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A Life of Dependence

In Touch / Charles Stanley
The Truth Network Radio
February 26, 2022 12:00 am

A Life of Dependence

In Touch / Charles Stanley

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Welcome to this weekend's In Touch Podcast with Charles Stanley. Is it up to you to live the Christian life until you get to heaven?

If you believe the answer is yes, that might be a reason you feel so frustrated. Today's podcast teaches you to thrive through a life of dependence. Would you turn, please, to Philippians chapter 4, and I want us to begin reading in verse 9 and reading through verse 13, continuing our series on the life that wins and the title of this message. The life that wins is a life of total dependence upon Jesus Christ. Philippians chapter 4, beginning in verse 9. And Paul is talking here to the Philippians about the way they have helped him, and he says, Those things which you have both learned and received and heard and seen in me, do them.

And the God of peace shall be with you. But I rejoiced in the Lord greatly that now at the last your care of me hath flourished again, wherein you also were careful, but you lacked opportunity. Not that I speak in respect of want, for I have learned in whatever state I am therewith to be content. He says, I know how to be abased, and I know how to abound everywhere and in all things. I'm instructed both to be full and to be hungry, both to abound and to suffer need. He said, I know how to enjoy life when there's plenty.

I know how to enjoy life when there is not plenty. Then he says in verse 13, I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me. Let me read that verse in the Amplified New Testament. It says, verse 13, I have strength for all things in Christ who empowers me.

I am ready for anything and equal to anything through him who infuses inner strength into me. So I want to share with you about four things this morning about this whole idea of total dependence upon Jesus Christ. The principle of living a life of total dependence simply says this, that Jesus Christ has provided all of man's needs. Jesus Christ has provided all our needs, and man is inadequate to fulfill God's purpose apart from Christ.

It's really simple. He says that Christ has provided all of our needs and apart from our dependence upon him, you and I will never be able to fulfill God's purpose for our life because in the garden, man fell. He lost his relationship. He lost his fellowship with the Lord God Almighty. And Jesus Christ came into this world to restore us onto a position that we lost in the Garden of Eden. In the garden, man had everything he would ever need because he chose to sin against God.

He lost it all. When Jesus Christ came, he came to live within you and me to restore us to that relationship whereby, listen, God, who was the total resource in the garden, is still the total resource. Now, not God walking in the garden, but God walking in humanity, living in and through you and me.

That is the life of dependence. The life that wins is the life that is available for Christ, not in heaven, but Christ on Earth through the Holy Spirit to live his life in us and through us all the days of our life. And I want to show you how he illustrates this principle all the way through scriptures. So let's look here, first of all, in Philippians for a moment. And let me notice with you about two or three scriptures here. First of all, Paul says, I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me.

He didn't say he could do everything. He said, I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me. And Paul is the one under the inspiration of the Holy Spirit who coined the phrase in Christ.

Christ in me, I and him. When Paul said I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me, he was speaking of the indwelling Christ energizing and providing everything that Paul would ever need. In the same chapter, look, if you will, in the 19th verse. But my God shall supply all your need according to his riches in glory by Christ Jesus. But you see, you and I must recognize that isn't God up there doing something down here.

It is God in here doing within us all that we need. So if you'll notice in the first chapter of Philippians, look there for a moment, if you will. And look in verse 21. Here's had totally convinced that Paul was that the life that wins is a life of dependence. He says in verse 21 for me to live is for Christ to live and for me to die.

He says is my game. He was simply saying to us that we're to so live our lives and allow him to live his life in us. That for us to live is for Jesus Christ to be walking around in your human body. You indwelt and filled and overflowing with the very life of Jesus Christ.

Let me show you something. In the New Testament, for example, when Jesus was describing the relationship of a man to Christ, he said he's like what? He's like a branch that has been grafted into the vine. He says in verse five, he says, apart from me, you can do nothing that we don't really believe that we say. Well, now, you know, probably what that means is we can't serve the Lord adequately.

That means exactly what it says. You can breathe without God. You can see without God. You can hear without God. You can speak without God.

You can feel that God. You can work without God. You can rejoice without God. You can be happy without him.

You can be sad without him. Our whole life breathes from God. Now, the difference is that some people recognize that and God is glorified in their life.

And some people do not recognize that in their boastful pride, they think, look what I'm doing. My friend, that's why he says every knee shall one day bow and every tongue shall confess that Jesus Christ is Lord. Lord and life to the glory of God the Father. The secret to living the life that wins is an awareness of our absolute and total dependence upon him. God never has called you to work and perform for him.

God has called us to allow him to have his absolute and total sway in our life in order that he may live through his life. And you see, this is what Paul was saying. If you'll notice in Second Corinthians, Chapter 12, look there for a moment. And you see, it took Paul a long time to learn this lesson. You read Romans seven.

Here's a man struggling and fretting and disappointed and disillusioned and defeated in his life. But he learned that total dependence upon Christ was his secret. So Second Corinthians, Chapter 12, Paul's been blessed of God, greatly blessed of the Lord.

Listen to what he says. And now God's sending him a messenger, allowing him to be sent through Satan to buffet him. And he says in verse nine that God has responded to Paul's trial in this manner. He said, Paul, my grace is sufficient for you, for my strength. Listen, my strength is released. How my strength is released when you are the most convinced that you are the weakest. That's how God works.

He works totally opposite from man's thoughts. Listen, most clearly, therefore, Paul says, Will I glory and rejoice in my infirmities that the power of Christ may rest upon me? Paul says, Well, I'm out here struggling and I'm going to do it and I'm going to make it work and I'm going to do it. Well, it's death or whatever it might be.

He says nothing happens. But therefore, I take pleasure in infirmities and reproaches and necessities and persecutions and distresses for Christ's sake. And Paul says, Here's what I've learned when I am weak, then am I strong. You know what Paul was saying? Paul said he had to learn as a Jew and then having been converted to Jesus Christ, he had to learn that he could not depend upon his past, that he couldn't depend upon his strength. He could depend upon his knowledge, his understanding.

He couldn't depend upon any of those things. And he says, I will glory in nothing but Jesus Christ. And my friend, that runs counterclockwise to everything the world ever teaches today. What is the world looking for? Weak men?

No. The world's looking for strong men. The world's looking for brilliant men. The world's looking for intelligent women. The world's looking for the best. God says, Give me the weakest. The world says, We want the strongest. God says, Give me the weakest because a man who is aware of his weakness and his absolute total dependence upon a sovereign God is a man who suddenly becomes what the world is trying to be. Paul said, I learned that when I feel the weakest, I'm at the point of defeat and I'm going down. That's when the supernatural power of God is released in my life. Now, if somehow you and I could learn that something absolutely supernatural would happen to our life.

Number one, we begin to enjoy life, whereas oftentimes we fret and fume and struggle about things God never intended for us to struggle about. Well, there are just a few of the illustrations. But let me get to the second point. That's the problem we face here. What is the problem in this kind of an attitude that you and I are to feel that it's not what we do, but what Jesus Christ does to us? Somebody says, Well, I'll tell you, that sounds like a lot of platitude, piosity. And it doesn't work because the Bible says, you know, God helps those who helps themselves. Listen, if there is anything the Bible does not say, it does not say God helps those who helps themselves. It says that God does through those what he chooses to do if they're available for him to do it. And you see, the reason so many of God's people are walking around in defeat is because they've not discovered the truth.

The source of victory is in a sense of our own awareness of our total dependence upon a Christ who wants to be everything. Now, here's what we want to be. We want to get educated. We want to have experience.

We want opportunity. And then, God, if you give me a chance, God, I'll prove to you I can do it. God isn't going to let us prove to him anything of the sort. Paul says, Listen, he says the only thing you can boast in and glory in is in Christ. He says, Listen, no flesh shall glory within itself. No man shall glory in his own flesh.

The only thing that you and I have to be proud of is Christ loving, living and forgiving us and living his life through us. The third thing I want you to see is the potential here in this whole concept of being totally dependent upon Christ. Somebody says, Well, what kind of potential do I have now? Whatever your education, whatever your background, whatever your life may have been up to this point, what is my potential as a believer?

Let me ask you this. What is your potential, sir? Here's what Paul said. The potential has an absolutely limitless reach. He says, I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me.

That means his potential is absolutely unlimited. And you see, so many of us have been so satisfied being saved. He doesn't want us to be satisfied being saved.

He wants us filled and running over and bubbling over with himself. Absolute total aware of our own sense of weakness and frailty. But in him, the supernatural power of an omnipotent God is released in the hands, the eyes, the ears, the feet, the body, the soul, the spirit of a man who's totally committed to Jesus Christ. But you see, the problem is we have to see it from God's point of view.

The only limitation, listen, the only limitation of the potential is this. Paul said, I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me. That is anything within the will of God. Anything within the will of God for your life.

And you say, you don't even know what that is. Did you know, listen, whatever you fear in life, that that fear puts a circle around your life and that's as far as you can operate. Whatever you and I are afraid of, that sets a limitation, our potential.

We are to see Christ and his supernatural power living within us, breaking out all the boundaries that would hinder us from becoming what God wants us to be. Well, one more aspect that I want you to notice, and that is how do you and I, how do you and I move into that life of total dependence upon him? If you and I are not aware that we need him, we'll never depend upon him fully. If we just have to have a little prayer right quick and ask God to help us and we go on our way, that's not depending upon Christ. It is an awareness.

Listen, now watch this. You don't know the tremendous potential Christ has available within you. You don't know what that is right now. So you and I stand today at whatever point in life we are not knowing what our potential is before God. We just know that there are no limitations on it. Now, the thing we don't know is we don't know all that his will has provided for us. What I'm asking you is this. Wouldn't it be absolutely, absolutely, unbelievably exciting if you could get a glimpse this morning of your potential within the will of God, of what God is possibly able and capable of doing with you for the rest of your life?

Wouldn't you just love that? Well, I wish I could give it to you, but I can't. But I will say this. If you will become aware that God is not... Listen, he is not, absolutely is not, is not, is not going to allow you to reach your potential apart from your dependence upon him. If your awareness of that will bring you to an attitude daily, that you want to say what Paul said in Galatians chapter 2 verse 20.

Here's what he said. I am crucified with Christ. Nevertheless, I live, yet not I, Christ is living within me. The life which I now live, I live by faith in the Son of God who loved me and gave himself for me.

Here's the key. And I believe this is the key phrase that Paul would constantly use. He constantly said, not I, but Christ, not I, but Christ, not I, but Christ, not I, but Christ, not I, but Christ. So Paul's attitude, his awareness that he could not, his attitude, not I, but Christ, not I, but Christ, not I, but Christ. Every temptation, every decision, every problem, every burden, every heartache, every sorrow, every suffering, every sickness, every ill, not I, but Christ, not I, but Christ, not I, but Christ. You see, what that will do, that attitude will be transformed into action so that the decisions we make and the things that we do will give evidence that our dependence is totally upon him, that it is no longer we who are living, but Christ Jesus living within us. And that will come as a result of a conviction, that that's what the Word of God teaches. And when you and I begin to be convinced of the teaching of Scripture in total dependence, we will begin to confess it, not I, but Christ. And then there will be a sense of confidence based not upon us, but confidence based upon what Almighty God can do through and in your life.

Now here's what it all boils down to. First of all, I've got to get the right concept of God. Listen, that God loves you.

He has a purpose and a plan for your life, and he's willing to provide every single need that you have. An honest evaluation of yourself, friend, you'll never make it apart from Jesus Christ. And then by a simple act of faith, having confessed your sins and received the Lord Jesus Christ as your Savior, if you've never been saved, telling him today, Lord, I tried and I failed, and I'm coming to you acknowledging it's all of you and none of me. I want you to fill me with your life. I want you to be free to live your life through me. And today, right now, as an act of faith, I acknowledge your life filling me, and you are available to live your life through me from this moment on. And Lord, moment by moment, day by day, I want you to keep me in that awareness.

You may have to confess sin or that sin or this sin, whatever it might be, instantaneous confession, based on a conviction of what God is doing in your life, will bring you back into immediate fellowship with him, and you keep moving. Don't allow yourself to be discouraged. Oh, well, I blew it again. God knew you were going to blow it even when he came to be your Savior. He's not surprised.

He's not disappointed. You can't disappoint a God who knows everything. The positive way to look at defeat is that that's God's proof to you.

You can't do it. It's going to take all of him and none of you. Now, listen, there is no other way to live a victorious life than just what I've described.

An awareness, a conviction, an attitude, a commitment by faith. Lord, I can't, but you can, not I, but Christ Jesus living within me. Let's pray together. Heavenly Father, thank you that you didn't leave us down here to do the best we could.

We've already seen what that will do and how disappointing that is. You have come down here through the Holy Spirit to live through us the life that you plan for us, which means that you are the one who not only arranged it, but you've assumed the responsibility. And we want to thank you and praise you today for what you've done. I want to ask you for somebody who's lost, who needs to be saved, that right here and now, recognizing that one of these days they're going to have to stand before you, can't save themselves, can't raise themselves out of the dead, can't raise themselves to heaven, they're going to have to trust you one of these days. It's either now for salvation or bow in humble submission before you one of these days to be separated eternally. So I want to pray in Jesus' name that somebody right here now would say, yes, Lord Jesus, I'm trusting you as my Savior, that every believer who's heard this message would admit his and her own failures, inadequacies, weaknesses, and be willing to make a commitment by faith right now. Lord, from this point on, and day by day as you guard my life, not I but Christ, not I but Christ, not I but Christ, not I but Christ, Father, praise you for all that you're willing for him to be in all of us. And we thank you for Jesus, the Christ, our Savior, our Lord, and our life. In whose name we pray this. Amen. Thank you for listening to A Life of Dependence. We would like to invite you to join us in celebrating 45 years of God's faithfulness. Stop by slash 45 years to learn more. This podcast is a presentation of InTouch Ministries, Atlanta, Georgia.
Whisper: medium.en / 2023-05-29 19:44:05 / 2023-05-29 19:52:00 / 8

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