TV Transcripts

“Understanding Our Wilderness” Conclusion
Broadcast #1534
February 27, 2022

Transcript of message from TV Broadcast 1534 -- taken from Closed Captioning Text

— Brother Phil Enlow: Remember, “Remember how the LORD your God led you all the way in the wilderness…” (NIV). All the way—all the way. Do you realize that in your life? I know there are people here who have gone through tough stuff in your life. Do you realize, if you’re the Lord’s, He’s led you all the way even in the hard things?

You heard Ricky’s testimony. Do you think all that that he went through was incidental, a waste? Or do you think God can take that and build something on it now, that could not have been, had he gone another way? It doesn’t mean it was easy.

But I’ll tell you, we’ve got a God who can take nothing and make everything out of it. He kind of did that with the universe. He doesn’t have any limitations. There’s nothing impossible with God, and He wants us to realize that, but He wants us to reckon on it in our lives and see our lives through His eyes.

The Lord’s looking down and says, there’s one that’s gonna be with me forever. I’m gonna start working. They’re gonna go through stuff they’re not gonna understand, but I’m gonna help them as they grow to understand and to let go and to trust Me. See, that’s what He’s seeking to bring.

That’s what that older generation never understood. They would face some obstacle, and all they could see was the natural side of it and feel just helpless, and, God hates us! He’s brought us out here to die! We should have stayed in Egypt! Over and over and over again that spirit of stubborn unbelief that refused to see the mighty hand of God in all the things that He had done.

Folks, if you’re here this morning, God has worked in ways you don’t understand, and we need to just bow our heads and say, Lord, thank You. Lord, where I could have been if You hadn’t had Your hand upon my life. Where would I have been? Thank You, Lord! Thank You for the wildernesses of my life!

Thank You for everything You’ve done in my life to bring me to this point! Open my eyes to see, Lord! Teach me, that I might humble myself and just occupy that place that You desire, where I just bow down and rest in Your love, and I cast my cares upon You. So much that we sang this morning was so relevant to what we’re talking about.

“…Humble you and test you…” Again, this is not classroom stuff. This is real life. “…In order to know what was in your heart, whether you would keep his commands. He humbled you…” and this is the amazing thing, “…causing you to hunger…” Causing you to hunger.

Think about a God who will bring you and me into a place of need, and He does it, and He allows it. He might even use the Devil to bring it to pass. Oh, He knows how to use the Devil. But the Devil can’t win when it comes to God’s children.

But He will bring you into a place of need, because if He doesn’t, what’s gonna happen? We’re gonna be self-sufficient and proud of what we have accomplished. And we might have an outward show of being religious, being followers of God, being faithful and all of that, but way down in here, there’s something else that’s really kind of ruling, and the only way God can deal with that is to bring us to a place where it’s over our heads. We can’t handle it.

( congregational amens ).

We’re facing something that is beyond our capabilities. Does God do that because He’s mad at us, or does He do it because it’s the only way that we just throw up our hands and just let go and let God have His way?

See, some will come to that place, and they’ll rebel and they’ll be angry and see God as hateful. But we need to be able to see that this is a loving heavenly Father who knows what we need, who has nothing but good things ahead for all of His people. Yeah, we may have to go through all kinds of things to get to that, but you and I have no idea the things that He has ahead for His children.

I’ll tell you, only when our eyes are open to eternity will we really begin to grasp the greatness of His love and His mercy toward us, and what He has. He can let us know. He can give us a genuine faith so this is not just religious make-believe. I mean, there is a God who knows how to contact a human heart and minister a genuine faith that gives us a confidence that what we do not see is greater than what we do.

That’s what He seeks to impart in every willing heart. He’s able to do that. He’s able to bring us to a place where we can look at the Egyptians, and we can look at the sea, and know that’s not the end of the story, because we serve a God who has power over everything that would oppose us.

That’s the relationship God was seeking to establish, because they were getting ready to face some stuff. They needed to know. They needed to understand, be able to look back and say, this is how it was. Look what You did for us. My clothes didn’t wear out. I was always cared for.

“Know then in your heart that as a man disciplines his son, so the LORD your God disciplines you.” How many times have we mentioned that discipline…we tend to think of it as punishment because I did something wrong? Discipline is training. Yeah, sometimes we need consequences if we do something that needs correcting. The Lord knows how to do that, but always, the spirit behind it is one of love to help and to lift up and to deliver from something that’s really bad.

God doesn’t do it because He’s just mad at you, because you broke a rule. He does it because He sees you going in the wrong direction. I mean, if you were going toward a cliff without any consciousness about what was going on because it was fun, and someone snatched you back, does that mean they’re mad at you? Or does that mean they love you enough to see the consequences of where you’re headed?

And God could see the consequences of them being like the other nations, walking in self-will, walking without a spirit of trust in this God. He knew what they were facing. He had nothing but good things in mind, when you look at what He had promised them. When you look at what he said down in verse 7 of chapter 8, I sort of referred to this but didn’t read it,

“For the LORD your God is bringing you into a good land—a land with brooks, streams, and deep springs gushing out into the valleys and hills; a land with wheat and barley, vines and fig trees, pomegranates, olive oil and honey; a land where bread will not be scarce and you will lack nothing; a land where the rocks are iron and you can dig copper out of the hills.”

I mean, the blessing that he was talking about here were earthly in a sense. And you know, the lesson from this is not, oh, come to Jesus, and you’ll get rich, in natural things. But it is that God has good things ahead for us, and we are a part of a kingdom that looks beyond all the riches of this world. God can take care of His own.

But I’ll tell you, we seek something that is way beyond this. “Seek ye first…” Jesus said, “…the kingdom of God, and his righteousness…” and all these needful things, “…all these this shall be added to you.” (KJV).

I’ll tell you, God is seeking to have a people whose heart sees like Paul. The things that I’m seeing, everything I see is temporary. The stuff that I don’t see, that lasts, and that’s what I’m living for! And I’m willing to let go of this, because that is so real to me that I’m willing to leave this behind.

Oh, I’ll tell you, God has so much ahead for His children. But don’t you for one minute think that where you’re at right now, is irrelevant to that. God hasn’t got you on pause. He hasn’t gone away and left you for a while, and then He’ll come back and renew the lessons. Every single day, God looks on you and cares about you.

Wouldn’t it be good if we recognized that? Wouldn’t it be good if we acknowledged Him in all of our ways, allowed Him to direct out paths, that we returned His love instead of complaining as we do, because the truth is, if we’re complaining, who are we complaining about? Now we direct it at situations and circumstances, but who’s the One who allowed all of that?

And does He allow it because He’s angry at us, or does He allow it because He’s because He loves us enough to take us directions that will break the chains, break the hold of earthly ideas and values and self? We are imprisoned by our own choices, folks. We need Him. We need to learn to see through His eyes, and that’s what He was seeking to do here.

Praise God. I’m just trying to focus on…trying to recall the things that I wanted to emphasize out of this. There are things that the Lord brought to my attention. One of them is this, that God wants us to be very realistic about things that we face. We have a way of avoiding stuff. I believe with all my heart, there are battles, right now, going on in people’s lives. There are battles that should be going on in our lives that aren’t, because we’re avoiding them. Does that make any sense?

The Lord kind of drawn my attention to things that…you know, here’s a battle that you need to be fighting. There’s an enemy, right now, that has had too much victory in your life, too much of a hold. And I want to bring you to a place where you don’t duck that and hide from it and pretend it isn’t there, because those are all things we do.

We lie to ourselves. I’m good. I’m okay. In the meantime, there are things…there are strongholds the enemy has. There are weaknesses that have a hold in our lives that God wants to deliver us from. And, we can pretend, or we can take the…you know, I’m just supposed to ignore it. I’m supposed to pretend it isn’t there. After all, I died with Christ. It can’t have any effect. I’m victorious, and we have this ‘victory in word’ kind of thing, which is, it’s all right to confess the Word of God, but I think you know what I’m talking about. We have a lot of techniques by which we avoid things that God wants us confront and overcome.

Now it is quiet. Am I telling you the truth? Every single one of us, there’s not one in here that doesn’t have areas of our lives where we need to grow, and need more victory than we’ve had. I certainly wouldn’t stand here and tell you that I’ve arrived. Paul didn’t. Paul was still battling, still working.

Look at examples like David. We know how the Lord had prepared him for the things that he had gone through. But what did the Lord do to do that? Just let him be quiet and sing songs by the sheep? No, He sent a bear out one time, sent a lion out another time.

And you know, the way we do it sometimes, he could have just ignored the beasts and gone ahead and sung praises to God. Isn’t this wonderful. It’s a beautiful day. But he didn’t. He confronted the enemy, didn’t he? He didn’t pretend it wasn’t real, didn’t pretend it wasn’t stronger than he was, in the natural. There was a total realism on his part. I’m up against something where I don’t have what it takes. I need God. And God showed up. God helped him.

And so then, Goliath shows up. And David arrived at the army to visit his brothers and bring supplies, and he sees what’s going on. And his counsel wasn’t, oh, don’t pay attention to that stupid guy, God’s with us, we can ignore all that chatter, that’s meaningless, just go on about your life. We’ll just stand here and proclaim the victory!

We can kind of duck and hide and never confront if we’re not careful. And David’s victory included him having to step forth and actually confront that giant in a real battle. We don’t want that. We’d prefer to find a way to kind of slide around it and pretend that’s not that big an issue. But there are issues that God wants to focus His heart and our attention on, where He longs to deliver us. But it doesn’t happen by singing happy songs and pretending if that’s…when confronting the thing is what’s needed.

And so, David…but David also understood something else, and this has been the subject of many messages. He understood it wasn’t just his battle. The Lord wasn’t standing off and saying, I want to see how you’re doing this. Let’s see your…rally your strength and see what you can do. He said, this is not your battle, David. This is My battle.

Do you know that every weakness, every enemy, every stronghold the enemy has in the life of any Christian, is not just your battle but His? That’s why it’s called salvation. That’s why the solution is not for me to somehow gear up, and be stronger and do better, quote more Bible verses. I mean, if I’m trying to do it through ‘technique,’ is what I’m saying, and human strength, it ain’t gonna happen. But do you see the picture of this in Israel and God’s dealing with them? There was a total realism about the picture that God painted.

Look at chapter 9, just for a moment. Look at the beginning of it. “Hear, Israel: You are now about to cross the Jordan to go in and dispossess nations greater and stronger than you…” (NIV). Oh, how encouraging! “…With large cities that have walls up to the sky. The people are strong and tall—Anakites! You know about them and have heard it said: Who can stand up against the Anakites?” There were still families that had descended from some giants. There were still some of them around.

“But be assured today that the LORD your God is the one who goes across ahead of you like a devouring fire. He will destroy them; he will subdue them before you. And you will drive them out and annihilate them quickly, as the LORD has promised you.”

And you see this perfect balance. God is going to put you in a position where there is no possible human solution to your problem and your need and mine. I have no answer! But He doesn’t skirt around it. He doesn’t pretend it isn’t real. He doesn’t pretend the enemy is not real. There he is. He’s real. He’s a lot stronger than you. How many of you know the Devil is a lot stronger and smarter than you are?

( congregational response ).

How many of you know that your human nature has no power to change? You cannot call upon anything in your own resources to become what God wants you to be. We’re gonna have to present ourselves to Him.

( congregational response ).

And say, I need a Savior. But you know, it doesn’t just start with, oh God, I need a Savior. You know, we sing the song sometimes, ‘In times like these we need a Savior.’ Or you need a Savior, I forget which. But one of the lines in one of the verses is, ‘In times like these I have a Savior.’

See, that’s the balance that God seeks to bring, where there is an absolute honest reckoning upon our need and the fact that I have no power against what God is asking me to overcome. If it’s just me trying to do it, it’s not going to happen. I need a Savior. But He wants me to get past that, to where instead of looking at my…what I lack, I am looking at what He is and who He is.

He doesn’t just give me instructions and techniques to win a victory, He is my victory! The answer to the Devil’s power is not more resources from human life, it’s divine life. Those giants didn’t know what they had against them until they faced the Israelites when they did trust God.

When they went in on their own strength, man, it didn’t work out so good. But when they went in and looked to God, and God gave them the pattern of the battle, and they just did it in faith, even when it made no sense at all, like marching around Jericho, what did God do? He said it’s not dependent on human strategy and human strength. It’s dependent on Me and My Word. I can do anything if you will just trust Me, and look to Me and do what I’ll tell you to do, you can win the victory.

I believe with all my heart, instead of us ducking and pretending, God is looking for a people who will bring our needs to Him. First of all, recognize in our daily lives this is not meaningless. Everything that you and I do from the time we get up in the morning until time we go to bed and during the night, for that matter, we’re in God’s hands. God is working out a purpose.

He never leaves His own. His purpose, His heart is always to bring us to a place of greater victory. I know the thoughts that I have for you, it says later in one of the prophets, thoughts to bless you, “…to give you hope and a future.” I forget the exact words, but you remember the Scripture.

That same God is here this morning, and that’s what He thinks, and what He wants for you and for me. But in that process, I believe there are times when you and I need to be a lot more honest with ourselves, and not be afraid to be honest.

Are there persistent needs in your heart and your life? There are in mine. Wouldn’t it be a good thing to say, Lord, this is where I’m at. I don’t have any strength in this battle. It’s had a hold on me for all these years. There’s a need that I have. You know about it. There’s no sense pretending.

You love me anyway. You sent a Savior to the cross because you loved me enough to do something about it. But Lord, I can’t fight this battle in my own strength. I need You. I can’t make it go away by pretending it isn’t there, put a smile on, and I’m good, everything’s good.

There are battles God is bringing you and me to right now, and He means for us to learn His ways so that He can take us further in Him. We’re gonna have more battles and more victories as we go forward into the future.

I don’t know what all the Lord has for us. I know He’s preparing us for things, but I want us to make sure that we get the heart of what the Lord is saying here. He’s being very realistic about the things that He’s brought them through. He’s being very realistic about what they face, but He wants them to understand, you don’t do things with human resources. You need every Word that comes out of My mouth, because I have the power to overrule everything that arises out of this creation, including your own personal need. I have the power.

And as My power is released in you, you’re gonna grow up to be My people. You’re gonna experience things that are…you’re gonna experience the blessings that I have for you. Oh, if you had any idea what I’ve got planned for you, you’d just lay all this aside, and you’d quit fussing and quit worrying about it, and just reach out to Me and praise Me, and give thanks, and you’d bring your needs to Me, not afraid to do it.

Like, I shouldn’t be this way, I can’t come to you like this, oh, God. That’s exactly when He wants us to come, when we’re in need. I mean, the Lord kind of knows, doesn’t He? Is there anything about you that He doesn’t know? Wouldn’t it please Him for me to come and say, Lord, I have no power in this area? I’ve been like this. This is an area where the enemy has kind of built a bit of a hold and a stronghold over the years. I need help. I need You to teach me. I need You to show me how to overcome this and to give me faith to look up and to believe Your Words.

And I’ll tell you, God can quicken His Word. It isn’t just words on a page. It’s when God speaks to our hearts, and somehow, we come to the point where we believe His Word more than we believe the circumstance and the feeling and the weakness and all those other things.

But it takes…many times, it takes a process. There are battles that aren’t won in a day. But I’ll tell you, they can be won because His Word trumps everything. There’s nothing He cannot do. I want to let go and let God have His way. Don’t you? He is a loving heavenly Father who has nothing but good things ahead for His children.

May God make us what He wants us to be. May we experience what we talked about last week, the love of God. There’s nothing beyond it. There’s nothing greater. And I’ll tell you, it can power us to be able to live in this world and glorify Him, and keep our eyes fixed upon the goal that He’s set before us, because it’s real. Oh God, if this isn’t in your heart, you cry out to Him.

( congregational amens ).

I don’t expect anybody to believe something that God hasn’t made real, but I pray that God will make it real!

( congregational amens ).

He has the power to touch your heart in ways that no human knowledge can. This is not about a religion, it’s about a relationship with the God of the universe. To Him be all the glory. We just praise Him this morning.

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