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Resistance to Commitment - Part 2

In Touch / Charles Stanley
The Truth Network Radio
September 28, 2022 12:00 am

Resistance to Commitment - Part 2

In Touch / Charles Stanley

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September 28, 2022 12:00 am

Learn why it's crucial to surrender everything to your heavenly Father.

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Welcome to the In Touch Podcast with Charles Stanley for Wednesday, September 28th. When you sense God nudging you in a specific direction, do you respond quickly? Today you'll hear about the consequences you can expect to encounter anytime you offer resistance to commitment. How many times has God required of you something and you said, Lord, but suppose this and what you did, you paraded before God all the things that could possibly happen. And when you built your case, looking at your own case, you became so fearful. You said, well, God, there's no way for me to do that.

Suppose any one of these things happen and then what will happen to me? You see, if you, my friend, will be honest, one of the primary reasons we don't obey God is we are afraid of the results of the circumstances because we don't know the circumstances. We don't know the ultimate outcome. We say, oh, Lord, but if you'll just tell me what's going to happen and assure me that everything is going to be all right, then I'll do it. That isn't obedience and that isn't faith. That's trying to fit God into your mold and trying to make Him fit into your plan so that you're not trusting God, not obeying God. You're just following by sight, not by faith.

He's not going to do that. Let me ask you this. How many blessings have you missed in your life because you're afraid to trust God? What have you missed in your business life because you're afraid to trust God? What have you missed in your relationship to others? Wouldn't open up, wouldn't be honest, wouldn't be open, wouldn't become transparent. You know what you've missed?

You've missed deep abiding friendships and fellowship. Are you afraid of failure, afraid of criticism, fearful of what people are going to see, exposure to see you just the way you are? Is it the unknown that troubles you? Is that the reason you won't follow through on your commitment to Jesus Christ? You see, we resist being committed to God because we're afraid. We don't know what's going to happen.

Selfishness, poor self-image, don't know how to respond to these things. Suppose I get in the middle of this, Lord, and I can't handle it. Then what?

Let me show you something. Whatever God calls you to do, my friend, when He gets you in the middle of it, you bet your life He's going to be in the middle of it with you. So whatever He calls you to do, He's going to take your hand. He's going to walk with you through that every single step of the way. All He's looking for is commitment. All He wants you to do is to follow through on what you said to Him when you said, I receive you as my Savior my life. I want us to look at how we resist Him. Now, we say there are at least three good reasons why we do it. We say we're afraid, we're selfish, and that could be that we have a poor self-image.

But how do we go about this? How do you resist the Lord? I'm sure you don't get on your knees and shake your fist at God, saying, Lord, I heard what You said, but I'm not going to do it. I'm not going to obey You.

Now, some folks haven't shook their fist at God, but they've shook their heart in the face of God. Oh, God, I cannot do it. I will not do it. There's no way for me to do it. Call somebody else.

I just cannot do it. How do we go about resisting Him? Well, the first thing we do is we argue with Him. Now, Lord, I hear what You're saying.

I'm getting the message, but God, let me tell you why I just can't do this. And so we argue with Him. Moses argued with Him. Gideon argued with Him. In fact, if you look in the Bible, most of the people that God ever called argued with Him about something. Lord, I know that You're all wise. I know that You always know what's best.

I think You've made a mistake this time, because I certainly couldn't do it. And so what we do is we argue with Him. Now, sometimes we argue with Him angrily, with hostility.

God, why are You calling me at this particular time in my life? So we argue with Him. We resist Him and just argue with Him and tell Him why.

We give Him all these reasons why we can't do it. Well, you know, I'm sure God listens to the arguments, but He's never impressed by any of them, because you see, He already knew what you and I were going to say before we said it. Now, that's pretty evident that we argue with Him sometimes, but here's the more subtle one. We don't argue with Him. We say, yes, Lord, yes, I heard what You're saying. And what we do instead of argue with Him, we substitute our plan on God's plan. Now, let me give you a good example of this. When Samuel called Saul and said to him in that fifteenth chapter of 1 Samuel, look at that passage, because you ought to mark this in your Bible.

It's a good illustration, a good lesson for you to teach your children. The Scripture says that Samuel the prophet had come to Saul now, who is a king of Israel, and he said to him that God has said that you to go up to Amalek, utterly destroy, verse 3, utterly destroy all that he has and do not spare him, but put him to death, both man, woman, child, infant, ox, sheep, camel and donkey. These people were absolutely given over to idolatry. Somebody says, well, I just can't believe that God would tell anybody to go up and destroy everybody. My friend, listen, they were totally given over to sensuality and idolatry and the worship of all kinds of gods, and God said, you must destroy everything that is there, everything that is living, people and animals also, in order that my people not be contaminated by this idolatrous people.

Now, notice that Saul did not say, oh, Samuel, I can't do that. There's no way for me to do that. That wouldn't even be a wise investment of our time. Look at all those cattle.

Look at all the valuable possessions. You don't mean to tell me you think that God is saying we're going to destroy all that. He didn't say anything.

He listened to him. Now, notice, then Saul without any argument whatsoever, no argument, then Saul summoned the people and numbered them. The Scripture says he went in, he attacked, set an ambush in the valley, attacked them. Verse 7, he defeated the Amalekites from Havilah, as you go to Shur, which is east of Egypt, and he captured Agag, the king of the Amalekites, alive and utterly destroyed all the people at the edge of the sword. But Saul and the people spared Agag and the best of the sheep, the oxen, the fatlands, the lambs, and all that was good, and were not willing to destroy them utterly, but everything despised and worthless that they utterly destroyed. God said, I mean, I want you to absolutely wipe out everything up there.

Totally destroy everything that is there. Yes, sir. He made a commitment. When he got there, he saved Agag.

He captured him. The Scripture says Saul and the people spared Agag and the best of the sheep, the oxen, the fatlands, the lambs, and all that was good, and were not willing to destroy them utterly, but everything despised and worthless that they utterly destroyed. Then the word of the Lord came to Samuel, saying, I regret that I've made Saul king.

He's turned back from following me, and has not carried out my commands. And Samuel was distressed and cried out to the Lord all night. So then Saul comes home. And so Samuel comes down to meet him. Samuel said in verse 17, Is it not true, though you were little in your own eyes, you were made the head of the tribes of Israel, and the Lord anointed you the king over Israel? And the Lord sent you on a mission and said, Go and utterly destroy the sinners, the Amalekites, and fight against them until they are exterminated. Why then did you not obey the voice of the Lord, but rushed upon the spoil and did what was evil in the sight of the Lord? Listen to me carefully. You may not argue with God, but my friend, if you simply substitute your plan over God's plan and work harder and do it seemingly better in order to convince God that your plan's better than His, what you have done is literally rebelled against God.

I meet people all the time who are working harder at what they're doing. I mean they're burning the candle at both ends. You know what they're doing sometimes? Sometimes they are running in disobedience and they figure if they just run fast enough and hard enough and long enough that God will finally give up on them and let them do what they want to do their way and God will finally forget what He called them to do.

No way. Now listen, when God called you back here to be obedient to Him in a certain area of your life and He says, Here's what I want you to do. And you say, Yes, Lord. What you've asked me to do is to walk a straight line crossing. Yes, sir, Lord. That's what I'm going to do. And you're over here walking your own path.

It may look good. And you say, Well, I got here, Lord. That's not what God said. God said, I want you to walk a straight path because every step you take and every person you meet and what I want to accomplish in your life, that's the only way it can be done. What are you substituting tonight for obedience in your life?

Are you quietly, sophisticatedly resisting God's call to commitment in your life by offering a better plan, a different plan? Now listen, here's how, this is the way Saul reasoned. He said, Oh, my goodness, why kill Agag?

Let's take him as a captive. Well, we don't want to kill all the best sheep and the best oxen and the best goats. Let's take all these and what we'll do, listen to what he told the prophet Samuel. Then Saul said to Samuel, I did obey the voice of the Lord and went on the mission on which the Lord sent me, that's a half truth, and have brought back Agag the king of Amalek and have utterly destroyed the Amalekites. But the people took some of the spoiled sheep and oxen, the choices of the things devoted to destruction to sacrifice to the Lord your God at Gilge.

That sounded real good. Oh, why, yes, I did do what you tell me to do. You know what obedience is? Here's what obedience is. God says, I want you to walk a straight line from this corner to that corner.

Let me ask you a question. Are you walking in obedience to Almighty God tonight? Or have you taken your plan and substituted for God's plan?

It looks good. In fact, it's about as convincing as old Saul's plan. Well, here's what we're going to do, Samuel. We're going to take all these choice animals and we're going to sacrifice them to God.

How many times have I heard this story? Well, yes, the Lord did call me to preach when I was twenty-one, but I decided I was going into business and I was going to make a lot of money and I was going to give millions of dollars to missions. That's resisting God's plan. And how am I doing it? I'm not arguing with God. I'm just working hard and traveling long and going faster because I'm going to do all I can do because I want to please God. I want to tell you, you will never please God until you do exactly what God told you to do. That's the only way you'll be obedient to God. Partial obedience is disobedience to God. Now Saul's definition of obedience says you do part of what you want to do and part of what God wants to do. That's his definition of obedience.

Has that ever been yours? Oh, this is what God says I do. This part, this is what God wants. This is what I want. So here's what I'm going to do.

I'm going to combine the two and we're going to have a wonderful plan. What you're saying is God, I've improved on your plan. That's disobedience. You know why so many people have such little power in their Christian witness? If you ask them, are you obeying God?

Sure, I'm obeying God. They've got their plan and God's plan and they've gone that way so long now they can't even distinguish what God said versus what they said because they've mixed them up so long they don't even know what God said to them back there. Could it be that you keep looking around thinking, why doesn't God bless me? Maybe what you should do, my friend, is to go back here somewhere in your life and begin to look around and to see if back here somewhere God told you to do something and you substituted your plan over His plan hasn't worked. I sat and listened today to a man unfold his heart and pour out his heart to me.

You know what he did? He had God's plan and about ten years ago he decided on another plan. And he said to me, for ten long years I've been having it my way and I am miserable and wretched. You can't improve on God's plan. Sometimes we argue with Him. Sometimes what we want to do is we just want to substitute our own plan for God's plan and He's not going to accept that.

And then as you think about how we operate, the third thing we do is we deny the call altogether. Well, you know, I was down praying and I believe this is what God said to me. In fact, I was sure this is what He told me to do. But you know, as I think about it, now let me give you a personal example because I, my friend, listen, I've been there. Many times in my life I'll have to admit that God's told me something definite and deliberate. I get on my knees before God, there's no question in my mind. I know exactly what He said to do.

Here's what I've discovered. I just lay this out as a little principle that I've learned. If God tells you to do something, you get on your knees and seek the Lord's mind about it. What you get off your knees is much safer than what you get standing up.

Now don't ever forget that. Because I could get on my knees and I could give you example after example. Get on my knees before God, just as clear as crystal what God is saying.

Get up, start talking about it. And what happens when you get up and you're not talking to God, Satan just gives you all these wonderful exciting ideas of how you can violate God's will. And many times I've been at the gate of being disobedient. And remember, when you get on your knees, what do you hear? And I want to tell you, what you hear on your knees before Almighty God, if you're a consistent prayer and you're in the Word and you know how to listen to God, what you get on your knees is far safer than what you get standing and walking. Well, sometimes we deny it.

And then sometimes what we do is we just run. And this is what Jonah did. He said, I'm not doing it. You know what Jonah did? The Scripture says he went down to Joppa. Now God told him, I want you to go 500 miles east to Nineveh. He went down to Joppa and you know what he, the Bible says he found the ship going to Tarshish. Now you know why he found one going to Tarshish?

Because it's 2,000 miles from Jerusalem to Tarshish. So he was trying to find one that was going to the furthest point from where he was. Do you know why he left home to begin with? Because he couldn't live with a stinging conscience. You know why he went to sleep when he got on board the boat? He couldn't live with a stinging conscience. You know why he said to those men on board, throw me overboard, just get rid of me because he couldn't live with a stinging conscience. You know why he repented in the belly of that whale? Because he couldn't live with a stinging conscience.

He had to be obedient to God. Let me ask you something. Do you wake up in the morning feeling guilty? Do you go about your work with that little something on the inside of you grinding away? You get down to praying, it's just grinding away. You're at work and it's grinding away. You're with your friends and it's grinding away. And you're having the biggest time, and when you stop and get correct, it's just grinding away.

It never ceases to grind. Could it be that your conscience keeps saying to you, disobedient, disobedient, disobedient, disobedient, disobedient. And you muffle that thing and muffle it and muffle it and finally it's whispering, disobedient, disobedient, disobedient, disobedient, until finally you don't hear anything at all.

I want to tell you, you're in your most dangerous position when you can't hear it. What has it already cost you, my friend, not to fulfill God's will in your life? How many people I meet who want to put their head in their hands and say, oh, if somebody had just told me this years before. Can you imagine living thirty, forty, fifty, sixty, seventy long years in disobedience to God and have to stand before Him one of these days? You know the most miserable people I've ever met? The most miserable people I've ever met in my life are those whom God called into His service early in life and who refuse to be obedient to God. Went into business instead of preaching the Gospel.

Done this and done that and done the other. You know what that means? You live the rest of your life in disobedience to God. You say, won't God forgive me?

Oh, yes, He'll forgive you. He'll forgive you, but until you do what He says do, you're still living in disobedience. There came a time in your life as a believer when you made a commitment to Jesus Christ and you said, Lord, not my will but thine be done.

Whatever you want, that's what I want. I'm going to be obedient to you. And I simply want to ask you the question, as best you know your heart, are you walking in obedience? Is your life, is your life fulfilling the will of God? And if it's not, I challenge you to go back and find the place where you, my friend, got off the track and get back on and tell God from this point on, Lord, no more running, just trusting Him, believing Him, trusting my future into Your hands. Don't understand the circumstance, but here's my life, dear God. And Father, we thank You that You're patient with us, that You'll accept us just the way we are.

So patient to put up with our running, our arguing, our substituting. And I pray in Jesus' name right now that those who are listening and those who are seated right here, in whose life at this very moment you have placed your finger on an attitude, an act, a habit of disobedience. You've pointed out already in this hour where they at a given point said no to you.

They substituted their plan for your plan. They've been walking in that disobedience ever since. I pray that they will confess that here and now, get on their face before you wherever they may be, confessing that to you, repenting of that, making a fresh new commitment of their life to Jesus Christ as Lord. And from this moment on, be willing to say, I submit to the authority of Jesus Christ in my life, leaving the total circumstances and the consequences to Him. And this we ask, Father, in Jesus' name, amen. Thank you for listening to part two of Resistance to Commitment. If you'd like to know more about Charles Stanley or In Touch Ministries, stop by intouch.org. This podcast is a presentation of In Touch Ministries, Atlanta, Georgia.
Whisper: medium.en / 2023-01-01 16:36:31 / 2023-01-01 16:44:46 / 8

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