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The Flip-Side of Futility, Part 1

Destined for Victory / Pastor Paul Sheppard
The Truth Network Radio
May 7, 2021 8:00 am

The Flip-Side of Futility, Part 1

Destined for Victory / Pastor Paul Sheppard

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May 7, 2021 8:00 am

How Christ uses our times of frustration for His purposes; learning to trust Christ rather than our own abilities.

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God needs you to stop and pay attention to his activity in your life. He is at work, but do you see it?

Do you notice it? Are you taking the time to say, wait a minute God, what exactly are you up to here? Some of us are busy and the busyness is not serving God's purpose in our lives. Hello and welcome to this Friday edition of Destined for Victory. Wherever you are and however you may be listening, thanks for making this part of your day. Don't just do something, stand there. Now that sounds backwards, but on today's broadcast, Pastor Paul Sheppard reminds us that sometimes we can get more things done when we stop trying so hard to get things done. As you follow along, you'll be encouraged to learn how to pause, to reflect, to listen. So stay with us here or listen on demand on your schedule at That's Now let's join Pastor Paul for today's Destined for Victory message, The Flipside of Futility.

God wants you to stop and reflect on what he's doing in your life. How many know that you are not going to be financially secure by accident? That you are not going to just, I don't know, all my bills just paid and my retirement's being set up and the savings is, you know, they say you ought to have at least three months of living expenses in the bank and it's just, I just pulled up the statement and there it was.

How many know that doesn't happen? The only way you get financially liquid and then get your act together is it takes time and planning and discipline and saying no to the impulses and making sacrifices and practicing delayed gratification, all the stuff you don't want to do. But that's what it takes. How many know you don't advance in your career by accident? You do it because you are purposeful, you are diligent, you are productive on your job, you do what you need to do, you are learning, you're not just in school but you're actually learning something. And as a result of being purposeful, you can enjoy a measure of success.

Well guess what? As it is in the natural, so it is in the spiritual. When it comes to spiritual things in your life, God needs you to stop and pay attention to his activity in your life. He is at work but do you see it?

Do you notice it? Are you taking the time to say wait a minute God, what exactly are you up to here? And I want to say some of us are busy and the busyness is not serving God's purpose in our lives because in order to see what he's doing in this season in your life, you've got to say like Moses, let me go aside. Let me go over here and see this strange sight. Let me take some time and reflect. Let me take some time and notice and think and ask myself questions and ask God questions.

Why is this bush not burning up? Look at verse four. When the Lord saw that he had gone over to look, see that's what he's waiting for. When the Lord saw that he had Moses' attention, do you know God doesn't typically thunder in our lives?

He typically whispers. And if you're too busy, there's too much noise, there's too much unproductive activity, there are too many fillers that aren't being fruitful in your life, too many things that you're just filling up your time and your mental and emotional space with, you can miss God. Because God doesn't like to break in on us.

He can, he's God. But when you look at his movements in the lives of people throughout the pages of scripture, God typically doesn't just grab somebody in the midst of their busyness and shake them. And so sometimes God is speaking and we're not listening.

We have the music in our lives up too loud to hear him. And this verse tells you, when the Lord saw that he had gone over to look, then God called to him from within the bush, Moses, Moses. And Moses said, here I am. God doesn't just talk, God wants a response. Trying to get your attention and he's waiting for the response. Moses said, here I am.

I'm sure and his mind is, now exactly where are you? I see this bush and I hear a voice coming from the direction of this fire, but what up with this? And the Lord then begins to speak to him more clearly.

And you know the story, I don't have time to go into it. Don't come any closer, take your sandals off, place where you are as holy ground and then God begins to reveal divine purpose to him. I'm here to tell someone who is in a season of frustration that God is in your neighborhood on purpose. And the first thing he wants you to do is set aside some time where you can reflect on the fact that his movements in your life are purposeful.

Check out his activity. Now back to Luke five. Not only does Peter have a divine appointment, but he experiences a divine assertion, a divine apprehension, if you will.

Here's what I mean. Not only was an appointment where Jesus was over here speaking within range of his washing net and his frustration, Jesus then sees the two boats, gets in the one that belongs to Peter. Peter's on the shore washing his neck. He looks up and sees this man getting in his boat. Jesus gets in the boat. Jesus doesn't ask him, who boat is this? This your boat?

Is it all right if I go in here? Jesus just gets in the boat. Divine apprehension.

The boat is mine, says the Lord. I'm here to tell somebody God's activity in your life is not only going to result in divine appointments, it will result in divine assertions. God asserting himself in your life or divine apprehension. God taken over some area of your life. Just taking it over. Because it is your life belongs to him.

You don't have to ask to use what's his. Our problem is we think it's ours. We think our time is ours. We think our money is ours. We think our resources. We think our families. We think our careers. We think our stuff is ours.

The Bible says no, it belongs to God. The reason why you've got to give an account of your life to him is because your life belongs to him. And so divine apprehension. He just gets in the boat. And then once he's in the boat, read it, he says, Peter, would you push this out a little? It's a little too close. I need a better perspective to administer to these people.

A little too close. I know you have it up here, run up here on shore so that the waves won't carry it away. But I actually need to have you push it out some and maybe drop anchor or something so that I have a better perspective from which to share the word. He's in the boat first, then he asks permission to push out a little ways. Well notice God doing some things in your life first and then he wants your cooperation. I've told you many times, that's exactly what happened in this church. God started doing what he was doing and then he said, now I want you to get with the program.

But he started doing it first. He didn't say, you know, I think I have in mind to make a church that's very atypical. I'm tired of homogeneous churches, everybody thinking that it's okay to just always feel good about being segregated into cultural and other kinds of comfort groups. And what I'm gonna do is just make a church that looks like heaven. What I'm gonna do is create a situation where people come to understand that it's my church.

Your comfort really has very little to do with this. And he did it first. And then he said, y'all get with the program. Y'all learn how to get along. You learn how to interpret things through cultural perspectives.

Grow and learn and all of that. Folks think that, you know, all of this mix is just wonderful. People just come from the outside and think it's wonderful.

Well, it's wonderful and it's challenging at the same time. It's not all kumbaya, we are the world. A lot of times I don't get these folks.

We've had folks who say, I didn't know I was prejudice till I came to this church, start working in ministries with people who don't think like me, who don't act like me, who don't come from my background, who don't come from my church background, who don't share my cultural experiences. And God just asserted himself and made it happen. And then he asked your permission, why don't you come and help me do some things.

I wanna let you know that you gotta pay attention to God's divine activity in your life because he is up to something. And he tells Peter, I wanna use what you have because it really belongs to me, push out a little ways, give me a better perspective from which to share. And Peter does it.

He gets your cooperation, he's pulled you in and now he's gonna begin to show you and teach you some things from his perspective. So the Bible says after Peter did this and Jesus finished speaking, he just went on, shared whatever truths he was sharing in this particular context. And Peter I guess is just sitting there saying, what in the world is going on today? Now I fished last night, it was supposed to be a good fishing night according to the weather, according to everything.

Haven't caught a thing, now this man in my boat. He's sitting there trying to figure out what in the world is happening? And Jesus is just taking his time preaching. And when he has finished, Bible says, now he turns to Peter.

Look at this, oh this is beautiful and it's gonna minister right to where some of us are and those that don't need the word now, tuck it away because you're gonna need it. We'll be right back with more of today's Destined for Victory message from Pastor Paul Shepherd, Senior Pastor Destiny Christian Fellowship in Fremont, California. If you enjoy this program we know you'll love watching some of Pastor Paul's best video clips. You can subscribe at YouTube or go to to find links to all of his social media.

You'll also find a host of great resources in our online store, that's Pastor Paul joins me after today's message, but first let's join him for the rest of today's teaching, the flip side of futility. When he had finished speaking, verse four, he said to Simon, put out into deep water and let down the nets for a catch. Not only will you notice God's activity in your life, but you'll also notice that what he has to say to you is something that does not resonate with you at all. Back to the Moses comparison. When God started speaking to Moses, Moses didn't like what he was hearing. I get a little frightened when people are excited about everything God says to them. You know, I know some people, not you, but I know some people who every word God gives them is a wonderful, exciting, joyful, happy word. I don't know that God. I know the God who every now and then has given me some really exciting promises and all like that, but I also know the God who has said things and I say, what? You can't be serious.

You're playing, right? All right, you all made me prove it from scripture. Look at Moses, look at Moses. Exodus three, God says, I'm the God of Abraham, Isaac, Jacob. Moses hid his face. He was afraid to look at God.

That's the right posture. The Lord said, I've seen the misery of my people in Egypt. I heard them crying because of the slave drivers. I'm concerned about their suffering.

I'm here to tell somebody God's concerned about what you're going through. So I have come down to rescue them from the hand of the Egyptians and to bring them out into a good and spacious land, a land flowing with milk and honey, all this good stuff. And now the cry of them has reached me.

I've seen their oppression. I'm ready to move. Now here's the part, verse 10. So I'm sending you, I'm sending you to Pharaoh to bring my people out of Egypt.

God set him up. I've heard the people. They've been crying for hundreds of years.

I've heard them. I see their suffering. I'm concerned about them.

I'm ready. And now I'm going to bring them out. I'm going to bring them into a wonderful place, good spacious place, land flowing, milk and honey. And, and you know, Moses could get excited about that part. Then he said, all right, now going down to Pharaoh. Moses says, who am I that I should go to Pharaoh and bring the Israelites out of Egypt? Look at God's answer.

I'll be with you. I love the way God answers our questions. Moses wants to know who am I? God says, don't worry about it.

I got your back. You know, sometimes you ask for what you want and God gives you what you need. And Moses wants to figure this out. He wants to understand.

He's trying to get his mind around this. And God is trying to say, see, you think this is about you. I'm here to tell somebody you think this is about you. It's not about you. You keep wanting answers to all your questions. You want a perspective and you want them understanding and God won't give you any of that.

You know why? Because it's not about you. He loves you at all.

Don't get me wrong. He loves you, but this is not about you. This is about divine purpose. This is God's chess game. You are a pawn.

And God says, I'll be with you. I'm doing this. This is my work. I didn't ask you to figure out how to get them out of Egypt. I asked you to go and tell Pharaoh what I said. And read it when you get a chance. Moses tries to talk God out of his will. He tries to explain to God why God has made a mistake in choosing him. He tries to offer other suggestions to God. I stutter. If somebody's going to speak to a Pharaoh, it needs to be somebody who doesn't stutter. God knew who you were when he called you.

God picked you on purpose because when he uses you, when he blesses you, when he delivers you out of your dilemma, when he gives you a breakthrough, when he gives you a job you don't deserve, when he calls you into a ministry you can't figure out how to perform, then he gets all the glory. If you're all sharp and got your resume all together and you're ready, okay God, I think I'd be a really good deliverer. I'm bilingual. I know how to speak a Pharaoh's language.

I studied Egyptian government. God said, okay, man, I can't use you because you think you can do it. I'm looking for folk who know they can't do it. But you say, okay, but I do have some proficiencies. I do have some things that I'm really good at. I do have some gifts. In fact, I attribute them to God. I know God has blessed me. Does that mean I'm disqualified?

No. It means God's going to let you go through some seasons of futility. Back to Peter.

Back to Luke 5. Peter is an expert fisherman. So God's got a plan not only for the stutterers and the people who don't even want the job, God's got a plan for folk who basically know what they're doing, have their act together, can get things done. And God will show you your limitations because this is about divine purpose. This is about God wants to engage us in matters that not only impact time, but eternity. God knew that he wanted to turn Peter from an expert fisherman into an expert soul winner and an expert discipler of men. And the way he had to do that is he had to get Peter's attention by making him realize, even though you are good at some things, when it comes to what I want you to do, the key to your success, the key to your fruitfulness is going to be learning to listen to me.

The key is not going to be your expertise. The key is going to be how well you can listen to God. I'm here to tell somebody that God wants you to get good at listening to him. That's all he's interested in you getting good at listening to him.

Don't try to beef up your resume for God. He's not impressed. Don't try to show him that you can be more consistent or more faithful. He's not impressed. If you ever become faithful, because he put the fruit of faithfulness in you. I'm here to tell somebody that God wants you to just say yes to him. He turns around to Peter after he takes his boat and preaches from it and gets Peter's cooperation. Then he says, now go out and do what doesn't make sense to you. You fished all night and caught nothing. So your natural instinct is to say they're not biting today.

Best they do is go home, get some sleep, take a shower, watch Sports Center. This is a man now. This is a man. It'd be different for a woman's story.

Chill out and then maybe tomorrow night we'd go back out. God says go now and go into the deep because I'm getting ready to do something extraordinary. And the test is how well you obey. The key is in the obedience. I'm here to tell someone God knows you're in a season of frustration, but there is a flip side to this futility you're experiencing. And you will experience the flip side when you say yes to God. Thanks so much for joining us for today's message, the flip side of futility. Well, every day on Destined for Victory, we ask people to stand with us financially. That's because we are a listener supported ministry.

And let me underscore that for just a moment. This means the only way we exist is through the prayers and financial support of people just like you. And in 2021, our prayers that you will help Pastor Paul reach more people than ever before with the gospel of Jesus Christ. For your generous gift today, we have a gift of our own to share with you, Pastor Paul's booklet, Traits of a Virtuous Woman. Based on Proverbs 31, the book that was written to honor mothers in particular and godly women in general.

It's a penetrating look into some of the most important traits all women should embody. That's Traits of a Virtuous Woman, our gift to you this month by request for your generous gift to Destined for Victory. Call 855-339-5500 or visit to make a safe and secure online donation. You can also mail your gift to Destined for Victory, Post Office Box 1767, Fremont, California 94538. I'll give that again. The address is Destined for Victory, P.O.

Box 1767, Fremont, California 94538. Well, as we wrap up the week on Destined for Victory, Pastor Paul has been kind enough to join me from his studio in California. Pastor, of course, we're coming up on Mother's Day weekend. Before we leave today, I'd love for you to share just a word about your own mom and the influence she had on you and your ministry, and perhaps a word of encouragement for moms who are listening.

Absolutely. I thank God for my mother. Thankfully, she's still alive and doing well. I call her weekly because I live nearly 3,000 miles from her physically, but I make sure that I hear her voice every week on the phone because one of these days it won't be there for me to hear. I'm intentional about calling, and we don't have a lot of big stuff to talk about. We rarely have anything big to talk about, but I just want to know how you're doing and what's going on. She's still baking for her grandkids and doing the things that she loves.

When I do, again, I'm not traveling these days, but when I ever get back on a plane and head to Philadelphia, I know there'll be a German chocolate cake waiting on me. That is a great, great blessing. I want to encourage all of our listeners to do your very best to honor the moms and mother figures in your life because we only have that one opportunity to show them how much we love them. The day is coming.

Hopefully, it won't be soon, but the day is coming when their voices will be silenced on this side. We need to know that we did everything to let them know how important they were in our lives. Thanks for that great word of encouragement, Pastor Paul, from all of us at Destined for Victory.

Happy Mother's Day. Join us next time when Pastor Paul Shepherd shares his message, the flip side of futility. Until then, remember, He who began a good work in you will bring it to completion. In Christ, you are destined for victory.
Whisper: medium.en / 2023-11-21 00:24:27 / 2023-11-21 00:33:13 / 9

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