TV Transcripts

“Battles are Coming” Part One
Broadcast #1520
November 21, 2021

Transcript of message from TV Broadcast 1520 -- taken from Closed Captioning Text

— Brother Phil Enlow: You know, one thought came to me and I guess it would be as good a title as any is, “Battles Are Coming.” It’s interesting how Paul has spent so much time in this book unlocking the mysteries of God and His purposes and what He’s done for us and who we are and all those things. But the focus at the end is in the context of all the wonderful things God has done, and how He wants us to live as a result of all of that.

The reality is, He has allowed His purposes to unfold in a world that hates Him, that is under the dominion…a world system that is under the dominion of a sworn enemy, who just absolutely opposes everything that is good and right, everything that has to do with God, who hates every single one of us, who is constantly at work and we need to live with the reality of that.

And this is not a mistake on God’s part. This is simply the way it is and this is the way God has purposed that things unfold. But Paul felt the need, at this point, not just to say, look at all this wonderful stuff God has done, isn’t it great? But to say, hey, there are battles coming, and we need to live with the knowledge of that. We need to have a sense of how God wants us to handle that.

And so, I think…I’ve gone round and around. Lord, this is too big a subject. How do I deal with it, even? And I’m just trusting Him to focus on the thoughts that He wants to bring out, because, as I say, I don’t know that I’ll say anything really different. But maybe, you never know. If the Lord says it, if the Lord breathes some life into it, then it’ll be worth everything, won’t it?

( congregational response ).

‘Cause I need this. Anybody here need this?

( congregational response ).

Yeah! We get weary sometimes and we don’t…this is something we prefer not to talk about. It’s not exactly the most exhilarating thing. We can’t just sit here and pretend things are awesome and wonderful and we’re like eagles soaring up here and we never feel anything, never struggle, because, reality is, we do.

And the one who wrote this, knew just a little bit about what he was talking about, didn’t he? Yeah, you remember how he went on his first missionary journey with Barnabas, I believe, in the first one. And they went from place to place and, over and over again, he would begin to preach and some people would begin to respond, but the population in each city that he went to eventually turned against him to the point where he had to flee.

And in one of those places, they…things turned around so dramatically that they stoned Paul, thought he was dead. Think about that. Picture that for a minute. Okay, we’ve got him. We’ve stoned him. He’s laying there dead. What do we do with him? Okay, get him by the heels and drag him out of town and dump him and we’re done! I mean, this is something Paul went through. Anybody here been through that? I certainly haven’t, or anything close.

So, Paul knew what he was talking about. And, of course, the wonderful picture there was that he got up and went back into the town. Would you do that? Stayed overnight and then left the next day and went on to the next place.

And when they had finished going through three or four places, I don’t remember exactly, the plan was, we’re gonna turn back around and go back through all of these places that opposed us so bitterly. But we’re gonna go there and encourage the believers.

Now, Paul…one of the things, one of the main messages he said was, “…we must, through much…” (KJV). It is necessary to go through much trouble…I’ll paraphrase it, to “…enter the kingdom of God.” We’re gonna have to go through a lot of trouble to do it.

Do you think they thought this was theory? Some of these believers had witnessed what we just talked about. They knew that it cost everything to be a part of the Kingdom of God. But I’ll tell you, if you ever see the Kingdom, if you ever see and have a confrontation—a personal confrontation with the God who is behind all of this, I’ll tell you, it is worth everything!

( congregational amens ).

It is worth everything to be born again and to be a part of this Kingdom! I’ll tell you…people who really serve the Lord and really get it, we can come to a place, by God’s grace, only, where we literally…if they put a bullet to your head and say deny Jesus or we’re gonna shoot you, we’d say go ahead and shoot me, praise God!

You think of the fellas in the Old Testament. They didn’t know all this glorious truth that we’re talking about here, but they had such a faith that when those three Hebrew children stood…or men, young men, I guess, stood before Nebuchadnezzar and he says bow or burn, these people stood up to the greatest emperor on earth at that day and said, we don’t know whether our God…our God is able to deliver us from your hand. He’s bigger than you are. Now, if He chooses not to deliver us, that’s okay. But we know one thing. We’re not gonna bow!

I’ll tell you, God is building that kind of a faith and a commitment and a character in our lives, and that doesn’t come by sitting in a seminar and just learning it with our heads. God is going to take us through the things that are necessary to form in us that kind of strength of conviction. Do you think we’re gonna need that?

( congregational response ).

Yeah! If you’ve got any eyes to see and any sense into what’s going on in the Spirit, you see the way this world is unfolding. And it’s not, as he describes in this passage, it’s not just politics. It’s not just people. There is a kingdom of darkness that is literally molding the minds of people with deception, and convincing them of the direction that he wants to take humanity, and before it’s over, he is going to have the human race enslaved, in some fashion or other.

I don’t know, I’m not gonna try to predict exactly what or when. I’ve said that, many times. But, I’ll tell you, we know what the scriptures tell us. We know how the end times are described.

But God, in the meantime, wants His people to absolutely be aware of this. I’m just gonna read this, briefly, and then I’ll go back and try to comment on the parts that I think the Lord wants to emphasize.

“Finally, be strong in the Lord and in his mighty power. Put on the full armor of God, so that you can take your stand against the devil’s schemes. For our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the powers of this dark world and against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly realms.

“Therefore put on the full armor of God, so that when the day of evil comes, you may be able to stand your ground, and after you have done everything, to stand. Stand firm then, with the belt of truth buckled around your waist, with the breastplate of righteousness in place, and with your feet fitted with the readiness that comes from the gospel of peace.

“In addition to all this, take up the shield of faith, with which you can extinguish all the flaming arrows of the evil one. Take the helmet of salvation and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God. And pray in the Spirit on all occasions with all kinds of prayers and requests. With this in mind, be alert and always keep on praying for all the Lord’s people.” (NIV).

And of course, he solicits their prayers for him and his ministry. You know, I was thinking about this passage, and I think it should be obvious that we’re not meant to just lift this passage out of scripture and just kind of micro examine all the ins and outs and the details of that. This thing exists in a context, doesn’t it? This rests upon a foundation.

Wouldn’t it be terrible if somebody built a roof and said, okay, there’s a roof, pick it up and hold it up. Now, there’s got to be something that roof rests upon. And everything that went before, in this awesome letter that Paul wrote to the Ephesians, is the foundation upon which he finally says, this is how it is, this is what you need to be doing.

You know, as my mind went to this, also…you know, I guess I thought back to the beginning and how much of this simply comes out of the heart and the mind of God, doesn’t it? None of what we are a part of today originated with us, did it? It originated in God’s heart.

Not only that, it originated in His heart before He ever began to create anything. And we know, from the scriptures that He knew your name and mine, knew everything about us, before any of this happened! That’s incredible! That’s incredible! And He knew everything good and bad, if there’s anything good. But the simple truth is He knew all of that.

And so, you could look at this and you could come to a place and some people almost do this, where it’s all up to God. All we need to do is lift up all His purposes and know that it’s gonna happen. But you know the reality is there’s a part that we play.

It’s not that we depend upon…it depends upon some quality in us. Thank God for that! God’s not looking for people who are strong, somehow, on the inside, and able to do what He’s saying to do. He’s looking for people that are willing to let go and surrender.

How many of you understand that sometimes God will put you on the deep end of the pool, as we say, and He does it to bring you to a place where you have no answers? You are in over your head. You know you are and you know there’s not a thing you can do.

It’s God’s mercy to take us to the end of ourselves. He does that, not because He’s mad or angry with us, He does it because He loves us enough to show us that we don’t have what it takes. I don’t! Trust me, standing up here I am conscious—more conscious every time I come here of how weak I am and how completely dependent I am on the Lord.

And I’ll guarantee He’s gonna keep teaching me that because I need it. I’m just like you. You know, as I come to these services, I fight battles myself. And…but, always there comes this thought that I’m not the only one. The people to whom you’re gonna be speaking are going through these same things. They need to hear my heart. They need to hear what this is about. Praise God!

And so, there are things that we are told to do…basically, put on the full armor. You go through…put on the full armor! Stand! Take up this, put on that and so forth, all these things that we are meant to do.

Folks, there’s a participation that we have in the outworking of God’s purpose and what He seeks to do in you and in me. We cannot sit there and lie and go to sleep and say, praise God, my ticket to heaven is in my back pocket, it’s all in His hands and I’m gonna wake up one day in glory and it’s gonna be wonderful.

God has a reason for bringing us through the way He’s bringing us through. The virtues, the qualities that He seeks to build, that we are gonna have and enjoy for all eternity, are formed in this. They’re formed in, ‘the furnace of affliction,’ to use a scriptural expression.

And I’ll…none of this is new, is it? We just don’t like to hear it. We want to find some other way. Oh, God, send in that powerful apostle, bring me down to the altar, let him lay his hands upon me, take it out and put it in, whatever is needed, and then I’m good to go and I’m gonna fly like an eagle over everything. Oh, my God!

You know, we can have experiences in the Lord that are genuine. But we don’t pursue experiences. And we don’t lean upon that. We don’t lean upon feeling like everything’s like it’s supposed to be. I’ll guarantee every one of us, in the battles that lie ahead, we are gonna be in places where we feel our weakest, where feelings are gone, because God doesn’t want us to rely upon our feelings but upon what is actually true. We’re gonna be facing those things, every single person here. And I’ll tell you, we need, we need Him, don’t we?

And one…one thing that just kind of popped out at me, in how he leads into this subject, is a simple statement. It says, “Finally, be strong in the Lord and in his mighty power.” Now, particularly, if you cut that off after be strong, you know, he almost…it sounds like a motivational speech, doesn’t it? Come on, you guys, quit pussyfooting around. You got it in you. It’s in there. You got to muster your strength and your forces. Don’t you have a bad attitude, don’t you give up. Come on, it’s in there. Let’s…you know, rah, rah, rah!

But I’ll tell you, one thing I noticed about this, I had never noticed before. I just happened to look at this verse in the Greek. And, we would suppose that ‘be strong’ is an active verb. After all, I’m gonna be something, I’ve got to take action here. But do you know that that word, that verb, ‘be strong’ is actually passive?

In other words, I’m not trying to muster something, I’m allowing something. I’m allowing God to take action. I’m allowing a source of power to flow into me. Is there not implied in that the recognition that I don’t have it? I don’t have what it takes.

And the fact that this is also a present tense—a simple present tense, also means that this is not an event, but a lifestyle. This is the way God expects us to live, to face the battles that are coming. Because, Paul doesn’t say, be ready if something happens. Be ready when it does, because we know that they will come. There are going to be battles.

Obviously…I think it should be obvious, I should say, that Paul is not saying this to make us afraid. But he does want us to be ready and to realize what we have in Christ that enables us, not only to face whatever the Devil is allowed to throw at us, but also to be able to stand and be victorious in the end.

Thank God, He’s given us the victory! We didn’t earn it. We don’t deserve it, but He has given us the victory, through our Lord Jesus Christ! Thank you, Lord! I need this, myself, this morning, because we, every one of us, we get tired, we’re individuals, we have our own weaknesses, our own battles. But I’ll tell you, God wants us to be aware and awake.

But this is a key. Another thing I noticed about this, Paul did not sort of say, muddle along, live your life, keep out of trouble, go to church, just do the ordinary stuff, but when a battle comes, oops, you better stop. Excuse me, Devil, let me put my armor on. Doesn’t say that, does he? This is meant to be…I mean, we’re meant to walk through our lives wearing this armor. There is a readiness at all times.

It’s not like we’re sitting there fearful, but there’s an alert. He says it in one place. Be alert. Pray and be alert. There’s a recognition. Peter says the same thing, be alert, watch out, the devil is trying to have you for lunch, basically, to paraphrase. And I’ll tell you, there are so many people the devil has for lunch because they’re not alert.

But God wants the awesome truths that He has laid out in chapters 1 through 5, and up to verse 10 there. All these amazing truths, He wants them to become something that is not just information in our heads, but something that we can rely upon, when we need it. Because, you know, the easiest thing in the world, if you talk about these truths, if you’ve heard them and you’ve had your eyes opened in any measure, it’s not hard to say, oh yes, praise God, that’s true!

But how many of you have been in situations when you needed that, and it wasn’t so easy to say? It wasn’t so easy to rely upon. See, that’s where God wants us to get. And it’s not about...not a matter of just mustering up my strength to believe and somehow lay hold of this. It’s saying, oh God, I don’t have what I need, but You have promised! You are my source. You are the life upon which I depend, and I am reaching up to You to...I’m just opening my heart to You, Lord.

But I’m opening it, not with an ‘oh, God, I hope He hears me.’ This is an expectation that when I’m in that place of need...well, like I said, this is also a lifestyle. It’s especially in time of need.

But this is a business where we get up in the morning and we look and we say, Lord, Your plan for me this day is not just to do my thing and if something bad happens, stop and call on You and put on my armor. This is a way of life where You live in me and I have a strength that is not mine.

I’ll tell you, we’re gonna need this going forward. We need it right now. But I’ll tell you, there’s a darkness overtaking this world. It’s not our job to take bullets and go out and beat the devil, in a military sense. It’s our job to be the light. It’s our job to shed forth light in the midst of darkness.

How many of you’ve got a light in yourself? I mean, apart from Christ? I don’t have anything. There’s no virtue in me that could possibly convince anybody of anything. But I’ll tell you, I have One who lives in me, who in the beginning said, “Let there be light, and there was light.” This is the same One who shined in the heart of Paul, to give the light of the revelation of the Gospel of Jesus Christ…in the face of Jesus Christ. Praise God! That’s what it takes.

Boy, if you haven’t got it, I pray that God will just bring you down to a place where suddenly it dawns on you what you are without Him and where the world is going, and you will cry out to Him and just hand your life over to Him. He’s the only One who knows what to do with it.

If God brings you to a place where you have run out of answers, you need to cry out and say, thank You, Lord! I thought it was my life to live. I thought…I had my dreams. I had my…I had what I wanted to do. I knew what my life was about and You brought it to ruin!

Oh, how many testimonies have I heard over the years of somebody who was brought to that place and they were about to commit suicide? And the Lord brought them to a place where they were ready to end their life and the Lord just stepped in and said, what about letting Me have it?

I’ll tell you, you put your life in the hands of Someone like that, who loved you enough to go to a bloody cross for you, when you and I didn’t deserve it. Oh, I’ll tell you what! It’s worth everything! That same One who went to that cross is willing to finish the job, and to take your life and make it something that you could never possibly accomplish.

Suppose you did gain the world? Suppose you became the most important, powerful, richest person in the world and you had every pleasure you could ever imagine? What would it mean? Because, “…it is appointed unto men once to die, but after this the judgment.” (KJV). What does it profit, Jesus said, to gain the whole world, and lose your own soul?

There must be a reason this came to me, because this was not something I have really thought about. But I’ll tell you, we need Him! And if He has brought you to a place where you feel your need keenly, don’t let it discourage you or turn you aside. Don’t let it defeat you! Realize there is a God who loves you enough to show you the truth!

( congregational amens ).

One of the things that we need in this armor…in fact, isn’t the first one the belt of truth? Yes we need, you could say, theological truth. We need to know the things that are true. We need to know about God and who He is and what salvation is about.

But the truth that I need the most is the truth about me, because, if I don’t see the truth about me, then I don’t need that. I think I’ve got what I need. But oh, I’ll tell you, I need that truth every single day that I need Him every hour, like we sing. I can’t get along a day without Him. I don’t want to. I don’t want to run and do, and then cry out when I’m in need…when I feel the need.

But I’ll tell you, there’s a lifestyle to which God has called you and me where we can get up in the morning and say, Lord, I put myself in Your hands afresh. I acknowledge my need, but I’m…I am not just asking You to come and live in me, I am expecting You to come and to live in me.

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