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How to Be Successful

Love Worth Finding / Adrian Rogers
The Truth Network Radio
December 13, 2023 4:00 am

How to Be Successful

Love Worth Finding / Adrian Rogers

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December 13, 2023 4:00 am

God has not engineered us for failure; rather He has programmed us for success. God has cultivated wonderful plans for our lives. In this message, Adrian Rogers reveals how to be successful and know God’s will for our lives.

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Adrian Rogers was a motivator, an encourager, and a leader of the faith. He was also passionate about presenting scriptural application to everyday life circumstances, and you'll hear that in today's message.

Now, let's join Adrian Rogers. Let's begin in verse 5. The question, I suppose, that is asked more than any other question when a pastor is questioned by a group, ultimately this question will come. How can I know the will of God for my life? That's just another way of saying, how can I be what God wants me to be, which is another way of saying, how can I be successful? Now, I want to say that God has programmed you for success. God did not engineer you for failure. God wants you to be successful. God wants you to be victorious.

God has a wonderful, and man has the ability to destroy himself. But we're becoming roadkill on that superhighway. We're getting all of this information.

We don't even know how to process it, much less know what to do with it. We're moving quickly toward a cashless society where we'll be given numbers rather than even credit cards and be able to go and make deposits and withdraw and buy and sell without even cash in our hands. It's coming very quickly. We have automobiles now that travel 600 miles an hour.

We have airplanes that travel more than 2,000 miles an hour and spaceships that travel 24,000 miles an hour. We are living in an incredible age. As the Bible prophesied, in the last days, men shall rush to and fro and knowledge shall increase. But it seems as we double our knowledge, we triple our trouble. And we seem to be getting deeper and deeper into difficulty.

And it seems as though we're looking into the end to the muzzle of a loaded cannon. And yet, if you're a child of God, you don't need to be lost in the darkness. If you're a child of God, God has given to you a wonderful, wonderful promise. And that promise is a promise of guidance. Look, if you will, here in Proverbs chapter 3 and verse 5.

Here's the recipe. Here's the proposition and the promise. Trust in the Lord with all thine heart and lean not unto thine own understanding. In all thy ways acknowledge him and he shall direct thy paths.

Be not wise in thine own eyes. Fear the Lord and depart from evil and it shall be health to thy navel and marrow to thy bones. Honor the Lord with thy substance and with the first fruits of all thine increase, so shall thy barns be filled with plenty and thy presses shall burst out with new wine.

What a wonderful, wonderful promise. And this promise is a promise that is repeated and reiterated so many places in the Bible. You might jot these down and put them in your margin, Isaiah 58 and verse 11, and the Lord shall guide thee continually.

Or you might put down Psalm 32 and verse 8. I will instruct thee and teach thee in the way which thou shalt go and will guide thee with mine eye. We have the Father above us watching over us and controlling all things. We have the Savior beside us guiding our footsteps.

We have the Spirit inside us controlling our thoughts and our inner life. And we are to be guided. And God has a plan for you, an individual plan. God doesn't deal with people in mass. He deals with them as individuals.

The very hairs of your head are numbered. And it's true for the plumber as well as the preacher. It's true for the secretary as well as the missionary. God has a plan for every life. And if God called you to be a plumber, you'd have to step down to be a preacher. God's will for you is special.

It is wonderful. And God has a plan for each of us. Now, go back to the text that I read for you. It's found there in Proverbs chapter 3 and beginning in verse 5. Let's see if we can find God's recipe, God's formula, God's plan, God's instruction to invest in life and to be successful, God's way. The first thing I find that we're to do is that we are to express a full, a full dependence on the Lord.

Look at verse 5. Trust in the Lord with all thine heart. Trust in the Lord with all thine heart, and lean not unto thine own understanding in all thy ways. Acknowledge him, and he shall direct thy paths.

Now, what's he saying here? Well, first of all, there must be this complete confidence. We've got to trust the Lord with all of our hearts. Now, notice it's not a proposition I'm asking you to trust. It is a person. It's not a formula.

It is God himself. Trust in the Lord with all of your heart. Now, why do we find it difficult to do that? Why is it difficult for us to trust the Lord with all of our hearts?

Tell you why. It's hard to trust someone you don't know. Isn't that true? Hard to trust someone you don't know. If a perfect stranger were to walk up to you today and say, Will you do something for me? What's your first question?

What is it? Isn't that right? If Joyce were to ask me to do something for her and she would say, Adrian, will you do something for me? I might say, Well, what is it? And then she might say to me, Just trust me.

I'd say yes. You know why? I know her that well. And I know that she loves me. And if she would ask me to do something and then just say, Just trust me, I'd probably be thinking she has something real good she wants to do. Or sometimes she might just say, Come in here, close your eyes and open your mouth.

That takes a lot of faith, doesn't it? Close your eyes and just open your mouth. You know what?

I know she's going to put something real good in my mouth. But you see, if I walked up to an ordinary person on the street and he said, Close your eyes and open your mouth, I wouldn't do it. I don't think you would either.

Right? Because, you see, you can't trust someone you don't know. And if you're having difficulty trusting the Lord, I'll tell you why.

You have not learned to know Him and to love Him. Listen, folks, to know Him is to love Him. And then to love Him is to trust Him. And then to trust Him is to obey Him.

And to obey Him is to be blessed. So it begins with knowing the Lord. And if you're having difficulty trusting the Lord, may I suggest that you spend some time getting to know the Lord. We're not to trust our own understanding. So many times we want to say, Well, this is the way I think. Well, very frankly, we make a terrible mistake when we trust our own understanding. Look in verse seven, Be not wise in thine own eyes.

Now, that's the problem with many of us. We think we know. Proverbs chapter 14, verse 12, There's a way that seemeth right unto a man, but the end thereof are the ways of death. We can't let go. We can't trust God.

We want to do it ourselves. Jeremiah said in Jeremiah chapter 10, verses 23 and 24, Oh, Lord, I know that the way of man is not in himself. It is not in man that walketh to direct his steps. Oh, Lord, correct me. You see, you don't have what it takes to guide your own life.

Why? Because you don't know all of the factors. And so the Bible says don't lean into your own understanding. It doesn't mean you won't have understanding. You're going to have plenty of understanding. But it'll be God helping you to understand.

Go back to chapter two. Look in the first six verses of Proverbs chapter two. My son, if thou wilt receive my words and hide my commandments with thee, so that thou incline thine ear unto wisdom and apply thine heart unto understanding. Now, here's a different kind of understanding. It's God's understanding.

Yea, if thou Christ after knowledge and liftest up thy voice for understanding. If thou seekest her as silver and searchest for her as for hid treasures, then shalt thou understand the fear of the Lord and find the knowledge of God. What if you knew in your backyard somewhere there was a million dollars in gold bullion buried four feet deep? You knew it was there. Would you look for it? Somewhere four feet deep there's a million dollars in gold bullion buried in your backyard.

You'd be out there spading around looking for that gold. God says we're to search for wisdom that way as for hid treasure. When we get serious about knowing the will of God, we will know the will of God. Very frankly, most of us are not very serious about searching for this understanding, wanting to know the will of God. There must be this complete confidence and this complete confidence leads to constant compliance.

Look again now in verse 5. Trust in the Lord with all thine heart, that's the complete confidence, and lean not unto thine own understanding. In all thy ways acknowledge Him.

That, my friend, is that constant compliance. In all of your ways acknowledge Him, not in some of your ways. God won't take part of it. You can't say, Lord, I want your will in this part of my life. I want your will in my social life, but I don't want your will in my business life. Or I want your will in my church life, but I don't want your will in this other part of my life.

You just can't do that. In all of your ways acknowledge Him. Turn it all over to Him.

If He's worth part of it, He's worth all of it. A young man, a young African wrote these words. I love them. I've clipped them.

I read them frequently. Here's what he said. I'm talking now about this constant compliance. He said, I'm a part of the fellowship of the unashamed. The die has been cast. I have stepped over the line. The decision has been made.

I am a disciple of Jesus Christ. I won't look back, let up, slow down, back away, or be still. My past is redeemed. My present makes sense. My future is secure. I'm finished and done with low living, sight walking, smooth knees, colorless dreams, tamed visions, worldly talking, cheap giving, and dwarfed goals. My face is set.

My gate is fast. My goal is heaven, my road is narrow, my way is rough, my companions are few, my guide is reliable, my mission is clear. I won't give up, shut up, let up until I have stayed up, stored up, prayed up for the cause of Jesus Christ. I must go till He comes, give till I drop, preach till everyone knows, work till He stops me, and when He comes for His own, He will have no trouble recognizing me because my banner will have been clear.

Well, I like that, don't you? You know, we just need a church full of folks like that. We need a pastor like that.

We need a choir like that. You see, in all of your ways, acknowledge Him. The reason many of us do not know the will of God for our lives is we have not come to the recipe, but trust in the Lord with all of your heart.

Lean not into your own understanding. In all of your ways, acknowledge Him. Now, until you've done that, don't complain about not knowing the will of God. You say, well, pastor, if I were to do that, no telling what He'd have me to do. Why, Lord, if you, you might send me as a missionary in Africa if I were to do that.

You might make me marry some ugly girl. No telling what you'd do if I just were to say, Lord, I want your will. Friend, don't be afraid of the will of God. I love that Scripture that says, perfect love casteth out fear. That doesn't mean that you love God perfectly. None of us have ever done anything perfectly except sin. It's not my perfect love for Him that cast out fear.

Another translation gives it this way. We have no need to fear someone who loves us perfectly. It's His perfect love for us. God's will is best. God's will is what you would choose if you had all of the factors. That's the reason the Bible asks this piece of logic in Romans 8. He that spared not his own son, how shall not all so freely with him give us all things?

I mean, if God gave us Christ, wouldn't He give us something else? I bought Joyce a birthday present and I took it and I had it wrapped. Don't tell her, but it cost me almost $5 just to get it wrapped. Just to get it wrapped. Now, listen.

If I would buy her the present, don't you think I'd give her the wrapping? If God sent Jesus, you don't have to worry about anything else. He that spared not his own son, how shall not also with him freely give us all things? Don't be afraid of the will of God. You say, well, He might send me as a missionary. If He sends you as a missionary, that's exactly where you'd want to be. It's God that works in you both to will and to do of His good pleasure. Jesus said, my meat, my food is to do the will of Him that sent me.

Psalm 37 verse 4, delight yourself in the Lord and He'll give you the desires of your heart. And so, first of all, there must be this full dependence upon the Lord. Now, when you do that, here's the second thing that will happen.

You got the first one? Dependence. Here's the second word, direction. When there is that full dependence, there will be that fateful direction. Look at it.

Here's the full dependence. Trust in the Lord with all thine heart. Lean not unto thine own understanding. In all thy ways acknowledge Him.

Now, watch this. And He shall direct thy paths. Now, either that's true or not true. That's true.

It's true. If in all of your ways, not some of your ways, if you trust Him with all of your heart, acknowledge Him in every way, there is no ifs, ands, buts about it, no stutter, no stammer, no hesitation, no equivocation, He shall direct thy paths. You can carry that to the bank. God will lead you. And, friend, where He is leading you is into the paths of success. Now, how will He direct your paths? I want to suggest four ways that He'll do them. Number one, He'll do it through the Word of God.

I mean, through His very Word. I keep my Bible, another Bible in my office, open to Psalm 119. Before I come out to preach, almost every time, I'll snatch a verse from Psalm 119.

Let me give you one. Psalm 119, verse 105. Thy Word is a lamp unto my feet and a light unto my path. The Word of God will show you the will of God. So many people wanting to know the will of God. How is God going to direct my way? Well, through the Word.

The Word is a light and a lamp to you. Now, people say, I want to know the will of God. Let me give you three things the Bible says about the will of God. Uses the very expression, His will. For example, here's God's will concerning salvation. 2 Peter 3, verse 9. The Lord is not slack concerning His promise, as some men count slackness, but is longsuffering to us-ward.

Now, listen to this next phrase. Not willing that any should perish. That's one reason I don't buy this business that says God chose some to be saved and God chose some to be lost. For God is not willing that any should perish. Put it down.

Put it down. I am so glad I can say whosoever will may come, and God is not willing that any should perish. You want the will of God? Salvation is the will of God. Now, let me tell you what else is the will of God. That you be filled with the Spirit. Ephesians 5, verse 17 and 18. Wherefore, be not unwise, but understanding what the will of the Lord is, and be not drunk with wine, wherein is excess, but be filled with the Spirit. The will of God, salvation, and to be filled with the Spirit. That's the will of God. Are you filled with the Spirit?

If not, why not? It's God's will. Don't be unwise.

Be wise. Understand what the will of God is. God's will is for you to be filled with the Spirit.

Now, why should you be asking God's will about who you ought to marry, where you ought to go to college, or what house you ought to buy, or what car you ought to buy when you're not even Spirit-filled? And God has told you that's His will. Let me tell you what else is the will of God. 1 Thessalonians, chapter 4, verse 3. For this is the will of God, even your sanctification. That's God's will. Salvation, Spirit-filled living, sanctification. He just says that's the will of God. Sanctification means to be set apart for God.

And so listen to it. For this is the will of God, even your sanctification that ye should abstain from fornication. That means sexual immorality. Now, you're married and there's some other woman comes into your life or some other man comes into your life, and you're saying, Lord, do you want me to divorce my wife and marry this person?

Come up close and I'll give you the answer. No. Well, you say, Pastor, I'm going to pray about it. You don't have to pray about it. That's an insult in the face of God for you to pray about it. This is the will of God.

It's right there. Don't commit adultery. Flee from fornication. The will of God is right in the Word of God. Now, if you won't do what God says in His Word, don't waste your breath saying God guide me and God lead me.

He already has. Why should God show you something else? I'd get in the Word of God and read black print on white paper.

You don't have to pray about it. Good night. I was reading about a man named Vito Mitti, M-I-T-I. Over in Barcelona. He was working on his Ph.D. and he had to write a thesis. It's a Ph.D. in philosophy. And he was writing his thesis and he was in the library in Barcelona and he was reading a book on philosophy written by a philosopher, one of these kind, you know, you have to blow the dust off of. And in there he found a document and it was the will of the philosopher and he said, my will is bequeathed to whoever reads this book and finds this will.

Vito Mitti took that to the courts and they read it and they said it's valid and they gave him $250,000. It was right in the book. It was there, but I thought about how many people failed to find the treasures of God's Word simply because they will not open the book and read. One way God will direct your paths is through the Word.

Another way is through prayer. Not everything is found in the Bible. The Bible doesn't tell you what girl to marry, what university to go to, but God will guide you when you pray. Put these scriptures down. Acts chapter 1, verse 24, And they prayed and said, Thou, Lord, which knowest the hearts of all men, show whither of these two Thou hast chosen.

They were looking for someone to take Judas' place. They said, Lord, show us, guide us. Now, prayer is a two-way street.

Don't just do all the talking. Let God talk to you. God will speak to your heart directly if you'll listen. Acts chapter 8 and verse 29, Philip was a man filled with the Holy Spirit, and the Bible says, Then the Spirit said unto Philip, Go near and join thyself unto the chariot. The Spirit said. That's the inward direction of the Holy Spirit.

He's spoken to me many times that way. Acts chapter 13 and verse 2, And as they ministered to the Lord and fasted, the Holy Ghost said, Separate me Barnabas and Saul for the work whereunto I have called them. We have to fast and pray and seek the face of God and let the Holy Spirit of God who speaks through the Word speak also through the witness of the Spirit as the Spirit of God speaks to our hearts. Nehemiah was trying to rebuild the walls of Jerusalem, and he did by the power of God, but he said in Nehemiah chapter 7 and verse 5, And my God put into my heart together, together the nobles and so forth.

I'm not going to read the rest of it. I'm just going to say that God put it in his heart. Has God ever put anything in your heart?

Sure he will. When you began to commit your way to him, when there's that complete dependence, when you totally commit yourself to him and lean not in your own understanding, God takes the Word and he begins to guide you through the Word. God takes the Holy Spirit when you pray and he begins to guide you by the Holy Spirit. I'll tell you another way that God will guide you. Wisdom. God will give you wisdom. James 1 verse 5, If any man lack wisdom, let him ask of God that giveth liberally to all men, and upbraideth not. That means he won't scold you. And listen to this, And it shall be given.

It shall be. What is wisdom? Wisdom not just getting all warm around the heart and wet around the lashes and goosebumps and liver shivers. Wisdom is judicious, spiritual, common sense. Now, Romans chapter 12 says, Don't be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind.

Question. Why would God renew your mind if he didn't want you to use it? Don't be afraid to think because when you are surrendered and committed to the Lord Jesus Christ, when in all of your ways that you acknowledge him and when you pray, he will direct you by the Word of God, he will direct you by his Spirit speaking to your heart, and he will direct you by that wisdom that he has given you, and you will begin to think God's thoughts after him. You will have wisdom. The Bible tells us in Ephesians 5, verse 17, Wherefore be not unwise, but understanding what the will of the Lord is, that is, by wisdom. So there's some things you don't have to pray about. I mean, look, do you have to pray whether or not you ought to put on your socks or you go to get dressed, you pray about which necktie you're going to wear?

Well, maybe some should do that. You don't have to pray about those kind of things. God gives you wisdom. Wisdom.

Use it. But here's another way that God leads. First dependence and then direction. When you trust him with all of your heart, when you acknowledge him in every way, then he begins to direct you. How does he do it? Oh, friend, he will direct you through the Word. He will direct you when you pray and the Holy Spirit speaks to your heart. He will direct you by giving you godly wisdom, and he will direct you by providence.

Providence. God will guide you through life like a guided missile through providence. How does he do it? He closes doors and open doors. Revelation chapter 3 and verse 8, I know thy works, and behold, I have set before thee an open door, and no man can shut it.

I like that. Then he says, I am he that openeth and no man shutteth, and I am he that shuts, and no man opens. That's the way God leads. When you're praying, when you're walking in the Spirit, trust in the Lord with all of your heart and lean not into your own understanding. In all your ways acknowledge him, and he shall direct your paths. He'll do it through his Word. He'll do it when you pray, and the Spirit of God speaks to your heart. He will do it through sanctified wisdom. God will renew your mind and use it and give you wisdom, and then God will open doors, and God will shut doors. God doesn't leave you just wandering around like a ship without a rudder, a mast, a compass, or a sail on a dark and stormy night.

He will guide his people. Now, here's the third thing. The first word, dependence. The second word, direction. The third word, dynamic.

Listen, when there is a full dependence, there is a faithful direction, and there is a forceful dynamic. Look, if you will, in verse 6 again. In all of thy ways acknowledge him, and he shall, now watch, direct thy paths. That's a Hebrew word, yasho, which literally means he will clear your path.

It means literally to cut a straight path. Let me tell you how that's used in the Old Testament, for example, in Isaiah chapter 40, about the coming of Messiah, verses 3 and 4. The voice of him that crieth in the wilderness, prepare ye the way of the Lord. Make straight in the desert a highway for our God.

Same word. Make straight in the desert a highway for our God. Every valley shall be exalted, and every mountain shall be made low, and the crooked shall be made straight, and the rough places plain.

What does that mean? When you trust in the Lord, He's going to send a bulldozer in front of you. He's going to make straight your paths. Not only does He show the way, He clears the way. It's not enough for Him to show you the way if there are obstacles there. He's got to clear the way. He's got to make a way for you. And God will do exactly that.

When I played football, I was always grateful if I had the ball for a man going down the field in front of me, throwing those blocks or moving those obstacles. You know, God does some downfield blocking for you. Did you know that?

You may not even have known He's been doing it. Did you know that God revs up His bulldozers for you and God makes a way through the desert? You see, it's not merely enough to know the will of God, not enough to have that direction.

We've got to have that dynamic. We've got to have that power that God makes our paths straight for us through the wilderness. I read about Henry Morehouse. He was an evangelist, a well-known evangelist in his day. He would be off on the road and sometime he'd come home and bring presents. He had a little girl who was crippled, a precious little girl. At the house, she would put her crutches aside and just kind of scoot around on the floor. Her legs were very weak. Henry Morehouse had been gone for a long time and he brought a real nice present to his wife and the little girl saw it at the door and she said, Daddy, let me carry it to Mama.

And the evangelist knew that she couldn't carry that heavy present. He said, Darling, you can't do it. She said, Daddy, I can do it.

Let me do it. And he caught something in her eye and knew she had something in her mind and said, Well, all right, here, take it. And then she held it in her arms and said, Now, Daddy, pick me up and take me to Mama.

And so he picked her up and carried her as she carried that. Friend, God's done that for me so many times. God has given me a job, a message, and then he just picks me up, carries me. He'll do that for you.

He's the one. He is the one who has programmed us for success. When you say, Pastor Rogers, I thought this was supposed to do with money and finances. It has.

It does. Just read verse 9 now. Honor the Lord with thy substance and with the firstfruits of all thine increase. You see, look, folks, when we get serious about doing the will of God, we're going to find the alls in this thing. Look in verse 5, trusting the Lord with all thine heart. Look in verse 6, in all thy ways acknowledge him. Look in verse 9, all thine increase. When your worship and your walk and your wealth are given over to him, you'll know the will of God.

Put those alls in there. Don't play games with God. Are you serious about doing and knowing the will of God? You say, oh, I wish I knew the will of God. Well, just do it in the small things.

Do it in the things that are nearest to you. He that is faithful in that which is least is faithful also in much. You ask, what is the will of God?

Well, here is the answer true. The nearest thing that should be done that he can do through you. Just begin that way. It's hard to steer ship.

It's not moving. Now, step number one is to receive Jesus Christ as your Lord and Savior, to be born again. This may be the time when Jesus will come into your heart, and I know he will if you'll ask him. So would you pray a prayer like this, Lord, I acknowledge my sin. I know that my sins deserve judgment, but I also know that, Lord, that you love me and you want to save me. Jesus, you promised to save me if I would trust you. I do trust you, Jesus. I believe you carried my sin to the cross and paid the sin debt with your blood.

I believe God raised you from the dead. And right now, this moment, I open my heart. I receive you now. Right now, I receive you. Right now, I trust you. This moment, I receive you now. Come into my heart.

I give it to you. Save me, Lord Jesus. Save me, Jesus. I don't look for a sign.

I don't ask for a feeling. I stand on your word. Thank you for saving me, Jesus. Thank you, Lord.

Thank you. And now, Lord Jesus, you're my Lord, my Savior, my God, and my friend, and I will follow you and live for you the rest of my life. And, Lord, I'll not be ashamed of you. Lord, I'll make this public. In your name I pray. Amen. If you would like to learn more about how you can know Jesus or deepen your relationship with Him, simply click the Discover Jesus link on our website, lwf.org. For a copy of this message or additional resources, visit our online store at lwf.org, or call 1-800-274-5683. Thank you.
Whisper: medium.en / 2024-05-01 13:28:25 / 2024-05-01 13:41:49 / 13

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