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Keeping in Step with the Spirit, Part 2 (cont'd)

Destined for Victory / Pastor Paul Sheppard
The Truth Network Radio
October 8, 2020 8:00 am

Keeping in Step with the Spirit, Part 2 (cont'd)

Destined for Victory / Pastor Paul Sheppard

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October 8, 2020 8:00 am

The importance of living by the power of the Holy Spirit; four practical insights regarding keeping in step with the Spirit.

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For the flesh desires what is contrary to the Spirit, and the Spirit what is contrary to the flesh. That's Galatians 5 17, and this is Destined for Victory. Hello and thanks for tuning in. In just a few moments, Pastor Paul Shepherd shares his message keeping in step with the Spirit.

But first, he joins me now from his studio in California. We've just got to relax and trust God, not just go along for a ride like a windsurfing, you don't know where you're going to go. Trusting God, we don't know where He's taking us, but He knows where He's taking us and how He's going to get us through it. And the thing I always say about the challenges we face in life, I remember back after 9-11 happened and I preached at my church the following Sunday. I said this wasn't God's will per se, as though God sent this to curse us, but it was God's opportunity to speak to us in the midst of trouble.

And this pandemic is serving the same purpose. God's using it to teach us the things we have to learn about trusting Him. And I believe that if we'll listen, God will speak to us in a fresh way during these times. Trust in the Lord with all your heart and lean not under your own understanding.

In all your ways acknowledge Him and He will direct your path. Great words from King Solomon in Proverbs 3, 5 and 6. Well, at a time when there is so much pain and uncertainty in the world, the good news of the gospel of Jesus Christ remains a source of hope for all who embrace it.

And now more than ever, many are searching for that hope. This is why your prayers and financial support of Destined for Victory are so critical. As our way of saying thanks for your generous donation, we'd like to send you a booklet called Little Is Much When God Is In It. Written by Pastor Paul, this is a great reminder that God can use you to impact those around you and He can do it despite what you lack. That's Little Is Much When God Is In It, our gift to you today by request for your generous gift to Destined for Victory. Call 855-339-5500 to give over the phone or visit pastorpaul.net to make a safe and secure donation online.

And as always, you can mail your gift to Destined for Victory, Post Office Box 1767, Fremont, California 94538. The enemy has always been encouraging us to go into the area that God says for your own benefit and for my glory, I want you to leave that alone. The sinful nature will always point you back there.

But here's what you got to understand. God says I want you to live this life of obedience to me, not as a matter of law, but as a matter of relationship. The first three letters may be the same, but there's a world of difference between religion and relationship. The world is full of religions, belief systems that are built not on mutual love and sacrifice, but on rigid adherence to a code and the fear of consequences when that code is not kept. The creator of the universe is a relational being. He wants to have an intimate, personal relationship with you. That's the focus of today's Destined for Victory message.

And it starts right now. Here's Pastor Paul Shepherd for today's Destined for Victory program, keeping in step with the Spirit. God doesn't love you because you're nice. God loves you when you're not nice.

And he introduces his love into your life with the hope that you will respond to it and allow him to come in and make you the person he wants you to be. But he begins by loving us unconditionally. Now, we, the Church of Jesus Christ, have got to learn how to do that.

We have got to learn that that is God's plan for reaching the loss. The Great Commission through the Great Commandment. The Great Commandment is to love the Lord and love your neighbor as yourself. And my neighbor isn't just the person I like. My neighbor is everyone who needs the love of God. And so I must learn to love my neighbor like I love myself. How well do you handle the people around you whose lifestyle you object to?

That's the question. I don't like your lifestyle, but I'm not going to try to cling cobwebs by throwing you up against the wall about your lifestyle. I'm going to show you the love of the Savior, who if you embrace him, he can love you to life and he can transform you and make the person he's called you to be. He's called you to be. In other words, God loves us first. He does call us to live a life of faith and obedience, but he woos us by saying it is out of my love that I want the best for you. So we've got to get good at that, church. We've got to get good, people of God. We have got to understand the people in your life.

God brought them into your life so that you can share who he is by the way you love them and the way you treat them. You don't represent Jesus rolling your eyes. You don't represent Jesus as just a shame.

You ought to be shamed of yourself. You represent Jesus by loving people because they're the object of his love. There is a difference between loving me and liking or approving of what I do. And some of us think we've got to hold you hostage with our attitude by being disapproving of what you do. And it's so funny, some Christians, all while acting mean and cantankerous, they say, I'm doing it because I love you. And all you're doing is showing people that you don't have the heart, you don't have the nature of the Savior because he was loving. And so we must learn to love people well.

Love them well. Okay, it is true. Their lifestyle is not consistent with God's plan.

But we don't point out the lifestyle and clean cobwebs more than we deal with the spider of. All of us need a personal relationship with Christ. And the way I'm going to help you see that is I'm going to love you in his name.

I'm going to do right by you in his name. Somebody has got to have enough grace to come alongside people who are mired in sin and say, you know, God loves you and so do I. And we have to ask God for a baptism of his love, because it is his love that will transform our lives. Now, I want you to understand that it is in that context that we have the basis for living in righteousness. It's only when I understand how God loves me and he wants the best for me that I can understand his holy standard for my life and why it is that God says some things are right and some things are wrong. I must understand the love of God if I'm going to understand the concept of righteousness. Our God is so loving that when he says this is right and this is wrong.

That is not a judgmental, uncaring statement. When God says this is not part of my plan, it's because he wants us to live and reflect his glory as he designed us to live. And so you've got to understand that righteousness is not punitive. God doesn't snatch a bunch of things from you that are really good and really, really nice for you. But God said, no, you can't have that. See, a lot of people have that concept of God that he doesn't want you to have any fun. No, he wants you to understand that life is best lived in his will. The best way to live your life is to live it the way God designed you to live it. That's where you'll find real joy, real peace, real contentment.

But what's the problem? The problem is what this text calls the sinful nature. Now look at these verses again and you'll see what I mean. He says, verse 13 of Galatians 5, you are called to be free, but don't use your freedom to indulge the sinful nature.

What is that? The sinful nature all of us are born with. We are born in sin, shapen in iniquity. When you come into the world, you don't have a personal relationship with God. Through Adam's sin, we are all alienated from God. You show up incapable of having a personal relationship with God because you are stamped with a nature that is sinful.

That's clear. The Bible says all of us have sinned, come short of God's glory. That sin comes from a nature. We're sinners first by nature, then we become sinners by nurture. You start out as a sinner by nature.

You don't have a relationship with God. So as you grow up, you then begin to live a lifestyle characterized by certain sins and they may vary from person to person. But it's because of the nature that we later develop and nurture various aspects of sin.

And so here's what you got to see. That's the sinful nature he speaks of. He says God has made you free, but he doesn't set you free to send you back into mess. When the Lord saves us, he makes us his children and then he doesn't set you free to go right back to living like the devil's kids.

He said, I want to show you the life of royalty, of spiritual royalty I've called you to live. There's a standard I've called you to and it is for your own good and for my glory that I call you to live a certain way. So the problem is we must learn how to crucify the sinful nature. He says in verse 17, the sinful nature desires what is contrary to the spirit, the spirit what is contrary to the sinful nature.

They are in conflict with each other so that you do not do what you want. But if you're led by the spirit, you are not under law. What does he mean by that? He's been talking about the whole thing that it is observing the law that will not produce the righteousness of God. He's saying God has now given you a new design for your life. I'm not trying to earn God's love by living right.

I already have his love because he gave it to me as a gift. And in response to his love, he says if you walk with me, I'll teach you how to live the way I want you to live. It is taking your Christianity from have to to want to. You don't want to live a have to Christian life. Well, I really want to do some things but God won't let me. That's because your focus is on the sinful nature and the sinful nature always wants to step outside of the will of God. The simple nature always wants to make the same choice that Adam and Eve made, which is to focus on the wrong thing rather than focus on the blessings and provisions of God. God said all of this I've given you dominion over.

Have at it, enjoy your life. Now this tree I want you to leave alone. The knowledge of good and evil, leave that alone.

Don't eat from that tree. But everything else have at it. So what does the enemy do? The enemy comes along and says to them, let's focus on what God is telling you to leave alone. Why doesn't he want you to do this? And the enemy is saying that now.

He says that in your life. What's the big deal? Nobody will know you took it. What's the big deal?

It's your body. You can do with it what you want. What's the big deal?

Marriage is just a piece of paper. What's the big deal? So I told a lie. It got me out of trouble.

What's the big deal? The enemy has always been encouraging us to go into the area that God says for your own benefit and for my glory, I want you to leave that alone. The sinful nature will always point you back there.

But here's what you got to understand. God says I want you to live this life of obedience to me, not as a matter of law, but as a matter of relationship. Don't go away. We're only about halfway through today's Destin for Victory message with Pastor Paul Shepherd, senior pastor of Destiny Christian Fellowship in Fremont, California. Be sure to subscribe to Pastor Paul on YouTube to watch some of his best video clips. For more details and links to all of his social media, be sure to visit pastorpaul.net.

That's pastorpaul.net where you can listen on demand to recent messages or find a variety of resources in our online store. Now, here's Pastor Paul with the rest of today's message, keeping in step with the spirit. It's better when I have a relationship where I want to please the person I'm in relationship with because when I want to do right, then it makes it worthwhile to sacrifice. When you want to do right, when you are driven by love, it changes the dynamic. I remember when I first decided I was going to get engaged to Meredith. I had dated around.

She was nice patient. Sister, she would date me when I would date her and all, but she knew I was dating a whole lot of folk. In my single days, I was out there dating. Because in my mind, I was saying, well, one day I'm going to get married.

God's going to show me the person. I'm going to marriage, so I made sure to date with sexual integrity. I didn't want to get involved with people like that.

I knew that wasn't the will of God in that way. I was dating a lot of people and what have you. And when I finally realized, you know, she is the one that I want to put that ring on her finger. She is the one I want to commit my life to.

When I made that decision, it wasn't a have to. Well, I guess I better go ahead and marry her. You don't want somebody to marry you like, oh, well, all right. How many single people look forward to the day when some man will say that to you?

Of course not. You want him to come and you want his heart to be there. And I want you in my life.

I want you to walk with me through life. And so I went out, young single man, and I went to the jewelry store. I want to find a ring because I plan to get engaged to my girlfriend. And so I want to find a ring and I want a nice diamond. That first diamond, I've since replaced it, upgraded the system.

But back then in my 20s, I've always had good taste. And so I still wanted, even when I was not so broke off financially, I still wanted to get her a nice ring. And I went to the place I had never shopped for women's jewelry in my life so I didn't know about diamonds. And I went in and I said, look, I don't want any raggedy diamond.

I want you to hook me up. And the man told me about the seeds and the clarity and the carrots and some other seeds and what have you. And so he walked me through the seeds. I said, all right, well, show me some good seeds. And he took me to a case and I saw it and I said, oh, I like that right there.

It's just glistening. It's just talking to me through the case. I said, that's what I want. And he pulled it out and he told me how much it would cost. And I'm a young, not broke off brother.

But my heart said I want to put that on her finger because I want her to know that she is going to be my wife and I want her to have something that reflects the fact that I'm making a commitment to her for life. And he told me, I flinched. But I said, well, I'm not in debt and what have you and I thank God I have a job and so I'm just going to do this by faith. And I told him back, this is back in the days where, you know, they let you put it away, lay away. And he said, well, for such and such a money, I will take it out of the case and then you have to pay me monthly certain amounts and then you'll have it. He said, when do you plan to get engaged? I told him and he worked out a payment schedule.

And I said, alright, I'm going to do it. I had a job and a half. And the half job check, I never saw that check. I would get that check, throw it right in the bank and when the time came for the payment, I'd withdraw it and get that man some more money. And I never saw that check because that was a check that to communicate that this isn't a have to. I'm not marrying you because I have to.

I want to bring you into my life. It's a very different dynamic. It's sacrifice. But see, if you're in a different mindset, if you're in a have to mindset, you're like, I ain't giving up all this money. You must be crazy. You better get a little something.

You got to get a magnifying glass to see whether. When you get married, same thing. You don't treat your spouse nice because you have to.

You ought to do it because you want to. Love. Eggs you on to do right by people.

Treat people well. Sexual relations in marriage. Every now and then as a pastor, and my pastoral staff can vouch for it, now that they do all the marriage counseling around our church, they can vouch for the same thing. It used to happen when I did the counseling.

Every now and then people would come in and their complaint was, then the man was saying, I'm not getting, we're not having sexual relationships like I need us to. And I have needs, pastor. And I have needs. And they came in because she's upset and what have you.

And so I talked to her and she said, yeah. And so he'd been preaching this to me about the needs. And you know, pastor, I want to do right, but he's getting on my nerves. And a couple of sisters have said over the years, pastor, do you know what he does when I'm not as responsive as perhaps I should be sometimes? He will go get the Bible, pastor. I'm telling you all the truth.

I heard this more than once in my office. He will go get the Bible and he will go to 1 Corinthians 7. And he will read to me. And I said, I'm very familiar with the passage. And there's a passage in there where Paul is saying our bodies are not our own. When we're married, your body doesn't belong to yourself alone and it belongs to your spouse. And he says it for both male and female in the marriage. And he talks about being intentionally open to them sexually. That's part of our responsibility as people who are married.

But he is giving us the framework for how the commitment ought to live out. He's not talking about the how to. And I have had to tell more than one brother, listen, it is not exactly foreplay for you to pull out the Bible.

That's not going to get you where you want to go. Wait a minute, let me read this to you. Right here, render to the husband, they're usually reading from King James, render to the husband, do benevolence. That's the way King James puts it. Do benevolence.

He said, well, brother, you're not going to get due benevolence reading your Bible. You'd be better off finding out what her needs are. What are some of the things that she would really appreciate you being a little more attentive about than you are? Because usually when she is unresponsive in that way, she's got some things building up within her and you need to find out what's going on in there. And I bet you, brother, sometimes I tell the sister, would you give me a little time with him? And I tell him, listen, why don't you find out what are some of the things she wishes you would do?

So y'all can have a sharing time where both of you are going to be intentional about doing something that will matter to the other person. And you tell her, now listen, I would really appreciate a little more sexual attention. It would mean a lot to me. And what I want to do, because I love you too, baby, is I want to take care of your needs.

What are some of the things you need? And she said, well, I really would appreciate it if you would help me with this or that around the house or if you would be more attentive. Or when I talk to you, I would really appreciate you actually listening. Turn off the... Turn the TV off, put that remote down and look me in my face and listen to me and respond to what I'm saying. And you teach them how to do that and then next time you see them they're both grinning.

Why? Because they took it from have to to want to. I want to do right by you and I want that to be the framework in which you do right by me. It's relational. Have to versus want to makes all the difference in the world. And we've got to understand God says, I have a standard for your life. Don't get it twisted. There is right and wrong, but I am not coming into your life on the basis of law.

I want it to be on the basis of my love for you and you responding, trusting me that my plan for you is the best plan. And that's why he says that we must learn to walk not only in faith and in love, but we have to learn to walk in righteousness. Folks, there is righteousness.

We live in a world that's trying to put everything up for grabs. But God has a righteous standard for our lives. It's not based on him being hateful or mean or not wanting you to have fun. It is his standard to bless us and to make us glorify him and to live a life of fulfillment ourselves. Folks, listen, don't ask God to be tolerant of what is wrong. Don't ask God to tolerate in your life what he has said is not to be part of your life where the word speaks to it. You've got to respond by saying, OK, Lord, I agree with you. That's part of my sinful past.

Now you want to make me in lifestyle, a new creation. And as I walk with you, I'm going to trust you that you're going to help me walk in righteousness. And listen, there are lots of folks in the kingdom of God who can tell you, you wouldn't recognize me based on the way I used to be.

But for the grace of God, there's a bunch of X everything in this room listening to this message all over the kingdom of God. All of us have a testimony of either we haven't yet learned to walk in righteousness. And so we're hiding a lot of things that we really need to give over to God and learn to trust him.

But there are others of us who can tell you, listen, I was a whole lot of things on that list. But the Lord came and loved me well. And he loved me so well that I wanted to respond to him by loving him in return. And I'm now learning how to live a life that brings him glory. And I'm here to tell you, God alone has the power to transform our lives and make us the people he's called us to be. In Philippians 2, verse 13, the Apostle Paul writes, It is God who is at work in you to will and to act according to his good pleasure.

We cannot do it without him, not by might, not by power, but only by the Spirit of the living God. Thanks so much for joining us for today's message, keeping in step with the Spirit. If you'd like more information about the Destined for Victory ministry or this month's special offer, be sure to stop by our website, PastorPaul.net.

That's PastorPaul.net. When you see the Word of God, describe those of us who are the people of the Lord. It's talking about you. And you will notice there are some things the Bible calls you that you might not yet be acting like. And all that means is you have a journey to take. That's next time in Pastor Paul Shepherd's message, Taking Away Our Excuses. 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 / 2024-02-05 15:28:02 / 2024-02-05 15:38:21 / 10

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