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Lessons I Have Learned - Part 1

In Touch / Charles Stanley
The Truth Network Radio
April 26, 2023 12:00 am

Lessons I Have Learned - Part 1

In Touch / Charles Stanley

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April 26, 2023 12:00 am

Learn valuable lessons such as the importance of spending time with the Lord, relying upon the Holy Spirit, accepting God¨s unconditional love, and more.

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If I do not know how you find yourself making decisions based on immediate feelings or rather by the principles of the Word of God? Are you more influenced by your environment around you or by the Holy Spirit who's living within you?

Could you say that you have a sense of direction, a sense of meaning, a sense of purpose in your life, or are you just sort of responding and reacting to life as situations and circumstances arise? The Bible is a very Bible is full of great principles, godly principles by which our Lord wants us to live. In fact, you could go from Genesis to Revelation, and there's one principle after the other that God has given us, because you see, this is God's instruction book for living. And so what I want to talk about in this message today is simply this, and that is lessons worth living by. And I want you to turn, if you will, to Proverbs chapter three, which is probably the anchor chapter in the Bible for me personally, because there's a simple passage within this that somehow I've always gone back to over and over and over again through these years.

He says, beginning in verse one of chapter three, my son, do not forget my teaching, but let your heart keep my commandments. The length of days and years of life and peace they will add to you. Do not let kindness and truth leave you.

Bind them around your neck. Write them on the tablet of your heart. So you'll find favor and good repute in the sight of God and man. And listen to this, trust in the Lord with all your heart. Do not lean on your own understanding.

In all your ways acknowledge Him, and He will make your path straight. Do not be wise in your own eyes. Fear the Lord and turn away from evil.

It will be healing to your body and refreshment to your bones. Honor the Lord from your wealth and from the first of all your produce, so your barns will be filled with plenty and your vats will overflow with new wine. My son, do not reject the discipline of the Lord, alove his reproof.

For whom the Lord loves, he reproves, even as a father, the son in whom he delights. What I want to do in this passage and in this message primarily is to share with you some of the most important principles that God has laid upon my own life. Those principles by which He has guided my life, there are many others besides the one I want to mention, but these are the ones that He has most impressed upon my own heart, guided me by over all these years for which I am very, very grateful.

And I want to begin with the very first one, the one that my grandfather taught me when I was seventeen years of age. He didn't even realize the impact he was having upon my life, but he laid this principle before me in a very simple fashion. Obey God and leave all the consequences of your obedience to Him.

I do believe that is the most important lesson that I've ever learned. Obey God and leave all the consequences to Him. And in order to be obedient to God and leave the consequences to Him, it requires two things. Number one, it requires that you and I, first of all, learn how to listen to God. If I do not know how to listen to God, then I will not know how to be obedient to God. That's why you cannot separate learning to listen to Him and obeying Him.

And oftentimes people will say, well, I just don't know what God is saying. It is our responsibility to learn how to listen to Him. If I'm going to be obedient, I must know what it is God wants me to do. I must learn how to listen to Him to be sure I'm hearing from Him and not making up my own mind.

A second thing that is absolutely essential, and that is that I trust Him. It says obey God and leave all the consequences to Him. If I'm going to leave all the consequences to Him, then I must trust Him.

One of the biggest problems we have in this whole issue is the idea of the fear of what may happen if we trust Him. That is, if I can't see what the consequences are, if I can't see my way clear, oftentimes one of the reasons we don't obey Him is because we want Him to give us in graphic detail what the consequences will be if we obey Him. And God is under no obligation to show me the consequences. But I will say this, God has made Himself responsible. He is obligated, listen, to be responsible for the consequences of our obedience.

Remember that. God is responsible for the consequences of our obedience. It is my responsibility to learn how to listen to Him. My responsibility to trust Him. His responsibility to, as a result of my obedience, take care of all those consequences. Now oftentimes, one of the things we have to deal with is the clamor of other people.

What they think we should do, how they think we should live in decisions they think we ought to make. And the truth is, if you listen to the world, you will not find nor hear the will of God. Oftentimes people tell us what they think we want to hear, what they think will be easy on us when nobody knows the will and purpose of God for our life but Almighty God. And therefore, when we say obey God and leave all the consequences to Him, we cannot learn a greater lesson in life. It takes courage to be obedient when you don't know what the consequences are going to be. It takes faith to be obedient when you don't have any idea what the consequences are going to be. And oftentimes, when we try to picture and foretell in our own mind and our own thinking from a human point of view what we think the consequences might be, so often we are absolutely totally in error because only God in His omniscience knows what the consequences will be.

So if you'll remember, obey God, leave all the consequences to Him, Almighty God is totally responsible for the consequences of our obedience. Another lesson I would mention is simply this, and that is learn to trust the Lord for every single thing in life that we need. Learn to trust Him for everything we need.

Now, this is one of those lessons that you and I do not learn early in life and we don't learn probably for several years. And oftentimes it is difficulty and failure that teaches us how to learn to trust Him. And God knows exactly what to send into your life and my life that will remind us and teach us how to trust Him. And oftentimes, when we come to trust the Lord and we think, well, Lord, here's what you said. And He says, for example, in this passage, trust in the Lord with all your heart, lean not to your own understanding in all thy ways, acknowledge Him, and He will direct our path.

When it comes to obedience, you'll recall that Peter and John said there in 5th chapter of Acts, verse 29, we must obey God rather than man. When it comes to trusting God, oftentimes we will find ourselves again up against all kinds of opposition and oftentimes it is the thinking within our own heart, looking back in our past or seeing our past failures and asking the question, how can I trust God in the light of the things that I see going on in my life and what does the Scripture say about trusting Him in difficult times and situations and circumstances where we can't see our way clear? Well, remember this, that He is absolutely a trustworthy God.

He is absolutely faithful. You and I have never trusted Him for anything and God ever came up short. God does not want us worrying and fretting and being anxious and I think one of the things that's helped me the most is over the years in learning to trust Him, it oftentimes when people say to me, well, you don't seem to be upset, not upset. You don't seem to be worried, not worried. You don't seem to be frustrated about it.

You don't seem to be anxious. It doesn't mean that sometimes I don't feel those things, but most of the time I don't and when I do, it doesn't last long because I am quick to remind myself that Almighty God is the one who has said trust Him, He's trustworthy. I've never known in all these years of my life for Him ever to prove to be untrustworthy. Now, here's what happens and I think this is the thing that's probably taught me the most and that is sometimes in difficult times and situations when I've been confronted with something that I didn't know how to deal with and didn't know how to figure out and couldn't manipulate and couldn't change and the Lord would give me a very clear sense of direction exactly what to do.

Then when that happened, it seemed that all hell would break loose. The devil would absolutely just launch his most vicious attacks upon me when I had heard God say something so crystal clear and here's what the Lord would say to me over and over and over again. Listen carefully. Are you going to believe what you see and what you hear, are you going to believe what I say?

Brother, that would drive me straight to my knees, all right, Lord? Here's what I see. It looks pretty bad. Here's what I hear.

It looks real bad. God, here's what you said. I'm going to trust you no matter what I see and what I hear, I'm going to trust you. That's when our faith begins to skyrocket. That's when our faith begins to become strong and very intense because God is going to send us enough difficulty and hardship in our life. He's going to send us enough trials and tribulations in order to teach us to trust Him. How would we ever know how to trust Him if we didn't face circumstances and situations in which we didn't feel helpless and hopelessly lost apart from the divine intervention of God?

You can trust Him for every single need. You can trust Him to protect your nervous circumstance and one of the scriptures He keeps laying on my heart all through these years is no weapon formed against you shall prosper and over and over and over again as weapons have been tossed at me from one reason to the other, over and over He sent me back to that passage. You're going to believe what I've said rather than what you see and what you feel. If you'll just remember that, believe what He says rather than what you feel or what you see because if you believe what you feel, it can be very erroneous. If you believe what you hear, it can be very erroneous. If you believe what God says, you never, never go wrong doing what's right. The third lesson that I think is so very important is this and that is learning to wait upon God for His direction and His timing. When God has told you to wait, friend, don't budge under any circumstance because God has us waiting for a very specific, clear reason. Remember that He's omniscient.

We're not. He knows the past. He knows the present. He knows the future.

He knows all the things that are involved in every single decision that you and I make because He knows every single thing that's involved in every detail. When He says wait and His infinite wisdom and knowledge and understanding of the future, He knows what He has in mind is what I've discovered. When He says wait, it's probably for one of three reasons.

Number one, because I'm not ready for what He has. It may be that what I believe is the will of God is the will of God, but the timing is not my timing. It's His timing.

He says no wait. One of the reasons is because we're not ready. A second reason is because the circumstance that He is preparing for us, that circumstance isn't ready. You and I can't rush God. We can't hurry God. When God puts a situation, circumstances together, He puts it together in His perfect timing and His perfect way.

A third reason is because God has something better. Here we are waiting for this and God has something absolutely better over here that you and I have never dreamed of, never thought about. So if He tells us the wait is in His infinite wisdom and in His absolute goodness toward us, He says He has stored up His goodness for us because He has the best for us, because He wants the best for us. He says wait is because God has the very best for His children. Every single time I have waited, I've been able to back off and say, God, what an absolutely glorious God you are.

I would never thought that it could have been this good. Thank you, thank you, thank you, thank you. And what you end up doing is finding yourself in great, great gratitude and thanksgiving for God whose wisdom is so far greater than ours and whose love is such He will not let us move to make a mistake. And so I would say lesson number three, very important lesson, learn to wait for God's direction and for God's timing in your life. The next one I would simply say is one that is so very important. And oftentimes we think, well, principles and lessons that God would teach us, how could this possibly be one of them?

But it's one of them because as I think about over the years, one of the most profitable things I ever have ever done, I learned very early in life. And so what is this principle? This principle is this, give generously to the Lord's work. There are lots of Scriptures you and I could mention, but the one that has resounded in my heart over and over again through the years is 2 Corinthians chapter 9 beginning in verse 6.

Here's what he says. He says, Now this I say, He who sows sparingly shall also reap sparingly. He who sows bountifully shall also reap bountifully.

Let each one do as he is purposed in his heart, not grudgingly or under compulsion, for God loves a cheerful giver. And God, look at this verse, and God is able to make all grace abound to you, that always, having all sufficiency in everything, you may have an abundance in every good deed, for every good deed as it is written, He scattered abroad, He gave to the poor, His righteousness abides forever. Now He who supplies seed to the sower, bread for the food, will supply and multiply your seed for sowing and increase the harvest of your righteousness. You will be enriched in everything for all liberality which through us is producing thanksgiving to God.

I want you to look at one special part of this. Look in verse 8. God is able to make all grace abound to you, that always, having all sufficiency in everything, you may have an abundance for every good deed.

You know what he says? God will make it possible for you and me to always have enough to give to the Lord's work. He says to give for every good deed, all grace abound to you always. One of the things that you'll discover, if you will begin to tithe your income, and you will begin to give to God, you cannot out-give God.

There's absolutely no way. You give to God, you faithfully give to Him, and God is going to bless you. He says, given it shall be given to you.

Good measure, pressed down, shaken together, it's coming back. So I want to say to you, don't ever set out to make money. If you set out to make money and that's your goal, then you're going to be disappointed. You may get all the money you want, but you won't have what you're looking for. Because listen, our goal is not to make money, our goal is to walk obediently before Almighty God and ask God to give us what He knows we need and what He knows we desire, what He knows He wants us to have in our life. Never set out to make a dime. Has God blessed me?

Yes, He has. Why? Because when I was 13 years of age, the first $4 I got, I gave Him $1. I've never given Him simply a tithe, I've always given Him more and more. And one of the things that God will do in your life to teach you to give is this. He will give you opportunities that will stretch you.

Here's what I've discovered. If I hold on, if I become attached to anything in life materially, what I'm doing is I'm holding onto something. If I'm holding onto something, God can't put anything in the hands that are tightly fisted like this. When I open my hands to God and say, Lord, whatever I have is Yours, you can take anything you want, you can take as much as you want, all you got to do is to tell me what you want and here it is.

If I do that, you know what, I know that I'm not attached to anything. Anytime you get to holding onto anything and money becomes a priority in your life, mark this down, you're going to lose it. God is going to see to it that you lose it.

Money is not our goal. Our goal is to walk obediently before God. But if you and I will walk obediently before God and follow His principles of giving, here's what He will do. He will prosper you in ways you'll never be able to imagine.

Here's something else. It will protect you from greed. Money will protect you from selfishness.

It will protect you from becoming materialistically attached. I'm telling you, what's wrong with this whole nation of ours is that we've become a greedy nation. Somehow, somebody's convinced and persuaded us if we have enough things, enough of this and enough of that, enough of the other, we will be happy. There is no happiness, no joy and no peace in things. It is to be found in a relationship with Jesus Christ. One of the basic principles of something we're going to have to deal with all of our life is money. I'm telling you that if you'll start tithing, if you are tithing, give more than that. Tell God that you're coming back to 2 Corinthians chapter 9 and you just want to watch Him work that principle in your life and He will do exactly what He says. Well, I think another principle that's so very important to me, one of the things that I think is probably the most liberating truth that I've ever discovered over these years is this, and that is I cannot live the Christian life. It is Christ living it through me.

I can remember the first time that ever came to my mind. I'd never heard a sermon on it, never read a book, never saw a tract, never heard anything about it. I picked up this book by Dr. V. Raymond Edmond, who was then the president of Wheaton College and he wrote this book entitled They Found the Secret. It was simple biographical sketches of the spiritual life and the spiritual journey of some great men and women of God. I opened that book up one night, one Friday night, and walked out to my study in the backyard and I began to read. And I began to read that first chapter about Hudson Taylor. I didn't read but a very few pages, probably about page seven by the time I got there, I thought, Lord, here's somebody who feels exactly the way I feel.

Here's somebody who's struggling with the very things I'm struggling with. That night for the first time in my life, the very idea that Jesus Christ came to live on the inside of me, to live through me a life I could not live. I got up off on my knees that night when I realized John chapter 15 and verse those first few verses when Jesus said, I'm abiding in you and you're abiding in me.

He says, as the branch abides in the vine, he says, so I'm abiding in you and you're abiding in me. For the first time in my life, I recognized, I heard God say to me so crystal clear, I've never intended for you to live the Christian life. You can't do it. You never have done it. You've failed and failed and failed. Now you're preaching to people.

They don't know what in the world's going on because they can't live up to it either. I'm telling you, you can't, I'm the only one who can live this life through you. When I got up off that place, I was so liberated. I was so free. I didn't even know how to explain it. It's like God had dumped the whole theology in my mind and heart.

I didn't know how to explain it. I couldn't even understand what it was all about at first, except I knew that what I had been trying to do, God never intended me to do. He intended for me to rely upon him, trust in him and allow him to live his life in and through me. Then all of a sudden, Galatians chapter two verse 20 came to my mind and it came to my heart when Paul said, I've been crucified with Christ. Nevertheless, I live yet not I, he says, but it's Christ living on the inside of me and the life which I now live, I live by the faith of the Son of God who loved me and gave himself for me.

You're talking about liberated. I dumped off all of my attempts to live up to and please and somehow perform for God to accept me all went away in one night. Most believers will go to their grave in the bondage of trying to please God, trying to perform, trying to live up to, trying somehow to be good enough to get his acceptance when it is absolutely impossible. Remember the what grace is all about. Grace is all about the fact that God loves us in spite of who we are. God has forgiven us when we don't deserve it.

It is not living up to performing or trying to measure up to anything. One of the most liberating lessons is it is Christ in us. When I began to read the epistles of Paul after that, everywhere I turned in Christ, in Christ, in him, in whom, in fact, you could rack up the whole theology of the apostle Paul in these two words, in Christ, because Paul understood that. He understood his own failures, and that's why in Romans 7, he says, I couldn't do it.

I tried and I couldn't. In Romans 8, he says, thank God that he has liberated me in the person of Jesus Christ. Romans 8 is a great chapter of victory. Romans 7 is a great chapter of defeat. Most of us live in defeat until somehow we learn that it is Christ in us and not we ourselves. You're listening to In Touch, the teaching ministry of Dr. Charles Stanley.

Christ is living on the inside of every believer through the Holy Spirit. As we learn to rely on the Lord, we'll discover the strength to do the things he calls us to do. Dr. Stanley's message, Lessons I Have Learned, continues next time.

What determines how you make choices? You can find clear and objective guidelines for living a godly life in Scripture. Learn how to understand what the Bible says and gain the courage to apply it at And if you'd like to have a copy of Dr. Stanley's complete message, you can order online. The title is, Lessons I Have Learned. Our web address again is, or call 1-800-IN-TOUCH.

If you prefer, you can write to us at In Touch, post office box 7900, Atlanta, Georgia, 30357. Do you ever wonder how God chooses certain people to do his work? Today's moment with Charles Stanley is just ahead. The Christian life is an exciting journey with great joys and challenges. We don't always know the right questions to ask or the best way to approach Scripture in search of answers. Dr. Stanley's Handbook for Christian Living is an easy-to-use help system that will bring Scripture to life so you can see God moving powerfully in your life. To order, call 1-800-IN-TOUCH, or go to slash store. In Lebanon, an In Touch audio Bible is played, and Kurdish believers hear Scripture for the first time in their own language.

Learn more at slash messenger. Why do you suppose God often chooses the least likely people to do his work? With insight for believers, here's A Moment with Charles Stanley. Well, the primary reason is he is going to be more glorified. People are going to recognize it had to be something besides him or besides her.

How is it that they could accomplish these things? And so it all comes back to who's behind it, and that's Almighty God. He's always interested in bringing glory and honor to Himself. And somebody says, well, isn't that rather selfish?

No, that's who He is. Because the reason He gets our attention upon Him is because of what He wants to do in our life. And if a person doesn't even recognize God, doesn't even pay Him any attention at all, God's going to do those things necessary to get our attention, whether it's pain or pleasure, He will do it. Because you and I should be so observant every single day of what God's doing in our life. The people we meet, how we respond, things that happen to us, what we're able to do, what we maybe fail to do. And so in the process of God working in our life, He's in the process of building us up and strengthening us and bringing us into intimacy with Him.

And everything begins to happen in our life when we begin to recognize that in every single situation, every circumstance, God is there. Learn more about the believer's life of faith at You can hear today's message again and listen to previous messages at our website. And if you'd like to take In Touch with you, choose from our selection of podcasts. These resources and much more can be found at When In Touch returns, we'll hear the late Dr. Charles Stanley share more of the foundational lessons he learned and lived. I hope you'll join us next time for In Touch, the teaching ministry of Dr. Charles Stanley. This program is a presentation of In Touch Ministries, Atlanta, Georgia, and remains on this station through the grace of God and your faithful prayers and gifts.
Whisper: medium.en / 2023-04-26 03:55:50 / 2023-04-26 04:06:37 / 11

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