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Remaining Watchful in Spiritual Warfare (cont'd)

Destined for Victory / Pastor Paul Sheppard
The Truth Network Radio
January 29, 2021 7:00 am

Remaining Watchful in Spiritual Warfare (cont'd)

Destined for Victory / Pastor Paul Sheppard

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January 29, 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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Don't ask God for protection if you are driving yourself into the trouble. I put myself here.

You're recovering at it 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. An old comic strip character named Pogo may have said it best, we have met the enemy and he is us.

Hello and thanks for stopping by for this Friday edition of Destined for Victory. Have you ever been your own worst enemy, praying for God's protection while standing right in the middle of the interstate? Well, Pastor Paul has a word of encouragement for you today, as well as a challenge. If your actions contradict your prayers, those prayers will be hindered. Today's message is straight ahead, so stay right here if you can, or visit pastorpaul.net to listen on demand. That's pastorpaul.net. Now, let's join Pastor Paul for today's Destined for Victory message for meeting watchful in spiritual warfare. Don't put yourself in a position where you have no business being.

Let me make this real clear. There are various trials, whether it's enticement toward evil, that's the work of the flesh and the devil, or whether it is the trial of your faith. Whenever God allows your faith to be tried, God doesn't want you to lose. It is a test that you can win.

Let me show it to you this way. You don't go to school for a whole semester and never get tested, and it's not a negative thing. Oh, Lord, they're giving tests. That's not negative.

It is the opportunity for you to prove you have done the work, you've internalized the information, and you're ready now to apply it. So the test is not negative. Any test that is a trial designed by God or that involves God's will, that means you're supposed to pass it. So God's never involved in enticement toward evil, because God doesn't entice you to do wrong and hope you do right. That's not God.

That's your flesh and the devil enticing you to do wrong, hoping you'll do wrong. But there are other tests, such as in school or any program of learning, they are going to show you whether you've internalized it by giving you a test. Don't call it negative.

It is positive if you've prepared for it. See, when our kids were going through school, they went up, and we'd have nightly prayer as a family before they went to bed. And I would encourage them, because that's why they, you know, you just saw my daughter get married. That's why they have active prayer lives, and God blessed her the way she did. You saw that great testimony. We'll walk you back through that. But that's all because she learned from a girl to walk with God.

That was intentional on her mother and my part. We taught them to walk with God. My son taught him to walk with God. So when you have your challenges in school, tell us about it so we can pray with you and encourage you. And when you have tests at school, we would say, we would teach them, and they would tell us in the prayer that, now, pray for me, I got a test tomorrow.

And I would always say, or their mother would always say, did you study? See, I'm not going to pray that you passed the test. Y'all know what I'm about to say.

And you didn't even do your work. If you didn't do your part, there's no point in praying. The only prayer I got for you is, Lord, have mercy. That's the only prayer I can pray at that point.

Have mercy. You need to be able to say, and they would say, yes, I studied. I studied well. And then we would pray, now, Lord, give them recall. When they're there with the pencil in hand, give them recall of what they have worked on. Help their minds to be fresh and alert so that they can produce what they internalized.

You see what I'm saying? As it is in the training of children or training of adults who are in some sort of academic pursuit, it is the same way in your spiritual pursuit. 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. They're siroccing themselves to death in there. You'll see I learned that, so I saw all this siroc.

I said, what's this siroc? Nah, I know what they doing. That vodka is just wearing them out. You don't pray and drive yourself to the bar and you're in recovery. You just defeated your own prayer. You don't sit up there at the bar to my Lord help me.

You understand what I'm saying? He'll help you stay away when that thing is pulling on you on the inside. That's what the Holy Spirit will do. He'll say, no, we're going over here. So you got to watch and pray. If lust is a problem, you don't go to the strip place. Tell them about help me Jesus.

Help you do what exactly? You know, you got to cooperate with yourself. So no need of you brother talking about, I can look, I can withstand any temptation. I don't care if she come out with no clothes on.

I can do it. Why are you in the place where she's stripping to begin with? You all understand what I'm saying? You got to learn to ask the right questions so you can get the right answer. And not just for the sisters, not just for the brothers.

You sisters can have some lust issues. You believe in God. I would love to be married to a godly man, but no need of me putting myself in a position where all these ungodly people going to be hitting on me. I won't put myself in a position where I constantly getting hit on that constantly have to fend it off. Stop going where you're being constantly assaulted. That's your job. I can't help it. It's at the gym where my membership is. Well go at an hour.

He's not going to be there. Come on somebody. You know that guy in the gym and he just, he just does something for your spirit.

Every time you see him, every time you see him, you get energized from within. Oh, come on sisters. Y'all trying to look holy, but you know exactly what I'm talking about.

Thank you for the help. Y'all, you know exactly what it, let's see y'all play it. Aren't there times you have seen if you will just notice your reactions? Haven't you noticed how energized certain people or certain settings get you? You have to be willing to ask yourself, why am I so excited right now? Why am I, I'm just enjoying my, what is that about?

You got to ask yourself the right questions so you can get the right answers. Why are you, you're supposed to be working on your machine. What you're doing? Look at over there the whole time. And you got to listen when the Holy cause the Holy Spirit is with you. You're there for a legitimate reason. So he went with you to the gym cause he know you need to work it out and he's there to help you. But he is also there.

If you will engage him, he will speak to you and the Holy Spirit will help you understand. You need to get your eyes off of there. You don't need, look at you. You just watching the sweat drip off the muscle. Oh, I'm trying to help somebody. See y'all play it. You just watching. You're not even working as hard on your machine as you supposed to be working.

You got to ask yourself and answer the right questions honestly. Don't ask God for protection if you're putting yourself in harm's way. That says unwise is walking out in the middle of a busy street to my Lord. Keep me from getting hit.

I hope you see how silly that would be. Now just translate that in to your everyday life. In what area of your life are you walking out into the traffic? Come back. Help me. I don't want to get hit, Jesus.

Well, it sure look like you want to get hit because you're going right where the cars are zooming by. So you have to cooperate. Your actions have to be consistent with your goal. Stay with us. We're only about halfway through today's destined for victory message with Pastor Paul Shepherd, senior pastor at Destiny Christian Fellowship in Fremont, California. We want to thank all of you whose prayers and financial support helped Pastor Paul share the gospel all over the world.

The past year or so has been filled with chaos and uncertainty. That's why your support is even more critical now because in times of crisis, people are more willing to have conversations about Jesus or to listen to Christian radio programming like Destined for Victory. To give right now, visit our website, pastorpaul.net or give us a call at 855-339-5500. Again, the number 855-339-5500. And when you give your generous gift today, we have a thank you gift to send your way.

I'll tell you all about it right after the remainder of today's message, which comes your way right now. Once again, here's Pastor Paul Shepherd. So you want to pray for protection, but Jesus said, don't just pray, watch and pray. You got to be watchful. That's why I keep telling you about relationships. You'll get victory when you get better friendships. You'll get victory when you speak to somebody on a covenant level. You'll get victory when you let somebody tell you the truth you don't want to hear. You who will not walk in truth with anyone are setting yourself up.

You got to stop lying to yourself. You got to say, no, I need somebody to tell me the truth. I need to give somebody permission to be blunt with me. I need to give somebody permission to just take me where I don't want to go.

Do you have such people? They love God and they love you. So they're going to tell you the truth, whether you like it or not. You get mad, stop speaking for four days.

That's fine. They'll call you on day five. What's up? You haven't spoken to me for four days.

What's up? That's the way that works. If nobody has permission to say uncomfortable things to you, you are not going to win.

The winning strategy is the strategy where you're connected with God in prayer, but you're also connected with yourself in watchfulness and you're connected with others who can watch out for you. So you need friends. So on the alcohol, you need a friend, sponsor or whatever you call them who can talk to you about the real deal. All right, so you're going on this trip, so how we going to manage that?

You got to have peace. Ask you the right questions. I was in another city and a friend asked me, so what you're doing? I said, well, I'm doing that.

Was able to tell what I was doing and he said, all right, is that all you've done? Cause if you don't have friendships that go there, it's like spot checking. You ever seen in the financial world, in order to get the financing for our worship center and we were at church, we didn't have much resources at all and they were ready to give us the money, but they needed to make sure we were handling what we had right. And then the audit process, they said, show me this. We didn't get to show them what we wanted them to see. Okay, y'all look at this.

No, cause you already prepared for that. I don't want to look at that. I want to go in this section over here and pull anything out the file cabinet and look at that and say, what's up with this? That's called auditing. You need your life audited.

You need somebody who can go into any file, ask any question, and if you don't have the answer, they say, well, where are we going to get the answer? We got to work on this. We're not ignoring this. So you need to understand protection is wonderful to pray for, but protection needs to be accompanied by personal watchfulness. Lead us not into temptation. Yeah, but also in the hour of temptation, make sure that I'm making decisions that are consistent with God's will or else I'm going to fail in that time. And let me end it by the fact that this final part of the prayer agenda encourages us to not only pray for protection, but to proclaim victory over the evil one. He said, lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from the evil one. You want to understand that in Christ I have victory and I've got to proclaim that I've got to activate that in my life.

I've got to proclaim that this is going to be my experience. Do you know Jesus won the victory for all of us on the cross, but he won the victory for folk who are walking in defeat. Why? Because although he won the victory, they have not appropriated the victory to their own experience. So you can have access to victory, but you can be experiencing defeat. So you've got to take authority over the evil one.

What does that look like? That means you've got to learn to take a stand against Satan, all of his cohorts. You've got to take a stand over every bondage in your life, every adversary in your life, and every obstacle that threatens or opposes God's plan in your life.

You've got to learn to take authority over some things. You've got to learn to take the possession of the victory Jesus has already won for you. You've got to learn to tell the devil and every demon that you are not going to succumb to their temptations, to their wiles. The Bible says we are not ignorant concerning his devices. You've got to know what the devil's devices are. How have they been successful in prior seasons in your life?

And you better know your history so that you know how to overcome them. In sports, have you ever seen a team that always seems to get the upper hand on a certain opponent like they have their number? That's intentional.

When they're practicing, they know what the other team's going to run, and they practice to defeat their purposes. Well, if that happens in sports, it's got to happen in your life. You've got to learn how to take authority over that which is a bondage for you. It might not be sin. It could or could not be sin, but if it's a bondage, you've got to take authority so that you have victory in that area of your life. Remember what the writer to the Hebrews said. He said, let us lay aside every weight and the sin which does so easily beset us, meaning not everything is a sin. Some things are weights. It just weighs you down. And Jesus said, this is not sin. The Bible doesn't say this is sin. Yeah, but look at how weighed down you are.

Look at how you can't see straight, how you can't think straight, how you can't make sound decisions because it is sin in your life. It is a weight. It is weighing you down. You have never in your life seen a marathoner running with a heavy jacket on. You can't run 26.2 miles with a full overcoat and heavy weights all on your body.

Lay aside every weight. Some things you got to get rid of not cause it's sin, but because it's not taking you anywhere good. Come on somebody quit asking the wrong question so you don't get the wrong answer. Yeah, but pastor is this sin?

I've been passing since 1982. I can't tell you how often I've had somebody come to me to my is this sin? Wrong question. Is it a weight? Don't ask the sin question.

Is it a weight? What did the apostle Paul say when he wrote the Corinthian church in chapter six of first Corinthians says a verse that says he quotes a common expression of their day. All things are lawful to me, but not all things are expedient or profitable. All things are lawful for me and in chapter six he says, but not all things edify or build me up.

In chapter 10 when he gives that quote, the last line is different. Instead of not all things edify, he says, but I will not be brought under the power of any. So don't ask me, is it sin? I got a couple of questions for you. Does it edify you? Is it profitable? Is it bringing you under its power? See that?

You got to answer those questions. Don't ask me, is it sin? We're not talking about hell. We talking about you living on earth. I see why I know sin will take me to hell, but this isn't sin. Well, some things not about whether you're going to hell. Some things are, are you going to make earth as effective in your living as it should be and not all things edify or build you up. Not all things are profitable and certainly there are some things that will bring you under their power and if something has that kind of powerful grip on you and one of the reasons you can realize it has power is how much you're fighting to keep it. Well, if you put as much effort into positive things as you're putting into keeping this vice, you'd be a lot further down the road. Oh, this is good.

All right, let me dismiss this service so the four of y'all can go buy the CD. Amen. But God is saying to us in his word, when you pray, you will have power if you pray about the right things and if you operate consistent with your prayers in the obedience of God's word. God never said he would blindly give you the desires of your heart. He said, delight yourself in him and he will give you the desires of your heart.

Just remember when you truly begin to delight yourself in him, your desires will change. Well, pastor Paul Shepherd's deepest desire is to introduce as many people as he can to Jesus Christ, the only name by which we can be saved, but he can't do it alone. It takes people like you, men and women from all walks of life who are committed to praying for the ministry and offering financial support.

When you give a generous gift this month, we have a gift of our own to share with you. Pastor Paul's booklet, it pays to serve Jesus. In Mark chapter 10, Jesus tells us that all those who follow him will receive 100 times more than they give up. Yes, there will be tough times and sacrifices along the way. You may have to give up a few things, some old habits, maybe even a relationship or two, but as you'll discover in this outstanding resource from pastor Paul, following Jesus is always worth it. In fact, it's worth it in this life, as well as the one to come. That's pastor Paul's booklet, it pays to serve Jesus and it's our gift to you by request for your generous gift to Destin for Victory this month.

Call 855-339-5500 to give over the phone or mail your gift to Destin for Victory, post office box 1767, Fremont, California 94538. You can also make a safe and secure donation from our website, pastorpaul.net. Developing a lifestyle of faith means seeing our problems through the lens of God's promises. When you walk by faith and develop it as a lifestyle you'll learn to see your problems through the lens of God's promises. That's Monday when pastor Paul Shepherd shares his message, developing a lifestyle of faith. 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 08:09:06 / 2023-12-30 08:17:32 / 8

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