Welcome to the In Touch Podcast with Charles Stanley for Thursday, March 2nd. How much do you understand about God? Our opening session of the series on the character of God lays the groundwork for knowing God. Would you turn, please, to Psalm 46. Psalm 46, verses 1 through 11. God is our refuge in strength, a very present help in trouble. Therefore will not we fear, though the earth be removed, and though the mountains be carried into the midst of the sea. Though the waters thereof roar and be troubled, though the mountains shake with the swelling thereof, there is a river that streams whereof shall make glad the city of God, the holy place of the tabernacle of the Most High. God is in the midst of her. She shall not be moved.
God shall help her and that right early. The heathen raged, the kingdoms were moved. He uttered his voice, the earth melted.
The Lord of hosts is with us, the God of Jacob is our refuge. Come behold the works of the Lord, what desolation he hath made in the earth. He maketh wars to the seas under the end of the earth.
He breaketh the bow and cutteth the spear in sunder. He burneth the chariot in the fire. Be still and know that I am God. I will be exalted among the heathen. I will be exalted in the earth. The Lord of hosts is with us, the God of Jacob is our refuge. Verse 10, be still and know that I am God. I believe that a majority of Americans, though they say they believe there is a God and believe in God, have no earthly idea who God is.
And I want to go to one step further. I do not believe that most church members in America today know God. You ask me, do you mean to tell me that you don't think most of them are saved? Well, if I have to go by the fruit of the New Testament, I would say that a vast, vast host of people who sit in churches on Sunday and claim to be Christians do not know what it means to be born again. I do not believe that the vast, vast majority of church members in America today know God.
And the reason I know that most church members don't know God is that if they knew God, they would not live as they live. They would not give as they give. They will not respond to him as they respond. They would not live their daily life as they live.
They would not be as irreverent as they are. They will not use his name in vain. They will not ignore his commandments.
They will not laugh at some scriptures. To know God is to know life. To know God is to know truth. And it seems to me we do not know him. You see, most people have the attitude today, just tell me what God has to give me.
Don't bother me with the details of what he is or who he is. What a far cry from what Paul said when he said, when I look at my inheritance, when I look at my background, when I look at my possessions, I put them all in one little bundle. And for the privilege of knowing God in Christ Jesus, I toss all that away. And I say to you, we are willing to toss the knowledge of God away in order to get what God has to give. You say, but now wait a minute, I received Jesus Christ as my personal savior when I was a little boy.
And you know what most people have done who did that? They received Jesus Christ as their personal savior. They became satisfied with salvation. They don't really care to know any more about him as long as the Christ who saved them will protect them, answer their prayers, give them what they want. They really don't want to be bothered about theology. They don't want to be bothered about doctrine. They don't want to be bothered about who God is.
They don't want to be bothered about the fact that he's sovereign. They don't want to hear that he's holy. They don't want to hear that he's just as long as they can hear that he's loving and kind and merciful. They're happy to know just a little bit about God. Don't bother them with the details of the whole concept of who God is. And I'll tell you my friend, it is a sin before God to name the name of God as our God and to be so satisfied to know so little about him. And I believe that one reason so many Christians can come to church on Sunday morning, tuck their Bible under their arm, go home, put it on the shelf and never pick it up till next Sunday is because they do not know the God of the Bible. In this simple little verse that you and I have read so many times and can quote because it is so short. Listen, he says, Be still and know that I am God.
Let me ask you a question. Listen, if the only thing other people know about God is what they see of God demonstrated in your daily life, how much do others know about God? Now let that sink in real deep. If the only thing someone else knows about God is what they see in your daily life, what will they ever discover about the God who created this world and who sent his only begotten Son in your behalf and my behalf? Is it that the majority of the world is in unbelief because they have looked at us for so long and have learned so little? Do they keep hearing us rattle the name of God and noise the name of God, but they can't see the depth? They don't feel anything about God. They don't know anything about God but what they hear as a word. What do they know about the character of God looking at your life in my life? What do they know about the nature of God looking at our lives? What do they know about the power of God looking and listening to us? What do they know about the loving forgiveness and kindness and gentleness of God watching us?
Well, I want to tell you that a majority of people in this country not reading this book then where are they getting their concept of God? They're watching the people who empty out of church buildings on Sunday. They watch you in your office.
They watch you in your neighborhood. They watch the way you live and they look at you and they look at me and they either say I'm on his God or what is that God like? Is that God so inconsistent? What is it about their God? Men will be attracted to the God whom we love and serve only when we know him to the point that we give ourselves absolutely unreservedly to him for him.
And I want to ask you another time. If the only thing someone else knows about God is what they see in your life, how much do they know about him? You see the Bible says that God is sovereign.
He's absolutely in control of everything. Can you apply that to your life that he is absolutely holy? Is that making a difference by the way you live that he's absolutely omnipotent? Is that making difference about the way you pray?
I'm Nisha. He knows all things on the present. Does that have anything to do with your fears? You see, we have this generalized idea about God, but we don't know the God whom we both deserve. And I'll tell you my friend, that is a sin against God that we could be so satisfied knowing so little about God. We spend so much time gaining so much knowledge, but all knowledge apart from the knowledge of God is so futile because it brings man to ultimate chaos and misery apart from knowing God.
Listen carefully. When you go back in the Old Testament, you notice the men who knew God. Moses knew God. He discovered him on the backside of the desert. Ezekiel down by the river. Elijah by the brook. Daniel in his chamber day after day as he prayed to the father.
Paul out in Arabia. Listen, there is some knowledge that only comes after a period of stillness and quietness. If you want to know God, you've got to get still and quiet and think upon God. Be still, he says, and know that I, Jehovah, am God. The way we operate, some of us act like we are God. The way we respond to other people, we act like they're God.
The way we fear, we think our circumstances in sovereign control of our life. He says be still, be quiet, and know I, Jehovah, am God. There's some knowledge only gained in stillness.
Now let's answer the question that you're probably asking already. What do you mean by being still? Do you mean just doing nothing?
No. I don't mean indifference. There are about three or four things that are necessary in order to be still, and the first one is quietness. If I'm going to be still and know God, I've got to learn how, first of all, to be quiet.
Secondly, humility. The proud, egotistical man may be still on the outside, but on the inside, his mind is still strumping up something. But you see, he said be still and know that I am God. Listen, one reason you and I know that we don't know God, because the man who knows God knows in the presence of God he is absolutely nothing compared to the holiness and the righteousness of God. To be still requires that I be quiet. To be still requires that I humble myself before God. To be still involves observation, watching what God is doing, listening to what God is saying, how he's revealing himself to you in that particular situation, how he's unveiling himself in your own life. You see, men know God best, listen, men know God best, who not only know his son Jesus Christ as Savior, but who are in the Word, but not only in the Word, but who, listen, are looking at every experience in life through the teaching of that Word, through the principles of that Word.
Then what are we doing? We are seeing the evidence of God as he has demonstrated himself in the Scriptures. We see him demonstrate himself and reveal himself in the same way to you and me. That's why it is an absolute tragedy for a man to come to church and listen to sermons close his Bible until next Sunday. You see, we simply share truths that give you an opportunity that week to look through the eyeglass of that one principle all week long to discover who God is. That's what this thing of worship is all about, feeling the presence of God, seeing the presence of God, but giving you something to walk away with, my friend, that you can spot God in your life all week.
That's what grows saints. That's what builds knowledge of God. One of the reasons we can't discover God is because we are so busy doing things ourselves, we don't know whether we did or whether God did it. And you see, to be still means that I must learn to be an observer. But the fourth thing involved in being still is this, I must learn to anticipate. Observation and anticipation, looking for, expecting the evidence of God in my life in that moment, in that experience, in that day, in that week.
You see, coming to church and listening to sermons and giving money and praying and singing songs, that ain't it. It is the evidence of God in your life on Monday through the next Sunday. God revealing himself, God moving into your life to make a difference. And as he moves into your life, he'll move through your life to somebody else. But what are the requirements of being still?
I must be willing to be patient. Because you see, sometimes you're going to get in the Word and you're going to be reading and it's just going to be blah, I'm not getting anything. Everybody has those experiences. Sometimes it's because of sin. Sometimes it's because your insides are going 90 miles an hour and God never has told many people very many things when they're going that fast.
For the simple reason, he can't get them to stop and listen. Now if you're a Sunday school teacher, I want you to listen very carefully. And if you're a pastor, a few weeks ago when I was thinking about this passage and studying it, God, he just smoked me with conviction. I was studying a passage of scripture for a message and all of a sudden it's like God said, are you studying this for them or for you? Are you preparing a sermon?
Are you seeking me? And I was so smitten with conviction to get on my knees to ask God to forgive me for looking for something else besides him. And God just had to remind me what does not come into your heart, what does not move into your life, what does not get into the emotional being. It cannot get in somebody else's heart. To know God requires something of us, calmness, quietness, patience, self-control and trust.
Quietness, calmness, patience, self-control and trust. If you're going to know what it means to be still before God, you've got to be still and quiet when you don't hear a thing. You see, in this age of ours, there's roar and rocking and rolling everywhere we're going. We look for God in the noise.
We look for God in the excitement. But in the scriptures, God gave his deepest revelations to men and women who were willing to be still and then know him. The discipline of study, getting in the word. The discipline of stillness, being quiet in the presence of God. And then the discipline of surrender.
Now watch this, listen very carefully. You will never discover who God is until you obey. If you want to know more about God, start obeying what you already know. Why should a holy, omnipotent, omniscient, sovereign, merciful, just, faithful God keep pouring knowledge of himself into your mind if you're only going to let it go in one ear and out the other and not let it stop and change your life. Surrender is essential to knowing God. Listen, that's why multitudes of people can go to church week after week after week and men stand and expound the word of God. They know nothing about God.
Not because they've not heard the truth, but because they are not willing to surrender to the truth of God they've heard. Why should God keep showing himself? Why should God keep demonstrating himself?
If people are only going to hear, forget it and move on to something they consider more important. You want to know who God is? Then get quiet before God in discipline of self control, shutting out the world, cutting off the television, throwing aside the magazines, getting alone before God and just take a few moments to be quiet and let God do something. You know what happened to all of us?
We'd all be happier. We'd all have more peace and joy if we learn that every day we need to be quiet before God. If all that is true, let me ask you one question. Do you really believe that the holy, righteous, omnipotent creator who is your savior and master and Lord, do you really believe he is worth getting to know? If so, I challenge you, my friend, to learn to be still and discover who this God is. You may as your Lord.
Whisper: medium.en / 2023-03-02 03:39:58 / 2023-03-02 03:46:20 / 6