TV Transcripts

“What is Your Life About?” Conclusion
Broadcast #1645
April 14, 2024

Transcript of message from TV Broadcast 1645 -- taken from Closed Captioning Text

— Brother Phil Enlow: Paul, as I said, was here for one purpose. After he met Christ, there was only one thing that he lived for. Lord, what do You want me to do? I do not belong to myself anymore. I belong to You.

And I’m gonna ask you the question—ask a question again. Do you really think that this is only for Paul? Or, does that not apply to every member of the Body of Christ?

We’re not all apostles, obviously! We’re not all anything. We have all the variety of gifts and abilities that God has distributed, but these principles apply to everyone.

Didn’t Paul write, I think in one of the Corinthian letters? “…Ye are not your own? For ye are bought with a price: therefore glorify God in your body, and in your spirit, which are God’s.” (KJV).

What are you seeking? What’s your life about? What’s the driving vision and burden that you have for your life? Where do you see yourself going and for what reason? These are serious questions, aren’t they?

( congregational amens ).

They’re ones we need to ask ourselves. On one level, this is a question that has eternal ramifications for someone who has never really, really surrendered to Christ. But there are ramifications for every single believer.

Why do we do what we do? You can do the right thing for the wrong reason. And we need to understand. You know, I mentioned…I’m sure I mentioned it here, but where I grew up, we often had messages that were geared to the young people to get them to come to the place where they’re willing to surrender their lives.

It’s not just a matter of coming to a place of salvation, but…because the truth is, how can you have one without the other? But still, the emphasis was basically, you’re standing at the crossroads of life. Where is your life going? What’s it gonna be about? Are you going to surrender your life to Jesus Christ, to do His will, or are you just gonna keep doing yours?

And of course, many times, the emphasis was on, are you willing to be a missionary if God calls you to be that? Or, are you willing to be a minister? There was all of that in there. But the basic principle, the basic center of all of that was, are you willing to do God’s will?

I’ll ask you that today. Is that the governing principle of your life? God, it’s not my life! What do You want me to do? What do You want me to be? How do You want me to live? Change me at the heart level! Impart to me the very ability to do what You’ve called me to be!

Is there anything else that can be called real Christianity? And the answer is no. We’ve got a lot of churchianity in this country. Thank God He has a people in spite of it, that He knows that are His. But my God, don’t we need Him? Don’t we need to have a purpose in our lives that goes beyond living a comfortable okay life, not getting into trouble, not doing a whole lot of bad stuff? Young people, what’s your purpose? Where are you going? What do you want in life? You have to face that.

( congregational amens ).

Have you ever met Jesus? Has He ever taken possession of your heart? Because it’s not a matter of just you trying to conform to what I say. God, help you. It could never be that. I’m in need of the same salvation you are.

But on the off chance that Jesus is actually inspiring some of this, these are His words, not mine. And they’re not spoken to try to be a tyrant in your life. They’re not spoken out of any ill motive, but out of pure love because of what He has…what Jesus died to share with every one of us.

Now, the outworking of that is the polar opposite of human nature. It could not be more opposite than what God has called every single Christian to. It’s not about you. It’s not about me, in the sense that we usually think of it. It’s not about what I can have, what I can do, how I can be seen in the eyes of others, how well I can think of myself, none of that. God, deliver every single one of us from that kind of self-centered thinking.

Here was Paul, knowing that in order to do the will of God, he had to be willing to go out and suffer the things that he suffered. He had to be willing to be hated everywhere he went. There were going to be people that were inspired by the devil to absolutely oppose him, to have him beaten, to have him thrown in prison, to have…have him stoned one time, left for dead. On and on and on, there was constant pressure.

Boy, we don’t like that. We think something is wrong. How many of you have been tempted to think that something is wrong? Here, I’ve been asking God for more, and instead, all hell breaks loose. And I’ve had nothing but trouble.

Yeah, I see a lot of people who said, yeah, I get it. I’d have to raise my hand, too. It’s awful easy. See, that’s human thinking. What we ought to be saying is, thank God. If we’re stirring up the devil, if he’s upset, he has a reason to be upset. That’s a cause for rejoicing for saying God is hearing, and He’s answering my prayer, and the devil is scared, “…because greater is he that is in you, than he that is in the world.”

And the devil knows that! He doesn’t want me to know it! He doesn’t want a people who are in touch with Him, doing His will, knowing that if we’re gonna go through the doors He opens, we’re gonna meet with warfare.

There are all kinds of things going on where the devil has…and the devil will pull on every opening that he has in any life. He does it, “…to steal and kill and destroy.” (NIV).

You remember when Jesus was about to go the cross, He said the devil, “…is coming. He has no hold over me.” Why? Because every part of His being was surrendered to the will of God. There was no way that He could get to…to Him, to Jesus. I wish we could say that about us, but that’s what the Lord’s working on.

You know, the things that the devil has marshalled against us, or he marshals against us when we’re going through some of these times of reaching out for more. Sometimes it’s just temptation. Are there weaknesses that the devil’s just had an extra…put an extra bit of emphasis on the last little bit? Would you admit it?

( congregational response ).

There are weaknesses that the devil still probes and still works on. And all of a sudden you wonder why he’s putting a little more effort into that? Yeah, he’s scared. But God lets us experience battles so that we can experience victory.

There’s an old chorus that I remember hearing many, many years ago. And…’how can we be overcomers unless we overcome?’ Somehow, we want to be shadow boxers, learn the theory, and man, I’m an overcomer.

But, to be an overcomer means there are real battles to be fought. There is a real enemy that we need to stand up against and overcome! And the Lord is putting us through the paces. We’re gonna see him pulling…because he has a hold on a certain life, you’re gonna see the devil rise up in varying ways. We’re gonna need the Lord. We’re gonna need to pray. We’re gonna need to look to God for strength and for discernment.

But God is gonna use the battles that He puts us through to make us into the very thing that He wants us to experience. And we are going to see, as I said, people are either going to listen to the devil and walk away, because of his deception, or we’re gonna wake up and be part of the Kingdom of God and part of…and someone that God can actually use.

Now, Paul was somebody that God could use. His life was laid down. It’s not mine anymore, it’s Yours, Lord! He talks about a great door being opened! To whom does God open doors…the kind of door he’s talking about here? There is an opportunity for advancement of the Kingdom of God, and here it is, Paul.

So, what did Paul do with that? Of course, he went through it, didn’t he? He absolutely responded to God! And he went through that door knowing that there would be opposition, knowing that he was walking into a battle! But he said, this is the whole reason I exist. This is the meaning of my life. It’s not mine.

You remember the Scripture in Revelation in one of the letters to the Philadelphia Church, about how the Lord said, I open, and no man can shut. I shut and no man can open. You know, we talked recently about how this entire existence is a process of God working out a sovereign purpose. He has His times. He has His ways. He has what He wants to accomplish, when He wants to accomplish it, through whom He wants to accomplish it, and He is the one opens doors and closes them.

Sometimes, there are seasons for waiting! Sometimes, there are seasons for going through a door! Folks, it’s not our plans, it’s not our ability. It’s not anything but simply saying, God, show us what to do. Give us the power to do it.

( congregational amens ).

And give us the conviction to go through knowing we are going into battle! Lord, help us. We can’t do anything without You. But the only thing that will matter on that day is what I’m talking about now! You can amass everything in the world, and it will all be burned up and worthless! But the simplest saint who says here’s my life, use it, and God literally touches other people’s lives through that life, that will have eternal value.

What’s your life about? Do you know that God has a purpose for your life and yours and yours and mine? It’s to say, Lord, I don’t even know what to do. I don’t want to live for just an earthly purpose. Lord, I just give myself to You, and I don’t have any ambition in this. I don’t have any…it’s not a matter of me seeking a place or trying to be this or trying to be that. It’s just, Lord, whatever, I’m Yours.

And then, having Him work and change and deliver us from that drive of self-seeking. And we’re gonna have to go through stuff that will cause us to have to die, to let go, to face things that we don’t want to face about ourselves, all the things that we’ve talked about so many times.

But God is going to mold a people that will be able to do, along the same lines as what Paul did, not necessarily being an apostle and doing those kinds of things, but we are called to be members one of another. Every single one of us has something that is from heaven for the rest.

As I thought about this, I thought again about the point that I made a little bit ago, of how easy it is to think of deeper life as just a private, personal thing. Again, think back to what we’ve referred to Philippians 3 where Paul was talking about one thing I do, and oh, my goal in life is to be this high eagle Christian.

But why? What purpose is there in that? Is it just so I can be a Christ-like person? Is it just about me and my spiritual advancement and achievement? Is that what this is really about?

But how easily do we think of it in those terms. Why did Jesus come? For Himself, to be a great somebody? He came to be a servant. He endured everything He endured, not for what He could achieve, not for what He could be, but for what He could give us.

Can you think of anything anymore contrary to human nature? See, you could actually appeal to some people and say, oh, just come and be this super Christian. But you start throwing in the second half of that, “…and there are many who oppose…,” and you realize it’s not just a smooth, easy way.

Okay, Lord, I don’t really like it much, but I guess if that’s what it takes. “…All things work together for good…” you know, to those who love God. I’ll put up with it so I can be what You want me to be. If that’s all there is, that stops way short of God’s purpose for your life and for mine!

Again, why did Jesus do what He did? Why did He put up with this? Why did He suffer and die and put up with everything He had to put up with to do what He did? Why did He do it? Was it for Him or for us?

Oh, you know, I can do a lot, I can go through a lot if it benefits me. That’s the amazing thing when you think about Paul. You think about some of the things that he said. I guess I’m just referring to them, but you want to go back…you want to back up in Philippians. I’ll go ahead and look at a couple of those things.

You cannot read Philippians 3 and that all Paul sought to do and to be without it being in the context of what he said in chapter 1! Now this case, where was Paul when he wrote this? Now, you’re afraid to say, aren’t you?

( laughter ).

He was in prison. Now, he was in prison in Rome writing to the Philippian believers. And some of them were tempted to be timid about their faith, because look what it gets you. Paul is cautioning them don’t you dare give into that, because I’m not here living for me. This is not about what happens to me.

Let’s see, verse 20. “I eagerly expect and hope that I will in no way be ashamed, but will have sufficient courage so that now as always Christ will be exalted in my body, whether by life or by death. For to me, to live is Christ and to die is gain.” (NIV).

Now, again, you could read that and say, Paul had this vision of what he could become. It’s about me and my relationship, and I’m going to have this glorious love fest with God, and that’s what it’s about.

Is that what it was about? You go on a little bit, and he says, “If I am to go on living in the body, this will mean fruitful labor for me.” Oh boy, more work! “…This will mean fruitful labor for me. Yet what shall I choose? I do not know! I am torn between two: I desire to depart and be with Christ, which is better by far; but…,”

Ha! There’s a good but, isn’t it? You see what’s in control there? This is what I would like. How many of you would just love to have this be over? You know, you go through times, and you say, God, what a burden life is here, and what You have for me is so much better. You can just come and end it right now if You want to. Take me on. You can see that yearning in Paul, the realization of what lay ahead.

“But it is more necessary for you that I remain in the body.” Why did Paul do what he did? Why did he put up with all the stuff that he put up with? Because Paul wasn’t living for himself. Paul was living for the people to whom he was sent. It wasn’t about Paul. It was about allowing the Spirit of God, the life, the power of God to flow through Paul so that others could be helped and lifted up.

Is that revolutionary? Is that why we’re living? Yeah, we’ve got a ways to go, if we’re gonna grow up in the Lord. I believe there’s a measure of that. Thank, God. But I believe that our thinking…if we’re gonna start thinking about deeper life and higher ground and all of that, we need to see what that higher ground involves. If it’s not about me laying down my life so that life can flow to others, it’s not higher ground.

( congregational amens ).

It’s not the ground that He has set forth for us. I thought of an old hymn. I can’t remember whether…whether we’ve ever sung this here or not, but I know I sung it growing up. Anybody know the hymn, “Channels Only”? I guess we haven’t sung it then.

( laughing ).

But anyway, this is a pretty good expression of God’s purpose. “How I praise Thee, precious Savior, that Thy love laid hold of me; Thou hast saved and cleansed and filled me that I might Thy channel be. Channels only, blessed Master, but with all Thy wondrous pow’r flowing through us, Thou canst use us every day and every hour.” That’s the chorus.

“Just a channel full of blessing, to the thirsty hearts around; to tell out Thy full salvation, all Thy loving message sound. Emptied that Thou shouldest fill me, a clean vessel in Thy hand; With no pow’r but as Thou givest graciously with each command.” Wow! Powerful words that capture it.

“Witnessing Thy pow’r to save me, setting free from self and sin; Thou who bought me to possess me, in Thy fullness, Lord, come in. Jesus, fill now with Thy Spirit hearts that full surrender know; that the streams of living water from our inner man may flow. Channels only, blessed Master, but with all Thy wondrous pow’r flowing through us, Thou canst use us every day and every hour.”

Why did Paul do what he did? Do we kind of see it a little deeper? Is that what we want? I believe God is calling. And I tell you, when He opens a door and we go through it, don’t expect to be unopposed. Don’t be afraid. Ask God for the courage. Think about the Israelites and all they had to face and what the Lord told them. Be courageous. Don’t give up. Don’t be afraid. Oh, by the way, be courageous.

( laughing ).

He knows what we’re made of. But folks, if you’re looking for a trouble-free way to the Kingdom of God, you’re in the wrong kingdom. The devil is going to oppose. It is a warfare, but it is one where the war has already been won at the cross.

( congregational amens ).

Thank God, and greater is He that’s in us than he that’s in the world. If we will put our trust in Him, and lay down our lives for Him, He will work, and He will accomplish His purpose, but we’ll also be part of it. That’s where He’s going with all of this. May God continue His work in us to take us to whatever deeper ground and higher ground that He wants. Praise God!

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