TV Transcripts

“I Led You This Way” Part One
Broadcast #1531
February 6, 2022

Transcript of message from TV Broadcast 1531 -- taken from Closed Captioning Text

— Brother Phil Enlow: Christian life, life in this world for a Christian, is one of overcoming adversity in one form or another. And virtually, anytime we face something that we would prefer not to face, fear is a big part of it. And, how do we handle it?

You know, I began by thinking about a lot of the things that the devil throws at us, and circumstances that bring discouragement. Nobody here ever experiences that, I know, but…but of course, we all do, don’t we? We feel our own weariness. We feel our own lack of ability to stand up under something. We become tired. We become…well, expectations are not met. Disappointment.

Of course, think about this. If you’re disappointed, what does that mean, really? It means you expected something to happen and it didn’t, and now you’re bummed about it. But whose expectations are we meant to be living for? Whose will, whose plan? I believe the Lord, with all my heart, is working, not in spite of these things, but He’s working through the things that we experience in this world.

I don’t think any of the things I’ve been thinking about today are anything new to us, but…man, we just don’t…I don’t think we get it. We get it intellectually. We can assert the things that we know to be true, but actually learning to live by them, actually learning to overcome in day-to-day circumstances and not giving in to fear, when that’s the thing the enemy would oppress us in, those are major lessons, without which we’re not gonna grow up, we’re not gonna be of any use to the Lord in this world, and we’re not gonna grow up to be all that He wants us to be. And I believe with all my heart, God is faithful when we’re not.

You know, a lot of things we need to overcome. One of the worst of them is personal failure. And we, every one, come to places where we have fallen short and we realize we’ve fallen short, and boy, the devil is quick to jump on us and tell us, God couldn’t love you, look at you, you’re no good, you can’t serve God. And, of course, the truth is, we can’t.

But I believe with all my heart in every single circumstance in which we experience those kinds of feelings and emotions, God is at work, not against us but for us. And, there are lessons that we simply cannot learn any other way. We just are so constituted, so geared…I feel like I’m saying the same thing over and over every week, but I think it’s something we need…something I need.

We are so in tune with this world, a lot more than we think we are. The way we see things, the things that we pursue, the things that we value are so geared to the way the world acts and reacts and its values, that God has to do all kinds of things and allow all kinds of things, in order to help us to wake up and realize He’s called us out of the world, and He’s changing us.

These are things we talked abut last week. I mean, what about the Scripture that we’ve used so often about how God uses everything. In everything He works for the good, and it has to do with His purpose, and His purpose is to make us like Him, and like His Son. And His ultimate aim is to have a family.

Well, praise God, we need to grow up, don’t we? We need to learn if we’re gonna be His children and not just children of the world seeking our own thing, something’s got to change. And that’s why Paul, when he went back to the churches after he had founded them in that first missionary journey, you remember they went back through.

And what was his message? Was it prosperity gospel stuff? No! It wasn’t, God wants to bless you, God wants to fill your bank accounts and take away all your…you know, you never get sick, never feel bad. My God…that couldn’t be farther from the truth.

And our God…God can bless us in so many ways. I thank God that He is merciful and that He does. But He’d be working against Himself if He just gave us everything we wanted. We’re so selfish anyway.

But I’ll tell you, his message was, “…we must through much tribulation enter into the kingdom of God.” (KJV). There are going to opposition…there is going to be opposition of the enemy in many forms. And one of them certainly is fear. And God wants us to wake up and realize what we’re facing, but what His purpose is in it.

You know…I’ve been asking the Lord how to…to sort of guide my thoughts because I’ve had so many different things that they haven’t gelled into a nice little outline. Usually that’s a good thing when that happens. But you can see people in the Scriptures…even people that God called in a special way, and yet you see what happened in order to get them where God wanted them, and it doesn’t make any sense to a human being. It’s like, that doesn’t make any sense. Come on, go train them, go teach them, go fill their heads with the right knowledge and everything will work out.

But you look at somebody like Joseph. And I mean, these are characters we’ve talked about so many times. But there is…there is reality that we need…that needs to become real to us, not just a Bible story, that we say, yay, God, isn’t that wonderful what You did. These things are meant to teach ‘us’ about how God deals with ‘us’ in our lives.

We may not have, and we don’t have the call of Joseph to become ruler over of all Egypt, but every one of us has a place that God has designed for us in His kingdom. Every one of us is an individual. And every one of us has a different course. And I believe, with all my heart, God wants us…wants us to see His hand better in our lives, and be reconciled to that. And not say, well, I wish that hadn’t happened, but now God’s in charge. God’s always been in charge, always working towards His end, even when things happen that we don’t see, naturally, as good.

And of all people, Joseph is an example. After God gave him these dreams where he seemed to be in a place of honor, and his brothers and even his mother and father were literally bowing down to him…. And you know, you remember the reaction of everybody around him, they didn’t like it at all. It was a very human reaction. And how easy would it have been for him to just sort of get a big head about it.

But somehow, God imparted to this man’s heart, this young boy’s heart, at that time, young man, a faith, this quality Joel was talking about. There is a faith that is supernatural that God imparts to those who are born of that Spirit. We can’t work that up. We can’t come up with faith. God has to give it.

Somehow, that faith was born in Joseph’s heart, and what an amazing…it’s amazing how we see that work out, when his brothers literally…they want to kill him. One of them rescues him from that and they decide they’re gonna make a profit and sell him as a slave.

Now in that moment, how do you think Joseph felt? Did he say, I’m cool with this, I know where this is going? The reality is, we don’t know, when we’re in the middle of circumstances, we don’t know by any natural means how it’s going, and every voice that cries out in our heads, just like Joel was talking about…every voice that screams in our heads will say everything but, things are okay, God’s on the throne, trust Him. But I’ll tell you, the things that God seeks to form in us cannot be formed any other way than having to stand in those times of adversity.

And Joseph…what a horrible time. I mean, so much of our…one of the things that people face, is a simple thing like this. We gain our sense of importance and self-worth from how people react to us, or even how we perceive they react to us. Are we important in their eyes? Do they treat us well? Do they mistreat us? What is their attitude? My God, are we so self-centeredly attuned to those kinds of things! What a horrible way to have to live. My God, my worth comes from my Creator!

( congregational amens ).

I am who He made me! I don’t need your approval. Did Jesus need everybody’s approval to function? No, He had a relationship with His Father that sustained Him, that gave Him everything that He needed to stand and have a good attitude toward people who hated Him.

And just to push through, like the circumstance with Jairus, and Lord, look what the Lord did through all of that. Raised a little girl from the dead. I mean, that was powerful stuff. But there He was, just single-mindedly…I’m here to do God’s will. My trust is in Him. I am not dependent upon my earthly circumstances. I can be, “…a man of sorrows, and acquainted with grief…” and get along just fine, because I’m connected to heaven. I’m connected to that which is eternal.

Oh, how God yearns for us to learn those simple lessons…that simple lesson. It’s not easy, because we…like I say, we just don’t realize, we don’t realize the degree to which we are dependent and in tune with this world. Even when He saves us, we’ve got to grow, we’ve got to learn, and it takes time.

But anyway, so here’s this guy with a heaven-sent vision of him being in a place of rule, so what was God’s plan? What university did God send Joseph to, to get him ready for this? Sell him as a slave, send him down to Egypt, and instead of Joseph just sitting there being angry about it…I mean, what would happen is…naturally speaking the reaction would be, I’m mad at my brothers. How could they do such a thing to me. I’m just…you know…and it would be eating you up on the inside. God, I’m okay with You, but now them? But do you know if we’re reacting to circumstances like that, who are we really reacting against?

( congregation inaudible ).

Yeah, we’re reacting against Him, aren’t we? Because He allowed it, and He’s using it. And so, Joseph somehow had the grace to continue to be a man who could be trusted, a man that could continue to honor God and look to God. And there he was a slave in a heathen country. And God gave him that…that place of blessing.

And the devil come along, and he said, well, I’ve got to do something. This is a handsome young guy, I’m gonna send Potiphar’s wife and give her the hots for him and she’s gonna try to seduce him. And then when that doesn’t work, she’s gonna cry rape.

And the next thing you know, he’s falsely accused. He knows he didn’t do anything, but everybody else thinks he did. And so, there he goes into Pharaoh’s prison. This was an important guy he was working for. And now, there he is…and, the Scripture even says, he was hurt with shackles. I mean, he was literally…he was treated like a prisoner. But somehow, even there, his heart did not become bitter!

How many of us could have been in those circumstances and not been bitter? Man, it takes divine help! You can’t dig into human nature and find this. You’re gonna have to have God. And to have that, you’re gonna have to…to have Him, you’re gonna have to have a heart that says, I want Him, I want to be what I’m supposed to be, regardless of earthly circumstances.

And somehow, we see the grace of God reaching down and strengthening that guy to the point where he winds up in charge of the prisoners in his area. And the captain who was in charge of that part of the prison didn’t even worry about it. Joseph will take care of it.

But this didn’t go on for a week or two, did it? Years! Years and years went by. And we see Joseph’s humanity when he has that opportunity to interpret the dreams of Pharoah’s butler and baker. And they came true, but he tells the guy who was gonna survive…I think it was the…anyway, one of them. I think it was the butler, served Pharoah his wine. He says, when you get out of here, tell about me.

So, you know, we see that Joseph was human. He wasn’t some sort of magical person. He was human like us and he wanted somehow to get out of this. But do you know, it simply wasn’t time. Do we not see God in our circumstances? We can see them in Joseph. The problem is when things happen to us, that’s when we wrestle, that’s when we struggle.

But somehow, even in that, Joseph didn’t just sit there and…well boy, that didn’t work out. God, I’m getting tired of this. I’m mad at you. I’m sure those thoughts went through his head, because the devil is good to plant them. But it’s obvious that he didn’t go with that. He didn’t just yield to that and say, well that’s my stand here. I’m just gonna…I’m mad at God. I don’t trust Him. I don’t…He’s just not doing me right. Somehow, he just kept doing what he was doing until the day came when Pharoah had his dreams.

And we know how all that turned out. Joseph got up that morning…can you imagine? How many times have you been in a situation and just…all of a sudden, it’s over, and the Lord just works it out, and you didn’t have anything to do with it. Wouldn’t that be good if we’d let the Lord manage things instead of us trying to work things out with anxiety and all that.

He gets up one day and all of a sudden, somebody comes in, get dressed, shave, put on some clean clothes, you’re going to see Pharoah. Say, what? But I’ll tell you, there’s a God who knows how to get people ready for the place that He has designed for them. If God had taken a shortcut, and allowed him to have a life of pleasure and ease, he would never, ever have been able to do the job that God was preparing him to do, because human nature would’ve simply taken over.

You give people power and privilege, and what happens? Look around. Look at the world we live in. Folks, it is a corrupt world, in rebellion against God. We need to be a people who will serve Him regardless of earthly circumstances, because we’re gonna see them.

And…you know, you look at a congregation like this, I’ll guarantee there are plenty of circumstances in your past, and that the devil has whispered to you about, and said, why did God let that happen? Why did I have to be in that kind of a family? That kind of a situation? Why did He allow so-and-so to do that against me? Anybody identify with any of this? Yeah, why has it been like this? Oh, God could’ve done something different. I’ll tell you, you are a…how many times have we said this?

But you are a special…what’s the word? God exercises His craftsmanship on you and you are unique. There’s no one else like you in the universe. God has a place for you and He has a place for me. And the circumstances He has used to bring you to this day, this moment that we’re sharing, they are unique to you. They have to do with what God is seeking to accomplish in your heart and in your life.

You know, we’re good at looking at somebody else and saying, well, Lord, what about them? What about what You did for them? Why can’t I be like that? Well, you’re not like that. You’re you!

And all the while, Joseph’s brothers were living and carrying on their lives back in Canaan, there’s Joseph in prison, yet how in the world…how did all that turn out? God put him on a throne. There he was in a position to help his brothers, to help his family, to help all of Egypt, to help that part of the world.

Think what would’ve happened had they come into this time of plenty, followed by famine without knowing what was gonna happen. All of a sudden, famine has arrived and we’re not ready. And God was merciful to the whole…that whole region of the world, because Joseph was willing to just humble himself in God’s hands.

And boy, how many people could have come to the end…after his father died, you remember how his brothers reacted. Okay, now we’re gonna get it. Dad’s dead. Joseph’s just been biding his time. We know how…and what they were thinking about was, I know how I’d react. I know if I went through what he went through, man, I’d be ready for some payback.

And there’s Joseph…and his perspective on it was, yes, you meant it for evil. I’m not gonna duck from that. I’m not gonna pretend that didn’t happen. It happened. You did, you meant it for evil. But…oh, this is a good place to get your buts in the right place. But, God meant it for good to save lives.

And I’ll tell you, if you and I have gone through something in our lives, or are, going through, or will go through something in our lives, if we will look to God and put our hope and our trust in Him, we’re gonna come through and God’s gonna be able to live in and through us, and we’re gonna be more and more like Him every single day.

But oh, I’ll tell you, what this is about is about getting us ready, first of all to serve Him here, and to express His life in a broken world, but also to be ready for that one. Praise God! I want to be ready. I want to be someone that’s ready to serve Him.

And of course, we’ve used so many other examples. Moses and his being brought to that place…the Scripture tells us how he, “…was mighty in words and in deeds.” I mean, here’s a son of Pharaoh…I don’t know if it was like the movie portrays it or not, “Ten Commandments.” Is that the one? Where he’s out there commanding, and doing great projects, and this great, powerful man. Well, the Scripture does say, he was mighty in word and deed, so maybe that could’ve been true.

But yet, when he was in the middle of the desert with the people, there was one occasion where the Scripture goes out of its way to say, Moses was the meekest man on the face of the earth. This is a guy who wouldn’t even fight for himself. He wouldn’t fight back.

I’ll tell you, God did something to get him to that place, didn’t He? He allowed Moses to try to do something in his own strength, on behalf of his people, and the next thing you know, Pharoah’s angry with him and he has to run across the desert.

Guess where he ran to? Do you think there was any…you think there was any divine hand in any of this, just maybe? Yeah. He goes over there to a well and rescues some gals who were shepherds, and winds up being invited to the home, marries one of the daughters and settles down to be a shepherd for 40 years! Just happened to be in the neighborhood of Mt. Sinai. Wonder if that had any significance?

And there he is, and as far as Moses is concerned, he has forgotten everything. You know, we’ve heard these stories a thousand times. Now let’s make it a thousand and one. But I’ll tell you, somehow in all of this, God was bringing him to a place where he had no ‘self’ confidence.

Now, got to be careful how you say that. The world values self-confidence! But coming to a place where a lack…where you have a lack of ‘self’ confidence, doesn’t mean you have no confidence. You understand what I’m saying?

But where is my confidence? It’s in the Lord. You know, Joel quoted the Scripture, “I can do all things through Christ which strengtheneth me.” So, Paul had a confidence, didn’t he? He was able to face things, but he didn’t say, hey, I’ve got what it takes. I’m experienced. I’ve learned…I’m, you know. God had to bring him to a place where he didn’t have the strength and he found out that God’s strength was made perfect when he was weak, because it caused him to say, Lord, I’m faced with something and I don’t have what it takes. I’m in the middle of something. I do not have what it takes. I need You. And so, God was shaping him through all of those things.

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