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Ishmael vs. Isaac, Part 2 (cont'd)

Destined for Victory / Pastor Paul Sheppard
The Truth Network Radio
October 2, 2020 8:00 am

Ishmael vs. Isaac, Part 2 (cont'd)

Destined for Victory / Pastor Paul Sheppard

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October 2, 2020 8:00 am

Developing a healthy appreciation for our spiritual leaders. Lessons Paul helps us draw from contrasting Ishmael with Isaac.

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Hello and thanks for stopping by for this Friday edition of Destined for Victory with Pastor Paul Shepherd, Senior Pastor at Destiny Christian Fellowship in Fremont, California.

In just a few moments, he'll share his message, Ishmael versus Isaac. But first, Pastor Paul joins me here in the studio, and Pastor, you often hear me say on the broadcast that our partners are the lifeblood of this ministry. We appreciate every gift that comes, every single gift. But those that give on a monthly basis, those people are especially encouraged.

Absolutely. The bills come every month, and that's what makes partnerships so vital. People who are committed to giving at least $20 every single month. And that helps us to pay the bills. I'm so glad to be able to report.

To this point, we have never been behind in any of our bills, and that's because of our partners. I'm so grateful. If you're listening and you're a partner, I need you to know that I appreciate exactly what you're doing. And help me pray that God will give us thousands more to join your ranks so that we can not only stay strong on the stations and through the applications we currently have, I want to get on to hundreds more and find every way possible to reach people with the gospel. You can do that by being a partner and standing with us. You know, there's no better way to show our love for others than by sharing the gospel of Jesus Christ with them. And there's no better time than now to do it.

People are often more willing to accept the cross in times of crisis. And as we continue to walk together through a season of uncertainty, now would be a great time to partner with Destined for Victory. As our way of saying thanks for your partnership, we'll send you a few thank you gifts, including one of Pastor Paul's most popular CDs, the best of Let My People Smile. So call 855-339-5500 to find out more about how to become a Destined for Victory partner. Make your pledge right there over the phone. Or mail your gift letting us know you wish to become our partner.

Our address is Destined for Victory, post office box 1767, Fremont, California 94538. You can also partner with us from our website, And if you can't become a Destined for Victory partner, but would like to make a generous donation today, we'd love to send you Pastor Paul's booklet, Little is Much When God is in It.

If you've ever felt like what you have, whether money or talent, is too insufficient to be of any real use, this booklet was written with you in mind. It's a great reminder that God can take the limited and do the legendary. That's Little is Much When God is in It, our gift to you by request for your generous donation to Destined for Victory. God wants to do something special in your life. That's why he allows you to go through some of the things you go through, because he wants to work out his own purpose in you. God says that's because I want you to trust me and to follow my purpose in your life. Hebrews 11 verse 6 tells us that without faith, it is impossible to please God. That's part of the reason why God allows us to go through some tough times and challenges, because these are the times when our faith is truly tested. Today on Destined for Victory, Pastor Paul reminds us that God has a unique and special purpose for each of his children. That's why he sometimes places obstacles in our way to strengthen our faith in him.

So now here's Pastor Paul Shepherd with today's Destined for Victory message, Ishmael versus Isaac. Some of you are killing yourselves trying to climb the ladder of success. And the fact of the matter is God can bless you with a lot of things. But you need to know his purpose for what he's doing in your life and what he gives you because if you spend all your time making a living and not making a life, you just have a bunch of stuff. And you don't have God's perspective on what the stuff is about.

And come on, just be honest. Some of us were better off in terms of quality of life when we weren't so fixed on the assets of life. Some of us were raised by people who were happier than we are with less.

You know it's true. Some of us, our parents, our grandparents didn't have what we have. My grandmother never lived in the house like I live in, but she was happy where God had blessed her. She would cook and she would sing and hum and have a grand zen and feed us and what have you.

She was just as happy because she understood my purpose is to love God and to nurture my family and to do his will and I'm satisfied with that. And some of us have gotten off track and we think it's all about what we can accumulate. He'll give you the power to obtain wealth, one scripture says. God may very well bless you with some material things, but it's far more important that you discover his purpose for whatever he brings into your life. You've got to learn how to give generously. You've got to learn how to invest in the kingdom.

You've got to learn how to support those things that are making a difference for both time and eternity. You've got to make sure that everything in your life is in Bible order because when it's all said and done, it's really about purpose and Christ offers us purpose. Ephesians 2 10 says we are God's workmanship created in Christ Jesus to do good works which God prepared in advance for us to do. He knows what he wants out of your life and it is on the basis of his purpose for you that he brings into your life what he does. And it is our job to say, Lord, my only desire is to give you a good return on your investment in my life and to hear you say well done, good and faithful servant. And so God offers us purpose.

Don't spend your time in purposeless pursuits. If God hasn't brought a person into your life, you quit trying to drag them in there. Do you know God knows how to hook you up with the right person? Do you realize God has no problem matchmaking? Do you know God doesn't need your help?

He needs you to be available to him and living the life of godly purpose and he knows how to intersect your life with the right people. And you go grab somebody and you're determined to bring them into your life. You're single or you're divorced and you want a relationship and you see somebody and you go, that's the problem.

I think that's who I want. And you go try to hook up with nothing wrong with being friendly and strike up conversation. All that's right. But if they aren't interested, believe them. I got a word for you. I got a word for you.

I know this might hurt your feelings. If they're not interested, believe them. Don't say oh no, they're tripping.

No, you're tripping. God knows how to bring the right folk into your life and the right people will actually want to be in your life. In fact, that's the sign it has to be God.

They want to be with you. Oh, I know I just heard somebody's feelings. I know I just heard somebody's feeling.

I see he up there tripping. Come on. The fact that they want to be with you. You got to at least say, OK, now this just might be God. But then you want to pray because not everybody who wants to be with you has the right motive for wanting to be with you. So you still got to deserve God's purpose.

You still got to pray. Some folks want to be with you because they think they can control you or mold you into their image or make you into their likeness and do in your life what they want to do. God doesn't bring people into your life so that you can be what they want. He brings people into your life so that you can be what he wants. And if a person isn't helping you become the person the Lord has ordained for you to be, God doesn't want them in there. And so you got to learn to be OK. Purpose. God knows the purpose he's up to in your life. You're not going to have to drag somebody kicking and screaming into your life.

You're not going to have to beg them to love you, beg them to be nice to you. And if you don't get it from the Bible, even the secular people now are writing, trying to help you. I saw a book, a secular book, one written by believers, but they got this much revelation.

The title was He's Not That Into You. And I thought, they're trying to get some revelation. So you got to learn God's purpose will prevail. Many other plans in a man's heart, one proverb says, but it is the Lord's purpose that prevails. If you don't want to be here, you got to learn to walk people to the door of your life.

You do. You got to quit trying to force them and convince them and guilt them into staying there. But you said you'd always... No, if you're not married to them, now marriage we're supposed to live up to that commitment.

You stood up there in the presence of God and those witnesses said till death, not till you get on my nerves. And sure, there are some extenuating circumstances the Bible makes clear. There are some exceptions to the rule. But the general rule is you make that commitment for life. And so you can't just trade them in.

This is not a car. But the fact of the matter is you who aren't in a marriage relationship don't have that kind of commitment and somebody is acting all shaky and shady now. And you think you want to marry them? I promise you, you don't.

Promise you, you don't. If you see signs now, they're on their best behavior now. I'm trying to help you.

I've been passing a long time. What you see in that dating stage, that's as good as it gets. Because in many cases, especially the way some of you all date and you don't really get down to business and ask the right questions and find out who you're really dealing with and you're all worried about romantic environments and, oh, we went to dinner at this lovely place. It's got nothing to do with where you went to dinner and where they took you. Get to know who they are. In many cases, if you date with all that peripheral stuff, all that superficial stuff, you're not dating the person, you're dating their representative. You're dating who they want you to believe they are. And so they'll take you out and hold the door and open for you, let you get in, run around the car and get in and be real nice. No, look at how he treats his sister, his mother, ordinary people, everyday people. How does he speak respectfully to a person when he doesn't think there's anything in it for him? That's what you want to check out. And so you want to discern God's purposes. And if somebody has proven they're really not for you, believe them.

Walk them to the door of your life. You know, it's been really nice. We've had some wonderful times together. You might be crying. I know sometimes a person gets kind of in your heart. You can be crying a little bit. Don't worry about my tears. I'm going to be okay.

And it's just a little tough for me because, you know, I had some original thoughts and ideas and hopes for our relationship, but obviously that's not what God wants. But the Lord bless you. Give me a hug. I'll see you later. Let them go.

Let them go. We'll be right back with more of today's Destined for Victory message from Pastor Paul Shepard. Listen to the broadcast on demand at That's where you'll find a host of great resources in our online store.

Or you can always listen to or download the podcast at Google Podcasts or wherever you get yours. Well, David spared the life of the king who was trying to kill him, but King Saul repaid David's gentleness by doubling down on his own jealousy. Here's Pastor Paul with the rest of today's message, The Power of Gentleness. What God's up to in our lives has to do with purpose. Christ offers us purpose. And that's what we learn from Ishmael versus Isaac. Isaac was God's purposed son.

And God wants to give you that level of significance. The last thing you learn in this passage is Christ offers fulfillment instead of forfeiture. Ishmael was growing up.

Look at what happens in Genesis that Paul refers to here in Galatians 4. Ishmael is growing up. In fact, when the Lord spoke again about the son of promise, Ishmael is already a teenager.

He's already 13 years old. Now think of the impact of that on Abraham at that point. He was being referred to as Abraham.

The impact. This son has gotten into his heart. He's now had this son of his old age. He's growing up.

The boy is getting strong, developing physically and developing mentally and socially. And he loves this boy. But he's not the son of purpose. And God said, I've got to fulfill my purpose in your life.

And if you let me do it, you will experience a fulfillment that you have never had before. And so the Lord says, now I'm ready to bring the son of promise if you all are ready to say yes. And they surrendered to God. And when Abraham was 100 and Sarah was 90, they had a bouncing baby boy. You know Sarah was a mess with that boy. Think about it now, 90 years old and that's your first child? She was a grandmother and a mother all wrapped up in one. You know she wasn't letting folk near that baby?

Nah, you might put germs on him. She was a mess. And you know, Abraham was walking around. Hundred years old. Look at what I did.

I want you to see something, though. The Bible says that on the day Isaac was being weaned, they had a party, a celebration that he was being weaned from being nursed. And on that day the Bible says, and Paul refers to it here in Galatians 4, that Ishmael mocked Isaac. Because you know all this big fuss was being made about the new baby in the household. And so Ishmael, probably with his little friends around him, just mocking, making fun of the event and of this other child. Problem is, Ishmael is the child of the slave woman. The one whose baby he's mocking is the real lady of the house.

You sisters can relate to what it would have been like for you to be holding your first child and to look over and see a child that your husband had with another woman mocking your child. You know Sarah's like, uh-uh. Writing your Bible. See, it's nothing new. Same thing been happening through human history. Sarah called Abraham over and said, can I talk to you a minute? Abraham comes over, what's the matter baby? Got to bring it up in modern times so you understand.

What's the problem? She said, that woman has got to go. Abraham said, well, there's a problem sweetheart. Problem is, she's the mother of Ishmael, my older son.

Sarah said, I'm glad you brought him up. Because he has to go with her. Right there in your Bible.

Put both of them out. And the Bible says it so grieved Abraham. He went to the Lord, hoping the Lord would say, don't worry man, I got your back, I'll talk to Sarah. Abraham went to the Lord and said, God, look at this position I'm in. Now I got her trying to put out my son. And the Lord said to Abraham, listen to your wife.

Why? Because God wanted to bring a fulfillment into Abraham's life. Remember, the original promise was through your seed all the nations of the world will be blessed. If you stay fixated on a child that is not the child of promise, you will forfeit what I have for you.

Some of us have got our focus on all the wrong things. And so the Lord had to separate Ishmael from Abraham so that the promises that were attributed to Isaac could come to pass. The Lord said, listen to your wife, and he said, don't worry about Hagar and Ishmael, I will take care of them. I'm here to tell someone, the Lord is saying to you, I am bringing a separation into your life of some things you've been holding on to, depending on.

And I am going to separate them from you so that you can focus on my purpose. It is very important that you listen to God and that you follow him in the details of your life because God will not allow your mistakes to keep mocking your miracles. Ishmael was a well intended mistake.

Doesn't mean he's insignificant as an individual. God made a promise to Hagar, I'm going to bless you and I'll bless your son, and he did. But they had nothing to do with the promise he had made to Isaac. And so you've got to realize that sometimes our mistakes in our lives try to coexist with the miracles God's bringing about. But your mistakes are older and louder, and they try to dominate like Ishmael tried to do in that household. And God will not allow your mistakes to mock his miracles.

So he'll bring about a separation. Sometimes you'll see the Lord separate you from things you held too dearly. It could be a job, a career that you're so focused on, you're missing God's purpose.

It could be a vocational plan you have, a career path you want to take. And God says I have another plan. I told you many times that I did not want to be a pastor, but God said that's not my problem. I've ordained you to be a pastor.

So the only issue is, how long is it going to take you to say yes? And you know, from that story, if you miss God, he'll just wait a while. You know, I learned enough from the Bible, and I had read the story of Jonah.

I mean, you read that story, that'll settle a whole lot of things for you. You know, Jonah got out there in the middle of the water trying to sail away from the will of God. God just stirred up.

The earth is the Lord's and the fullness thereof. You can't run from God. The old folks say your arms are too short to box with God. They got out there on the water thinking he's sailing away from the will of God.

I'm going over there to Tarshish, I'm not worried about them. The Lord said fine, take this boat, try to go to Joppa. Got out there in the middle of the water, God stirred up a storm.

He was on a boat full of pagans, people who didn't know God. But they said let's all pray to our gods. Everybody pray to your God.

We hope one of them is listening. And they all cried out to their gods, no help. Finally they said let's cast lots because somebody on this boat is in trouble. These folks didn't even know God, but they knew God was speaking to somebody. You know, it's bad when folks who don't know God are given altar calls. They said now we don't know who it is, but the Lord is talking to somebody.

We're going to cast lots to see who it is. And the fellow on Jonah, he said yeah it's me. And at first they said alright well let's try to row him to safety, let's get him back on the shore. They tried their best to get back to shore, but God just made the storm impossible. Finally they said we tried to help you out man. It's all we can do. You got to deal with your God. So Jonah said yeah you're alright, so just go on and throw me over. They said that's what we're going to do. We're thinking the same thing.

Picked him up, threw him overboard. Listen, God has a plan for your life and he will fulfill it, but you and I have to say yes. Even when he separates your mistakes from your miracles, you got to say yes. Even when he brings you to a place where things you once depended on or people you once depended on, you can no longer count on.

What you can count on is that Christ offers fulfillment. He began the good work in you and he will bring it to completion. When your closest friends abandon you, God won't. If your spouse leaves, God stays. He is faithful when others are not. He is faithful when you are not.

Focus on what you've got left instead of what you've lost. As God says in Hebrews 13 verse 5, I will never leave you and I will never forsake you. Thanks so much for joining us for today's message, Ishmael versus Isaac. 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

Again, that's I want you to understand that the key to keeping in step with the Spirit, number one, is to walk in faith. To walk in faith. Now faith simply means I put my trust in Christ. That's next time when Pastor Paul shares his message keeping in step with the Spirit. 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 14:51:00 / 2024-02-05 14:59:53 / 9

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