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Getting in God’s Way - Part 2

In Touch / Charles Stanley
The Truth Network Radio
April 16, 2024 8:00 pm

Getting in God’s Way - Part 2

In Touch / Charles Stanley

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April 16, 2024 8:00 pm

Sometimes it's best to allow God to intervene before trying to help others.


Welcome to the In Touch Podcast with Charles Stanley for Wednesday, April 17th. Before you start fixing someone's problems, do you ever consider whether or not you should?

Today's podcast helps you examine your motivation for trying to smooth out the rough spots in others' lives. The title of this message is Getting in God's Way. And I want you to turn, if you will, to Matthew chapter 16. And Matthew chapter 16 is when Jesus begins very seriously to tell his disciples that he's going to have to suffer. It is the explanation of his mission that sets the stage and sets the whole environment here for this theme of getting in God's way. Because now he has to bring them to the realization of how is the Messiah going to carry out the mission that God has given him? And so he begins by saying in verse 21, from that time on, Jesus Christ began to show his disciples that he must go to Jerusalem and suffer many things. And so Jesus said to his apostles, I must go to Jerusalem.

I must suffer many things. And I must suffer them under the hands of the elders, the chief priests and the scribes. And he says, and I must be killed and the third day rise again. Now, remember that he has just said to them, who do you say I am? They said, you're the Messiah.

You're Jesus Christ, the son of the living God. And so they couched him in the Old Testament framework of the coming Messiah. But what they failed to recognize is how this mission would take place. And so when he said, suffer many things from the elders, the chief priests and scribes and be killed, that's the last thing they heard.

They never heard the last part. And on the third day, rise. Well, what happens?

Immediately, listen to what happens. Verse twenty two says, and Peter. That is, immediately when Jesus said this, Peter instantly, the Bible says, pull him aside and began to rebuke him. Now, he just moments ago said, thou art the Christ, the son of the living God. You're the Messiah.

We believe it. And now he takes him aside, pulls him aside. I don't think he walked up and whispered in his ear, may I speak to you, master?

No. He grabbed him and pulled him aside. And he said to him, listen, he said, God forbid it.

This will never happen to you. Then Jesus responds just as quickly. Look at this. Verse twenty two begins with an and Peter took him aside. I mean, instantly he dealt with this. But likewise, verse twenty three says, but Jesus responded just as quickly. But he turned and said to Peter, get behind me, Satan.

You're a stumbling block to me for you're not setting your mind on God's interests, but man's. And so we have a real conflict here between Jesus and the apostle Peter. Now, the reason Jesus responded so quickly to Peter was this.

Peter was attempting to thwart the will of God, the plan of God. Listen, this is how shortsighted he was. But we understand where he's coming from.

And I'm going to show you why in a few moments. But this is where we come from. He was attempting to thwart the will of God. Not realizing that what he was trying to stop had an eternal consequence, not only for the apostle Peter, but for the whole world, past, present and future. And so sometimes we don't understand what's happening and we get in somebody else's way and we think we're doing them a big favor. And what we do is we become a stumbling block. And we fall along with the person we try to help. It's easily done. Now, why do we get in God's way trying to help other folks out?

Number one, one of the primary reasons is this. We only get part of the story. Just write it down. We only get part of the story. When the apostle Peter heard what Jesus said, I must go to Jerusalem. I must suffer many things of the scribes and the elders and the chief priest and I must be killed.

That's all he got. And when he said, and be raised up on the third day, forget that. Be killed. So what do we do?

Sometimes we see our friends or our family and loved ones in a situation or circumstance and we want to correct it. But what we forget sometimes is that we might not know the whole story. What's really going on?

How did they get where they are? What is God up to in that person's life? We know what it looks like on the surface. And so what it looks like on the surface is if I'll just get in here and turn the switch or give them a certain amount of money or go tell someone else or tell this person they can't do this, then we'll settle this whole issue. But I only know half the story. Now think about this. You and I do not know all that's going on in anybody's life. No one's life.

We will never have the full story. We don't know what people are thinking oftentimes and how they're thinking and what motivates them. And so some things that we think, well, we can correct this and I certainly ought to correct this as a Christian. I ought to correct this right now.

Oh, no. If you start correcting it, you're going to get in God's way and you are going to foul up what God's up to. And one of the primary reasons we do it is we only know part of the story. Second reason why we get in God's way, we fail to see the cause of hurt as a tool of God to accomplish His divine purpose. We fail to see the cause of hurt as a tool of God for His divine purpose. When Peter thought about the tool of hurt, elders, chief priests and Sadducees, no way.

No way am I going to tolerate this. You see what Peter saw, he saw them as the enemy. He didn't see them as God's tools to bring about a crucifixion, to bring about world redemption. All he saw was that these folks were the enemies of the Lord Jesus Christ. And besides that, he already knew that they were plotting and planning to kill Jesus anyway.

And so when Jesus named them, I mean, man, he was ready to go to war. Tools. And what he wanted to do is eliminate the tools. If I do not understand that the tools of hurt are God's tools to accomplish His purpose, then what am I going to do? I'm going to remove what I think is the problem.

What is the problem from my perspective is oftentimes God's predetermined chosen set of circumstances to bring about His will in that person's life. So what do I do? I want to walk in and get rid of the tools, get rid of the enemies, just rid the whole situation of this mess.

And what do I do? I get in God's way. You ask Peter, he said, well, here's the problem, elders, scribes and chief priests, get rid of them and we're on our way.

We can watch Jesus bring in the kingdom. You see, sometimes God uses things that are very painful, very hurtful. And naturally, naturally, we want to remove them. You know, whenever God gets His toolbox out, what I've noticed is it isn't velvet.

It isn't smooth brushes. It's things like chisels and sandpaper and saws and things that I don't like. But you see, when I start removing the tools, listen carefully, not only do I get in God's way, I get myself in a position that I too can be disciplined by God. The third way that you and I get in God's way is we are ignorant of God's plan. You see, we don't know what God's up to. If I don't know what God is up to in somebody else's life, what am I going to do getting in the middle of that trying to correct it? It may be that God's plan is to get them to hurt so badly that they're crying out to God. They get absolutely desperate. They give up absolutely hopeless and begin to cry, God, if you don't do it, it'll never happen. God, I'm trusting you.

Lord, I'm surrendering everything to you. That's exactly what He wants to do. Here's what we do. We step right in the middle and we don't want them to hurt that bad. We don't understand what God's plan. God's plan is maybe hurt, hurt, hurt, hurt, hurt, victory.

What do we do? We let them go hurt, hurt, hurt, mess up the plan. And that was certainly true of the apostle Peter. You see, he didn't know the plan. God's plan was to redeem the nation of Israel and the world through the crucifixion of their friend Jesus the Messiah. But he didn't know the plan. Now, he should have at least known a little bit better than he did. But let's face it, his emotions got involved and so would ours.

We would have done the same thing. He didn't know the plan. There's the fourth reason we get in God's way and that is we don't understand God's ways. Now, I'm sure Peter would have said and would have thought, listen, this is not the way God is going to bring in the kingdom. Because, you see, their expectation was that God would send the Messiah who would be a conquering warrior, who would strip Rome of its power, liberate the nation of Israel, set up the kingdom of God and bring back the glory of the days of Solomon. And besides that, Peter knew that he was on the inner circle and, brother, he was going to be right up there with Jesus. So naturally, he didn't understand God's ways.

Now, listen, my objective week after week is real simple. I want you to get one little insight into the way God operates, God's ways. How does he work? Do you realize that one of the most valuable areas of knowledge that you could ever possess is to understand how God works? Why do we get ourselves in a mess with God?

Because we don't understand God's ways, we want to make things work our way. Now, think about it. The Messiah, the Son of God, the living Son of God, the eternal Son of God, he's going to redeem the world. Well, how would he do that? Well, look in the Old Testament and I'll tell you how he would do it. Look in the Old Testament, what do you find? You find God creating the whole world. This God of might and power, this almighty Jehovah, Elohim, Yahweh. The one from whom all things and by through whom all things exist. The mighty omnipotence of God is free in the universe, God's all powerful being.

He will bring in the kingdom. That's man's way. What's God's way? Weakness, get spit on, get beaten up, get dragged through the streets of Jerusalem and finally nailed to a cross by some Roman soldiers and mocked and jeered and finally die almost naked in front of the crowd.

There's no way that could be God's way, but it was. And you see, we just don't think the way he thinks. We think power, he thinks weakness.

We think fight, he thinks surrender. You see, you can usually look and ask yourself the question, what's the world doing about this? And do the very opposite thing.

Most of the time you'll be right. There is the fifth reason we get in God's way. And that is, now jot this one down. We are prompted by our sincere love, devotion and loyalty to the person who's hurting. So naturally, we want to bail them out, give them money, correct the injustice, stop the hurting, wipe away their tears, fix it. And when I start fixing somebody's fix that God isn't ready to fix, I'm going to be in a fix. Because God is going to discipline me if I try to fix something that God's not ready to fix and he's not going to fix it the way I'm going to fix it anyway.

So what happens? When you and I are prompted by our devotion and love and loyalty to someone else to get in the way and straighten that out and work it all out the way we think it ought to be worked out, we get in God's way. Now, one of our greatest difficulties is protective love. I just don't want to see them hurt. Now friend, it's real tough when you love somebody to have to back off and say, okay God.

Then expect the roof to cave in any minute. Not ever know what kind of news you're going to hear. You just know you're in the midst of hurt and God won't let you fix it.

That's when it gets tough. Devotion, love and loyalty. There is a sixth reason that you and I get ourselves in the way and that is our strong tendency to take up the offense of others because of our own previous hurts.

The strong tendency to take up the offense of others because of our own previous hurts. Now, the apostle Peter knew, for example, that the elders and the scribes and the chief priests, they'd already plotted to kill Jesus. He already knew that. They were just planning how they were going to do it.

They were working at it. And he'd already had a run-in with them just like the rest of his apostles, the rest of Jesus' disciples there. And so he knows a little bit of what's going on and so he has a strong tendency to take up Jesus' offense. And so what happens is he's just identifying with the Lord Jesus Christ who is his friend and he says, hey, you know, I'm not going to let that happen. It's real easy when you and I can identify with somebody else's pain to go fix theirs.

And how many times does this happen? You mean your parent did that to you? My parents did me the same way. Listen, if I were you, I would never speak to them again. Just forget it. What a mess you make. My friend, all of us have been hurt. And we're going to get hurt unless we know how to deal with it. And if we're not careful, if we identify with somebody else's hurt, we're going to jump into the fire to fix their hurt.

And all we're going to do is prolong their misery and their hurt. And you know what God's going to do? And I can look back and see how when I have oftentimes tried to get in somebody else's situation and fix their fix for them, you know what happened?

Six months later, they're back in the same fix. Because if I try to fix their fix, not let God do it, they don't learn it. He just lets them go through another cycle and we don't help anybody. The last reason that you and I get in God's way is the simplest one of all.

You're listening? Because of selfishness and self-serving. Because of selfishness and self-serving. Now it's interesting if you look at the life of the apostle Peter, what you find him doing. He said, for example, in Luke 18, he said, Jesus, he said, we have forsaken our homes and everything for you. And then if you'll recall that in the upper room the night before Jesus is crucified, what's going on? The disciples get in a big argument of who's going to be the greatest. Who do you suppose won that argument? Well, I can't prove that, but I imagine Peter certainly had some pretty good arguments about why he was going to be sitting on Jesus' right hand. In the kingdom, I mean, here Jesus was going to his death the next day and they're out there arguing about who's going to be the greatest.

Now think about this. When Jesus said, suffer many things of the scribes, the elders, and the chief priest, flashing in this man's mind was, wait a minute, if he dies, what about the kingdom? And if there's no kingdom, what about me? What about my fishing business? I left my fishing business. And besides that, I've left everything.

And besides that, I'm planning to be a part of the kingdom. I mean, listen, I'm in this thing to the end, but listen, I want something to happen. You know what's the problem with Peter? Peter was selfish.

Now, I'm not saying he didn't love Jesus, but he was selfish. Where was he going to be if Jesus died and the apostles scattered and he had to go back to the Sea of Galilee and his friends say, hey, Peter, what happened to your Savior? What happened to your Jesus? Peter, maybe you should be the Messiah, man. Well, you're back to fishing with the rest of us. Poor Peter, you really blew it, man.

Listen, you should have known better than that. You know where Peter would have been without Jesus? I'll tell you where. Right where he was before we met him, nowhere. You know where you and I were before we met Jesus? Nowhere, in a big mess. You know where we are now?

Secured in heaven by the grace of Almighty God. Peter was selfish. But that's exactly the reason you and I get involved in people's lives and we get in God's way. Now, let me show you why. It is easier for me to get in the middle of your mess and get beat up on and misunderstood and give you money if it'll fix your fix and I don't have to watch you suffer. So sometimes out of pure selfishness, because when you hurt, I hurt, then it's easier for me to get in the middle of it and fix up what's going on with you, then I'll feel better. It's not because I love you that much, it's because I can't stand to say you hurt.

Let me ask you a question. How many of you right now are involved in somebody's relationship or life and you've had to say, oh, dear God, I am really in your way? Then what you need to do is go to that person and say, I need to ask you to forgive me because I've been trying to help you and God has shown me that I'm a hindrance rather than a help.

And they may not understand, but that's okay and you back off. You don't stop praying and loving them, but you get out of the way. You know why we get in God's way? Because we don't understand His ways.

And that's real tough when you're dealing with somebody you love with all of your heart. Thank you for listening to Part 2 of Getting in God's Way. If you'd like to know more about Charles Stanley or InTouch Ministries, stop by This podcast is a presentation of InTouch Ministries, Atlanta, Georgia.
Whisper: medium.en / 2024-04-16 22:50:16 / 2024-04-16 22:58:18 / 8

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