TV Transcripts

“God’s Calendar” Conclusion
Broadcast #1605
July 9, 2023

Transcript of message from TV Broadcast 1605 -- taken from Closed Captioning Text

— Brother Phil Enlow: Anybody ever gotten to a point where you…all of a sudden there’s a season where you just can’t seem to feel the Lord’s presence at all? And all of a sudden, there’s some temptation that just comes and just won’t give up. Now it’s getting quiet. And you say, wait a minute. I thought I was over this! And here it is, again, I’m having to fight that battle.

Well, who in the world sent the devil to do that? Do we not think that God is in control? Is there not a need? I’m talking about me! I’m talking about all of us. There are things that happen in our lives that we do not understand at the time and we would not choose for that to happen. But God knows what He’s doing! I need Him to come and to do things in me that I cannot do for myself.

You know, you think about young people growing up, and we who are, at least, relatively grown up, we kind of have an idea what it takes to be an adult in this world. But you know, a young person, what do they want to do? Most of them…what do they want to do? They want to play. You know, I’ve got all these abilities, and I love to do this and I love to do that. None of that crazy algebra. History, who cares about history, that’s over.

And over and over again, you’ve got this, I don’t want to do that, that doesn’t make any sense. Why should I have to learn this? Why should I have to learn that? None of you’ve ever thought that, right? We were all there once too. But you know, we’re adults, we kind of have an idea what it takes. That yeah, you’ve got to develop your mind. You’ve got to develop your ability to think. You’ve got to develop a sense of responsibility, of being able to handle things, and be faithful at them, and how you interact with other people.

You know, growing up is not without purpose. Yes, thank God, there are times to play! I’m glad there are. And there are times just to rest and enjoy ourselves, but there are other times when it’s hard work. And we need to be willing to do both. But don’t you see that there’s a parallel in our spiritual lives that God is trying to grow us up. He knows what we need. And I’ll tell you, I want to be on board with whatever season the Lord has me in, don’t you? And I don’t want to be dismayed by it.

You know, there was a time, obviously, when Israel was being prepared to go into the land. It wasn’t time. He didn’t say, all right, you know what your destiny is, go for it. Every single step was very carefully orchestrated according to God’s calendar. Moses had to pass off the scene. Joshua had to be encouraged over and over and over and over again, don’t be afraid, don’t be dismayed. Don’t…you know, I’m with you. Don’t worry about it. You know, stick close, trust Me. I won’t leave you.

And over and over again, he gets this reassurance, because now the season is changing. He’s gonna get the people ready. They’re gonna go across. And even then, there was a reestablishing of the covenant, wasn’t there? And even then, he wasn’t ready! How many of you remember what happened after that? He walks out and he sees a man with his sword drawn. And so, he goes up to the man and says, are you for us or for our enemies? Remember what the answer was? Neither. Wait, what?

( laughing ).

Who are you then? What’s your place in this whole thing going on? This is an earthly battle. We’re gonna be going up against these walled cities. It says, “…but as captain of the host of the Lord am I now come.” (KJV). I’m here. There’s another army. All you think about is your army, but there’s another army involved.

How many of you realize that in the battles you fight in your life, there’s another army involved? Do you think that army is better than the one you’re up against? Doesn’t the scripture say, “We wrestle not against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers…the rulers of the darkness of this world.”

Thank God, we don’t go up against them all alone! But we realize, we’ve come to realize as the Lord teaches us that we are never alone in any season of our lives. I don’t care if you go through a time when everything seems dark, and you can’t seem to contact God. There are conflicts on the outside. You’re struggling on the inside. You’re full of doubt. You’re fighting it off. You know you shouldn’t feel that way but you do anyway. Every one of us, every child of God goes through seasons like that.

Now, is that just an accident? Or do you think God puts us in those places so that we can learn some things. You know, I read the last two or three chapters of Joshua in my reading today. And, it made an interesting comment about the people who listened to Joshua’s last remarks and agreed, yes, we’re gonna serve the Lord. And what happened? They did serve the Lord until that generation died out and then things went sideways.

But, one thing it said about those who served the Lord, they were the ones who had seen what God had done. I’ll say something else again, that I’ve said many times. God wants to take our theology and burn it into our lives as personal experience. And if you want to know why God’s doing what He’s doing in your life, right now, that’s what it is.

He wants us to not just come to church and know what we’re supposed to say and do. He wants it to be burned into our hearts as experience where we can say, well, like the expression we have, been there, done that, got the t-shirt. Now, I don’t want to say that in a silly way. But you know what I’m talking about. God wants children who are experienced enough to be able to stand up in this dark hour and be a light for Him, and be a functioning member of the Body of Christ.

( congregational response ).

We are going to have seasons, folks. We’re gonna have times when things are not gonna be to our liking. And you see it over and over again, in the writings of David. Things that we’ve…how many Psalms does he have that are full of praise, and God’s with me, and oh, what a wonderful victory we just experienced!

And yet you have others, you know, like the one we’ve used so many times in Psalms 13, “How long, Lord?” (NIV). How long am I gonna keep praying and nothing happening, nothing’s changing, Lord. Are You listening? Are You there? These are honest emotions that David felt at that particular time. And God had him in that season. It was on God’s calendar for him to be experiencing that.

And yet, in the midst of that, we see him, ‘but I trust in Him.’ That’s what God’s looking for…is for faith to rise up and say, I will not yield to what the devil is trying to accomplish in this time of testing, this particular season. I’m gonna stand and trust God regardless of whether the sun is shining or it’s raining, or it’s stormy, or it’s nice.

I thought of Psalm 31, there’s…there’s a lot here, I’m not gonna try to read it all. But, David is writing, it says, “In you, Lord, I have taken refuge; let me never be put to shame; deliver me in your righteousness. Turn your ear to me, come quickly to my rescue; be my rock of refuge….”

So David’s obviously not sitting there, you know, sipping iced tea, is he, in a comfortable place? He’s in a bad place. He’s in a place where…God, if You don’t come and help me, I’m a goner here. I need You, Lord. And I’m putting my hope in You, but I need you right now.

“Turn your ear to me…” Well, “Since you are my rock and my fortress, for the sake of your name lead and guide me. Keep me free from the trap that is set for me, for you are my refuge. Into your hands I commit my spirit….” Anybody recognize those words? They were uttered by our Savior on the cross. I wonder if maybe He was the inspiration behind David writing this in the first place. And then, He took His own words and spoke them out as an expression of faith right there on the cross for you and me.

“…Deliver me, Lord, my faithful God.” And he goes on and talks about, you know, how against he is, all these other people and all that they’re doing. Verse 9, “Be merciful to me, Lord, for I am in distress; my eyes grow weak with sorrow, my soul and body with grief. My life is consumed by anguish and my years by groaning; my strength fails because of my affliction, and my bones grow weak.” How many of you know that’s part of living a life serving God? Somehow, we imagine that, yeah, we got to come through some of this, but there is a place where we just…

( exhaling ).

…From here on it’s just gonna be smooth sailing and comfortable living. There are always going to be seasons when God is going to allow things to happen in our lives, to intrude, because maybe it’s time for the fire again. He’s been shaping and working on us. Now it’s time to go back into the fire. And when that time is over, He’s gonna pull us back out, and then maybe there are gonna be some of those times when we get to be in the pleasant pastures and the still waters. We’re gonna experience some of that too. Isn’t the Lord good to us? Praise God!

So anyway, he goes on and talks more about the situation he’s in, the conspiracies. And then he puts a ‘but’ in there. Thank God. “But I trust in you, Lord; I say, You are my God. My times are in your hands.” Isn’t that a good place for us to be?

When we think about things that happen in our lives, the seasons that we go through, don’t ever forget, God has got you on His calendar. He has scheduled every part of your life in such a way that you’re gonna arrive exactly the way He has designed you in the beginning, for that purpose. He is gonna continue to work until the day of Jesus of Christ, which by the way, is on His calendar. Praise God!

Oh, I’ll tell you, every…I know there are many of us here that say, oh God, hurry up. This is a miserable world to live in and it’s getting worse by the day. I’ll tell you, God still is reaching people. I find myself saying, oh God, let them bomb us to hell and then just…you know, we’ll be…not to hell, but I mean, bomb us.

( laughter ).

And put it…just end it all, then we won’t have to live here anymore. And then I have to say, Lord, I’m sorry, I know You’ve got people that You’re still trying to reach. Your heart is bigger than that. I know that You’re gonna…I know that You’re reaching the souls that You’re gonna reach, and I pray for them.

Not only that, even though it’s not comfortable, I want to be an instrument in that regard. I want to realize I’m not here for no reason. I’m not here as part of this world. And even when You design seasons and times for me that I wouldn’t choose, when you allow the enemy to attack, for example, You do it because You love me. You do it because there’s a reason. And even more important, You’re right there, every moment. And not only that, remember the lessons we’ve used so many times in the past. Whose battle really is it?

( congregational response ).

It’s the Lord’s battle. It’s not just like we’re disconnected and He’s there shouting encouragement to us. We are so connected that for the Devil to attack us, he is attacking the Lord. If God allows Goliath to step up in your path, does He not want you to remember the lesson of David? And remember, hey, this is not my battle, this is the Lord’s battle.

Now, He’s called me to have a part in it, and to cooperate, and to believe in Him. But, when I step forth, and I take a stand in the Lord, the Lord’s here! This is His battle. He is fighting a battle for every single member of the Body of Christ, every single one that He has called into His kingdom. He is absolutely…there’s an army that’s been sent from Heaven to bring every one of His home.

You know, it talks about how the fact when Jesus comes, angels are gonna come and take us by the hand. Those angels are here right now! If our eyes were opened, we could see them right here. There are angels here right now. You know, the Lord has…there have been a few occasions in the past where the Lord has allowed someone to open…to see that, and to know we’ve been worshiping the Lord and they see angels all around us worshipping, and their eyes have been open to that. But that’s real, whether we see it or not.

God wants a people who will absolutely say, God, I thank You I’m on Your calendar. I thank You that You’ve got my life all planned out. I just want to be…Lord, whatever You put in my path today, help me to know that You’re with me.

You know, there are so many things…I mean, there’s nothing new I’m really saying this morning. But, I just feel like the Lord wanted in emphasize this for some particular reason, because maybe you’re in a season that you don’t understand, and you don’t like. I think there are not much “maybes” to that. I think there are a lot of us that would rather things be different in our lives. But we need to learn to trust God.

You know, I thought about how James exhorts us, in one place, in Chapter 5. It says, is anybody afflicted? What are you supposed to do if you’re afflicted?

( congregational response ).

Pray. Right. Anyone afflicted? Let them pray. So, then we have a place to go. We have a source of help that God wants to absolutely put something in our path that causes us to have to stop and say, wait a minute, I need help. I can’t handle this…oh God! Just like David was doing here.

“Is any merry?” (KJV). That tells me there are times when we have a joy, that we can just…we can enjoy the Lord, and feel good, and feel His presence. What are we supposed to do? Sing psalms or praise God!

“Is any sick among you?” Then he gives the instruction. But it says, pray for one another. You know, I believe many times we have brothers and sisters here who are…on God’s calendar, they’re going through a time of real difficulty and strife. And yet, somebody over here is in a time of peace. What are we supposed to do? Are we disconnected? Many times, there are people who are in such a dire place that they can’t even hardly pray for themselves. Anybody here ever been like that?

( congregational response ).

Things were so tough…you couldn’t, it’s almost like you couldn’t pray. Do you think there wasn’t any prayer going up? You see, God has others who can step into that gap and pray. And then when you’re going through your season, there are gonna be others that God will raise up to pray. And everybody…everybody works together.

Now, you think about how connected we are. If your foot has something that goes really seriously wrong with it, do you look down and say, what’s the matter with you, get straight here? You know, like we’re separate somehow. No! My whole body rallies to that. It cares about it, sends nutrients to it. Obviously, you cater to it a little bit.

But I’ll tell you, God has put the body together in such a way, that no matter what the seasons of life, that we could help one another, we could look to God, and we could see God accomplishing the things, the purposes for which He has put us on His calendar. Are you on His calendar right now? I’m so thankful I am. I’m so thankful He’s already written the story of my life. Thank God! Praise the Lord!

You know, I thought about we sang that song, “Standing on the Promises.” That’s a good thing to do, isn’t it? You know, I told you about what my Dad used to say sometimes. He would ask the question, are you standing on the promises or are you sitting on the premises?

( laughter ).

You can see where I got my silly sense of humor. But there’s a truth in that, isn’t there? God didn’t call you to come here and just sit as a spectator. He called every one of us to be participants in the Kingdom of God. And God has put you on His calendar because He loves you, and has a purpose for your life. And He wants you to come to Him and recognize that.

Do you see, even in David’s distress there, how he recognized…but I’m trusting in You, Lord. I’m looking…my times are in Your hand! Think about Job, who said, when He has tried me…the Lord, “…knows the way that I take; when He has tested me, I will come forth as gold.” (NIV).

I’ll tell you, we’ve got somebody who knows what He’s doing. When He puts us on His calendar, He’s accomplishing something eternal. And I want to surrender to Him. I want to be, you know, like Peter says, humble myself under the mighty hand of God, that He would lift me up at the proper time. You see, the times and seasons part there? There are seasons where all I need to do is just humble myself under His hand, because there’s going to come a time on His calendar when, all right, that season has accomplished its purpose, now we can do this, now we can do that.

I don’t know what purposes God has for our individual lives, but we need to live with this knowledge. We need to consciously say, God, I am on Your calendar and show me where I’m at. You know, Sister Merilea sent me something that she had written recently, and she made reference to a vision that I guess I had forgotten about, that was given many, many years ago.

And best I recall the details, it was a picture of a very dark mountain and there were people who were climbing it. And right where they were at, there was light. And that light shone just a little ways up the path that they were on. And guess what? They walked in that light and when they got to the end of the light…see, the light didn’t show the whole path, did it? God knows what He’s doing.

But when they came to the end of where the light stopped, what did they do? What are you supposed to do when that happens? Work it out! Hurry up! Make something happen! No! You stop, and you wait, and you pray. And when God extends the light, okay, now I can see, now I can put my foot forward.

I’ll tell you, God is gonna take us through times and seasons of His wise and loving choosing. And we can rest in His arms and look to Him. Yes, there will be times of distress, that’s part of it. There’s so much in me that needs killing, that needs the hold that it normally would have upon me loosened to where I stop listening to my old nature and I start trusting in Him, and looking to Him. He knows how to make that happen. I want Him to make that happen.

And I want to find that place where I am walking in His light, I’m looking to Him, I’m waiting for the proper time to move forward. Sometimes, that’s the issue. I want to move, I’m anxious to do something. You know, some people are more that way than others. But oh, there has to come a time when I am so trusting in God, willing to be shaped by His purposes and His loving hand, and I just want to say, God, I want to live my earthly life according to Your schedule.

Help me to be so in touch and in tune with You that that happens, because if we’re pulling and pushing…you know, a lot of our distress comes from our own efforts and our own fussing about stuff, instead of saying, Lord, I trust You. I want to rest in Your purpose. It doesn’t mean some things won’t be hard. But we know that He’s promised to be with us, to the end of the age, and I’m so thankful.

And oh, there is coming a time, it’s not just the calendar of our individual lives, there is coming a day when everything here will be over, not just for us individually, but for everyone. May God carry us through, but give us that kind of heart that says, Lord, I’m yours. Now I guess I’m saying the same things over again. But, Lord, help me to live according to Your calendar, and to know that You’re in charge. Praise God! Praise God!

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