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The Requirements of Faith - Part 2

In Touch / Charles Stanley
The Truth Network Radio
November 13, 2023 12:00 am

The Requirements of Faith - Part 2

In Touch / Charles Stanley

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November 13, 2023 12:00 am

Have total assurance that the God of the Bible is the one true God.

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Welcome to the In Touch Podcast with Charles Stanley for Monday, November thirteenth. Faith is a gift of God, but also a skill believers have to learn. Let's take some time to examine the profile of a man who got some very practical instruction on the requirements of faith.

I want to share this with you today. It's a very important time in your life. You've learned that faith is a very important factor in the life of God. It's an important factor in the life of God. It's an important factor in the life of God. It's not only about faith and in our lives, but it's also about the characteristics and character qualities of these godly men.

But it also shows us their weaknesses, their frailties, their failures, their faults, and in the process of sifting through all that, you and I learned some awesome principles of how to live this life. One of the things that's so true in the life of Abraham is God's, listen, God's unsearchable and indescribable love. Even amidst his faults and his failures, God loved him. Even amidst his faults and failures and oftentimes his unbelief, God continued to write to God that to work in his life and accomplish his purpose in his life.

Chapter 12. Now the Lord said, Abram, go forth from your country and from your relatives and from your father's house to the land, which I will show you. And I will make you a great nation, and I will bless you and make your name great. And so you shall be a blessing, and I will bless those who bless you.

And the one who curses you, I will curse. And in you, all the families of the earth shall be blessed. Now, with that in mind, and we will continue part of his life here, what I'd like to give you is I'd like to give you five requirements for learning to walk by faith. What is the first lesson in the school of faith I must learn if I'm going to learn to walk and to live by faith? The first lesson is this, I must learn to listen to God. That is absolutely basic in all of our walk with God. If I don't know, if I can't hear him, if I can't identify his voice, if I can't know that God is speaking to me, how will I know where to go? How will I know what to do?

How will I know how long, when, how, what? You see, the truth is that God intends to give us direction for our life. Does he not say, trust in the Lord with all your heart, lean not to your own understanding, in all thy ways acknowledge him, he shall direct thy path. But even if he directs my path, if I'm not listening, I'm going to miss what he has to say. So basic to learning to live by faith and to walk the walk of faith, to live the Christian life as God would have us to, basic to that is learning to listen to God.

Very important. Step number one in walking by faith is what? Learning to do what? To listen to God. Step number two is learning to obey God. Now listen to what happens to Abraham here because he certainly obeyed God. Back to this 12th chapter, listen to what he says. Now the Lord said to Abram, go forth from your country and tells him what to do. Verse four says, so he got up and went. So Abraham left. And so if you move on over each time, what you'll follow all through these chapters, when God says, here's what I want you to do, here's what he does, even to the point of sacrificing his son, but does he always do that?

No, he does not. He doesn't always do what God tells him to do because he did not listen, because he did not obey the Lord God, because in his desire to do it his way and to arrange his circumstances, which he thought was best, what does he do? The Bible says that he heads down into Egypt. Now going to Egypt was a tragic mistake for him. Now listen, he got something in Egypt he never got over. He got something in Egypt that caused him problems all the rest of his life. He got something in Egypt that not only caused him problems, but has caused the world's problems ever since. Because what he got down there was Hagar, an Egyptian woman. What happens?

He got more than he bargained for. Listen, whenever you and I do not listen to God, and we head toward Egypt, Egypt may look good. It may look like the solution to our problems.

It may look like here's how we're gonna get our needs met. And you know what happens when you get in Egypt, having not listened to God and disobey God, it may look real good for a season. But ultimately, it won't be that way. The third thing I must learn is I must learn to depend upon God.

Is that not what the life of faith is all about? It's learning to trust him. If I trust him, I will depend upon him. I will rely upon him. I will look to him to meet my needs. I will look to him to do for me and to be to me what I need.

If I'm not trusting him and not listening to him, I'm not gonna do that. So if I'm going to learn to walk by faith, I've got to learn to depend upon him. Depend upon him for what? He wants us to depend upon him for every single thing. Why? Because we're going through difficulties and hardships in life.

You know what? We desperately need him. So we need to learn to depend upon him. And if we're gonna live the life of faith, we must choose to depend upon God.

What? Depend upon him to speak to us and depend upon him for the strength to be obedient. Why did the Holy Spirit come? The Holy Spirit came into your life and my life because God knew that, listen, we couldn't live the life that he wants us to live without him. And we couldn't accomplish or achieve the things in life he wants us to achieve and accomplish without him. They sent the Holy Spirit for a very specific purpose to do what? To enable us, to empower us, to equip us to become and to be and to do those things that please him. So therefore, step number one and learn to walk the walk of faith is what?

Let's have it. What is step number one? Learning to listen to God. Step number two, learning to obey God. Step number three, learning to depend upon God. And step number four, learning to wait upon God.

Oh my goodness. Learning to wait upon God. If I'm going to listen to God, God isn't gonna tell me every time, get up man and get going. Oftentimes, he's gonna say, stand still and see the salvation of the Lord. Be still, stop striving and know that I'm God.

David talked about lying in the bed at night and meditating upon God and the quietness and the stillness of it all. If I am going to learn to listen to God, I must not only be still and quiet, I must learn to wait. Does he not say, wait upon the Lord? Now listen, be of good courage. I say, wait upon the Lord. In Psalm 27, Isaiah 64.

Listen, there's one of my favorite verses. God acts in behalf of the one who waits for him. Listen, if you wanna get God in on whatever you're facing in life, wait for God's instruction. What does it mean to be patient? The meaning of patience is this. I pause for further instruction. That's what patience in the Bible is all about. Waiting upon the Lord is pausing for further instructions.

Waiting until I get God's signal to go. And oftentimes, we make the biggest messes of things in our life because we want it now, we wanna do it now, we wanna get it done now when it's not God's timing. You remember that we said that one of the biggest opposite, one of the biggest problems in learning to trust the Lord and to follow him is that we wanna go by sight. If I can't see it, I'm not gonna do it. Secondly, we wanna go by feelings.

How do I feel if I feel this is the right thing? And thirdly, we said by sound, have to be very careful with advice of other people. Listen to what got Abraham in great trouble. I'm going back to something we said a few moments ago.

Listen carefully and read along with me. Chapter 16, verse one. Now Sarah, Abraham's wife had borne him no children. And she had an Egyptian maid whose name was Hagar. Where did she come from? Down in Egypt, when he didn't listen to God, didn't obey God, went down there, threatened the life of his very wife.

And listen, look what happened. He didn't have to buy her, she was a gift. Pharaoh's servants gave Hagar to him, one of the female slaves. She says, now I want you to go in with Hagar and here's what happens. Verse two, look at that. So Sarah said to Abraham, behold, the Lord has prevented me from bearing children.

Please go into my maid. Perhaps I shall obtain children through her and Abraham listened to the voice of Sarah. Man, he should have built the biggest altar he ever built right there. He should have listened to God, not Sarah. He listened to the voice of Sarah. And so, and after Abraham had lived 10 years in the land of Canaan, Abraham's wife Sarah took Hagar, the Egyptian, her maid, gave her to her husband Abraham and his wife. And he went into Hagar and she conceived and she saw that she had conceived her mistress who was despised in her sight.

Now watch this. First of all, he's an Egyptian handmaid, been a servant. When she conceives, all of a sudden Sarah whose idea it was began to hate and despise this woman. Finally, if you notice what happens, son is born, finally they threw her out of the house. And God is the one who said to her, return to your mistress and submit yourself to her authority.

So what happened? Here's Hagar, who was a gift down in Egypt. And now the strife in this family. Not only that, he stepped ahead of God, had a son who would be trouble all the years of his life.

You know what? He wasn't listening to God, wasn't obeying God, wasn't depending upon God, but listen to the wrong voices. That's why we have to be very, very careful who we listen to. He got ahead of God. Now, when you and I choose to disobey God, no matter how good it looks, you can't make it right. You can't make it right if it's not of God.

You can't make it turn out right if it's not of God. That's why it's so very important that you and I learn to listen to God, learn to obey God, learn to depend upon God, and learn to wait for His timing. Remember, that if God says wait, God in His infinite wisdom knows, listen, it's not only best for God, it's best for us. If God says wait, it's best for us. That is, listen, if He says wait, if I don't wait, I'll get what I can do. If I wait, I get what God can do. And listen, He said, Abraham, He says, you're going to have a great reward, but you got to listen to Me, obey Me, depend upon Me, and wait for My timing.

Wait for My timing. Now, so if I'm going to learn to walk the walk of faith, first of all, the first thing I must learn is I must learn to do what? Listen to God. Secondly, I must learn to obey God. Thirdly, I must learn to depend upon God. Fourthly, I must learn to wait upon God. And fifthly, I must learn to acknowledge my faith failures to God and learn from them. I must be willing to acknowledge my faith failures.

That's what they are. Acknowledge my faith failures to God and learn from them. Well, I think it is very evident in Abraham's life that he did, because if you look at his life for a moment, the first big test, leave your family, friends, your land, and go. I'll tell you where to go and how to get there. Big test. I'm going to give you a son, another big test. Wait for me. Didn't wait for him, so he blew that one. And then he comes to the final big test. Now listen carefully. Most of us have the idea, at least I'm sure I have in life, had the idea, well, after you go through some real tough times, you think, whew, boy, am I glad that's over with. So man, it can't get any worse than that.

Yes, it can. It can get worse than that. You say, well, God, give me a break. Well, he is giving us a break. You know what? God loves us so much, he's not about to let us stay on level seven when he's got this fantastic level eight coming.

Now, fantastic to him, painful to us oftentimes. Listen to what happened. Go to the 22nd chapter of Genesis, 22nd chapter.

Look at this. A lot of things have gone on in these chapters, and now 22nd chapter. Now it came about after these things. Isaac's been born and son of his faith. This is the son of promise to whom the Messiah is coming. He says after these things that God tested Abraham and said to him, Abraham, he said, here I am.

You know what? Wouldn't you just love to hear God say, Jane, Charles, Jim, Jack, whatever. Here I am. Listening to God. I mean, this man had learned to listen. Now this fiddling around, yes, here I am. Boy, if he'd have just known what he was listening to.

Look at this. Take now your son, your only son, whom you love, Isaac. Go to the land of Moriah, and all for him there is a burnt offering on one of the mountains of which I tell you. I'm sure when he woke up that morning, he never expected that in his wildest dreams. Had he learned to listen to God?

Yes, here I am. Had he learned to obey God? Look at the next verse. So Abraham rose early in the morning, settled his donkey. Look at verse two again. And he said, take now your son.

Not one of these days, now the land of Moriah. Not one of these days, now did he learn to listen? Yes. Learn to obey? Yes. Learn to depend upon God? Yes. Learn to wait upon him?

Yes. Now, that means now. Next morning, early gets up. Took two of his young men with him. Isaac, his son, split the wood for the burnt offering, arose and went to the place of which God had told him. On the third day, Abraham raised his eyes and saw the place from a distance. And Abraham said to his young men, stay here.

Now watch this carefully. Stay here with the donkey and I and the lad will go yonder and we will worship and return to you. Now I know that Abraham is about to graduate in the school of faith because this is the acid test of his love and devotion to God. This son whom he looked for all these years, hundred years old when he was born, the son of promise. And now he says to him, I want you to take him to Mount Moriah and I want you to sacrifice him to me.

But look what happens. Verse five again, Abraham said to his young men, stay here with the donkey and I and the lad will go yonder and we will return. And if you read that in the Hebrew, and we will return and we will worship you.

What was he saying? His faith had reached this stage. This is the son of promise. God says that through this child, all the nations of earth gonna be blessed.

If I sacrifice my son, God's gonna resurrect him from the dead right here. So they left. Abraham took the wood of the burnt offering, laid it on Isaac his son, took it in his hand, the fire and the knife so the two of them walked along together. Now can you imagine this conversation? Look at this. Isaac spoke to Abraham his father and said, my father, yes, well, we've got wood and we've got fire. Where's the lamb for the burnt offering? I love this answer. Look at this. Verse eight, and Abraham said, God will provide for himself the lamb. He graduated man. For the burnt offering my son, so the two of them walked on together, came to the place in which God had told him.

Abraham built the altar there, arranged the wood, bound his son Isaac and laid him on the altar on the top of the wood. Here's what I want you to remember. There come those critical, crucial moments in all of our lives.

Critical, critical, crucial with consequences you and I will never be able to foresee. If we're not listening to God, we'll spend a lifetime regretting it. Abraham, Abraham, here I am. And God said to him, don't stretch your hand against your son, your lad.

Do nothing to him, for now I know that you fear God since you've not withheld your son, your only son from me. Suppose he had not listened at that moment. And what that says to me is how very important it is that in the walk of faith, that we are very, very sensitive to the voice of God. That when he speaks, we're just as, listen, we learn just as well as Abraham to say, here I am, Lord. Listening, willing to be obedient, willing to depend, willing to wait, willing to confess my failures, my faults, and my faith failures, and my faults, and my times of disobedience. Willing to repent of those in order to learn how to walk this walk of faith. Father, we bless you and praise you, love you. When I think about how patient, how forbearing, how forgiving, how willing you are to love us through all of our foreb bothering, how forgiving, How willing you are to love us through all of our faults and our faith failures in life God teach us how to listen to you carefully Create within our hearts such an intense desire to hear from you that all the shouts and the sounds and the voices and the rumblings of the world Cannot overpower the still small voice Of the Holy Spirit within us But we ask it in Jesus name and for his sake amen Thank you for listening to part two of the requirements of faith If you'd like to know more about Charles Stanley or in touch ministries stop by in touch dot o RG This podcast is a presentation of in touch ministries, Atlanta, Georgia
Whisper: medium.en / 2023-11-13 02:43:02 / 2023-11-13 02:52:57 / 10

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