Marriage is work. Relationship building is work.
I don't care if you saw them, you saw their name and lights when you were walking down the street. I don't care what esoteric experience you had. In order to make that marriage work, you're gonna have to do some things besides pray. You have to learn how to fight fair.
Come on! You had to learn how to sacrifice? It's been said that the family that prays together stays together. But to have the best marriage and family life you possibly can, you'll have to do a few other things along the way.
Hello and welcome to Destin for Victory with Pastor Paul Shepherd, Senior Pastor of Destin Christian Fellowship in Fremont, California. Prayer is a powerful weapon. But not even prayer can solve everything.
Sometimes we have to roll up our sleeves and do a little hard work. Today Pastor Paul reminds us that when it comes to finding a spouse and building a healthy, godly marriage, prayer is a great place to start. But it's only a start. Today's message comes your way next. Stay with us now if you can. But remember, you can always go to pastorpaul.net to listen on demand. That's pastorpaul.net. Now, here is Pastor Paul with today's Destin for Victory message, praying about personal needs and desires. I ask in my name that I will do, why? That the father may be glorified in the son. And so I taught in the last message about the importance of being mindful of praying in his name.
What does that mean? That means to pray in his authority, to pray in his stead, to pray on his behalf. The way you get to be a powerful prayer is I ask on earth what Jesus would have asked when he was here. It's a prayer in his name when you're asking in his authority. And I talked about the fact that we need to learn that Jesus is not a genie in a bottle. And he has his own agenda, his own plan and purpose for our lives.
So we got to get in sync with his name. The second guideline, the second principle that you need to keep in mind is to be mindful of corresponding passages. Never take one scripture and act like it's the definitive statement about that topic. Because there are corresponding passages throughout the Bible.
What do I mean? They're cross-references. So when you look at this truth, cross-reference it when you study your Bible and say, what else did Jesus say about this? Or what else do the apostles say about this? Or what else does the Bible have to say in general? And cross-reference so that you get a full understanding of the will of God. Okay? Make sure you understand now that you must be mindful of corresponding passages.
What did I say last time? If among many true statements you select one and follow it blindly, it will become a falsehood and you a fanatic. So you want to learn how to study and study correctly. Be mindful of the name of Jesus. Be mindful of corresponding passages. Number three, be mindful of the choices others have the right to make. When you pray, you don't get to usurp somebody else's authority. You don't have that authority about their life. They have a right. So when you pray, you don't get to say, God, I want you to do this. And the this you're asking for makes their decision for them.
You don't have that authority. I gave the example of marriage. I said that when I was young and single, there were several people as I was a little young evangelist preaching youth ministries around the country and all. There were several single sisters who in wanting to get married, certainly nothing wrong with wanting to get married. Some of them were praying and maybe I'd come to their church preaching as a little young evangelist at the same time they're praying about, God, I want to be married. And so I'd show up and they say, this young man, right while I was on a fast, he came and preached. And so what that meant to them was, so God is showing me this is my husband.
No, he's not. Cause that makes my decision. It makes my decision for me.
You see what I'm saying? I got to choose who I was going to marry. There were a lot of wonderful people throughout the kingdom of God. I could have married and been in the will of God, but I got to make that choice. You didn't get to in your prayer closet.
Pick me. It's just not the way it went. And my wife told me as I started preaching and talking about that kind of a thing from time to time and using that example. One time she said, baby, the next time I got to that time. And from now on, whenever you tell that story about all the people around the country and in our home church who wanted to marry you, please tell them I was not one of them. She said, please let them know I was not in the Paul Shepherd sweepstakes. She was there and she was available.
And don't fool yourself. She liked the brother, but liking a brother and saying he's mine, two different things. Cause she figured and rightly so I can't call somebody mine who hasn't called me theirs. How many know if I call you mine and you call yourself something else, you win, I lose. Cause it's your life to live.
Anybody understand that? So I'm telling y'all now, it's on the record, she's right here. That she was not one of them. Yes, she did like me, but she was waiting to see what I was going to do. She saw me date other people. Cause we in the same church for years.
Teenagers and all. And so she saw my little dating and what have you. And she just said, okay, whatever he going to do is what he going to do? She didn't put her life on hold. She wasn't sitting around waiting. So many nights I sit by my wife.
The window waiting for someone to sing me a song. She didn't do all that. She lived her whole life. And then when I showed up with a plan, now she knew, okay, this is what he going to do. All right, we going to roll. But she was right.
She had the right position. That's what everybody's got to understand. You can't in prayer make decisions for other people.
We're not authorized to do that. And in fact, I said a shocking thing. I said not even God was going to make the decision about who I married. And that shocked some folks, but I need you to understand that.
Now I get it. There are some people in the kingdom who like to believe that marriages are created in heaven in eternity past. That God is match.com on high.
Some people believe that. That he's eHarmony on high. Or black folk getting together on high. What's the name of that?
What is it? Black people meet.com on high. He's none of those. Or white people meet, Hispanic people meet, whatever you all got. I know I got a broad multicultural audience. Now, will he be involved in your decision making?
Absolutely. The Lord will be partner with you in anything. You say, Lord, I want to be sensitive to your will. Because there are things the Lord can steer you away from if you trust him.
You were all in love with somebody. And because they were prayerful about it, the Lord told them, don't marry him. I know a few folks who had that testimony. The Lord said, don't do that.
He trying to bless you. Because one of the sisters that had that testimony, she said, we were engaged invitations out. And the Lord told me not to marry him. And she broke it off because the Lord just gave her a very clear sense.
This is not the decision you will need to make. Only to find out later on that man had an incurable disease. And he checked out of here. And the Lord spared her a whole lot of stuff.
And so, listen, he'll be involved in your decision making. Remember Abraham's servant when Abraham was old? And he said to his eldest servant, he said, I want you to swear to me that you will not find a woman for my son Isaac to marry. From the Canaanite nations. And he told him, please, I don't get to do it.
I'm old. I'm going to be with the Lord. But I need you to do this. And his servant swore. And when his servant said, Lord, I don't know how to do this. But I want you to honor that man that you chose as your servant.
And he said to honor him, Lord, you send me where I need to go so that I can make the kind of choice Abraham would have made for his son. In the second half of Pastor Paul Sheppard's message, praying about personal needs and desires. To listen to any of Pastor Paul's recent broadcasts, stop by pastorpaul.net anytime to listen on demand.
That's pastorpaul.net where you can contact us for prayer, shop our online store, or make a safe and secure donation to the ministry there online. And up next, Pastor Paul outlines three ways that people go about the business of finding a husband or wife. Join me in the studio after today's message. So stay with us.
But right now, let's join him for the rest of this message, praying about personal needs and desires. My point simply is you get to choose your spouse. Now, when it comes to styles of how that happens, we marry basically in three different ways. There are some people who believe in the Cinderella. I call it the Cinderella theory. Some of y'all just have to believe there is one person on earth you're supposed to hook up with. I get it. That's what you believe. God bless you.
It's not true, but you can believe it gone. There's one person. See, that's a nice romantic idea that there's one person on earth who is your soulmate. It's a wonderful romantic idea. It's not in the Bible.
So, but if you want to believe that, knock yourself out. Looking for that one. That's the Cinderella theory because, you know, the prince was going around with this glass slipper and how he got to find a foot that exactly fits this.
He going around trying on all the different feet. Looking for that one. And when he found her and the devil was trying to hide her. Y'all remember that back in the... Devil trying to keep her out of the place, but, you know, no weapon formed against Cinderella was going to prosper. And so found it and they got together.
Wonderful. A lot of folk believe that. Let me tell you something. When you find who you think is your one and only person, you still going to have to do the work to make that thing happen. That's my one point I really need to drive home. You can think they were the only person in the universe you were supposed to marry, but I promise you I know several folks who thought God gave me the exact one and I have counseled them.
You know the point I'm making? Marriage is work. Relationship building is work.
I don't care if you saw them, you saw their name and lights when you were walking down the street. I don't care what esoteric experience you had. In order to make that marriage work, y'all going to have to do some things besides pray. You have to learn how to fight fair.
Come on. You have to learn how to sacrifice. You have to learn say, okay, we're going to do this your way this time.
Next time we're doing it my way. You got to figure out ways to make it happen. Cause, yes, compromise because marriage is work. If you know people who say, you know what, we've been married 23 years and we have never had a fight. Walk away. Walk away.
Cause you know what that means? Somebody is holding a whole lot in for 23 years now, holding a whole lot in and when they blow, you are not going to want to be anywhere around. When they finally decide they got something to say, I've seen them. I've counseled them. I have talked them off the ledge. Yes, I know you want to kill them. I know.
We're not going to catch a case today. Are you hearing what I'm saying? It's going to take work regardless so you can romanticize it all you want. Romance doesn't replace the work it takes to make this thing happen and happen well. I don't care how much God was in it. I know some of y'all believe the Cinderella but you're still going to have to work.
Some of you all are like me. The theory that you marry based on, I call it any good size eight will do. There are a number of people you could marry and be in the will of God.
You decide which one you want to marry and marry them. You just saw the executive pastor now has chosen his bride to be. No need of you going home praying against it. You know what?
It would be funny if it weren't true. I have met folk who had prayer meetings against a wedding. Yes.
Yes. Cause they don't want these two people. Sometimes they think I don't believe she's the right one. I believe the devil sent her. I'm telling you what things I've seen.
I've been at this a while. I've been around church folk and they can get spooky in the worst way. And I've seen people praying against the marriage. You don't get to decide whether these two people get married.
They decide whether they get married and you can't get God in cahoots with you. Just said, Lord, give me the grace to smile. Be happy for them because when my day come, I want folk happy for me.
Come on. That's the way you do it. If you want to be blessed, be a blessing to somebody who is blessed. Don't get mad at folk when they're blessed. Get close to them. Celebrate them so that you show by your attitude, Lord, when you hook me up, I want some folk to bless me too. And there are a number of folks you could marry.
The trick is once you find one, that's your one. That's why you want to make it work well because you don't get to try on various shoes throughout your lifetime and be in the will of God. Oh, let pastor preach some Bible to you.
I know we live in a day where folk just trying on stuff. I don't like that. Take that off.
Walk around for a while. No, that's not right. Take that off. God doesn't want that. God wants us to marry one person, one man for one woman for a lifetime. That's the ideal.
Yes, their divorce happens sometimes, but it shouldn't happen because you and I aren't doing things the way God wants them to be done. Amen. Only three people going by this CD, but that's fine because I'm hurting their feelings.
I took their fantasy away, but I'm trying to tell you that I'm committed to the truth. You find the right size eight works for you, style you like. Some of y'all like heels. Some of y'all like sneakers. Don't buy sneakers looking for heels.
Oh, pastor trying to help you. I wanted heels. How come you didn't buy? There was a whole row of heels. Don't try to change somebody once you get them. I wish you was heels.
You bought a sneaker. The other thing is more than half the people who marry on the planet today, Christians and non-Christians alike, they married through arranged marriages. See, don't think just in terms of the Western hemisphere. We're the ones that are hung up on romance.
There are places in the world where people get to say nothing about it. Their parents, their loved ones, the elders in their family. Pick who you're going to marry. I got a member of this church right now. He went to his country of origin to meet his wife. His parents introduced him to his wife. Get to know her.
You're going to spend the rest of your life with her. That's the way it happens in more than half the people on the planet. God's not against that. In fact, you see a lot of that in the Bible, and that's exactly what Abraham was doing. Abraham didn't say, Isaac, you grown now. Go find your wife.
Not in that day. He said, I'm going to pick his wife, and I'm too old to go out here and find her. Sent his servant and gave him the guidelines, and the servant went out praying. And the servant said, Lord, tell you what.
I'm going to put out a fleece. I'm going to stand by this well, and I want you to send a woman to this well, and she's going to offer me water. She's going to take good care of me, and Lord, let that be a sign you're going to honor Abraham's desire and send a woman, because I don't know who to pick. And God honored it. Read your Bible. Isaac was mourning the death of his mama, and during that time of bereavement, here comes the servant with a woman, and he looked up and saw his wife riding toward him.
He said, thank you, Jesus. But again, it doesn't mean you don't have any trouble. Life isn't trouble-free. You say, well, what do you say about Rebecca? That was a nice hookup. It was a nice hookup, but once they got pregnant, here come the drama.
Jacob and Esau. See what I mean? Don't blame it on God. Well, see, if I had married the right person, no. They were just dysfunctional. Rebecca loved one child better than the other child.
Dysfunctional. My point is, we have to learn to respect the decisions other people have the right to make. The Bible says, Paul said in 1 Corinthians 7, marry who you will, except make sure they're in the Lord.
Now, let me just help flesh that out a little bit. Marry who you will in the Lord who shares your values and your vision in life. Because some folks are kingdom first, but they got a different vision for life than you have. If you see yourself on the foreign mission field and I see myself in the good old US of A, I'll pray for you out in the jungle, but no need us talking about getting married, because I'm not called to the jungle.
Everybody understand me? So, that's what I mean. You got to make sure there's compatible visions. You got to make sure there's compatible values.
Lifestyle is compatible. Some people just have a very different view of life than you do. No need of praying and fasting about whether you're supposed to get married.
I got a word for you right now. Yeah, and the Lord would say, no. No, because your visions don't fit. Thanks so much for being here for today's Destin for Victory message, praying about personal needs and desires. Before we send you off, Pastor Paul has joined me from his studio in California.
Pastor, thank you for your time. We started this year with a couple of messages that look toward the future. In fact, the book we're offering to everyone who gives such a generous gift right now is It Pays to Serve Jesus. Let's talk about the booklet and what's in it.
How is this going to be helpful to us? Yeah, I'm glad to talk about this booklet. It's based on a series that I did entitled It Will Be So Worth It. And it's a series where I look at the encounter Jesus had with a man we call the rich young ruler. And he came to Jesus really eager to find out what it would take to receive and enjoy eternal life. And when Jesus told him what it would take, he walked away sad because he was unwilling to part with his many possessions in order to gain eternal life. After that encounter, the disciples said, well, we've given up everything. And it kind of made them rethink, OK, what are we getting out of this deal? We gave up everything.
And what do we have to look forward to? And Jesus response is what the series is based on. Jesus said no one gives up everything.
And he listed a number of things. He said who doesn't receive in this life with persecution one hundred fold and then they'll receive eternal life thereafter. And I'm helping people understand that an eternal perspective must always be in focus. The fact is, it pays. It really does pay both in this life and in the life to come. It pays to serve Jesus, but it calls us to sacrifice and to surrender. And those of us that are willing to do it, we're going to see God bless us in wonderful ways. A great word of encouragement, Pastor.
Thank you. And we'd love for you to have a copy of this booklet based on the message you heard today. Consider the words of our Lord in the Gospel of Luke, verses twenty nine and thirty. Truly, I tell you, no one who has left home or wife or brothers or parents or children for the sake of the kingdom of God will fail to receive many times more in this age and in the age to come eternal life. Well, this is a promise from the very mouth of God. And as you dive into this resource from Pastor Paul, you'll be encouraged to remember that every promise God makes is a promise God keeps. Again, the booklet is called It Pays to Serve Jesus. And it is our gift to you by request for your generous gift to Destined for Victory today. Call eight five five three three nine five five zero zero to give over the phone or visit Pastor Paul dot net to make a safe and secure donation online.
You can also mail your gift to Destined for Victory Post Office Box seventeen sixty seven Fremont, California, nine four five three eight. And I've heard a whole lot of folks that what the Bible said, ask what I desire and God will do it for me. Well, kind of. But you've got to read the context.
What's the context? If you abide in me and my words abide in you, you see the difference? Because if you're not abiding in him, if his word is not abiding in you, you don't get to ask what you desire and expect God to do it. That's next time in Pastor Paul Shepherd's message, praying about personal needs and desires. But until then, remember, he who began a good work in you will bring it to completion. In Christ, you are destined for victory.
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