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When We Say Yes - Part 2

In Touch / Charles Stanley
The Truth Network Radio
March 13, 2024 12:00 am

When We Say Yes - Part 2

In Touch / Charles Stanley

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March 13, 2024 12:00 am

Acting in obedience toward God always leads to great blessings.

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Welcome to the In Touch Podcast with Charles Stanley for Wednesday, March 13th. When God gives us specific instructions, why do we delay and disobey? Usually it comes down to a lack of trust.

Today we find solutions to those lingering uncertainties. What is it that God has been challenging you to do that seemingly is not really all that significant? And someone else would think, well, that's not all that important. But you are yet to do it. For some reason you've rationalized it, you've excused yourself, you've said, I can't, I don't want to, it's too hard, too difficult, I'm not sure, got to pray about it. Listen, when God says do something, responding by saying I'll pray about it is not the answer.

Responding by saying, well, I need to get some counsel is not the answer. When God says specifically, here's what I want you to do, the only right answer is to say yes, Lord. Yes, yes, yes to whatever He requires of us. I'm not saying you should never pray about God's request, but oftentimes we know exactly what He's saying.

It is very clear to us. And so the right response is to do exactly what He says. Obeying God in small matters is oftentimes the stepping stone, the beginning step to God's greatest blessings in our life. Second thing I want you to jot down is this, and that is obeying God is always beneficial to others. What is it that God is saying to you that if you obey Him, God will make you a blessing to other people?

It may be something so simple that you never thought about. Well, how's that going to affect anybody else? And I'm sure that wasn't a big issue with Peter, but it was a very important thing in the life of Christ. The important thing is that the apostle Peter did what Jesus asked him to do as simple and as insignificant as it may have appeared at the moment. Well, if you and I will obey Him, if we will obey Him, we're always going to be a benefit and a blessing to other people.

Not only for the Lord's work in general, but we're going to be a blessing to people who are the closest to us. Third thing I want you to jot down as I look at this passage, and that is obeying God may require us to do some things that are unreasonable. That is, sometimes God requires of us to do things that are not really reasonable to us. They don't fit into the way we think.

They certainly don't fit into the world's mode. So you and I should never be obedient to God based on is it reasonable or rational? That does not mean that God absolutely bypasses human reason or bypasses common sense. But oftentimes what He requires of us will not be reasonable. It'll not be common sense to us. It won't fit into our plan.

It won't fit in the way we've been trained to think and the way we've geared our life. It doesn't have to be reasonable or rational. It has to be obedience. There's no way to fail obeying Him. No way to win disobeying Him.

Well, let's move on to the fourth point. And that is when you and I obey God, it never proves to be a disappointment. You may go through a valley.

You may hurt. You may have difficulty in trial, but God is going to show you that it was the wise thing to do. And it may be instantly or maybe sometime goes by when you think, thank you, dear God, that I didn't disobey you. Thank you, dear God, that you're faithful. Thank you that you lived up to what you promised because He always does. You see, He can never fail. Now, just because my expectation's not the same as His doesn't mean that I'm going to be disappointed with Him. Most of us would probably have to agree that we disappoint ourselves, but Jesus Christ has never proved to be a disappointment. Well, I want you to move on, if you will, to number five, and that is obeying God always allows Him to demonstrate His power in our life.

When you and I obey Him, it allows Him to demonstrate His power in our life. Suppose Peter had said, no, I'm sorry, schedule doesn't suit mine. I've got to finish cleaning my nets, and then I've got to go eat lunch. I'm tired. We've been fishing all night.

I'll borrow somebody else's boat. Look what he would have missed. He would have missed the most, this is so important, he would have missed the most awesome demonstration of the power of God that he'd ever experienced up to that point in his life.

Suppose he'd have said, sorry, no way. He saw the most awesome demonstration of the power of God. Now, here's the important thing. Because, you see, what he witnessed here is he witnessed a miracle that, listen, it just made his faith skyrocket. Once in a while somebody says, well, you know, I wish I had great faith. I can tell you how to get it.

It's real simple. If you want greater faith, I tell you exactly how to get it. And faith's the key to everything you get from God.

You want great faith? Then obey God in a little thing, because I can tell you what's going to happen. He's going to challenge you with a greater thing. Obey God in that. Then he's going to challenge you with something greater. Obey God in that. Then he's going to challenge you with something greater.

Obey God in that. Then he's going to put you out there somewhere and you can hear the buzz saw, just sawing your limb off. I mean, you know you're going down.

And you know what? God is there to catch you. You fall about a quarter of an inch. What happens? Your faith begins to skyrocket.

Why? Because God proves faithful every single time you and I are obedient. What happens is we obey him and we take his wonderful responses as we take them for granted.

We don't stop to say, thank you, dear God. I did what you said. Here's what you did. I did what you said. Here's what you did. I did what you said.

Here's what you did. We wait for some big dramatic response to think that God heard and answered us and that he's being good to us. God rewards every single solitary, small, large, medium-sized active obedience because they're all big time with him. Well, you and I could go through the New Testament Gospels and think about all the miracles that Simon Peter saw once he began to follow Jesus, but I want to tell you about one he will never forget.

He's still talking about it in glory today, I guarantee you. That is, one night on that same sea, the boat was about to sink. They were scared to death, and here comes Jesus walking on the water. Well, of all those apostles in that boat, who you suppose said, Jesus, if that's you, bid me to come to you and I'll come. And the Lord Jesus said, Peter, come on. And Peter stepped out of the boat, not into, but onto the water and started walking toward Jesus. Why do you think the apostle Peter had the courage to get out of that boat and walk on that water of the Christ? Now, he did begin to sink because he began to look around him and see the waves and the night and knowing that he was walking on water, all of a sudden, he began to sink.

But that's not the issue. The important thing is this. Why do you think he was willing to get out of the boat and walk on the water?

You go back to his first act of simple obedience. Lord, you want to borrow the boat? Sure. You want to go out here? Yes. You want to go fishing?

Okay. The reason the apostle Peter got out of that boat and walked on the water, because listen, he was fully persuaded that the master, the Lord Jesus Christ, who controlled the fish in the water, had to have absolute control over the water. So what did he do?

He walked on the water to Christ. You want to get blessed, my friend? You obey God in the simple little things in life and you and I will be absolutely amazed at what God will do if we will obey Him when it's unreasonable and unpopular and we don't want to, we don't like it. It may be painful. It may be difficult.

We may not know how. Obey Him anyway if you want to get blessed. If you don't, just do your own thing. And I can give you lots and lots of illustrations in my own personal life. I'm going to tell you, Jesus has never disappointed me and I can't ever remember being tested or tried in any act of obedience that I have obeyed Him that I have not been greatly blessed one way or the other, sooner or later. And I want to say again, blessings follow obedience and many people who are not familiar with the ways of God never stop to recognize that what is now going on in their life is a result of what went on in their life when they said yes to the Lord Jesus Christ and He never gets any credit. Always be sensitive to any blessing that comes your way.

It is the result of God doing something in your life. Well, number six, obeying God always results in a deeper understanding of Himself and of ourselves. Beying God always results in a deeper understanding of Him and of us. Now, it's interesting in this passage what happens. Peter heard the Lord Jesus preaching. He knew He was a carpenter and itinerant preacher. And he heard the profound things that He was saying. He sat there in the boat and listened to Him. But you see, Simon didn't know Him like he began to know Him on this particular day.

He knew Him as a carpenter and as a teacher. But on this day, he got an insight into Christ he'd never seen. That's why he fell on his knees and said, I am unworthy to be in the same boat with you. Oh, wretched man that I am, sinner that I am.

Oh, Lord. He got a whole new insight into who Christ was. He also got a whole new perspective on himself because you see, it's pretty evident that Peter probably thought he was the best fisherman on the Sea of Galilee. And I know that because he thought he was the best apostle. I mean, if you don't believe that, you just read the gospels. I mean, he was always out front.

You all just trust the rock. He can take care of everything and sometimes even stoop to giving Jesus direction about what he ought to do. When he said, Lord, this will never happen to you, Jesus had to say to him, Peter, you're acting like the devil now. And remember this, that Peter was never perfect. He's like all of us.

Isn't that encouraging? He was never perfect. He was like we are. We learn, we disobey, we learn, we keep moving, trusting God, learning the wisdom of being obedient to him. Well, he got a glimpse of himself and he got a glimpse of the Lord Jesus. And I believe after that day, Peter wasn't strutting around talking about how good a fisherman he was. He was talking about how unworthy he was.

Something happens in our hearts when you and I obey God. Now, listen carefully. Oftentimes people say, I just don't understand the Bible. You know, I read it and it's just like, it's like empty words. You know, I understand the words. I can pronounce them. And when I read it, I don't know what I've read.

And I try to remember it and I can't remember it. And sometimes I just don't understand what it really means. Now, maybe if I'd been to seminary, forget it. You don't need to go to seminary to understand the Word of God.

Or if I had a great teacher, no, not necessarily. There are many people who sit under great teachers who never understand the Word of God. They never get excited about God. They never get excited about the Word of God. And you see, if you can just read it and it doesn't say anything or you read it and it's like words or you read it and you think, well, what am I, it's not making any sense.

So I lay it up. I want to ask you, my friend, look into your heart and ask yourself this question. In what area or areas of my life am I being disobedient to God? Because disobedience to God clouds the eyes. It diminishes one's ability to hear God speak.

It fogs the mind to think the way God thinks. You cannot understand this book and live in disobedience to God because it will end up simply being words, paragraphs, chapters and verses. And listen, you can read it out of habit, which is good, and you can read it and read it and read it, but reading it isn't going to make you understand it apart from obeying what you and I read.

And I want to say again, if you're one of those persons, and I'm not being critical, and you read it and you don't get the thing out of it, here's what happens. When you read it and you don't get the thing out of it, what happens? You lay it down and you say, well, why should I read something I don't understand?

Here's the reason. Listen, you will understand it if you will obey what you do know. Obey what you do know. And you know what happens? You're understanding deep. And so, if I want to understand God's Word, I do this which I know to do. Then I do this. Then I do this. Then I do this.

Then I do this. Then God begins to unveil and reveal to us the deeper things of life. Why should God show you the rich truths of His Word if you're not even going to obey those simple things? Why should He tell you deep truths? I cannot tell you how extremely important it is for the people of God in this society in which we live to live in this Word, to stay in this Word, daily to be in the Word of God, trusting Him and obeying Him. How do we know what to do without the Word of God?

We don't. Now, listen to me carefully. You don't get but one life, friend, just one trip through this life. One of these days it may be that you're going to be lying on a bed somewhere in a hospital or at home and you're going to be dying.

And all of a sudden, all these things in life that were so very important are no longer important. And I guarantee you that's going to be the one time in your life when you're going to wish you knew more about Christ than when you're going to get started. You say, well, how do I get started, Pastor? I'll tell you how to get started. Let me give you a good example.

This is a real simple example how to get started. Turn to the book of James and say, Lord, I want you to speak to my heart in this book. I choose to be obedient to everything that you tell me to do. Now, Lord, I know I may fail at times, but I am committing myself to be obedient to what you tell me to do. Now, we got a second or two.

Turn to James right quick. I'm not going through the whole book, but I want to give an example. So you read this first part about endurance and you think, oh, what's that? And about asking God for wisdom. You say, well, yeah, mm-hmm. Then you get over here on temptation. Yes, I know God doesn't tempt anybody. And then you move on that.

Yes, I know He provides all good things. Well, come down to verse 19. And then all of a sudden you hit this passage. This you know, my beloved brethren, but let everyone be quick to hear, slow to speak, and slow to anger.

Bang, I know what to do. That may be the first thing that hits me in that whole book. So where do I start understanding who God is? Here's where I begin. I begin practicing what this very simple passage says.

I'm to be careful not to speak too quickly, quick to listen, slow to speak, slow to anger. So I may have to work on that. I may have to come back and read that and read that and read that and read that.

That is one simple example. You go through these five chapters and I'll guarantee you if you're anything close to being like where I am in my spiritual growth, there's enough in the book of James to keep me busy the rest of my life. You see, if you don't know how to start, here's a good way to start. If obeying God increases my understanding of Him and myself, you say, I don't know where to start. Start in the book of James.

Let me ask you a question. Is it not true that oftentimes many of us are very quick to respond before we listen? Amen?

We're quick to respond. So you say, well, where do I start obeying God? Here's a good place to start. James chapter 1 verse 19. All of a sudden, Jesus Christ is going to take on a whole new meaning to you. Your understanding of Him is going to change.

Your view of yourself is going to change because you're going to begin to see yourself the way He sees you. So when people say, I don't understand it, I can tell you where to start. Obey God where He says obey Him. Do exactly what He says and start with something simple in the Word of God. And before long you'll be so hungry and thirsty with the Word, it becomes a priority and you're not reading and studying the Scriptures and meditating on the Word of God because somebody tells you to.

You can't wait. Last thing I want you to notice here, and that is that obeying God can result in dramatic changes in our life. Well, look what happened to Simon Peter the fisherman. He got up that night, got up probably late the evening before, went out and fished all night long, came back. He already had his plans made. You know what he's going to do? He's going to spend the rest of his life fishing. That's what he knew how to do.

That's the way he knew how to make a good living. But on this particular day, by his one act of simple obedience, by taking Jesus for a little boat ride and sitting there listening to Him speak in response to a request that the Lord Jesus Christ made, when that fishing trip was over, the Bible says that they laid down their nets and walked away from their career into a whole new lifestyle of following the Lord Jesus Christ and being one of His apostles. Now, for some people to obey God, that's what happens. It results in a change of vocation. It results in a change of location. It results in a change of lifestyle. That is, God revolutionizes their whole life.

It doesn't always happen that way. But let me ask you a question. If God is willing to change your vocation, are you willing for Him to do it? If He's willing to change your location, are you willing for Him to do it? You see, the truth is, since He's sovereign, I don't have the right to say no to Him. I only have the privilege and the right to say yes. In my flesh, He has enabled all of us with the privilege of saying no, but as a believer, if I'm going to be obedient, my answer has to be yes. I think about how many people in the mission field who've already retired from their vocation and God said, here's where I want you to invest the rest of your life. And they say yes. I think about so many people who are so gifted and talented, who could be serving God in so many ways, but they're so involved and so ingrained in their vocation and getting their retirement and making their money so this, that, and the other, God can't even get in a word edgewise.

I want to ask you a question. Are you willing to do what God says when He says it and how He says it and leave all the consequences to Him? Listen, if that is your spirit, you have the spirit of obedience. If it is not, it is lacking.

And if it is lacking, it grieves the heart of God. Thank you for listening to part two of When We Say Yes. For more inspirational messages like this, visit our online 24-7 station. And if you'd like to know more about Charles Stanley or InTouch Ministries, stop by InTouch.org. This podcast is a presentation of InTouch Ministries, Atlanta, Georgia.
Whisper: medium.en / 2024-03-13 02:54:22 / 2024-03-13 03:03:19 / 9

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