Share This Episode
Destined for Victory Pastor Paul Sheppard Logo

Taking Down Our Idols

Destined for Victory / Pastor Paul Sheppard
The Truth Network Radio
October 13, 2020 8:00 am

Taking Down Our Idols

Destined for Victory / Pastor Paul Sheppard

On-Demand Podcasts NEW!

This broadcaster has 435 podcast archives available on-demand.

Broadcaster's Links

Keep up-to-date with this broadcaster on social media and their website.

October 13, 2020 8:00 am

The four areas in which many people, including believers, practiced idolatry today; identifying and destroying the idols in our lives; based on the life of Gideon. (Included in the 8-part series "From Worrier to Warrior".)

CLICK HERE to ORDER this full message on MP3!

Matt Slick Live!
Matt Slick
Matt Slick Live!
Matt Slick
Discerning The Times
Brian Thomas
Core Christianity
Adriel Sanchez and Bill Maier
Our Daily Bread Ministries
Various Hosts
The Christian Car Guy
Robby Dilmore

I want to talk to you in this message about the importance and the necessity of identifying and destroying the idols in our lives.

The things that actually prevent us from honoring God and giving place and deference to God and loving Him and worshipping Him and serving Him as we are called to do. He was a wimp who became a warrior and his story comes your way next on this Tuesday edition of Destined for Victory. Hello and thanks for stopping by. Well, today Pastor Paul Shepherd takes us once again to the story of Gideon, one of the judges of Israel during the Old Testament era. As we pick up the account today, we'll see that each of us, like Gideon, has a divine calling.

But in order to achieve that calling, we have to first lay down any false gods in our lives. It's a great reminder of the faithfulness of God, even when our own faith wobbles just a bit. Stay right here or visit to listen on demand.

That's Now, here is Pastor Paul with today's Destined for Victory message, Taking Down Our Idols. Judges chapter 6, beginning with verse 25. So Gideon took 10 of his servants and did as the Lord told him, but because he was afraid of his family and the men of the town, he did it at night rather than in the daytime. We'll conclude our reading there as we continue to look at the story of one of the judges of Israel in the Old Testament, a man named Gideon, whose life we are studying as a case reference so that we can determine not only what God did in bringing him to become a warrior for God.

But along the way, we're learning that the journey that Gideon took is a journey you and I are having to take as followers of the Lord. In Gideon's case, when the angel of the Lord comes to him in Judges chapter 6, he finds him being quite the worrier. He is worried that the Midianites who have been defeating Israel for seven years at that point are going to continue to do what they've been doing.

And he's quite worried. He is trying to thresh wheat in a wine press, but the angel of the Lord speaks to him and says, The Lord is with you, mighty warrior. And the fact is, the Lord had called him to be a warrior, even though he was acting like a worrier. And the fact of the matter is, God has a calling on each of our lives, and that calling does not depend upon what we act like. It doesn't depend upon our present life condition, but God calls us according to his purpose, and his purpose determines what is to happen in our lives. And so we said that the first step in the journey of going from where you are to where God has destined you to be is you've got to take to heart your calling. We talked about taking to heart our calling from God to take seriously what God says about our lives. We are not what we act like.

We are not what our conditions would dictate. We are who God says we are. We can do what God says we can do. And we are called to take to heart our calling. In the last message, we looked at a second step in the journey of becoming what God has called us to be.

And so it involves not only taking to heart our calling, but number two, we said it involves taking away our excuses. In the last message, we looked at the fact that Gideon was a man who had excuses when the Lord said, I've raised you up and that you are going to defeat many and I'm going to put them into your hands and you're going to defeat them. Gideon said, you got to have the wrong guy. You can't be talking about me because I come from Manasseh, which is not a particularly strong tribe in terms of its numbers, he says, and I'm in the weakest clan in the tribe and I am the least in my family.

That's three different excuses. He said, I'm in your league, Lord, but I'm in the worst division in the league. I'm on the last place team in the worst division in your league.

And I'm the guy who rides the bench on the last place team in the worst division in your league. He is full of excuses, just like some of us as to why we're not living better or doing better or going the places God wants us to go in our lives and in our spiritual growth. But the reality is, God said to him, I'm not worried about any of that you just said because I am with you and I am the one who will give you the victory. And I want somebody to know that it really is not about who you are or what you think you can do if God before us who can be against us. And so we saw that it involves taking to heart our calling and taking away our excuses. Now, I want to take a third step with you on this journey of becoming what God has called us to be. And in this message, I want us to look at the third step and not only involves taking to heart our calling and taking away our excuses. But number three, it involves taking down our idols, taking down our idols. I want to talk to you in this message about the importance and the necessity of identifying and destroying the idols in our lives.

The things that would militate against God, the things that we preempt the worship of God with, the things that actually prevent us from honoring God and giving place and deference to God and loving him and worshipping him and serving him as we are called to do. Now, I don't want anybody to think, well, OK, I can kind of skip this message and I'll just wait for the next step in the journey because I don't have any idols in my life. I go to a Christian church.

I read the Christian Bible. And so I don't have any idols. I don't have to worry about this message does not apply to me. I got a word for you.

Burnt wrong answer. Fact of the matter is there are some idols that we have not really thought about, but they are very active among those of us who name the name of the Lord. True, you are not worshiping at some altar of a false god. True, you don't have to contend with worship of Baal as is being contended with in our text. It's true that you have never bowed physically before some some false gods, some image and worshiped it.

That is true. But that is not to say you and I don't have some idols that we've got to identify and then destroy. And what you're going to see as we talk through this in this message is that an idol doesn't have to be a religious artifact created of wood or of stone, and I don't can be something in your life that you have never physically bow to. But as we take a look at it you're going to see there are some things in many of our lives that contend against the will of God and we are called, if we're going to experience victory, we are called to take down those idols. What Gideon had to learn and what you and I have to learn is that you cannot make war with Midian until you make peace with God. And you and I cannot make war against the enemy of our souls and we cannot experience the victory that God wants to give us until we have made peace with him. And making peace with God means you can have no other god before him. He says in his word, from Genesis to Revelation, I'm a jealous God. I'm your maker, I'm your creator, I'm your redeemer, I'm your sustainer. In me you live and move and have your being. I'm the only true and living God. Everything else you serve, everything else you give deference to is an offense to me. I will have no other gods before me.

And so we're going to have to take a good hard look. Now before I walk you through this, let me ask you to do me a favor. The way to be blessed by this message is you got to throw away your shovel and pull out your rake. Now here's what I mean. A lot of us have had the experience of listening to a message and applying it to folk we know.

You ever done that? Come on, let's be honest now. You ever listen to a message with a shovel mentality and you say, oh, that's a good point. I sure wish he was here to hear that because that point is for him. And you toss that point over to somebody you know. If they're in the room when it's being preached, even when you say amen, you're signifying. You ever heard somebody say an amen that really doesn't mean I agree with the truth and I'm trying to apply it to my life? It's a signifying amen. You ever heard somebody and the amen is really aimed at somebody down the road or right next to them. Amen.

You ever heard one of those? I'm going to ask you to put away your shovel. You don't need to settle for this message. I want to ask you to pick up your rake.

When you're shoveling, you're tossing away from you. But when you're raking it, you're saying it's me, it's me, it's me, oh, Lord. Speak to me about my life.

Speak to me about my issues. I want to be in the center of your will. I want to do what you've called me to do. So put away your shovel, pick up your rake.

God's going to bless us because he wants to bring about victory in our lives. And the only way that's going to happen is if we will apply this truth and take down the idols in our lives. And let me give you a working definition for idols. The reason why I said that you and I cannot say we have no idols just because we don't worship at the physical altar of some false god.

Here's why I say that. Here's our working definition for idol. I'm going to ask our technician to put it up on the screen. Jot this down in your notes. And I want you to not only meditate on it throughout this message, but I want you to meditate on it in the weeks and months and years to come. And remind yourself constantly there are to be no idols in our lives. An idol is any practice, passion, priority, or partnership that we submit to even though it is contrary to God's word and will.

Jot that down. An idol is any practice, passion, priority, or partnership that we submit to even though it is contrary to God's word and will. Now you can see by this definition that you don't have to bow your physical knee at a physical altar erected to a false god like a Baal in the case of Gideon or any false religion in order to be an idolatry. You can practice idolatry if there is anything in your life or in your thinking or in your patterns of living or in your perspective that militates against God and when it competes with God, it wins over the word and the will of God. And that's the truth in your life my friend. I've come to let you know there is idolatry in your life and God has called us to renounce it and to destroy the idol and to make him the center of our lives.

So let's just walk through those points and I'll be done. The second half of Pastor Paul Shepherd's message is coming right up. We want to thank all of you who support Destined for Victory with your prayers and financial support, gifts that help Pastor Paul share the good news of salvation in Christ with a growing audience. Destined for Victory is a listener-supported ministry and right now with uncertainty still lingering all around us, your help is needed now more than ever because people are looking for a reason to have hope. And Pastor Paul is committed to sharing the hope of the gospel all over the world. So please prayerfully consider making a gift to Destined for Victory today. Now when you give, we have a gift of our own to share with you.

I'll tell you all about it after today's message. Now with more lessons from the life of Gideon, here's Pastor Paul with the rest of today's message, Taking Down Our Idols. First of all, practices. Our practices must be consistent with the word and will of God.

When I talk about practices, I'm talking about our habit patterns, the things we normally do as we live our lives, your regular actions, your normal activity, the things that make up and characterize your patterns of living, your lifestyle, your actions. The Bible is calling us to make sure we don't practice idolatry with regard to actions. Now how could our actions be idolatrous? It's if we have actions, we have patterns of living, patterns of behaving that are against the will of God, but we still yield to them rather than we say yes to God's will and change those actions. If your practices are inconsistent with the word and will of God, my friend, you are practicing idolatry and you will never experience God's victory. You will never be on the road, on the journey to becoming what God has called you to be as long as there is idolatry with regard to your practices. Now here's how to evaluate your practices in mind.

Here's how we ought to look at what we're doing in our lives. First of all, if you want to make sure your practices are consistent with the will and the word of God, do not evaluate them on the basis of what you think about them. Don't say, well, I know what the Bible says, but under my circumstances, based on what's going on in my life, based on my family situation, based on my job, based on my marriage, based on my singleness, based on the season of life I'm in, based on the hardships I'm experiencing, based on my upbringing, based on the way people raise me, based on whatever it is, I think I ought to be the exception to the rule.

I know what God says, and normally I know that God really wants everybody to live this way, but given my circumstances, I think God understands. And if you can see yourself clear as being the exception to God's rule, my friend, you are practicing idolatry, and let me tell you something else, you are self-deceived. You are self-deceived. The worst deception we can experience is self-deception, and the Bible talks about it in James chapter 1. James says, do not merely listen to the word and so deceive yourselves. He says, do what it says.

Now, here's what James meant. He said, if all you do is listen to the word, if all you do is read your Bible, all you do is show up at church and have the word of God preached to you, but then, rather than apply it, you insert what you think about it. Well, I know what the pastor said. Well, I know what that Bible verse says. Well, I know what the Bible teaches, but under these circumstances, I believe even God understands that that doesn't apply to me right now. And some of us can be so self-deceived until we think that we have cut a side deal with God. And it's as if God said, well, yes, this is my will for most of my children, but, you know, in your case, because I know what you're going through, in your case, we'll just keep it on the down low, don't tell anybody, but I'm going to let you do what you want to do in this area of your life, and we'll just have a side deal, you and I understand. So publicly, I'm against what you're doing, and I tell everybody else how they're supposed to live, but I got you. If you can live in such a way that your practices fall outside of the will and the word of God, and yet you believe you're right with God, my friend, you are self-deceived.

Self-deceived. Now, by the way, let me just tell you, as I go through the rest of this message, I came prepared to encourage myself. So I don't want anybody to feel bad, because this is one of those messages. You know, if you're going to preach the word of God, the Bible says to anybody who's going to declare the word of God, you got to be instant in season and out of season.

That means you got to speak the truth when folks are loving your message. Ooh, that's the best message I ever heard. I love that message.

Ooh, I'm going to be the first in the CD line. I love that message. You got to preach when they do that, because sometimes the word affirms us and encourages us and builds us up and gives us promises and all that.

But there are other times when the word rebukes us and convicts us and it gets in our business and it gets in our stuff. That's preaching out of season. That's preaching when they don't like the message. That's preaching when they avoid the CD line. That's preaching. And a good preacher, a gospel preacher, has to be faithful no matter what. So I can't show up expecting folks to love everything that I got to preach.

I'm a mailman, and some of the mail is not happy mail. So I want you to know, I know that. I've been preaching a long time. I've asked the Lord over the years, help me to be strong, to not fear the people's faces and all that.

And so what I've learned to do is to have built-in encouragement. And so you don't hear it, but I want you to feel free to just let this message find you where it does. And if you don't feel like standing up and waving, whoo, pastor, you're right. Go ahead and preach. It's all right. I got all that going on inside of me.

So you can sit there and just deal with the word as God wants you to deal with it. Meanwhile, I'm saying to myself, preach, Pastor Paul. That's right. That's good. You're telling the truth.

That lady in the twelfth row rolling her eyes, but you go ahead on and preach anyway. So I'm good. I know you all, usually you have me. I understand that. I appreciate it. But I'm good.

I'm all right. Our practices have to be consistent with the word of God. So you can't determine the rightness or wrongness of how you're living by asking yourself, what do you think about it?

You can't determine the rightness or wrongness of your practices by asking, what do other people think about it? Because the word and the will of God is not up for popular vote. You got to understand something. We live in a democracy, but God is not up for vote. He could care less what we think. God is not beholding to us. You got to understand, He is from everlasting to everlasting.

We're the ones that showed up late. And His word was forever settled in heaven. And it will not change because of popular opinion. You can't put God on the ballot and vote out His will and say, I know you said you don't like this, but we all decided it's OK.

The Bible says, let God be true if it makes a liar out of everybody. So you can't determine the will of God or the rightness of our practices by asking the question, what do others think about it? You can't say, well, what does Oprah think about it? What does Dr. Phil think about it? What does Dr. Oz think about it? What does the Wizard of Oz think about it? None of that matters.

Your favorite talk show, your favorite philosopher, your favorite guru, your favorite self-help author, your favorite person who is out there writing books that's on the New York Time bestseller. That's all nice, but that doesn't have anything to do with the will of God. Will of God is revealed in the word of God. It's forever established in heaven.

So if you want to get the right answer, you got to ask the right question. And the right question is, what does God say about my practices? Because he's the final court of arbitration. One day, every one of us will give an account to him.

And at that point, he doesn't want to hear about what other folks thought. And so we are called, according to the word, to destroy the idol of personal opinion, of popular opinion, to destroy the idol of I can do what I want. It's my life.

It is not your life. God says we belong to him. We're his by creation.

We're here by redemption. We're his because he sustains us. He causes us to live and move and have our being in him. And one day we will all answer to him. It is appointed once to every person to die and after death, judgment.

And so the right question is, what does God have to say about it? Thanks so much for joining us for Pastor Paul Shepherd's message, Taking Down Our Idols. Today's message is part of Pastor Paul's series, From Warrior to Warrior. Look for it online at

Well, as we navigate our way through some trying times in America and all over the world, we're seeing the Destined for Victory audience continue to grow. Adversity very often brings with it a degree of spiritual awareness and growth, and friends like you make it possible for Pastor Paul to minister to a growing audience. Thanks so much for lifting us up in prayer and for financially supporting us during these times. Today, we'd like to lift you up in prayer. From the homepage at, click contact us and tell us how we can pray for you. While you're there, be sure to ask for Pastor Paul's monthly letter of encouragement, yours at no cost or obligation. And here's something else for you. For your generous donation to Destined for Victory today, we'd like to send you a booklet from Pastor Paul Shepherd called, Little is Much When God is in It.

If you've ever felt like your talent or your resources weren't enough to do much good, this booklet was written with you in mind. It's a great reminder that in the hands of God, whatever you have is always more than enough. Again, that's Little is Much When God is in It. It's our gift to you today by request for your generous donation to Destined for Victory. Just call 855-339-5500 to give over the phone or visit to make a safe and secure donation online.

You can also mail your gift to Destined for Victory, post office box 1767, Fremont, California 94538. The Bible says worship God, love people, use things. But some of us practice idolatry and we end up worshiping things.

We end up using people. Sometimes we end up even using God. That's tomorrow in Pastor Paul Shepherd's message, Taking Down Our Idols. 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 05:28:34 / 2024-02-05 05:38:06 / 10

Get The Truth Mobile App and Listen to your Favorite Station Anytime