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Taking Only What God Gives Us, Part 1

Destined for Victory / Pastor Paul Sheppard
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October 21, 2020 8:00 am

Taking Only What God Gives Us, Part 1

Destined for Victory / Pastor Paul Sheppard

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October 21, 2020 8:00 am

Understanding how and why God sometimes reduces the number of people we can count on as He works in our lives; based on the life of Gideon. (Included in the 8-part series "From Worrier to Warrior".)

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And so because we are people called of God, because we are people of faith, we must learn that our God is going to lead us in ways that are very counterintuitive, because he wants to ensure that through your life and mine, he gets all of the glory.

Hello, and thanks for stopping by. Well, God gives all of his children certain gifts, and he wants us to use them to serve others. But sometimes he'll ask us to step outside our comfort zone to operate in an area of weakness instead of strength, so that when the victory comes, everyone will know that God deserves the glory. That's what the Lord did in the life of Gideon, whose story continues today. Stay right here, or visit anytime to listen to Destined for Victory On Demand.

You can also download and subscribe to the podcast at, at Google Podcasts, or wherever you get yours. Now, here's Pastor Paul with today's message, Taking Only What God Gives Us. Look with me at Judges chapter seven, beginning with verse one. Early in the morning, Gideon and all his men camped at the spring of Harad.

The camp of Midian was north of them in the valley near the hill of Marah. The Lord said to Gideon, you have too many men for me to deliver Midian into your hands, in order that Israel may not boast against me, that her own strength has saved her. Announce now to the people, anyone who trembles with fear may turn back and leave Mount Gilead. So 22,000 men left, while 10,000 remained. But the Lord said to Gideon, too many men.

Take them down to the water and I will sift them for you there. If I say, this one shall go with you, he shall go. But if I say, this one shall not go with you, he shall not go. So Gideon took the men down to the water. There the Lord told him, separate those who lapped the water with their tongues like a dog from those who kneeled down to drink. Three hundred men lapped with their hands to their mouths.

All the rest got down on their knees to drink. The Lord said to Gideon, with the 300 that lapped, I will save you and give the Midianites into your hands. Let all the other men go, each to his own place.

We'll pause right there. Taking only what God gives us. I need you to understand something about the God we serve. God is not like man in that he leads us in ways that are very counterintuitive to us. And he has a reason for doing that. The God we serve is a jealous God.

He will not share his glory with anybody or anything else. And so because we are people called of God, because we are people of faith, we must learn that our God is going to lead us in ways that are very counterintuitive because he wants to ensure that through your life and mine, he gets all of the glory. The reason you're saved is because God wants to get a lot of glory out of your life. Before he takes you to heaven to spend eternity in his presence, he wants to use you on earth to bring a lot of glory to him.

And the only way you and I will bring him glory is we have to learn to flow with him and move with him even though his movements tend to make us very uncomfortable. And this text is a case in point. Now look at what's going on. As we noted in earlier messages, there's an alliance that has been formed against Israel. Not only the Midianites, but other eastern peoples have gathered and created an unholy alliance. And in the broader context of this passage, we end up learning that the numbers of men are well over 130,000. So now there are more than 130,000 of the enemies who have gathered against Gideon and Israel.

So get that in your mind. In excess of 130,000 are gathered in that valley. When they look down and see them, it's a mass of people. Men and chariots and warriors, you can see nothing but them.

More than 130,000 of them. But the spirit of the Lord, we saw in the last message, came upon Gideon and he blew the trumpet, summoning God's people, the men of Israel, to respond to this call to arms. And 32,000 men respond. Now, Gideon had to have a mixture of emotions. I can well imagine that Gideon on the one hand felt the affirmation and the assurance that comes when people are responsive to our call. You know how it feels when you call for folk, I need some help, whether you put out some group email or whatever and you express some need or whether you get on the phone and talk to a lot of folk, whatever it is. You put the word around your church or whatever and you say, here is what I need.

Can y'all help me? It is wonderful when you get response. We are wired where we just love to be responded to.

And we also get deeply disappointed when we aren't responded to. That's why in this world where there's so many emails coming at many of us, I'm trying right now to get in a position where I can be more responsive through the staff and what have you. I'm trying to respond.

There's so many folk who are speaking via email and what have you. And I'm trying to be responsive because I know how important it is and so I'm trying to get it together. If you've tried to get my attention and I haven't responded yet, I'm working on it. Working on it because I know people love to be responded to.

It gives you a sense of dignity and at least I matter. Tell me something, even if you can't help me, call me and say I wish I could help you but I can't help you. But you know how it feels when you don't hear anything. You put out this massive call and none of these jokers respond to you.

That can feel pretty bad. We like to be responded to. So I can imagine that because this isn't a man who's had ROTC. This is not a man who has any leadership training at all. This is his first time blowing the trumpet, summoning people.

He's never been a general in training, never even been a sergeant or a private or anything. And now God is making a worry out of him and he's just having to follow the lead of the spirit of the Lord. He blows the trumpet and 32,000 respond.

That's got to feel good. Wow, that's great because before that you don't know. When you put out your trumpet call, whatever it is you're trying to get people to respond to, you don't know what you're going to get.

That can be a real strange feeling until you know. I remember when we had the first service of this church. We called the hotel and said we need some space for a service because we have announced on the internet that we're going to have a church. But it felt funny to just put out into the internet world we're going to have a church but inwardly you're saying now I hope somebody comes to the first service. Because literally we didn't know. And we thought well we might want to set it up where we have time for two services but frankly we didn't even know if we need one service.

You don't know until you know. So it feels good when you finally get response, when people are letting you know I'm here, I'm with you. I can imagine as those thousands were gathering and what have you, brothers showing up, hey man I heard the trumpet, what's up, what you need?

That feels good. On the one hand he's feeling good but on the other hand he's practical enough to say, okay did y'all count these up? Yeah, how many we got? 32,000. Alright now how many is down there in the valley? Well I don't know but it looks like at least 100,000 of them. Somebody will say no it's more than that.

It's more than that, it's about 120, 130. Imagine that the affirmation and the good feeling of being responded to gets neutralized by the reality that although we have 32,000 there are well over 100,000 down there so we are outmanned several times over. You don't feel great about that. And then look at what happens that morning that is spoken of here in Judges 7. That morning they're in camp, they are positioned to begin to strategize, okay what does God want us to do to defeat this enemy?

And before God gives them a strategy, he gives them a directive that had to hurt Gideon's very heart. Coming up next, the rest of today's message, Taking Only What God Gives Us with Pastor Paul Shepherd, Senior Pastor at Destiny Christian Fellowship in Fremont, California. is the place to go to hear any recent Destiny for Victory message on demand. That's While you're there, be sure to visit our online store for some great resources including books and MP3 messages from Pastor Paul. You can also watch selected video clips by subscribing to Pastor Paul on YouTube.

For more details and links to all of his social media sites, be sure to visit Sometimes God will give you a little more, more resources, more talent, more people to encourage you, but every now and then he'll give you a little less. Here's Pastor Paul with the rest of today's message, Taking Only What God Gives Us. God said, Gideon, you have too many people for me to do what I'm planning to do. Normally, when we assess a thing and if you would hear somebody say, we can't do it with this number of folks.

Normally what that means is, the implication is, we need more. But when God said, I can't do it with this many folks, what he meant was, I need less. What do you do when you have done your best to gather your resources to face a challenge?

They are still not enough so you think to deal with the challenge, but you've done your best. What do you do when God shows up and says, well actually, I can't do it with this and you're thinking, oh good, he's going to give me more. And he says, you have too much for me to do what I'm doing. What do you do when you go to God and say, you know, I'm grateful that you've given me a job, so many people are unemployed and I'm glad that I'm working, but Lord, this job really isn't paying me enough to get done in my life what I want to do. Lord, I need you to give me a better paying job or I need you to give me additional streams of income. And God says, well actually, you're about to get a pink slip this week. That's what happened to Gideon. You're looking for more because I can't do it like this and God says, you're right.

You think you can't do it because you don't have enough and I know you can't do it because you have too much. Gideon had to be a distraught brother. God, are you serious? God said yes, so what I want you to do is go there, there on Mount Gilead, I want you to stand somewhere where everybody can hear you or pass the word and tell them that I am saying anyone who trembles with fear may turn back and leave Mount Gilead.

That's the instruction. Go and let folks know, Gideon, that God said, if you're really scared, if you really don't want to do this, it's okay, I'm giving out honorable discharges. This isn't a dishonorable discharge. God isn't saying, tell them if they're scared, go home, you old coward. Not what he said.

This is not a kick in the pants, this is not a shaming them, this is not a something ain't right with you, so I can't use you. No, no, God is saying if you are afraid, it's all right, you can go home. Honorable discharge. Gideon then had to watch 22,000 people say in response to that, really? Yeah, they said, God, that's what God said, if you're scared, you really don't want to do this, just go ahead home, it's cool. 22,000 brothers said, deuces. Let me translate.

22,000 people said, okay, I'm leaving, peace be unto you. Here's what I need you to see. God is teaching Gideon what he's trying to teach some of us right now. That before he works the miracle he has ordained to work in and through your life, he is going to first do some stripping away, some downsizing, some pruning, some subtraction, some reduction, and some elimination. Before God works the work in your life that he has ordained, instead of you seeing more come, you are going to see more gold. Before he blesses you financially, some of you he is going to first strip away what you're currently depending upon. Before he blesses you relationally, he is going to say you must announce to some of the folk in your life they are free to leave. Now I want you to walk with me through this because God is saying to some of us right now, we have got to be okay with the subtraction that he has ordained.

It's not comfortable when you don't even feel like you have enough as it is, and God says some of what you're holding onto is nothing I can use, so you got to let it go. God says it's time for you to give out some honorable discharges. Some of us are holding onto people, guilting them into staying in our lives.

I could always count on you, and you owe me. You know I've always been there for you, and some of us are recounting to other folk, reminding them of how loyal we've been, and how good we've been, and treated you well, and all that. And the implication is you owe me, but the Lord has given me this word to give to you to let you know it is time for you to bless people as they leave because the leaving is ordained of God. Now it's not comfortable to do, I promise you it's not comfortable to do, when there are people you've gotten used to, people you've gotten comfortable with, and suddenly God is saying nah, let them go. Not comfortable, but it's necessary for God to get the glory he wants to get out of our lives, so here's what you got to do. Some of us have to look and realize there are people in our lives who are already showing us that their hearts are not there anymore.

It's already there, all you have to do is look. They're not responsive like they used to be, they're not enthusiastic about you like they used to be, they just are in a different place. You see it on their face, you see it in their, you used to get on the second ring, you called them and they were picking up, talking to you, now you go into voicemail.

Used to be responsive to the texts and the emails and all that, and now you don't know when or if you're going to get a response. Some folk you used to see them and you both greeted each other like Mary and Elizabeth and you hugged and something leapt inside of you, wonderful fellowship. And now you look at them, and they look at you, but it's not the same.

If you force a hug, that's all it is, is hey. God is saying I have ordained them to leave your life, stop trying to hold on to them, stop trying to guilt them into loving you and taking care of you and being there for you. He said I didn't ordain them, they can't stay, let them go. And he's saying let them go like Gideon had to let the 22,000 go, let them go with an honorable discharge.

Don't talk about them while they go, wasn't much in the first place, I really ain't missing a whole lot. That's not what God said, he said just let them go. Because some of them, 22,000 were fearful, those brothers were scared, they responded because the call was there and they just felt like I really need to respond, these are the days where men only responded to call to arms. The sisters couldn't be in the army like y'all can be now, and so this was the men only and some of those brothers were scared but they went anyway, their boys were gone and they didn't want to look like a punk and so I'm gone.

Some of them, perhaps their wives pushed them on out there and I know you're not going to let all the rest of these brothers go out there while you're sitting in here watching sports center, the devil is a liar, you need to get yourself up. Whatever happened, more than two-thirds of the original respondents, their hearts weren't there, they were scared and God looked at them and said I can't work with that. He said tell them it's alright, they can go home, give them an honorable discharge, let them go home and tell their wives God said I can come home.

In the hands of God, a little is always more than enough. Thanks so much for being here for today's Destined for Victory message, taking only what God gives us. If you missed part of today's message or if you'd like to listen again, is the place to go to hear any of Pastor Paul Shepherd's recent messages on demand. That's

Well, we've done a little research and we can tell you what you may have already suspected. More people than ever are listening to Christian radio and internet programs like Destined for Victory. And that's why your support is so critical today because people are searching for answers, searching for truth. And Pastor Paul shares that truth every day and he needs your help to continue doing it. For your generous donation to Destined for Victory, we have a gift we'd like to send your way, Pastor Paul Shepherd's booklet, Little is Much When God is in It. I'm sure you remember the story of the feeding of the 5,000. A young boy gave Jesus five loaves and two fish. It wasn't much, but it was all he had. And in the hands of God, it was more than enough. That's Pastor Paul's message to you in his booklet, Little is Much When God is in It, and it's our gift to you by request for your generous gift to Destined for Victory. Call 855-339-5500 to give over the phone or mail your gift to Destined for Victory, Post Office Box 1767, Fremont, CA 94538. You can also make a safe and secure donation from our website,

Thanks in advance for helping keep Destined for Victory on the air. One of the hardest things God is calling some of you to do, but you must do it, is assess the people in your life who it is clear they're there, but they're not there. God says, tell them, listen, it's been great, but it's obvious.

We're now moving in two different directions. What can GPS teach us about our walk with Christ? Find out tomorrow in Pastor Paul Shepherd's message, Taking Only What God Gives Us. 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 / 2024-02-02 21:35:09 / 2024-02-02 21:43:34 / 8

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