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Watch 2022 online sermons » Dr. Charles Stanley » Charles Stanley - God's Way is the Best Way

Charles Stanley - God's Way is the Best Way

Charles Stanley - God's Way is the Best Way
Charles Stanley - God's Way is the Best Way
TOPICS: Obedience, God's will

Whenever you and I face a challenge in life, we always respond in one of two ways, and that is either our way or God's way. Now, most of us know that doing things God's way is always best. But in spite of that, sometimes we don't always choose to do it that way. Somehow, we have the idea that in spite of the fact that we know that God is absolutely omniscient and knows what is best. The fact that He has a will and a purpose and a plan for our life, that He loves us unconditionally, and He would only do what's best for us, we still choose to do things our way rather than God's way. Well, that's what I want to talk about in this message entitled "God's Way Is the Best Way". And sometimes these wonderful principles of scripture are best declared by illustrating them in somebody's life.

So I want you to turn, if you will, to the book of Exodus, and I want you to turn to the second chapter. And in the book of Exodus, of course, we find the life of Moses, who stands above all the other characters in the Old Testament. Six hundred and ninety-nine verses in the Old Testament have his name in it, seventy-nine verses in the New Testament. And here is a man whose life is certainly characterized by both success and failure. And throughout the scriptures, you find those who refuse to do it God's way and the kind of trouble they caused and experienced, those who did it God's way. So, the whole purpose of this message is simply this, and that is to take the life of Moses and simply say here's the way it happens when you do it your way. This is the way it happens when you do it God's way. And I think when you and I weigh the two, we will come away knowing in our heart it's always the wisest, always the best, always the most profitable to do things God's way.

If you'll turn to the second chapter and the eleventh verse. "It came about in those days, when Moses had grown up, that he went out to his brethren and looked on their hard labors; and he saw an Egyptian beating a Hebrew, one of his brethren. So he looked this way and that, and when he saw that there was no one around, he struck down the Egyptian and hid him in the sand. And he went out the next day, and behold, two Hebrews were fighting with each other; and he said to the offender, 'Why are you striking your companion?' But he said, 'Who made you a prince or a judge over us? Are you intending to kill me, as you killed the Egyptian?' Then Moses was afraid, and said, 'Surely the matter has become known.' When Pharaoh heard of this matter, he tried to kill Moses. But Moses fled from the presence of Pharaoh and settled in the land of Midian; and he sat down by a well".

Here is a perfect example of doing it my way. First of all, he focused on an event rather than the big picture. The big picture was and is: How do I free my nation of people, my great family, these two million Hebrews, sons and daughters of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob? How do I free them? Instead of focusing on that question, he focused on an incident, one event: one Egyptian soldier, not killing but beating on one Hebrew brother. So, his first mistake was that he focused on an event rather than the big picture, which oftentimes we can do. The second thing he did was this, that he followed his reasoning, listen, he followed his reasoning rather than listening to God. Whenever you and I begin to reason things out ourselves based on our ability to reason them out and ignore God, most of the time we're gonna make a wrong decision, because God is so willing to show us what to do in every instance in life if we'll listen. But human reason said deal with this. Human reason said I'm not gonna tolerate him beating on my brother. And so what does he do? He kills him, buries him in the sand. So, he made two mistakes. The third mistake he made was this: he acted on impulse, listen, he acted on impulse rather than backing off, saying, "God, what would You have me to do"?

Now, think about this. When you and I respond to difficulties and hardships and challenges in life on our natural impulses, most of the time we're gonna make a mistake because that's not the way God operates. Because He loves you unconditionally, because He has a will and a purpose and a plan for you, and because He has already determined and provided and prepared to give you His best, if you want God's best, you have to do it God's way. And God's way's not always the simplest way. Sometimes it's a painful way. Sometimes it just runs against the grain. That's not the way we think, that's not the way we want to do it. We want to get on with it. It isn't always God's way. But His way is always the best way. And I believe if you and I could just have time to give testimony today, all of us could stand up and say, "Yes, God's way's the best way, and here's the way I blew it. I did this and I had a sneaking suspicion that wasn't God's way or I knew when I did, it wasn't God's way, and here are the consequences I've suffered in my life".

Some consequences go on for a lifetime. Some consequences are short-lived. But to do it our way instead of God's way is always unwise and, listen, there are always consequences, there's always a penalty. Depending upon the nature and the size of that decision or that action depends upon, will determine what the consequence is and how long the consequence goes on. Always best to do it God's way. Now, forty years on the backside of the desert, he's over there shepherding sheep, and now, we're gonna do it God's way. So, I want you to think about something. Get your pencil ready now. Want you to think about something. What is the first prerequisite in doing anything God's way? The first prerequisite is this, and that is to have an encounter with God through His Son Jesus Christ whereby you confess your sins to Him and acknowledge that His death at Calvary made it possible for God the Father to place your sins upon Him. When He died, He died an atoning death, a sacrificial death, a substitutionary death. He died a death that made it possible for God the Father to accept you and me with our sins, forgiving us of our sins because Jesus Christ paid that sin-debt in full at the cross. Thereby we become the sons and daughters of God.

First, listen, first foremost prerequisite for walking in the ways of God, first prerequisite for doing things God's way is to have a personal relationship with God through His Son Jesus Christ and to be indwelt by the Holy Spirit who is the one who gives us direction as to what is God's way and how do we do it in God's power? Now, so with that in mind, let's think about what happens when you and I do things God's way? Well, number one, we act on divine command, not impulse. In other words, God, what would You have me to do? When we do things God's way, we're gonna ask Him: God, what would You have me to do? We're gonna do what God tells us to do. And this is why I've said over and over and over again how very important it is to learn how to listen to God. That's a basic lesson in the Christian life. If I don't know how to listen to Him, how will I know when He's spoken? How will I know when He's spoken?

Now, what happens? He's on the backside of the desert, walking along one day, and all of a sudden he sees something he had never seen before in his life, and He got his attention. Turn to the third chapter, if you will for a moment, and let's look at, beginning in verse one, "Now Moses was pasturing the flock of Jethro his father-in-law, the priest of Midian; and he led the flock to the west side of the wilderness, and came to Horeb, the mountain of God," which we know as Mount Sinai. "And the angel of the LORD appeared to him in a blazing fire from the midst of a bush; and he looked, and behold, the bush was burning with fire, yet the bush was not consumed. So Moses said, 'I must turn aside now, and see this marvelous sight, why the bush is not burned up.' When the LORD saw that he turned aside to look, God called to him from the midst of the bush, and said, 'Moses, Moses! And he said, 'Here I am.' Then He said, 'Do not come near here; remove your sandals from your feet, for the place on which you are standing is holy ground.' He said also, 'I am the God of your father, the God of Abraham, the God of Isaac, and the God of Jacob.' Then Moses hid his face, for he was afraid to look at God".

Now, it was this encounter with God, after forty years isolated, hopelessly, helplessly, could do nothing to liberate his nation. Forty years on the backside of the desert and now God comes to him. Why does God wait so long? You ever ask that question? God, let's get with the plan. God, according to my watch, my calendar, my clock, my feelings, my wants, my desires, my this, my that. Let's get with it, God. Do you know how many times I've been able to persuade God to move ahead? The same number of times you have. Not one single time! You can't hurry Him. You can't rush Him. You can't irritate Him. You can't get Him frustrated because He already has a schedule. And He knew that it, listen, it took forty years to strip Moses of all of this manly confidence, this "I-can-do-it, I'm-gonna-handle-it, I'll-take-care-of-it".

Forty years on the backside of the desert. Now he's eighty years of age, and God comes to him. And what happens? I love this passage of scripture because I think there are so many truths wrapped up in simple verses. Look, if you will for a moment, back in that third chapter now. He says he saw this blazing fire and the Lord, angel of the Lord, the Lord Jesus Christ speaking to him. He looked and behold the bush was burning. Now listen to what he said. "So Moses said, 'I must turn aside now and see this marvelous sight, why the bush isn't burned up!'" Are you listening? How many times has God wanted to say something to you and me and we didn't turn aside and we just kept going? Our schedule was busy. We had something we wanted to do, something we wanted to accomplish. And so instead of turning aside and letting God speak to us, we just keep moving on, doing our own thing.

Look at this next verse. So Moses said, "I must turn aside now and see the marvelous sight, why the bush is not burned up". Look at this, "When the Lord saw that he turned aside to look, then God called to him from the midst of the bush and said, 'Moses, Moses!' And he said, 'Here I am.'" How many times has God wanted to speak to us, couldn't get our attention? Isn't this the most ridiculous thing you ever heard? Too busy to listen to God. Too busy to listen to God. My schedule, my plans, things I want to accomplish, things I want to achieve. Too busy to listen to God. How foolish, how absolutely foolish to be so busy we can't listen to God. How many times has God wanted to say something but is not going to speak to the air? He's gonna speak to our heart. And when we don't want to listen and we don't want to give Him our attention, then God isn't gonna force His way most of the time. Once in a while He will, most of the time He won't. So now watch what happens. You think about this. He acted first of all on the basis of a divine command, not his impulse.

A second thing is this: he proceeded on God's timing and not his own. This was God's timing. God had it all worked out. Now, once in a while, you'll hear some theologian or some liberal say, "Well you know, the Red Sea experience, that was not a miracle of God. It just so happened that when they got down there, this wind began to blow and all these things happened and therefore that's how they marched across". Well, you know what, when I think about it, I think about poor soul. It doesn't make any difference whether the wind blew or God put a literal hand down there and held the water back. Isn't it strange that it happened perfectly on time? Perfectly on time. It was a miracle of God.

So what was going on? Listen, this time he was doing it on God's time, not his own time. So here's what I want you to see now as we go through these. When we do it God's way, when we do it God's way, what happens? We're gonna act on command, not by impulse. We're gonna wait for God's timing and not do it on our timing. What does he say? "Wait upon the Lord, be of good strength". He says, "Be of good courage". Wait upon the Lord. Why? Because it takes a whole lot of courage oftentimes to sit and wait for God's timing. It takes a lot of strength sometimes to do nothing until God says it's time to operate.

The third thing is this: God will provide everything we need when we're doing it His way. He'll provide everything you and I need when we're doing it His way. What did he need? He needed somebody who could talk better than he could. And so, what did God do? He said, "I'll send your brother with you. He'll do the talking, and you just do what I tell you to do". God, listen, it would be absolutely incompatible with the nature of God, the attributes of God, to ask you and me to do something that He did not provide everything we needed to get it done. And so, as we've said over and over again, that is, God takes full responsibility for the life fully committed to Him. God is responsible for the consequences of our obedience.

And therefore, if we say, "All right, I'm gonna do what You say, God". God assumes responsibility in that moment to provide every single thing we need to get the job done. And so therefore, God certainly provided that. He did not provide a brother, but He provided the most awesome, listen, the most awesome array of natural phenomenon. All the things that happened naturally, from the river turning to blood and as if fire and brimstone came down from heaven, God, listen, He provided everything necessary to accomplish His purpose and His will. When you and I hesitate to do what God tells us to do because we can't see the ultimate results, well, suppose this and suppose that.

Remember this, if you, listen, are you listening? Say amen. If you're, listen, if you are obeying God, if you're obeying God, you don't have to worry about the consequences. He's already thought through the end result of what's gonna happen. He has already declared, and by His own omnipotence, He has already fore-done in His mind the end result of our action. When we obey Him, we don't have to worry about what's going to happen. He's already taken care of that. And so, what we see here when he does it God's way, waiting upon the Lord, trusting in His clear direction, and waiting for God and believing in God, that He is going to be able to provide everything He needs, he doesn't have to worry about that. You see, what we do is we think, "Well, Lord, suppose this"? There are no supposings with God. God has never made this statement. Oh, I thought! God doesn't "I thought". There's no after-thinking with God, it's always fore-thinking, fore-ordination, predestination, whatever, it's all forehand with God. He knows what's gonna happen.

Fourth thing I want you to notice is this, that when we do it God's way, He banishes the fear in our life. Now, sometimes we may have a slight little trepidation about something if we are not, in other words, just our own, we know in our heart it's gonna work out. We know God's gonna do it, but because it's a new experience for us, we may have a little bit of fear, but the truth is, it's not real fear. It's just that little emotional stuff that runs through and back and forth, but God will banish the fear. And here's what happens. Remember this, when you take the first couple of steps in the will of God that seem to be challenging, you may feel some fear, but here's what you'll discover.

As you keep moving in the direction that God has told you to go, the longer you walk, the less fear you're gonna have until the fear is absolutely banished and you're gonna know that you're walking in the will of God, under the protection of God, listen, the resource of God, the power of God, the love of God, the purpose of God, the will of God, the plan of God, you can't lose doing it God's way. He says, "I've not given you the spirit of fear, but of power and of love and of a sound mind". And I probably, my favorite passage of scripture in all the Bible when it comes to this whole idea of fear is found in Isaiah forty-one. Listen to this, I love this. "Do not fear, for I am with you". That settles it right there, but that's not all. Look at this, "Do not anxiously look about you, for I am your God, I will strengthen you, surely I will help you, surely, I will uphold you with My righteous right hand". That is, He says, "Do not be afraid, I'm with you".

Well, listen, if you got omnipotence with you, do you need anything else? Not really. I love this phrase. He says, "Don't anxiously look about you". That's what gets our mind off God. In other words, when we anxiously look about us, we forget what He says when He says, "I'll be with you". God wants us to focus on Him. In the midst of difficulties and trials and big challenges in our life, we're to focus our attention upon Almighty God. If my attention's on Him, I'm not going to be looking at the circumstances. That's why He said in that passage, "Don't anxiously look about you". Keep your focus on Almighty God. And this is exactly what's beginning to happen here in his life. And so, all of a sudden, that fear of facing pharaoh is gone. He marches in with his stick and his brother and says, "Here's what I AM says, and we're trusting God to free the nation of Israel".

Well, then what I want you to notice is this, that God gives specific directions. When we do it His way, He gives specific directions. God does not speak in terms of generalities. As we've said, He doesn't say, "Be good". He doesn't say, "Well, just go to school". If you ask God to show you what to do, He'll show you what school to go to. He'll show you how to settle that financial situation. He'll tell you what to do as an employer about employees. He'll tell you how to do whatever you need to do in the family. God is specific. God doesn't throw out a bunch of general directions. When you and I are walking in His will and His way, and we're doing it His way, we're gonna have very clear direction. What does He say? "Trust in the Lord with all your heart, lean not to your own understanding, in all your ways acknowledge Him and He'll," do what? "Direct your path". He said, "I will teach you in the way you should go. I will guide you with My eye". That is, we can trust God to give us very clear direction.

Now, if we're in too big a hurry to get the direction, we get in trouble. That's our way. We do it God's way, we wait until God tells us what's the next step. And remember we said the first step or two may seem to be very fearful, or the third step or the fourth step. Or we get out here trusting God, and then God may say, "Now, I want you to take a left turn, take a right turn". God doesn't send us out to do His will and leave the decision-making process to us. Don't forget that. He says, "I will teach you in the way which you should go. I will direct you with My eye". What is He saying? "I have My eye upon you". What did He say in Isaiah? He said, "You don't need to be afraid, I am with you. Don't be anxious and looking about you. Keep your focus on Me". Not only that, one of the things that happens is we begin to learn God's ways. What did he know about God? Not much. But then he began to see how God could use, listen, watch this now, he had to face up to the fact that forty years ago, tried to do it his way, didn't work.

And now, look at this. God, You mean to tell me You're gonna give me another chance? How many of you have had a second chance? If you're saved, you better put them up because you've had more than one chance. We've all had a second chance. Haven't we all failed at things in our life and God, in His grace and mercy and love, has given us a second chance? God's goodness, listen, God's goodness and love and mercy, we learn the ways of God. He learned that God could use him a second time. He learned that God could take simple things and make a difference. He learned what would happen when God got into a stick. He learned what would happen when God rained down fire and judgment. He learned what God would do. He learned the ways of God.

How many times have I said this to you? The one thing I want to learn in life above everything else, what are the ways of God, how does He think? What motivates Him? What makes Him tick? Why does God do the things that He does? Why does He allow the things that He does? We want to learn the ways of God. The greatest wisdom there is the wisdom to know the ways of God. And he was learning the ways of God. And when you and I obey Him, we do it His way, we're gonna learn His ways. The next thing I want you to notice is this: we learn that God can use us in our weakness and in our frailties. He can do mighty things through weakness and frailty.

Now, I've said that in a different way before, but I want to make that point. He can use us in our frailties and our weakness. We don't have to be strong. We don't have to be educated. We don't have to be this, we don't have to be that. He uses us in our weaknesses and our frailties. Listen, he went before Pharaoh a very weak man: couldn't talk, stick in his hand, and requiring, demanding of the strongest man on the planet at that time no doubt, and the most advanced civilization in the world, and he's saying, "Here's what you must do".

Notice this, if you will. Next thing, God can accomplish more in a brief period of time than you and I can in a lifetime when we do it our way. Think about what happened. How long would it have taken Moses to liberate the nation of Israel, the Hebrew children, if he did it his way? If he'd a started a revolution, for example, among the Hebrews. First of all, they weren't skilled in warfare. They had no weapons. But let's just say they had a big revolution. So they all had a stick. And you've got javelins, swords, spears, shield, charioteers, cut 'em up, just cut 'em asunder. Do it God's way, don't even have to have a sword. Do it God's way, don't even have to lift a hand. Do it God's way, watch God do it. Remember what we said? He assumes full responsibility when you and I surrender our life to Him. And so what we see happening here, we see God blessing them more than they could ever assume to be blessed. We see God doing it His way, accomplishing things that they would never have been able to accomplish. And what we see is this: when we do it God's way, God gets maximum honor and glory. Take no credit, no glory. When we do it God's way, He gets the credit and the glory for it.

Now, let's think about it. Since God has a will for your life and a plan for your life and a purpose for your life, and since He has the best that even He, God, could store up for you, and since He desires the very best for you and has planned it, are you willing to surrender your life to the Lord Jesus Christ and let Him have His way in your life so that you can live your life God's way? It's just that simple. It doesn't make any difference who you are, how much you've sinned in the past. It doesn't make any difference what's going on in your life, what your circumstance, what you have to face, the ultimate question is this: am I gonna be wise enough to do it God's way? I'm gonna listen to Him. I'm gonna wait upon Him. I'm gonna trust Him. I'm gonna follow Him. I'm gonna believe He has the best for me. I know He'll provide every single thing I need. There are blessings out there beyond my fondest dreams. I'm gonna trust in His power to work these things out. I know He'll be honored and glorified when I walk in obedience to Him.

My friend, here's what you and I will never be able to see in this life. How many times we, in very simple little things, obey God, for which He is reserving in heaven for us a reward over things that we never even thought about, but they were the will of the Father. It's something God wanted us to do. He led us and we did it because it's our lifestyle, didn't even think about it. There is no way to lose, listen, no way to lose doing it God's way. There's no way to win doing it our way. I trust that you'll be wise enough to trust Jesus Christ as your Savior, ask Him to forgive you of your sins, receive Him into your life, surrender your life to Him and, beginning from this moment on, say, "God, by Your power, the power of the Holy Spirit, I choose to do it Your way".

Father, how grateful we are. Oh, You're so patient, so forgiving, so loving, so kind. Just etch the truth of this simple message into every one of our hearts. Let it ring and echo in our soul. Let it ricochet in our spirit so that we're ever conscious of the fact we have a choice and we've chosen to do it God's way. In Jesus's name, amen.
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