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How Does God Choose?

In Touch / Charles Stanley
The Truth Network Radio
June 14, 2023 12:00 am

How Does God Choose?

In Touch / Charles Stanley

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June 14, 2023 12:00 am

Dr. Stanley uncovers the qualities that made David the best choice for king: willingness, preparation, and potential.

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Welcome to the In Touch Podcast with Charles Stanley for Wednesday, June 14th. The series on pursuing God's heart continues with a look at David's first interaction with the prophet Samuel. This encounter reveals principles that help us see how God chooses. Now I want us to take just a moment to look at the life of David here for a second or two and just give you a little overview of what this man's life is like and what you and I can expect as we look at his life. He came out of the most prominent of all the tribes, the tribe of Judah through which the Lord Jesus Christ himself came. He was the son of Jesse who was not necessarily a very prominent man and not necessarily any particular gift was allocated to him. He came from a good line of Ruth and Boaz. He lived in Bethlehem about six miles or so from Jerusalem. When it says that he was the least of them, or as Jesse said, the youngest, it really means, the word here means in Hebrew, the least in his favor.

And yet in spite of that, he was a very colorful young man and he was looked a little different because of his ruddy complexion and his light hair. And wherever you find comparisons in the Bible of characters, you'll always find David and all of his greatness comparing to Moses. Now Moses is said to be the greatest man in the Old Testament and more than likely David is probably second to him. He won his way into Saul's family as a result of playing the harp, being able to do that in this verse 16th chapter. The scripture says that they said of him he was cunning as a player. Wasn't very long after he slew Goliath that he became idolized by all the people of Israel.

And you recall when they came back that the women were saying Saul had slain his thousands, but David his ten thousands, which created a problem with David. He was a hero among the outlaws of his day. His enemies had great respect for him. The outlaws admired him because of who he was and what he did. He was respected by them. But there was a sense of love that most people had for David. There was something special about him. Yet in spite of all the good things that you and I say about him, when you look through these chapters, he committed adultery. He was responsible for murder of her husband.

He was probably and is probably the best loved poet the world has ever known. So it looks like his life is a life of contradiction. He was a courageous warrior and he was the king with no exception, the greatest king that Israel ever had. And yet when you and I look at the contradiction in his life and we see that God has chosen to select this man with all of his gifts, with all of his talents, and yet with his downfall, which God did not have to discover later, God knew that David would fall. But somebody says, well, why is it that David is so much better than Saul and why did the Spirit of God leave Saul when he did not leave David and David seemingly was far more guilty of more gross sins than was Saul? The difference is to be found in what we're going to talk about tonight, and that is how God chooses men. He doesn't choose them like we choose them. And I'm not talking about simply kings and presidents, but I'm talking about what's the basis upon which a man chooses his wife? Why does a woman choose a certain man to be her husband?

How do we choose deacons and why do churches choose pastors? You see, there's some basic ideas and principles that our Lord went by when he made choices. So I want us to look at his choice of this man, David, and as we go through his life, we're going to find him with his ups and downs just like you and myself.

Here he is, a strong man on the one hand, and here he has fallen to the very depths of sin and disobedience toward God. You say, well, how is it, why is it that God would choose a man like that? Well, the first thing I want us to notice here is this, that God chooses men contrary to human reason.

God does not choose people on the basis of human reason like you and I would today. By human reason, you and I, we wouldn't have chosen David more than likely because he was not the choicest of the sons of Jesse. And more than likely, not only was he looked down upon, but I believe that you'll find a lot of indications that David had a problem of rejection. But the simple reason he was rejected by his brothers, and I mean they gave him a hard time, they razzed him about this and about that and about the other and being the shepherd of the whole crowd. When he gets into Saul's household, he's rejected by Saul. As you go through these chapters, you find him being rejected over and over and over again.

And many of these chapters, he's running for his life, continuously running for his life. And when you look to see why God would anoint someone and choose someone like David, you can sort of see Saul. I mean, you know, he was the tallest one, he was good-looking, he had everything going for him when God chose him. But David, it seems, has everything going against him, and yet God chose him. Now listen, when he said to Samuel, Look not as a man seeth, for man looketh on the outward appearance, but the Lord looketh on the heart. He's giving us a basic principle to go by when we're making choices. Because you see, God says that he makes choices not on the basis of outward appearance, but God makes choices on the basis of what?

On the condition of the heart. God looks at the heart, man looks at the outward appearance. Now listen, not only is this applicable to husbands and wives and the choices of pastors or the choices of deacons and Sunday School teachers, or whatever it might be, employees in your business, but it's likewise, I believe, an admonition to parents. Because how many times have parents shoved one of their children off to the side, or sort of ignored them because maybe they had a little handicap, weren't quite as good-looking, or this, that, and the other, and what happens? When it's all said and done and the kids mature, the one who stands out above all the rest is the one who is overlooked.

The one who was sort of, you know, maybe the middle child, or whichever one it was, because we make the terrible mistake of judging by outward appearance and not by the heart. And sometimes churches want to do the same thing. You ask a church, what kind of pastor do you want?

We want him tall, dark, handsome, eloquent, PhDs, all of these things, and oftentimes they know nothing about his heart. And you see, God's people need to ask the right questions. It isn't what a man's wearing.

His clothes may be the cheapest you can buy, has nothing to do, if that's all he can afford. At that time, listen, everybody's got to start somewhere, and oftentimes God's greatest servants, I don't mean just preachers, but in the business world, have been people who started from scratch. In fact, I mean they were a little level below scratch. But they had character. They had determination. There were qualities within them. All that they needed was an opportunity, an opportunity to become the person God wanted them to be.

We must be very careful in judging by outward appearance. God never chooses according to family. Many people in churches expect to be elected and appointed because they belong to a certain family. According to the scripture, there's not one single verse of scripture anywhere in the Bible that ever says that God ever chose anybody based on their family, or on their appearance, or on their wealth, or on their prominence, or on any of that kind of stuff.

That's all carnal, fleshly junk. You and I must make choices based on inner character. When I became the pastor of this church, I looked around the room at a group of fellows who didn't seem very impressive to me, and I thought, Lord, can we do this with this group of men? It's just like God said to me.

I remember exactly where I was seated in my study. God said, I take the weak, and I make them strong. Let me tell you something. I could name seven of those men who were sitting in that room, and I've watched God make them strong. I've watched God build them up. I've watched God make them pillars. I've watched God build character in their lives. I've watched God make them a strength to this church. God chooses the foolish.

God chooses what seems to be weak because, you see, when God looks at the heart, he not only sees what the world sees, he sees the potential. Now watch here. I want you to notice something. So you and I asked the question, why would God choose David? Let me show you why.

Now watch this carefully. David knew God, and when you read the Psalms and you discover the character, the nature of this man, God chose him because of his character, because of what he was, and because of what had begun to happen in his heart. And look at Psalm 57. I love this verse. Psalm 57, verse 7, listen.

And I believe early in his life this was true. Psalm 57, verse 7. My heart is fixed, O God.

My heart is fixed. I will sing and give praise. Awake up my glory, awake, soldier in heart.

I myself will awake early. Go back to Psalm 3, verse 5. I laid me down and slept. I awake for the Lord's sustainment. He was out there among the lions and the bears and among his sheep.

He had learned to snooze in the midst of the evening sky, the stars, the moon, the rain, the cold, the heat. Listen, verse 8 of chapter 4 of the Psalms. And I will both lay me down in peace and sleep, for thou Lord only makest me dwell in safety. When you begin to read and see the character, the thought patterns of the life of David, you see why God chose him. God chose him.

Listen. Early in his life, you know what David was doing without even realizing it? David was preparing to be the king of Israel before he even ever had any earthly idea that that was God's choice. Well, let me ask you something. What are you preparing for God to do in your life? You're 19 years of age, Lord, now if I should ask you, what's God's will for your life? I don't know.

You're 23 years of age. What is God going to do with your life? I'm not sure. Well, let me ask you this. What are you doing to get ready? Because listen, if you are not getting ready, why should God choose you to do something that you are not prepared for? You say, well, I'm going to get ready after God tells me. There are many criteria of God's choice, but I can tell you this. It's what you've done with what you've had and what you've known up to this point in your life. You can't say one of these days when God calls men and get that big choice, that big call from God, I'm going to step out and give my best. God is looking for young men and women who are willing to do their best when they don't even have a dream of becoming anything.

Listen, what are you doing to build character in your life so that if and when God says, I want you for this, that you'll be ready? You say, but who am I? That's not the question.

You know what that is? That's a cop out. It's a cop out for not doing your best because you're a child of God. God has a plan for your life and he's going to choose you to do something. You've got to find out what it's going to be.

But while you're finding out, give your best. Don't come down here to do Atlanta and go to school and fiddle around two or three years. You're sort of waiting for God to tell you what to do. Listen, how many fellows have walked this aisle, almost finishing four years of Georgia Tech to be an engineer and God call them to preach? You say, why didn't God call them before that?

You'd have to address that to him. But God must have known that to equip them for what they were to do, that the discipline of studying calculus or engineering, electrical engineering, nuclear, whatever it might be. He must have known that God knew they needed the terrible discipline of studying those subjects to get them. Isn't that right?

That's right. Otherwise, you know what you do? If you sort of flip through college and you didn't need that, you just sort of mosey into the first chapter of the Greek or the first class. You'd say, hmm, not having been used to doing your best. You'd flunk it.

And if you pass Greek, you'd flunk Hebrew, I can guarantee you. You see, what we think is unimportant before Almighty God is extremely important. I'm saying to you, God's going to choose you to do something.

You are responsible before Almighty God to be getting ready every day of your life. You said, I'm 65. What could God do with me? That's not the question.

I'm 65. God, what do you want to do with me? That is the question. There is no telling what God's going to do, which reminds me. The second thing that I want to say to you is one of the basis of God's choice is your potential. And this is why moms and dads need to be very keen about understanding their children.

Some of the greatest men of history have started out seemingly with the least potential of all to offer anything. And yet, listen, what is our responsibility in the body of Christ? Is it not to encourage each other? Is it not to challenge young and old alike?

Is it not to bring to their mind and heart the disciplines of God so that they will become what God wants them to be? You see, it is the tremendous potential. Let me tell you something. Cut this line out of all of your talking.

I can't do. That's not even scriptural. I can prove it.

You prove it. What's the verse? I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me. You see, when God called us in three things here, in essence, he chooses a man based on his character. He chooses a man based on his potential. And he chooses a man, listen, who is willing for God to equip him for the work.

Look what God did right here. He called Samuel. He said he's the one anointing. And as soon as he anointed David, what did God turn right around to the very next moment?

What did he do? The Holy Spirit of God came upon him to do what? And if you'll notice what it says, the Spirit of God came upon David from that day forward.

That is, the Spirit of God came upon David and David was immediately equipped by the assisting spirit of the living God to fulfill whatever God called him to do. Now, what you have to ask is this. Has God chosen you for anything? He has.

What is it? I don't know that. But let me ask you this.

And here's the key question. If you don't know what God wants you to do with your life, what are you doing to get ready just in case he tells you? Because I want to tell you something.

If you're not building character into your life, why should he tell you? I cannot say that often enough. It matters not where you are, it's where God's going to put you. I'm going to tell you what I've seen. I've seen a lot of fellows come and go.

I mean, tremendous, brilliant meters. They just flash off the pad with a tremendous glow and the whole world is going to see them. And all of a sudden after they go.

That's the end of them. You know why? Because the foundation wasn't strong. Here's a fellow here who's got a big foundation. And when God launches him off the pad, he doesn't come out with quite as much glow. But he keeps moving and he keeps moving. And the further he goes, the brighter the glow gets.

And he's still glowing and still going and still growing. Why? Because he came off of a great foundation of character, like the character of Jesus Christ. I can tell you one thing. He's chosen you for something. The important thing is that you're getting ready day by day, building your character through meditation upon the Word of God. Building your inner character, getting ready.

Listen. Do you want a super gal for a wife? Give her a super husband. That fair enough, ladies? You want a husband who meets your requirements of a godly man? Give him a godly woman.

That's fair enough. What God is saying to us? Get ready.

When he calls you, you want to be ready. The one thing you don't want God to ever say to you is, Well, I'm ready, but you're not, so I have to choose someone else. Father, we thank you tonight that it certainly isn't on our merit that you choose any of us, and it's all grace, unlimited, unmerited, unconditional, immeasurable love. And Father, I pray tonight in Jesus' name that somebody here who's lost, oh God, somebody who's lost, help them to see that all the potential within them, it will never come forth unless they're willing to submit to the hand of Jesus Christ to cleanse them from their sin, purify their life, and set them on a new path which he has provided. Lord God, I pray that each and every one of us would be willing to commit ourselves, if need be, if we've not done that already, commit ourselves tonight to our best, based not upon what we want to get out of life, but based on what you want to do with each one of us.

Oh God, how awful it is to be slothful and lazy when we have so much potential. I pray that every mother here, every daughter, every son, every father, every husband, every wife, every student, every young child will hear that one statement. We must do our best because Jesus deserves it because it is preparation for the future, whatever that may be. Let there be genuine repentance, genuine fresh new commitment tonight is my prayer in Jesus' name. Amen. .
Whisper: medium.en / 2023-06-14 06:09:42 / 2023-06-14 06:17:24 / 8

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