Standing Tall And Strong Through Prayer

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Life is filled with all kinds of trials and tough decisions that have to be made. In those situations, it can be difficult to know what to do.

Dr. Stanley explains that any time we respond in prayer, we can’t go wrong. Prayer allows us to cast our burdens on the Lord and receive guidance and provision from Him. We can experience God’s power for daily living when we’re willing to seek Him earnestly and bow in reverence.

 

 

four decades ago, we started in touch ministries to lead people worldwide into a growing relationship with jesus christ. Not only is God sending people, he’s given us the media, the radio television short way so that we can get the gospel into every single country and the world, every single day In Touch Ministries, celebrating 45 years of God’s faithfulness. In Touch with Dr. Charles Stanley, celebrating 45 years of God’s faithfulness. Next on in touch, standing tall and strong through prayer. Mhm. Well, life presents all kinds of problems and sometimes we don’t know how to respond. Sometimes we think, Lord, where are you in the midst of all this? Why don’t you do something? And sometimes we think, well, Lord, if you really and truly loved me, you wouldn’t let this happen or if you really and truly love me, you’d show me what to do at this point in my life. So sometimes we are perplexed, we don’t know exactly what to do. But there is always one thing that is the right thing to do every single solitary time, and that’s what I what I want to talk about in this message, because here’s the passage of scripture, in fact, the whole book is all about the right thing to do every single time. So, I want you to turn if you will to the book of Nehemiah and you think, well, that’s the profit, how could that be the right thing to do every single time. Well, you’ll see in a moment and let me give you a little background well, near my is a cup bearer, under arctic Xerxes, who is the king and he’s the cup bearer for him, which means that he has a very responsible position and one that requires a great deal of him. In fact, he had to be rather handsome. He had to know exactly what kind of wine the king desired. He had to know all the adequate of that kind of affair. And uh he could also be the one that could tell you whether you can see the king or not. So why? On the one hand, they may have been friends. On the other hand, the king was the king. Well, here, he’d been there for some time and his brother and some others come to him from Jerusalem and say to them, I want to tell you what’s going on in Jerusalem. The gates have burned and the walls are broken down and there’s chaos and everything is in just derision, every direction. There’s, there’s nothing going on that we can say is good. Now, 100 and 40 years before this, the Babylonians came in and destroyed the walls and burned the gates, killed a lot of people, took a lot of people captive 140 years had gone by. They still have not rebuilt the walls, so therefore there was subject to all kinds of enemies who continually harassed them. So in the process of Them telling him that this is the way he responded. Beginning in verse four. This first chapter. When I heard these words, I sat down and wept and mourned for days, and I was fasting and praying before the God of Heaven. I said, I beseech you O Lord God of Heaven, the great and awesome God, who preserves the covenant and loving kindness for those who love him and keep his commandments. Let your ear now be attentive and your eyes open to hear the prayer of your servant, which I am praying before you now day and night, on behalf of the Sons of Israel, your servants confessing the sins of the sins of Israel, which we have sinned against you. I and my father’s house of sin. We have acted very corruptly against you and have not kept the commandments, nor the statutes and the ordinances which you have commanded your servant moses. Remember the word which you commanded your servant moses, saying. If you’re unfaithful, I will scatter you among the people. But if you return to me and keep my commandments and do them, though those of you who have been scattered, were in the most remote parts of the heavens. I will gather them from that there, and will bring them to the place where I have chosen to cause my name to dwell. They are your servants and your people whom you redeemed by your great power and by your strong hand. O Lord! I beseech you may your ear be attentive to the prayer of your servant and the prayer of your servants who delight to revere your name and make your servants successful today and grant him the compassion before this man. Now I was the cup bearer of the king. We’ll see what’s that got to do with knowing exactly what to do every single time. It has a great deal to do with it because here’s what you’re gonna find in this book. That throughout the book of Nehemiah, every time he comes to a situation or circumstance that is a problem or a threat without fail. Or if he’s seeking guidance and direction without fail, he is a man who lived on his knees. That is. He learned the awesome power of prayer. He learned the most miraculous things that God would be willing to do in him through him for him and to him as a result of it. And so when we think about that, I think about uh the principle that is so evident here and that is, we stand tallest and strongest on our knees. And I simply mean by that this we make the greatest impact. And we experienced the greatest power and energy and strength to face whatever we have to face in life successfully. Because prayer is that choice tool that God has given us to reach him to speak to him to plead before him and to receive from him. And I think one of these greatest blessings that God has given to us, we take for granted or shall I say, we don’t go about it the right way. But somehow, when you look at what happened in the life of Nehemiah, he knew how to talk to God, he knew how to approach God, He knew what was required of that. And we see in this book the most awesome miracles that took place. So what I’d like for us to do is to look at what he had to face and then to look to see how God worked in his life and brought it all the past. As we said, for 140 years, these people had been separated from their loved ones. And not only that, they were in a terrible position when it came to surviving among their enemies. And year after year and time after time, The Marauders would come in, kill people, take what they wanted and somehow they could do very little better. It was about 50,000 number at one time. And so uh they were in chaos. So when am I heard what had happened? He went to prison for four months, he fasted and prayed and sought the Lord’s will and direction of what he should do. The first thing he did. As soon as he heard it, he went to prayer and those four months, God was doing an awesome work in him and he felt helpless of course because that was a long ways away and he was a cup bearer. In fact he was a slave to some degree and a prisoner to some degree because he couldn’t just walk away. Besides that he he could not have had it so good, he had to have wealth to be in that position and he had an awesome position of authority and power being that related to the king. And so and of course he was very safe. So what could he do? And the interesting thing is that as he began to pray and God began to work in his heart, something began to happen in his thinking. He began to ask the question, God, what do you want me to do? Is there something that I can do in all this? And after those four months of praying and fasting, here’s what happened, the scripture says. He Went before the King one morning and he was sad. The king said to him, why are you so sad? You’re not sick? And so the bible says at that moment when the king asked him that he offered a prayer to God, he prayed before he responded to the king. So now when he hears the situation that’s so bad, he prays when he’s standing before the king with this awesome opportunity and responsibility to answer the question, why are you so sad if you’re not sick? He said, he prayed and he told the king what the situation was not only did he tell him, but the king said to him, Well what can I help you do? So he told him, I’ve got to have so much lumber and so many materials and so many supplies. And then of course we have to have protection to get all the way to Jerusalem without being attacked. And so the king granted him everything he desired. Now, what a miraculous thing that happened because he was just, he was, he was just a cup bearer. And when he prayed in response to his brothers comments about what was going on, prayed before the king, here’s what you’ll find all the way through. When he left. And he got to Jerusalem, he prayed as he sought the Lord’s mind and heart about how to go about this awesome task. And then when he began to talk to some of the people and think about this, he just walked into a situation and he didn’t know anybody, I don’t think at this particular point. And he walked into a situation where he was going to take charge of things. Well, that wouldn’t be a very popular idea. You mean you’re coming over here to tell us how to operate. So he had to ask God’s direction and guidance. And then when he began to talk to a few people and so he surveyed the place very secretly. And then when he began to talk to them they began to agree. And then he said, let’s rise and build this Spirit of God was upon him. And then it wasn’t very long before the enemy’s heard and so they began to assault. In fact, they said, those weak jews, what are they gonna build? And one of them said, well, you know if a fox jumped on the wall, they build the whole wall would fall down. So they had all this derision and all this criticism every time he faced that, what did he do? The scripture says he went to prayer when he, for example, became very weak and and and lost some of his strength because he’d been working so hard. The bible says that he prayed for God to give him strength to keep going when he, for example, was seeking discernment from God. Each time for example, they tried to trap him because they hated him because he was going to build this city is going to be strong, that no more marauding. So he asked God to give him direction when they offered to meet with him, God said no. Every single time they came after him he prayed, God protected him. Every time when the time came for him to sort of assemble the people and get some kind of organization that he prayed about that. So everywhere you see Nehemiah, he’s on his knees before God and what’s happening, what’s happening is this, he’s becoming taller and taller in his influence among the people, stronger and stronger as he faces. One obstacle after the other, the same God who was Nehemiah is God is the same God we have. And so when you look back now, here’s what happened as a result of this man coming that far And having to decide what to do and how to do it in 52 days. That’s less than two months. In 52 days, the Bible says they completed the wall. Well, how did they do that? Well, first of all, listen, he didn’t have, he didn’t grow up in some schools and teachers engineering construction and all the rest. You know what? He was a cup bearer before the king. Now he’s explaining to them how to rebuild the wall and how to rebuild the gates and not only that at the same time, he’s having to act like a general because he’s got to have a little army, he’s gotta have some protection because they keep coming after him. They keep trying to get him to come down and have a conversation with him about it. And more than likely he said, I don’t have anything to talk about. You remember what he said, He said, I’m too busy to come down and talk. And so he’s training these people how to carry out this construction, He’s training the army how to have a instrument in this hand, The Bill instruments in this hand to fight. And so in 52 days they build the wall and they build the gates and not only that he gets there, he organizes the people and then they find the book of the genealogy of all these people and how many of them are true jews and how many are not. And then he finds out that they’re mistreating each other financially. So he puts a stop to all of that. Then he discovers for example that they stopped tithing a long time ago. So he says we we we must tied and then he finds out for example that not only have they found the book of the genealogy, but Esra who is the high priest at that point there, um they decide to have worship and uh they call the people together now they have not heard the reading of the word in years and years and years and years and so when you read the book and you realize when they announced that they were going to have a reading of the law of moses, these people stood up for hours while he read the Law of God And really what happened in these 52 days and the days that followed, they came from total chaos. This organization to being organized, ready to fight, ready to defend, rebuild the walls and the gates and not only that correcting situations financially, the relationships to each other, starting to tithe once again And having worship that revival 52 days and a few days and months after that. Now, how did all that happen? One man who decided to live on his knees became so tall spiritually and so strong, not only in his ability and skill to bring people together, to challenge them to correct those things that were not corrected. That needed to be corrected. They were not right. He knew they were not right. He challenged them at every point. At every point they could have said no, they could have said, what do you mean? We’ll rebuild all this. We’ve been trying for years and it hadn’t happened. There was something about Nehemiah, Listen carefully. That could be something about you. If you have the right relationship to God, that God could use you in the most awesome fashion. If you would allow him to do it, if you would believe that he could do it and you make yourself available to let him do it. We underestimate now, watch this, not underestimate ourselves. We underestimate the power of God in us and through us. And they’re my such a perfect example of what happened now. When I think about how he began, he began as a cup bearer on his knees before God and God began to work in this life. So what I want to do this morning is simply this, I want to give you a list of things that are true when you and I begin to pray seriously before God and how God can work in your life, I want you to forget the past. You say, well you know at this point in my life, I’ve done this and I’ve done, forget all about the past. What matters is what do you want to do and what can you do from this point on? So think about what we said that is we stand the tallest and we’re the strongest in the outreach and the effect and the impact we have on those around us facing anything and everything with strength and confidence when we live on our knees before God. Now you say well you mean to tell me that I got the neal every time I pray. No, but I want you to listen carefully. There is something about kneeling that makes a difference. I know sometimes people can’t kneel, but the truth is it isn’t so much the kneeling as it is, it’s praying, it’s talking to God. So I want you to think about this for a moment because so many people talk to God like well, you know, I prayed last night and I pray, pray, pray pray. But how how how much serious praying do we do? Do we expect God to do things or do we just hope he does? There’s a lot of difference in expectation, trust and hope and God talks about trusting him believing him expecting him to do it. So think about this for a moment when you kneel or when you pray, You are to recognize this is what we should be doing. We should be recognizing God as the sovereign of this universe. That is that he absolutely controls all things as he says in the 103rd chapter of the Psalms that he has established his throne in the heavens and his sovereignty rules over all overall things all times, all places, everything. Now, listen, if God is not the sovereign of the universe, why pray to him? There’s a lot of things that you and I know that appear to be impossible. Why pray to a God if you don’t believe he’s sovereign in absolute control and rules all things, then why talk to him? So we have to remember who we’re talking to. He’s not the man upstairs, His people oftentimes called him. And oh, and my father will do this at the other. He’s the sovereign god of the universe while he is God. And while he is sovereign, yes, he is my friend. But listen, he can be your friend and my friend, but he never ceases to be the creator and he never ceases to be the rule and he never ceases to be the Lord and master. And sometimes we go to God in prayer. It’s like he’s just my buddy. God’s not my buddy. He’s not your buddy. He’s the sovereign god of this universe, the creator. And if you’ll notice also how he was addressed by Nehemiah. And it’s interesting the way he was addressed is the same, uses the same words, for example, that Deuteronomy when moses was praying and the same word that Daniel used in the ninth chapter of Daniel and notice what he says, he says, I beseech you O Lord, God of Heaven, God of Heaven. Master, ruler Raining the great and awesome God, what is he? What is he speaking out when he, when he speaks about the great and awesome God, he’s talking about his holiness, that God is holy. And I wonder how often we think about when we pray. I’m talking, I’m a sinful human being, I’m talking to a Holy God. There’s nothing frivolous about talking to almighty God. It isn’t a joking matter, he’s not the man upstairs, in fact, we’re talking to a God who is so awesome and so holy that when Isaiah talked about a glimpse of God, he could not stand in the presence of Holy God. When you read the book of the Revelation and you see God upon his throne, we’re not talking about just our body, just our father while he is our heavenly father, he is the sovereign of the universe, we recognize who is this, we’re talking to. He’s not somebody to be joked about or to talk to frivolously, he is the sovereign god of the universe. And so he says great and awesome God, it was this spirit that drove him to his knees Fasting and praying for four solid months crying out to God for Jerusalem, but crying out to God, what do you want me involved in this in any fashion. And when I see how God began to use him and how he must have had to deal with this and and struggle with this. Well uh why? Why have they told me this? What do you want me to do about this? God put a burden on him? Now listen, a burden from God is a heaviness that God places upon someone, first of all to get their attention, then to bring something to mind. He wants us to deal with. It could be a burden because of arsenic, could be a burden because of something. He wants you to do some place, he wants you to go someone, he wants you to talk to, he was heavily burdened and so now he comes before Holy God. And what happens? The next thing that happens here? If you notice he begins to confess sin, not only the sins of the nation of Israel and Daniel’s prayer sounds just like this. Talking about the sins of the nation of Israel. But if you’ll notice that near my, he says, my father, me, my father, we have sinned against you, we we have corrupted ourselves because of sin. Now you know the scripture there in the psalms rally when he talks about uh sin in our life and he says if I regard it in my life that he will not hear my prayers. And the other word for that regard means if I cherish it if I hold onto it. And usually if you think about if you if there’s some sin in your life and you know it’s done you don’t want to give it up. You do cherish it you say well not really. Oh yeah. Yeah. Yeah. Those things have to be big things know anything I cherish. I hold on to that God has said let it go. I’m telling listen carefully. You can’t get prayers answered. Holding on to things that are sinful in the eyes of God. He said well does that mean that I’ve got to be perfect? No, but it means this when God brings something to our mind it’s because he wants to deal with it and if he wants to deal with it, he’s not going to answer prayer until you allow him to deal with it. Them. I began right in the confession of sin of his own sin, the sins of his father here is awesome. Holy God full of grace, full of mercy, full of love, willing to answer the needs of your heart. But he will listen, he wants you to clean up in other words. He wants you to clean up and until you clean up the prayer is not going to get an answer. You say well you know what, here’s what I believe and once in a while I’ll tell somebody what the word of God says and they’ll say well yeah, but that’s because you’re a preacher. But here’s what I believe and la da da da da and I want to say to them, let me tell you something. It isn’t what I believe, it’s what he says and what you’re rejecting is not what I say. You’re rejecting what he says and you may be one of those persons who says, well, I pray all the time and God answers my prayer. Does he? Is he answering prayer? Not if you’re sitting against him, he’s not answering prayer. Does God do good things? Even in the life of an unbeliever? Yes paul said he said, do you not know that the goodness of God is for the purpose of leading you to repentance to get your attention. But he’s not answering prayer, he said, he will. If I regard iniquity in my heart sin. If I cherish it, he says, God will not hear me and what I want you to see here is simply this that after he recognizes the sovereignty of God and after he recognizes the holiness of God, he deals with this this whole issue of sin. Now watch this carefully. You’re listening say amen purity of heart and the power of God are linked. They’re linked. If you want the power of God in your life, your life’s gonna be pure, it doesn’t mean that you never make a mistake and everything. But listen, it means this that you are sensitive to sin. You’re sensitive to what hinders the the power of God you are and you deal with it right? Then if if I’m if God convicts me for something and I’ll deal with it right, then I’m not cherishing and not holding onto it, willing to deal with it. And so you come right down the line. Then what happens is simply this when you and I talking to God and we really mean business, we’re gonna recognize our inadequacy. What do you think near my must have thought when God said to Nehemiah, I’m sending you. Wait a minute, wait a minute. I’m sending you The first thing he must have thought was. Well, first of all, who am I? How many times have we all asked who am I when moses asked what? All of God’s servants and ask who am I? And God had to deal with him. And I’m sure he told the Lord all the reasons he couldn’t go. The walls need to be built. Who’s gonna do that? I don’t know how to do that. The gates are gonna be rebuilt And other words. And what about the massive confusion among these people? What about all the enemies? Listen, when God tells you to do something, remember this? He’s not looking for information. He’s not waiting to find out what to do. God already knows exactly what to do in every single situation you and I face with no exception. He knows everything about us. He would never call you to do something you can’t do through his power and his strength, he’s the one who created you, he’s the one who gave you abilities, talents and skills. And so think about how absurd this is. You mean God, you’re calling me to do that. Lord, There’s no way I can do that. Is God? Is he in a mistake business? Does he making mistakes? Would God have to say, oh I thought you were so and so. No, he wouldn’t say that. He knows exactly who we are. And listen, watch this carefully. You say, well, is it a sin to feel inadequate? No, it’s not a sin to feel inadequate. Feeling inadequate. Is a part of doing what recognizing his awesome power, his holiness, our sinfulness and being human beings, how inadequate we are to do some things that God may require of us. And so therefore he knows you perfectly. You can’t back off from God and start giving him information of why you can’t do something, listen to this. If God calls you to do something, you said, oh I can’t do that. What you’re implying is that God made a mistake and you’re implying that God doesn’t know the situation and you’re implying that God just doesn’t know you like, you know yourself, you see, wouldn’t you agree that that’s totally absurd, He would never require you something, he would not enable you to do. That’s why he sent the Holy spirit, he told the disciples, he said you sit down in Jerusalem and you wait here until you be in dude with power from on high. That is every single believer from Pentecost to this day. Every single person who’s trusted jesus christ as their personal savior has been invaded by in dwelt by empowered by equipped by the Holy Spirit of God. So there’s no such thing as a believer who cannot do what God calls them to do if they’re willing to be obedient to him. So the sense of inadequacy was a part of his feelings and of what he had to go through. But listen what? And I love this, Why does God allow us to be inadequate to drive us to himself? The more inadequate we feel what the more we pray and and there’s a blessing in being inadequate then I can come to him and say God you know that I cannot do this without you. I must have, I must have access to your awesome power in my life. If I’m gonna do this? Why did he stand so tall? Why was he so strong? Why did they follow him? What of the miraculous things happen? Because he was one man who had been a cup bearer, a slave, so to speak, but in a good position and now he’s being sent to do something you think he couldn’t do, but now watch this, somebody says, well I do feel inadequate. I do believe this is what God wants. Now here’s the question, do you think God would call you to do something and then just, just separate you from it. If you want your prayers answered, here’s what happens. Not only must you acknowledge your inadequate, see after your heart’s cleaned up, but you must be willing to be available for God to use you to do it. He said no, no, no, no, no, no, no, why not? You can’t say that. God won’t help you do it. I’m not sure how many prayers god answers. If I’m not willing to be an available part of getting the answer there. And so he had to deal with this. He had to deal with the whole idea of being available. Well, he heard all about it. You know, somebody says, well I I just pray. I’m not sure those prayers even reach anywhere close to the ceiling. If I have withdrawn myself to say, I will pray and let them do it, I may not be able to do very many things in life. But the issue is this, am I willing to do whatever he requires of me. I may fail. I may make mistakes, I make mistakes even now and you know what if you ever get to the place that you think you can’t make any or you won’t do anything because you’re afraid you will make some, you’ll never do anything. It’s a matter of making ourselves available. God, here I am. Whatever there is to me that you can use. I’m offering myself and let me ask you a question since he died on the cross and paid Sin’s debt, your sin debt for you. Do you have a right to tell him what you will or will not do listen? He crucified his own son. He gave you the faith to believe in him and to trust him, he’s forgiven you of your sins. He’s written your name in the lamb’s book of life. He’s equipped you with the Holy Spirit. He enabled you to live. He enabled you to see, enabled you to to hear, enabled you to speak, enables you to walk, make the limbs work and everything else that is. You owe him everything. How could you ever say to him? No, I will not do it. If you think about it is totally absurd. You’ve got to be at left field not even thinking that you can tell Holy righteous. Omnipotent, omniscient, omnipresent, awesome God of what you will and what you will not do. And yet people say, yeah, but you don’t know me, I don’t have to know you God knows you and I would ask you this question again. Would would God called you to do something that you cannot do in his strength and in his power. No, he would not that would be out of keeping with who God is. And so Del mar had to come to the place if that’s what you want to do God, I’m willing to do it now. It’s interesting that every time Naomi I got in the position to figure out something, he went to prayer to ask God to show him what to do and to show him how to do it. And every single time he did what did God do? He did exactly what he required and that is whatever he needed to understand God was there to show him. Now. Think about this. God loves every single one of us watch this, He loves every single one of us the same when he comes to being willing to show us what his will is for our life. And you know, I think about all of your college students out there who’s going to college spending your parents hard earned money? I want to put that in there hard earned money and you don’t have the slightest idea of what you’re gonna do with your life. Your life belongs to God. By the way, listen, it is a sin against God that you have not sought his mind and his will and his way, and his purpose and his plan for your life before you get to the fourth year and you’re coming up to graduation and what happens, you can’t even get a job. Do you mean to tell me that you believe that God will supply all of that and not have anything in mind? But now you just go out there and find yourself a job. You say, well I’m not talking about people who have lost their jobs. I’m talking about people who will be in school and going to school and spending money and investing money and fighting for your faith. Oftentimes and coming down and never thinking, listen, you have the counselor, you have access to the counselor who created you, who knows how he’s equipped you, He has gifted you to do certain things. He is more than willing to show you how to invest your life. The question is, are you willing to ask him? He’s the God, who cares, who is willing to show you exactly what to do when you kneel in prayer. Remember this also when you kneel in prayer, you and I have the privilege of experiencing, watch this experiencing divine power, holy spirit power enabling power. He doesn’t give power like you and I would dish out pennies whatever you need. God will overflow in your life to enable you to do it. There’s no such thing as a nobody. There’s no such thing as a useless person and I would say whoever you are God has a place for you. If you will cry out to God, your God will hear and answer your prayer because he does not want you wasting time and influence and the impact that you can have and so when I looked to see what happened in their mama’s life, he felt all of these things. But also he experienced the power of God. Listen, he wants you to look at yourself in the light of who God sees you, The potential you have what you can do not in your own strength. But as we’ve said it over and over and over again, the same message in the power of the spirit of God. We listen, we stand the tallest and our influence is the greatest and we experienced the most power in our life and energy and strength to face any and every situation on our knees. That is the key. That is the source. That’s the direction. That’s God’s plan and there’ll never be any plan better than that. Now. The question is also you say, what am I supposed to do about it? You’re supposed to start getting on your knees and asking God to forgive you first of all for forgetting that he is the Lord and master of the sovereign and acknowledge that he’s absolutely holy. Listen, willing to give us a new beginning a new start and to enable us to become the person he wants us to be. And when I think about all the things that near my accomplished, was it because of his education? No. What was it? It was because he had he had developed this relationship with the father that he would trust him. But see he had to keep his heart clean, recognized his inadequacy, make himself available. And then to know that he could get God’s vision in God’s direction and that God would enable him by his spirit to accomplish whatever he called him to do. If God said to you today, I will enable you to do whatever you want to do in life, what would that be if he just gave you a choice? What would it be? To some degree? We have a choice. Not totally, but we have a choice to some degree. But if you could do anything in the world from this point on in your life, if you could do anything in the world, you wanted to do, what would you do? If you could be anything in the world you wanted to be? What would you be if you answer those two questions? You tell a whole lot about yourself? Well, you know, you don’t have to answer that question because God knows all about it. The issue is this, think about it. You have this awesome privilege as a child of God to get on your knees before him and talk to the sovereign ruler and creator of this entire universe, Who will never make a mistake? Who will never mislead? You never misinform you and never fail you. You have that privilege. Now the question is this what are you willing to do? Are you willing to say to him, Lord? I don’t feel very adequate, but I’ll do whatever you tell me to do, Lord. I realized I don’t have the education some people have. I don’t have the experience. And some people are so gifted God, they can take their hands and build this. Do that. I don’t have any of that, Lord, But I’m willing to do whatever you want me to do. I don’t think I’d be very good at teaching someone else. But Lord, I’m willing to do whatever you want me to do. Let me ask you a question. Do you have the right to withhold yourself from sovereign God of this universe? Who created you and has committed himself to live in you for all eternity and enable you to face every single circumstance confidently. Do you have a right to withhold yourself from him? I’ll have it. Just put it this way. Having listened to this message and heard the truth. Just been telling you what God says. You’re gonna have to deal with it. Some of you are very gifted and talented and skilled, but you never thought about serving God. You just think about, Well, I’ll do whatever I can do in life. You need to ask him to show you he has an investment in you. You know what the biggest investment he has in. You. Look at the cross. That’s his greatest investment. He sent his son jesus to the cross. To die for your sins and mind to make it possible for us to have our sins forgiven and to have a personal intimate relationship with this awesome God and not only that, but to be the end 12 by his spirit. And then to be used by God. Do you have a right to withhold yourself from him? No. Then my question is, what are you gonna do about it? Oh, I’ll think about it. No, no, no, no, no, no. You’ve got to do more than think about it. Because you know what happens? You and I are responsible for what we hear. We’re responsible for what we here and how we respond to it, whoever you are, you can never tell God, but God, I didn’t know, you know it’s beginning right now, you know that christ died for you. You know that you can be saved from all of your sins. You know that when you are, he will live inside of you and enabled you to face every circumstance in life, he will use you to bring him glory and honor. You can never say, I never heard and I didn’t know that. And today here’s what you’ve heard. Simple truth. God is sovereign. He is the creator of all things you hear in existence by his grace and good kindness. Told you. And not only that he is this awesome God who loves you unconditionally and who wants and desires to use you and who knows what you’re able to do what you’re equipped to do. He knows everything there is about you and he loves you and he’s willing to take you right where you are, forgive you, cleanse you and well you with the Holy Spirit and then use you in the most awesome fashion if you let him do it. That’s the truth of the word of God in genesis the revelation. And now that you’ve heard it, you’re responsible if you came this morning and you wanted to leave without any conviction, I’m sorry, you can’t do that because you have to face the truth. And you remember what jesus said, he said, and you shall know the truth and the truth shall set you free. Set you free. You want to be free, ask the Lord, jesus christ into your life, surrender your life to him. And then listen, it’s this awesome exciting journey now that God and I are working hand in hand, God, what can what can you what will you do in my life now that we’re partners in this life. And I’m gonna say one last thing I think about this, I think about people who come to the end of their life and let’s say you had one week to live and you knew that was it. And in this last week you have time to think and you think about the fact that, okay, you’ve never really done anything for God. I always forget to preach is not we’re not talking about that last week of your life and you think all of a sudden you’re gonna have to meet God and you’re going to heaven, let’s say that you’re a believer, You can’t name one single person that you’re going to meet in heaven because you told them About Jesus, not a one think about that in all your years that you’ve lived, you’re gonna come to the end of the way and you will not be able to point out anybody, you won’t meet anybody in heaven that got there because you lead them to christ. Then think about this, you come to the end of life. Do you think? What’s my life been like? What’s it been about? Oh it’s been about money and about this and that and so forth. And you can’t name one thing that you have done as an act of obedience to the living god who has equipped you to do anything and everything that he wants you to do. But you filled your life with things and people and events and circumstances and actions, but God was absent from the whole thing and now you’re getting ready to meet him. What are you going to say to Holy God who is not only a god of love but a god of judgment? What are you going to say to him about a life that you lived apart from him when I think about that ah quiver on the inside. Yes, that’s exactly the way many people are gonna die, father, how grateful we offer grace, love, mercy and kindness. And I pray that every single person who hears this message will at least be wise enough to stop and consider that they’ve heard the truth. That it’s inescapable. And one day they’ll have to face it, grant them the wisdom, dear God to fall upon their face before you confessing and repenting of sin and receiving jesus as their savior and offering themselves as a vessel and Lord they made. I feel like it. They’re just a nobody but remind them you don’t make nobody’s and that they’re valuable in your sight. Oh God! May every duel, Every hero take this seriously is my prayer in jesus name. Amen,

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ABOUT DR.CHARLESSTANLEY Dr. Charles F. Stanley joined the staff of First Baptist Church of Atlanta in 1969 and became senior pastor in 1971. In 1982, Stanley...

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