Jesus was passing by.

He heard that Jesus was sent from God, that He had power to open the eyes of the blind, and to do many other wonderful things. So what did he do? He cried with everything in his power. He heard the commotion. He heard the crowd. Of course he couldn’t see. He said, what’s going on, what’s going on? Jesus of Nazareth is passing by. Man, it didn’t take him a second to say, Jesus, son of David, help me! I don’t know the exact words. You can look it up. It’s in several of the Gospels, but he cried out with everything.

What happened? Well, all the helpful people around said, quiet! You’re making a ruckus. This doesn’t fit in with the program. You just need to be quiet. So what did he do?

( congregational response ).

Cried all the more! What happened? Jesus listened. I tell you, there’s Someone who’ll listen to you too. You know we started out with “all your heart.” You think about what this man…this man was laying it all on the line. I have a need I cannot do anything about. There is somebody here, right now who has the power to meet my need. I’m gonna cry out to Him, and when someone gets in my way and tries to stop me, I’m going to be more persistent. This is the focus of my entire life…at this moment has only one issue! It’s coming to Him and getting my need met.

You’ve got a picture of someone seeking God with all their heart, no obstacle, nothing will stand in the way of me making a connection with the One who has the power to help my need.

And of course, you remember what happened. Jesus said, what do you want me to do for you? He said, Lord, I want to see. Simple. And the Lord healed him on the spot. I tell you, that’s the kind of a Lord we have. You know, you can preach the message of warning. And you can do it like it’s…my God, trying to scare people. It ought to cause us to be fearful in one sense. It ought to cause us to be sober, but it’s not a message of hate. It’s a message of mercy, it’s a message of love.

It’s a message that’s real, though. These issues are not fantasy. Can you imagine what it’s gonna be like when that time comes. People are gonna say, oh my God, I just thought they were trying to get me to join their church. I just thought…you know, one religious opinion against another. Oh no, this is not about us. This is about Him. This is about Jesus and who He is, and though the issue here was, a man was blind…somehow he knew this man, Jesus, was the answer to his need. He saw no other answer, nothing was gonna come between him and getting to Jesus. And Jesus reached out to him in mercy.

I’ll tell you, is there a lesson for someone here this morning? What are you doing with the need of your soul? If this isn’t settled, I’m gonna tell you, you’re in a place of danger and don’t realize it. I don’t know why I feel the way I do, but it isn’t me. This isn’t something I’ve cooked up. I had other thoughts on my mind, but I just can’t get rid of this. God’s trying to deal with somebody who needs to come to a place of surrender. You need to make this the only issue that matters to you, whether you breathe your next breath or not, is not important compared to this. That’s what it means “with all your heart.” There’s nothing else that comes first.

I mean you think about some of the people that came to Jesus…the rich young ruler that we’ve used so many times. He wanted to have eternal life. I mean, he had diligently tried to keep the law and was interested enough to come and fall down and call Jesus Lord, and say, Lord, or Good Master, I guess, is what he called Him. He said, what do I have to do to have eternal life? Jesus put the finger on that thing in his heart that was more important to him than having eternal life, and that was his wealth, his earthly wealth.

Think about the stupidity of that when you stand back and look at the big picture. You’ve got a man who’s been gone from this earthly scene for almost 2,000 years, and he was so wrapped up in his earthly wealth that he couldn’t give that up for eternity. But that is just how blind humanity is. We live like this world is all there is. And into this sin darkened, sin-blinded, devil-blinded world, came a Savior, and He came with a message, not of condemnation but of hope and forgiveness for people that will turn to Him with ‘all their heart’. How many others came and said, Lord, I’ll follow you. And He said the foxes of the air—foxes of the air!

( laughter ).

( laughing ).

Anyway, the birds of the air have their nests, the foxes have their dens…you remember. You can sort it out in your mind.

( laughter ).

I’m liable to say it most any way at this point in my life. But anyway, they all got a place, basically. I don’t have a place to lay my head. Well, you know the funny thing, you don’t hear anymore about those particular people. Lord, I’ll follow you. First let me go home and bury my father. Now I don’t think that meant his father was lying there as a corpse. I think it meant I’ve got to wait until he passes off the scene and then wrap up my affairs, and then I’ll come. Everyone had an excuse.

You think about the people that in the parable of the supper or the feast, the first category very plainly represents Israel, because the message went out…come for all things are now ready. See this corresponds to what the prophecy that, in principle at least to Jeremiah’s prophecy. There was a time, there was a proper time to seek God with all their heart and expect Him to answer.

Well, now in Israel’s history, in the world’s history, a Savior had come and all things were now ready. It was time to open the heart and seek Him with all your heart. And what happened to those who were bidden? See, these were people who had already been invited. That was Israel’s position. Through the prophets they’d been told a Savior was coming, a Savior is coming, a Savior is coming! Put your faith in Him. Expect God to hear you when He comes. So the time comes and he says, okay this feast is ready…come, everything’s ready.

Then what happened? They all, with one consent, began to make excuse…something is more important to me than Your feast. I’ve married a wife, I can’t come. I bought a piece of ground, you know, one thing and another. Some part of earthly life is more important to me than knowing You. Thank you, appreciate the invitation, but I’ve got something better to do.

That’s exactly where everyone is who basically says, no, to the Savior. Something is more important to you. What is it?

You know one time Jesus was basically wanting to get away…rest. He had a hard time doing that. People everywhere knew about Him, so He went over to Syrophoenicia, anyway He went over by the coast, Tyre, I believe it was. And that wasn’t even Israel. This was a foreign land. But the problem is, everybody knew about Him. His fame was far and wide, so He’s there in a house trying to kind of lay low a little bit and recuperate.

But some woman hears about Him, and she comes beating on the door, she comes knocking. Wherever they were anyway, she came around and she said, Jesus, Son of David, have mercy on me. I’ve got a daughter who’s demon possessed. I need help. Now once again, there was a need that she had no answer for, no hope, no other answer. But here stood One who had the only possible answer to her need.