TV Transcripts

“In All Things” Part One
Broadcast #1565
October 2, 2022

Transcript of message from TV Broadcast 1565 -- taken from Closed Captioning Text

— Brother Phil Enlow: I just wanted to share some simple thoughts. I don’t know how long I’ll be up here, but, scriptures that we know are often are the ones that we need the most. And sometimes I think we can react and think, oh, I’ve heard that a million times. But the thing is, we need to hear what God says when it is relevant to our circumstances. It’s not just a matter of having a head full of Bible knowledge, we need the Lord in very personal, very real ways.

And several scriptures that have been quickened to me repeatedly, and one of them certainly, everybody has probably thought of this one at one time, is Romans 8:28. You know, where it says, “And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him, who have been called according to his purpose.” (NIV).

Now there’s so much rich truth in that, you can’t really exhaust it. But, things that have been quickened in a special way…one of them is the word ‘know.’ What do you think he means by that? Is this the kind of knowledge you can get by reading a book or hearing a sermon?

( congregational response ).

See, there’s only one way to acquire the kind of knowledge that he’s really talking about here, and that is by experience, by having to go through something and experiencing God’s goodness in very practical ways. There is a knowledge you gain by that, you cannot gain any other way.

And so, I see the Lord’s goodness in allowing these ‘all things’ he’s talking about, allowing them to come into our lives and then turning our hearts to Him, speaking to us. I just pray that God will give us better ears to hear, where we’ll be more ready to listen and ready to open our hearts and say, Lord, I know You’ve got this. I know You’re on the throne. I know that there is a reason, there is a loving purpose behind this place that I’m in.

You know I was thinking about the ‘all things.’ And we tend to trot this verse out when something happens that we consider to be ‘bad’ and unpleasant to us. But the truth is, everything God uses.

( congregational amens ).

You know, sometimes He lets us go through an easy place, and it’s to see whether we’re gonna go to sleep and be careless, because we need to learn that kind of a lesson as well. And so, really…’all things’ means all things, not just all bad things, as we measure them.

But, you know, I was thinking about how God allows things in our lives. It’s not like God is literally just manipulating every little thing that happens, but He sure does allow stuff, doesn’t He?

Many times, He allows us, and I know everybody here, if you’re honest, can testify to this…He allows us to experience the consequences of our own choices. And they aren’t always good choices. But isn’t it wonderful that God can even take those things and turn them around into spiritual growth if we’ll just listen, and give Him our hearts?

These are such simple things, but they are so basic to what the Lord is doing. And so, I praise Him for knowledge, but I praise Him for the increase in knowledge, because we don’t know much. We’re in the process of being changed, aren’t we?

( congregational response ).

And that change happens…how did Paul say in another place? He said, it happens, “…by the renewing of your mind.” And the problem is, we come into this world and just even in growing up…even if we grow up in church, there’s so much of our thinking that is geared to this world. We see things through the eyes of the world.

We see the things that are valued by the world, things that are important…earthly security, earthly welfare of every sort. I mean, the list goes on and on, and that’s the way we see ourselves, and we see others, and we see our place in the world and everything. It’s just kind of a comprehensive…well, we call it a worldview.

Frankly, our worldview needs to change and that is not something that happens with a push-button experience, doesn’t happen with a series of lectures. It happens in life. As life happens, God uses everything we experience in order to change us. How many here need to be changed?

( congregational response ).

Yeah. How many have learned in the last few weeks that there are changes that you thought you had, and God needed to do something more than you realized. Aren’t you glad He’s in charge and He knows?

( congregational response ).

Praise God! We’ve got an awesome God. And all that He does is not for our hurt, it’s not for our…for anything other than His purpose. And that was another thing that really continually came back to me. That whatever God allows in our lives, it’s to serve His purpose.

And our problem, much of the time, is that we have our purposes. We have things that we seek. We have things that we value in life, and that has nothing whatever to do with God’s purpose! God’s purpose is not to fix the world. It’s not to make…give us a pleasant little cozy nest in this world where everything goes the way we would like it to.

His purpose is expressed, of course, in the next verse. And it says, “For those God foreknew he also predestined to be conformed to the image of his Son, that he…” the Son, “…might be the firstborn among many brothers and sisters.”

What a picture that is! How many of you are just like Jesus right now? I don’t see any hands, and I certainly couldn’t raise mine. I just…I see, every single day, I see areas where God is at work and needs to work. And I feel my need and that’s a good place to be. Isn’t it wonderful to actually understand, in some measure, that truth? It enables us to surrender to His purpose.

You know, I was talking about the ‘all things,’ and one of the things that…that should be obvious to you, if you’ve known the Lord any length of time, oftentimes the Lord allows the devil to do stuff, to have his way, up to a point…thank God, God has His hand on that. But the Lord stands back and allows the devil to do stuff, and then turns it around and uses it for our good!

Think about Peter, and the obvious examples we’ve had in scripture of Peter…had to go through what he went through, but when he did, he came out of it strong, he came out of it with a faith in Christ, he came out of it knowing that you can be at your worst, and He will still love you and pick you up and forgive you, and receive you. What an incredible lesson that…and it was just a few weeks later that same man was able to stand up in the power of the Spirit and proclaim the Gospel on the Day of Pentecost.

Folks, it doesn’t matter what the Lord allows the devil to do in our lives and how badly we fall in the mud, if we will lift up our hearts to Him and put our confidence in Him, He has a way of turning that around and absolutely allowing us to grow and become stronger, as a result of that! I thank God! How many need this?

( congregational response ).

Yeah. How many of you have fallen in the mud and you’ve wondered, oh how…when things happen, how the devil has a way of interpreting all those things, some of those ‘all things’ that happen. What did you do to deserve this? Is God mad at you? Is God upset with you? What did you do? You made a bad choice and now you’re reaping, and God’s just standing back there waiting for you to get it right. God’s waiting for ‘you’ to get things right, and then He’ll come back.

Oh my God! What an awesome God we have that is right there! But, oh how desperately do we need to absolutely go through real stuff, of every kind, whether it has to do with failure or pain or time, or whatever it has to do with. There is no substitute for going through something and experiencing what God is talking about in this scripture. Folks, if we’re gonna grow up, if we’re gonna become like Jesus, we’re gonna have to go through things that we don’t want to go through. And I praise Him, because it’s His purpose.

You know, who’s he talking about in this scripture? He says, those who love God. Folks, there’s not a human being on the planet that naturally loves God! It’s not in human nature to love God. You can be religious, but I mean, in terms of having the power to truly love God as he’s talking about here, that’s supernatural.

And doesn’t he go on and talk about those He’s, “…called according to his purpose.” You know we had a message on this a long time back, I don’t remember when: “By Invitation Only.” Do you know the Kingdom of God is by invitation only? People don’t just decide, I’m gonna serve God. God has to be actively at work, convicting and calling somebody to repent.

Do you remember what Peter said on the Day of Pentecost, when they said, what are we gonna do? You know, they were convicted about their sinfulness and their rejection of the Lord that had been sent to them. And Peter said, repent! That is a one-eighty. That is a renunciation of everything that we have stood for, our sins, our ways, our earthly life! It is a willingness to be baptized, which is laying that life down. It is willfully, willingly giving up that which we cannot keep in order to gain a life that we cannot lose.

( congregational response ).

And the promise of God to everyone who responds in true, humble repentance and faith to that call is the forgiveness of sins, to be absolutely right with a holy God, and to have Him come and impart His own life into us. Praise God! That’s what this is about. Then the work of transformation has a foundation! It isn’t—it isn’t, here’s a list of things I want you to do, work at it. This is absolutely a supernatural thing.

But you know, the problem is we don’t always understand. This knowledge he’s talking about is something that only comes over time. And I would guarantee I’m not the only one that has come through what we’ve just…some of the things we’re just going through still, trying to get strength back.

But these things have roused in us a sense of need, a sense of…oh God, I thought I had this…you know, I thought I had this, and I’m running into this, and I’m running into that feeling, and wanting to go this way, wanting to give in to self-pity, wanting to…you know, put forth an effort and then…I’m tired. And Paul says be not, “…weary in well doing.” (KJV). Praise God! Do we need the Lord?

( congregational response ).

Yeah, we need the Lord, don’t we? We don’t have what it takes. But He is so utterly faithful and committed. What an amazing, simple scripture that we have heard so many times. Praise the Lord!

And we know! Do you know this? That in all things…even when God lets the devil work, like He did with Paul. Remember, when Paul was doing good, doing everything he knew to do, there was no particular wrong or sinful thing that God was trying to correct in Paul, but He wanted…but Paul saw, or God saw a need in Paul.

How easy is it for us to be prideful, when we experience the good things of God, and it’s like He is shining His light on us, and aren’t we wonderful? And God wants us to never lose sight of the fact that we are objects of His love and mercy, that He never gives us something because we have earned it and we deserve it, and we should be lifted up in our own thinking.

And so, God sent a demon, allowed a demon to go and harass Paul, and Paul prayed and couldn’t get rid of it. That was one of those ‘all things.’ Paul was concerned about that. He wondered, God, I don’t get this. Something we’ve talked about many many times, until finally the Lord gave him the knowledge that he needed.

And he shared that with us. He said, Paul, I’ve got to give you a lesson here. Your pride was kind of in danger of getting in the way. But I want you to understand something. I know you feel weak right now. Anybody here feel weak? Yeah. I know you feel weak, but I want you to understand that when you’re weak, you’re strong. Why? Because you’re consciously depending on Me, and My strength is inexhaustible. Praise God!

That’s one of the things that God wants to teach us. It’s so easy, theoretically to talk about the “…unsearchable riches of Christ.” Okay…how does that affect me and my everyday life. What difference does that make? See, that’s what the Lord wants us to get, in deeper and deeper ways.

And I can testify that the Lord has…has come in many ways, and I’ve been in spots where I’ve tended to give in, I’ve tended to feel bad. And, the devil’s talking, and…why, when is this gonna be over? And, of course, who knows?

But I’ll tell you, God is so faithful. Just to give a word of testimony…this might be a good thing to have this morning. I shared this with the fellows the other night. But, I kind of reached a low point, and I think it had to come with energy production, coming from here, I just didn’t have any.

And I felt so weak on Labor Day, that in the evening I didn’t feel like I could get through the night. I didn’t know. I had to have some help. I had to have some answers. And so, I took my first, and I hope only, ambulance ride, because I didn’t want to sit in the waiting room.

But I experienced something that I can take absolutely zero credit for. And that was, “…the peace…which passeth all understanding….” Truthfully, I didn’t know what was gonna happen. I even made the mistake of commenting to Sue, before I left, I said, well you know, maybe the Lord’s gonna take…maybe this is the Lord’s time, He’s gonna take me home. Who knows? That didn’t help her through the evening.

( laughter ).

I was in perfect peace, and she was at home not knowing what was going on.

 (laughter ).

Bless her heart. I shouldn’t have said that. But, I honestly felt that. I mean, that’s supernatural. If you can be in a place where you think there is a real possibility, I might die, maybe this is the Lord’s time, and to feel total peace! It’s okay. If that’s what Your will is, I’m good with it. And that didn’t come from me, I guarantee it.

And so, I just kind of relaxed in the hands of the people who were doing whatever they were doing. And, the Lord answered the need…gave me an IV infusion, which was enough to kind of get me over the hump a little bit. And just one little notation the doctor made in the report kind of put me on the track of where I needed to go. And so, a couple days later, I think my fevers were even gone.

So, I just praise the Lord! My strength is nowhere near back, but we’re on track. And the Lord knows what He’s doing. But what an experience! I mean, it’s wonderful to read about how we can not be anxious and take our petitions to the Lord. And, “…the peace…which passeth all understanding, shall keep your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus.”

What a glorious theory that is! Oh, how nice it is to quote that. But to experience it at that time, and to know that it’s real! Folks, that’s the confidence God wants to give every one of His children, regardless of the circumstances.

I mean, how could Paul talk about, for me to live is Christ, “For to me to live is Christ, and to die is gain.” And have…you know, it’s just like, this is the way it is. If it’s my time to die, I’m good with that. How many can honestly say that? See, it takes grace! I know I’m not the only one who’s ever experienced this. But, you know, if we really have, if we really see our lives, and our lives in this world through His eyes, and His purpose, not ours, yeah, you can have that.

I mean, you look at the three Hebrew children in the Old Testament, and how they were able, not knowing how it was gonna turn out, to say, Nebuchadnezzar, we are not bowing to your image. “The God we serve is able to deliver us…” (NIV). But if He doesn’t, we’re still not bowing.

See at that point, they didn’t know. As far as they were concerned, they could just be tossed in there and burn up! And yet, there was a humble submission into the hands of a loving heavenly Father.

Is that a place that we need to be able to be brought to? Yeah. How do you get there? We’re gonna have to let the Lord take us in His time and His way. He will use all things in our lives if we will tune, in and say, Lord, I want your purpose and not mine.

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