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The Fulfillment of a Promise - Part 2

In Touch / Charles Stanley
The Truth Network Radio
May 18, 2022 12:00 am

The Fulfillment of a Promise - Part 2

In Touch / Charles Stanley

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May 18, 2022 12:00 am

Did you know the foundation of your requests should be found in the promises of God?

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Welcome to the In Touch Podcast with Charles Stanley for Wednesday, May eighteenth. Let's visit the story of Abraham to find motivation to trust the Lord in every situation. Here's part two of The Fulfillment of a Promise. I want to use one story, one event in the Old Testament as a track to show you. How does God answer prayer? How does He deal with His promises? We said sometimes He has unconditional promises.

They're going to be that way, nothing's going to change it. So, I want to take you along that track. Now, it's not that you simply have never heard the events. I want you to see principle after principle in this scenario with Abraham. Because, now watch this, our life is not like his life. Our events are not like his events, but God doesn't change. The same principles that worked in his life work in our life.

So, let's look at this and the first thing I want you to jot down in your notes is simply this, and that is that the promises of God are stated clearly. That is, God would never say to you, now here's what I'm thinking about. Or He wouldn't say, I want you to consider. Or He wouldn't say, well, here's what I'd like for you to do.

You figure it out. God's promises are crystal clear. There's not a single hazy, shady kind of uncertain promise in the Word of God. So, therefore, He's going to make it very, very clear. But the second thing I want you to notice is this, and we'll go right through these chapters here. And that is, with God's promises comes clear guidance. You think about all the decisions you have to make in life. Think about decisions that pop up that you and I don't even plan on.

Things that we don't even have any details about. But He says, I will guide you. That's the promise that belongs to every single child of God. God wants to be personally involved in every single area of your life. Because He knows you and I live in a world that's wicked, vile, corrupt, you name it.

And Satan is our enemy. And therefore, God wants to be involved in every aspect of our life. So, when I think about that, I think about God will renew His promise.

Because He wants us to follow Him. He will renew His promise to us as we follow His will. In the fifteenth chapter, verse one. After these things, the word of the Lord came to Abram in a vision, saying, Do not fear, Abram, I'm a shield to you.

Your reward shall be very great. Abram said, O Lord God, what will you give me since I'm childless? And heir of my house is Eliezer of Damascus, is one of his servants. Abram said, Since you have given no offspring to me, one born in my house is my heir. Then behold, the word of the Lord came to him, saying, This man will not be your heir, but one who will come forth from your own body.

He shall be your heir. And he took him outside and said, Now look toward the heavens, count the stars. If you are able to count them, and he said to him, So shall your descendants be. Then he believed in the Lord, and he reckoned it unto him as righteousness. And he said to him, I am the Lord who brought you out of the air of the Chaldees to give you this land to possess it.

What I want you to see is this. In God's awesome love for us, wherever He leads us, and especially when the way gets difficult and hard and we can't quite see our way. It's in His wonderful grace that God will take the time and do whatever's necessary to reassure us that we are walking in His path, though it may be difficult, may be hard.

We're walking in His path, may be questionable. Others may think, Well, why are you doing that? He reassured him, Here's exactly what I want you to remember. Here's what I'm doing.

We're going to do it just exactly like I said it. And so, the Lord kept blessing him. Now, which leads me to another issue here.

And that is that sometimes listening to ungodly counsel or what may not necessarily be ungodly but unwise counsel can cause us to know the promises of God and get out of the will of God. You know this story. What happens? Well, Sarah can't have a child. And so she says, Here's what I'd like to do.

You get the maid and I'm going to turn the maid over to you and we'll, I'll have a child that way. Boy, this is a perfect example. You step out of God's will, do it your way instead of His way, you always have trouble. Did you hear that?

Say, Amen. Always have trouble. So now, this good relationship that they seemingly had between Abraham's wife and Hagar and himself, now there's immediate conflict in the family. Because the Scripture says, He went into Hagar and she conceived and when she saw that she had conceived, her mistress was despised in her sight.

Now here's a man living with two women in the same household. They were all getting along fine until he listened to Sarah's ill advice and did what she said instead of trusting God. And God made it crystal clear. And so, listening to unwise counsel gets you out of the will of God and usually when that happens, other people suffer as a result.

Watch this. God doesn't need any help getting His will done. He knew exactly what He was doing. He knew exactly how He was going to do it.

He knew when the timing would be perfect. Well, it just didn't suit Sarah. Wasn't going to be the way she wanted it. And as much as she's guilty, he's more guilty, he knew better, God is, he's the one to whom God said, Here's what I'm going to do.

And so, what you find, you find this conflict going on. And so, that wasn't God's choice. God's choice was that He would give him a son through Sarah. You see, this was an unconditional promise of God that she would have a son through whom the whole world could be blessed and would be blessed through the coming of Jesus Christ. So, when we ignore what God tells us to do, we suffer the consequences. Then, of course, sometimes the fulfillment of God's promise may seem impossible when we view it from our eyes. And this is what, in this seventeenth chapter, this is where we find the Lord speaking to Abraham and telling him what he's going to do.

He's reaffirming what he's going to do. I will bless her, and indeed I will give you a son by her. Then I will bless her, and she shall be a mother of nations. Kings of peoples will come from her. Now, listen to this. Because it didn't seem reasonable, then Abraham fell on his face laughing and said in his heart, Will a child be born to a man who is a hundred years old?

And will Sarah, who is ninety years old, bear a child? Well, human reason of what was the promise of God. Watch this. This is why we cannot go on the advice of others and we can't go on human reason. God may require of you something that looks totally unreasonable. But He knows what He can do with you. He knows what He can do in you. He knows what He can do through you. He can do the unreasonable. He can do the impossible. He will do everything He promised to do. And I can think about it in times in my own life when I have said, Lord, how is this going to work?

It's nothing reasonable whatsoever. But you know what? Then I watched Him just unfold it. And I can tell you, I can tell you experience after experience after experience of times when I didn't understand why, I didn't understand how, I didn't understand when, and it didn't make sense. But by the grace of God, I obeyed Him.

And I can tell you today, I wouldn't change a single one of those decisions, not a one of them. Because you see, He's not going to mislead you. And listen, every time God challenges you with something and you obey Him, here's what happens. He blesses you. He keeps His Word. And what happens? Your faith gets stronger and stronger and stronger and stronger and stronger.

It isn't that God's changed, you and I change. We begin to say, well, we can trust Him for this. I can trust Him for this. I can trust Him for this.

I can trust Him for this. And God becomes in our life on a personal basis who He's been all along, but it's personal to us. And so, you look at this passage and you think, well, God, what in the world were you up to in all this? It seemed impossible. Why didn't you just go ahead and let Sarah have a son?

What's all this putting it off? A quarter of a century. It didn't make sense unless you know God. And when you see it from God's perspective, then we say, oh, I see. So, he laughed when Sarah heard it. She laughed.

They're both laughing at God about God doing what He promised to do on His schedule in His timing and His way. But He followed them. He obeyed them.

As tough as it may have seemed to them at that particular time. So, I look at that passage and I see what seemed to be impossible from a human point of view. We would all agree from a human point of view, a hundred-year-old man, a ninety-year-old woman, but who created Sarah? Who created this man that he's trusting now, Abraham? Who created him?

God created him. You see, don't underestimate what God can do in your life. So, then that leads me to the next one.

That's simply this. That the fulfillment of God's promise in life may require of us something that appears to be in opposition to what He's promised. And He's promised that through this child, Isaac, He is going to bless all of mankind. And then one day, God says to him in the twenty-second chapter, came about after these things that God tested Abraham and said to him, Abraham, He said, Here I am. He said, Take now your Son, your only Son, whom you love, Isaac, offer Him there on Mount Moriah as a burnt offering on one of the mountains of which I will show you. And that didn't make any sense at all because it looked like God was contradicting Himself. He says, Through this child, I'm going to bless the nations of the earth. And now you're telling me to go kill Him?

Now let's put it in cold language, kill Him? That doesn't make sense. That, in other words, that couldn't be God. God would never say that. Watch this. This is why we live by promise and we live by obedience, not by feelings, and not by reason.

Because some things just will not seem to be reasonable. But what did He do? The Scripture says very clearly, Abraham rose early the next morning and saddled his donkey, took two of his young men with him, and Isaac his son. He split wood for the burnt offering and rose and went to the place of which God had told him.

Now here's a significant thing. On the third day Abraham raised his eyes and saw the place from a distance. Abraham said to his young men, now watch this, very significant verse in the Bible. Abraham said to his young men, Stay here with the donkey and I and the lad will go over there and we will worship and return to you.

What was Abraham saying? God's made me a promise. And he's taken me this far. He gave me a son when I didn't even think it was possible. He's done all this.

If God tells me to sacrifice my son, I'm going to be obedient to Him because I believe that God will have to raise Him from the dead, but I'm going to trust Him to do it. Wasn't reasonable, but he trusted Him. And when I read these passages of Scripture and see how God worked in his life, and only when he stepped out of God's plan to go to Egypt, then he listened to Sarah. He got in trouble. When he got that all straightened out, what's happening? God's plan's still on course. Nothing's slowed it up. Nothing's deviated. God had to work him over a little bit in these situations.

But what's happened? It's still on course because it is an unconditional promise of God. Which leads me to the last point, and that's this. Sometimes the fulfillment of God's promise may lead us to surrender something very dear to us. So of all the things that Abraham owned, and he was a very, very wealthy man, the most important possession he had was Isaac his son. That's why he called him the one, the only one he loved. Think about this, the dearest thing in Abraham's life, he would have given up all of his cattle, all of his gold, all of his silver, all of this, all of that because of his son Isaac. He waited a quarter of a century for him. He was a promise of God. And where is he going to make one of his servants head of his household? God said, no. Isaac is the one. What does it say to us?

It says simply this. You can trust God. You can trust Him through all the questions, all the doubts, all the fears. And you and I may come to those places in our life or maybe some pivotal point where God's whole purpose for your life could rest on a single decision. The question is, if it's costly, are you willing to surrender whatever you hold, whatever is your possession in order to do the perfect will of God for your life? Who we really are is best determined by what we are willing to surrender than all of our talents and skills and abilities and possessions.

Now watch this. Isaac was the most precious thing he owned. That was his son.

But he was willing to lay him down for the purpose of obeying God. So let me ask you a question. What is there in your life that you're gripping, you're holding on to, and somehow you just can't surrender it to God?

Watch this carefully. Is it a relationship that you have that you can't? Open your hands to. Is it something you possess that you can't lay down? Something you own? Is it some dream that you have? Some goal that you've set? Some path that you have chosen to walk, but you're not willing to lay it down?

Let me simply say this. You will end up disappointed, in pain, in heartache, in suffering, because that's the way disobedience leads every single time. But if you give it up and give it to Him, watch this carefully, you will never lose. You cannot lose giving yourself to Almighty God through His Son Jesus Christ. You cannot lose. You cannot win, holding to yourself what God intends for you to lay down. So where are you in your life?

Have you ever trusted Jesus Christ as your personal Savior or have you just decided you're going to live your life the way you want to live it? And somehow you're going to make it work. You can't make it work.

Watch this. You cannot make work something that God will never allow to work, and that's disobedience. As a believer, you and I may make decisions that are not right and God will forgive us, and we'll move on. But if you deny Jesus Christ, if you reject the Son of God, listen, and the Father gave Jesus to die on the cross so that you could be forgiven of your sins.

So that you could have the gift of eternal life. When you reject Him, you reject God's only avenue to a holy life and the life that's eternal. So, if you hold on to what is yours, to your way of life, and reject Him, what do you have? You don't have His guidance. You don't have His presence.

You don't have anything. It's a deception of the devil that somehow you're going to make it in a way you cannot. Please listen to me. You cannot. You will not. God will not allow it. The wisest thing you can do is to ask the Father to forgive you of your sins and tell Him that you're trusting Jesus Christ, His sacrificed Son at the cross, who died to pay our sin debt in full. You're trusting Him as your personal Savior. And from this point on, your life is His life, whatever He wants to do.

Wisest decision you will ever make in your life. Thank you for listening to part two of The Fulfillment of a Promise. 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 / 2023-04-17 01:44:35 / 2023-04-17 01:52:04 / 7

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