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God’s Pathway to Success - Part 1

In Touch / Charles Stanley
The Truth Network Radio
January 5, 2022 12:00 am

God’s Pathway to Success - Part 1

In Touch / Charles Stanley

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January 5, 2022 12:00 am

Be reminded of how God's Word is full of rich truths.

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Welcome to the In Touch Podcast with Charles Stanley for Wednesday, January 5th. People often think the Bible is just a book of rules, but today you'll see how it's more like a treasure chest full of riches waiting to be discovered. What would you have to do in life or to accomplish in life to consider yourself to have been successful? You say, well, I'm just the homemaker.

I'm just this, I'm just that, I'm just the other. Well, it doesn't make any difference what you do. The question is, what would you have to do? What would you need to accomplish in life to be able to at the end of your life, look back and say, at least I think I was a success in what I did in life.

What would it have to be? Well, of course, the world has its idea of success and God has His idea of success. And there's nothing wrong with being successful or wanting to be.

If it were, certainly, God would never have said it. He's the one who said to Joshua, listen, he said, this book of the law shall not depart from your mouth, but you shall meditate on a day and night so that you may be careful to do according to all that is written in it. Then you'll make your way prosperous and then you'll have success. That's what God told him that he said to him also, be strong and very courageous.

Be careful to do according to all the law, which Moses, my servant, commanded you. Don't turn from it to the right or to the left so that you may have success wherever you go. The issue is, what is the difference between God's view of success and the world's view of success? Well, if you ask the world what their idea of success is or all you have to do is look around, you don't have to ask anybody. Just look around to see who we consider as successful. Well, they need to be wealthy. They need to be prominent or they need to be famous and they need to have accomplished some impossible feat, it seems. We call those people successful.

You know, there's not a single thing in the Bible about any of that. The Bible doesn't say in order to be successful, you have to be wealthy or you have to be great or famous or to have accomplished anything that's supernatural. God has a very, very clear design about what success is all about. And so when we think about it, we have to think about it from God's viewpoint versus the world's viewpoint, because many people are successful at what they do. But when you put their name up against someone's name in this country, who is famous for all kinds of things, they would consider far from being successful.

But the issue is this. When you and I stand in the presence of God, what difference is it going to make what the world thought about you versus what God thinks about you? So I want you to turn to the passage of scripture in the Bible that gives us God's pathway to true, genuine success. And it's found in the very first Psalm. Now, it's interesting that usually when you think in terms of success, the attitude is always a positive attitude.

In other words, that's one of the absolute requirements that someone would say. But listen to how this first Psalm begins. How blessed is the man or the woman who does not walk in the counsel of the wicked?

Negative. Nor stand in the pathway of sinners, nor sit in the seat of the scoffers. But his delight is in the law of the Lord. And in his law, he meditates day and night. He will be like a tree firmly planted by streams of water, which yields its fruit in its season and its leaf does not wither.

And whatever he does, he prospers. Now, the two things I want us to notice here that are very clear. First of all, he gives us some absolute, very clear requirements for success. And secondly, he gives us the rewards.

Look at these, first of all, these requirements. And I want you to notice these words, if you will. In this first verse, he says, walk, stand and sit. That is the person who is going to succeed in God's fashion. They will avoid several things here. And what I want you to notice is the first thing and that is the first requirement for success is to be careful about our relationships.

To be careful about our relationships. And notice what he says. He says, how blessed is the man who does not walk in the counsel of the ungodly.

What is he referring to? He's talking about those who listen to ungodly counsel and follow it. He says a man who's going to be successful is not going to listen to ungodly counsel and follow it. I believe that's one of the primary reasons that many people fail in their business.

They fail in their personal life. They fail in other areas of their life because they listen to ungodly counsel. Now, why is it that even Christians go to ungodly counsel, listen to ungodly counsel to make supposedly wise decisions? Well, first of all, usually ungodly counsel appeals to the flesh. Ungodly counsel usually is very self-centered. Ungodly counsel usually will tell us what we want to know. But ungodly counsel is very deceiving. It is very, very deceiving because it lays traps for us.

If you want to succeed, here's what you do. You always have to compare the counsel you receive to the teaching of the Word of God. If it contradicts in any way the teaching of God, you lay aside the counsel. He says now the person who's going to succeed, the first thing they're going to do is they're going to avoid walking after ungodly counsel.

Why? Because ungodly counsel is going to lead you away from God. And so therefore, what happens? You find yourself entwined and entangled with a philosophy that absolutely is a contradiction to the Word of God. Therefore, when he says, this is how you begin, blessed or happy, successful is the man who does not walk after or in the counsel of the wicked, that is, follow ungodly counsel. So there's that first word, walk. Second word, stand. Nor does that successful person stand in the path of sinners. What is he talking about? That is, he does not or she does not participate in the activities of those who are evil or sinful or wicked or ungodly.

Now you say, but now wait a minute. Doesn't the Bible say that we are to have unbelieving friends and can't we have friends who are unbelievers? Absolutely. What he's saying here, he's not saying that you and I cannot have unbelieving friends, but what he's saying is this. He says, don't stand in the path of sinners. That is, don't associate fellowship with them and participate in those activities that you know absolutely are ungodly and unChristlike.

He says, don't participate . You may have to be friends of people you work with and so forth, but you don't have to participate in the things they participate in because he says if you do, you're not going to be successful. There are people who genuinely believe that if you're going to be successful in life, you've got to drink a cocktail and you've got to go to the parties and you've got to see the things that they see and you've got to practice it the way they practice.

Let me tell you something. God is absolutely sovereign. He'll make you a success no matter what and where you work or where you live because God will enable you to live a godly life no matter what. And those who may criticize you in the beginning will soon or later be coming back to you and saying, now look, tell me again why you believe what you believe.

You see, that's why he says we have to be the light of the world. God puts us among people who are unbelievers in order to show them the truth and what he does, he will use you in a difficult situation to demonstrate to them that your God is adequate in whatever the situation may be. You may be overlooked at a particular job and somebody may climb it over you to the top and you know what? If you obey God, God's going to put you where he wants you. No matter who climbs over you, under you, around you, God will put you where he wants you because he's in control. He says the way of the wicked, he says it's not so.

Now watch this. First of all, he says, watch where you walk. Watch who you walk with. That is, watch whose counsel you listen to. Secondly, he says, don't let yourself participate in those works of darkness, those evil things with those people who will say, if you stick with me, I'll make you a success.

You stick with God, he'll make you a success. Look at the third word, nor sit in the seat of the scoffers. Now what is he referring to here? He's referring here when he says seat of the scoffers, he says, don't fellowship with those people who scoff at, who ridicule, who criticize things that are sacred and holy.

Somewhere you have to draw your line on your relationships. People who scoff at the Word of God, people who deny the Word of God, people who scoff at Jesus, people who ridicule the things that are holy and sacred with their foul mouth, their foul stories, their dirty language, and their awesome criticism of things that you and I consider holy. We may have to work around them or some people may even have to live around them, but you don't have to participate.

You don't have to agree. And he says, don't sit in the seat of the scorners, the scoffers. God never honors those who scoff at things that are sacred.

God is under no obligation to bless anyone, a saint or a sinner who scoffs at things that are holy. And this is true. And all you have to do is turn on your television and you can hear that and see that. But you know what I've discovered?

People sit in the seat of the scorner or the scoffer in the religious world, the broadcasting world, the medical world, the science world, you name it, in every aspect of society, those people out there who ridicule the Word of God and deny the truth of it, ridicule Jesus, the church and those Christians and so forth. He says, you want to be successful? Watch your relationships.

Watch. Be careful about the counsel you listen to. Be careful about participating with those who you work with and are friends with.

Don't let yourself get caught up in those who are critics of those things that are holy and sacred before God, because God's not going to honor them. They may make a lot of money. They may have a lot of fame, but they will not be a success in the eyes of God. You say, well, then please define to me what is success.

Here's the simplest answer I know. Success is discovering the will of God for your life and following it. Success is discovering the will of God for your life and following.

You know what? Then you'll be headed in the right direction. You'll be achieving and accomplishing things that God has set for you. He will show you how to set goals for your life. He will work in your faith, increase your faith to accomplish those goals. He will enable you to be determined. He will enable you to persevere. He will enable you to stick to it when things get rough. He will enable you to believe Him when everything around you looks dark. God will enable you to be a success. Success is discovering the will of God for your life and pursuing it, following that will.

When you do that, you're going to succeed at whatever God has called you to do. You may be very wealthy or you may not be. You may be very famous or you may not be. You may have little prominence or none whatsoever, but you know what? If your name is written in the Lamb's Book of Life, friend, that's real prominence. When God sees your name in the Lamb's Book of Life, that's prominence.

And so what you have to decide is this. Do you want to spend your life, invest your time trying to achieve and to accomplish and to become something that God never intended? I will tell you this, the devil will help you do it.

Here's why he'll help you do it. Because if he can help you to succeed enough in the eyes of the world, he knows that he can drift you right away from the will and purpose and plan of God for your life. And I'm here to tell you, many of God's people have been bought off with money. Many of God's people have been bought off with position and prominence and prestige. Satan bought them off, gave them enough of what the world considers success to get them out of the will of God, doing those things that they think will make them look better in the eyes of their friends. They have a bigger car, bigger house, bigger income, bigger this, looking more prominent, bigger position and all the rest totally out of the will of God.

That is not success from God's viewpoint. He says, Now, be careful, number one, who your relationships are, because if you follow ungodly counsel, participate in those things that are ungodly and scorn those things that are holy and God and righteous, you have absolutely no support from Almighty God. Well, look at this. Not only, he says, here are there's some things we are to be careful about, but the second thing is this. The first requirement is be careful about your relationships.

The second requirement calls for a commitment. Listen to the principles of Scripture. The second requirement calls for a commitment to the principles of Scripture.

And look at this. He says, beginning in verse two, Not having done those other things, but his delight is in the law of the Lord, and in his law he meditates day and night. He'll be like a tree firmly planted by streams of water, which yields its fruit in its season, and its leaf does not wither, and in whatsoever, whatever he does, he or she prospers.

They will succeed at it. Now, when we say it calls for a commitment to scriptural principles, notice what he says. But his delight is in the law of the Lord. Here's a man who wants to succeed. Here's one who wants to succeed in life. Whatever God's called you to do.

First of all, he says, here's something very positive. His delight, his desire, that which brings him or her real genuine satisfaction, a delight to them, that which they long for, the living Word of God, that which satisfies them. They love the Word. They come to God's Word seeking and searching. He says, the successful man or woman is going to have a delight in the law of the Lord. You don't have to beg that man or woman to read the Scriptures. You don't have to say at least bring your Bible to church.

No. You know what? Those people, they bring their Bible to church. They have a notepad and a pencil, and they're going to write down every listen. If they're wise, they want to succeed in life, they're going to write down those principles given out from the pulpit that they know that are absolutely scriptural. And you know what they're going to do?

They're going to take them home, and they're going to meditate on them. God, speak to my heart. Work this into my thinking. Help me to think the way you think about this. Let me just absorb this.

Let me soak in this. If this is the truth of your Word, and I follow your truth, and all your power is behind what I'm doing, and you will enable me to succeed no matter what. His delight or her delight is in the law of the Lord. And notice what he says.

And in that law, that person, what does he say? Meditates upon the Word of God day and night. Now what does it mean to meditate? Well it doesn't mean just to read through the Bible once a year.

You can read through the Bible once a year and miss God, if that's all your motive is. We're to read it carefully. We're to think about it. We're to apply it to our heart. And we might ask several questions like these, for example.

We might ask this question. Is there any sin in this passage that I am to avoid? Secondly, is there any truth that you want me to comprehend and understand that maybe I have not understood before? Is there any promise here that I have been unwilling or have not been able in my lack of faith to believe you for and to accept as true in my own life? Is there some victory I'm to have in my life according to this passage of Scripture?

Is there some blessing that I'm to enjoy? And so what happens is you just go right down this passage of Scripture, and you might ask yourself the question, is there some truth that I have missed? What you're doing is this. Here you have these, if you limit to these three verses, for example, and you begin to read it. You read it today, tomorrow, the next day, each day.

Don't go beyond that. Just stick with one passage, a little notepad, and you just ask the Lord. Now, Lord, I want you to speak to my heart. I want you to show me in this passage what you need to say to me about my life. You may have picked up this passage, and you said, well, this looks like the pathway to real genuine success, and that's what I want. So what are you saying to me, Lord, about success in my life? Or it may be that you are asking yourself other questions, but you come to this passage.

Listen, don't just read it and say, well, I didn't get much out of it. There are many times when I'll read a passage, and I'll think, well, hmm, then I'll go back over it. And here's what happens. When you begin to say, Lord, what are you saying to me?

You know what happens? Words jump off the page. Words, the meaning of words, begin to become very important. You begin to see relationships, and you begin to see things in a passage that you've not seen before. You see, the problem with most people is they never learn to meditate upon the Word of God.

They go through the whole Christian life, and they have Sunday school lessons they teach or sermons men preach or Bible readings they have. They never learn to meditate. God, what are you saying to me? Is there some sin here? Is there something I'm to avoid, some truth you want to get, some principle you're trying to apply to my life?

Is there some warning, some caution you're trying to give me? Are you saying something to me that, Lord, maybe I'm just not getting it, God? How do you discover those principles that get on the inside of you and absolutely radically change your circumstance, your life? You meditate, he says, but his delight is in the law of the Lord. In his law, he meditates day and night. Go back to Joshua 1, if you want to for a moment, and listen to exactly what he said. He said in that seventh verse, be strong, Joshua, very courageous. Be careful to do according to all the law, which Moses, my servant commanded you. Don't turn from it to the right or to the left.

How would he not do that? He'd have to be meditating. Then you'll have success. This book of the law shall not depart from your mouth, but you shall meditate on it day and night so that you may be careful. Listen, careful to do according to all that is written in it. Then you'll make your way prosperous. Then you'll have success. He says, be careful.

That's why you can't just skim over a passage. I don't know what's happening in your life, where you are. You may be feeling a real like a real failure. You meditate on this passage.

You follow what it says. God will transform your, listen, your discouraging moments. All of a sudden, when you begin to delight in the law of God, delight in the Word of God, delight in the principles of God, here's what's going to happen. You're going to get excited about whatever's challenging you, and you're going to get so excited, you're going to say, God, I want you to show me, show me how to follow these principles in order to demonstrate to me that you can do exactly what you promised to do. God will take that kind of challenge anytime.
Whisper: medium.en / 2023-07-01 20:54:33 / 2023-07-01 21:02:53 / 8

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