Charles Stanley - God is Our Faithful Companion
When you trusted Jesus Christ as your Savior, you gained many assets. Life has never been the same since you trusted Him as your Savior. And one of the most powerful ones, when I think about all the promises He's made, when He said, "I will never leave you nor forsake you". Never means no matter what happens, I will never, at any time, under any condition, for any reason, I will never leave you nor forsake you. God is with us, living within us when we trust the Lord Jesus Christ as our personal Savior. And when I think about our passage of Scripture, it's in Second Samuel chapter seven.
Now, somebody may say, "Well, where is Samuel"? He's in here. Just Genesis, Exodus, Leviticus, Numbers, Deuteronomy, Joshua, Judges, Ruth, First, Second Samuel. Very important you turn to that because I want us to read this incident in the life of David. And when I think about what he prayed, I think, "Lord, everyone should be able, or at least desire to say the same thing he said about his household".
So, I want us to look at this and read beginning in this eighteenth verse, because Nathan had just talked to him about what God was going to do. And so this is what happens in the eighteenth verse of Second Samuel chapter seven, "Then David the king went in and sat before the Lord, and said", now watch this, "Who am I, O Lord, and what is my house that You have brought me this far? And yet this was insignificant in Your eyes, O Lord God". Now remember, every time he says that, he means oh Sovereign God, All-powerful God, "For You have spoken also of the house of Your servant concerning the distant future. And this is the custom of man, O Lord God".
Again, "What more can David say to You? For You know Your servant, O Lord God! For the sake of Your word, and according to Your heart, You have done all this greatness to let Your servant know. For this reason, You are great, O Lord God, for there is none like You, and there is no God besides You, according to all that we have heard with our ears. And what one nation on the earth is like Your people Israel, whom God went to redeem for Himself as a people and to make a name for Himself, and to do a great thing for You and awesome thing for Your land, and before Your people whom you have redeemed for Yourself from Egypt, from nations and their gods? You have established for Yourself Your people Israel as Your own people forever, and You, O Lord God, become their God. Now therefore, O Lord God, the word that You have spoken concerning Your servant and his house, confirm it forever, and do as You have spoken, that Your name may be magnified forever, by saying, 'The Lord of hosts is God over Israel', and may the house of Your servant David be established before You. For You, O Lord of hosts, the God of Israel, have made a revelation to Your servant, saying, 'I will build you a house,' therefore, Your servant has found courage to pray this prayer to You. Now, O Lord God, You are God, and Your words are truth, and You have promised this good thing to Your servant. Now therefore, may it please You to bless the house of Your servant, that it may continue forever before You. For You, O Lord God, have spoken, and with Your blessing may the house of Your servant be blessed forever".
Could you say that about your house? Look at that. "O Lord God, may the house of Your servant be blessed forever". Could you say that about your household, about your family? Lord God, would You bless my family forever? And so, the reason I read that whole prayer, because the more you read it, and I've read it now how many times this week, what a precious approach to God, and what a simple request he made on the one hand. Would You bless my house, O God?
So, let's think for a moment. When you think about your household, husbands and wives and children, could you say bless my house, O Lord God? Well, he believed he could say it, and I think if we have things right in our house, we can say the same thing. If there's something that God needs to change, then He'd show us what that is. So, think about this: David's doing what all of us should do every once in a while, sit before the Lord, meditate upon Him, listen to Him, and make our request to Him. Lord, bless this house. If there's something in your household needs to be changed, just ask Him. Lord, I want You to change this and I want You to change that. I want You to show me what needs to happen in my household.
So, David's doing all of the things that we need to do when it comes to praying about our families and so forth. Now, reviewing the past should motivate us to take a fresh look at our future. Reviewing the past should motivate us to take a fresh look at our future. Number one, our relationships. What about our family, our friendships, people we work with, worship with, play with? We're looking at all of that. Secondly, we should think about our plans and our projects. What plans did you make that you fulfilled and some that you didn't? Projects that you started, that you never fulfilled because you just forgot about them?
Think about the successes or failures you've experienced in the past year. Did you ask God to get you into that? Did you ask God to show you the way? Did you ask God about the timing of something you started? Did you ask Him if it was His will for you to buy this car or that house or something that would cause you to have great debt? And it weighs upon you. And you think about it. And you find yourself grieved about it, but it's too late; you started it. Think about our successes and our failures in the past year. Where was God when all these things began to happen? Think about your devotional life in the past year. And the Word of God, how much of it did you read? And what about your prayer life? How much time did you spend?
We're asking God to bless this house, but if I don't pray and I don't read the Word of God, can I expect God to really bless my house? I don't think so. And many people wake up in the mornings thinking, "God, how am I going to get this done"? They should have asked, "Lord, what should I do and what should I not do"? And God is a loving God. And think about this: He's provided the best for us. He's provided everything we need, not everything we want.
And so, we have to be disciplined enough to ask God: what would You have me do? I believe God would have you feel content. Doesn't mean that you're not having and will not have problems or situations or circumstances that are difficult in your life. But God wants the best for His children. And so, when David asked God, "Lord, bless this house. Oh Lord, bless this house". Can you say that about your house? That is your family, your household. Could you say that you try to be very diligent in what you do and how you spend your money and how you spend, invest your life?
God has the best for His children, and a weighty debt is not one of the best things for His children. So, we have to be wise. And when we think about what David prayed, "Lord, bless this house", have to ask yourself the question: can I pray for God to bless my house if I know that I'm doing something that is dividing my mind? Probably can't sleep at night sometimes. When I look at that new car I bought, I shouldn't have done it. When I look at the things in my house that need to be repaired and I've neglected that for something else I wanted. So he's praying.
And think about this, think about the health habits in your life this past year. Were you conscious of where you are? What your diet, for example, your exercise, the health habits you have? Are you one of those persons, if you watch TV, here's what you'll discover, and I think I'm pretty accurate. About every third ad on television is for some prescription. Or maybe you should think about God's the great Healer. He can heal us of lots of things. I'm not saying you never need any medicines, but I'm simply saying people are quick to make decisions and not ask God, "Lord, what would You have me do"? And what David is doing here in a big way, he's saying, "Lord, bless my house. Bless this house".
And in order to pray that prayer, I need to examine what goes on in my house. So, when I look at this prayer and realize when God is my faithful companion, He's not going to mislead me. He's not going to neglect giving me wisdom and direction and insight and sensitivity to what's happening. What about what's happening to my children? What are they watching while I'm gone? Have I been the kind of parent who says, "Because my son wants it, I'm going to buy it for him. Because my daughter wants it, I'm going to be sure she has it", and having everything we want is not good. And if you don't believe that, look in the Word of God, the things He took away from people.
And so, David is praying a prayer for God to bless his house, bless what goes on. We have the right to pray all of these things if we're willing to do something about what God says. And so, I just wanted you to think about this question. Can you pray this prayer? God, bless this house. That is, bless my family, bless my work, bless my attitudes. Am I disciplined before my children? Am I pure before my husband or my wife? Bless this house, God.
And I believe that when people pray that prayer, God will bless the house. He'll probably lead you to make some changes if necessary, or He may not. But God wants to bless the house of His children because it is a testimony to everybody around you, wherever you work. Can you talk about how God's blessed your family and your household, how He's provided for you? Or do you go to work on Monday morning and you're down everything around you because debt is weighing you down?
You say, "Well, what's that got to do with my spiritual life"? Everything. Whatever divides my mind from God is not good. And so, David said, "Lord, bless this house". And when I think about that, I think about all the promises God's made to everyone who's a child of God. Now, if you're not a Christian, it won't work. I'm going to give you, listen, I'm going to give you Ten promises of God that He's made to us.
Now, listen carefully. They're applicable and I can apply them to my life if I am submissive to His will, willing to submit to His will in every area. Doesn't mean that everybody grows up quickly, but listen, God knows where we are in our spiritual life. We're not all in the same place. So, we can't judge one another. But God is willing because we have the Holy Spirit to show us. What we can do and what we can become if we're willing to listen to Him.
And so, I would ask you this question: when's the last time God heard you pray for your family? When's the last time God heard you cry out to Him for help and direction? In other words, what's your household like? And David's praying, "God, if You could see fit to bless this household", which God was going to build.
So, think about this, and I think about there are ten of these. All of us who are believers, now watch this, if you happen to be here and you're not saved, you're not a Christian, watch this. We're not being critical. I want you to watch what you're missing. Watch what you're missing if you're not a believer, not a follower of Jesus. Look what you could have. I'm going to list ten of them. Look what you could have. And it's not a matter of somebody saying, "Well, that's your interpretation".
If you believe in black and white, here it is. There's no question of whether it could mean that or not. It means every one of them, so let's start with this one. Here's the promise that you and your household, God has promised to walk with us. What does He say? He'll never leave us nor forsake us. Every child of God has the promise of everlasting presence of God within us. He'll walk with us. Secondly, there's a promise that He'll guide us. There are decisions we have to make, we don't always know exactly the right thing to do. He says He'll guide us with His eye.
That's His way of saying that God, with His omniscience, knowing all things, will guide us in every circumstance if we're willing to listen. And I think about how many people are miserable today because they're burdened with debt or because they've made decisions that they knew when they made them, they weren't the right thing to do. It was the popular thing to do, but it wasn't wise. And now it's costly. Guiding us, "I'll guide you with My eye upon you", He says. He listens to us.
And when I think about, suppose God didn't listen to us, where would we be? He listens to us because that's who He is. God listens to us. He'll answer our prayer if we're willing to go about it in this manner. Ask, trust, wait, and obey Him. God wants the best for His children. And what David was praying here, more than he realized, he was praying for God to bless his house, that is to bless his family. God is willing to bless you in ways that you can't even imagine.
You say, "Well, I'm not this, I'm not that". That's not the issue. Remember this, your relationship to God is not through this, that, or the other. Your relationship to God is personal. It's between you and Holy God. And I can tell you He has the best prepared for you. You say, "Well, I've blown it". You know what? God knows how to forgive you and give you a new beginning. And what does He promise? He promises to listen to us. He will hear us.
And then of course, there's that promise to encourage us, encourage us when we're exhausted, when we're sort of worn out. And all through the Scripture, there's promise after promise after promise of His presence, His power. He'll provide all of our needs according to His, watch this, He'll provide all of our needs according to His riches in glory. Then He says, for example, that He will empower us.
And so, what does that mean? That means that when you were saved, the Holy Spirit came to, first of all, seal you as a child of God, that forever you're one of His children. And He is there to enable you, help you, give you wisdom and direction and guidance. That's why He came. He gives all those verses in the Scripture. He came to give you guidance and direction, and then to empower you, to equip you, to enable you, to strengthen you. In other words, whatever the Holy Spirit guides you to do, He's there to help you get it done. That's how fair God is. God doesn't require something of us He will not help us do.
Somebody says, "Well, I couldn't do so and so". And there are many whom I've met in the world in the past whom God very specifically called to preach. And because they didn't think they could, because they didn't think they could speak, because this, that, and the other, they refused to do it. I've never met one yet that was happy. I've watched men cry in their own household, visiting them when they had to say, "God called me to preach when I was a young man or when I was in my twenties, and I just knew I couldn't do that. I couldn't stand up in front of people", give all kind of excuses.
But here's what I've noticed: every single one of them was miserable. And secondly, the wife was miserable. I didn't know too much about the children, but every single family was miserable. You cannot, and this is the most dangerous thing I know of: to have a specific word from God that He wants you to do, and then you work it out so you'll do something totally different, and then you expect God to bless you.
You say, "Well, what about people disobey God and they get on and have all kind of blessing"? All kinds, you named it. It looks like it's good, but it's not. And watch this, you don't know how miserable people are. And people go to work every day, put on a smile. Soon's they get out of work, they have a frown and a hurt and a pain, so they drive by to get something that cut off some of the pain and they just get deeper and deeper and worse and worse. And what's David praying? God, bless my house.
So, think about it. The Holy Spirit is there to help us do every single thing God wants us to do. Now, think about that. Somebody says, "Well, I can't live a Christian life". Join the crowd. None of us can apart from the Holy Spirit. We'll all make mistakes, we all sin against God at times. We'll all violate something that we know is not right, not right for us at times in our life. And God's willing to forgive. But if we violate it, He says if we do what?
Watch this carefully, you can't change this. People don't believe it. We reap what we sow, more than we sow, later than we sow, and there are consequences when we do. There's a principle of God. The world doesn't believe that, but look around. Life proves it. People don't believe it. We reap what we sow. And think about how absolute that is. Go to the corn field. Do you have beans? No, you got corn. Everything God says is absolutely the truth, unquestionable truth. Whether I believe it or not or understand it or NOT's not an issue, necessarily, for you.
But we disobey God and then we think, "Well, oh", watch this, "oh, God understands". How many times I've heard that? "God understands. Well, I know He called me, but I know He wants me to do that, but I can't do that because" No. What you're saying is God made a mistake. What you're implying is that God doesn't know what He's doing. Whatever God calls us to do, He throws heaven and earth behind it to get it done. That's who He is. Whatever He requires of you, He assumes full responsibility to help you get it done.
Now, halfway through it, if you decide, "No, I can't do that", then you suffer the consequences of total disobedience to God. What I want you to see is this: make the wisest decision you could possibly make. I'm going to be obedient to God no matter what. I know I may fail at times. I may not understand. I'm going to obey God as best I know no matter what. You'll have the best year of your life up to this point. We reap what we sow, more than we sow, later than we sow.
The vast majority of people in the world don't believe that, vast host of Americans don't believe it. And a lot of people who go to church don't believe it. We reap what we sow, more than we sow, later than we sow. You say, "Well, that's a warning"? It is a warning, but praise God, it's a blessing. If I reap what I sow, let's get on right side of that, then I'm going to sow the right language, sow the right morals. I'm going to sow the right work ethic. In other words, it's up to us. God is behind every person, helping who is willing to be obedient to Him. That's who this God is. That is, He's provided the best, given us the avenue for the best, given us His guidebook for the best, and He's, listen, you know what's behind these promises? God has the best for His children.
So, as you sit, you are deciding. You're deciding right now: do I want God's best? What is that going to cost me? Why don't you say, "How is that going to bless me"? You see, oftentimes people think, "Well, what is God going to require of me if I do thus and so"? Why don't you say, "What is this awesome God of ours got in mind for me if I obey Him? What does He have in mind"? In other words, God expects, watch this, He expects us to expect the best, watch this, because He is the best. Because God is the best, He has the right to expect the best of us and He has the right to expect us to expect the best.
That's not the way most people are living, it's a choice we make. What I want you to see, how simple this is. Then, to protect us. Does that mean you'll never have any problems? No. Does it mean no suffering and no hurt and no pain? Doesn't mean that. But here's what it does mean: in the midst of my suffering, heartache, disappointments, pain, and all the rest; Holy God is there to see me through it and to walk with me through it because God is head of my house.
And so, think about this: this Holy God will turn every bad circumstance into something good if we're walking in His will. Sometimes that's hard to see, and there are people who turn away from God because they don't understand why He's allowed certain things to happen in their life. Watch this carefully, do you believe God's omniscient, knows all; omnipotent, has all power; omnipresent, is always there wherever you are? Do you think He makes any mistakes? No. If He does something I don't understand, what do I do?
I recognize that He is Almighty God, Sovereign God who knows what's best. I may not be able to see it. I look down the future. It doesn't look like it fits at all, but I know in my heart He makes no mistakes. He's the only One who makes no mistakes, and He's an awesome God who wants the best for us. He protects us and He forgives us. Think about this, think about how many sins He's forgiven you for. Don't you think God deserves something?
You think about what He's forgiven us all for, things we've forgotten that have not been right, maybe, in our life. Willing to forgive, and whatever God forgives, He does not throw back at us. If He forgives it, it's gone and forgotten. If we confess our sins, that means I agree with Him about them. If we confess our sins, listen to this, faithful. If I should ask you: do you believe God is faithful? What would you say? Yes, He's faithful. That is always the same. There's no change in Him.
And so, we know that He's a faithful God. And all of His promises will come to pass. And He's a God who has proven over and over and over again to forgive us. Think about this. Before God ever saved you and me, He could see this long list of sins that we were going to commit. He didn't say, "That's hopeless". He didn't say that. But He looked at the cross and He said, "I'm going to forgive him, I'm gonna forgive her for every single one of them because they're My children. I'm going to bless them. As long as they'll just obey Me, I have the best for them".
You see, the truth is all of us are where we are as a result of decisions we've made, how much we've trusted God, how much we've doubted Him. He's provided the best for us. He loves us unconditionally. Think about this. Think about this, nobody in the whole wide world can promise to love you unconditionally. They may say it. Only God can love us unconditionally. That means no matter what, His love is always there. And we can look at the cross and see that. And then think about this: He's secured for us eternity. We're saved for all eternity. "For God so loved the world that He gave His only Begotten Son, that whosoever believes in Him, should not perish but have everlasting life". And there are many other verses.
Now, let me run down them quickly. Listen to it, here's what He's promised us. He promised to walk with us, guide us, listen to us, encourage us, empower us, provide for us, protect us, forgive us, love us, and secure us eternally. Can you beat that? No, that's right. Say it a little louder. No. You can't, think about this. Walk with us, guide us, listen, encourage us, empower us, provide for us, protect us, forgive us, love us, and secure us eternally. Wow! Ten awesome promises of Almighty God. Why would anybody not want to follow Him? Why would anybody not want to surrender their life to Him? Why would anybody want to live a life in this world without Him?
One more time. Promise to walk with us, guide us, listen to us, encourage us, empower us, provide for us, protect us, forgive us, love us, secure us. Have I missed anything? That's the God you and I serve. So, I want to challenge you to take this message home with you. Get by yourself and ask God to speak to you about it. I wouldn't tell you what to emphasize. Lord, here's what You've said You've done for us, all ten of these. And you're doing them all the time. Show me what You want to say to me, Lord.
And somewhere in that ten, you're going to find yourself saying, "Lord, mmm, I wasn't sure about that, but now I am". What I want you to see is this: this loving God, all-knowing, all-forgiving, loving God, loves us with a love that's eternal, unfading, never-ending, so strong, so powerful, that He's willing to forgive all of our sins. And when we die, they can say of us, "Absent from the body, present with the Lord". Amen? Now, you may be listening or watching and thinking, "Well, I don't know whether that works or not". You know how you'll find out? Try it.
Listen, there's no disappointment in Jesus, none whatsoever. And I challenge you wherever you are, whatever you're doing, to stop when this message is over and ask God, "Lord, speak to my heart. Show me if I've heard the truth. Work in my life, Lord". And if you're not saved, first step is surrender your life to the Lord Jesus Christ and watch Him work. Watch this, then you can pray with David: oh Lord, bless this house. What an awesome change can take place in your life, and I trust that you'll pray that prayer.
Father, we love You and praise You and thank You for Your grace. Love so abounding, so supernatural, so perfectly fitted for each of us. And I pray that somebody, somewhere will stop, confess their sin, surrender their life to You and let You demonstrate how awesome You are in every area of their life. Thank You, Lord God, Lord Jesus, Holy Spirit for giving to us everything we need to become everything You've planned for us, in Jesus's name, amen.