TV Transcripts

“Rather Be Healed” Part One
Broadcast #1591
April 2, 2023

Transcript of message from TV Broadcast 1591 -- taken from Closed Captioning Text

— Brother Phil Enlow: Well, my mind and my heart has gone to, as often is the case, to a very familiar passage, but with a desire to go deeper. There’s something in it that I sense my own need of in a deeper way, but I don’t think I’m the only one, as is pretty much always the case.

But let’s start with Hebrews chapter 12. The first part of it, we tend to almost cherry-pick, and it’s a wonderful thought in its own right, but there is something that is so much deeper in this passage that I’m trusting the Lord will bring out and help us with.

And of course, this is the passage that looks back to chapter 11 and all the heroes of faith and how they endured so many things, and God brought them to a place where, you know, they’re not simply figures of history. It’s not just, these are people who lived way back and you ought to be inspired by them. But these are living brothers and sisters who have been called to the other side. They are standing there in glory. And so, their testimony is simply not words and ink on a page, their testimony is a living testimony, as if you could almost hear them shouting from heaven, hey, it’s worth everything! Be encouraged, stand fast.

And so, all that is tied up in the first word of chapter 12, and that is the word, “Therefore….” In view of this, in that light. “…Since we are surrounded by such a great cloud of witnesses, let us throw off everything that hinders and the sin that so easily entangles. And let us run with perseverance the race marked out for us, fixing our eyes on Jesus, the pioneer and perfecter of faith.

“For the joy set before him he endured the cross, scorning its shame, and sat down at the right hand of the throne of God. Consider him who endured such opposition from sinners, so that you will not grow weary and lose heart. In your struggle against sin, you have not yet resisted to the point of shedding your blood.

“And have you…forgotten this word of encouragement that addresses you as a father addresses his son? It says, My son, do not make light of the Lord’s discipline, and do not lose heart when he rebukes you, because the Lord disciplines the one he loves, and he chastens everyone he accepts as his son.

“Endure hardship as discipline; God is treating you as his children. For what children are not disciplined by their father? If you are not disciplined—and everyone undergoes discipline—then you are not legitimate, not true sons and daughters at all. Moreover, we have all had human fathers who disciplined us and we respected them for it. How much more should we submit to the Father of spirits and live!

“They disciplined us for a little while as they thought best; but God disciplines us for our good, in order that we may share in his holiness. No discipline seems pleasant at the time, but painful. Later on, however, it produces a harvest of righteousness and peace for those who have been trained by it. Therefore, strengthen your feeble arms and weak knees. Make level paths for your feet, so that the lame may not be disabled, but rather healed.” (NIV).

There’s a depth to this that I think we miss. And I’m just trusting that the Lord will help us today to paint a picture that draws in all of the elements of this, because, like I say, it’s so easy for us just to focus on the fact that the world is indeed full of trouble. We know that we face adversity…if the Lord allows it.

And we’ve talked many times about how the Lord is the one who marks our path out for us, He’s the one who plans it. And so, we’re supposed to stand up under it. It’s gonna make us strong, and we emphasize all of those—rightly emphasize all of those aspects of it.

But, I see, I believe in a deeper sense, the reality that God has designed something that is, designed a life, an experience in earthly life, and His design is to bring us to a place of glory, to bring us to a place where He can stand there and say, this is My child, this is My son, this is my daughter. They have grown up. They are all that I intended them to be and now I present them proudly as My children.

So God is seeking to bring every single one of His people to that place. Do you believe that? Do you believe He means you when He talks like that? This is His design for you. Now, we sing a song, from time to time, that I think we perhaps need to take a step back and say, do we really believe this? And the song is, “Nothing Can Happen Outside of God’s Will.” And so, we’re to, “Trust in His love, be patient, hold still…” and so forth. It’s a wonderful song, and boy does it capture what I believe the Lord wants us to get.

But, I want us to think about the reality that life is not just a world full of vague trouble, but rather, we have a heavenly Father who has designed that trouble specifically to accomplish something in us that cannot be accomplished any other way. Think about that. It has everything to do with how we handle it, if we understand that. Because it’s more than just endurance, like, oh God, here we go again. It’s not that kind of endurance.

And, he mentions healing at the end, and I appreciate some of the things that have been said. One of the comments Brother Carl made, that it’s not just the outside, it’s what goes on in the inside. What God is describing here is not a physical race as we think of it. We don’t get up in the morning and go out and say, okay, where’s the path, now let’s just…you know, let’s take off and start running today. He’s talking about something that’s happening in our inner person. There is a journey that our inner man is making.

These bodies…I mean, healing with respect to the body is something we’re all concerned about because we live in them and we feel the pain, and whatever’s going on, and God cares about that. But the reality is, Paul describes his own body as, what? What is it, in 2nd Corinthians chapter 5? I’ll focus your attention to some of you who know the passage. Paul calls these bodies, or describes these bodies as tents.

Now, few of you, if any…I don’t think any of you live in tents. They’re a pretty good description of something that is temporary. You go camping, and perhaps if you’re not rich…like me, you live in a tent. And, you know, it’s meant to be temporary. And so, healing the body is almost like patching a tent. You know it’s not gonna…that’s not what lasts.

But what God is working on is something that lasts. It’s eternal. Paul says, right before that passage, at the end of chapter 4, that it’s the things that we see that are temporary. What we do not see is eternal and that’s what God is most concerned about. And so, God has designed a course, if you will, and it’s described…it’s likened to a race because you’re going from one place to another. And so, a race is a very apt way to put it.

But it’s not a physical race, is it? It’s something where our inner person is going from one place to another, and trying, and seeking to gain ground. And, we need that. Boy, do we need that. And so, he’s dealing with a different kind of malady here, a different kind of healing. But it’s interesting to me that…how he unlocks this subject.

Of course, he points us, as soon as he talks about the difficulty, the challenge and the need for endurance and perseverance, he immediately points our eyes, not at our own resources, but at Jesus, doesn’t He? A point we’ve made many times. The source of faith is not within us, it’s from Him. And so, we get this picture, that with every time God ordains, let’s remember that, every time God ordains something that is distressing to us, something that we have to take a stand against and overcome in some fashion, He stands right there to give the help that we need. It’s always a package deal! He never sends trouble without the help we need to be able to endure the trouble.

Now, think about the passage we have cited so many times in Deuteronomy, chapter 8, where Moses, and the Lord through Moses wanted the people to remember the way that they had come through the wilderness. But listen to the language again of what the Lord said, where Moses spoke about the Lord who, He caused you to hunger. Does that sound like a trial? Yeah, it sounds like some adversity in their pathway through the wilderness.

But how did that come about? Whose fault, if you want to call it a fault, was that? ‘He’ caused you to hunger! He caused you to hunger! Get that through…we need to have through our crazy heads here, because I think it has a lot to do with how we react to life. ‘He’ caused you to hunger, but it doesn’t stop there. And, He also fed you with manna that your fathers didn’t know anything about. So here’s a God that causes us to hunger, but He feeds us in a way that man doesn’t know anything about. There is a supernatural resource that God wants us to realize is ours, in Him! Praise God!

So, here’s the race. It’s marked out. Here’s God ordaining challenges and trouble and all the things that we don’t naturally like, He ordains every one of them for us, but He gives us the resource in Jesus. Of course, Jesus, is also an example, isn’t He? And so, we’re pointed to His earthly life and the fact that His own eyes were not simply on the trouble, rather they were on the destination.

And, we know from the record of His life that He didn’t do this in His own strength, He was just as dependent upon the Father as we are. But He perfectly depended upon His Father, and His Father gave Him strength. He said, “By myself I can do nothing.” But see, with His Father, He could do everything He did.

And do you not see that just as a path is marked out for us, was there not a path marked out for Him? Yeah. He said, I didn’t come to do My own will, but, “…the will of him who sent me.” It was literally a road that the Father wanted Him to follow, and He followed it.

And He spent His time saying, praying, Father, what do You want Me to do today? Lord, lead Me. And, Lord, I’m facing a really difficult place in that path! Lord, I need Your strength, I need Your help! Father, if there’s any way this cup can pass from me, please…nevertheless, bottom line, not My will but Yours be done.

And what happened? The Lord gave Him strength, didn’t He? He was able to do the most incredible thing that’s ever happened in the history of this world, to go to a cross that makes it possible for us to gather here this morning and have hope. Praise God! But what an example we have of one to whom we can look. Not only, as an example, as a resource, okay?

“Consider him who endured such opposition from sinners…” going back to verse 3, “…So that you will not grow weary and lose heart.” So again, this is not a physical thing so much as it’s what happens in here. I am persuaded that most of our problems do not come from physical maladies, they come from what happens that people can’t see on the inside.

And I sense the Lord wanting to help us, wanting us to focus our hearts and minds on this reality, not so that we can say, oh my God, I should’ve done this, I should’ve done…it’s so we can bring it to Him, because He is always One Who, not only causes us to hunger but also feeds us.

And I wonder how many times He’s causing us to hunger and we’re not eating what He wants to feed us, we’re not getting that part of it. And it’s…and we’re not gaining the ground He wants us to gain. “In your struggle against sin….”

You know, I thought about this. I mean, you could certainly see this as, you know, trying to keep us from sinning, as we typically think of that. But sin is not just, as we’ve said many times, not just breaking rules. Sin is anything that is different from God’s design about how things are supposed to work!

( congregational response ).

Just as the physical universe has laws and rules by which it works…you have gravity, you have orbits, you have all kinds of things, principles by which matter holds together, and the scientists are still trying to dig into all of that. There is an order in the Spirit. And you introduce anything that is contrary to that order, particularly anything that focuses upon self and what self wants, and you have introduced what we can call sin! It misses the mark of what God has designed for our eternal welfare.

So, we’re not just struggling against robbing banks and killing people. There’s a lot more to it, there’s a lot deeper…there are so many…there are deep things that God longs to bring us to, to share His own life and nature, to reproduce that in us!

You know, what was quoted a while ago about the Holy Spirit helping us in prayer, moves right into the reality that, “…all things work together for good to them that love God, to them who are the called according to his purpose.” (KJV). And His purpose being to conform us to the image of His Son, to make us like Him! Okay?

Do you think that’s just physical? We’re all gonna look like Jesus? No! There is a character transformation that I need, and I believe we all need. We were born into this world, children of Adam, focused upon self, living in a blind little world, that just walks its own way and seeks its own glory and its own satisfaction, somehow. And God has called us, and He created us for higher things.

( congregational response ).

So that’s what he’s talking about here. “…Your struggle against sin, you have not yet resisted to the point of shedding your blood. And have you completely forgotten this word of encouragement that addresses you as a father addresses his son?” (NIV). Then he’s gonna talk about discipline.

Now to a lot of folks, that doesn’t sound like encouragement, does it? Of course, we have our earthly idea of what constitutes discipline. But I’ll tell you, we’re not talking about just earthly discipline, we’re talking about a heavenly Father. And so in that light it says, “My son….” And the ‘son’ obviously is not a gender thing here, this is my daughter, as well. “My son, do not make light of the Lord’s discipline, and do not lose heart when he rebukes you, because the Lord disciplines the one he loves, and he chastens everyone he accepts as his son.”

And so, that comes with the territory. You surrender your heart and life to Jesus Christ, discipline follows. Now, if you think about discipline as, you broke a rule and I’m mad at you and I’m gonna whack you, I mean, that’s kind of a negative thing. But that comes from the brokenness of this world.

I’ll tell you, divine discipline is motivated 100 percent by love, the love of One Who knows what He’s doing, knows what the consequences are of, if we go the wrong way and if we follow the inclination that He’s correcting, and He knows, and He has an awesome end in mind for us and He’s faithful to bring us to that. That’s what it’s about.

I’m so thankful that…you know, and this lesson’s right here for earthly discipline. My God, I know it’s a broken world and I know there’s a lot of folks here, probably no doubt, that have experienced the wrong kind. You broke a rule and somebody got mad at you for it. You annoyed your parents, because they were busy doing something and you did something that interfered with that and so, whack! Or something. And it was done in the wrong spirit.

But oh, how God wants us, as parents, to mirror His character in this. I’m so thankful. My parents weren’t perfect, any more than yours were. But I’m thankful for one thing. They were faithful to discipline me. And as it will say in a few verses, that’s not always pleasant.

And I can think of plenty of times when it wasn’t. I remember a time or two when I was a teenager and I was going through those years and boy, I got mad. I went in and I was gonna show them. I jumped on my bed…and one of the slats collapsed.

( laughter ).

So, I’m laying there like this, feeling foolish, thank the Lord. But you know, one thing that, even when I was, when I had to be spanked, I don’t ever remember it being in anger. That’s quite a testimony for parents. And I often remember that at the end of it, it would end with a talk, I’m doing this because I love you. I can’t let you get away with this. I know where it leads. Those weren’t the exact words, but that was the heart of it.

So, I want to encourage parents. You need to ask God to help you in this area. What is the motive here of God, in this passage? What’s He revealing? His motive is love, His goal is the eternal welfare of His children, and we occupy the place of a child before a Father. I think that was one of the things we mentioned last week. He is the one who knows! We don’t!

And you think about a small child. If you leave them to themselves, what will they do? They will just live in the moment, do what’s fun, what feels like fun, what appeals to them at the moment. They see a pretty poisonous snake, they’ll go play with it. I mean…obviously, we have reached a point, I hope, where we can look and say, you know, there’s a little bit of training that needs to happen here. If you let them go that way, their lives are gonna be a mess, they’re gonna be useless in the world, they’re not gonna be able to take care of themselves. Their lives will be a wreck. And so, I’ve got to help them through this.

Don’t you think our heavenly Father needs to do that with us? My God, we’re not even just talking about growing up in the world, we’re talking about getting ready for another world that we don’t even, we can’t even see with physical eyes. Like Paul said, I’m living for what I can’t see. It’s real enough that I know it’s real because God has planted that reality in my heart, but I can’t see it yet. But oh, I’m living for it.

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