Welcome to the In Touch Podcast with Charles Stanley for Monday, October 3. If you pay attention, you can glean important spiritual lessons from godly people. Today, you'll hear about four lessons Dr. Stanley learned from his grandfather. Dr. Stanley, what do you want to do? Well, first of all, I want to show you the responsibility of sharing with our children and our grandchildren the truths that you and I have learned that have changed our lives and expressed to them how God's worked in our life because all we have to do is to keep to ourselves for one generation and this nation becomes a pagan society.
That's how simple it is and how tragic and how easily it can happen. And so one of my primary reasons for wanting to share this this evening is I just want to impress upon your heart how very important it is that you and I share what God does in our life. He says in the 107th Psalm, I believe David said, Let the redeemed of the Lord say so.
That is, tell it. And so when I think about that, I also think about the 71st Psalm. Listen to what David said. This was his prayer to God. And he said, Psalm seventy one. Verse seventeen says, O God, thou has taught me from my youth and I still declare thy wondrous deeds. And even when I'm old and gray, O God, do not forsake me until I declare thy strength to this generation, thy power to all who come.
And what he was simply saying is this. He says, Give me the privilege of sharing with my generation and that generation that's following me. I want to share with them how you have done what, how you have exercised your strength in my life, how you have exercised your power, how you've demonstrated your presence and your power in my life. And let me say these particular four principles are in the Bible.
They're all very, very simple. But the way it came about in my own life, I just want to share with you. When I graduated from high school, I was 17 years of age. So I was on my way to college and I decided that I wanted to go see my granddad, whom at that time I had only seen two times in my life. When I was nine years of age, I went to see him and he preached a week and I heard him preach for a week. And then when I was 12 years of age, I went back and and again and heard him preach for a week. He preached a revival in the church there in Salish City, North Carolina.
He was a Pentecostal Holiness preacher. But anyway, it made a real impression on my heart. And when I went to see him this particular time, all I wanted to do is listen to him. I had some questions. And so we talked about what he believed and talked about what I believed and whatever differences there may have been probably wasn't very much at all.
I just want to hear my granddad tell me how God had worked in his life. And I did not know at the time what I was going to hear. I just knew that there was something unusual about him. And so I just said, well, I just like to ask you some questions. So in the process of that whole week of sitting on his screen in back porch, he began to share with me what he believed about some things. And then in the process of doing that, he would give me illustration after illustration of how God had worked in his life. And so I thought, well, Lord, now I want to be sure I hear this right, because if you work in my granddad's life this way, what would you do in my life?
And I'm 17 years of age. So the first thing I remember he told me, he said, Charles, obey God. He says, if God tells you to run your head through a brick wall, you head for the wall, when you get there, God will make a hole for it.
What my grandfather was saying is, obey God and leave all the consequences to him. And so then he told me he didn't say that principle number one. He was just talking about what was going on in his life, how God had worked. But here's what he told me. He said, when the Lord began to work in his life, he had been saved about two years.
And he started thinking maybe the Lord is calling him to preach. And he did not. He had no schooling whatsoever.
Because back in those days that he was born in 1876. So in those days, they didn't have schools everywhere. So they just had schools in certain districts. And the school only lasted three months of the year.
So I had to go to school three months. But there was no school in his district. So he he could not go.
And he was 18 years of age before a school ever came to his district. And he was so tall and old at that time, at 18, he was ashamed to go sit and go to school. So his big struggle was, how am I going to preach when I can hardly read? And he said he couldn't write the capital letters of the alphabet. And so he had a big time struggle. He prayed. He cried.
He wouldn't tell anybody. He struggled and struggled and said, you know, how am I going to read the scripture and how am I going to memorize it and how am I going to preach what I know about preaching? Who's going to let me preach? Where am I going to preach? Nobody's going to listen to me.
They're going to think he's an ignorant old man. And so he went through all of this. Until finally, he was willing to surrender his life to the Lord. And what he said to me is this.
He said, you know. He said, I learned this, that if I would obey God, then God would be responsible of whatever happened to me. And so my way of saying that is when we obey God, God assumes full responsibility for the consequences. And so what happened is my granddad started and he had a difficult time reading the scripture first. But he says as he tried to read the scriptures and pray, he said, I'd pray on my knees with an open Bible that God would teach me how to read the word. And so the principle he said to me was this. If you obey God, God will take care of all the consequences.
So what happened? He began to preach. God began to open doors of opportunity. And he started lots of churches in Virginia, North Carolina.
And I hadn't thought about this till tonight. Also, that the church I was saved in, my grandfather established in Danville, Virginia. And little did he know back in the early 30s, before I was ever born, that I'd be saved in the very church that he established there in Danville. Principle number one. And if somebody asked me what is the bottom line principle in my own life, I would say, obey God. Leave all the consequences to him because God assumes full responsibility for the consequences of our obedience. So I believe that is the absolute bottom line of our Christian walk. Obey God.
Leave all the consequences to him. He assumes full responsibility for that principle. Principle number one.
Principle number two. My grandfather not only struggled over this whole issue of whether to preach or not. Here's what happened to him. He told me this story. He said he was so distraught. He rebelling against God because he was afraid. He didn't know how in the world he'd ever get started. He would listen to him and said one night he was on his way home and he was so distraught and just crying and weeping and crying out to God to show him what in the world to do. He said he knelt down and out of his desperation, he said, God, if you're really calling me to preach and you're going to show me how to do this, I've got to have some kind of evidence. I'm just going to ask you, let me see a star fall. Now, my granddad didn't know the difference between a meteor and a star.
It doesn't make any difference. God knew what he was asking for. So he looked up about that time when I'm just shot through the sky. Well, he said, then he really got worried because he still felt the same thing, that he was still struggling. And so he said he was scared. He said, God, just out of desperation, God, please, one more time, would you let me see one more?
Just please, one more. I'm sitting here listening to this thinking, God, what's going on, my granddad? He said, I looked up, there was another one. He said, I got up off my knees, went back and told my wife God had called me to preach and never said a word about it till then. He said, I never doubted from that moment on. Well, what did that say to me?
Here's what it said to me. When you really want to do the will of God, God will move heaven and earth to show you his will. Whatever it takes, he'll do it.
What does he say? Trust in the Lord with all your heart. Lean not to your own understanding.
In all thy ways, acknowledge him and he will direct thy path. Well, I heard that story. It was four years later and I was a senior at University of Richmond and God was really working on me. And I came in on a Monday night and knelt down to pray a little bit before I started studying. I had a private room.
It was B-17, Jeter Hall, just a real small little room. And I got into praying and it's like God just walked out of my life. I thought, what's going on? So I tried to pray.
Nothing. And I knew all about praying through and how to get through when times are hard. And yet somehow I just I just couldn't get anywhere. So Friday went by and Saturday and I mean, I was really as depressed as you could possibly get.
And I knew I hadn't done very well on my test and didn't know what was happening. And so I went down to the next section of the dorm. And every which who is my own town, he was down. Then I said, let's go up to Westhampton Village and get something to eat. He said, OK. So he and I walked up, thank God, his hamburger. And we started back and he said, why don't we cut across? It's a shortcut back behind this Episcopal church here. So he said, let's just go back this way.
I said, OK. So we were walking along and across the Episcopal church back along there. And Avery stopped. He looked up. He said, isn't this a beautiful night?
Well, I wasn't very excited about the night, but I looked up and about time I looked up, it's like out of the blackness of the sky, two bright lights just fell just like that. He said, did you see that? I said, yeah, I'd pay attention to it. So he went on back to his room. I went on back to mine. And so right outside of my room was a sink in the mirror where you brush your teeth. And I was naturally looking in the mirror. It's like God said to me, what did you ask me for? And I said, I remember thinking this. Well, I've seen that happen before.
And it's like God said two at a time. No. And secondly, but had you ever asked me before?
No. I went back in my room. Got on my knees before God and settle once and for all what I was going to do the rest of my life, no matter what.
What did it say to me? God will move heaven and earth to show you his will if he knows you really want to know his will. So when somebody says to me, I've been trying to find God's will, but I can't. You know what?
Yes, you can. If you're willing to tell him that you will do whatever he wants you to do, no matter what it is, no matter what it costs, no matter wherever it sends you, willing to do God's will, no matter what. Somehow, in some way, God will assume responsibility for showing you his will.
And when I think about that, I think about the 32nd Psalm when he says it so very clearly. He says, I will instruct you and teach you in the way which you should go. I will counsel you with my eye upon you. But he gives us a little warning. He says, Now, don't be like the horse or the mule, which have no understanding, whose trappings include bit and bridle to hold them in check. Otherwise, they'll not come near you.
That is, can't be stubborn, rebellious, have it our way. But God, what is your will? And I can tell you that that experience in my life impressed me to the point that I realized from that moment on, God, whatever you need to show me in life, you'll show me no matter what it takes. I believe you'll do exactly what you promised to do. So principle number one, obey God and leave all the consequences to him, because if you don't leave the consequences to him, here's what will happen. You may obey him and then you may get right in the way and frustrate what God is trying to do in your life. I have to leave the consequences to him. If I don't leave the consequences to him, I'm going to be fearful.
I may try to take a detour. I have to leave all the consequences to him. God, whatever you choose to do, I'm going to obey you and you take care of the consequences. And secondly, God will move heaven and earth to show you his will for your life if you really and truly want to do it. Not want to consider to see if you like the idea, but if you're committed to doing the will of God.
And here's the thing you have to remember. God doesn't want us waiting to make a decision about doing his will when we find out what his will is. Our relationship to him should be such we're committed to doing his will even before we know what his will is.
God, whatever your will is, I choose to be obedient to you no matter what. Third principle. The third principle is this, and that is that God will supply all our needs if we will trust and obey him.
And I think both of those words are important. God will supply all of our needs if we'll trust and obey him. Now, my grandfather told me this story. After the Lord called him to preach, he needed a tent and he didn't have a tent, so he said, I'll go to work, Lord, and get a tent. Well, the tent cost four hundred dollars.
Just checking that out there to be sure I had that figured right. Four hundred dollars in the 20s was an enormous amount of money. My granddad got a job. This was his job. He was cutting ties to make railroad ties, and they paid him 20 cents a tie.
And we're talking about cutting trees down and trimming them down 20 cents each. He worked for weeks and weeks and weeks and weeks, and he finally had forty dollars. And so he knew that it'd take a long, long time to get four hundred dollars. And so he is going back down that same old road, got down that road on his knees that night, crying out to God, and he said, Lord, you called me to preach.
You got to have a tent. While he was praying, he said he just, in a brief moment, just saw this house in a nearby town. And he said it was on a corner. It had trees and rose bushes in the yard and had a fence around it. He said God told him he'd go there. He would have what he needed. So he said with great hesitation, he went and he walked up down the streets until he finally found this particular house.
And sure enough, it had rose bushes, trees, and a fence, and it was on a corner. Then he had to get up enough courage to go knock on the door. What in the world are you to say to somebody? God sent me here?
No. So finally he knocked on the door. So he came to the door and she said, Well, Mr. Stanley, I've been wanting to see you. She invited him in. He went and sat down. They talked for a little while. And then she said, I have something I need to give you. So she goes back and brings him out a paper sack and told him that God told her to give him that. Well, when he left, I don't know how long it took, how far he went before he stopped at a curiosity and counted it.
I think I would have four hundred one dollar bills. What did that say to him? God will supply all your needs if you will trust him and obey him. Well, over and over and over again, I watched the Lord supply my needs. What my granddad said proved to be absolutely true, that if you and I will trust him, he will supply every single need we have. But I want to say again, it isn't just trusting him, it's trusting him and obeying him. And so what my grandfather said is, you just trust him, leave all the consequences to him. He'll do whatever's necessary to show you his will for your life. And he's going to provide everything you need.
You don't have to worry about that. You just trust him. Fourth principle my grandfather shared with me.
That is, God assumes responsibility for our protection when we walk in obedience to him. So my grandfather told me lots of stories about how he had opposition and so forth and what happened. But he told me this particular one that I remember. One Sunday morning, he was preaching in his church. And there were two fellows who came in over to his right a little bit at a center aisle in that church. And they were sitting back there about two thirds away and both of them were drunk. And so he told them either to be quiet or to get out. And so they stayed a few moments and they left.
And so after the service was over and people shaking hands, so here come a couple of deacons that they called Mr. Stanley, Mr. Stanley, those two drunks out there and both of them got a kitchen butcher knife. They said, they're going to kill you. We call the police. He said, I don't want you to call the police. Are we going to call police?
He said, no, I don't want you to call police. I just want you to leave. So we're not going to leave you yet.
You're going to leave me. Well, so they left him. So he said, got out at the altar, reminded God that he called him to preach, reminded God that he was in his care and reminded God that he had a responsibility to take care of it. So he says he walked to the head of steps, took that old Thompson chain reference Bible, put it up here next to his heart, walked down the steps, walked right between those two drunks. Both of them had a butcher knife. He said he could smell their breath. They didn't budge. They were frozen. Now, everything I've said could be wrapped up in two words.
Can somebody tell me what they are? Trust and obey. It is that simple. Trusting and obey. If I really trust him, I'm going to obey him.
My obedience to him is an expression of my faith in him. If the bottom line is obedience and he'll show me his will, provide for me and protect me, what else do I need? Those four principles absolutely summarized everything my grandfather said to me in that week. But those four principles were enough, because when he says he'll supply all of our needs, according to his riches and glory, that is, whether it's needs in ministry, whether it's physical needs, whether it's material needs, God will supply every need. But the key in every single one of those principles, you got it. Trust and obey. And what do we sing? For there is no other way to be happy in Jesus but to trust and obey. Thank you for listening to Lessons from My Grandfather. 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.
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