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Remaining Watchful in Spiritual Warfare

Destined for Victory / Pastor Paul Sheppard
The Truth Network Radio
January 28, 2021 7:00 am

Remaining Watchful in Spiritual Warfare

Destined for Victory / Pastor Paul Sheppard

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January 28, 2021 7:00 am

Trusting God to protect us in times of spiritual attack; the importance of watchfulness; based on Matthew 6:12 and Matthew 26:41. (Included in the 5-part series "When You Pray".)

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Hello and welcome to this Thursday edition of Destined for Victory with Pastor Paul Shepherd. We're always glad to have you with us. Coming your way next, Pastor Paul's message remaining watchful in spiritual warfare.

But first, he joins me now from his studio in California. Pastor, thank you for your time. You know, 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 a gift right now is called 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.

And now is a great time for all of us to begin thinking that way as we're still in the early stages of the year that is still facing some of the challenges from the year that was. Today's Destined for Victory message comes your way next. But first, this reminder for your generous donation this month. We'll be happy to send you Pastor Paul's booklet. It pays to serve Jesus. Consider the words of our Lord and the Gospel of Luke, verses twenty nine and thirty. Truly, I tell you, no one who is 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. 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. It's our gift to you by request for your generous gift to Destined for Victory today. Just call eight five five three three nine five five zero zero to give that gift over the phone or mail your gift to Destined for Victory.

Post Office Box 1767, Fremont, California, nine four five three eight. You can also make a safe and secure donation from our Web site, Pastor Paul Dotnet. He asked us to engage with him, and prayer is the means by which we engage with God. I want you to understand that's what prayer is about. It's not about religion. It's about relationship.

You have never in your life developed a relationship with somebody and hardly talk to them. Prayer has the potential to be one of our most powerful spiritual weapons, but we've got to learn to use it the right way. Today on Destined for Victory, Pastor Paul reminds us that Jesus gave us a prayer agenda, one that contains five key elements. And when we put these elements into practice, we begin to have the kind of effective, meaningful prayer life God wants all his children to enjoy. So here's Pastor Paul with today's message, remaining watchful in spiritual warfare. We can't have a relationship if we don't have communication.

If you have a marriage and y'all don't talk, you need to work on your marriage because the lack of communication means there is lack of connection. Amen. And as it is in natural relationships, so it is in spiritual relationships. You've got to relate to God in prayer if prayer is really going to matter. And so I want you to see the first thing we talked about in the prayer agenda was praise. Make sure when you pray, there's an aspect of praise. In fact, it's a good idea to enter into your conversation through praise, worship, and thanksgiving. In other words, you focus on who God is and you glorify him for who he is and you thank him for what he's done.

So when you go to pray, first tell God thank you. Tell God you love him. Tell God you appreciate and respect and honor who he is.

Don't handle God like he's your boy down the street. He is the great God of the universe and he is to be revered. He is to be honored.

He is to be adored. His name is to be magnified. Don't magnify your problem, magnify your God. As you see how great God is, you'll see your problem might feel great, but your God is far greater.

And that allows you to enter into the right context, mental and emotional and spiritual context to bring him your concerns. Because once I've magnified God, then I realize whatever I'm facing, he's bigger than that. Whatever my problem, he's bigger than that. Whatever my challenge, he's bigger than that.

Whatever the devil's trying to do, he's bigger than that. If God before me, it doesn't matter who's against me. Because in him I have victory, in him I have freedom, in him I have all that I need. And so we talked about praise. The second P in the prayer agenda, I call it petitions on behalf of others. When he told us, he gave us the part of the agenda that says that I want thy kingdom come and thy will to be done on earth as it is in heaven. That's petitioning on behalf of others.

Why others? Because that is interceding that God's will will be done in the world around you. Whether you're praying for your family, praying for your community, praying for your country, praying for your church, praying for the people in your sphere of influence who have needs.

You want to praise and then you want to petition God on behalf of others. You're going to get to talk about you, but teach yourself, don't start out talking about me. We are too me oriented for our own good. Oh yeah, I'm going to just remind you of that before I stop preaching on prayer. Stop praying about you all the time. In fact, stop looking at you all the time. Stop focusing on you all the time. You do get to focus on yourself sometime, but some of us just need to realize I am not all there is.

I'm only some of what there is. And so get used to thinking about other people and praying for them. If you know folk with problems, then you got something to pray about. Do you know folk with challenges and you got something to pray about? Do you know folk who need their eyes of understanding open so that they can see what everybody's been trying to help them see and they don't see it? Then you got some things to pray about.

Do you have a spouse who's special? Then you got some things to pray about. You have children that need Jesus and the Holy Ghost. You got things to pray about.

You have coworkers you're trying to keep from catching the case. You got something to pray about. Do you understand what I'm saying? You got so much to petition God for on behalf of other people. You should never allow yourself to be prayerless.

There's too much that needs God. You got to pray. Pray for all the people in your sphere of influence. Have lists so that you know every day I'm going to pray over certain things at certain times.

Because you really want to specialize in covering the many bases of petitioning on behalf of others. So don't try to think of everything just on the spot. Develop a prayer list that has sections. Sometimes I pray over these things. Or some people do it Mondays I pray over these things.

And they have a whole list of items from their Monday petitions. Tuesdays I pray over these people and these things. Wednesday I pray over these petitions and these things. And do that throughout your lifetime you will be an effective prayer warrior. If you take the time and practice fighting and warring in prayer.

Because the people in your life need you to call their name to the Lord. The people in your life need somebody to petition God on their behalf. So don't pray general prayers.

God bless everybody everywhere. He can't do that. Pray specific. Remember it's warfare so you want to target people and things in when you pray.

I'm firing this missile at that. And I'm praying about that. And how often do you pray? You pray till you see the answer you want. You push. You pray until something happens. P-U-S-H. Pray until something happens. Has what you need taken place yet?

No. Keep praying about it. You want to be like that widow in Luke 18 who the unjust judge said though this woman is getting on my nerves I wish she'd go somewhere.

Because she won't I better answer her request. And Jesus gave us that story to say if an unjust judge will do that how much more will your good good father bless you and meet you at the point of your need. But you want to pray until something happens. So praise is the first part.

Conditions on behalf of others second part. Personal requests. See you finally get to you. I told you we were going to come to you.

We were going to leave you out. But don't pray about you only and you all the time. Trying to get you to see the kingdom is about people that include you but goes far beyond you. And so yes you do get your personal requests in as well. And talk to God about the things you want him to do in your life.

Take some time. You might want to create a prayer agenda just about your personal requests. And this day I pray over these requests. And this day I pray over the other set of requests. And you talk to God about the things that you want him to do. Your needs and your desires.

So praise, petitions on behalf of others, personal requests. Remember I told you in the last part of the series you don't get to just have an attitude and unresolved attitude with folk. You've got to resolve that stuff. If they have offended you, trespassed against you, sinned against you, you need to have a posture of forgiveness. I've made it plain you don't have to express to people who are unrepentant. Walk up to them and say listen I forgive you.

They haven't even acknowledged they did something wrong. But you want to have a forgiving attitude toward those who haven't acknowledged it. And then you want to actively forgive those that have acknowledged it. But even if they didn't acknowledge what they did wrong, you want to say Lord help me to not carry them in the prison of my heart. That's what unforgiveness is. When you're carrying people, you're holding them in unforgiveness in your mind, in your heart. And you have a little jail cell in your heart and they're always there. Jesus says you must forgive them.

Why? Because if he sets you free from your sins, how dare you hold people responsible for theirs. He sets you free so you got to set them free.

You say but they didn't acknowledge it. Then what you do is pray like Jesus prayed on the cross or Stephen prayed when he was being stoned to death. You say Lord I'm giving them to you. I forgive them to you.

Lord I want you to know I'm releasing them. In fact the word forgiveness, the Greek word means to send away. To send away.

When I forgive you what I'm doing is you didn't acknowledge that you did me wrong but I have sent you. You are no longer with me. You're no longer in my heart. You're no longer in my, the old folk called it in your crawl.

Don't keep folk in your crawl. Send them to Jesus. I'm giving them to you Lord. Because he knows what to do with them and some of us need to free all the prisoners in our hearts. I told y'all some of y'all have a whole cell block C. You got a whole cell block C. You got solitary confinement in there.

You got folk who you put through various changes. You need to release yourself and I know you need to release them because every time you see them, every time you hear their name, every time something reminds you of them, your face changes, your attitude changes, your disposition changes. So don't tell me oh I ain't worried about them.

Yes you are. If you weren't worried about them you wouldn't have that kind of reaction. What you need to be able to do is say yeah I remember very well what they did but I sent them away. I transferred them to God's jail.

They are no longer my assignment. Amen. Now here's Pastor Paul again with the rest of today's message, remaining watchful in spiritual warfare. Some of y'all got some people you got to get rid of. You are not supposed to be the warden on their case.

You send them to him. So pardon for offenders. And the final part of the prayer agenda I wrap it up with this. I'm calling protection and to proclaim victory over the evil one. Pray for protection and to proclaim victory over the evil one. I'm praying for my personal protection and I'm proclaiming my victory over the evil one. When Jesus said pray don't lead us into temptation but deliver us from the evil one.

He is encouraging you to understand that you and I need protection so let God be your protector. In fact you get a good example of what Jesus had in mind. Have you ever read the account of Jesus in the garden of Gethsemane? Look for instance at Matthew chapter 26 verse 41. When he first gets to the garden he has 11 disciples with him.

Judas of course has gone. But the other 11 are with him. And then at a certain point he tells 8 to stay where they are and he walks further into the garden with Peter, James and John. And he takes them and he tells them now watch with me. And so he wants them at a certain point to just kind of be there for moral support and prayer support.

And then at a certain point he leaves them at a different place than the other 8. And he goes to the stone where he is going to do his serious praying. And you already know what happened in Gethsemane. That's where Jesus labored in prayer.

And he prayed repeatedly until he got the breakthrough he needed. He said Lord if it's possible don't let this happen. I don't want to drink this cup.

If it's possible let it be removed from me. He said nevertheless not my will but yours be done. By the way you better have yourself a Gethsemane. You better have a place where you pray until your will conforms to his will. Because some of us all we do is the first part of the Gethsemane prayer. I don't want this. That's how some of y'all pray. You call that Gethsemane.

That's only half Gethsemane. I don't want to go through this. I don't want to deal with this. Oh Lord I'm tired of this. Oh Lord please don't make me do this.

Oh Lord please don't. You got that part down but you got to keep reading. Jesus prayed until he said nevertheless. It took him three times in Gethsemane to get all the way there to that point of full surrender and release. The Bible says in fact Jesus prayed until his sweat glands gave way to blood. And he began to wipe bloody sweat. And you're doing some serious agonizing.

When you get to that place where you start bleeding as you're agonizing. He was determined to have his breakthrough. Now in the midst of that look at what he said in verse 41 to these disciples. He said watch and pray lest you enter into temptation. Here in this model prayer he says lead us not into temptation.

But he told them later in their experience with him. He said watch and pray lest you enter into. It's not so much enticement toward evil. We tend to think temptation is only enticement toward evil. That's a certain kind of temptation. Where you're enticed to do wrong. But there are other temptations where you are enticed to do things you have no business doing. Things that just aren't the best reaction to what you're dealing with. You ever had a bad reaction to a hard trial? Think about your life now. You're facing a hard trial.

A severe trial. And you ought to handle it a good way. But the way you deal with it is a poor way. Not so much that you're sinning per se. But you're sure carnal.

You're sure missing the ideal mark. You sure say what you shouldn't say. You do what you shouldn't do.

You'd make a decision you shouldn't make. That's what's spoken of here. And Jesus says here in the garden. Watch and pray lest you enter into temptation. So when I suggest that the last part of the prayer agenda is for you to pray for protection. Your protection from poor decisions. Protection from wrong choices.

Protection from things you really should not be involved in. Then please understand that there's more than prayer. But prayer is part of it. You want to give it to God. Lord help me to not make poor decisions. Help me to not make the wrong choice.

I'm in the throes of a trial or a severe testing time. It could involve enticement toward temptation. But please know the Lord himself would never entice you to temptation. Remember what the apostle James said in his letter chapter 1. He said when you're tempted to do evil.

Don't ever blame God for that. When you're tempted to do wrong. God never tempts us to do wrong. He says that happens when of your own flesh you are drawn away and enticed. Something in you draws you in the wrong direction. Don't say oh God is tempting me.

No he's not. God wants you to win. He doesn't want you to lose. God is not saying oh come on make the wrong decision. Come on, come on.

Course not. But your flesh and the enemy of your soul got that on lock. That's what they want to do all the time. Get you to make wrong choices. Whether it's enticement toward sin. Or whether it's just making wrong choices that aren't sin per se.

But they sure will mess things up. Anybody ever made choices. Well it wasn't sin but you sure regret you ever did it. No see I need you all to be honest.

Now quit perpetrating the fraud. Quit acting like you always pray in the Holy Ghost. And you always make godly decisions.

You ever made the kind of decisions where you looked at yourself in the mirror and say what was that about. Really dude, really. So you want to pray in your prayer agenda. Have a time when you pray Lord protect me. Help me to stay focused. Help me to know what to avoid. Help me to stay out of unnecessary trouble. In fact Lord help me to not go into the environment. Where temptation, where severe testing is liable to draw me away. Help me Lord if I don't need to be in there just guide me around it all together. Help me not to shop at temptation mall.

Come on somebody. Help me to not be in the neighborhood. Help me to just stay away. I got enough automatic drama in my life.

Help me to not go invite drama into my life. So pray for protection. But I pointed out that prayer in Garden of Gethsemane or what Jesus said there in Matthew 26 41. Because I want you to notice that Jesus said then.

So it clearly fits what he says here in the model prayer. That you can't just pray you got to also do what? Watch.

You got to also watch. Don't say God it's up to you to keep me away from trouble. All while you walking into the trouble. Oh Lord I tell you. Come on so.

Oh no I'm going to shoot straight before I finish this part of this. See some of y'all you want to pray a bogus prayer. Don't ask God to help you when you drove yourself into the thick of it. You sitting there in the middle of it. Somebody help me Lord.

What you asking for? You're the one with. Don't ask him not to lead you into temptation when you drove yourself there. Oh I'm trying to help somebody.

What's he going to do? You did that. So you have to watch and pray. In the Garden of Eden man chose his own will.

In the Garden of Gethsemane Jesus chose God's will. Pastor Paul's prayer for you is that you'll learn to choose the second garden so that you can enjoy the destiny in Christ to which you've been called. Thanks so much for joining us for today's Destined for Victory message remaining watchful in spiritual warfare. For more information about the Destined for Victory ministry or this month's special offer stop by our website pastorpaul.net.

That's pastorpaul.net. Don't ask God for protection if you are driving yourself into the trouble. I put myself here.

You're a recovering addict from alcohol. You do not go to happy hour. That's not where you're supposed to be because God will do the answer to the praying but you have to do the watching. And watchful people say no I don't belong in there. That's next time when Pastor Paul Shepherd warns us against defeating our own prayers for protection. I hope you'll join 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 / 2023-12-30 11:19:50 / 2023-12-30 11:29:22 / 10

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