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Adjusting to God's Plan

In Touch / Charles Stanley
The Truth Network Radio
December 31, 2021 12:00 am

Adjusting to God's Plan

In Touch / Charles Stanley

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December 31, 2021 12:00 am

Living in God's will means continually making adjustments that fit His plan.

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Welcome to the In Touch Podcast with Charles Stanley for Friday, December 31st. Our way of doing things often conflicts with Christ's way. Get help staying on course by adjusting to God's plan. Not one time has God ever said to me, Charles, what do you want to do? Not a single time. He's always told me what He wanted me to do. Never asked me what I wanted to do. The second thing I've noticed is that He's never made any adjustments in His plans to suit my plans and my purposes. He's always required that I make the adjustment to suit His plan and His purpose. Now the reason is because He's God and He's absolutely perfect in all wisdom and knowledge and understanding and He knows exactly what is best for us at all times.

So He's not going to be asking us what we want to do or how He needs to adjust His plans to suit our plans. He's only going to be telling us what to do because He's an all wise God. He always knows what's best. He doesn't sometimes know what's best. He always knows what is best.

And if I can agree with Him that He always knows what's best and get in line with what He believes is best, then I'm going to experience the very, very best in life. God is a changeless, personal, loving Creator who desires to be personally involved in each of our lives because He has something for each of us to do. He has a plan and a purpose for us. We're not here by accident.

Somebody says, well, my parents didn't want me. God did. So you may not feel like you were wanted, but God wanted you. And what we have to decide is if God isn't going to change, who has to do the changing? We have to make the adjustments in our life that are necessary in order to get in the center of His will.

So what I'd like to talk about in this message is adjusting to God's plan. And I want you to turn, if you will, to Matthew chapter 4. Turn to Matthew chapter 4 and I want us to read the account of Jesus' call of Peter and Andrew, James and John. These men had to make some radical adjustments in their lives in order to be obedient to God.

Verse 17 says, From that time Jesus began to preach and say, Repent, for the kingdom of heaven is at hand. And walking by the Sea of Galilee, He saw two brothers, Simon, who was called Peter, and Andrew's brother casting a net into the sea, for they were fishermen. And He said to them, Follow Me, and I will make you fishers of men. And they immediately left the nets and followed Him. And going on from there, He saw two other brothers, James the son of Zebedee and John his brother, in the boat with Zebedee their father, mending their nets, and He called them. And they immediately left the boat and their father and followed Him. Now, they had to make some adjustments, and I want us to look at these because we have to make the same kind.

We're just not fishermen, but whatever it is, we have to make the same kind of adjustment. Now, what I want you to see is what is it that Jesus had in mind. Now, watch this. He had in mind making these men wise teachers and preachers of the gospel of redemption that would bring about the redemption of mankind. He had in mind for them making them the foundation of the church of Christ, the body of the Lord Jesus Christ. He had in mind making Peter the speaker at Pentecost a few years after this. What He had in mind for them is absolutely awesome, but He didn't tell them that. He just simply said, Follow Me, and I'll make you fishers of men. He didn't say, This is where I'm going to do it. This is when I'm going to do it. These are all the details that are involved. If you'll do this, I'll do that.

You do this, I'll do that. He said, No, follow Me, and I'll make you fishers of men. So this was an awesome challenge to them. Look at these men.

All of a sudden, Jesus walks by and says, Follow Me. Well, they certainly had to make an adjustment in their circumstances. These men had been fishermen all of their life. That's probably all they'd ever done. And they were making a living at it. That's the way they survived. That's the way they took care of the families.

So they had to change their vocation. Just drop it and walk away. That's what He said. Follow Me. He didn't say, Follow Me in two weeks. Follow Me when everything's all right. Follow Me when. Follow Me if. Follow Me but.

Follow Me where. He said, Follow Me. And isn't it interesting if you'll think about how God speaks to your life? Usually, He just gives you the bottom line, and He doesn't give you very many details. Most of the time, He gives almost none.

He just says, Here's what I want. And you may appear to the world to be very successful. The truth is you're not unless you're living in the center of God's will. And so these men had to face this. And we have to face this. And so I just simply want to ask you this question. What is it that God has put His finger on in your life? Something He keeps saying to you and says, You have to adjust.

This is what I want you to do. And you know what the adjustment is, and you keep saying, But Lord, what about this? You keep asking Him questions about it. You keep rationalizing.

You keep telling Him why you can't, why it won't work. All these things, and God just keeps His finger right there. Because we all have to make adjustments to do what God calls us to do.

It's just life. Look at the Scriptures, for example. When God spoke to Noah and said, I want you to build an ark, the only way Noah could have built an ark was to make a radical adjustment in his life. He couldn't keep, listen, life couldn't be going on normal and as usual and go build this huge boat. It couldn't have happened.

It just wouldn't happen. He had to make an adjustment. When God called Abraham, He said, I want you to leave your family, get up out of the earth of the Chaldees. And He said, I want you to go to a land that I'm going to show you because I'm going to make you the father of a nation through whom the Messiah is coming. Noah, listen, if Noah had not been willing to adjust his circumstances that it would have been no ark and he would have died. If Abraham had not been willing to make an adjustment in his circumstances and gone where God told him to away from his family, he could not have been the father of the nation of Israel without making an adjustment to his circumstances. What about Moses? Moses on the backside of the desert shepherding the sheep. God said to him at the burning bush, I want you to leave this place. I'm going to send you to Pharaoh to stand before Pharaoh because I'm going to make you the liberator of the Hebrew people.

They're going to become my nation. The only way Moses could have obeyed God was to make a radical adjustment in his circumstances, in his thinking. God spoke to Jonah. He said to Jonah, He said, Jonah, I want you to go to Nineveh and preach the truth of the one true God. And Jonah was so prejudiced against the Ninevites because the way they had treated Israel, he just said nothing doing. In other words, I'm willing to do whatever you want me to do, but I can't do that.

I just can't do that. So instead of going east, he goes to Joppa, buys him a ticket, heading out to Tarshish to do what he wants to do. And you remember what God did to him change his mind. He gave him a boat ride on a whale and sent him into the depths of the sea. He was crying out for deliverance and crying. He said, in the belly of hell, he said, I cried out. Well, now I can tell you that sometimes God will put a little pressure on you to make whatever adjustments necessary to get in the will of God. The Bible says that old whale, probably what it was, threw him out on shore and he ran to Nineveh.

I mean, he couldn't get there fast enough. What am I saying? Simply this, that no matter who you are, to live in the center of God's will and to stay there, you have to continually be making adjustments in your life. And most of these, of course, that we just talked about have been adjustments that have to deal with location and projects and so forth. But they're adjustments that God expects you and me to make oftentimes daily in our life, change in our thinking, adjust in our feelings, and adjust in our attitude toward Him and our understanding of His attitude about us. We have to be willing to make those adjustments to stay in the will of God. You cannot make a decision and live by that decision forever and stay in the will of God because they're going to be continuing adjustments because we live in an evil world and we're children of God and we have the principle of sin still abiding in us. That is, that thing that would cause us to be willing and ready to be tempted and tried and to fall and to falter in God's plan for our life. We have to make adjustments. Those who are willing to adjust, God blesses with His best.

Those who are unwilling, those who are stuck where they are, who are afraid to make change, who are afraid to risk the will and purpose of God, no matter how long they live, there'll always be something missing in their life, always be something missing. Now, what's the process? That is, how does God do this?

This is the way He does it. Let's say that here is God's will for your life over there. That's God's will for your life. And so He says, here's what I want to do in your life. You say, fine, that's fine, Lord, I'd be happy to do that.

All right, let's get started, God. He says, oh, no, that's not the way I operate. Well, Lord, how do you operate?

Well, this is the way I operate. The way I operate is this, that between where you are and where I want you to be, if you're going to go with me and do what I want you to do, there's certain adjustments you have to make in your life. You have to make an adjustment in your circumstances.

Or, not all of these every time, but different times and sometimes all of them and sometimes one or two of them. You have to make a change in your relationships. You have to adjust your thinking the way I think. You have to adjust your commitments.

I'm number one. You have to adjust your belief system. You've got to trust me no matter what you see, what you hear, what you feel, you must trust me. Now, so I know what God wants me to do. I know what He's calling me to do. Now, here's the issue.

Am I willing to make whatever adjustments are necessary in my life to get in the position to do what God wants me to do? I can't go around those adjustments. It just doesn't work. Because, you see, these adjustments oftentimes sticky.

They're trying. Sometimes they're costly. Sometimes they're painful. Sometimes we have to give up things we want or desire love. Sometimes we have to change location. A lot of things may be involved. But in order to do what God wants me to do and get in the center of His will, I have to make those adjustments.

Now, here's the tragedy. People who live their lives get a glimpse of what God wants to do in their life and say, I can't afford to make those adjustments. You cannot afford not to make them.

You cannot afford not to make them. You cannot afford not to make those adjustments, whatever God is requiring of you. And so here's what happens.

First of all, the Lord speaks to us and He shows us, gives us a glimpse of something we're to do, whether it's go somewhere, whatever it might be. Then the next thing that happens in that sequence of events is once He speaks to us is we have sort of a crisis of faith. But, Lord, what about this? What about that?

Suppose this, suppose that. What are they going to think? What's He going to think? What's she going to think? What are my kids going to think?

What are my family going to think? God financially has that going to work. Suppose I fail. And so what happens? This crisis of faith is a continuous thing. And that whole idea and concept of making adjustments, the crisis of my faith and the crisis of my belief is always there. But, Lord, you know why?

Because He doesn't give us all the details. And sometimes He says, here's what you must do, and He pulls the curtain down. I say, God, but what about this? And we go through our long list of questions and doubts and fears, and then we have to come to this conclusion. Do I believe that God is who He says He is? Am I willing to risk stepping out where I can't feel anything but believing with all my heart that if God says step, I can step and be absolutely certain it's going to be okay? You know what faith is all about? Faith is all about placing my trust in God for whatever, whenever, however, period.

He's under no obligation to give me any details. Now, if I really and truly believe Him and trust Him, I'm going to make that adjustment. Now, listen carefully. The making of the adjustment is a revelation of my faith in Him. My faith in Him, if it is right, will lead me to make that adjustment. But my actions are going to reveal the depth, the degree, the quality of my faith. And so if I do what He says do, it's pretty evident that I trusted Him. And so He confronts us with what He wants. There's a crisis of belief.

There's the adjustments that need to be made. Then I obey Him, and what happens? I get blessed. Not sometimes, not most of the time. Every single solitary act of obedience to God will be followed by a blessing from God.

You cannot show me anywhere that it's otherwise. It may not always be exactly what blessing I was looking for. That's not the issue. The issue is what did God do? So I want to ask you again, what is it that God has spoken to your heart about and He wants you to do something here and an adjustment has to be made in your thinking, in your commitment, your relationship, your circumstances, your belief system, your actions?

What is it that you're facing that you know you have to adjust to? So let me ask you a question. Would God ever require of you to make an adjustment in your life that is not best for you from His divine point of view, which is the only true perfect viewpoint?

Never. Now, so we have two ways to respond. We can say, yes, Lord, I'll make the adjustment. I know, Lord, I'm not.

I want to give you two examples and let you decide. Go, if you will, to Luke chapter 18. Luke chapter 18 is a familiar passage of Scripture to all of us, and we'll just read the first few verses because we all know these verses. This is the account of the rich young ruler. Now, the Scripture says in verse 18, a certain ruler questioned Jesus, saying, Good teacher, what shall I do to inherit eternal life?

So that's his goal. He wants to be saved. Jesus said to him, Why do you call me good? No one's good except God alone. You know the commandments don't commit adultery, murder, stealing, bearing false witness, and honor your father and mother. He said, Well, all these things, I've been keeping these since I was a young lad. Now, those were not the issue. Jesus knew what the issue was with him.

He was a good moral man. Listen, Jesus said, One thing you still lack is one adjustment you need to make. Sell all that you possess, distribute it to the poor. You shall have treasure in heaven. Look at that promise. And come follow me. He said, There's just one adjustment you need to make in your life. The adjustment is you need to get rid of the God in your life, which is your material possessions. Because you won't really trust me until you get rid of that. And when you get rid of that, you will have trusted me. Now, back to Matthew chapter 4, four fishermen.

Here they are. Their lifestyle is fishing. Man, they love it. Jesus said, Follow me. If you'll think about it, he didn't even promise those fishermen what he promised the rich young women. He said, You have treasure in heaven, and you come follow me. All he said to them was, Follow me. I have another occupation for you, period. Follow me, I'm going to make you fishers of men.

Totally different occupation. Now, what happened? They had a lot of adjustments to make, and they made them, and they followed Him. Think about this. Look what they would have missed had they not made the adjustments. These men had the privilege of walking almost three years with God in human flesh on this earth.

Now, my friend, I want to ask you something. Do you know what you're going to miss if you don't get in the will of God and walk in it? Not really.

They didn't know either. But is somebody going to think about your life later and say, Look what he missed. Look what she missed because you were not willing to make some adjustments in your life and get in the will of God. I don't know about you, but for me, there isn't anything in this world worth missing God's plan for. And I challenge you, my friend, whatever God's put His finger on in your life and told you to make an adjustment for your sake and the sake of those around you, make the adjustment, trust God, and you will be blessed. Thank you for listening to Adjusting to God's Plan. If you'd like to know more about Charles Stanley or InTouch Ministries, stop by InTouch.org. This podcast is a presentation of InTouch Ministries, Atlanta, Georgia.
Whisper: medium.en / 2023-07-03 03:29:20 / 2023-07-03 03:37:28 / 8

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