Welcome to this weekend's In Touch Podcast with Charles Stanley. Today's podcast wraps up Dr. Stanley's series on obedience by reminding believers of the wonderful reward that waits for those who choose to say yes to God.
Today's podcast is brought to you by Zola Levitt Ministries. And the first principle I want you to jot down here, something that is certainly a lesson worthy of learning is this, that obeying God in small matters, obeying God in small matters is an essential step to God's thrilling rewards. God never tells you and me to do anything that is unimportant.
It may be insignificant in my thinking. It may be one of many things God may have said during the day. God does not speak in insignificant ways, nor does He speak with insignificant information, nor does He give us insignificant commands. Whatever God tells us to do, He has a purpose in mind. Every decision is significant in God's eyes. So therefore, one of the most essential things we have to remember is this, obeying God in small matters is indeed a very essential step if we're going to reap the best rewards that He has for us.
The second principle I would notice here is this, and that is that our obedience will usually prove beneficial to other people. If you obey God and God does something in your life, He blesses you, it sends an absolutely undeniable message that God is real. God works. God loves us. He works in our life. He wants the best for us. If we obey Him, we're going to have significant blessings.
Somebody says, well, now wait a minute. What about those hard times I go through? What about those difficult times I go through? What about the pain and the suffering and the hurt we go through?
How can the world look at us then and say, well, if God, how can you call that a blessing? Because when you and I come through it, and we come through it victoriously, and we come through it rejoicing in our heart, and we begin to tell them what we've learned, and how God has blessed us and strengthened us and enabled us, and they see how God has enabled you and strengthened you and helped you to overcome. I'm here to tell you, you send them a message that impacts their heart for good. It sends a message that impacts their heart, changes their attitude. They begin to understand this God whom you and I serve is a living, true God who will enable us in those difficult times in our life.
Very, very significant. Very important that you and I obey Him because we're going to make an impression in somebody else's life. The third principle I want you to think about, and that is obeying God may require us to do those things that seem to be unreasonable.
When somebody says, God told me to quit my job and move to so-and-so, I can't afford to do it. You know, somehow I just know that's what He's told me to do. I don't know what to do. That's what He said to me. You better do what He said to me. You just remember this, every time God tells you and me to obey Him, He knows a world of stuff you and I don't know. He knows the end result every single time.
He knows exactly what's going to happen. Listen, that is omniscience speaking to us, telling us to do what seems to be unreasonable. This is omnipotence telling us to do this because He's going to enable us to do it. This is unconditional love telling us to do this because He's expressing love to us by telling us to do it. His guidance is perfect guidance. His blessings are perfectly suited for us. And He knows that one of the best ways to grow you and me up, and the best way to strengthen our faith, is to give us those little tests over and over and over again and watch us respond. And when you make it your lifestyle to obey those little things that God tells you to do, when the big decisions come up, that won't even be an issue. Because you have been in the habit of obeying God in little things, you will jump to the big thing because you have already learned the thrill of obedience to God, walking in His way, doing what He would have you to do.
And so, what appears to be insignificant is not insignificant. When we obey Him, we bless other people. When God begins to work in our life, He will require those things that seem to be insignificant. Number four, obeying God will never prove to be disappointing.
Obeying God will never prove to be disappointing. Think about this for a moment. When you think about what happened in Peter's life, he said, alright, okay, you can bar the boat, you can bar the boat as a pulpit. And then he said to him, let's go fishing. Watch this. Peter was certain, I believe in his heart, that he was going out for the next, for the second empty trip in a row. But what an awesome surprise.
You know what? You and I can't disappoint God. Watch this now. You and I can't disappoint God because to disappoint somebody you have to have expectations. Secondly, God can't disappoint us.
It's not even His nature to disappoint us. Now sometimes things may not work out the way I expect. Now watch this.
They may not work out the way I expect at that moment. But here's what I've discovered when I've been a Christian over fifty years. I may not see or experience the blessing right then. But I can look back in my life over and over and over again and say, Lord, my, my, my was that wisdom on your part. Thank you dear God for shoving me into obedience. Thank you for just get me in this interview. Thank you. Thank you.
You didn't let me do it my way. I'll tell you one thing. Hindsight is absolutely fantastic when it comes to looking at what God's done in your life. And so when these things seem to be unreasonable, what is He doing? He's testing us. Not only that, He's growing us up. He's growing up our faith. So part of the blessing is that every time we obey Him, what we've done is we've trusted Him again, trusted Him again, trusted Him again.
And so what does He do? He blesses us and we see oftentimes more than not, we see how He rewards us and how He works out the minute details of our life as a result of obeying Him. It is very important we obey Him little things and I'm telling you, you won't be disappointed. You can't disappoint Him and He won't disappoint you. Can't disappoint God, He won't disappoint you. Well, let's look at another principle.
Number five, that is obeying God allows Him to demonstrate His power in our life. Listen to what happened. Simon Anson said, Master, worked hard all night, caught nothing, but at your bidding I let down the nets. When they had done this, they enclosed a great quantity of fish, their nets began to break, they had to call their friends, they had two boatloads. And what happened?
The Scripture says, He fell upon His face and said, O Lord, I am a sinful man, allows God to demonstrate His power. Now I think about people who live their life in this land. I'm not being critical.
God knows I'm not. I think there are people who get in ruts in life. You know what a rut is? A rut is a grave with both ends knocked out.
That's what a rut is. And people get in a rut. They do the same thing every day. They don't want any change in their life. They're not willing to take risk in their life. They just do this. All their security is wrapped up in doing the same thing five days a week, six days, seven days.
And that's the way they live their life. Did you know that if you start obeying God, your life's going to get exciting? When you start obeying God in little things, you're going to find yourself taking risk.
Now watch this. Is it really a risk to obey God if you're obeying omnipotence, omniscience, and omnipresence? Absolutely not. It may appear and feel like a risk. And you may think, Oh God, I know this is what you're saying, and Lord, I'm just going to be honest, God, I'm a little fearful of this.
Well, that's okay. He understands that. It's all right to sense fear at times when it's a big challenge or and you can't quite figure it out.
In fact, things are looking a little threatening here. But you know what? Remember, remember who you're dealing with? You're dealing with omnipotence, omniscience, and omnipresence.
Friend, you can't beat that anywhere on the planet. When you're obeying omnipotence, omniscience, and omnipresence, you have God's sovereign power. You got his sovereign power. Listen, with you and you had his absolute unlimited, infinite wisdom directing you, you cannot lose.
There's no way to lose. He has your particular life personally, individually. He has it mapped out. He wants the best for you.
There's not going to be any disappointments with him. And not only that, not only are they not going to be disappointments with him, he's going to demonstrate his power in your life if you let him do it. But you see, when I back off of safety, what I've done is I have deprived God of demonstrating his awesome power in my life. Now, I'll give you a simple illustration. When people say, I just don't have time to read the Bible and pray every morning, what you're saying is, God, you're not smart enough to guide my schedule during the day so that the time I spend with you will multiply my time. Listen, the greatest multiplier of time on the face of this earth, the greatest multiplier of time is not a notebook. It's not a seminar.
It's not some management program. It is time you spend on your knees before Almighty God in his Word. Spending time listening to him will energize you for the day. Listen, he will guide your schedule. He will keep things out. He will put things in. He will make your days more profitable.
He will make your days more fruitful because he is Almighty God, omniscient, omnipotent, omnipresent in your life, and he has your best interest at heart. You cannot lose obeying God. It is foolish to disobey him. And so when we so govern our lives and leave him out and say, Well, Lord, you know, I would like to do that, but I just don't seem to have time. The Apostle Peter could have said, Well, Lord, I'd like to go fishing, but I've got other things to do today and therefore I can't do it.
So what happens? We cheat God out of the privilege of demonstrating his awesome power in our lives. Well, look at another principle. That is, obeying God always results in a deeper understanding of ourselves and of himself. When you and I begin to obey God in little things, here's what happens. We begin to see how very interested God is in little things in our life. We begin to see his expressions of love. And I can tell you in my own personal life, there's not a day goes by that I'm not thanking him for this and thanking him for that and thanking him for the other and thanking him for the other because I hope he has taught me to look for the evidence of his fingerprint, his handprint, his footprint pointing in directions of my life and blessing me here and answering this and doing this and doing that.
Things I didn't even ask him about. We listen. A believer should live their life in such a relationship with him that it's a continuous thanksgiving and a praise you. Thank you, Lord. Not just give me this. Give me that old God. What about this?
What about we're going to have some of those. But you know what? When obedience becomes your lifestyle, you're going to find yourself thanking him over and over and over. Now, think about this.
Usually it's when some threat comes and we come through it that we hold. Thank you, Jesus. But what about waking up tomorrow morning to a beautiful sunshine and day and feeling good?
Do you stop? We go to bed and say, thank you, Lord. You awaken me this morning. I just want to thank you that you're in charge of my life. Thank you that you're going to guide me all day. Thank you for giving me the desire to be obedient to you, to walk in your will and do the things that please and honor you. God is so willing to bless us.
And you know what? The more you and I show our gratitude toward him, the more he shows us the way to make this wise decisions in our life. Obeying him, we're going to begin to understand ourselves. We're going to understand where we're weak. We're going to understand the kind of things that cause us to doubt. We're going to understand where our strengths lie. And we're going to understand oftentimes what area of our life he wants to work on. He wants to work on the weak areas so that you and I not walk around like this as Christians. You know, we are pretty good over here.
We're not doing too good over here. He wants us balanced in our life. He wants every aspect of our life balanced, whether it is in our giving, whether it is in our trusting, whether it is in our relationship to others, whatever it might be. He wants us to walk a balanced life.
And what does he do? He works in those areas in which we are not so balanced. Well, let me give you one last principle here as I think about his life and how Peter responded to what Jesus said. When I think about that, I think about obeying God in small matters can result in dramatic changes in our life.
Obeying God in small matters can result in dramatic changes in our life. Look what happened to Peter. Here he was, a fisherman. The next thing you know, he's pushing out, letting Jesus have his boat as a pulpit. Next thing you know, he's out here fishing and he has seen the most absolutely miraculous, unbelievable thing in his life. When you wouldn't normally catch fish, his boat is sinking with him.
Have you ever felt so blessed by God you thought you couldn't handle it? Can you imagine what Peter thought? His boat's sinking. Now, usually a sinking boat's a bad sign. This was a great sign. I mean, the fish are falling out of this thing.
It's so full. Look at the dramatic change in his life. Watch this now. And you say, I'd like to just I'd like to open every teenager's head, cut off the top, pour this in, screw it back down, so he can't ever get out. If you will learn the lesson of obeying God early in life, He will make the most dramatic changes in your life.
Now watch what happened. One day, he's a smelly fisherman, cleaning his nets, cleaning his boat, out fishing, working hard, trying to make a living. Before the night's over, here's what he heard. Peter, from now on, you're not going to catch fish. I'm going to teach you how to catch men for the glory of God. Walked away from fishing, he became a follower of Jesus. For the next three years of his life, he lived face to face with this man, Jesus Christ, who was God walking on the face of the earth. He was one of the three men who were intimate friends with Jesus, Peter, James, and John. He had 12 disciples, but three intimates, and Peter was one of them. He was a key figure in the life of Jesus among those disciples. He walked with him through difficult times, trying times. He had the awesome privilege of being with James and John and Jesus up with a mound of transfiguration when these two great prophets of God appeared, and there he was in the presence of Jesus and them, and he said, let's make a tabernacle here.
Let's stay here. He was the same Peter who was with the Lord Jesus Christ in the garden in the most trying difficult times in his life when Jesus was really having a difficult time facing the cross. Who was there the closest to him?
Peter, James, and John. He had his doubting moments. He doubted around the fire, yes. But how would he ever forget the day that he walked on the water? Listen, on the day that Jesus said to him, push out a little bit, never did he ever believe that one day he'd be able to be out on that same sea with no boat under him walking on top of the waves. Suppose he'd have said, bar somebody else's boat.
Experience after experience. He was one of those who ran to the empty tomb and looked in and saw that his master who used his boat as a pulpit conquered death. It was Peter along with his other disciples and followers who watched him ascend into the heavens.
It was Peter whom God chose on the day of Pentecost to preach that absolutely awesome sermon which 3,000 people were saved and the church of the Lord Jesus Christ exploded. Suppose he'd have said, use their boat. Suppose he'd have said, I'm too busy.
I am busy doing what fishermen do, cleaning their nets and you don't wait all day to clean this junk off these nets, you clean them now. He said, nevertheless at thy will, at your bidding, I'm going to do what you say do. Now remember this. You will never, never, never, never, never lose obeying God. You will never, never, never, never, never win by disobeying God.
That is a biblical, eternal, unchangeable, irrevocable fact and truth. And that being true, would you not agree the wisest thing you can do is to obey our Lord. Do you want God's best? Then do the next thing that you know is an act of obedience to Jesus Christ. And my friend, you will set yourself on the path to enjoy the best that God has, which he prepared beforehand before you were ever born as he planned his purpose and his will and his place for your life.
You want his best? Trust him and obey him and you get it. Thank you for listening to part two of The Thrill of Obedience. 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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