The Seven Habits of a Godly Life – Dr. Charles Stanley

well the title of this message is the seven habits of a godly life you should get every one of them down ask yourself the question are you a godly person so first of all I want to define a couple of things and first of all I want to define what a head it is and a habit is a recurring often unconscious pattern of behavior that is acquired through frequent repetition that's what I have it is something we do over and over and over again the second definition is simply this what is a godly life so what's godly it's a life no longer seeking satisfaction through a sinful lifestyle but is now surrendered to God and His will for your life what is a godly life a life no longer seeking self-satisfaction they're a sinful lifestyle but is now surrendered to God and His will for your life in other words we would call that a sanctified life not perfect doesn't mean you never sin but it means that your life is fully surrendered to him so I want to give you seven habits that every single believer ought to make as a part of their life and the first one is this the habit first habit is a life of prayer and you recall one of my favorite passages very simple in the mark that first chapter when the disciples they didn't never quite get a hold of this but the scripture says in chapter one of Mark verse 35 in the early morning while it was still dark Jesus got up left the house and went away to a secluded place and was praying there Simon and his companions search for him they found him and said to him everybody's looking for you and so that's sort of typical about the way people operate sometime Jesus is doing the most important thing in life and they don't quite get that and them again for example in the fourth chapter of Luke and the 42nd verse when they came Jesus left and went to a secluded place and the crowds were searching for him and came to him and tried to keep him from going away from them and he said to them I must preach the gospel and so forth now when we talk about a life of prayer we're not talking about once in a while we're talking about that every day you sense the need the desire and the joy and the awesome power that comes through pray talking to the father that is it ought to be a habit something that is recurring in your life not just when you get in trouble when you get in need but because you love God because you're grateful for who he is and what he's doing in your life and for example I'm the 11th chapter of Luke the disciples came to Jesus and said now would you would you teach us to pray like him John the Baptist teaches his disciples to pray and so they saw something absolutely different about Jesus praying it wasn't some ritual that people who usually would go through in those days but they could sense that he was talking personally to the Heavenly Father so when I look at these verses and think about it the truth is you can't live a godly life unless you have a prayer life you're not you can't you live in a world we all live in a world of temptation and trials and heartaches and burdens and sin and everywhere you turn there it is you cannot live a godly life I didn't say a life with that innocent but a godly life and we defined what that meant you can't live a godly life unless you have a good prayer life because the prayer life keeps you connected to Almighty God's sensitive to his will and his purpose and his plan for your life you don't pray you won't live a godly life and if you'll think about it it's the most important activity of your life I've been a Christian 73 years and I got started off praying because my mother taught me to pray and taught me how important it was and it would remind me since my father died when I was nine months of age which I've told you it was she and myself and we didn't have much else but the two of us she taught me to pray the trust God not to worry and fret but just just to trust them and watch him work in their life so that's what I've been doing all of these years and the second thing about her praying was and she wouldn't let me lie in the bed and pray she had me to get out on my knees beside her and pray the greatest lesson my mother probably ever taught me and so when I think about how powerful that is in every single area of life and I remember later on I was already finished college and I was in seminary the second year and I remember my place to pray was over the corner of the living room because we only had as I was married then I only had live in a room in a kitchen and a bedroom and so I had to fund me a place to pray well mother had made me an African so that's where I'll stretch that I'm gonna Kona and I'll never forget one evening I don't have an out-of-the exactly when I was praying and this like God said to me whatever you accomplish in life you'll have to accomplish on your knees you can't trust your education you can't trust your abilities and talents and skills whatever you accomplish you'll have to accomplish on your knees that was a great message to me as a young guy because what he was saying is this whatever I do in your life is going to be a result of what you are willing to do in the area of submission to my will giving me time and listening to me how grateful I am for that simple lesson and if you're gonna live a godly life you've got to have a life of prayer secondly the second habit is trust or faith whichever word suits you best and I love that hundred and third song and the 19th or US and the Bible says the Lord has established his throne in the heavens and his sovereignty rules over all so if you'll think about what that verse says if God Almighty has established his throne in the heavens and watch this his sovereignty that is his all-knowing supernatural divine power rules over everything then what does that do that gives me an awesome foundation to believe him knowing that he's in charge it doesn't make a difference what happens how it happens through whom it happens for whatever reason I know that God is in control and I can trust him but whatever he allows in life and I think that's why that verse is so important is because if you don't if you don't trust him if you don't trust him you're not gonna pray and you have to ask yourself the question well where is where is trust in your own spiritual life trust in the Lord with all your heart lean not to your own understanding and all your ways acknowledge him and he'll direct your path and I quote that verse to you very often because it is a basic verse that somebody says well what happens when we don't do that well I think exactly what happens and if you'll turn to the 37th Psalm because people who do not pray in trust the Lord as they should here's what they do in this passage of scripture warns us about it in the 37th Psalm in verse 1 three times in these first nine verses he says what do not fret because of evildoers and he says do not fret because of him who prospers in his way because of the man who carries out wicked schemes and he says we do not fret it only leads to evil doing so have a choice and they can either trust him I'm fret about things now let's be honest how many of you fret about things why should you do we all have fretted about things so remember this a godly life has stepped beyond fretting to trusting in other words you have a choice when you start fretting about something if it's something wait a minute now who's in charge the Bible says God for His sovereignty rules over all therefore therefore if he rules over all why am i fretting I'm fretting because for the moment I'm not believing I'm not trusting I'm not believing that he can handle this situation so three times in that song he says fret not fret not fret not and when you're not trusting what happens it builds intimacy with him and intimacy means that I have a relationship with him I don't have to introduce myself to him an intimate relationship with a person means that that you are close not only to their heart but their thinking the way they think the way they feel an intimate relationship is what every husband and wife thought I have all the days of their life intimate relationship with God is you and he talked together he listens to you you listen to him you obey him he guides you that's an awesome sense of intimacy in a life that trust God and if you want to know whether you're a trusting person or not ask yourself this question what am I worried about if you can't look around say I'm not worried about anything that because you're trusting it whatever you're worried about is God's long awesome thing of saying you're not trusting me at this area of your life a godly life is a life of trust third third habit in this awesome life is the habit of meditation in the Word of God now I don't know how you describe how important this is but the scriptures are there and I want to look at it for just a moment and the psalmist said in this 63rd chapter in the sixth verse listen when I remember you on my bed I meditate on you in the night watches for you've been my help in the shadow of your wings I sing for joy my soul clings to you your right hand upholds me then what does it mean to meditate it means that I read it it means that I think about it I search my heart in the light of what God is saying I ask him whatever questions I have on my mind I surrender whatever he brings to my mind and meditating upon him here's what meditation does meditation is like looking into a mirror but it is also looking beyond the mirror that is I see what God sees and then I see beyond that and I see him your focus is on him and when you begin to focus on God here's what happens worries drift away concerns drift away your mind is no longer contaminated with all kinds of things that do not do you any good at all and and for example at 119th song and 130 third verse listen what he says establish my foot steps in your word do not let any iniquity have dominion over me meditation keeps us fresh and alert and sensitive to whatever God wants to do in our life so ask yourself the question well I let's put it this way do you have a time in your life when just you and the Lord is together by yourself and you have opened his word and you were reading the word and you're asking God to speak to your heart and let me ask you this question what do you think most people do last before they go to bed what do they do and we're not talking about how you dress what would the most people do rightfully go to bed they turn nuttin most people turn off the television right before they go to bed amen it's it's really they turn off the television so what do they do they carry to bed with them all the bad news all the bad movies or all the things that are gone instead of with God they fill their minds with what the world has to say listen if you meditate upon God's Word you are not you know fretting and worry wake up in the middle of the night and churning over this and that and the other for the simple reason your minds full of the world's stuff meditation is an absolutely essential part of living a godly life and where there's no meditation you're not gonna live a godly life you can't you think about when you get up in the morning how much of the world crowds itself into your thinking you have to get dressed of course and breakfast and you got to get in your car and drive down the expressway or somewhere and finally get to work in as soon as you do it's chatta chatta chatta chatta chatta all the day or the keyboards flying all the day in your mind it's all then you've got to get back in your car get back on the highway and and dodge the traffic again all the way home and when you get there you undress inside relax and then there's dinner I can fill up your day and not even know you because that's what we do and so where is God where's where's God's private time with you what leads to a godly life is the time of being alone with him longing for him meditating upon him thinking about him and as I say again the last thing you should do before you go to bed is not watch television listen to this it's listen you can listen to what the you can listen to what these commentators say about the world they don't agree you can listen to the voice of God and you got it right that's the choice you have you do not have to carry the world with you to sleep every night you carry your own anyway and then there's a fourth habit very important one and the one you hear me say all the time obey God and I want to go back to Deuteronomy 27 all the way back in the Old Testament because he makes it so crystal clear in this 27th chapter in the tenth verse God speaking through Moses to his people here's what he said he said you shall therefore obey the Lord your God and do his commandments and his statutes which I command you today and then down the torch after 28 verse 1 now it shall be listen this if you diligently you know what that means consistently diligently obey the Lord your God being careful to do all his commandments which I command you today the Lord your God will set you this has sent you high above all the nations of the earth he was talking about Israel but put yourself in that position when you and I obey God we listen well think about this we're walking on a higher level think of and how the world lives they live with all kinds of evil thoughts and busy busy busy no time for God you have chosen to follow Jesus and the following means you live on a higher level it doesn't mean that you're looking down on other people it just means that you have chosen to live by a standard that's higher than the world standard it doesn't mean that we're better than somebody else but Italy means our lifestyle is better than the lifestyle in the world so ask yourself the question now do I have a habit of really praying and trusting and that is heading upon the Word of God and when I be considered an obedient child of God so I would ask you this question what in your life is the greatest threat to your obedience to God now stop right there what's the greatest threat in your life to your obedience - god what is that temptation that trial or whatever's going on that just threatens your desire are you willing this all you think your capacity to obey God and how many times have you said it and you said as well as I can the wiser way to live is to obey God then leave all the consequences and circumstances to God now I will do that only if I'm have a life of prayer only if I'm trusting only if I'm meditating upon him that's the only way I'm going to do it so these are simple habits that make your life what God wants it to be and listen think about this there's nothing that can keep you from obeying and walking in these seven habits nothing except the choice you make you say you have to you have to cheat you have to choose some things you have to choose to go with them oh my god have this or have God walk this way I have God's Way and so I the reason I said seven habits because there remember we said the habit is are occurring off an unconscious pattern of behavior that's acquired through frequent repetition something that you not do continuously now each thing I've mentioned so far you can do the reason you do not do it is because you don't think it's important now watch that the reason we don't do things of absolutely sacred godly awesome life-changing lifting habits is because we've decided to choose the world's way and no matter who you are how gifted you are or how much money you have how wise you think you are how much education you have you cannot live a godly life the best life without practicing these seven habits now what is the fifth one this earth habit is dependence upon the Holy Spirit and somebody says well what does that mean it means that I surrender my life listen to the indwelling presence of the Holy Spirit and I remember what Jesus said to his disciples he said sit down wait in Jerusalem until you be endued that is until the Holy Spirit comes into your life and when he does then you'll be ready to do of what I have called you to do so I've given you some some scriptures here some of them are familiar to you maybe simple or not but in Ephesians chapter 5 you remember what the scripture says in this particular passage and let's look at verse 18 the scripture says do not get drunk with wine for that is dissipation of waste but be filled with the spirit now if I took a quart sized jar and set it up here and I had it half full of water you would say well it's only half full it would only be full when it's up to the top brimming complete when he says be that that a Greek verb says be ye being filled which means it's a continuous thing in the morning when you two get up amidst your prayer before you if when you're meditating before you even get out of the bed you should say Lord I just want you to fill me with your spirit today now here's what that means jesus said to his disciples in Luke before you do what I told you to do wait in the city of Jerusalem until you be endued until the Holy Spirit has come upon you to enter well you for the simple reason you are not equipped to do what I've called you to do apart from the indwelling presence of the Holy Spirit who will empower you he will empower you teach you how give you guidance and direction to do what I've called you to do now most people don't have any idea who the Holy Spirit is you are as a follower of Jesus as a believer of Christ you've trusted him for your salvation you are now already into wealth by the third person of the Trinity who is the holy spirit he's dwelling within you or why is he there listen to what Jesus said to his disciples he said sit down in Jerusalem until you're ready you're not ready you're not ready till the Holy Spirit comes upon you the truth is you and I are not ready each day of our life to live out a life apart from the indwelling presence of the Holy Spirit that is the third person of the Trinity who listen who indwells each one of us and if you if you look at these verses Ephesians look at Ephesians chapter one in him you also after listening to the message of truth the gospel of your salvation having also believed you were sealed in Christ in him with the Holy Spirit of promise that is one of his works the one of the works of the Holy Spirit is this seal that is when you got saved you were sealed the Holy Spirit seals you as a child of God and the scripture also says that you had that you are sealed that 4th chapter 30 verse you are sealed unto the day of redemption that is your seal to the day God calls you home forever so that when you and I choose to disobey God we choose the sin against the Holy Spirit who is within us and whom God sent into our life to enable us to become to be to do to accomplish whatever he has in life so you you're never alone you're a yearand dwelt by God the Holy Spirit who was there to enable you help you encourage you strengthen you heal you you name it he's there because we need a God in our life and he knew we would and so what you have to ask is this are you depending on the Holy Spirit to help you do what God wants you to do or you for example they use sense that you sort of live in your life and it's the world against you or you again and many people feel that away they feel like that a lot more Christian but but and they name all these things that are tough in life you have God living within you ready to release in and through you that which you need at the moment to have whatever God has in mind and listen otherwise how can you live within the peace peace isn't something we conjure up peace is the awesome gift of God so when you're not waking in the mornings our first thoughts ought to be about him and this is why it's that habits something that happens continually and amidst what we would think in early morning we thank God we have the Holy Spirit to guide us and lead us and pointers the right direction and put it this way you're in the midst of doing whatever you're doing you get a phone call or some interruption and something you think and you have a decision to make first thing you should think is god you got me show me what to do help me to know you will in this situation you have the answerer the Holy Spirit living within you they give you clear direction in your life at any moment you need their direction and also to empower you or to give you the courage and the faith to do what you need to do God doesn't leave us alone to live it out he gives us whatever we need to do whatever he's call us to do at any point in our life at any time if we trust him if you see this is what I'm saying these are seven habits this becomes so much a part of your life you don't even have to think about they know it's just the way you live it's who you are these are the habits of your life their life changing habits they are godly habits that enable you to live the kind of life that you really and truly want to live and then of course there's the sixth son and that's giving to God unto others and in the sixth chapter of Luke which is a very very familiar chapter you remember what he says give and it should be given to you good measure he says listen they will pour into your lap a good measure pressed down shaken together running over for by your standard of measure it will be measured to you in return I'm not thinking about giving to God my favourite example of that is I was thinking about this last night my first Sunday school teacher was this naturally I was probably three or four years old somewhere that balanced because I started school at five which was too early nobody ever caught up and and and then but I went to Sunday school every Sunday and I remember all the chairs with different colors green red yellow blue and so forth and then the Sunday school teacher was this I don't know how told she was but she looks like she's about ten feet tall to me got sitting down she had black hair sweet and wonderful lady and they came around to take the offering and I remember my mother would always give me a few pennies to drop in oh yeah she would never let me go without having something to give so before I could count my mother taught me to give to God so when I got my first job which was a paper route I made four dollars a week well I was grateful to God I thought I can't get God change I gave him a dollar but just when a person I never thought about that I just don't know what did God yet then after that I had to pay friend I made sixteen dollars a week and so I gave God more than tithe don't let and then all of my life I've never just served never for the simple reason I learned very early in life you cannot outgive God and watch this secondly you can't even predict what you're going to need and if you can't predict what you're going to need how you gonna manage all of it so we give to God and trust him to do exactly promise to do and so I give you this simple example that many of you heard before because it's one that's so impressed my life under the Lord helmet of reach it's finished in high school I want to go to college no money I had 75 dollars to my name and I told my friend one night standing on a street corner that I I felt like God was calling me to preach now I needed to go to school I didn't have any money and so we were standing there talking and by the sovereign power of Almighty God the pastor of the church came walking by this is in the evening we're standing on a street corner then those days we didn't have TV so you sort of met on a street corner and talked and so he said to miss a Maquis I was thinking I'll be just a moment he said Charles's he believes God's calling the priest he wants to go to school but he doesn't have any money you think you can help him so he said to me he said well Joe come by and see me and let's just talk when but I see him in a couple of weeks sat down told him my heart about what God was doing and in a few short weeks I had a letter giving me a four-year scholarship with all my expenses paid to go to college now that began that didn't begin with my four dollars in the paper route that began with when my mother taught me to give to God so I never questioned the matter given to God when you obey God that becomes a habit of your life you will never be in need any further than God is using that need to do something in your life so you have to ask you something question is that the young will be one of the habits in your life and the vowel says that God loves the cheerful Giver so if he loves the cheerful Giver what about those who what about those who are stingy who don't give God God tell you you know I'll tell you why God's not pleased forgets just what it says I can't deal without him I'll handle it I can manage I don't need God to manage my money think about how foolish that is your money could burn up overnight the situation can be that you'd lose it all overnight you have nothing but listen to skip it you will never be in the situation where you don't have anything because you have God living within you and everything you need God has promised to provide and awesome have it in their life then I would give you the 7th a habit and that is very important one and that is the habit of forgiving other people and the scripture one of the very clear scriptures in Ephesians chapter 4 and that we've all read it many times before but it's the truth and we read it again and again and again and the scripture says listen be angry yet do not sin do not let the Sun go down on your anger do not give the devil an opportunity very very important passage and then he says don't greet in verse 30 don't grieve the Holy Spirit of God by whom you were sealed that the day of redemption then he says in verse 31 let all bitterness and wrath and anger and clamor and slander be put away from you along with all malice be kind one to another tender-hearted forgiving each other just as God in Christ has also forgiven you it's not always easy no it's difficult sometimes to be forgiving to people who have done certain things to you and I think one of the worst situations is when you've been betrayed when you have trusted really trusted somebody done your best to help them in lots of ways and then they betray you they they do what would be the last thing you'd think that they were doing your life and yet we have to be forgiving and think about Judas of all the people who ever lived who had a great opportunity who blew it he was a traitor to the Son of God he betrayed him he lived as if he were one of them he lived as if he were a true genuine disciple and he betrayed the son of God betrayals are still out there and yet we have to be willing to forgive and the trust guard to take care of that no matter what happens so if I love the Lord I will forgive no matter what now here are 7 habits listen carefully I could have done this in a lot of different ways but I want you to see every verse and they get all seven habits down so that every single person in here fully understands the seven habits about which you live a gun in life a life that will be blessed over and over and over again in many many different ways but it's a it's a choice you make and I would suggest that you make a choice right now we're gonna pray in a second and in this prayer I'm gonna pray that you'll be wise enough and say to God Lord I want these seven habits in my life and I will begin today working them into my life it's a working process into your life will you let would you live up to all of them every day no but here's what you do you ask God to forgive you show me why tripped up on that one Lord and I just reaffirm my desire to be forgiving to others or whatever it might be Lord I was too busy this morning I got up and ran off forgive me for not stopping to meditate upon your word to surrender my life to you yields myself to you made a mistake god I don't wanna do that again you don't think God would correct you yes you will he will correct you he'll give you enough trouble one morning after you get up and ignore him that she won't forget it listen you know what is because He loves us thinking about there's a whole Bible full of truth but I believe those seven habits absolutely will transform your life and lead you to be able to accomplish in life more than your heart could ever desire now if you here this morning you're not a Christian you're not saved you never trust the Jesus as your Savior I understand this is probably beyond you but let me say this you'll never understand I'll be able to enjoy life at its best until you surrender your life to Christ because you can't ever lose surrendering to Jesus never you say what I have to do you ask the Lord to forgive you of your sin not because you deserve it but because Jesus went to the cross died on the cross shed his blood for you paid your sin debt in full the Bible says and therefore when you ask God to forgive you because of what he has done for you he paid your debt God forgives you and makes you a child of God then you begin the practice of these seven habits what an awesome life you have before you and I trust that you'll do it following love iane praise you and thank you for the word of God from Genesis 1:1 to the last verse of the Malaysia and this morning we're praying that you'll give us wisdom to recognize there were these seven habits everything else will fall in place then we will open the door to the best of your blessings and I pray for somebody here today who is unsaved you've never trusted you as their Savior that they would be willing to ask you to forgive them of their sins believe that Jesus went to the cross and paid our sin debt in full and by trusting his death at Calvary the shedding of his blood that confession and repentance brings forth salvation and following salvation we would develop these seven awesome life transforming habits in our life and lord I pray that for all of us today and that somebody seated here and is not saved would be willing to ask you to forgive them and they cleanse their heart and surrender their life to you right now and we thank you for it in Jesus name Amen [Music]