TV Transcripts

“Things That Are Not” Conclusion
Broadcast #1388
May 12, 2019

Transcript of message from TV Broadcast 1388 -- taken from Closed Captioning Text

— Brother Phil Enlow: You see the nature of the promises upon which all the heroes of faith rested their hope? It was that creative, fixed Word of God! And that promise of God was allowed in their hearts and their minds to trump everything that would rise up against it, like Abraham, who hoped against hope. Praise God! Praise God!

I’ll tell you what, I want to get to that place in my own heart and my own life where this is real, because we so quickly fall into the same place that Abraham and everybody else did. I mean, I know the bottom line is he was strong in faith, but in the process there were times when he wasn’t so sure. How is this going to happen, Lord? I don’t have a son. And, did the Lord say, oh yeah, I forgot about that, okay, boom!

( snapping fingers ).

You’ve got a son.

There was some waiting, there was some trusting, there was some standing in the face of what did not look like — it didn’t look like God was being faithful. Anybody here know what that’s about?

( congregation inaudible ).

Yeah. You may be in a place right now where you’re struggling with self-doubt and all kinds of things. You’re looking at everything in the world except what God has said. And God is calling me and He’s calling every one of us to lift up our eyes and say, “Wait a minute, God is doing something that is eternal. I rest, not upon what I am. I do not rest upon what I have been, what I have done. I rest upon one thing — two things! His purpose and His promise. And so I stand up and I look the Devil in the eye and say, Devil, you’re right. If you’re talking about me and my virtues, I have none! But my hope is not in me!”

“My hope is built on nothing less than Jesus’ blood and righteousness; I dare not trust the sweetest frame, but wholly lean on Jesus’ name.” Praise God! Praise God!

I’ll tell you, God has given us the ground that we can stand upon and be confident and restful this morning. And I know that there are people here who are in that place right now where you’re struggling, ‘cause that’s part of it. It doesn’t feel like it. It doesn’t look like it. You wonder, can God even love somebody like me? And the truth is, you’re exactly the kind of person God does love!

( congregational response ).

There’s nothing—there’s nothing that gives God greater joy than to reach down into the gutter of human society and lift somebody up, and give them a place in an eternal kingdom. That’s what it’s all about! I’ll tell you, the cross and the resurrection are an amazing thing, when you see it in the light of creation. There was one creation that perished when Jesus went to the cross. When He came forth from the tomb there was another one that was born.

In the first creation, God did everything else and then He put man in there, and we messed it up. This new creation, the order is flipped. God is producing a family of sons and daughters. When He is done doing what He has promised, purposed and promised to do, we will be ready to step into a creation that was all God intended it to be in the beginning.

Man, this isn’t a, like I say, it’s not a self-help program. This is God declaring what we are. Imagine looking to Abraham and there he is all alone in a strange land, with no kids, and getting old. I have made you a father of many — say, what?

( laughing ).

That would be the reaction if you were a southerner, I guess. You know, you think about other people in the Bible that I think we can identify with in some ways. There was a time in Israel when they were — they had wandered from being faithful to God, like they did so many times during the days of the Judges. And one day an angel — and the guy didn’t know it was an angel at first — but an angel comes to a man named Gideon, who’s minding his own business! He’s just living his life out doing stuff, the everyday stuff. And, this angel addresses him, “…thou mighty man of valour.” (KJV).

( laughing ).

Talking about, say what! But here is God calling something that is not as though it were. Now, was God calling him that because he had greatness locked up in himself and all he needed was the right, the motivation? He needs a good motivational speaker to rise to the occasion and be something. No! This was a man who had nothing! Except he just gave himself to the Lord and said, Lord, Your will be done.

And he went through some challenges to his belief, but the ultimate thing is, all he did was commit himself into Gods hands. And the Lord said, “…Go in the strength you have.” (NIV). And you know, that was enough.

You know, when God goes with us, we don’t have to muster up something. We just have to rest in the Lord and say, “God, I want to be a part of Your purpose. I want to be a part of something that’s eternal. Help me to find that place where what I do matters for eternity.”

Do you believe there’s a God — the God of Gideon is still with us today? The God of Abraham is still with us? That He longs to so work in us that we will live as a part of a new creation more and more, and experience that new creation? What is the — what did Paul say in 2nd Corinthians, I believe it was chapter 5? He says, if any man is in Christ, what is he?

( congregational response ).

He “is” a new creation! There is something that happens when the heart of a human being hears the voice of the Son of God and they humble themselves and say, yes, take my life! Come in! Do — I’ll put it crudely — do Your thing. Forgive me, Lord. Lord, do what You have promised but I surrender my vessel for You to take and do with what You will! I cannot fix me! I cannot make myself ready for what You have promised but I put myself in Your hands for You to do it!

I’ll tell you, when someone does that from the heart, there is something supernatural that happens! Has that happened for you? I pray that God will speak — it could happen for somebody this morning. God’s word is not slack. If you’ve never come to the reality of what this is about, that it’s giving yourself into the hands of Someone who is in the process of creating something that will last forever, if you haven’t got that, I pray that you will!

But I’ll tell you, when you are born of that Spirit, there is a new life! there’s something that happens deep on the inside! And yet, the reality is, even though that has begun and that’s true, we live yet in bodies that are connected with the old creation, don’t we? And that’s where the tension comes in.

That’s how it was with Abraham. Between promise and fulfillment, there is a whole lot of waiting, a whole lot of trying, a whole lot of standing, a whole lot of…. But, somehow, can we not see the purpose and the hand of God? Why would He allow such things to happen if that was not central to His purpose? That’s the heart of how He gets there!

That’s what Dorsey was talking about. Do all things work together for good, or don’t they? Is God a God of purpose? Is He in control, or isn’t He? If we ever catch a glimpse of what God is doing, it will lift our eyes from the circumstances in which we are mired and we’ll see rather the greatness of God and all that He’s doing and we’ll just rejoice and we’ll be able to look forward instead of backward, and around. God calls what is not as though it were!

And you think of all the glorious things that He says about His people. I’ll guarantee you, when we get up in the morning and look in the mirror, there are not many of us that say, yeah, I see that! I get it! I understand why You would say that about me, Lord!

We have to deal with the same reality that everybody in the Word of God whoever put their trust in His promise did. It doesn’t look like it! It doesn’t feel like it! The Devil will be quick to point out our prospects, and he will put every negative connotation that he can! He will point to our history and say, look what you are! You will never be anything different! He will define us by every negative category he can think of!

And if we listen to him, we’re going to live in prison! This creation is a prison from which no man can escape by anything we can do. We need a miracle. We need Someone who has the power to come and speak something into existence that never existed before. And He can do that.

( congregational amens ).

Praise God! Praise God!

( congregational amens ).

So He can say that about us. You see, here we are, we muddle through life thinking about, oh, I’m such a mess-up. I’m not this, I’m that. I’m such a failure. I’m so weak. And God is saying, you’re my child. How about 1st Peter? I’m gonna get to Romans 8, I guess, maybe.

( laughing ).

I’m sorry, 1st John, chapter 3, is the one I’m thinking of. I John, chapter 3, “How great is the love the Father has lavished on us, that we should be called the children of God!” Did I earn that? Oh, no way! No way. He conceived a purpose in His heart in all eternity past. He sent His Son to make it so. And He sent His Spirit to reveal that to my heart and to call me to that.

He did that for you, too. He might be doing it for somebody here this morning that has never heard His voice in this way. You’re part of a world that’s dying. Even if it outlasts your life, your life will come to an end in this world. Everything you’ve accomplished will come to nothing, if that’s all there is.

All right, how great is His love, “…that we should be called the children of God! And that is what we are!” You see that positive confession there. “The reason the world does not know us is that it did not know him. Dear friends, now we are children of God, and what we will be has not yet been made known.”

But, what? Thank God, this is one of those great “buts.” “But we know that when he appears, we shall be like him, for we shall see him as he is. Everyone who has this hope in him purifies himself, just as He is pure.” And Jesus talks about the righteous, when the Lord is done. They will shine forth in the Kingdom of their Father.

Can you imagine, can you picture, even begin to picture, this company of people standing before the Lord, glowing, just like Jesus when He appeared on the mountain, but also to John in Revelation? I mean, there weren’t any sunglasses strong enough. But you know we’re gonna have eyes that can take it. Everything will be perfectly fitted to that new creation. Only God can do this!

And He does it for people who humble themselves and give themselves to Him and to His purpose, and trusts Him to do it and to do it His way, and His time. That’s the place I want to occupy. But what a promise this is!

And, you know, it goes on to say, those who have this hope, what they do? They purify themselves. In other words, we cooperate with Him. It’s not self-effort he’s talking about. But it sure is talking about obedience and cooperation.

But oh, what he’s talking about in Romans 8 carries this theme that’s he’s already introduced in earlier parts of Romans, about who we are and what we are. We’ve received the Spirit of sonship, verse 15, that is — I believe that is. “…Received the Spirit of sonship. And by him we cry, Abba, Father. The Spirit himself testifies with our spirit that we are God’s children. Now if we are children, then we are heirs…” — We are heirs—we are heirs — “…Heirs of God and co-heirs with Christ, if indeed we share in his sufferings in order that we may also share in his glory. I consider that our present sufferings are not worth comparing with the glory that will be revealed in us.”

Do you think any one of us is gonna stand there on that day and look back and say, it wasn’t worth it? Seriously! Man, we’ll say, it was worth everything!

( congregational amens ).

It’s worth everything to know Him. But listen to the place of creation in all this. “The creation waits….” They’re waiting on us. The creation waits! For what? “…In eager expectation for the sons of God to be revealed.” And I know, you’ve got this manifested son idea. But there is something that’s real, when God is going to unveil what He has been doing.

( congregational response ).

The world has been blind to it, hasn’t been able to see, has not vision of what God is doing, ‘cause it’s hidden inside this flesh. But one day that will be gone. We’ll be changed, made into His image and then He’s going to say, this is what I’ve been doing. This is what it’s about. This is what you said “no” to. You wanted your life. This is what I would have given you. That’s serious stuff, isn’t it?

“For the creation was subjected to frustration…” — it seems that way, doesn’t it, many times — “…Not by its own choice, but by the will of the one who subjected it, in hope…” — not a hopeless situation, is it? It’s temporary! — “…In hope that the creation itself will be liberated from its bondage to decay and brought into the glorious freedom of the children of God.

“We know that the whole creation has been groaning as in the pains of childbirth right up to the present time. Not only so, but we ourselves….” Now he comes down to us, sitting here this morning. We, “…who have the firstfruits of the Spirit, groan inwardly as we wait eagerly for our adoption as sons, the redemption of our bodies.”

That’s the linchpin, that’s the key, that’s when the job is done, when these bodies are changed and they’re no longer our enemies. Now they’re completely made over, exactly like the body that Jesus had when He came out of that tomb. That’s where this is going. Okay?

“For in this hope we are saved.” See, there’s this confident expectation of something that we don’t see right now. “But hope that is seen is no hope at all. Who hopes for what he already has? But if we hope for what we do not yet have, we wait for it patiently.”

Again, the ability to hope comes from Him! The ground of our hope comes from His fixed purpose and His unfailing promise, the One that cannot lie. Man, we’ve got every reason in the world to be shouting this morning and to be praising God.

( congregational amens ).

This is real! “…We wait for it patiently.” And boy, we get help along the way, don’t we? “In the same way, the Spirit helps us in our weakness. We do not know what we ought to pray for, but the Spirit himself intercedes for us with groans that words cannot express. And He who searches our hearts knows the mind of the Spirit….”

Have you ever had times when there’s just something that’s yearning, something that’s crying out, reaching out? God hears that! If your heart is towards Him, He knows that! He is tuned to that frequency every moment of every single day. Man, we have no reason to look anywhere else, except to Him, with confidence.

“He…knows the mind of the spirit, because the Spirit intercedes for the saints in accordance…” in agreement, “…with God’s will.” And this is where this comes in. “And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him, who have been called according to…” What? “…His purpose.” It goes right back to the same thing! God has a purpose from all eternity! It’s as good as done.

“For those God foreknew he also predestined to be conformed to the likeness of his Son, that he…” the Son, “… might be the firstborn among many brothers.”

Now listen to how a God who calls things that are not as though they were, listen to how He puts this! “And those He predestined, he also called; those He called, he also justified; those he justified, he also glorified.” Now for you grammarians, that’s past tense. That’s something God’s done. The experience of that is something that we are walking out, living out, looking for the fulfillment of it. But it is good as if it had already happened. Man, what a place of rest and confidence we have in One whose word cannot fail.

( congregational amens ).

This is a God who can look at you and say the amazing things that He says about you as someone is weak and weary, and with a history, and with all the stuff, all the garbage, all the baggage that we bring to the table. He can look at you and say, “You are My child, I have glorified you. You are My dearly beloved child. You will be just like Me. You will share in My glory. You are My heir.”

How can He do that? What does He see in me that could make that happen? Nothing! But He knows how to speak words that can create in me what has never been. So what is my place? To believe His Word, to receive it into the depths of my heart, to let it find life, to find expression, to do what Paul says, forgetting what is behind. You can’t fix it. Jesus fixed it. Reaching forth to that which is before. I haven’t arrived but I’m going. I’m on a trail. I understand what’s going on. God’s creating something that’s real.

We occasionally sing a song that I guess goes back into antiquity: “I see a new heaven….” Do you see that? “…I see a new earth, God’s glory is filling the whole universe. Gone are the old ways, all things are new. God is creating a new life in you.”

See how that fits together? You see what salvation is about? It’s an act of creation on God’s part. It’s Somebody who has the power to speak things into your life and into mine that we could never manufacture. Our place is to believe it and to stand in faith, to emulate those who stood upon the promises of a God who was able to speak galaxies into existence.

That same God can speak life into our deficiencies and make us what we could never be. He can call us what we are not in terms of our experience. But He can call us that as though we are, because He stands behind His word and He is able and willing to finish what He started. Praise God! I’m so thankful today that my past does not define my future.

( congregational amens ).

My weakness does not define my capabilities. And I could probably make up some other sayings along the same line. But I’ll tell you, we serve a God who is able and willing to do what He said He’s gonna do. His purpose stands. His promise stands. And the character of His words, they have the ability to create in you and me what has never been there before.

So what do you lack? Cry out to Him. Look to Him. Listen to Him. Expect. Quit looking at all the stuff that would drag you down and cause you to feel that lack of confidence in who you are. God wants to lift our eyes. It’s not that we are something, it’s that He is everything!

( congregational amens ).

And His Word. Christ has done it all and He has promised to take us all the way home and He will. And boy, He’s gonna get the glory, isn’t He? We’re gonna stand there and we’re just gonna be blown away with the amazing grace of Somebody who could do away with all this and yet use it in the meantime. He uses the stuff we experience here to help shape us for that.

And we’re only here for a little while. Man, that’s where my eyes need to be, and yours, too. Don’t let the devil bog you down with what’s going on in your life right now. Lift your eyes to the One who is able to call things that are not as though they were — and make it so! Praise God!

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