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Going Beyond Freedom (cont'd)

Destined for Victory / Pastor Paul Sheppard
The Truth Network Radio
December 2, 2020 7:00 am

Going Beyond Freedom (cont'd)

Destined for Victory / Pastor Paul Sheppard

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December 2, 2020 7:00 am

Why some people receive the gift of salvation but never enjoy fulfillment in Christ; based on Numbers13:17-33.

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My brother, my sister, if you want to journey toward fulfillment in your life, you're going to have to get your butt out of the way. I don't mean your B-U-T-T. Don't charge me with being vulgar while I'm preaching.

No, I just mean your B-U-T, your negative conjunction, your negative perspective on what God wants to do in your life. Hello, and welcome to this Wednesday edition of Destined for Victory. Wherever you are, however you may be listening, whether online, on radio, or on your mobile device, we're always glad to have you with us. Well, today, Pastor Paul Shepherd takes us to a familiar Old Testament story, one in which some of the Israelites began to romanticize their past and become fearful of an uncertain future. If you sometimes dwell in your own past and think of it as the good old days, or maybe even the best days you'll ever have, Pastor Paul stands ready to convince you that God has plans for you, plans that will give you a future and a hope. But first, you may have to get your objections and your conjunctions out of the way. Stay with us here or visit anytime to listen to Destined for Victory on Demand.

You can also listen or download the podcast at Google Podcasts or wherever you get yours. So now let's join Pastor Paul for today's Destined for Victory message, Going Beyond Freedom. My brothers, my sisters, I hope you never allow yourself to get to the place where you begin to believe that what God has ahead of you is not as good as what you have behind you. They were not going to experience God's best because when Moses sent out 12 spies to say, tell you what, we're going to check out where God promised us to go. We're going to send 12 spies, let them go and tell us about it and they'll come back and report. Now Moses, I'm sure, thought, well hopefully when the spies get back, they'll confirm that the land is just as good as God said it was and then the folks will be ready to go. He should have understood that they've been showing you all along their hearts are not interested in moving forward.

They were only interested in getting out of bondage but they didn't understand that freedom is overrated when you don't know why. So you know the story, 12 spies went over into the promised land, checked things out. If you want to read it, go to Numbers chapter 13 and I won't walk you through it in the interest of time. You read Numbers chapter 13 when you get a chance.

Let me just paraphrase it for you. 12 spies, one from each tribe, go over and check out the promised land. When they get back and report to Moses and to the people of Israel, there were two reports.

Ten of them had one report that was very negative, only two of them had a report that was positive. The ten came back and said yes, the land over there is great, it is wonderful, it is just like God said it was, land flowing with milk and honey. The fruit over there is rich. We brought back a vine of grapes.

It took two men to carry one vine of grapes. Boy this is really nice. Then they said but. Let me tell you my brother, my sister, if you want to journey toward fulfillment in your life, you're going to have to get your butt out of the way. I don't mean your B-U-T-T, don't charge me with being vulgar while I'm preaching.

No, I just mean your B-U-T, your negative conjunction, your negative perspective on what God wants to do in your life. Think about it, they just said yeah the land is rich flowing with milk and honey, it's great over there. Then they said but and they began to highlight things God never told them to worry about. They said but the cities are fortified and the people who live over there are large and powerful. And they said we even saw some giants over there. And then the report went on, compared to those giants, we look like grasshoppers. Question, how did they know how they looked to the people?

It's not like any of them interviewed the folks and said hey would you tell us what we look like to you? But that goes to show you when your heart is negative, when your perspective is something other than what God has given you to focus on, it is easy for you to project your fears and project your doubt and to project your unbelief onto other people and onto the circumstances. You and I can learn a lot from that first generation that came out of bondage. We can learn that your perspective can prevent you from fulfillment even though God has freed you. So I want you to think about your life, you're saved, thank God. Now my question is what are you going to do with that gift of salvation?

What are you going to do with the rest of your days on earth? We know that because you're saved when you die you're going to heaven. Guaranteed, no question about it, I'm saved. To be absent from the body one day is going to be to be present with the Lord. Instant reward when I close my eyes here on earth.

Praise God for that. But until you die what are you going to do? Are you going to spend the rest of your life in mediocrity? Are you going to spend the rest of your life being satisfied with what you've already done? Are you going to spend your life being okay with the norm? Just sort of treading water, not really going anywhere, not really doing anything. Are you going to spend the rest of your life playing it safe? Are you going to spend the rest of your life just barely making it?

I want to tell you something, if you're willing to do that, that's probably what you're going to do. You know where I got that from? From these people in Numbers 13? When they got that negative report their hearts gravitated toward the negativity. Now the two spies that had a positive report were Joshua and Caleb.

Caleb silenced the people and said, no, no, don't listen to these 10 guys. The fact of the matter is we should go right now into fulfillment. Why did God free us?

He freed us so we could experience fulfillment. We need to go right now and possess the land. Then the negative folks spoke back up. No, don't listen to them. They're crazy. Don't listen to them.

They're going to get you killed. And God himself stepped in. When you get into Numbers chapter 14 you'll see God step in. And when God stepped in he said, tell you what, tell those folks having that business meeting down in the wilderness that the meeting is adjourned because I've made up their minds for them. God said since their hearts gravitated toward the negativity, God said I'm going to let all of those folk who are negative, all those folk who don't understand that freedom is only as valuable as the fulfillment it can lead you to.

Since they don't understand that, I'm going to let them all die right here in this wilderness. Brothers and sisters, if you want to be mediocre for the rest of your life, you can be. God's going to give you permission to just live life as it comes. But if you have the spirit of Joshua and Caleb and if you have the spirit of Pastor Paul, something in you is saying I don't want to just tread water for the rest of my life. I don't want to just be an average Joe or Josephine, you sisters.

I don't want to be just some ordinary run of the mill person. I want to experience God's best for the rest of my life. Even if you've had some difficult times, some challenging times, you've had some major mistakes and mess ups in your life and all of that, you still got some more living to do and who knows, but the rest of your days could very well be the best of your days depending on your perspective. So I want to launch this series by just getting you to think, why am I free? What do I want to do with this gift of spiritual freedom I call salvation? If the Lord blesses you to see ten more, twenty more, thirty more, some of you are younger folk, some of you may have forty more years unless the Lord comes before them. Fifty more years, sixty more years, whatever time you have remaining, should the Lord tarry, what do you want to do with that time?

If you want to live an ordinary life, you can. If people don't want what God has for them, he won't cram it down their throats. He'll do just like he did with this first generation that Moses led out of Egypt. He let them die in a wilderness.

Not because he wasn't powerful enough to take them, but because their hearts gravitated more toward negative things than toward fulfillment. My brothers, my sisters, listen to your pastor. God has great things in store for you and it's up to you as to whether you experience them. Coming up next, the rest of today's message, Going Beyond Freedom with Pastor Paul Shepard, Senior Pastor at Destiny Christian Fellowship in Fremont, California. If you've never stopped by our website,, I invite you to do it today. You'll love what you see there, including the ability to listen to all of Pastor Paul's recent messages on demand, plus a host of great resources at our online store, including books and more MP3 messages from Pastor Paul. is a great place to learn more about the ministry and all the great things friends like you are doing through your prayers and financial support. And you can also watch selected video clips by subscribing to Pastor Paul on YouTube. For links to all of his social media, visit Do you have a dream in your heart?

Don't be afraid to attempt it. God wants to take you to a place of fulfillment, but to get there, your willing participation is required. Here's Pastor Paul with the rest of today's Destined for Victory message, Going Beyond Freedom. If you die in mediocrity, don't blame it on God. If you leave this world having never fulfilled the dreams that were in your heart, don't blame it on God.

If you leave this world never having even attempted to do great things, don't blame it on God. God wants to bless you. He wants to give you the gift of freedom, which is a means toward an end.

And what's the end? He wants to take you to a place called fulfillment. So in these coming messages, I'm going to be talking to you about the journey toward fulfillment. And let me just give you the very first point.

On the journey toward fulfillment, the journey requires passion. Joshua and Caleb, when they saw the negativity of the ten and when they saw how the hearts of the people gravitated toward negativity, they tried their best. They said, no, no, don't listen to this negative perspective. We should go right now. And then they said things like, we are well able to take over that land.

Why? Because God said it was ours. They didn't think they were well able because they thought they were physically stronger than the giants or anything like that. They based that solely on the belief that God didn't bring us out of Egypt. God didn't deliver us from Pharaoh in order to have giants kill us.

If God can get rid of Pharaoh, he certainly isn't intimidated by giants. They had passion to move forward. First thing I want to say to you that if you want to have your own personal journey toward fulfillment in your life, you need to have passion. Don't be a person who settles for mediocrity for the rest of your life. Don't be a person for whom average is okay. I have a little book in my library and here's the title, An Enemy Called Average. I want to encourage you, if you want to journey toward fulfillment, decide right here, right now, average is my enemy. I don't plan to spend the rest of my life being average. How do I go beyond the ordinary and move toward the extraordinary?

I have passion for that journey. Where you go is the product of where you decide to go and that's true in every area of your life. I remember as a young person, in fact, I was ending junior high. I was getting ready to go into ninth grade and I remember saying to myself, you know what, I want to go to a good college. At the time, my dad pastored a relatively small church. He did not have a great income.

They were good to him but it wasn't a significant amount of money. Certainly, he was not the kind of bracket where he could even dream of sending his kids to college on his dime so I knew that if I wanted to go to a good college, which I said to myself I wanted to do, I was going to have to get scholarships. I said to myself as I entered the ninth grade, I'm going to get good grades all four years, nine, 10, 11, and 12, so that I can get some good scholarships and go to college and won't have to worry about the money. That was a goal I set in the summer leading into my ninth grade school year. I want to get good grades.

You know what happened? I got all A's in ninth grade. Why? Because I'm smart? Well, I am smart but no, that's not why. I got straight A's because I decided to get good grades. I love running track and I love playing basketball and I did those things as a ninth grader but I didn't allow them or any other pursuits to obscure my goal of getting good grades. I ended up getting straight A's in ninth grade. Then, went into 10th grade. I said, well, that's 25% of the journey but now I got a second year of high school, I need to get good grades again. And guess what? I got straight A's in 10th grade.

Why? Because I decided I needed good grades in order to get scholarships. Tenth grade, all A's. Eleventh grade, still running track, still playing basketball, still enjoying life as a teenager but not allowing it to obscure my ultimate goal. Ultimate goal, I got to get good grades so I can go to college.

Guess what? Eleventh grade, got straight A's because I decided average, well, think about your grades in school. Average, at least when I was in school, meant C's. I said no, C's aren't going to get me the scholarship I need. And so, I got A's. Entering my senior year and I said, well, I'm three quarters of the way but I got another year and I understand that I had to take some college prep courses. I had been taking some along the way but my last year of high school, they said you're going to have to beef up your college prep courses and your advanced courses and all that.

And so, I signed up for those and I dug in, okay, I got to get this done. And it was not easy but my goal was, you know what, I've made straight A's all three years so far of high school. No need of settling for B's and C's now, let's go for it. And I ended up getting all A's. All four years of high school, I got straight A's. My friends say, oh, you smart. Well, I was. I was smart enough to know if I wanted to go to college, a good college, my daddy couldn't pay for it.

So, I did what I had to do. I'll never forget when I got my final report card, I went to a large public high school in Philadelphia in the 70's. That school no longer exists, it's been closed down. But when I graduated in 1975, there were more than 800 students in the senior class at that high school. When I got my last report card of my 12th grade, I remember I can see it now written on the report card with a red Sharpie kind of instrument.

There was the number 2, the division sign, and under it was 800 and I believe it was 833. That's how many seniors there were. And I finished number 2 in a class of over 800 seniors. Let me be honest, I was so mad. I was so mad that there was somebody who had beaten me in terms of grade point average and got number 1 and I was number 2. In fact, when I went to my, I think it was my 10th reunion of high school, I saw her. I had seen her earlier. In fact, I saw her at the end of the senior year, found out she was the one who was the valedictorian and all that and everybody was singing her praises and I went to congratulate her and all, but she didn't know I had a little bit of attitude while I congratulated her.

But the bottom line is, she deserved it and we remained friends. Reality is, I succeeded not because I was brilliant, not because, oh, he just got that kind of brain. No, it came because I had a passion to excel. What do you have a passion to do in your life right now? What is it that floats your boat? What is it that rings your bell? It may not be in existence now, but it is a thought.

It is something in your imagination. Whether it is you being an entrepreneur, whether it is you starting some new emphasis in your career, I don't know, but you know what is it you're passionate about right now in your life. Remember what Jesus said. Jesus said, a good person out of the good treasure in his or her heart brings forth good things. What's in your heart that you need to bring forth? And you have passion in your heart for that. Because I want to close by telling you, you're not going to get to a place of excellence with a mindset of mediocrity. You're only going to get to a place of excellence when you allow that passion to grip you in every conceivable way. Some of us need to make up in our minds during this time when COVID-19 has enveloped the world and people are trying to figure out what is life going to be like after this.

We don't know, but we should know one thing. However God brings us out of this, I'm coming out not just to go back to business as usual. I'm coming out to do what I've never done, to believe for what I've never believed for, to experience what I've never experienced. I want to see God do exceeding abundantly above everything that I've asked or even imagined.

Is that your heart's desire? If it is, I pray that God's going to help you bring it to pass. Amen. Thanks so much for joining us for today's Destined for Victory message, Going Beyond Freedom. Well, in a year like 2020 with so much chaos and confusion, it can be easy to lose sight of our primary mission.

We may shift our focus to social issues, political issues, or the pandemic itself. Now, none of these are bad in moderation, but our primary focus should be worshiping God, enjoying the gift of his salvation and sharing that gift with others. In his DVD message, Refocus, that's exactly what Pastor Paul encourages you to do. He put this sermon together to help you work through the challenges that have been born out of this pandemic and some of the frustrations that we've all experienced. As you follow along, he'll give you three practical steps as to how you need to address the events of this year and move ahead into 2021 with your faith intact, knowing that God is moving you ever closer to your destiny in Christ. Again, this DVD message is called Refocus, and it's our gift to you by request for your most generous gift to Destined for Victory in December. Call 855-339-5500 to give over the phone or mail your gift to Destined for Victory, post office box 1767, Fremont, California, 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 both now and in the years to come. Sometimes the enemy of fulfillment is past achievement. You missed that. I got to say it again. Sometimes the enemy of fulfillment is past achievement. Sometimes we sit back and kick back and say, well, you know, I've done pretty good to this part of my life. Well, pretty good is not going to get you to fulfillment if you dwell on it. So Paul said you need to let go of what's behind you. That's next time in Pastor Paul Shepherd's message, Moving on with Passion. 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 / 2024-01-20 10:37:20 / 2024-01-20 10:45:56 / 9

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