When Faith Gives Way To Fear – Dr. Charles Stanley

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When Faith Gives Way To Fear – Dr. Charles Stanley

Even when we’re led astray by fears and temptations, God knows how to get us back on track. Dr. Stanley examines a time when Abraham lost sight of God’s promise and took things into his own hands. From this story, we can learn why trusting God is always the best option.

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Next on in touch when faith gives way to fear.
Have you ever felt god told you to do something and you started out that way, and then somewhere along the way, you either got discouraged, something happened, and you decided you would do it some other way.
And you realized shortly thereafter, you may have made a wrong turn.
That maybe you decided to do it another way because it looked easier, because your future looked difficult, because that’s not exactly what you wanted in life.
And so what happens? You probably didn’t stop to ask yourself the question why would I change routes that God has given me?
And I think one of the primary reasons is that our faith gives away to our fears.
And that’s what I want to talk about in this message.
When our faith gives way to our fears, When that happens, we lose. When that happens, we disobey god.
When that happens, we oftentimes never get back to where god intended for us to be.
So a perfect example of that is in Genesis chapter 12, and I want you to turn that if you will, then we’ll talk about what it says.
And, uh, Genesis chapter 12 beginning in verse, uh, 10.
Now, while you have it there, let’s go back to the first few verses of 12 and remember what God said, is his unconditional promise to Abraham.
Now, the lord said Abraham go forth from your country, from your relatives from your father’s house to the land which I’ll show you.
Here’s the 7th full unconditional promise God made Abraham.
I’ll make you a great nation I will bless you, I will 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 then you, all the families of the earth will be blessed, period.
Did you see any if hands and buts in that? No, that’s an unconditional promise of god.
If it’s unconditional, that means that nothing is gonna alter it.
So Abraham in the 7th and 8th verse, he’s on his way to Kanan.
Out of there are the counties.
That is he’s come up north and round heading toward, uh, canon, and The scripture says the lord appeared to Abraham and said, to your descendants, I will give this land.
So he built an altar there to the lord who would appear to him.
Then he proceeded from there to the mountain on the east of Bethel and pitched his tent with Bethel on the west and ai on the east and there he built an altar to the lord and called upon the name of the lord.
So twice, here’s what he does.
When he stops and prays, that means He not only is honoring god, but he’s claiming that land.
He’s claiming a land that god said he was gonna give him.
And then if you’ll notice in verse 9, Abraham journeyed on continually toward the negative that he’s going south now.
Now, there was a famine in the land, so Abraham went down to Egypt the soldier in there for the famine was severe in the land.
It came about when he came near to Egypt, that he said to Sarah, his wife.
See now, I know that you’re a beautiful woman.
And when the Egyptians see you, they will say, this is his wife, and they will kill me, but they will let you live.
Please say that you and my sister so that it may go well with me because of you.
And that I may live on account of you.
Too bad for you, but I may live on account of you.
It came about when Abraham came into Egypt Egyptians so that the woman was very beautiful.
Ferro’s officials saw her and praised her to Ferro, and the woman was taken into Ferro’s house.
Therefore, he treated Abraham well for her sake and gave him sheep, oxen, donkeys, male, and female servants and female, donkeys, and camels.
That is the swapped off this beautiful woman for oxen, donkeys, camels, and sheep.
Now, today, that would be, uh, a Mercedes of Bentley and a Rolls Royce.
And to be something.
Let the lord struck pharaoh in his house with great plagues, because of Sarah Abraham’s wife.
Then pharaoh called Abraham and said, what is this that you’ve done to me?
Why did you not tell me that she was your wife?
Why did you say she’s my sister so that I took her for my wife?
Now then here’s your wife, take her and go.
Farrell commanded his men concerning him, and they escorted him away, and his wife, and all that belonged to him.
He said, well, what’s that got to do with me today? A whole lot.
So listen carefully, because the theme of this is simply this.
When faith gives way and you start becoming fearful of doing the will of god.
The first thing I would say is simply this, and that is when that happens, It’s because our focus has moved from god through our circumstances.
Remember that twice, he built an altar claimed that land for the lord, moved on to Canaan, which is promised of almighty god, and the scripture says that he moved there and naturally, he would build altars there.
And, um, when he got there, he got surprised. There was a famine in the land.
He started out with faith, but when circumstances changed, he had a change of mind and change of heart.
He built an altar twice And so, uh, thinking about this, god’s never caught by surprises of god knew that there’s going to be a famine He knew before Abraham ever started that Abraham was gonna walk into a big situation that was gonna demand him to trust the lord.
And so, uh, I think of that when I look at that, we reason obeying god to say, yes, lord.
Yes, lord. And then when things don’t turn out the way we expect them to, our yes, lord, yes, lord is, maybe, lord, maybe, lord, no lord, no lord.
So what happens is our focus moves from god to the circumstances.
Whenever we allow that to happen, we’re gonna get in trouble. Second stance is always changing.
Our focus has to stay on who god is, what he promised. He always keep his promise.
So what he did took his eyes off god, forgot forgot all about these two times he built altars before the lord had worshiped him.
Then when things are not going so well, he chooses to go by reason.
Reason is there’s food in Egypt there is a famine in the canine, and so he moves now opposite direction.
So here’s the truth, and it’s full of truth. I want you to get him.
And that is because my circumstances change does not mean that I should change.
If god shows you his will on a certain thing and tells you to do he and his first to walk in it.
So remember this, when we step out of the will of god, the plan of god, the purpose of god, the word of god, we’re gonna get in trouble.
Secondly, faith gives way to fear when we begin making decisions based on human reasoning rather than on faith in god.
And that’s what he did. Human reason said, there’s a famine in the land.
I don’t want my family to starve and I lose all my servants and my cattle and all the rest.
And so based on human reason, he did what human reason would tell him to do, just find out where is the food and go there.
That’s not what god said. That promise of god was a 7th row unconditional promise.
But it was a reasonable thing to do.
We had a big family with all of his servants and everything, uh, cattle and so forth.
And so here’s what he reasoned. He reasoned was Now, he’s forgetting what god said.
He reasoned well, I go down to Egypt for a verse short period of time, and I’ll get enough food, and we’ll just come on back and do what you gotta tell us to do.
Listen. The reasonable thing to do is not always the right thing.
The third point I want you to get is this.
When we forget that god is both provider and protector, we take things in our own hands.
And what should he have done, he should have gotten on his knees or, as we would say, or built another altar right there in Acana where the uh, food was so scarce and everything and looking bad and got on his knees and said, yad, here’s what you told me to do.
Here’s the promise you made me. Now, lord, look at this mess. Uh, lord, we we don’t have enough food.
Now, god, you’re my provider, you’re my protector. What what am I to do?
God is never at a loss as to what to do.
He should have stayed right where he was and trusted god even in the famine to provide for him, but he didn’t do that.
He did what human reasons said to do because he forgot that god was his provider as well as his protector.
And we we do the same thing.
We look around, look at our circumstances and say, well, I know that’s what god said, but And this always gets us in trouble.
When we make a substitute for the word of god, the will of god, the plan of god, we get in trouble.
Well, here’s what I’m gonna do. Is that what god said? No, but, uh, what god said won’t work.
Listen carefully. God doesn’t make any mistakes. There’s no such thing as what god says won’t work.
They won’t work if you’re living in sin and choose to disobey god, But whatever god calls us to do, god will see to it, they works out.
But here’s what he did. He just looked around and said, you know, things look real bad here, and I don’t want to lose all my servants and all my cattle and all my things So the question is what should he have done?
He should have trusted God and knowing and remembering 7 full unconditional promise, not if there’s a famine or if if I’m attacked or if this, god said, here’s what I’m gonna do.
And so he decided to look around and ask himself the question. Um, what should I do?
What can I do at this point?
And what happens is this, when god tells us to do something and we start looking to see what we can do, we get in trouble.
We’ll always come up Well, I can’t this and I can’t that and I can’t the other.
Forgetting the fact that sometimes god withholds withdrawals or puts us in a place where we are absolutely totally dependent upon him, not realizing that he wants to teach us something.
That he wants to he wanted to teach Abraham.
I made you a promise that I provide for you, protect you, no matter what unconditionally, that’s my word, And instead of believing that, he forgot what god said, or he looked at his circumstances and said, this is not gonna work.
And he probably said, I am sure God understands. Have you ever said that?
I know God will understand, though he’s going to stick with the best.
And so, uh, he should just stop right there, made himself an oath and said, god, I’ve come this far.
What do you want me to do next? He forgot that god was the provider.
God is the one who called him. God is the one who made this awesome promise.
God is the one who had taken care of him so far.
God is the one who’ve given him servants, his beautiful wife, everything.
And now, because circumstances are not very good, He decides to take a step. Watch this.
You take one wrong step. You have told him to take a second wrong step. And the 3rd wrong step.
Obedience is doing what god says do when he says do it, how he says do it.
And if we don’t What happens is we pay the penalty. And so this is what he did.
So, uh, instead of trusting god for everything he needed, He decided he’d do it his way.
And, um, I think here’s a good example is when we’re willing to sacrifice utmost precious possessions in order to gain the favor of others, we get in trouble.
Now watch what happens. His fear led him into Egypt out of the will of god.
Now he’s facing something even greater because he said to her, I know you’re a beautiful woman.
He said it a couple of times and she must have been a beautiful woman and I know if we go into Egypt uh what we’re gonna face And because that was the way pharaohs and the way kings often did, they just took what they wanted, who they wanted.
And so, He’s heading in the wrong direction.
Listen, when you take a step in the wrong direction, step number 2 is easier.
Step number 3 is easier.
That’s why god wants us to walk in his will and trusted that he’ll do what he promised to do.
And so, He said to her, I know that you’re a beautiful woman and so I want you to go back to verse 12 for a moment in that 12th chapter.
Now when the Egyptians see you, they will say this is his wife and they’ll kill me. Watch this.
You’re talking about selfishness? Let’s say, look at this.
When Egyptians see you, they gonna say, this is his wife, and they’ll kill me, but they will let you live.
That’s what they’re gonna think.
Please say that you and my sister so that it may be well with me because of you and that I may live on account of you.
Who is he talking about? He’s thinking about himself.
I’m willing to give you up to save my life.
Now he doesn’t think about what’s going to happen after that.
He doesn’t think about what’s what really is going to happen.
He’s just saying, I’ll give you up in order to save my own neck.
And so what happens, he gets down there, and, uh, the 5th point I wanted to make is this, when we forget the unconditional promises of god and begin to fear man, something happens.
We’re in trouble. Now I’m not saying that god makes you an unconditional promise every day in your life that there are unconditional promises in the word of god But after you’ve trusted Jesus Christ for a season of time, you shouldn’t realize that he is going to keep his promise.
And god made such a big deal out of this with Abraham.
He gave him all those promises and with no exceptions. Here’s what I’m going to do in your life period.
And now he is an agent where he should not be.
And remember this, when you go where you shouldn’t be, you’re gonna do something you shouldn’t do, and you’re gonna feel something you shouldn’t feel, and you’re gonna pay a price, you don’t wanna pay.
And so now he stepped out of god’s will.
He’s in Egypt, and now he’s preparing how am I going to work this thing out, and the only thing he can figure out is to be willing to sacrifice his beautiful wife.
That’s what he said, she was beautiful. And when, uh, pharaoh’s servants saw, they said she was beautiful.
So pharaoh, uh, he, he took her his she, he must have thought she is beautiful.
I’m gonna sacrifice my beautiful wife to save my own neck.
And, uh, when you think about that and think about how that fits in god’s plan, it doesn’t fit.
This is why and you’ll hear me talk about this often.
Here’s why we talk about the will of god. The will of god is the plan of god.
It’s the message of god. It’s a direction of god.
And god wants us to trust him and to obey him.
And we can stand up in church and just sing trust them.
No, they didn’t walk right out and disobey god.
And so God had given him this awesome promise, and now he’s in a situation where he knows what’s going to happen because that was their custom.
Fair would take anybody he wanted as much as he wanted. And so he took Iran.
Now taking Iran doesn’t mean that he just sat on a platform somewhere.
He treated it like his wife.
And so, uh, when when we forget god’s unconditional promises, uh, we we begin to fear our circumstances.
We get ourselves in trouble. And this is such a perfect example of that.
Faith gives faith to fear when we make decisions that are ungodly decisions that are contradiction to god’s will.
He, he said, you have to go to can.
He didn’t say you didn’t have a bypass and go to Egypt.
He didn’t say unless there’s a unless there is a famine in can.
He said, I’m sending you I’m sending you to Canon. That’s that’s where my people are gonna up.
And he only listened as long as he was comfortable.
And so here he is now, and he’s facing a situation that he knows is gonna be very difficult.
The only way he’ll be able to survive this, he knows, is to give up this beautiful wife, because that’s just the way it was in those days.
If Ferro said, I won’t something. He got it. There was no question.
So the 6th point I want you to jot down is when we’re willing to cause others pain and great harm in order to protect ourselves.
When we do, we’re gonna face difficult in hardship.
And what happens is when faith gives way to fear, that’s our response.
When we stop trusting god and start fearing circumstances, we’re willing to cause others pain and great harm in order to protect ourselves.
Now he said they will kill me and let you live.
So if you say you’re my sister, I’ll be treated well, and my life will be spared because of you.
Period. Then what?
Then you live with favor of the rest of your life and I go on to where I’m down here in Egypt where I shouldn’t be.
So if you say you and my sister, I’ll be treated well.
My life will be spared because of you. And so think about this.
Whenever you want to do something wrong, you can usually find a pretty good reason for doing it.
Right? If you wanna do something wrong, you can find a pretty good reason for doing it.
He knew that was wrong, and he was willing to give her up.
And this is what he was doing.
He was, you see, what happened was he made a decision when he got to Canon.
It wasn’t what he expected. So, he turned to what he thought was his honor resource, which was Egypt.
It wasn’t god’s plan. He made a choice based on human reasoning, I can’t stay here and starve to death, and I can turn and go to Egypt stay there for a little while till things are better up here, then I’ll come back.
When you step out of the will of God, your next plan’s never assured.
You step out of the will of god. It does make sense. What’s your next plan is?
If you’re out of the will of god, you can’t bet on the next step unless you’re turn turning around with the god.
And all he was saying is, it’ll save me. So what happens?
The scripture says, but the lord struck pharaoh and his house with the great plagues, not just one plural plagues.
Because of Sarah, Abraham’s wife. Then one thing you’ll give old Ferro, he is wise enough to catch on.
Then Ferro called Abraham and said, What is this you’ve done to me?
Why did you not tell me she was your wife?
Why did you say she is my sister so that I took her to be my wife.
Now, then here is your wife. Take care and get going.
Farrow commanded his men concerning him, and they escorted him away and his wife, and all that belonged to him.
Listen, when god says I’m gonna do something, he’s gonna do it. So what does he do?
He sends a play strong enough, to turn the pharaoh upside down in this whole kingdom, take this woman and get out of here and and don’t come back.
And all of this simply says, when faith gives way to fears, we get in ultimate trouble.
Did you get that? When faith gives winter fears, here’s the process. Here’s what happens.
And naturally, god preserved Sarah, she had a son you trace all the way to Jesus.
You know what he said? Listen, this, and I love how God sent it.
I’m gonna make you a I’m gonna make you a great nation I’m not gonna make you a great man.
I’m gonna make you a great nation. Who is what what nation is it?
Israel, Jews, I’m gonna bless you and make you a name great, and we’re still talking about him.
So you’re gonna be a blessing, and he was, and I’ll bless those who bless you, the one who curses you all curse.
And in you, all the families of the earth will be blessed. That includes all of us.
Now, god kept his word, but the lesson is real simple.
And that is when my faith gives way to my fears, I’m going to make a mess of things no matter what.
Don’t forget this lesson.
When your faith gives a way to fear so that you step out of the will of god for fear of whatever it might be, all you’re doing is getting in deeper trouble.
You’re stepping off from 2 feet of water into 20 feet of water.
You can’t swim. That’s a great story because it’s a great warning.
Then we step out of the will of god.
We step out of the will of god because we don’t believe god.
Listen to what he said, I’m gonna make you a great nation.
I’m gonna bless you, not in trap of you, make your name great.
You’ll be a blessing. I’m gonna bless those who bless you curse those who curse you.
That would have included pharaoh. And in you, all the families of the earth will be blessed.
Yard’s unconditional promise but when my faith moves from my trust in the word of god to what I can do, what seems better, what’s the most profitable thing, the most acceptable thing that I’m in trouble.
So when you go home this afternoon, maybe tonight, you get on your knees to pray, however you pray, maybe you ought to ask the lord, lord, Am I where I ought to be?
Am I spiritually over here in Asia when I ought to be in Canaan, obeying you, walking in your will, walking in your way, answering your will for my life.
It’s either gonna be trusting him or making a mistake in life.
And you know what I wish I could sit down with every teenager and say, listen, Listen here, if you don’t ever hear anything else, listen to this.
This is a divine pattern. If you sacrifice anything for sin, you’re in trouble.
Amen? Father, we thank you for this story. Thank you for this truth.
Thank you for this warning, and I pray that you will sink this into the mind and heart of every person that hears in this room and around the world.
It doesn’t make any difference who, where, when, what. The principle never changes.
Then when we step out of your will, we are going to find ourselves in fear.
It may be even tragedy.
I pray that if there’s somebody here today who’s never trusted you as their savior, give them wisdom God, to ask you to forgive them of their sin, ask you to help them overcome their past.
Surrender that life to you without any question and begin living a godly life.
I pray this in Jesus’ name.

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