TV Transcripts

“Take My Yoke” Conclusion
Broadcast #1594
April 23, 2023

Transcript of message from TV Broadcast 1594 -- taken from Closed Captioning Text

— Brother Phil Enlow: There are times when He leads us by the still waters. There are times when He restores our soul and gives us strength. Thank God, it’s not all mountains and struggles and all of that, but there are times that are! And that’s when He wants us to be able to know where our help is, just as Jesus knew where His help was. We’ve said many times, did He not say, I can, by Myself, do…

( congregational response ).

Nothing. Nothing! Anybody here feel like you can do stuff that matters? I mean eternal stuff? No. We need Him. Jesus understood that, and so He lived out the example.

You know, I was thinking about this seeming contradiction between a life fighting the good fight of the faith, and running with perseverance, and taking all these hardships as discipline and all of that, and then Jesus saying, come to Me, learn from Me, you’ll find rest unto your souls. Wait a minute. Which is it? Warfare or rest?

And the truth is there’s no contradiction at all, because Jesus faced all the battles, but He didn’t look at the enemy. He didn’t let anything deter Him from the purpose that God had for Him. At the darkest hour, it was, “…not my will, but yours be done.” (NIV).

You know, I think I made the comment to somebody yesterday. We were talking about that very scripture. My will is what I’m being saved from. It’s following my will that has gotten me a record of sins that I need erased. There’s no answer for that but the blood of the Christ, but I’m still, if He erases all of my guilt, I’m still somebody who doesn’t have what it takes. I need the help that can only come from Him. And He’s the only One that can help me to choose God’s will over mine, and He’s willing to give me the strength to do it.

And what God is wanting to say is, yes, there is a race to be run. There are things to overcome. There are choices to be made. There are young people. You’re looking at your life. What is it about? Is it just what you can get out of this life, or are you willing to just lay your life on the altar and say, God, I’ll go and do whatever You want me to do, and I’ll do it faithfully.

If You want me to be a carpenter, I’m gonna be a good one. I’m gonna be honest. Nothing wrong with that. But I’m willing to lay down my life. It does not belong to me. If your life belongs to you, you will lose it. But if your life belongs to Him, oh, think about what Paul said. I’m persuaded, “…persuaded that he is able to keep that which I have committed…” (KJV). I’ve given it to Him! I’ve given my life to Him! “I am persuaded that he is able to keep that which I have committed unto Him against that day.”

( congregational response ).

There’s coming a day, folks, when everything we have given to Him, when faith will become sight, and we’ll see. And there’s a faithful Lord who can bring us through all of the battles of this world. Every battle that you and I will ever have to face, we can still have the same sense that Jesus was conveying when He said, “…learn from me…and you find rest for your souls.” (NIV). There’s no other source for rest except being in harmony with the will of God.

You know, He uses the word take my ‘yoke.’ And of course, a yoke, to a human being, conveys something pretty negative. We know what it is when you yoke up an animal. The animal would love to just skip around and have fun, but a yoke places a restriction upon it. They become a servant. And they serve the purpose of the farmer, I guess. I’m not a farmer, so I haven’t seen much of this, but…anyway, you get the imagery that He’s conveying there.

Take My yoke. There will be a purpose. We have to take a restriction, a sense that I do not belong to myself, I am His servant. But yet, God wants us to see that not as a negative, I don’t get to do what I want and that’s bad, kind of thing, but that’s the very purpose for which I was called!

He’s calling me out of a world of bondage and sin and death. He’s called me to an eternal purpose, and the only way that can happen is if I’m willing to let Him have my life and become a servant to Him, a willing servant. And if I’m willing to say no to self and yes to Him, I’m gonna have a peace.

You know, the scripture that we often quote, Paul unlocks the Gospel in Romans. And he comes to the end of chapter 4, is it, I believe. And he has laid out the fact that righteousness, before God, comes about, not because we obey the law, and we’re good people and all of that, but because we put our faith in what He did. There’s, absolutely, a full and a sure foundation that God has laid, and just like Abraham was declared righteous, not because he did stuff but because he believed God, that becomes the foundation.

And the beginning of chapter 5 talks about, “Therefore…we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ.” (NIV). I’m forgetting part of the verse, but anyway, do you remember that part about having peace? There’s an interesting alternate translation of that. There’s a sense in that, that it’s not just some automatic thing. Yes, there is a state of peace when we surrender, but He wants us to have peace. In other words, let us have peace. Let us so live that, in our relationship with God, we actually enjoy the peace for which Jesus died.

And I think many of us, that’s where we miss out, because He goes into the fact that we have to put up with a whole lot, and we learn, and we grow. I forget the exact language, but you remember the passage about how one thing leads to another and winds up with a position of solid hope before God, when we’re willing to put up with the stuff that God has to use to teach us His ways. We actually learn.

And if we’re willing to just take Jesus’ view of everything and say, I’m here for a reason, I’m not here to live an earthly life and enjoy earthly benefits and just cater to my nature. I’m here to serve You, and whatever You call me to go through, You will be with me in it.

Not only that, whatever You call me to go through has the…is performing a necessary function. It is literally putting to death something that would, otherwise, keep me from being effective. So you see that even Jesus living 30 years of mostly obscurity was not without a reason, was it? God was preparing Him even then. It wasn’t just, okay, bide your time. Be patient. Just do your stuff. Live your life from day to day.

No. Every day, there were choices that He was having to make. Somebody said something mean. How do I react to it? Yeah, I mean, it’s just that simple. All the things…somebody wants me to cheat in business. No. I’m here to honor God. I’m here to do things right. My brothers and my sisters are mean to me. Well, praise God. Lord, give me the grace to love them. And He was learning, and He was growing. And then He received the power of God’s Spirit without measure to be able to do what He did. And then He wasn’t ready. What happened after that?

( congregational response ).

He was sent by the Spirit into the wilderness. Why? To be tempted by the devil. See, He still had to face down all that this world offers, all that His flesh desired. He had to say, no, I’m gonna do God’s will, and God’s gonna help me, God’s gonna strengthen me. And oh, when He died that way, God brought Him through, didn’t He? And He came back in the power of the Spirit. There was Somebody God could use.

I’ll tell you, if God just took us in our spiritually immature state and suddenly dumped a bucket of power on us, yeah, uh-oh is right. We would do all kinds of self-centered things. Look at me. Look what I deserved. Oh, God. We’re not here for that. We’re here to be channels of God’s life and God’s purpose to serve somebody else.

All the purpose of God is fulfilled, and guess what? When we’re in fellowship and harmony with others, God’s gonna anoint them to meet our needs. It’s just like the body. It’s all there to serve the whole. Every part of our body plays its specific role.

You know, I was thinking about these scriptures we pointed out in the life of Paul so many times. You look at 2nd Corinthians, I believe it is chapter 4? And that’s where he describes God’s amazing grace to him, that whereas the world has been darkened and lied to, and is blind because of Satan’s influence, God shined His light, and He shined it where it needed to be, not just in my mind, but in my heart. And He gave me the knowledge of His Son, basically, and what He’d done.

And so, that became the treasure that he sought. Oh, that was the thing that he valued above everything else in this world. I know Christ! And all the rest of this stuff is worthless. What else is there to live for except Him and this eternal purpose to which He’s called me? I’m here for a reason! I’m not just here to mark time and see what I can get for myself! I’m here to serve Him.

And then he began to serve the Lord. And, of course, there were years, actually, that it took before you really see him out in ministry. So again, there were the silent years. You suppose they were without purpose?

Are you in some silent years right now, and you’re wondering what this is all about? Just be faithful. Just look to God. Nothing that you and I go through, or that we experience, not just here in the service, but I mean tomorrow, the next day, the next day, nothing is without divine purpose.

If we can live our…live our lives with our eyes on Him, recognizing who we are in Him. We’re His children, folks. If you know Him, you’re His child. He’s a loving heavenly Father who’s trying to train us, stubborn and ignorant as we are. He’s doing what it takes to bring us to that place.

But what…the truth that Paul unlocks in that passage is what it took to be the person that God had called him to be, and it was one difficulty after another. You know I’m…I’m gonna look it up. I can’t recall all these things. Praise God! Very familiar scripture, though, we’ve heard it many times, but you see the context in which we’re dealing with this.

You think about a yoke. You think about what God has called us to do, and how He wants us to absolutely submit ourselves into His hands. But then he says, verse 7, “We have this treasure in jars of clay….” Why? Why would God put the treasure of His Spirit in bodies like this? He calls it the body of death. It’s a body that’s gonna die. God’s gonna do away with it one way or another. But why would He put that in here? It doesn’t make sense to our natural way of thinking, but why does He do that?

He says, “…to show that this all-surpassing power is from God and not from us. We are hard pressed on every side, but not crushed; perplexed, but not in despair; persecuted, but not abandoned; struck down, but not destroyed.” What in the world is that about? Why would God do stuff like that? Why would He allow those kinds of hard places?

“Take my yoke upon you and learn from me.” Remember how Jesus said…He called upon His people, long before He went to the physical cross, take my cross…take up your cross--take up your cross, and do what? Follow Me. The cross is an instrument of death. There’s stuff in every one of us that has got to die if we’re gonna be of any value to the Kingdom of God.

And so, here’s Paul going out in ministry, but listen to what he says about that, “We always carry around in our body the death of Jesus….” So, dying…living in this body and giving it to Him and laying it all down is not just something Jesus did. He calls every one of us to do the same thing in one fashion or another, to say we’re either gonna live for ourselves, or we’re gonna live for Him. Okay?

So that, “We always carry around in our body the death of Jesus…” Why? “…So that the life of Jesus may also be revealed in our body. For we who are alive are always being given over to death for Jesus’ sake…” Why? “…So that his life may also be revealed in our mortal body. So then, death is at work in us, but life…in you.”

That’s kind of opposite of human nature, isn’t it? How many people go around killing other people so that they can have what they want? I mean, that’s a pretty good extreme picture of what human nature is like. And here we are called to lay down an earthly life, we know we can’t keep, but we’ve got an eternal one in here that reflects God’s nature! It isn’t just reflected, it is God’s nature!

And that nature is to be a servant. It’s to give. It’s to love. It’s all those things, to share His life, divine life, with other human beings. What does it take to do that? Ah, do you think maybe God has to do some things in our lives to make that possible? He did in Paul’s, and that’s what Paul was expressing here. I know why this is happening. God’s got to put things to death in me in order for me to be able to help you.

So, how did Paul feel about that? See, you get back to what we talked about last week. How did he feel about that? Verse 16, “Therefore we do not lose heart. Though outwardly we are wasting away, yet inwardly we are being renewed day by day.” Do you, sometimes, feel like you’re wasting away? I think that some of us that are getting old feel that way sometimes. But I’ll tell you, whatever it takes, may God give us the grace to be His people, to take His yoke upon us, to be willing to learn from Him, to do it with understanding and with joy, because God has brought us, as I say, to the Kingdom for such a time as this.

What’s the purpose? Why are we here? We know why Jesus was here. Why are we here now? Are we here just to muddle through and huddle in a cave and wait it out and say, Jesus is coming soon. Praise God, we’re just gonna hide? Or are we here to be a channel of divine life in a world that is going the opposite direction as fast as it can go?

We know the future of this world. It’s gonna be destroyed. I’ll tell you, there’s no future in it, but oh, there’s a future here. “Though outwardly we are wasting away, yet inwardly we are being renewed day by day.”

Now, where does that come from? Ah, how in the world do I get renewed on the inside? What happens when something bad happens? I mean, when you’re going through a hard place, do we eat the box of chocolates, or do we go to God, and say, Lord, give me the grace to do what’s right, to keep a good spirit. Show me how to be the kind of person that You want me to be in this circumstance, because I don’t have it in me. I don’t even know what to do, let alone have the power to do it.

But oh God, just like Your Son had to cry out with strong crying and tears, and was heard, by the way, because of the heart that He expressed in doing that, God heard Him and gave Him what He needed. I mean, even going to the cross, what happened at the end of the prayer there? Do you remember what happened? Angels came and strengthened Him! Do you know there are angels that are sent to serve the heirs of salvation?

I wonder how many times angels have been used to help us. You know, God, from time to time, has opened the eyes of different people, right here, to see angels. They’re real. I’ll tell you what, God is faithful. But here is Paul talking about how, although all this was happening, he was being renewed, and now he shows us, again, his view of it. This is the same view that Jesus had.

“Our light and momentary troubles…” have no meaning, and we’ve just got to go through it. Wait a minute. It says they, “…are achieving for us….” They’re doing something. They’re not an accident. They’re not without reason. They’re not without purpose. If I’m gonna effectively serve God, God’s got to strike blows of death to those parts of me that would get in the way! And I’ve got plenty of them! But so do you. We need the Lord, don’t we?

( congregational response ).

Is He not faithful? They are, “…achieving for us…” What? “…An eternal glory…” Temporary and eternal, wow. “…That far outweighs them all.” It’ll be worth everything.

( congregational amens ).

“So…” What? “…We fix our eyes not on what is seen, but on what is unseen.” We don’t look at the storm! We look at the source of our help, and we say, God, there’s a reason for this, and You know it, and You love me. You’re doing this to set me free from something that would keep me from serving You.

And so, I just stretch forth my hands and say, Lord, I’m willing to die. Just help me. You’ve put this yoke on me, and I’m glad for it. I don’t want to be let loose to run in the pastures of this world and lose my life. I want to be Yours, because You’re taking me to a place that is certain and sure. I have signed on for something that is eternal, and it depends upon You. You’re the One who calls the end, who calls, “…things which be not as though they were.” (KJV).

Only God can do that, but He’s already done it. Folks, in God’s eyes, everything is done. We get to just believe in that, rest in that, cooperate with that. And you know what? Didn’t Jesus say you’ll find, what? Rest for you souls. That’s the only place I know where there’s any rest. As we rest in God’s heart and in His loving purpose and realize He knows what He’s doing, and He’s a merciful and loving heavenly Father.

And Jesus is a wonderful elder Bother who sits on that throne dispensing all the help that we need. “So we fix our eyes not on what is seen, but on what is unseen, since what is seen is temporary, but what is unseen is eternal.” Folks, if that’s not real to you, cry out to God.

I mean, you can’t see the Kingdom of God without being born again. There’s gonna have to be a real reckoning as to what your life is about, where you’re brought to, just like Paul was, like Saul as who he was at the time. God had to confront him and show him the reality of what he was and where he headed, and show him the reality of what God had done for him through Christ, call upon him to put his faith in what Jesus did and surrender!

And he did. And he was never sorry. From that day forward, it was one purpose for Paul’s life. “For to me to live is Christ, and to die is gain.” This is a no-lose proposition, as long as we follow God’s plan. If we’re here to go through the hard places, we’ve got the grace to do it. We don’t have to bellyache and complain and miss out…misunderstand what God’s doing. We can cooperate with it and find rest in it for our souls.

But oh, we know how the story ends. It’s not just a story. It’s an eternal purpose, and everyone who’s His, you’ve got a place in His Kingdom. You’ve got a place now. I’ll come back to this. We are not here without a purpose, and God has called us to live in this particular time in history, just as much He did His own Son, when He came in the fullness of time. It’s not that we’re something great in ourselves, but it doesn’t matter. If we’re His, we have a reason for being here.

And He cares as much about you as He does His Son. His Son is the pattern Son. What He did in Him, in His earthly life, He’s doing for us now. And He’s getting us all ready to stand there and to walk together with our God eternally, with Jesus as our elder Brother. Praise God! Praise God! I want to be a part of this, and I want to be on board so that I can actually enjoy the rest that He has promised. You will find rest for your souls. Thank God for the yoke. Thank God that He doesn’t just let me go my way. Praise God!

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