Welcome to this weekend's In Touch Podcast with Charles Stanley. Greed and self-centered this have led many to ruin. Today's podcast helps us consult the Scriptures to avoid a similar fate. What is it that causes people to fail, the real true cause of their failure?
Well, that's what I'm going to talk about in this message. And this is our series entitled Success, God's Way. We're talking about success blockers. What is it that keeps us from succeeding in life? And remember that our definition of success is not the accumulation of wealth or the successful completion of a project, but rather the continuing achievement of becoming the persons that God wants us to be and accomplishing the goals that God has helped us set for our life.
The continuing achievement of becoming the persons God wants us to be and achieving those goals that God has helped us to set in our life. Well, I want you to turn, if you will, to Hebrews chapter 12. I want us to look at a passage, and I'm not going to expound this passage.
I just want to look at one primary phrase because what I want to talk about, what are these blockers? What are these things that keep us from reaching the goals in our life that God would help us to set? Well, in the 12th chapter of Hebrews, the first verse says, Therefore, since we have so great a cloud of witnesses surrounding us, let us also lay aside every encumbrance and the sin which so easily entangles us. Let us run with endurance the race that is set before us, fixing our eyes on Jesus, the author and perfect of our faith, who for the joy set before Him endured the cross, despising the shame, and is set down at the right hand of the throne of God.
Now look at this. He talks about the race that is set before us. God has a plan and a will for every single one of us.
And He says it is set before us. God is the one who shows us a sense of direction for our life. You don't have to flounder through life wondering, well, what am I here for?
Where am I headed? What is my purpose? God is more than willing to show you what His purpose, His will and His plan for your life is. Well, what we want to do in this message is to identify seven blocks, those things that absolutely will hinder you, keep you from accomplishing the goals that God has set for your life, keep you from achieving what God desires for you to achieve, that is to become the person He wants you to be and achieve and accomplish those goals He has for you. Whether you're a homemaker raising godly children and being a godly wife, whether you're the president of some corporation, whether you're a secretary of salesmen, plumber, preacher, carpenter, it makes no difference what you do.
God suddenly chooses and has chosen whatever He guides you to do in life that you would do well at it, that you would succeed at it, that you would reach the goals that He's set for your life. Now, with that in mind, what are these blockers? Well, the first one is fear. The first blocker is fear. Fear is that uneasy feeling, that alarm that goes off in our life when we feel threatened or when we feel suddenly that we are unable, incapable, we lack the ability. That is, all of a sudden when we feel inadequate, something goes off inside of us. One of the primary reasons people do not achieve the goals that God has set for their life, one of the primary reasons they fail at what they could succeed at is because they fear.
They have fear. Now, God says in His Word, I've not given you the spirit of fear but of power and of love and of a sound mind, so fear does not come from God. Whatever God calls you and me to do, whatever goal He sets before us, we head toward that goal with the promise of His presence, the promise of His power, the promise of His protection. We have everything we need, the promise of His provision. Whenever you and I head toward the goals that God would have us to set, we have the great enabler, the Holy Spirit to provide every single thing we need. You want to succeed in whatever God called you to do, you must learn to deal with fear. And He says, I've not given you the spirit of fear but of power and of love and of a sound mind. That's one of those entangling things on the road of life that you must lay down and walk away from.
And you walk away from it by focusing your attention upon Almighty God and claiming His promise in your behalf. Second block. Second block is doubt. You say, well, what do you mean by doubt? Simply this, that is doubt is that uncertain feeling that you and I have, that feeling of lack of assurance.
And you recall the Scripture says that He that cometh to God must believe that He is and that He's a rewarder of those who diligently seek Him. I must believe it. Now, if I'm doubting, here's what's happening. I'm thinking, well, maybe I can, but maybe I can't.
Maybe I will, maybe I won't. A person who is a doubter is very unsteady. Well, James warns us against this. Look if you will in the first chapter of James. You'll recall he's talking about wisdom and praying for wisdom and asking for God's guidance and so forth. And he says, you know, if you ask for wisdom, then believe, don't doubt, don't be like the waves of the sea flowing back and forth. He said, listen to what he said about a person who does that. Verse six, James one, But let him ask in faith without any doubting. For the one who doubts is like the surf of the sea, driven by the winds and tossed.
Listen to this now. Let not that man expect that he will receive anything. He can expect to be unsuccessful if he's a doubter. Being a double-minded man, that is, if he's double-minded, he's wishy-washy.
Don't expect anything. Unstable in all of his ways. What James has done in one verse is to describe for us the attitude of the person who lives in doubt and the person, listen, who's unsuccessful, unsteady, and emotionally, continually being thrown off base, not going to succeed. When God sets a goal for your life or gives you a sense of direction, God already knows watch this, he already knows every single event that's going to take place from the time he gives you that to the very time that you succeeded that or achieved that. He knows all the pitfalls. He knows all the narrow places, all the valleys you're going through, all the dark storms. He knows all about that.
You know what? He has already and will as you move along step by step equip you for the next step. But here's what happens. When you and I move in the next step that God wants us to take, what does he do? But each step prepares us for the next step. And so what happens is people say, well, I just don't know what's going to happen and I don't know how I'm going to work all this out. We take one step at a time with our focus upon God, trusting in him. Listen, he said, lay aside the block of fear. Lay aside the block of doubt. They don't fit who we are.
They will block you from succeeding in whatever God has called you to do. Now, the third one is what I call excusitis. So how do you spell that? E-X-C-U-S-E-I-T-I-S. Is that the right way to spell it? Well, listen, my computer won't even tell me how to spell that. So that's my spelling of it. Excusitis.
Well, what do you mean by that? Well, what's appendicitis? It's a problem, right? Well, excusitis is a problem. So somebody says, well, how would you define excusitis? Excusitis is simply the habit of excusing myself or offering an excuse for not doing what God's called me to do or taking that first step toward the goal or whatever it might be. Why go through life excusing ourselves for failure, excusing ourselves for things we don't feel like we can do because of fear and doubt and poor self-image and all the rest? Then listen, instead of working so hard, coming up with another excuse, get busy developing the skills or whatever is necessary in order to achieve what God has. Because one of these days, the thing you don't want to do is to end up in life saying, if I'd have, if I'd have just listened back yonder, if I'd have just listened, if I'd have just taken the first step, if I'd have just listened.
You don't want to end up like that. Because there's so many people that end up in life just like that. They end up having given God all these excuses in their life, having wasted their life.
Excusitis is absolutely unacceptable in the eyes of God and it will affect the person in every area of their life. Well, not only is that a block, but here's another block, and that's procrastination. Now, a person who is a procrastinator could give us all kinds of reasons for procrastinating.
Well, let's look at the real issue here. When a person is a procrastinator, what is it, for example, if you should say to somebody now, why did you not do it? Well, sometimes, for example, if a person is a perfectionist, now I don't mean by perfectionist that they do everything perfect, but they would like to, they try to, they want to, they're driven to, you got to do it perfect.
A person who is a perfectionist, here's what they do. They are absolute masters at procrastination. And they can justify it, because here's what happens.
They don't even realize what's going on. A person who is a procrastinator is what I call discomfort dodging. Discomfort dodging. In other words, in order to dodge this discomfort, I'm going to put it off. For example, you see, procrastination is delaying what I ought to do today for tomorrow, because I'm not comfortable doing it. You know what I have to do? I have to lay down my feelings every week about a lot of things in life.
You cannot operate on the basis of comfort or discomfort. You got to take a step. Lay aside your fears. You say, listen, you say, well, I can't lay them aside.
Yes, you can. He said, listen, lay aside all those things that entangle you. Keep you off God's way. Keep you out of God's way.
A block, listen, when we talk about success box, we're talking about the things that block you from the blessings God has already prepared and set in mind for you. And the reason I want to come on strong about is because I don't want you to end up missing in life. Listen, if you miss it in life, it'll be because you chose to miss it. Excuses, procrastination. And what happens with the procrastination? Here's what happens. Some very important decisions don't get made. Some wonderful opportunities we lose. And we cause other people frustration because there are time limits and time deadlines. And what happens? If we procrastinate and we don't make the decisions that we ought to make, then what happens? They suffer as a result. Procrastination.
It's a block. All right. Number five, greed. Well, what in the world is greed? Greed is that insatiable, hunger, craving for more than I need and more than I can use. Greed is an idolatrous attitude. And here is something that is first, foremost, I've got to have more and more and more of it in order to satisfy something in me which will absolutely never be satisfied under any condition whatsoever.
And yet that is exactly what people try to do. Greedy, got to have more. Greed doesn't fit who we are.
As long as you're greedy, here's what you do. You're saying, I'm going to be a success on my own because God's not going to help you. God is not going to help you take from others and hoard it for yourself when on the other hand you could be a blessing to other people.
That's the kind of person God blesses, is the person who's willing to be a giver. Well, another roadblock and certainly greed is one of them. And then number six is the violation of our conscience. What do we mean by violating our conscience? Well, our conscience is that alarm system.
Will you call it a bell or whether you call it an alarm or whether you call it a red light that goes on? That is that part of our personality, that part of our life that God has given us in order to warn us against danger, against something that threatens us, but also to warn us against moral dangers in our life. And so we all have a conscience. Now, can I really and truly ask God to enable me to succeed in whatever I'm doing? Can I ask Him to help me to reach the goals that I believe He set for my life or you set for your life, and at the same time deliberately, willfully violate my conscience that's been programmed with the Word of God?
No, we cannot. Because you see, well, I call it static. That is, when you and I violate our conscience, something happens on the inside. We know immediately when we violate our conscience. If your conscience has been programmed by the Word of God, then listen, we violate that. It's like something hits our grid and it is absolutely, listen, absolutely in violation of the principles that God has placed upon the grid of our mind.
We know immediately doesn't fit who I am. How can I ask God to enable me to succeed in life and to achieve the goals that He has set for my life if I'm going to deliberately, willfully violate His Word? This is why I've spent so much time talking about setting goals, how to reach those goals, that God indeed is for our success, that He desires for us to be successful, and then to come with what may appear to you to be a bunch of negatives. They're not negatives, they're very positive warnings that if I'm going to reach my goals in life, if I'm going to reach the goals that God has enabled me to set and led me to set, then I have to deal with all those natural roadblocks that are there.
These are just natural things. Fearfulness, doubt, procrastination, greed, all these things can develop in anybody's life. When we violate our conscience, deliberately and willfully violate our conscience, we surrender our right to ask Almighty God and His sovereign power to enable us, equip us, and guide us to the success of the goals that He's set for our life. So what you and I have to do is look at life.
You see, and you read all these books about setting goals and being a success and all that. Listen, if you don't deal with the principles of Scripture, if you don't deal with Godly living, listen, you may be able to make a lot of money and achieve some things, but there'll be no peace, no joy, no contentment, no happiness, no real happiness, and certainly no security, no real security. Cannot violate your conscience. Number seven, watch this one, slothfulness. That's a big word. Slothfulness is a big word for a full other word which is called lazy. Slothfulness. Look at Proverbs 18.
Very clear what God says. Different words in the Bible for a slothfulness or laziness. Verse nine, listen, verse nine says, he also who is slack in his work is brother to him who destroys. He says a person who's slothful is a person who will destroy things. Twenty-fourth chapter, look in the twenty-fourth chapter of Proverbs and look, if you will, in verse thirty. We're going to read several of these verses. I passed by the field of a slugger, that's a slothful person, and by the vineyard of the man lacking sense. Don't met lazy people now. And behold, it was completely overgrown with thistles.
Its surface was covered with nettles and its stone wall was broken down. When I saw, I reflected upon it. I looked and received instruction, a little sleep, a little slumber, little folding of the hands to rest. Then your poverty will come as a robber and you'll want like an armed man. Does God approve of slothfulness? No, He does not. Now what are we talking about?
Simply this. God has a will and a plan for every one of our lives. God wants us to succeed in whatever He calls us to do. God will help us set goals that will help us to succeed in what He's called us to do. He will enable us not only to set them, but He will enable us to reach those goals.
There are those things that will block them, and we've talked about them. So you have to ask yourself this question. Does fear keep me from doing what I know God wants me to do in my life? Is one of my problems doubt? Am I always making excuses? Am I procrastinating? Down inside of me, am I sort of greedy? Is that a part of my thinking? Do I violate my conscience?
And am I just a busybody or am I diligent in my work? My friend, listen, God loves you. He wants the best for you and He's willing, listen, nothing I've mentioned has anything to do with these outward circumstances. And you and I have the awesome promise of the Holy Spirit living on the inside of us to enable us to achieve everything that God has set out for us.
Wise men and women identify as they look at the path of their life. Any block that keeps them from achieving the goals, the good things, the best things in life that God has set for them will push them aside and move on one by one to become the persons God wants them to be and achieve the goals God will have them set. What is the first decision? Trusting Jesus Christ as your personal Savior. Asking Him to forgive you of your sins. Telling Him that you're laying your life before Him and that you want to see what God will do in your life once you lay your life before Him.
And if you're one of those persons who says, well, I know that I am saved. What's the next thing? What is the next decision you should make in order to move forward to reaching your goals?
Is it the Jonah church somewhere where somebody's teaching and preaching the Word of God? Is it to follow the Lord Jesus in baptism? You've been saved but you, you, you've procrastinated a very, very important aspect of your Christian life. What's the next step in your life? I would never ask you to do anything but take the next step.
Whatever God tells you to do, if you want to succeed and if you want the best that God has for you, take the next step and take it as soon as possible. Thank you for listening to Success Blockers. 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 / 2023-03-08 03:53:44 / 2023-03-08 04:01:38 / 8