Your Kingdom Come: Conclusion
March 24, 2019
Transcript of message from TV Broadcast 1381 -- taken from Closed Captioning Text
— Brother Phil Enlow:
Jesus was a living embodiment of the Kingdom of God in this world. His life was devoted to doing the will of the Father, exactly what He tells us to pray.
But why would He tell us to pray that if that didn’t have personal implications for you and for me? What does God want from me? Does He want me to live a religious life style and claim citizenship in Heaven someday, or does He want me, in a real practical sense, to be an embodiment, if you will, an outpost, if you will, of the Kingdom of God operating in the world so that I’m no longer a citizen of this world?
It doesn’t mean I go live in a monastery somewhere. But it means within the context that God has allowed me to live, directed me to live, whatever you want to say, whether it’s in a home or school or a job or whatever it is, within that context, He wants to live in this world by living in me.
Now, how many of you here — of course, I know the answer to this, and so do you. How many of you here are full blown expressions of the Kingdom of God right now? No takers.
Do you see what we need to be asking God for? We need to be coming to Him and saying, oh God, this body, this earthly life has been purchased through the shedding of the blood of our Savior. You bought me. You own me. But the practical reality is there’s a lot of stuff in here that’s not quite subject to You like it’s supposed to be. Oh God, work in me. I want that rule. It’s not like I want You to fix everything out here. I want You to extend Your rule deeper into my heart and into my life.
See, now it becomes personal. Extend Your will and Your rule, Your loving rule, deep into my heart. You know, I started to quote that passage from Isaiah a while ago, and I stopped short. I guess the Lord stopped me short, I hope. But anyway, I stopped short of the character of that kingdom.
When he said a son is born and all of that, a child is born, what did he say? The government will be upon His shoulders. But then, after that he says, “Of the increase of his government and peace there shall be no end.” (KJV). You know what the hallmark of God’s government is when He truly possesses our heart? It’s peace.
That kind of goes along very well with what Jesus said. You know, take My yoke, and learn from Me, and you’ll find rest for your souls. Oh, how human beings think of being subject to somebody else is a bad thing, and yet, here God is trying to introduce the presence of His life that doesn’t grind us down and make us dirt. It sets us free from the things that would do that.
And the reality is, how much peace do you have? How much peace do I have on a practical level? What do people see? Here’s God establishing a kingdom in the earth. He’s not preaching the Gospel with angels. He sent His people to live in among men, and we are meant to be outposts of the Kingdom of God.
What is it that people see when they look at us? Do they just see people who profess a religion and practice it? Do they really sense the peace of God in us? Or are we full of strife, fear, anxiety, lust, greed, dissatisfaction, can’t get along with this one, can’t get along with that one, all these things that come out of human nature? What is it that they see? What practical…I mean, what kind of a spirit do we project when we are out and about?
Oh God, come. Lord, just come and reign in me. Boy, I’ll tell you, don’t you think that we wouldn’t even have to try if we’re out among people and He rules and reigns in here? We’re not even self-conscious or trying to do stuff. Don’t you think that the effect of just our spirit is going to affect people around us?
You know, you can go out and argue doctrine and philosophy and church ideas, all that kind of stuff all you want to. And you can even convert some people to that. What good is that if He is absent? We need the living presence of God in our midst or it’s not the Kingdom of God! It becomes the kingdom of men.
How many churches today that’s all it is? They’re preserving their way, their beliefs, their convictions, their order. Everything is all, man, we’ve got it, we’ve got it, we’ve got it. And like the church of Laodicea, Jesus is outside at best, knocking to get in, because what it’s about is not about all that stuff. It’s about Jesus coming and eating and drinking with us in the spirit, because we are works in progress.
Until everything here is subdued, we’ve got reason to pray this. Lord, I need Your rightful rule over my heart. If there are currents that are not peaceable, if there are currents that pull me in this direction and that direction, and it’s just — there’s strife, there’s conflict, all these things….
Oh God, I need, on an individual level, to be an outpost of Your Kingdom. It’s got to start there. We can’t just pray, oh God, in some vague sense, make it happen. Yeah, this is where it needs to happen.
But then, it’s not just an individualistic thing either. It’s not a separate kind of me running around under Jesus’ authority and disconnected with anything. God is building Him a house, isn’t He? We sing that song. And a house isn’t built out of scattered materials. A house is built with materials that are fastened together in appropriate order.
I’ll tell you, every single person that God has — I’ll deal with a local situation. Every single person in whom God lives, God made you a part of something that is part of His Kingdom. And we need to be an expression of that Kingdom.
Now, I’ll say this. The current issue of the paper was based upon a kind of edited version of a message I preached. My messages need a great deal of editing, rewriting and all that kind of stuff. But anyway, the original title I messed up when I put the paper together. I forgot the title. I just kind of had a brain whatever you call it. And the original title was “God’s Kingdom in the Home.”
And as I was thinking back, I said, you know, that was exactly — that flows exactly into what we’re talking about today, because you and I live in households, don’t we? If God’s kingdom doesn’t work in the household, what good is our profession? We’ve got stuff to pray about. We’ve got stuff to look in the mirror and say, oh God, am I really the subject you want me to be?
And I’m so glad that the answer to all of this is not to fix it and try harder. We have to continually say that, because that’s what human nature does. It’s to cry out and say God, I can’t fix it. But here is my heart. I invite You to come in and shine the light wherever You want to.
I’m glad He doesn’t do it all at once. But shine the light where it needs to be shined. Help me to humble myself when it does and to invite You to come in and be the ruler in that area and just subdue the enemies that are in here, Lord.
You know, one of the scriptures that I’ve thought about — I guess I’ll refer the course of this to a number, but one of them is in 1st Corinthians 15. And the chapter is about the resurrection, but in the process, it talks about Jesus as the One who, of course was, as we said, the first to be raised from the dead, and He’s the pattern and He has the new body now. We’ll get it then. But then, he says, “For he must reign until…” (NIV). What?
( congregational response ).
“...All of his enemies under his feet.” How many of you remember Brother Thomas using that scripture? And I think it is an application of it that’s right. It may not be the whole meaning of it, but it certainly is an application. You might feel like you’re the lowest part of the Kingdom of God. You’re the least worthy. You’re the one that — I don’t even know if I belong. I’m down on the — I’ve got to be on the bottom of His feet. I just hope He doesn’t scrape me off.
( laughter ).
But I’ll tell you, the reign of Jesus, not some future political thing — it’s going on now. The culmination of that reign, as we’ve pointed out many times, is what? The victory of the last enemy. The last enemy is death. When is that conquered?
( congregational response ).
When He comes and when death no longer rules over any of us, because He transforms us to be like His — He gives us a body like His. He must reign until He has put all enemies under His feet.
Does that not mean that His reign is happening now, and it’s meant to put our enemies under our feet? Because God has so connected Jesus with His church that when He uses the term Christ, He’s not just referring to Jesus Christ, He’s referring to the whole entity consisting of Christ and every single follower! We share a common life. We’re not the Head, but we are a part.
Every single person here is meant to be an expression of the Kingdom of God within the confines of your world! And the more His government and peace operates in you, there’s gonna be people who will see that. There’s going to be life that will not only make you feel peaceable, but it will flow out of you to others.
And I’ll tell you, there’s a light. There are people that God will open their eyes, and they will see that. Most will be blind, but there will be people who will see it.
Do we have needs in this area? Yeah. What about our homes? What about your home? What kind of a spirit is there? How much do we model what we tell our kids? Do they see the Kingdom of God operating in us? That doesn’t mean we’re gonna be perfect. But I’ll tell you, there’s gonna be a heart that says, oh God, let Your Kingdom come in me. Let Your will be done on earth as it is in heaven, with respect to me.
Of course, on a larger scale, it means the body of Christ in a functioning sense. I’ll tell you, you look into the scriptures and you look at how the church began. I’ll tell you, it began with a tremendous infusion of the Kingdom of God, the life, the power that came upon that early church.
And it’s not that we seek the feelings and experiences so much as we seek the King to come and be real with life-changing power. However He wants to express that, that’s His business! He’s the King! But we need the same reality they had that enabled Peter, as I said, to stand up and with great boldness preach!
But you remember what happened after that second sermon we have recorded when the man was healed, had been lame all of his life. They hauled him before the supreme council of the Jewish, the Jews religion, and…how did you do that? Who gave you authority to do this?
There is no other name under heaven given unto men whereby we must be saved. Boy, he looked them in the eye and told them the truth. And they’re looking at the guy, and they can’t say anything so they — but one thing they did do, they beat him and said, don’t you talk about this anymore. So, what did they do?
( congregation inaudible ).
Well yeah, they went out and talked about it, but what did they do first? They went back and reported all this to the people, to the church. What did they do? They said, oh, boohoo! Call your congressman!
( laughter ).
No, they called a prayer meeting, and the first thing they did was to lift up and confess who Jesus was. They confessed the sovereignty of God. They confessed His purpose. We understand, they were saying, why Jesus had to die. They did it, but You ordained it! And now, Lord, behold their threats, and give us boldness!
There’s so much in this. It’s not just, buck it up, guys. This is, we need divine infusion of life and power if we’re gonna be what we’re supposed to be. This is the Kingdom. Oh God, we have been challenged by the kingdom of darkness! Let the Kingdom of God rise in us and be who You are, so that Your purpose is accomplished! Stretch forth Your hand.
And what happened? There was a powerful infusion of life in that assembly of people. They went out, and man, they did the exact opposite of what the authorities said, and they couldn’t do a thing about it. It was just power on power.
Folks, that’s what we’re up against! We can’t debate people into the Kingdom of God! We are going to have to have the power! Paul spoke in one place about — he was writing to the Corinthians, and one of the issues was that there were some people there who were getting a little bit arrogant, and they were talking and they had their own opinions.
And one thing he said, “For the kingdom of God is not in word, but in power.” (KJV). It’s not in whose opinion is right, it’s in who’s got the power. I’m gonna come, and we’ll found out who has the power of God, because God is gonna give His power to people that operate under His rule, that are subject to the King and subject to His will and entirely engaged in what He wants. God, help us.
I’ll tell you, God, help us as a people. God, help us as a church. We are in far more danger than we think of simply carrying on the outward form of a legacy than having a measure of what we’re supposed to have.
But how many of you think this is all there is? No. So, what do we do about it? Do we cry out to God and say, God, You have given us so much that we have not even begun to tap into. Oh God, forgive our unbelief. Forgive those parts of us that pull in other directions and just want our way and want to have a comfortable religion where we have just enough to get by, but we really want to live our own lives.
Jesus talked about folks that were like that. He said, you can’t serve two masters. You know, He goes on to talk about the fact that people of the world, they’re all consumed with the things of the world. I need this. I need that. I’ve got to — that’s what drives their life.
He says, don’t you get it? Look at the lilies of the field. You think back to Solomon and all of his glory, the greatest king on the planet. And all of his glory didn’t compare to what God invested in a lily! You think He won’t take care of you? You know, which of you by taking thought can add one hour to his life? If you can’t do this simple thing, why do you worry about the rest? I mean, that’s exactly what he said.
But what did he say to do? “But seek first his kingdom and his righteousness…” (NIV). Now that’s not going out and trying to collar people and make them like you. I’ll tell you, if they don’t see something that draws them to want to be like you, we better leave them alone. I want people, when they come in here, to feel this is not just people: Jesus is here.
And He’s here because — He’s here to love me and to help me and to meet my needs right where I’m at. This isn’t conforming to a religion. This is meeting Jesus. We’ve got needs in our lives. We’ve got needs in our midst. Is His hand short? Can he no longer do the things that He did in the book of Acts?
It’s not that we’re seeking — again, I want to strike a balance where that doesn’t become the objective. The objective is Him being here, changing hearts and changing lives and changing us, living in us to the point where that’s what people see when they encounter us.
They don’t see a soul that’s just taken up with some conflict, and they’re just out with this one, and there’s no peace in their heart because they’re full of fear. They’re so full of all these things instead of just Jesus, ‘cause if that’s all there is, man, there’s gonna be peace. There’s gonna be peace that passes understanding.
We all experience things that make us anxious. I understand that, so does God. Of course, what is His prescription for that? If you’re anxious, don’t be anxious, but take those requests to the Lord with thanksgiving, and what? “And the peace of God, which passeth all understanding, shall keep your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus.” (KJV).
That’s His desire for you and for me today. This isn’t about going out and feeling good about ourselves and getting a spiritual pat on the back. This about saying, oh God, I need You and I want You. But I also get that You want me to want You, Lord. He’s not looking down His nose and saying what’s the matter with you stupid people? He’s reaching out because He knows we’re stupid.
( laughter ).
He knows we don’t get these things. He knows where we’re at. He’s been here! That’s why the throne is called a “Throne of Grace,” which means He’s very willing to give of Himself out of the riches of His grace to meet us right where we’re at.
And one of the interesting things to me is what He said to His disciples if you look at the Luke 12 version of that business about the lilies and Solomon and seeking first the kingdom. The very next verse says, don’t be afraid, “…little flock; for it is your Father’s good pleasure to give you…” — to give you — “…the kingdom.”
Folks, this world is perishing under Satan’s dominion. God has opened a way out, but we’re gonna have to come under the dominion and the rule, the loving rule, of the King. And my prayer for myself, my prayer for your individual life, my prayer for your home, for your job, for whatever your sphere of influence is, for this church, is that we will grow in our becoming that outpost of the Kingdom of God that He wants us to be, where the Lord will be sending people to us and causing them to cross our path because He lives in us, and He knows that He can help them! We can’t! But He can.
I’ll tell you, there’s no limit to what He can do with a people that will stop practicing their religion and just come and say, oh God, advance Your kingdom in my life. I need You today. I need You to help me move forward. I understand it’s not gonna happen all at once, but I don’t want to sit here and say, oh, it’s okay, or come bless what I do, because I’m doing the right stuff. It’s…God, I need You to take me and mold me and make me into what You want me to be.
You might even change the stuff that I do, but if it comes from You, that’s okay. So many religious people, and I’m afraid we’re not immune to it, think they have God in a box. We have defined the faith. Here it is. Come join it. God ain’t in your box or mine.
He meets people, not on the ground of our outward observance of whatever we think He’s saying. He meets hearts that are humbled and coming to Him in a contrite fashion and saying, oh God, I don’t know anything. I can’t do anything, but I come based upon Your heart and Your promise and Your provision for me. Just come and rule over this heart, and change me, and help me to live for Your will and not my own so that the spirit that emanates from me, the atmosphere of my life is more and more You and not me.
I’ll tell you, that’s what Jesus was telling us to pray. I’m glad His kingdom will come one day in its ultimate form. But the need right now is for us to take this, make this personal and present tense. Your Kingdom come in me, now. Your will be done on earth…
( congregation inaudible ).
…Yeah, and ‘in’ the earth, that’s right, as it is in heaven. The Lord knows how to take hearts that come to Him that way. Don’t be afraid — don’t be afraid — it’s your Father’s good pleasure to give you the kingdom. I pray that God will just take this simple prayer that’s become such a form and help us to realize what we’re really praying, what we need to be praying, and how we need to be aligning our hearts with what He’s saying. “Your kingdom come, your will be done on earth as it is in heaven.” (NIV). And I’ll tell you, He’ll get the glory, won’t He? Praise God!
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