Are you trusting in the Father in every aspect of your life? Do you have confidence that God—the Sovereign Lord of the universe—will do exactly what He says and fulfill every promise He’s made? Your answers to these questions will greatly affect your life. In fact, if you refuse to trust God, you will undoubtedly miss important blessings He has for you.
From the moment you become a Christian, God enrolls you in His classroom of faith because He desires to develop your relationship with Him and show you life at its very best. Dr. Stanley teaches you the five indispensable requirements of living in full reliance and submission to the Father.
In Touch with Dr. Charles Stanley celebrating 45 years of God’s faithfulness. Next on in touch walking in faith. When you became a christian, you entered the School of Faith. A life of Faith. The scripture says In division chapter 289 for by Grace, are you saved through faith and that not of yourselves, it is the gift of God, not of works lest any person should boast. He says, therefore being justified by faith. We have peace with God. He says, we are sanctified by faith. That is. We walk by faith. We live by faith. The christian life is a life of faith. That is, it is a life in which we have confidence in the fact that God who is the sovereign of this universe, will do exactly what he says, he’ll do and that he will fulfill every single promise he’s made. That’s how we walk. For example, we will stumble sometimes and uh, we will move ahead positively. We will study and we’ll fumble and fall around and thank God. Why isn’t this? Why isn’t this coming out exactly right. Why is it? If I’m trusting you here and next time, you know, I’ve disobeyed you over here. So let me just say right up front as a word of encouragement. It isn’t a straight line upward. The development of a person’s faith is up and then we stumble at times and up and then we falter at times and up and then we failed to trust them at times. And that’s the way life is in the beginning of the christian life. And for many people it seems to be that way all the time. But that’s not what god intended he intended. Listen, even though we have those ups and downs, that’s okay, as long as we’re still making progress in our faith and one of the characters of the scripture that best describes, listen, the positive walk the times when everything is right and trust in God and oftentimes those failures is the person of Abraham And he’s called the father of faith. So I want you to turn to the 12th chapter of the book of Genesis and I want you to notice how he begins this and what I want you to see is he lives in a totally Pagan culture. He doesn’t know anything in the world about the God that you know I know about and listen to what happens. Chapter 12: verse one. Now the Lord said to Abram as was his first name. They called him, go forth from your country and from your relatives and from your father’s house to the land which I will show you and I will make you a great nation. I will bless you and make your name great and so you shall be a blessing and I will bless those who bless you and the one who curses you, I will curse and in you all the families of the earth will be blessed because through Isaac and then due to the tribe of Judah came the messiah. So Abram went forth as the Lord had spoken to him and lot went with him. The Abram was 75 years old when he departed from Heron. Abram took Sarah, his wife and lot his nephew and all their possessions which they accumulated and the persons which they had acquired in Harran, they set out for the land of Canaan. Thus, they came to the land of Canaan. Abram passed through the land as far as the site of Shek um to the oak of Moreh and the king of night was there in the land. The Lord appeared to Abram and said to your descendants, I will give this land. So he built an altar there to the Lord who had appeared to him. Now I want you to go back to the first verse. Listen, how many times God said, I will remember we said, faith is, faith is confidence that God will do what he says. He will do and fulfill his promise. Look what he says, he says, I will show you the land I want you to go to. I will make you a great nation. I will bless you. I will bless those who bless you and I will curse those who curse you and all the families of the earth will be blessed. God spoke to Abraham out of in a total pagan society. He knew nothing about Jehovah. He knew nothing about Yahweh, the other names for God. He knew nothing about that yard at all. And God spoke to him, listen carefully when somebody says to you, has God ever spoken to you well, you need to answer that. Honestly. The truth is yes, he has because listen, it is his will and purpose and plan to speak to every single one of his Children, no matter where they are. That’s why Jesus gave the great commission to his disciples into all the earth and preach the gospel to every person. And so God is still in the process of speaking. And so when you look at the life of Abraham and how God dealt with him. Listen, it is a walk of faith. The moment you trusted Jesus christ as your savior, you took the first step into a life of faith and listen. And when you did that, God enrolled you in the school of faith because from that time on you and I, from the moment we were saved, I was 12, you may have been 12, 10 50 whatever it might be from that time on you and I rolled in the school of faith because that’s God’s purpose for us. His purpose is to speak to us, Guide us, Lead us, show us his way, work through us, use us in whatever way he chooses to see fit in order for that to happen. You and I must be followers. And we must be trusting him in every aspect of our life. What I want us to talk about in this message are those requirements, those requirements for walking in faith with Almighty God. Now the first basic essential requirement for walking in faith. Bottom line is I must learn to listen to God. If you do not know how to listen to him, then how do you know where to go? If you don’t know how to listen to him, you never developed that, then you’ll never know whether God is talking to you or not. And so then you just sort of have to guess that maybe God said this and maybe he said that listen carefully. God is still speaking to people individually. Now listen carefully. Because somebody says, God told me doesn’t mean that’s necessarily true because often times people will say, well, God told me to do it when it’s something that’s a total contradiction to the very nature and attributes of God. He speaks, He speaks clearly and he speaks consistently with what he has spoken and what this bible is all about, it is the written revelation of God and his work among men. This is what it’s all about. So when you come to Abraham and God said to him, I want you to leave your country and go into a land that I’ll show you, he spoke to him and I want you to see in this passage of scripture how God worked in his life. But he began with this basic simple principle, you must learn to hear his voice. You must learn to listen to him. He said, well now how does he work? Well, I give an example, the most recent example yesterday I was reading a book that I’ve had for 50 years and it’s about christ and how he works. And the longer I read it, I read about two thirds of that chapter. The longer I read it, the longer, the more I knew I continued, I couldn’t read long because God was saying something very specific to me that I needed to hear. And so I kept reading along and just like God said, close the book, get on your knees. I knew he was saying something very specific and watch this. What I want you to see is is he is just as willing just as committed to speaking to you and giving you direction as to myself or abraham anybody else. How can God expect you to obey him? If he doesn’t tell you what to do and how can God guide you and lead you if you’re not listening. Those two things are absolutely inseparable obedience to God. And listening to God. You can’t listening to God obeying God. You can’t separate those two. You don’t listen, you won’t obey. You don’t obey. What does it say? You’re not listening. If you’re gonna live the life of faith, you have to learn to listen to it. The second thing you must learn is this and that is you must learn to obey him. Now. We learned to walk by faith by trial and error. You have to learn to listen and you learn to obey. And how do we learn to obey? By disobeying by failing by error. And then in the process of disobeying him, God shows us what the consequences are. So we think twice before we disobey him again, it doesn’t mean that life is gonna always be easy and straightforward, but he is going to make it clear what he wants us to do. And when we obey him we’re gonna be blessed. Because here’s what he said. He said, I’m gonna make you a great nation. All the nations of the earth are gonna be blessed. I’m going to give you this land and I’ll show you what this land is. And so what happens when he obeyed God blessed him. But there’s a third lesson we must learn. We must learn to depend upon him. If I if I really trust him, I’m gonna listen. If you really trust him, I’m gonna obey him. Let me let me talk about obedience for a moment. I want you to look at this. Watch look this way I ask you this question when you think about how jesus spoke to his disciples? How many times did he tell them to obey him? How many right? He never said that to him? You would think surely Jesus said, you must have made me, He never said that. He was so wise. Listen, you know what he tells him. Trust me, have faith in God. Trust me, trust me, trust me. Trust me. You know why he didn’t talk about obedience, because he knew that if they obeyed him that if they trusted him, they would obey him. And he could say obey, obey, obey all day long. But the bottom line is trust and obedience go together. And so his emphasis to them was always trust me. Trust the father have faith in God. When you pray believe, it was always trust. And so when we don’t trust him, we don’t depend upon him. We want to make things work to suit us. And so when you look to see how Abraham responded to all that. And God made the promises he made. And I remember, he said, I’ll show you where to go. He had no compass, no iphone, no gps. He didn’t have any things. There was, he didn’t even have a paper map. All he had was the voice of God, the direction of God. And how many times God must have said, I want you to go with us. And so or take this route and take that route. And God was guiding him and leading him. And you know, listen the reason God didn’t give him any further instructions because he had to depend upon him. And sometimes we want God to give us a lot of money for this or that or the other. You know, one of the reasons God isn’t going to give some folks out, in fact, most people a lot of money because they don’t depend on them anymore. When somebody says, what do you mean? Depending upon God, simply that oftentimes a person who has little and they just get a little bit more. They think they did it. You know what if God took his hand off your life, you don’t even have enough clothes to wear. It is the grace of God that you have that you can breathe two times in a row that you can work. That’s all the grace and goodness and love and we’re all dependent upon him. Tell me anything that is absolute in your life apart from God, nothing. Are you gonna get home this afternoon? Not necessarily. And so you say, well, you mean to tell me that I’m I’m to have this sense that I’m dependent upon him at all times. Absolutely. Because listen, that is the position of safety Lord, I’m trusting you. I’m depending upon you what you’re acknowledging, you’re acknowledging your dependence upon him and you’re trusting him that he’s going to take care of you provide for you when you get so well off, whether it’s financially or emotionally or whatever it might be that you don’t feel like that, you need to depend upon him, you are heading in the wrong direction and I can tell you this for sure, this whole bible bears witness to this. You’re headed for some from painful consequences. You forget God, you’re headed in the great trouble, painful suffering in trouble now. So, but we must not only learn to trust him and listen to him and follow me. Whatever he says, we must also learn something else. We must learn to wait upon God. If I’m gonna, if I’m gonna walk the walk of Faith, I must learn to wait on him. And he says, one of the most wonderful promises in Isaiah 60 for for he says, watch this. God acts in behalf are those who wait for him. So what happens? You’re trusting God, you’re walking the walk of Faith and God leads you to do something. Watch this. You don’t ever have to think about the fact that God is asking you and telling you to do something and he’s turning it over to you to do it. That’s not the way he operates. He says, God acts goes to work in behalf of those who wait for him. If God tells you to do something that says, this is the direction, don’t move yet. Trust me. Don’t take things in your own hands. Trust me, wait upon me. God acts in my behalf, watch this. If you want somebody acting in your behalf, whether it’s your health or your finances or whatever it might be, you want somebody who knows all the facts. You know, you want somebody who has all the power, all the wisdom to make it work. That’s the only person, one person who has all of that. That’s almighty God. And he says, I’m willing to act in your behalf. I’m willing to go to work to get you a job. I’m willing to go to work to show you how to do this. I’m willing to go to work to help you get a house to live in. He says, I will act on behalf of those who wait for me. And the only way you’re gonna wait is trust him. Because oftentimes we are ready to move ahead and and see this opportunity and think this is it. The only times in my life I’ve ever moved ahead to get it done my way on my time has been absolutely wrong every single time. Because listen, he wants us to learn to depend upon him to trust him and to wait for him. You see, because here, watch this. Here’s what’s happening when you wait upon his direction. You are acknowledging his lordship in your life. If I should say to you, do you believe that jesus christ is the lord of your life, you’d say yes, well, let’s see if that’s true when he challenges you to wait upon something that you really want to do. Is he really Lord? If you step ahead, you playing God, If you wait for him, then you’re acknowledging that he is the lord of your life and what you do. It’s an act of worship. I acknowledge you as the Lord of my life. I’m gonna wait whatever you say. And this is why people get married too early in life where they married the wrong person. They think that’s the last one available and all that kind of things that people think and what happens they up and do something. When God says wait, I can think of sometimes that we don’t have time to give you much illustrations about that. I can think of how many times in my life as God said, don’t do that. Wait. And I can tell you this and I won’t give you any personal illustrations because they’re so good. You’ll be hard for you to believe them. I can tell you that. I can think of times when he said wait. And the result was I got so blessed, I’m still being blessed today For waiting more than over 10 years ago every day. I’m blessed because he said mm mm mm mm mm Trust me don’t do that. And that God will do the same thing in your life because what you’re doing, you are you are acknowledging the lordship of jesus christ. When you don’t budge till he tells you to budge. It’s just a matter of following the principles. You don’t listen to him. You learned to obey him and you learn to depend upon it. And you learned to wait on him. Those four simple principles. God will bless anybody anywhere who is willing to follow those simple principles. And so when it comes to waiting. Oh, how well did Abraham do not too well because he made one of his biggest mistakes. And so let’s look at it for a moment. Because and this is one reason I love these passages because they’re so real. Remember what God said in this 16th chapter. Now Sarah Abram’s wife had borne him no Children. And she had an Egyptian maid whose name was Hagar. So, Sarah said Abram, they behold the Lord has prevented me from bearing Children. And remember in those days it was a horrible disgrace for a woman not to be able to bear her husband and child. So, Sarah said Abram, Now behold the Lord has prevented me from bearing Children. Please go into my maid. Perhaps I will obtain Children through her. And Abram listened to the voice of Sarah. Big time mistake. What did God tell him? He said? He says I’m gonna, I’m gonna do this through you. And he had a way of doing it. He was going to give him a son because he said to him, he said that Lord, he said, What about me having a son? And the only person who’s going to inherit all of this is uh my assistant. This man who’s worked for me all these years. I got to know. So what did he do? He listened to the voice of Sarah. And what happened? You know what happened, Hagar Ishmael Abraham should have said sorry, we’re gonna wait on God and see what he does. But he didn’t do that. And he knew what he should do. But he listened to Sarah, watch this carefully. Be careful who you listen to. And when they say whatever they’re saying to you ask yourself this question, Does this suggestion match what God is saying to me in my life? And if it doesn’t match, don’t do it. Listen to this. God acts on behalf of those who wait for him, not those who get ahead of him. What I want you to see is their consequences to disobeying God and disobedience as a result of not trusting him. He was unwilling to wait for God’s timing though. God had told him what he was gonna do. So, if you don’t wait upon the Lord, it’s because you’re not listening and you’re willing to be disobedient to them and their consequences every single time. The consequences one last thing, because we’re all gonna mess up at times and we are going to fail. The next principle is simply this. We should listen. It’s on the board. We must learn to acknowledge our faith failures. Repent of it. Listen. Repent of it and profit from it. We should acknowledge it. Repent of it and profit from you say, well, is that what he did? Let me tell you why? I know that’s what he did. Because all through these years now he’s had his ups and downs and faith. But he’s been growing. He and he’s an awesome man of faith. 22nd chapter of Genesis turn there for a moment, scripture says it came about after these things that God tested Abraham and said to him, Abraham. He said, here I am. He said, take now your son, your only son, whom you love, Isaac go to the land of Moriah and offer him there as a burnt offering on one of the mountains of which I will tell you. So, Abraham rose up early in the morning, saddled his donkey and took two of his young men with him. Isaac? His son split wood for the burnt offering rose and went to the place of which God had told him. On the third day Abraham raised his eyes and saw the place from a distance, Abram said to his young men stay here with the donkey and I and the lad will go over there and we will worship and we will return. So it doesn’t say we will return in the hebrew. We will worship. And the tent says, we’re not only worship, but we will return, but here is the ultimate test of his faith. Where had he come from back there struggling with what God was telling him to do and he was making his mistakes. But he was growing and now God said, here’s what I want you to do. I want you to take this son, your only son who was probably just a lad, the one that you love. So you put that in there and I want you to offer him as a sacrifice. In other words, I want you to kill this boy as an act of obedience to me. And the bible doesn’t say that Abraham though there may have been some of this. The bible doesn’t say he wrestled all night trying to decide whether he’s going to do it or not. Why was he so willing to do it? Because his faith had reached the peak in his life. He was willing to obey God. Even at the cost of the most priceless thing he could imagine watch this. It not only would be the death of his son. What about all those promises that God had made about? All the nations of the earth is going to be blessed. He knew it was not traditional. How could that happen if if God wanted to kill his son, But he trusted him and he knew that if the dagger that got close to his son’s heart and God stopped him, if he had killed him, God would have raised him from the dead, That’s why he was so obedient. Now. God didn’t tell him to do that. So God would find out whether he would or not. He did it because he wanted Abraham to find out how obedient are you? Yeah, I knew. Are you willing to trust me? When everything you love the most in life, you want to give it up. Life at its best is a life of faith. There’s no substitute. And learning to listen to God and to obey him. Learning to depend upon him day by day for whatever the needs in life, maybe learning to wait for his timing. And then when we falter and fail, we ask him to forgive us and we keep moving on and we keep trusting that’s life at its very, very best. And it’s a life you can have once you trust jesus christ as your savior. It’s the best life. There’s no way to lose trust in God, no matter what you’re facing in life. And it is my prayer for you. You’ll be wise enough to listen and to obey. Trust him, Watch him work in your life. Amen father how grateful we are that your patient that you quickly willing to forgive because you love us and because you want the best for us and because you know in our heart we really want to do what’s right? We do, want to trust you. We want to grow in our faith to the point that we depend upon you for everything, we want to be the persons that you want us to be and we know the principles, they’re all there beautifully demonstrated in the lives of the characters in the old testament and the new testament. And I pray today in the name of the son of God jesus that every person who hears this message will recognize it is the simple truth of the bible. It is the simple truth of the word of God. It’s the ways God works among humanity. And no matter where we come from, the principles are the same. The consequences are there both good and bad and I pray for those father who have never trusted jesus as their savior. Help them to understand. There is only one God. His name is Jehovah, there is only one savior. His name is Jesus the christ, There is only one way and that is the way of salvation by faith in jesus christ who went to the cross and laid down his life, shed his blood and all that we might be saved forgiven of our sin, justified, declared righteous, sanctified, set apart and glorified. That is forever and ever the gift of eternal life and dwells us. That is my prayer. Father. I believe that you’re answering it and that you will answer it over and over and over again and father, those who have not been trusting you. What what put a state down, put it in the bible, build that alter that from this point on, I want to listen to God and I want to obey. I want to depend upon him. I want to wait upon him. I want to be the person god wants me to be. That’s my prayer father in jesus name. Amen.