TV Transcripts

“What is Your Life About?” Part One
Broadcast #1545
May 15, 2022

Transcript of message from TV Broadcast 1545 -- taken from Closed Captioning Text

— Brother Phil Enlow: Every week it seems like I go through, in a sense, the same thing. We have a service and it seems like the Lord blesses and it’s connected to what’s been going on and what we’ve had before. And then I come to this next week, okay, now Lord, and I just feel empty and nothing’s going on and then I’ll have a thought and before…and as it develops, I suddenly say, hey, you know, this actually is a kind of a continuation.

And I feel like this may be one of those occasions as well. I believe the Lord wants to take us deeper, don’t you? We’ve said that so many times. And, we’ve certainly…I believe many of us have prayed, and prayed from our hearts, Lord work in me, change me, mold me and make me into what You’d have me to be.

That’s a dangerous prayer, because the Lord will answer it, but He won’t answer it in ways that we always expect. We think that’s gonna be peaches and cream, and we’ll sing a song about, “There is a place in God where rest is complete,” and we’ll sort of imagine that in an earthly sense where all conflict is gone. We’re just…oh, this is wonderful! And, how many of you know it’s not that way?

( congregation inaudible ).

Yeah! It isn’t at all. And I had a scripture come to me the other day and I just kind of meditated on it ever since. And it comes from 1st Corinthians chapter 16. Paul was writing to the Corinthians, as we’ve said many times, and he had a lot of problems with a young church that had come out of heathen darkness, the people had. And they didn’t know how to be Christians. They didn’t know what it was all about. And so, he had to do a lot of teaching and explaining, dealing with issues.

And, you know, that’s kind of the way it is. There are always going to be issues, aren’t there? But anyway, he was writing to them. And, how many of you know where he was writing from? Where was Paul when he was writing this letter?

( congregational response ).

No. No, he wasn’t in prison. Well, it actually says here. In chapter 16, verse 5, I’ll go ahead and read a little bit. “After I go through Macedonia, I will come to you—for I will be going through Macedonia. Perhaps I will stay with you for a while, or even spend the winter, so that you can help me on my journey, wherever I go. For I do not want to see you now and make only a passing visit; I hope to spend some time with you, if the Lord permits.” (NIV).

And, you look in the bigger context, you see that he’s actually got in mind going to Jerusalem because he wants to take an offering, because the saints there are really in a desperate situation with poverty, and oppression by the religious leaders there.

But anyway, here he says, “But I will stay on at Ephesus until Pentecost, because a great door for effective work has opened to me, and there are many who oppose me.” Now, I’ve had so many thoughts. Only the Lord can bring this together in what He wants to emphasize.

Part of it is a great deal of what Steve said. But how many of you, in the process of saying Lord, take me deeper, have discovered that it stirs the devil up a bit? Instead of pressing forward and suddenly finding yourself in a pleasant meadow somewhere, spiritually speaking, you find yourself at war and you find the devil getting upset.

You know, if we’re not upsetting the devil, what are we doing? We’re living in enemy territory. The Kingdom of God exists with opposition, and if we’re not experiencing it, something is lacking. And it’s not that we go out and try to make trouble, in a carnal sense. But I mean, just simply pursuing what God wants is gonna stir up trouble.

So anyway...I’m jumping ahead in a way here because I wanted to emphasize different parts of this. But there’s one word that interests me there. Just at the moment I’ll comment on it. He says, a door, “…a great door for effective work has opened to me, ‘and’ there are many who oppose me.”

Now, if it were you and me, I think we would be inclined to say, ‘but’ there are. And as we talked about this before where, there’s a great difference between ‘and’ and ‘but.’ ‘But’ is kind of like the controlling factor in a situation. I’m doing good, ‘but.’ Or, I’m doing all this, ‘but’…as though all this opposition is now in charge.

But Paul is recognizing that they go hand in hand. If I’m doing anything, if I’m actually making progress in the Kingdom of God, instead of just marking time and sitting in place, there will be opposition and I recognize that and I just embrace it. It’s part of the deal. I accept it.

And I believe, with all my heart, as God moves here, as He brings us into a deeper experience of Him, we are going to have battles with the devil in many, many forms. And we might as well just get our minds geared up that that’s the way the Kingdom operates in the world. Okay?

Now, one of the areas that I wanted to go back and talk about, was that the fellow who wrote this…now we all know that Paul was not always Paul. He was, at one time, Saul, the Jew, and he describes his own…I mean, we see, in several places, his own background described as a Pharisee of the Pharisees. I mean a leader, an up-and-comer, who had given everything in his life to a certain course of action that he believed was the right one for him.

He was right with God, right with man, zealous for the religion of his fathers. He was an intellectual. He was a lot of things. But he was a rising star in the Jews religion of that day. And something changed.

Folks, how many of you know something has to change? Regardless…Steve was talking about this a lot this morning. You can grow up in this church and have nothing. You can grow up in this church and wind up in the Lake of Fire. Because it isn’t just a matter of the outward and the religion you embrace, the ideas you embrace, the behavior and all of that stuff. We need the Lord!

And there came a day when God’s purpose began to prevail in the life of this man named Saul. He had gotten letters of introduction from the leaders in Jerusalem because he’d heard that there were Christians in Damascus! The very idea! I’ve got to do something! So, he said, give me letters. I’ll go take care of business here.

And so, he was on his way to Damascus with a group of soldiers, I suppose. Anyway, they were people who were gonna help him in the process. And something happened. Has something ever happened in your life? It doesn’t have to be dramatic like this. I mean, Paul was suddenly surrounded by a great light and heard a voice that said to him, “Saul! Saul! Why are you persecuting me?” (NLT).

I mean, talk about a shock! “...Who are you, Lord? ...I am Jesus, whom you are persecuting.” (NIV). Whoa, what a truth that unveils! Whatever the devil does to you, he’s actually doing it to Jesus. And you know, we need to see the connectedness of the Kingdom of God.

But here was a man that needed something…needed a direction in his life! His life was going the wrong direction. And so, Jesus interrupted his life and there was a revelation that penetrated, not just the mind, not just the intellect! Paul, I want to correct…or Saul, I want to correct your ideas. This was one that went to the heart!

Has Jesus ever penetrated to your heart? Or, have you just gone along? You see the need that was there. Would he ever have been the person he became if something had not happened at the level of his heart? This was a man that was brought into a relationship with Jesus Christ, where Jesus was not simply “a savior I believe in.” And, good, I’m going to heaven one day. This was somebody who came to be in charge!

And he came to a place where he understood that his life was not his own to live as he saw fit. It belonged to Jesus Christ, for His purposes, and His purposes alone. Now, is that just for somebody like Paul, as he became known? Or, is that a truth that applies to every single person, who would actually have a living relationship with Jesus Christ, and have an eternal hope? That’s how serious it is.

And this is only part of what I’ve thought about, but I just cannot get away from this aspect of truth. This man who wrote this, was somebody who had a basketful of stuff…we read about it in Philippians 3, of all the things that he…that in his life he valued and gloried in, as though this is what makes me somebody that matters. My life matters. This is what I want to live for.

You know, a lot of people just live for whatever pleases them. This guy went way beyond all of that. And yet, he was on the road to fire, and didn’t know it.

Folks, we need the Lord. And we need more than just following along with the religion of your parents, or what you hear the preacher say or any of those things. It has got to come down to a personal encounter with Jesus Christ that transforms your heart, because if you don’t have His life in you, you don’t have anything. If He’s not Lord of all, He’s not Lord at all.

( congregational amens ).

And contrary to what you will hear in some places, if He’s not Lord, He’s not Savior! We are seeing a great division in our world. We’ve said…this is something that’s not new. We’ve said this, many times. But it is a radical one! When mankind stands before a Holy God, there will only be two categories. You will either be robed in white, because of what He has done, alone. Or, you will stand there, having lived your life, on your terms, doing what you want, and you will lose it! It’s that simple.

And we have a culture today that is absolutely inspired by Satan. It is attacking every value, every idea, everything that has to do with Bible truth, with Jesus. We’re gonna see it chipped away, and we’re seeing it step, by step, by step. We’re seeing the rebellion absolutely unfold, and oh God, do we need to see past it and have God open eyes!

And I’ve heard, many times, burdens expressed by different ones for young people. Folks, those burdens aren’t just I don’t want him to get away from me. I want him to be identified with me. These burdens are coming from the hearts of people who know what they’re talking about. They have been there. They’ve been where you’re at, if you’re a young person.

This isn’t just for young people, but it sure affects them, because many of them are on the precipice of life, the staging area, whatever you want to say. There are roads that stretch out ahead of them. And oh, my God, how easy it is to have our plans, and to somehow imagine that I can live out my plan and it’ll be okay, and Jesus is good with that, as long as I don’t get too far out. You know, I don’t start robbing banks, and dealing drugs, and something that’s obviously evil.

Do you know what the essence of sin is? It’s not a list of ‘sins.’ Those are symptoms. The essence of sin is self on the throne! There’s nothing else! If you have self on the throne, you will have some of these evil acts come out. But they flow from the heart of someone who says, it’s my life, I will do as I please!

And there are plenty of people who live outwardly, exemplary lives, but self is on the throne! And there comes a place where God says, all right, I’m gonna let you have what you want. I pray that God will implant a godly fear in the hearts of everyone who hears this! Everyone, period! That you’ll see just how important this is.

What would have happened to Paul, to Saul, the Jew, had Jesus not intervened? What would have happened if somehow he had said, no? My God! This man had absolutely flipped 180. And Jesus absolutely revealed Himself and sent Ananias to him to pray after he’d gotten to Damascus, when he was blind.

And, here was a man who was afraid to go until the Lord explained, hey, this is somebody I’ve chosen. You’re gonna pray for him that he’ll receive his sight, that he’ll be saved, he’ll receive the Spirit. And I’m gonna tell him how many things he’s gonna be suffering for Me. Whoa, what a wonderful life!

But you know, you read through what Paul shared with us about what it means to really be a member of the Kingdom of God—a part of the Kingdom of God, and you’ll see a man that has a different view than a whole lot of folks.

You know, a lot of folks, they think of a deeper life, they think of going deeper with God, and it’s like it’s this magical place where I come into this peaceful, wonderful existence. And, you know, there’s an aspect of it where we have this deeper, personal relationship with God. Yes, there is a deeper peace. All of those things are there. And then you read about Paul and all that he went through, and how does that fit together?

You know, so many people have taken the one side…some of these sides of it. Some of it is the outward. Let’s back off and say that. We’ve said it many times about the prosperity gospel. If I’m…what God really wants from me is to prosper me in this world and if I will just believe in Him enough, I’ll have plenty of money, I’ll have perfect health, and I’ll be successful in everything I do, and that’s the sign that I am in favor with God.

Well boy, Paul must have really been on the outs with God because he sure didn’t experience much of that. That wasn’t the course of his life at all! The purpose for which he lived was something completely different.

What’s your purpose? When you’re looking ahead to your life or, right now…like I said, this isn’t just young people, this is everybody. Why are you doing what you’re doing? What’s your purpose? Or, are these truths only for the special ones?

( congregation inaudible ).

Yeah. But here is Paul…and you remember in that passage in Philippians 3 that we’ve referred to so many times. If you read that, you could almost zone in on what he says. I want to know Him. This is one thing that I do. I want to, “…know him, and the power of his resurrection, and the fellowship of his sufferings, being made conformable unto his death.” (KJV).

And, “I press toward the mark for the prize….” You could almost conceive of that in a very private, personal sense. How many of you know there’s a difference between private and personal? Private is just about me. It’s like me going into a cave and having this glorious lovefest with Jesus, and that’s what my life is about. Find a monastery somewhere and just have this glorious, personal sense of something with God.

I’ll tell you, you could almost get that from those verses unless you see them in their context. Is that what Paul…is that why Paul did what he did? You know it isn’t. What was the reason that Paul did what he did? Was it just so that I could be a very special Christian? I could be a successful Christian. I could feel better about myself. Other people could look at me and say, wow, there is a model Christian! Isn’t that wonderful?

We are so geared to being self-centered, self-seeking. How easy it is to bring that into our spiritual lives and think that this relationship with God is about me and how I feel and how effective that I am at just being the kind of person You want me to be.

Lord, just guide my thoughts here. I feel a burden I can’t even express. But I believe God has a deeper—much deeper sense of what He wants to accomplish in us, and we see it in Paul. Paul, as I said, was here for one purpose. After he met Christ, there was only one thing that he lived for. Lord, what do You want me to do? I do not belong to myself anymore. I belong to You.

And I’m gonna ask you the question—ask a question again. Do you really think that this is only for Paul? Or, does that not apply to every member of the Body of Christ? We’re not all apostles, obviously! We’re not all anything. We have all the variety of gifts and abilities that God has distributed, but these principles apply to everyone.

Didn’t Paul write, I think in one of the Corinthian letters? “…Ye are not your own? For ye are bought with a price: therefore glorify God in your body, and in your spirit, which are God’s.” What are you seeking? What’s your life about? What’s the driving vision and burden that you have for your life? Where do you see yourself going and for what reason? These are serious questions, aren’t they?

( congregational amens ).

They’re ones we need to ask ourselves. On one level, this is a question that has eternal ramifications for someone who has never really, really surrendered to Christ. But there are ramifications for every single believer. Why do we do what we do? You can do the right thing for the wrong reason.

And we need to understand. You know, I mentioned…I’m sure I mentioned it here, but where I grew up we often had messages that were geared to the young people to get them to come to the place where they’re willing to surrender their lives. It’s not just a matter of coming to a place of salvation, but…because the truth is, how can you have one without the other? But still, the emphasis was basically, you’re standing at the crossroads of life. Where is your life going? What’s it gonna be about? Are you going to surrender your life to Jesus Christ, to do His will, or are you just gonna keep doing yours?

And of course, many times, the emphasis was on, are you willing to be a missionary if God calls you to be that? Or, are you willing to be a minister? There was all of that in there. But the basic principle, the basic center of all of that was, are you willing to do God’s will?

I’ll ask you that today. Is that the governing principle of your life? God, it’s not my life! What do You want me to do? What do You want me to be? How do You want me to live? Change me at the heart level! Impart to me the very ability to do what You’ve called me to be!

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