TV Transcripts

“Divine Humility” Part One
Broadcast #1509
September 5, 2021

Transcript of message from TV Broadcast 1509 -- taken from Closed Captioning Text

— Brother Phil Enlow: I confess I’m…questioning in my own mind the things that have come to me this morning. But I’m just gonna trust the Lord because I believe there is a tie-in that is important. And I believe the Lord has quickened some things to me, and I’m gonna use some familiar scripture. I don’t know far we’ll get, we don’t have a lot of time, but that’s all right. We have what we need.

There’s a scripture that I was gonna use as a jump-off point and it’s in Ephesians chapter 4. You know, Paul has been unlocking for us the amazing thing that God has done for us, to put away our sins, to plan…fulfilling a plan from all eternity, making us His children, calling us together, sending out His Word, not just to Jews, but to everybody around the world, and promising that He’s gonna continue to work, that He’s got all the riches we could ever need. I mean, it just goes on and on and on with the depth of what God’s done for us.

And so, of course, then he leads, as we’ve pointed out many times to a ‘therefore.’ There is a response that He’s looking for from us, and the kind of people He wants us to be. And so he says, “As a prisoner for the Lord, then…” (NIV). That’s where the ‘therefore’ comes in.

“As a prisoner for the Lord, then, I urge you to live a life worthy of the calling you have received. Be completely humble and gentle.” That was the phrase that I wanted to jump on, because it’s something that certainly is completely contrary to our nature.

But I believe the underlying thought, the underlying principle here has everything to do with what’s been talked about this morning, namely, praising God. Because by nature we are, as I say, the opposite of humble, we are very proud. Human nature is built and founded upon pride.

We know that the root of it comes out of the heart of Lucifer, who, at some point, decided he wanted to be like the Most High. He wanted to serve…to seek his own godhood outside of a relationship with the one true God. And so he began to pursue that and he persuaded many others to do it, and ultimately we know how he appealed to Eve in the garden.

And it was, basically we’ve talked about many aspects of this, but the underlying theme is, you can be your own god, that’s what your real destiny…that’s what your destiny is, that’s where your hope and your happiness, your fulfillment lies. You need to seek your own godhood.

And it’s interesting to me that Paul and others so often emphasized these truths in talking to Christians. Be humble. Serve one another. Why would he have to say that if it were just natural? If we would somehow come to Christ and we’re born again, born of His Spirit, instantly, we’re humble, we’re gentle, our focus is entirely on everybody else and not upon us.

But the reality is, there’s a reason why Paul had to put this in here, because it’s exactly the opposite of what we are every single day. How many of you are completely humble and gentle when you get behind a slowpoke in traffic? I think most of us would react in a way that is anything but.

And what are we really doing? Are we not saying, I am God, get out of my way, don’t you know that I am more important than you are? And so much of our life reflects that sense of being self-absorbed.

Now we think of certain people that we have known, perhaps, who are really that to an exaggerated degree. That’s the only thing they think about. Their entire world is revolved around me and what I’m doing and what I want and how I feel, how I perceive people to treat me, and it goes on and on and on, where there’s just almost no awareness of anybody else. And it is the polar opposite of what God desires us to be.

And…I’m trying to ask the Lord to help me to unpack this in a way that will get to the point that really drew me to this, because there are so many things we’ve heard so many times. We’re called, not to a life of selfishness, but to a life of service one to another, are we not? That’s…my focus is meant to be on you, and what God gives me, I’m to give to you because it’s not just about me, it’s about you. I don’t exist to serve my own needs.

And, I think I will go for a moment to a familiar scripture in John 13, one we’ve used many times over the years. And trust me, I’m getting to something in this that adds a little depth, I believe, that I think will absolutely play into what we’ve talked about this morning. So, I appreciate it so much, because God does want us to have a certain kind of relationship with Him. Praise is at the heart of it. Okay?

So this is where Jesus is having supper with the disciples. This is the night before he is crucified. And so anyway, he said, Jesus, verse 3, “Jesus knew that the Father had put all things under his power, and that he had come from God and was returning to God; so he got up from the meal, took off his outer clothing, and wrapped a towel around his waist. After that, he poured water into a basin and began to wash his disciples’ feet, drying them with the towel that was wrapped around him.”

And of course, we know how Peter immediately objects to this and says, You don’t wash my feet. Isn’t it interesting how many lessons God wanted to teach Peter, around the time of the crucifixion? Peter was filled with so many ideas about how things ought to be.

And so, the Lord says, if I don’t wash you, “…you have no part with me.” So he said, give me a bath. And then…the Lord goes through it and brings them to the end and says, you don’t really understand. But if I, your Master and Lord…down, I believe, it’s in verse in verse 14.

“Now that I, your Lord and Teacher, have washed your feet, you also should wash one another’s feet. I have set you an example that you should do as I have done for you. I tell you the truth, no servant is greater than his master, nor is a messenger greater than the one who sent him. Now that you know these things, you will be blessed if you do them.”

And you know, there are many aspects of this that have been emphasized in the past, but certainly at the heart of this is a quality called ‘humility,’ is it not? But this is not simply an attitude, this is humility in action.

This is someone who has an outlook that causes them to observe their own life and their place in it with a humble attitude, but they realize there’s a purpose in that, namely that I am to serve my brothers and sisters, because, though we have been cleansed, praise God, by the blood of Jesus Christ, yet walking in the world, out feet get dirty.

You know, as we’ve said…we’ve heard Brother Thomas say it many times, our feet get dirty and we need cleansing, we need help. And while this does include the idea of correcting and helping one another with faults and failings, it’s bigger than that. It includes everything that has to do with the encouragement of one another. I mean, coming together this morning…have our feet not been washed?

( congregational response ).

And where did we get the ability to do that? God gave it to us…Christ in us became a source of life that helped one another.

But you know, as I was thinking about this, and how the Lord is constantly in one way or another telling us we need to be humble and we need to serve one another…there’s a dimension to this that I think, perhaps it’s only me, but I believe we need to see this in a deeper light.

It’s awfully easy for us with our natural way of looking at life…we tend to see ourselves as trying to forge our way in the world, right? I’ve got my place. I’ve got to find my place. I’ve got to find, love, happiness, meaning, purpose. I’ve got to figure out what I want to do. I’ve got to gratify my desires. It’s all…one way or another, it all comes back to me and my place. And, we tend to project that onto God if we’re not careful.

And when you read the scriptures, it says, praise the Lord, you need to worship Me, you need to praise Me. It’s awfully easy to kind of project onto God the way things work here. And we know what happens when there are very important people…you know, you’re supposed to behave a certain way. You’re supposed to give them deference and honor and all of that, because of who they are.

And, the truth of the matter is, people who kowtow to that usually are…the interest is in self. It’s not that they are so awed by the person so much as, by God, I better not mess up here. It’s in my interest to behave a certain way toward them because they’re important.

And of course, we have…since history has started we’ve had dictators who have usurped power over people and they’ve forced people to do their will instead of what they want. And so…and, of course, you’ve got criminal gangs. You’ve got the Mafia.

But I’ll tell you, God wants something better out of us than a forced worship and praise, where we are intimidated by who He is. He is the most awesome being in the universe. There is no one like Him. He has all power and all glory.

But, folks, we don’t bow down to Him like we would to some great dictator that we’re afraid of. God doesn’t want that kind of a spirit from us. Oh, I feel my need of this in a deeper way. And I believe God wants to add this dimension to our thinking about the kind of people He wants us to be.

You know, here’s Jesus carrying out the will of the Father, and He’s demonstrating an amazing humility, is He not? I mean, you think about who this is! This is the One who spoke galaxies into existence, and now He’s not only come down in flesh, but He didn’t come in and say, all right, I’m here to take over. Don’t you know who I am?

He takes the garb or the place of a servant, literally gets a basin of water and washes their feet, the most menial thing that He probably could have done for them. He said, this is what I want you to be like.

But you know, it’s awfully easy to kind of make a difference between the Son and the Father. I mean, we can see Him in His earthly life. We can relate to Him. We think of Him as Somebody who has been here, who understands. But God, now, He’s awesome, He’s way off there…oh, the only possible thing we can do is to bow down and worship. And we almost project something human onto Him.

But how many of you know what the scriptures teach about the relationship of the Father and the Son? Not only did the Father do everything through the Son, but the Son, we are told in Hebrews 1, for example, is, “…the exact representation of his being.” So you want to know what God is like, there He is, expressed perfectly, completely.

Did you ever think about humility as an attribute of God the Father? Has that ever entered anyone’s mind? That in the sense of what real humility is about…it’s not this phony thing that we often see in the world. But He is the most humble being in the universe.

You know, I keep…every once in a while, it comes back to me, this character from English Literature, Uriah Heep. Some of you remember him, if they actually read Dickens anymore. I don’t know…who knows what they read.

But anyway, he was a character who was just famous for always…I mean, he was humble…by his own testimony. And it was so exaggerated, that you couldn’t interact with him without him talking about how humble he was and how he wasn’t worthy to be talking to somebody like you, and on and on and on and on and on. And the whole thing was a coverup because he was a crook. In other words, he was pretending to be humble for his own advantage.

But I’ll tell you, the real humility that God seeks from us comes from very heart of our Father. And when you see Jesus do what He did on that occasion, it represents God, the Father, kneeling down to wash the disciples’ feet.

When you think of what He’s done for us…it’s not like we’ve got this sympathetic Savior who’s got to try to convince His Father to let us off the hook. I mean, you can almost get that feeling from the way some people talk about it.

But there is such a oneness. He is the expression of the invisible God. No one has ever seen God, John tells us. But the only begotten Son of God, He has expressed Him, brought Him into focus. Colossians has a similar expression. I don’t remember the exact words, but it’s the same idea. “He is the image of the invisible God…” I think it says there, the image of the invisible God. So when we are seeing Jesus go around, and do what He did, and do the things that He did, we’re seeing the Father do it.

We see religious people who look down their nose at somebody who didn’t live up to their standards, and yet we see the God of heaven going in the Person of His Son to a woman that nobody wanted to have anything to do with at the well, in a place called Samaria where the Jews didn’t even go, let alone talk to a woman who was in her condition.

This wasn’t just a sympathetic Jesus. This was the Father. This is the One that we praise, that we worship. He was coming down from the clouds of heaven to talk to a woman that nobody cared about. Praise God! Praise God! Does that give us hope?

( congregational response ).

It makes me want to be more like Him, to get off my high horse and stop trying to be god of my own life and lord of my own life. You know, the Devil will whisper in your ear. He’ll take away all your joy. He will just crush you and make you religious and try to make you act like you don’t really want to act. He’ll just paint a very humanistic picture. But I’ll tell you, the more we learn about Him and the more we get off our own little thrones in practical areas that we’re still learning about…anybody here still learning these things?

( congregation inaudible ).

Yeah. The more we do that, the better it’s gonna be, and the more we’ll be like Him. I’ll tell you, I just praise God!

I thought about David. I don’t know many scriptures…I’ve thought about so many in there…not necessary to read, we know them. But in Psalm, chapter 8, you see this expression about David…it just suddenly dawning on him, I think in a sense, God, why do you care about us? Who are we?

“O Lord, our Lord, how majestic is your name in all the earth!” You see the sense of how high and lifted up and pure and amazing He is. Of course, we’re supposed to bow down. God help us if we don’t. But that’s not the spirit behind what he seeks.

“You have set your glory above the heavens. From the lips of children and infants you have ordained praise because of your enemies, to silence the foe and the avenger. When I consider your heavens, the work of your fingers, the moon and the stars, which you have set in place, what is man that you are mindful of him, the son of man that you care for him? You made him a little lower than the heavenly beings and crowned him with glory and honor. You made him ruler over the works of your hands; you put everything under his feet.”

And then he goes on about the majesty of the Lord. But do you see the humility of our God? Have you ever been in a place where you just felt so dirty, and so bad, and so…why would a God like that have anything to do with me? But the reality is, that’s what His heart is all about.

( congregational amens ).

That’s what His heart is about. I don’t care who you are this morning. Oh, God wants us to get off our little thrones and worship Him and give Him the praise that’s due to His name!

( congregational amens ).

But when He calls upon us to praise Him and worship Him, this is not an ego contest! This is not somebody who’s high and lifted up and they’re looking for praise for selfish reasons! I’ll tell you, when we pour out our hearts toward Him, what it does is get us refocused away from self.

Self is a small package. It leads to nothing but trouble, and evil, and judgment, you name it, it’s all bad. But when God can get us out of ourselves to where we can praise Him in spite of circumstances, in spite of everything, we can lift, we can pour out our hearts to Him. Guess what? He pours His heart out to us! That’s what He’s looking for.

You know, we have this image, this sense, I guess, of something that is valued among human society, and that is for someone to truly, deeply love someone. And for that someone to deeply love them in return. Is there not something magical and deep and wonderful about that?

Do you not see that there is a kind of a picture in a sense? There’s a little bit of an image of our creation, and how the creation works. The very nature of God is what He’s seeking to reproduce in this new creation. All of this other is corruption. When you have a bunch of individual people, each trying to be their own god, what have you got? War!

You know, James says, where do wars and fightings come from? They come from your own lust and desires. You’re seeking for yourself. You’re seeking what you think is good for you, and if it brings you into conflict with somebody, well, that’s tough! I’m god after all!

Oh God, teach us His ways and His…and to become more like Him. I’ll tell you, there is a God who is gonna absolutely obliterate everything that does not come down to this kind of relationship.

But oh, when we open up our hearts to Him and invite Him to come in, He comes in, not with His dominion, trying to crush our dreams and take away our joy. He comes in with all of Himself! The fruit of the spirit is love and joy and peace, and all of those wonderful things. I need more of that, don’t you? I need so much more than I know anything about.

And as I say, you can go on through the scriptures and you’ll see how this plays out. But…I guess, this comes back to the central thought. You can talk about the fact that we’re called to live and to serve one another, and to draw from God and give out what He gives us to another.

Praise God, that’s exactly right. But somehow, if we don’t understand the heart of God, and how it works, how it all is meant to come together…it’s so easy for the Devil to kind of plant that little idea. He’s remote, He’s great, I’m supposed to praise Him. God, if we see who He is, we will want to praise Him!

( congregational amens ).

We won’t have to put forth this, oh my God, I’ve got to do it. And it won’t be about working up an emotion. It’ll be just saying, oh God, thank you!

( congregational response ).

Thank you for the kind of God you are!

( congregational amens ).

That You would come down and You are so great…You would pay attention to me, and even when I mess up, there you are, ready to pick me up, ready to help me!

( congregational amens ).

That’s humiliation, that’s true humility.

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