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Taking On Our New Identity

Destined for Victory / Pastor Paul Sheppard
The Truth Network Radio
October 27, 2020 8:00 am

Taking On Our New Identity

Destined for Victory / Pastor Paul Sheppard

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October 27, 2020 8:00 am

Five practical points we can learn from Gideon's preparation for war against his enemies; based on the life of Gideon. (Included in the 8-part series "From Worrier to Warrior".)

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Music playing Pastor Paul Sheppard, always glad to have you with us.

Well, you may think you know who you are. The question is, do you know who you are in Christ? Today Pastor Paul takes us straight to God's word to answer that question and to tell us what this new identity means for all those who believe in him. This is a must-hear message for anyone who has professed faith in Christ but who may not quite understand what this new identity is all about. Stay right here or visit to listen on demand. That's

You can also listen to and subscribe to the podcast at Apple Podcast or wherever you get yours. Now, here's Pastor Paul with today's Destined for Victory message, taking on our new identity. Now in the last two messages we discussed the importance of taking only what God gives us. God's been doing some real surgery in our lives, cutting away some things, cutting away some comfort zones and some security blankets and cutting away some props and some things that we've been leaning on. God has been saying, I am your sufficiency. I want you to just follow me even when I am removing things in your life. We talked about the fact that in Gideon's case there were two siftings.

The first was voluntary. Tell those who really aren't feeling this, they can go on home. And we found out that in our lives that happens too. There are people who just aren't there for you like they once were.

And you have to give permission to people. When they're not feeling you, let them go on home. There was a book, a secular book written years ago that said he's just not that into me. And you know sometimes people, now that was about romantic relationships exclusively, but to tell you the truth there are people who just for some reason they're no longer into you in this season of your life or their lives. And the worst thing you can do is try to hang on to somebody who's trying to get away.

You ever experienced that? They're trying to get away and you're trying to hang on to them. God says let them go.

First sifting was voluntary and then we saw in these past couple of messages that the second sifting was mandatory. There are some people that God took away from Gideon. They wanted to be with Gideon.

They were the 10,000 who said we're not afraid, let's go. But God said no you are not to go. If I do it with this many people they will rob me of my glory and I'll have to judge them. So I'm going to bless you by taking things away from you. And some of you don't know but God is blessing you right now by taking people away, taking props away, taking security away.

God is blessing you because if he blessed you with them or through them you would focus more on them than on him. So he's just moving things. Now as I wrap up this series I want to make five very practical points from the remainder of this story.

And I'm entitling this one Taking On Our New Identity. Remember in this journey when we first meet Gideon he is a worrier. He is concerned that the Midianites are going to take his food so he's trying to thresh wheat standing in a wine press.

And that's not where you do it but it was an indication that he was afraid, that he was being wimpy. But when the angel shows up he says the Lord is with you mighty warrior and God gave him an identity that he wasn't acting like. So now as we get to this part of his story he is finally taking on the identity that God gave him. And to look at that I want you to go with me to Judges chapter 7 and look at verse 8, verse 8 of Judges 7. It says, So Gideon sent the rest of the Israelites to their tents, this is after the second sifting, but kept the three hundred who took over the provisions and trumpets of the others.

Now the camp of Midian lay below him in the valley. Now as Gideon took on his new identity there are several things that he had to do but there are things that I want to remind you because you and I have to do them as well. If you're going to take on your new identity in Christ, who you really are, not what you act like, but who God has destined you to be, there are five things I want to tell you about. The first is remember that the enemy is beneath you. Remember that the enemy is beneath you.

Verse 8 tells us the camp of Midian lay below him in the valley. And of course that's figurative in our case but it is still very real that the enemy is below us. You've got to understand who you are in Christ. The Bible says in Ephesians that you and I are seated with Christ in heavenly places. If we're seated with Christ in heavenly places, I've got a question for you. What's above Christ?

Nothing. No enemy is above Christ. The enemy is under his feet. When Jesus rose from the grave he proclaimed all power has been given to me in heaven and in earth. There is no enemy that can even stand in the presence of God. And so you must understand that the enemy is beneath us because we're seated with Jesus.

If he is above all things and we're seated with him then that places us above all things because of our identity in Christ. I need you to understand who you are. The reason why the devil has picked on you for as long as he has in your life is because you haven't gotten it yet.

You don't know who you are. You are a child of God. You are an heir of God. You are a joint heir with Jesus, meaning whatever Jesus has he won that victory for you.

You and I are heirs and co-heirs and so the enemy is below us. So you are victorious long before you start acting like you are. Soon as you got saved you became victorious.

Now you've lived defeated at different times in your life. But God is saying it is time for you to take on your new identity and stop acting like a wimp and start living like a warrior. This is the time, this is the season says the Lord for you to begin to move out into your new identity.

You've taken the other steps that we've discussed and now it is time for you to lay hold on that identity because that is what the enemy recognizes. He doesn't recognize you in your flesh, he recognizes you in the spirit. In the spirit you and I are somebody. The devil knows who we are because we have the stamp of God on our lives. And you got to understand this is not about you personally, this is not about you in your flesh. In our flesh we are no match for our spiritual enemy. But in Christ we are more than conquerors. And so it is time for us to remember that the enemy is beneath you. Now he won't act like he is beneath you until you put him in his place. He's going to pretend like he has power over you.

But as soon as you come to understand who you are the enemy is toast. Years ago our friend Bunny Wilson told a story about a friend of hers, true story about a friend of hers, who had one of those little dogs that was just so chippy, just so you know barking and assertive and all that. Just a little tiny dog but real, real chippy, real assertive you know. Because you know dogs they are pack animals and so they quickly identify a pecking order. And so they know who is above them, you know often the parent or whatever, sometimes children if they really assert themselves the dog will know that they have to submit.

But even in the case of children if they don't they can be in the family. But if the kids aren't assertive enough the dog will say I'm third right behind mom and dad. Do you know that's true, you ever had dogs, I grew up with dogs most of my life.

I don't have one right now but love dogs and they do, they pick the pecking order. I'll never forget our last dog Jet, he was a Jet black lab so we called him Jet. Jet thought he was third in our family. You know our kids were young at the time and sometimes their mother and I would be out and we'd come in and they'd say you'd be shocked how Jet acts when y'all aren't here. He acts like he's in charge of us. And he does stuff he knows he has no business doing.

Because he's trying to show us I don't have to listen to y'all. They said it so much that one day I put it to the test, I said I'm going to pretend like I left the house. And I'm going to hide, I want to see the dog act up. And so I did, I did some part of my routine that he got used to hearing and associating with me leaving.

And so I did all that and then I went and found a good hiding place. And sure enough within minutes he started running around, he jumped up on the sofa. I could not believe my eyes, I was sitting there holding my mouth trying not to laugh out loud.

He just showing off, just trying to show them y'all can't tell me what to do. And finally I jumped down and said Jet, he looked up at me. Oh that was a panicked brother. I fell out laughing, I also took care of him. But it's true dogs love that pecking order and so Bunny said her friend, they had this little dog but the dog really felt very much part of that family. So they decided at one point they wanted a second dog and they got a very different breed. I don't remember the breed offhand but it was one that would grow large.

And so even as a puppy it was a little larger than this little dog and it was destined to grow much larger than this dog. Soon as they brought the puppy home, the little dog said uh-uh, you are fourth. I'm third. 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 as we continue to live in a season of uncertainty your support is critical because now more than ever people are looking for answers that only God can give. So give online safely and securely from our website or give us a call at 855-339-5500.

Again the number is 855-339-5500. When you give, we have a gift of our own to share with you and I'll tell you all about it after today's message. Do you want to be a person of destiny, a person who lives in victory? Well find out how next in the rest of today's Destined for Victory message, taking on our new identity.

Once again here's Pastor Paul. Took on that identity. So even after the little dog got used to it being around, it was still every now and then just pick on it just to make sure the puppy knew. One day they took the little dog to the groomer and the groomer got too happy with the clippers. And when the groomer got through the little dog really wasn't recognizable to the bigger dog. So they brought the little dog back home where he thinks he's third. The big dog doesn't recognize him and the bigger dog has grown now.

So it had the mentality of being fourth until this day. And he tried to act the same old way but the big dog wasn't having it. They said they had to pull that big dog off of that little dog. He was going after him for everything. He was going to kill him if they hadn't stopped.

Why? Because all along he had the power. But he just needed something to remind him of who he really was. I came to tell somebody you had it ever since you got saved. So it's time for you to start living like who you really are. Devil been picking on you for a long time but you got to leave this message saying that's it.

I'm not taking it anymore. I am who God says I am. So remember that the enemy is beneath you.

Number two, pay attention to God's timing. Look at verse 9 of Judges 7. During that night the Lord said to Gideon, Get up, go down against the camp because I am going to give it into your hands.

Now pause right there. The Lord says to him, Get up, go down to the camp. I'm going to give it into your hands. When does the Lord say that to him? That night. That night. God said, Get up now. That night.

They were somewhere according to the text which talks about it being in that particular watch. They were somewhere between 10 p.m. and 2 a.m. Not the time you would normally expect to go to battle. Typically you don't want to go to battle at night. But the Lord says that night, Get up, go to the camp. I'm going to give it into your hands. Pay attention to God's timing. There's often a timing aspect to what God does in our lives. So if you're going to be a person of destiny, if you're going to be a person who really fulfills your calling, you're going to have to understand that God will lead you not only in terms of the what and the how, but he leads us in terms of the when. There are some things that are destined for you, but you've got to find God's timing for them. God's timing.

Because if you do the right thing at the wrong time, you get the wrong results. And we've got to understand that there's this timing element in all that God does. Let me give you a biblical example. You remember when Ruth and Naomi were headed from Moab back to Bethlehem? Now Naomi is a woman of Israel. And so Bethlehem used to be home until she and her family had moved years ago to Moab during a famine.

And you know the story. Naomi's husband died and her two grown sons died while they were in Moab. Well one of the sons was married to Ruth.

And so suddenly all three women now don't have a husband and eventually when the Lord comes to the aid of his people in Bethlehem, Naomi says, I'm going back home, tells the two girls they can stay, but eventually you know the story. Ruth said, no, no, I'm going with you. Your God's going to be my God. Your people are going to be my people.

I'm going with you. And I feel somehow, even though I'm not a woman of Israel, I feel that my destiny is connected to you. And so there she goes headed back to Bethlehem, a place she's never been, a place she is not from, but she's just going to see what God is going to do here. Well you know that what happened was one day she said, we got to have something to eat so let me go out, find a field, and let me glean behind the harvesters, try to pick up some of the leftovers behind the harvesters, and I'll just pray that God gives me favor so that they don't mistreat me, because this was a foreigner, and she certainly could have been mistreated with impunity. So she goes out in faith just trusting she's going to be able to pick up some wheat and be able to feed herself and her mother-in-law, Naomi.

And you know the story. As it turns out, she found herself gleaning in the field of Boaz. She didn't know Boaz. All she knew is we needed to eat, and I'm going out trusting God. And so she ended up, God directed her path, and she ended up at the right place. But more importantly, she ended up at the right place at the right time. Because while she's gleaning one day, Boaz, the owner of the whole field, all those harvesters out there work for him.

He's the CEO. He pulls up in his Mercedes, gets out the car, and looks over his land and sees the harvesters doing their job. And then he notices this woman over in the corner of the field gleaning behind them.

He calls someone over and says, who is that woman over there? And they said, oh, that's Ruth. She came back with Naomi. She's from Moab. But, boy, she takes care of Naomi, and she's a wonderful woman, and nobody has anything bad to say about her.

And they gave a good report. And Boaz said, all right, he called all the men in from the field. He said, all right, I'm going to tell all of you all. No one mess with that woman. If anybody bothers her, you got a problem with me.

God's protection over her life. And then he called her, and she came in from the field, and he told her, I've instructed the men not to mess with you. You can glean all you want. In fact, they're going to be leaving some handfuls behind on purpose. God ever left you any handfuls on purpose?

And he says, you can glean all you want to. Won't be a problem, and the Lord bless you. God had her at the right place.

She didn't know it, but she was meeting her husband that day. You got to be at the right place, but also at the right time. So you have to learn to pay attention to God's timing. You just walk in the Spirit and let God put you in the right place. But pay attention to the timing, because there are divine appointments, a time when your life is to intersect with somebody else's.

And the timing makes all the difference. Back in 1989, I heard Oral Roberts telling the story of how he came to buy the 400 acres that he originally purchased to build his university on. And he said that he knew the Lord had spoken to him about building a university.

He said the Lord was very specific. I don't want you to build a college. I want you to build a university. He said, I want you to build it on my authority. I want you to build it on the power of the Holy Spirit. And so Oral said, I'm a preacher.

I'm a tent preacher, healing revival preacher. I know nothing about academia. I know nothing about universities. I know nothing about building a faculty.

I know nothing at all. I'm an old Indian preacher. But the Lord told him back in whatever decade, 60s or whatever, build me a university on my authority and on the power of the Holy Spirit. He said, so there was a piece of land that I said, this will be ideal for what God is, the vision he's given me. And he said, I would get out, drive up in that area and get out of my car sometimes and just stretch my hand out and say, Lord, hold it for me.

Lord, hold it for me. He said, and then the time came when we began to inquire. I pulled my attorney and a few trusted people in and we began to inquire, find out who owns that land and tell them we're interested in building a university on it.

Let's begin to talk with them. He said, I didn't have any money, but we inquired. He said, they found the family very wealthy.

He said it was an oil-rich family. And they said, no, we have no interest at all in selling the land. And so he said, well, let's just keep trying to raise a little money so we can eventually have some sort of down payment and that sort of thing.

And he kept doing that. He said, we eventually had a small amount of money, not a whole lot. It would be considered a very small down payment on the purchase of 400 acres. And he said, so then we went back to the family and said, you know, we really want to seriously talk about buying this property. And the family said, we told you before, we're not interested.

The owners were not interested at all. And he said, repeatedly, as they would approach them, they said, no, no, no, no, no. So much so that the average person would just say, okay, we need to just go elsewhere.

This is not a possibility. He said, but the Lord told me to build it in Oklahoma. He said, I was offered free land in Denver, Colorado, to build a university on. Offered free land. He said, I was offered free land in the Irvine area of Southern California.

Normally you would think, oh, man, that's got to be, people are offering free money. He said, but in my spirit, I knew this is not where God said to build him a university. So I turned down the free land in Colorado, turned down the free land in California.

Said, we're going to build it in Oklahoma. If you want to walk in victory, if you want to fulfill your destiny in Christ, remember, you are not who you think you are, you are who God says you are. Walk in that truth today and every day.

Thanks for stopping by for today's message, taking on our new identity. To hear any of Pastor Paul's recent messages on demand, log on to That's

While Satan is always fighting against the people who are trying to share the gospel of Jesus Christ, he seeks to kill, steal, and destroy. And that's why it's been so important through the years that people like you have stood by, destined for victory, lifting up the ministry in prayer and making donations when you can. And 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 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. Have you ever felt like what you have, whether money or talent, is too insufficient to be of any real use? Well, if so, Pastor Paul wrote this booklet with you in mind. As you follow along, you'll be reminded 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. And what God tells you to do is always scary. Have you noticed that?

If you haven't, pay attention. God never tells you something to do that's nice and easy and simple, and everybody's going to love you while you do it. That's tomorrow in Pastor Paul Shepherd's message, taking on our new identity. Until then, remember, He who began a good work in you will bring it to completion. Next, you are Destined for Victory.
Whisper: medium.en / 2024-02-01 11:45:06 / 2024-02-01 11:54:41 / 10

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