TV Transcripts

“Paul’s Passion” Conclusion
Broadcast #1560
August 28, 2022

Transcript of message from TV Broadcast 1560 -- taken from Closed Captioning Text

— Brother Phil Enlow: Oh, I’ll tell you, Paul was walking close enough with the Lord that when the Lord spoke, not only did he get it, not only did the light go on, but he immediately agreed and said, most gladly, I’ll glory in my weakness! Thank God, I get it now! I understand. I am so…I am so geared up to the truth that I need to have Your strength come forth! And if that’s what it takes, then let it happen, Lord! Let death work in me so life can work in them!

But folks, that isn’t just for preachers. That’s for every believer. And there’s something very real about this that I feel like the Lord wants me to understand in a deeper way. I know He does. I mean, if Paul was in this place where, I’m putting the past in the past, and my eye is on the future, I want to know Him.

Like, Paul, get real. You don’t know Him? No, there is a knowing that doesn’t end. In fact, I’m not sure it ends here in this world. But as long as our story is still being written, there will be things that we need to learn, and you only learn them personally! You know, there’s one simple illustration I think we can all understand. If you were setting off into a dangerous wilderness, which would you rather have, a book written by a guide or the guide?

( congregational response ).

( laughter ).

See, a lot of people have a book! But we have the Author, who longs to walk with us personally so that we can know Him! But boy, I’ll tell you, by nature, we’re not too comfortable with that, if we’re honest.

You think about how it was in the beginning when Adam and Eve sinned…and how did their personal contact with the Lord happen after that? Did they go looking for the Lord and say, oh Lord, help us, we’ve sinned? The Lord came looking for them.

Isn’t it awesome we’ve got a God that, in spite of everything that’s wrong with us, He’s the One who seeks? He’s the One who reaches out. And they hid themselves and covered themselves with their own efforts. The Lord had to pull them out, but that’s…we see that everywhere in Scripture that the heart of God…He made us for fellowship, He made us for deep, personal interaction.

I mean, we see it reflected in…even in human society, as messed up as it is. One of things that’s most valued by people that get it, are these real relationships where we don’t put on a mask and pretend with one another, but all of a sudden, you can be open with somebody, and there’s an acceptance, and there’s a love, and there’s a depth to that interaction. We see that reflected. Is that not a reflection of the heart of God who made us in the beginning?

( congregational response ).

He wants us to have an unbroken fellowship with Him! And as we do, as John says, our fellowship is with the Father and with His Son, but it’s also with each other. There’s a fellowship that happens when He is…His Spirit just fills everything.

God, help us to see what Paul was talking about here. I want to know Him. I understand that in order to know Him, there’s some dying that has to happen, that I don’t even understand. I’m gonna go through things, and I’m gonna find out, oh my God, I see, I get it. There was something in me that was holding me back and hindering me from Your purpose for my life. And so, Lord, I gladly let it go.

But oh, how easy it is for us to draw back, to hide. We wouldn’t even sit here and admit it most of the time. But we can be in a place where we’re not all that comfortable with being close to the Lord. Now it’s gotten quiet. But am I telling the truth?

( congregational response ).

Yeah. There are so many things that the Devil uses, so many lies that he plants, pulling on human nature, for us to feel like He couldn’t possibly be interested in somebody like me. Look at me. Look at all that’s wrong with me. Oh yeah, somebody over there, they’re doing great, but me…there are a thousand and one different ways where we just don’t quite feel like we can be close to Him, because…and it’s always some deficiency in us, or some imagined feeling that He has toward us because of what we aren’t, or what we are in a bad sense. And isn’t the Gospel all about Him reaching out to sinners?

( congregational response ).

Don’t we sing, “Just as I am, without one plea, but that Thy blood was shed for me…” and so forth? Thank you. I appreciate all of you who have still got your memory. We sing these things, but yet, how many times do we pull back? We look at ourselves and think I can’t be close to Him right now, because I messed up again.

And here’s the Lord saying, I get it. I know everything about you. You didn’t seek me. I came looking for you, because I knew you. I had a plan. I wrote your story before the world ever was created, and I know how it comes out. This very Book talks about, as the verse we quote so often, “…he which hath begun a good work in you will…perform it until the day of Jesus Christ.” (KJV).

Folks, our story is, indeed, continuing to be written. But there’s a way that it’s to be written, and it’s to be written through a relationship. You know, I mentioned the danger of religion. Religion versus relationship…I don’t know if that’s…that’s probably not the title, but anyway, we’ll work on that.

But think about the church of Laodicea. You know, Jesus, in the revelation to John, sent letters, messages to seven different churches in Asia Minor. One of them was Laodicea. Now several of those…in several of those churches, the message was, you’re entertaining heresy, or there’s a false prophet or prophetess or something that’s going on. You’re embracing error in some ways! And you’d better get rid of that. Repent of it.

But in Laodicea, there wasn’t any of that. They were believing the right things. They were doing the right things. They lived in a comfortable, prosperous city. But what was their problem? They were…well, He described them as “lukewarm.” He said, I wish you were one or the other.

You know, if you really get in a bad place, God can wake you up and say, wait a minute, you’re in a bad place. They thought they were in a great place. What were they measuring by, though? We’re believing the right things. We’re doing the right things. We’re not entertaining bad people. What’s wrong? We’re living good lives. And they missed the one thing without which, everything else is meaningless. “Behold…”

( knocking ).

“…I stand at the door, and knock….” If anyone opens to me, I’ll come in, and we’ll eat together. Do you see how this ties in with what Paul’s talking about? It is a personal interaction, moment by moment, day by day, where Jesus is close and not somewhere way off there, doing stuff we don’t understand.

We may even resent it a little bit, or just feel…I’m such a mess. He couldn’t be close to me. He is right there! Has He not promised, I will never leave you? I will never forsake you. One of the great truths of Scripture is that He’s always there. The problem is we’re not tuned in.

I often think about the Scripture in the Psalms, where David wrote, enter into His presence. In other words, His Presence is there. He says in another place, where can I go from Your Spirit? It doesn’t matter where I go, You’re there. The problem is, we don’t enter into His Presence. At your lowest moment, your worst moment, He is there, and His heart is reaching out for you to open up to Him and show Him your heart.

Some of the songs we sang this morning are right on point. Open up your heart to Him and say, oh Lord, help me right now. Help me to see what it is that You’re seeking to show me. Lord, help me to be honest with my need and not to be afraid to come to You!

The scripture that we’ve used so many times, that we’ve heard so many times about us having One in heaven who represents us. But He’s One who’s been here, who can, “…be touched with the feeling of our infirmities.” He knows what we are, and we can come to Him, not when we’re feeling good and feeling good about ourselves. Yes, then too, but we can come to Him in a time of need, the very time when Satan will say you can’t be close to Him now. You’ve got to fix it, get it right and then we can kind of scoot over a little bit and maybe feel a little bit closer.

Where is your Jesus? Is He somewhere out there, somewhere, vaguely? Jesus wants to be the “…friend who sticks closer than a brother.” (NIV). The One that we can come to, and know in every single moment of every single day, that He is love, He is faithfulness. He will be faithful to the end. I mean, how many songs have we sung today that were right exactly what the Lord was trying to say? He’ll be faithful to the end.

We come to Him as our great High Priest, and the first thing is mercy, meaning you don’t have to worry about deserving it. What He’s looking for is a heart that wants to have fellowship with Him and sees and feels the need, but the Devil says you can’t go now. He says, yes, you can, because I delight in mercy.

Isn’t that what He said through the prophets? The Lord delights in mercy. That’s the thing that gets Him up in the morning…if you want, the ability to show mercy to people who don’t deserve it but long to reconnect with Him.

And He says you can come, and I’ll gladly extend mercy, but I’m not gonna stop there. You just don’t need a merciful attitude. You need help. And I’ve got the help that you need. You know, put this scripture about knowing…knowing Christ, knowing Him in a very personal sense. Put all the other things Paul has said in the context of this one central thing, and it begins to make more sense.

Think of Ephesians 3 where he talks about the unsearchable riches of Christ! Everything you and I could possibly need is there, stored up, available, ready to come to our help and to our aid! Anybody here need help today?

( congregational response ).

Yeah, I do. Are you going through a place of pain, a time of pain, a time of difficulty? You think the Lord’s mad at you, or is He maybe seeking to maybe bring you to a deeper place? I know there are people here who have been…many who have been in difficult places, things they didn’t understand at the time, and it may have felt, emotionally, like God was a million miles away. And they didn’t know why…and yet, they came to the other end and looked back and realized that God had delivered them from something. God had brought them to a deeper place. There was more rest. There was more peace.

That’s worth everything, folks. That’s worth dying to have. That’s what Paul’s saying. The thing I want to do is find out how to die so I can have all this that He gives me. We just sang the song He’ll give you everything. He’s not talking about Cadillacs and the like. He’s talking about the things that matter! He’s talking about heavenly things, the reality of all the riches that Christ has provided for us, and He invites us.

You know, back in the scripture in Ephesians 3, to come to Him and to realize that He is able to do much more than we can even ask or imagine. We don’t even know how to ask for the stuff, but it’s there, and we’ll never come to the end of that treasury.

That’s why Paul was constantly, I want to know Him. I haven’t got it all yet. I know there are things He’s still working in me. I’m still here, therefore, He’s still working. He’s not done with me yet. He’s got me here for a reason, and there are things that He’s still wanting to accomplish in my life, so that I can have more peace. I can know Him better.

How many of you have been with somebody where you’ve known them, maybe, all your life, and all of a sudden, there’s a different circumstance that comes along, and you see something in there, and you say, I didn’t know that about you. I’ve known you all my life, and I never knew that.

That’s a good reason, by the way, to get to know somebody before you marry them. You understand what I’m saying, but seriously, at best, we are complex creatures, and you don’t get to know somebody just over a week. It is the work of a lifetime to really get to know the depths of a human being.

I mean, when you’re talking about Christ, and you’re talking about us and all that He has set out to change in us, man, that’s a bunch. But I’ll tell you, wouldn’t it be nice to just get up and say I don’t know, I’ve got so much wrong with me, I’ll never get it right, and He’ll never be happy with me.

Do you think He wants us to live that way? Or does He want us to get up in the morning, and say, Lord, I’m so glad? I’m so glad for what You did for me. I’m so glad for what You promised me. I’m so glad that I can walk with You today, and not be afraid, and not to be afraid even to learn things that are wrong with me, because You already know.

And You don’t point out things that are wrong and just say, fix it. You just say, I’ve fixed it. The power of My resurrection is available. I release that power, not so I could look like something, but so I could share God with you!

That’s what Christianity, that’s what real Christianity is about! It’s putting Adam to death and replacing him with God’s life. It is supernatural, and it’s the work of a lifetime, but it comes not out of a book or a religion, it comes from a Person! And that means every single believer has the privilege of getting up every morning and saying, Lord, I want to know You better today.

And I know You’re here, I know You’re faithful, I know You love me, in spite of everything that’s wrong with me. Lord, help me to humble myself under Your mighty hand. I know that if there’s some lifting up to do, You’re gonna do it. But it won’t be to glorify me, it’ll be to glorify You. To God be the glory.

Folks, you can go on and on, I guess, talking about the principle of people who have experienced His faithfulness. Even in the Old Testament, there were people who walked with God, but there’s something that happened when Jesus died and was raised from the dead and seated on a throne. Everything changed! We don’t have to go and offer a sacrifice every time we sin. There’s One we can point to and say it happened once for all. Jesus has paid it all!

( congregational amens ).

We have the right to stand there before a holy God free from all condemnation, not because we deserve it, not because we’ve done anything, but because of what Jesus did at the cross. That’s our foundation, and there is no other. To God be the glory. Praise God! Praise God!

But He wants every single one of you to know how much He loves you, how deeply He knows you, and how much He longs to give you the ‘everything’ that we were talking about.

But it means you’re gonna have to walk with Him without fear. Don’t be afraid to walk with Him. You don’t have to be. That spirit of fear comes from…where does it come from? It comes from the Devil. He didn’t give us the spirit of fear, but of power, love and self-control. That’s what I need.

But think about a man like Paul, who had done so many incredible things, written so many incredible things. He’s at the end of his life, and he’s sitting there and saying, I’m forgetting what’s behind. I’m reaching forth. There’s something that is so real. This is what gets me up in the morning, and I want you to be like me.

And he contrasts that, if you go froward in the passage, with people who are just living for this life and living for what they can get out of this world. What a foolish wasteful thing. I don’t care what your earthly dreams are. They are worthless when it comes to eternity.

Now, the Lord may allow you in part of your path to do things in this world, but the heart is going to be getting to know Jesus personally. If this church ever came to the point where it was just about what we believe and how we did stuff, it would die!

( congregational response ).

You can look back in history and see churches where that happened. They started out with life, and they wound up a form.

The thing that prevents that is the individual people, every member of the body of Christ getting up in the morning and saying, Jesus, I’m so glad You’re here. I’m so glad I know You personally, but I want to know You better.

And I want to live with You and walk with You without fear, knowing You love me, being willing to die when it’s necessary, being willing to let You do whatever You’ve got to do to fix me, to change me and to help me to be fruitful in this world, because You do have a purpose for my being here…like we talked last night, last week. Whenever it was. Praise God!

Like I say, you could go on and on talking about this, but I think we get the general idea. I want to know Christ. Yes, to know the power of His resurrection. You want to know some power? It only come from dying. If the Lord poured His power out upon us right now like we are, what would we do with it? We’d use it selfishly, wouldn’t we? In order for God to do a lot of the things that He needs to do, He wants to do through us, He’s gonna have to have us more and more out of the way.

Isn’t that what happened with His Son? Was there anything in His Son that clung to a selfish, Adamic nature? No. He lived for what His Father…there was a one-to-one fellowship. I know the Father, and He knows Me. That’s the relationship Jesus wants with us…with you right now, and with me today.

“…The power of His resurrection and participation in His sufferings, becoming like Him in His death, and so, somehow, attaining to the resurrection from the dead.” In other words, being able to live a resurrected life here.

“Not that I have already obtained all this, or have already arrived at my goal, but I press on to take hold of that for which Christ Jesus took hold of me. Brothers and sisters, I do not consider myself yet to have taken hold of it. But one thing I do: Forgetting what is behind and straining toward what is ahead, I press on toward the goal to win the prize for which God has called me heavenward in Christ Jesus.”

So, how do you get there? Believe the right doctrines? Read the Book? All these things have their place, but if they don’t…if these spokes don’t all come into this hub, the Person of Jesus Christ and a relationship with Him day by day in the practical affairs of our life, all the rest of it is just religion.

May God open our eyes and open our hearts to be willing to say, Lord, I want to walk with You. I want to know You. I realize it’s gonna cost. But, oh, the reward of walking with You and knowing the power of Your resurrection, becoming what You made me to be in the first place. Lord, the peace that comes.

You know, we talked during convention about Jesus’ invitation to “…take my yoke…learn from me, for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For my yoke is easy and my burden is light.” Do you see how all that dovetails into the same thought?

Paul understood what the Christian life is really about, and I pray that we will in a deeper way. And I’ll tell you, there is so much God wants to share with you and with me. May we open our hearts and see how it happens, and learn to walk with Him. Praise God.

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