TV Transcripts

“Finding Our Purpose” Conclusion
Broadcast #1558
August 14, 2022

Transcript of message from TV Broadcast 1558 -- taken from Closed Captioning Text

— Brother Phil Enlow: He has done it, folks! Are you relying on that in a practical sense, or is this just doctrine? This has got to get beyond doctrine with every single one of us, that God has laid a foundation, that you and I can stand upon. And our sins can be gone! End of them!

God is the One that’s put them away! He’s not asking me to do something to qualify myself. He qualified me! That’s what Paul said in Colossians. Jesus is the one who qualified me. “For it is by grace you have been saved, through faith—and this is not from yourselves, it is the gift of God.” (NIV). What’s the gift of God?

( congregational response ).

Faith. Think about that. You know we think of salvation…but, faith…the very faith that I need to exercise in order to be saved, God has to give that to me!

( congregational amens ).

Oh, wow! This sounds a lot like surrender, doesn’t it? Since I don’t have any of this, I’m gonna have to come to God based upon mercy. My nature wants me to deserve something, so I can feel good about myself. And God has fixed it to where if we know Him, we’re gonna have to come on His terms. And it’s by mercy. That’s the only claim that I have. God have mercy upon me, a sinner!

Do you remember how Jesus…what Jesus spoke about this in the temple one day? I don’t know if He was in the temple or just talking about the temple. But He talked about the Pharisee who came in there to pray. He said, Lord, I thank You I’m not like everybody else. I’m not…you know, I do all this, I fast twice a week, I tithe all of my…you know I do all this, I give to the poor, and I’m not like that old tax collector over there.

And the tax collector was so convicted of his need, he didn’t even lift up his eyes, he said, God, be merciful to me, a sinner. What was Jesus’ point? Which one did God hear? He heard the cry of that man who came with an honest heart and said, God, I have no claim upon you. I come because You have offered me mercy. God loves mercy! And oh, and that message is all the way through the Old Testament. Praise God! And certainly, through the New.

All right, “...and this is not from yourselves, it is the gift of God—not by works, so that no one can boast.” And most of the time, when people quote this scripture that’s kind of where they stop.

But I want to tie this in because the next verse is the one that I forgot to use last week, and I think the Lord is the One that caused me to forget it. Because here we are, being called to live for God in a particular time in history…how do we do that?

And this is the answer. “For we are God’s handiwork, created in Christ Jesus to do good works, which God prepared in advance for us to do.” Man, that doesn’t sound a bit like religion to me! Does it to you? This is something that…it’s just apart from Christianity, churchianity. We need, I believe we need to get a handle on this.

And the thing that I sensed out of what we talked about this morning is, God has got to lay the foundation. If we’re constantly going back to what He’s saved us from, as though that somehow disqualifies us from any of this…man, that’s a burden God never meant for us to carry! Because Jesus carried that burden to the cross!

( congregational amens ).

It’s gone! Oh, may God help us to get that, to believe it, to see it, to understand that He set us free from the past!

( congregational amens ).

And He set us free for a reason! But how in the world am I fit to do anything? Well, I’m God’s handiwork. Are you His handiwork? Is He working on you? He’s got a lot to change, doesn’t He?

( congregational response ).

You know, you see that imagery in the Scripture about Him being the Potter and us being the clay. Remember a message I preached years ago about “Be the Clay”?

( congregational response ).

How contrary that is to human nature, just to say, God, I don’t know. You are the One who made me. You made me different from everybody else, my experiences are different, my personality is different. But my purpose in the Kingdom is unique. There’s no one else exactly like me, thank God.

( laughter ).

But You’re the one who knows the reason You created me in the first place.

( congregational amens ).

You know. And I don’t even know how to…I don’t know what to do, let alone how to do all of that! God, You’re gonna have to do the changing. And so, you see where Romans 12 comes in. present yourselves, “…a living sacrifice, holy, acceptable unto God, which is your reasonable service.” (KJV). Or spiritual worship, act of worship, and then the change begins.

Allow Him to renew us by…change us by the renewing of our mind. And then that leads right into the passage about the function of the Body of Christ, doesn’t it? But this is the thing. We’re God’s handiwork, and we’re gonna have to learn how to let Him work.

And you know, if God’s gonna do some sculpting on you, doesn’t that mean He’s gonna have to do some cutting and some things that aren’t gonna always be comfortable? And how easily does every one of us fall into the trap of supposing that if things aren’t going rosy, according to our definition of that…and you know, if God loved me, things would be different. No, because He loves me, He’s gonna work on me and change the things that don’t fit His purpose for my existence!

How easily do we listen to the voice of the devil when we don’t feel good, and things don’t look good, and we say, God’s mad at me? God’s…you know, this or that…every one of us fights that battle!

( congregational response ).

May God help us to so be grounded on the foundation, and to learn how to stand in those times and say, God, Your Word is true, and I am trusting You with this circumstance! I know You love me! I know You’re working in me, things that I don’t even understand, but I surrender, Lord. You have my full permission to change me any way that I need changing. That’s a dangerous prayer.

( congregational amens ).

He just might answer that.

( congregational response ).

But if we’re going to fulfill the purpose for which we exist, is there any other way to get there? Think of what God has to work with when He starts…a lost, helpless, hopeless, blind sinner. And yet, because of His love and mercy, He reaches down to the gutter-most and brings us to the uttermost. And then He begins to shape us for that purpose.

You know, we’ve talked about these things so many times. You see it all through the Scriptures…with the major characters of scripture, Moses, and Joseph, and others that God had these tremendous purposes for, and what He had to do to shape those vessels to get them ready for that.

You and I, don’t we need to have that sense of a vision? Lord, I’m here for a reason, and I want to know what that reason is. And I want You to do whatever it takes so that I can fulfill that. I can be a vessel for Your use.

Now God doesn’t call everybody to preach. You know, we have this idea about what it means to serve God. Every one of us, as we’ve said so many times, is a servant of God. And sometimes the most powerful, important thing anybody can do is to pray! Prayer is not giving a list to “Santa Claus” in the sky! Prayer is something where we learn over time, and by experience, we learn how to yield ourselves to the inspiration of God’s Spirit who knows what we need to pray for.

( congregational amens ).

And then when we do that, we yield to that, and we begin to speak as God anoints…we don’t just need an anointing here, we need anointing in prayer! When we do that, God can take you and cause you to affect something that’s happened on the other side of the world. There is power, there’s divine power that’s released. You don’t think that matters?

( congregational response ).

That’s at the heart of the Kingdom of God. If God has called you to be a prayer warrior, you may just be one of the most important people in this place. But, just speaking to somebody, just the interactions…I heard so many lately that just blessed me so much. How God is causing us to break the mold. We have this idea of just coming in here and sitting and listening, and going and living our lives. God, break that!

( congregational amens ).

God show us why we’re here!

( congregational response ).

Give us a vision of what it is that You want to do, and how You want to do it, and make us willing! And make us able to do it! But Lord, I’m gonna have to be Your handiwork and be willing! You’re gonna have to do this because it’s not in me to do it.

But what is it that makes this possible? It’s not just that God has done away with our past. It’s not like, okay, now you’ve got a fresh slate, I’ve wiped your guilt away, now let’s start over. Well, if I just start over with what I had to begin with, that ain’t gonna get it. I need something brand new, and so that’s why he goes on and says, created, “…created in Christ Jesus to do good works.” (NIV). Man, I need to be a brand-new creation. I need a new life, I need a new heart. That’s the heart of the Gospel!

( congregational response ).

Anything short of that is not the Gospel! There’s nothing that I’ve brought into this world that I can take and say, all right, Lord I’m here, I’m going to use these abilities and I’m gonna help Your kingdom out. I need to be a brand-new person. And only God can do that. Are you willing?

Lord, help me to see what You have done in me and to realize, to reckon on the reality. You read Romans 6 that Steven was reading a while ago, and you’ll read how we went down, and something was left in that tomb. We rose up to newness of life so that we’re able to serve Him. There is a new life here that we need to reckon on!

We don’t reckon on it enough! We still reckon the old is there. And so, we live like that. Every one of us! I’m talking to me. But God is teaching us. He’s working in us. We’re His handiwork. I pray that we’re further along this week than we were last. I pray that God is continually teaching us, and I see the evidence of it in so many lives. I praise Him for it.

But oh, may God give us a vision of what it takes to serve Him in this hour. We’re gonna have to be His handiwork. We’re gonna have to walk in the newness of the new creation, in Christ Jesus! That’s where the good works come from. They’re not good if they don’t come from Him!

If I’m being religious, is that good? No! That’s just self-righteous, do-gooding. There are a whole lot of things that, you know, you could say they have a beneficial effect in a sense, temporarily, on an earthly life. But you know, we talked a couple of weeks ago about the fact that we can’t do anything of any eternal value unless it’s Him doing it in us. Do you believe that? I do. There’s nothing I can do to help Him out. I need to allow Him to do it in and through me.

Again, you come back to what Jesus did. Did He do anything that He didn’t see His Father doing? Do you see where we need to be? We need to be a people that say, God, I want to be in tune with what You are doing. You’re the One who has a purpose. You are the One who’s working out a sovereign purpose! You’re going to reach every one of Yours!

Jesus Christ said, “…I will build my church.” That’s a pretty positive statement. All these things, we have a part to play in that. I don’t know fully what my part is. I mean, it appears that I’m to be here doing this at this point. Some of you, God’s gonna lay His hand upon you, He’s already done it, in varying measure.

But this isn’t all there is. Can we be in a place where we say, God, I’m beginning to get a picture how Your Kingdom works. There is a sovereign purpose that You planned before the foundation of the world. He knew about this service back then. Do you understand that?

Do you understand how great He is? He knew who was gonna be here this morning. He planned it all out. I want to get in harmony with that. I want to be able to say, God, show me what You’re doing, and show me my place in that, and enable me to cooperate with You in whatever way I need to.

Now, some people, you’ll give a message out like this, and they’ll say, yes, that’s what I’ve been waiting for! I’m an apostle after all! I’m gonna go out…you know. And what you have is a whole lot of selfish ambition and vain deceit and all of those kinds of things that you see as words in the scripture. I believe God can show us who we are, and what we are, and it will be right.

I remember Brother Thomas, many years, some of you will remember way, way back…Brother Thomas would preach a message on finding your place in the Body. Do you think we can ask him and say, Lord, what’s my purpose? What’s my place? Show me what You have…show me why You created me.

Because it’s not just to sit here, believe doctrines, carry out activities, and go to heaven someday, and basically live my life…it’s not that. God has a reason for me being here. What is it? I want to be engaged in that. I want to be one of these that can actually shine a light in a dark world that’s gonna get a whole lot darker.

Your purpose for me might be to be a martyr. But are we here to preserve our lives? Or have we laid them down to belong to Him? See, that’s the Gospel. If it’s anything short of that, if you’re clinging to that old life from which He saved you, that’s not a good thing. We need the newness of His life.

And here’s the amazing thing, the last part of that, “…which God prepared in advance for us to do.” You know, God knew in eternity past, who you are. He allowed you to experience what you’ve experienced. He reached down in grace to lift you out of the condition, and out of the…change your destiny.

But He has a reason for your being here, that He knew about back then. You are not a ‘nobody.’ You are not a digit. You are not simply a number sitting in a pew. You are God’s child and God wants His people to call out to Him and say, God, why am I here? I want to know, and I want to surrender my life to You, to make me what You want me to be, Lord!

( congregational response ).

Sometimes it means just waiting. And I know many of you’ve heard Brother Thomas’ testimony of years ago. When he started out in his ministry, he was a powerful evangelist, with a tremendous anointing on his life. And the circumstances changed, he wound up here, shepherding a bunch of you…some of you older ones. I see some smiles. It was a long time ago.

And, one day, he was sitting there thinking, God, what’s wrong? Back there You blessed me, there was power. I went out and I saw results and I saw…and here I am sitting here, shepherding a bunch of sheep, and not all of them even appreciate it. What’s wrong? Did I go off the rail somewhere? Am I out of Your will? What’s going on?

And that’s when the Lord quickened to him that scripture about what the Lord said to Peter. “…When you were younger you dressed yourself and you went where you wanted; but when you are old you will stretch out your hands…” And another will gird you and carry you where you don’t want to go.

Now, I don’t recall from the experience or the testimony that anything dramatic changed right then. It did later, didn’t it? The Lord visited the church in a mighty way. But Brother Thomas’ place at that time was simply to humble himself and do what God gave him to do in the moment and just wait. Because God was working.

He was God’s handiwork. There are things that God can only do when we’re just waiting on Him, and looking to Him, and willing, but not running in ourselves, not thinking I’ve got to do something. That ‘got to do something’ is just another way of trying to earn it. I just need Him to show me what to do and be willing when He says it.

It gets down to something that’s awfully simple, but it’s so contrary to human nature that we have a hard time getting it. But think of the reality, because you can talk about the grace, being saved and not by works and all of that, but if we don’t see where God’s going with this, we’re missing the point.

God did that for a reason, to get us to a point where, we could stand upon that foundation, and be the people He designed us before the creation of the world to be, in a dark world. It’s not just about believing in Jesus and going to Heaven. He’s got works planned for us to do.

Do you think He planned all that Moses went through? Do you think God had some wonderful things in mind when Moses had to run off into the wilderness and hide from Pharoah…and wait 40 years? God had plans Moses didn’t know about, and God was getting him ready for that.

And do you think God had plans when David was running around the wilderness hiding? Yeah, God had plans. God has plans for you, and you, and you, and you, and me.

( congregational amens ).

And I agree with what I heard Brother Steven say several times this morning, we want to finish well. Well, finishing well is not running in self-zeal. Finishing is saying, God, I’m yours. I’ve reached the point in my life, I don’t know. I’m not gonna sit here and try to get a committee and plan something. But I want to be open. Lord, I want to think outside the box. I want to be open to anything You might bring us to do. I don’t know!

Now you know, men would say, yeah, we need to innovate! We need to get a committee. Let’s come up with a program. No, we don’t need…we just need to hear from Heaven. And we need to exercise it, and we need to do what He gives us to do, with the ability that He gives us to do it, and it will be Him doing it instead of us trying to help Him out. He doesn’t need our help. But He longs to involve us.

Remember a message we had years ago, “Participating in His Purpose”? Seems like the Lord brings that thought back in so many ways, to me, to all of us. Do you see where we need to be rock solid on the foundation? If you’re struggling with the foundation, how in the world is verse 10 gonna amount to anything?

I’m constantly, oh, that means somebody else but me, I couldn’t be that. Jesus Christ has paid it all! Every last thing that needed to be paid, He paid! Our sins are gone! May God help us to get that and rest upon the foundation, and trust Him for the strength of a new life to live for Him.

But in the meantime, Lord, we could be asking, why am I here? What is my place? Show me what Your purpose is for me. I certainly can be praying. I can be looking to You. I’m not gonna run around and try to do something. But, Lord, if You show me, if You lay a burden on my heart, help me to…help me to follow that.

And help me to walk in harmony with the Body because you can have some wild-hair thing going on in your own head. I mean, we know how the devil works. But see, there’s a safety in the Body of Christ where we can say, yeah, I sense that. The Lord’s witnessing to me a witness of peace.

I don’t know, I don’t know why I’m preaching this, in a sense. I don’t have anything particular in mind. But I have this in mind, and I know God, again, put us here for a reason. We’re here for a reason right now.

And I pray that God will lay upon every single one here the burden of saying, God, I want to know why I’m here. I’m not here to live out my earthly life. I’m here to live out the life You gave me, the brand-new life. As long as You leave me in this world I’m here for a reason. Help me to find and experience that reason, so You have a vessel through whom You can live in a broken world.

( congregational amens ).

Is there any other reason to live? There’s no other reason to live. May God give us that grace to humble ourselves, to allow ourselves to be His handiwork without listening to the voice of the devil, when it’s not pleasant. And then realize God’s put a brand-new life in here.

Oh, praise God! He’s not trusting in my ability to live for Him. He gave me a brand-new heart and a new life. That’s what the Gospel is all about. So, thank God. I guess I’m gonna go rambling here in a minute. But…do you see how this ties in with things the Lord has said lately? We’re here for a reason. Let’s set our hearts to discover that reason and to walk in it and just trust God.

Do you think He’s going to be faithful to that? Do you think that’s what He’s revealed in His Word? I know it is. Let’s just trust Him, like I say, think outside the box. Don’t put limits on it and say, oh it’s got to fit in with our style. It needs to fit in with His program.

( congregational amens ).

Praise God! To God be the glory!

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