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God’s Pathway to Success - Part 2

In Touch / Charles Stanley
The Truth Network Radio
January 6, 2022 12:00 am

God’s Pathway to Success - Part 2

In Touch / Charles Stanley

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Welcome to the In Touch Podcast with Charles Stanley for Thursday, January 6th. God rewards His followers. Discover what He has waiting for those who choose His path to living life at its best. 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.

It's interesting in this very first Psalm, because when you think about the world's idea and the requirements for success, here's what they'll tell you. First of all, you've got to set goals. Second, you've got to set time limits on those goals.

Then you've got to set priorities. Then you've got to be diligent and persevering and have faith. And on and on and on we go with all those principles. And years and years ago, I read all these books about success until I found something very interesting that every single principle of success, true, genuine principle of success is found in the Bible. And so when I've read some of these books, I thought, well, now these fellows think that they are being very creative and they've discovered these things.

And this is new and new at all. It's been the Bible all these hundreds and hundreds and thousands of years. God knows exactly what it takes to make you and me successful in whatever He's called us to do. Now, you may say, well, but I'm just the homemaker.

Well, let me ask you something. Can you tell me anything more challenging today to be successful at than a godly mother, a godly father, a godly husband or a godly wife? Tell me something that is any more challenging than to be that today and to succeed at that. And so when the world thinks in terms of success, they want to take us out of the category of things that are holy and righteous and good and moral and put us out there when it comes to wealth and fame and all the rest. But look at all the people out there who have all the wealth and all the fame and all the prominence.

Most of us who have any sense at all would not swap places with a single one of them. This does not mean that it's a sin to be wealthy. It doesn't mean that you cannot succeed in life and be wealthy and famous and prominent and all the rest. And then some very godly people out there who would have all of those characteristics about them. But that's just an overflow of the things that made them successful. It is certainly not the world's way, because, you see, a person could be very diligent, set goals, have their priorities, have their time limits. They could be diligent and persevering and trusting and believing in all these things. You know what? They could be doing that.

A thief could do that. In other words, all of those principles that they think makes for success. But the end result is, what's happening on the inside of my life? Do I have peace? Do I have joy? Do I have contentment? You can have all the prominence and all the prestige and all the wealth and all that, but if you're unhappy and you watch and listen to these people who give their, not testimonies, but tell you a little brief biographical sketch about themselves at the end of their life.

What are they saying? I had all this fame, all this wealth, but unhappy, miserable, and feel deep down inside that ultimately in their own personal life, they were absolute total failures. What is God's pathway? Well, look at this, if you will, this first song that we probably know it by heart, at least most of it.

Listen to what He says. Now, it's interesting, let me say this before we start. 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. The first requirement for success is to be careful about our relationships. 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.

Now, look at this. He says the successful man or woman is going to delight in the Word of God, delight in the law of the Lord, and they're going to meditate. It's going to become a priority in their life because He says they're going to meditate on it when? Day and what?

Night. That does not mean some skimming over it in the evening before you go to bed. They're going to meditate on it day and night.

That is, the delight is such the intensity of their desire to find out God. What are you saying? Is there some way that you're working that I've missed? And I believe anyone who is feeling like or sensing a failure in their life in some area, there is a principle they've overlooked. There's a principle they have avoided. There's a principle they have denied. There's a principle that's not clear to them. They've never been taught. And I'm not saying that a person is necessarily guilty of that because they don't want it.

Maybe they've never been taught it. 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. And I would say to anybody, you pick up a copy of the Living Bible, paraphrased edition, and read the book of Proverbs. Every single principle of success is in the book of Proverbs. You say, well, why the Living Bible, paraphrased edition? Because it is so simple and so plain and so down to earth the way it was translated that it's so easy for people to read. Therefore, if you have a difficult time reading your particular translation, just get you a copy of that and ask God to show you. This will happen.

This is what I did a long time ago. I went to the book of Proverbs. I underlined and read every single principle of success in there.

Friend, you can't name one that's not in there. God isn't going to come up short. In other words, every servant of his down through the ages, he has desired that they succeed in whatever they do. Determination and faith and perseverance and obedience to God and all the principles that make for genuine success.

Well, what are the rewards? Listen to what they are. Notice what he says, beginning in verse 3. And he will be like a tree, or she will be like a tree, firmly planted by streams of water, which yields its fruit in its season.

Its leaf does not wither, and in whatever he or she does, they will prosper. Now let's look at this. It's interesting how God can say so much in so few words. And it takes us an hour to try to explain something that He said so simply in His Word.

And look at this. First of all, He said, now watch about your walk and your standing and your sitting. Now He says, you want to know what a successful man or woman is like? They're like a tree. He says, a believer, one who is following God's principles, He says, like a tree, firmly planted, that is, deep roots. Deep roots so when the winds blow and the storms come, you know what happens? They survive. Or He says, like a flourishing, fruitful palm tree.

God's children are like the tree, firmly planted, that is, strong, stalwart. We can stand the buffeting of life. We can stand those storms of life. We just hang in there no matter what, why? Because we know who is in control of our lives. But notice what He says, where it's planted.

What does He say? It's planted by what? Streams of water. Now let me ask you, if you were a tree, where would you want to be planted? You'd want to be planted close to the stream, close to the river. So when the droughts come, we're making a difference whatsoever.

He says, now the successful man or woman is like that. He says, we can handle the storms and God is going to strengthen us. Now when He says, planted by the streams of water, what happens? Those roots go down and draw from that stream the nourishment and the moisture that it needs.

You can have a drought, but if the tree is planted by the stream where there's water flowing, that tree is going to be fine. And here's the thing you're not to remember. The world is looking for something on the outside to satisfy them, to make them feel famous. In other words, whatever gives them the security and their wealth, finances and all the rest.

Here's the difference. Those of us who are believers, you and I have tapped in to the eternal stream of the Son of God. We have eternal life flowing on the inside of us. We don't need to go anywhere to be successful. We don't have to have anything the world has to offer.

When you have the Lord Jesus Christ in your life, He will provide the peace. He'll provide the contentment and His wonderful way. He'll provide our needs. He's promised to do that.

If He wants to make you famous or make you whether that's His business, but you know what, He says, seek ye first the kingdom of God and His righteousness and all these things that we need shall be added and God will also not only give us what we need, He will supply us oftentimes with far more than we ever expected, like a tree planted by the streams. That is, we have the source of strength. We have what we need on the inside.

We don't have to look on the outside to get it. Notice the second thing. He says, first of all, He says, He will be or she will be like a tree firmly planted by streams of water. Secondly, it will not only, listen, be planted firmly but be very productive.

Look at this. Which yields its fruit in its season. Now, that should eliminate the whole idea of retirement. What does He say? Yielding fruit in old age.

What kind of fruit? Well, it just depends on what God has you doing. That is, if you're walking in the center of God's will and I read the other day somebody said, that people don't quit work because they're old. That's what people, most people do. But people get old because they quit work. And most folks say, I'm just going to live to retire. I just want to retire. Retire and do what? Well, you know what happens? You send a message to your mind. I'm finished. Quit work. If that person doesn't get busy fast, they're going to die. You send a message to your body, it's all over, then your body starts saying, well, it's all over.

You say, can you prove that? Just look around you at the people who work to retire and sit down and do nothing and how long do they live? He says there'll be a fruit in old age, which means the older you and I get, the more productive we ought to be in some ways because of our relationship to God and because, listen, we're tapped into the eternal stream of the Son of God who has all the power we need to accomplish anything in life.

He wants us to accomplish. And this is why sometimes people change their vocations in life and God leads them to change their vocations and oftentimes people start something new very late in life and you know what? All of a sudden, the skills and abilities and talents that they didn't even realize they had absolutely begin to surface and they, listen, the last years of their life become some of the most profitable, exciting, fruitful, productive years of their life because, listen, again, once again, they're in the will of God. It's something different than they've always done.

They're in the will of God. And so you see when people say, well, one of these days I'm going to get old enough to retire. Don't even think about it. You may get old enough.

You may get old enough in order to change your vocation so that you can give more of your time to the Lord and I do believe when a person is committed to giving the latter years of their life to God, God's going to strengthen them, encourage them, enable them, provide for them and use them in a godly fashion to bring glory and honor to His name. He says we'll be productive. Now think about a tree, for example. A tree provides food, if it's a fruit tree. It provides shade.

It provides a home for the birds. Just think how fruitful a tree can be. So let me ask you this question. Would you consider yourself a fruitful person? What is it that's coming from your life that's beautiful to someone else, helpful to someone else, encouraging to someone else, contributes to someone else's life?

What is it, for example, that's coming from your life that's making a difference out there? Productive. This tree is firmly planted. This tree is productive and this tree is protected.

Look at this. He says, which yields its fruit in its season, doesn't drop the fruit before time. He says, yields its fruit in its season and its leaf absolutely does not wither. What happens? Protected by God.

You know what? When you and I walk in the will of God, we have divine protection in our life. He will guide us.

Listen, when you're meditating upon the Word of God, He's going to guide you and me. He's going to protect us in making wise decisions, godly decisions. So we're going to be firmly planted.

We're going to be productive and we're going to be protected. Now, there are seasons of rest for any plant and there are seasons of producing fruit. He says, producing fruit in its season and its leaf will not wither. Now all of us have trees in our yard and when the fall comes, trees, they lose their leaves.

But you know what? You also have trees if you live in Georgia that are pines. That is, they're evergreens.

They're going to be green no matter what happens. When I think about a believer who's walking in the will of God, we're all a bunch of evergreens. And if you're one of those persons whose leaf has withered, then more than likely you're out of God's will. You need to ask yourself, God, what evidence is there in my life that I'm productive? What evidence in my life is it that I am fruitful for the kingdom of God?

Going to be protected. And when you look at this tree and you think in terms of all of that, then you have to ask yourself, listen to what he says. He says, which yields its fruit in its season and its leaf does not wither and whatever he does, he prospers. Now I want you to turn to the little book of the Bible you haven't turned to in a long time. Third John, go back there if you will. Can somebody tell me the verse I'm going to read? Verse two, you got it.

Listen to what he says. Beloved, let you find it. Revelation, Jude, third John. Beloved, I pray that in all respects you may prosper and be in good health just as your soul prospers. Let me ask you a question. How many of you would be willing to pray, God, would you prosper me financially to the same degree that I'm prospering spiritually? Would you be willing to pray that? God, just adjust my salary according to my spiritual growth.

Listen to this. Beloved, I pray that in all respects you may prosper and be in good health to the degree your soul prospers. May you prosper in your health. May you prosper in your finances. May you prosper in your relationships.

May you prosper in your vocation. To the degree your soul prospers. Let me put it this way.

You know what? I believe that's exactly the way God operates. To the degree to which you and I walk godly before Him, walk in His pathway, doing the things He calls us to do, I believe that to that degree God is committed.

He is committed to that degree to enabling you and me to succeed in whatever He calls us to do. Now, there are two types of prosperity. There's spiritual prosperity, material prosperity.

I just want to ask you this one last question. You listen and say amen. If you were absolutely deadly honest and God asked you this question, how would you answer it? Of these two types of prosperity, material and spiritual, which, deep down inside, which is the priority of your life? Which do you pursue the most vigorously? Spiritual prosperity, growing in the Lord, being conformed to His likeness, understanding His ways, maturing in your faith or material wealth.

Here's what He says. If you will seek first the kingdom of God and His righteousness, which means His rule in your life and His character in your life, everything you and I will ever need, so much of what we probably desire, God who is a good God who says that He delights in prospering His children, I believe that is available to every believer. This is not a prosperity gospel.

This is an obedient gospel. Walking in the ways of God, He will make you a success at whatever you do. And my friend, I don't know about you, but the one thing I want to be a success at, above everything else, is not being a good pastor, not being a good preacher, not being any of that. I want to walk obediently before God. And with all my failures and weaknesses and frailties, that's still the most important goal in my life. I believe that's God's goal for every single one of us, to walk Godly and let Him take care of everything else in our life. Thank you for listening to part two of God's Pathway to Success. 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 / 2023-07-01 11:46:31 / 2023-07-01 11:54:51 / 8

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