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The School of Obedience - Part 2

In Touch / Charles Stanley
The Truth Network Radio
October 29, 2022 12:00 am

The School of Obedience - Part 2

In Touch / Charles Stanley

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October 29, 2022 12:00 am

Experience blessings when you trust in God's guidance and meditate on His Word.

Running to Win
Erwin Lutzer
The Daily Platform
Bob Jones University
Grace To You
John MacArthur
Encouraging Word
Don Wilton
In Touch
Charles Stanley

Welcome to this weekend's In Touch Podcast with Charles Stanley. Building a lifestyle of obedience to God begins by consistently following His direction in simple matters. The series on the joy of obedience continues. It's not always easy to obey God, but it's always the wisest thing to do, and it's always the best. God says, you obey Me, here's what I'm going to do for you. You obey Me and I'm going to bless you. Remember this, it is absolutely impossible to obey God without blessing because God has chosen to bless obedience.

And we as His children, as we learn to walk in His ways and walk in His will, then we're going to be blessed over and over and over again. Somebody says, well, what is obedience in a way? Obedience is doing God's will, God's way in God's timing.

It's doing what God says when He says it and the way He says do it. So when you think in terms of obedience, that's really simple, doing what God says when He says and how He says do it. And so when we think in terms of obedience and we think in terms of the fact that that's what God requires of us, what I'd like for us to do, I'd like to take a few moments to talk about some principles here that will help you in obedience. For example, obedience isn't something that you and I just know automatically since we trust that Jesus Christ is our Savior. And we know certain things would certainly be obedience to God and certain things would not be. And so therefore, what we want to talk about is how do we learn to obey God, the school of obedience?

Well, one of the first principles is simply this. That is, first of all, you must trust Him. You will not obey a God you do not trust.

You just will not. And so the real truth is that I would say that most disobedience is a lack of trust in God. Well, now I know that's what He said, but whenever you put a but behind something God has said, you're just about to head out in the wrong direction because God doesn't make any promises that He either cannot or will not fulfill. So one of the first things I must learn to do is to trust Him. The next thing I'd have you jot down is simply this. That is, if you and I are going to learn to walk in obedience to Him, we must also learn, listen to this, learn to listen to the quiet promptings of the Holy Spirit. What in the world do you mean about that? Well, I want you to look at two or three Scriptures.

But jot that down. That is learning to listen to the quiet promptings of the Holy Spirit. God does not shout in an audible voice. Every once in a while I think I've heard Him shout quietly to my own heart.

Maybe when I was stubborn and was not listening or whatever it might be. But God doesn't shout at us. Now remember this, when you got saved, the Holy Spirit came into your life to indwell you and to seal you as a child of God. One of His works is the work of being a Helper. So we have the wonderful promise of the Holy Spirit to prompt us, to guide us, to give us a sense of direction, to help us in our reasoning, to help us in our thinking.

Remember, He's the Helper. To help us in our faith, to help us in our struggle, to help us in our questions, to help us in our doubts, to make the wise decision to do what the Holy Spirit would have us to do. That is listening to the Spirit of God. That's why waiting, being quiet, being alone, meditating upon the Word of God, listening to Him, we're going to get the right answer. Because God's committed to showing us exactly what to do. Another lesson in the school of obedience is that sometimes we must walk when the way is not clear. So now wait a minute, that sounds like a contradiction. Walk when the way is not clear.

Now watch this. God spoke to Abraham in a very pagan society. He just revealed Himself and said to him, He said, I want you to get up, out of your family, out of your country, out of your land and go to a land that I will show you. He didn't tell him where he was going and didn't tell him how he was going to get there.

Look in verse eight of Hebrews 11. By faith, Abraham, when he was called, obeyed by going out to a place which he was to receive for an inheritance, and he went out not knowing where he was going. He didn't know where he was going. He just knew that God spoke to him, told him to get up and leave his family, separate himself from his family and the pagan society in which he lived, and he said, to a land that I will show you. Now, you say, now wait a minute, God, you're not going to tell me to go somewhere that telling me where I'm going.

Yes, He will. Here's a perfect example. Listen, he heard the call. He didn't know where, but he knew to obey God. Now, listen, there will be times when God will make it very clear what the next decision is. You don't know what the end result is. You don't know what the consequences are. You don't know where that's going to lead.

You know what? I'm not responsible for the consequences. I'm not responsible for the next decision.

I'm only responsible for, listen, obeying the light that I have at this moment in this decision, no matter what it might be. And so, God isn't committed to showing me the full picture. And I think all of us would agree, years ago in our life when we were saved, if God had shown us ten years or twenty years or thirty or our whole life at one time, most of us would have said, God, I can't handle it.

Take me home now. I'll be happy to go on to heaven because there's no way I can stand that. Why doesn't God show us?

I'll tell you why. Because this is the way God operates. When you and I make a decision of obedience, we don't even realize what's happening. We're becoming stronger in our faith. We get blessed. We begin to realize how great God is.

We take another step. And what happens? We learn to walk in obedience just like a child walks. And when a person is saved, they're sort of like a child, they get up and sometimes not knowing the laws of God, not knowing the will of God, not knowing that God even has a plan for their life, not knowing what God's purpose is for their life. They stumble and fall and they're faltering all over themselves. Instead of us criticizing, we ought to be praying for them because they don't know the principles of obedience. They don't know about waiting upon God.

They don't know the absolute essentiality of meditating upon the Word of God and searching His Word to know His mind. And so what happens? They falter and they fall. And so what you and I have to do, we have to encourage people like that because we understand exactly what's happening in their life. We understand God doesn't always show us everything we ought to do. We have to learn that it's the school of obedience.

It's the process of learning to walk. But when you and I take a step of obedience and we see what God has done, we take another step, we see what God has done, we take another step, what happens? Then when somebody says, for example, the Christian life must be a boring life. I want to tell you, my friend, there's nothing boring about this life. This is the most exciting, thrilling life a person can live because remember this, you are tuned in to Almighty God. You have a relationship to Almighty God. You have a connection to Almighty God, whose promise to protect you, love you, care for you, support you, give you peace and joy and contentment, allow you to suffer, allow you to hurt, allow tribulation, allow trials, allow conflict, yes, but to be with you every single step of the way. And the fact that He has a plan and a purpose for your life, walking in His will, walking obediently before Him, trusting Him, relying upon Him, waiting upon Him, watching Him work is the most exciting thing there is about life because you cannot fail. Listen, you may falter and fall, but you cannot fail in your walk because God is there to help you. Tell me some life better than that. Look around the world the way they're living. Would you exchange a godly life or a sinful life? Not if you're living a truly godly life, though you would not.

Because the consequences of living in disobedience, all you have to do is to look around you and see the awful pain and the hurt and the suffering not only caused by that person, but what it reaps, what's reaped by other people besides the destruction to themselves. And so when you think about you can't wait till God shows you the whole way. He shows you a step at a time.

He's got something in mind. What's He doing? When He's showing us a step at a time, you know what I mean? Growing us up. He doesn't call us adults, He calls us children.

Growing us up, teaching us to trust Him, teaching us to obey Him, teaching us His Word, teaching us to rely upon Him, the work of the Spirit in our heart, giving us direction, teaching us to take those big steps out there when we don't know all that's going to happen. Well, one other principle I'd like you to remember is this, and that is when you and I begin to walk in His way and we're certainly going to run into something that we're not looking for and that is that we must be willing to experience conflict because you are not going to live obediently before God without having conflict with the world. Remember, we live in a fallen world. He says those who live godly in Christ Jesus will suffer persecution. You can expect to be disliked by somebody. You can expect to have enemies in life if you live a godly life.

You can expect conflict. There's going to be conflict and you can look in the Scriptures and think about all of God's saints down through the years and how they suffered conflict. I want you to turn, if you will, to Luke chapter fourteen. Here's a passage of Scripture that oftentimes people don't understand and if somebody's an unbeliever they say, well, how could that be in the Bible? That's a contradiction in the Scripture. Jesus said something here that certainly is a contradiction in what He said about loving everybody. No contradiction in the Word of God. Listen to what He says in Luke chapter fourteen, beginning in verse twenty-five. Now great multitudes were going along with Him, and He turned and said to them, If anyone comes to Me to follow him, and does not hate his father and mother and wife and children and brothers and sisters, yes, even his own life, he cannot be My disciple. Well, well, well, well, well, you mean to tell me that Jesus is in for hating? It says you've got to hate your father and mother and your wife and your children and your own life also?

Isn't that a contradiction in Scripture? No. What is He saying?

Here's what He's saying. He says, You're going to follow Me. You're going to walk in obedience to Me. Obeying Me must take priority over the feelings and the attitude and the desires of everybody, even those who are closest to you. When you obey the living God, you're going to have conflict. When you obey Almighty God, people who are closest to you will not understand you. He does not mean hate, but He means the priority must be such that it will appear to those who are closest to you. You don't love Me and you wouldn't do that. You wouldn't go into ministry if you really cared.

Yes, I would. Listen, many young men have come to Georgia Tech to be engineers, and over the years, many of them came and they came to be engineers of all kinds, and they'd be here six months or a year or two years, three years or four years. God called them to preach, sitting right out there, go home and tell their parents. Well, some of their parents were very excited.

Some of their parents were not excited at all. You mean to tell me that I'm paid your way for three years to be an engineer and to be able to make money and have a good lifestyle, and now you're going to do what? You're going to preach. Well, you're not going to ever make any money.

That's a poor life. And besides that, that's not, I invested my money in you so you could do something worthwhile. Tell me that worthwhile.

Let me ask you a question. If God calls a young man to preach and his parents say, We don't want you to do that. We want you to be an engineer. We want you to make money. We want you to have the things that we didn't have in life.

And we were absolutely opposed to that. Should he say, Okay, I won't do what God called me to do. You know what this verse says?

Your mother and father may think you hate them. Your wife and children may think you despise them, because there's sometimes when obeying God is extremely, in fact, more painful for others than it is the person who has to obey. That's what that verse is all about.

Has nothing to do with hating with animosity and anger and hostility and vengeance toward anybody. It's speaking of the priority of obedience. We obey God, he says, even if it costs us our own life, we obey the living God. There will be conflict when you and I learn obedience, but that's part of the school of obedience. And so when you think about meditating upon His Word, learning to listen to Him, waiting upon Him, trusting in Him, a conflict that's going to come in our life, then I want you to notice something else. And that is, if I'm going to learn obedience, I must be willing to trust Him and leave all the consequences to Him. Now, as long as I wait, and I've said this two or three times already, I'll say it again, as long as I wait until I can evaluate the consequences, then here's what I'm saying. I'm willing to consider God's will, but I'm not committed to it.

If I have to wait till I get the consequential picture, then what I'm saying is, I'm considering it, but I'm not committed to it. God wants us so committed to doing His will and walking in His way that it really doesn't make any difference what the consequences are. Listen, He has planned the best for us. He desires the best for us. He's waiting to give us His best.

What is He waiting for us? He's waiting for us to get in the pathway of obedience, to walk in it so that we are able to handle the blessing. If you can't beat it and you can't equal it and you suffer the results of disobeying it, wisdom says, obey the will of God no matter what, and you come out winning every single time.

Leave the consequences to Him. Then the last thing I'd simply mention is this, and that is, if I'm going to let it really and truly walk in obedience, I must be willing to accept God's discipline for my disobedience, because there will be times when you and I disobey it. If I'm going to learn to walk in obedience, I must be willing to accept His discipline, His chastisement when I disobey Him.

Now I want to add something too that I'm waiting until the end to add it. And when I say must be willing to accept His discipline, His chastisement when I disobey Him, listen, watch this, and accept it with thanksgiving. Oh, now wait a minute now, hold it, hold it, hold it. Wait a minute. You telling me when God whips me I'm to thank Him? Yes.

Well, you can't really do that. That's just some preacher talk. That's not real. No, it's not. It's very real.

Now, let me tell you why it's real. Turn, if you will, to Hebrews chapter twelve for a moment and listen to what he says. Hebrews chapter twelve beginning in verse five. He says, now, have you forgotten this? He says, listen to this, my son, do not regard lightly the discipline of the Lord nor faint. Don't lose heart when you're reproved by Him. For those whom He loves, listen, for those whom the Lord loves, He disciplines, He chastises, He scourges every son whom He receives.

Now think about this. And this is so very important. We're all in moments of weakness. We're going to disobey Him at times. And you know what He's going to do? Listen, if we instantly recognize it, ask Him, thank Him for His forgiveness, repent of it right then, we'll miss most of it.

We'll miss most chastisement if it's instantaneous. But if we don't and we get into something or whatever it might be, God's going to chastise us. Now, why is He going to do it? Because He loves us and because He has this fantastic plan for us and because He has a will for our life and He wants us to walk in His path. He doesn't want us out of His path.

So what is He going to do? He's going to send enough pain to get me back in the path. Now, therefore, when I see what His motive is, it's always love. I'm going to thank Him for not letting me stay off the path. I'm going to praise Him for reaching down and not ignoring me when the truth is I ignored Him. And not just walking away from me and letting me just move on and on, putting enough pressure and enough pain and enough heartache until I finally say, yes, Lord, forgive me. I just want to thank You for that. I repent of that.

Get back on the path. Chastisement is a blessing from God. And so the school of obedience is a process.

I've taken many of those lessons and I failed them all probably at one time or the other. But you know what? Watch this.

This is a key. If you will observe what happens in the life of those who are obedient and you observe what happens in the life of those who are disobedient, it won't take you long to figure out that anybody who is thinking at all is going to say, not worth it. Disobedience is not worth it. The pleasure of the moment is not worth, listen, the consequences of the future.

And this is the way most people live, just like this, as far as they want to look, just like that. The only thing they're interested in is what can I have today? What satisfies me today? What gratifies me today without looking at the consequence? What are the consequences of sin, pain, hurt, suffering, loss, ultimately the wrath of God? What's the consequence of obedience to God? Blessing upon blessing upon blessing. It may be through a valley of pain, may be hurt, may be trials, may be tribulation, may be conflict, or it may not be any of those or some of them. But the ultimate result is God's very best for His children.

And the issue is just real simple. Do I want to develop a lifestyle of obedience? Do I want the spirit of obedience to absolutely control my thinking and my feelings? You see, it's one thing to obey God because of fear of what's going to happen.

It's something else to get so free that you obey God just because you want to. Now listen carefully. You know what Jesus said? Listen to this. He can say so much, just wipe me out sometime. Listen to this.

How simple and short. If you love me, you will obey me. If you love me, you will obey me. You know how I can tell whether I love Him or not? Not how many sermons I preach.

Not how hard I may study. Not how all the things that I do for the glory of God has nothing to do with it. You can do all those things with the wrong motive. You know how you can tell how much you love Him? Look at your record of obedience versus disobedience and you'll tell yourself how much you love Him. Thank you for listening to The School of Obedience. If you'd like to know more about Charles Stanley or In Touch Ministries, stop by This podcast is a presentation of In Touch Ministries, Atlanta, Georgia.
Whisper: medium.en / 2022-11-10 00:37:51 / 2022-11-10 00:46:51 / 9

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