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Developing a Lifestyle of Faith, Part 2 (cont'd)

Destined for Victory / Pastor Paul Sheppard
The Truth Network Radio
February 4, 2021 7:00 am

Developing a Lifestyle of Faith, Part 2 (cont'd)

Destined for Victory / Pastor Paul Sheppard

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February 4, 2021 7:00 am

An insightful series of messages on practical ways to build a faith-driven life; learning from key Old Testament patriarchs what it means to live by faith; based on Hebrews 11.

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Living by faith means enjoying your walk with God. See I know some of y'all haven't really got started on your journey because you haven't started having fun yet. Walking with God is supposed to be a joyful experience. He was a faithful servant of God for 365 years and he's one of at least two men in scripture who never tasted death. His story comes your way next on this Thursday edition of Destined for Victory. Hello and thanks for joining us. You know, true Christian joy does not depend on favorable circumstances.

It exists in spite of bad ones. Few people in scripture demonstrate this type of faith-driven lifestyle better than Enoch, a man who walked joyfully with God on earth and then walked straight into heaven. Today, Pastor Paul Shepherd takes us to the life of Enoch where we learn a key principle in growing our Christian faith. Stop by pastorpaul.net to hear any recent Destined for Victory message on demand. Again, that's pastorpaul.net or listen to or download the podcast at Google Podcast or wherever you get your programs.

Now, here's Pastor Paul with today's Destined for Victory message, developing a lifestyle of faith. The second person mentioned in Hebrews 11 is Enoch. Look at what it says, verses 5 and 6.

Let me read a verse from NASB, New American Standard, then I'll read it from NIV. By faith, Enoch was taken up so that he would not see death and he was not found because God took him up. For he obtained the witness that before his being taken up, he was pleasing to God. Look at verse 5 in the NIV.

Put up the NIV for me. By faith, Enoch was taken from this life so that he did not experience death. He could not be found because God had taken him away. For before he was taken, he was commended as one who pleased God. What we learn from Enoch's example in a sentence is living by faith means enjoying your walk with God. Enjoying your walk with God. See, I know some of you all haven't really got started on your journey because you haven't started having fun yet. Walking with God is supposed to be a joyful experience.

Now, I want to differentiate this from a fantasy. I'm not talking about a life where everything happens wonderfully or everything falls right into place. Or from the day I got saved, I haven't had a problem. I haven't had a situation at all.

I've just been floating from one cloud to another. That's not what I'm talking about. Anybody who has that testimony, crazy. Just straight crazy. We live in this world and Jesus said, in this life, you're going to have tribulation. We got to quit this stuff. We got to sift through this preaching we hear these days.

Folks trying to make earth sound like heaven all the time. And some of them even tie it to your faith. If you all buy the right kind of faith, you know, you'll just, every need will be met, everything. Well, listen, ultimately every need is going to be met. Ultimately God's going to give us what we need to get through the trials of this life. But don't make people feel like there's a level of faith where you don't have issues and challenges. Why I'm here to tell you the reason you need faith is because you're going to have issues and challenges. What you need faith for when everything's falling into place? I need faith when it's not falling into place. I need faith when I'm facing the giant. I need faith when I'm believing God for the miracle. So we are people who don't live in fantasy world.

We live in the real world, but we live here not according to worldly principles. We live by the spirit of faith. So the spirit of faith means God is going to bless me to walk with him in a very rich way.

As needs come up, he's going to supply those needs. And I can believe him for all that is needed, but here's my problem. Some of you aren't on that side of the equation where you just think everything's supposed to be wonderful. You know better than that, but the problem is some of you are not walking in the joy of the Lord. We got a lot of miserable Christians walking around, got a lot of sad folk, depressed people, down people, bothered people. When somebody asks you how you're doing, they're in for it.

Oh, you just made a mistake because they're going to tell you about everything that's wrong with their life. No, no, Enoch walked with God. That means when you're going through dark places, you're still walking with God. You're still hanging out with God. In other words, the picture here is enjoying your walk with God means let God be a friend. Let God be your closest friend. Let God be the one that you hang out with every day. Let God be the one who when you go through trouble, you say, Lord, how you going to get me out of this?

Lord, what do you want to do in this situation? David put it this way, yea, though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I still don't have to fear what's going to happen to me in that valley. Why? Because of who I'm hanging out with. It does matter who you're hanging out with. Now, if you're in the valley all by yourself, I suppose you got reason to be concerned.

But if I'm hanging out with God, I really don't have to worry about it. I told you all before about my cousin Stevie. My cousin Stevie was a hoodlum from New York. My cousin, he enjoyed fighting.

It was a pastime. He was just straight hoodlum. Lived in Philly for a while, got stabbed, fooled around with some folk, went to New York with other relatives and what have you.

But I love Stevie. He was my closest cousin back in my childhood. Love hanging out with him. One time I went to Brooklyn to hang out with him for a couple days. My mother let me go because he knew my uncle was there and he'd watch out for us.

But uncle was busy working so he didn't really pay us much time. I'm just running around New York with my hoodlum cousin. One night we out to get some pizza, I think it was. We wanted to go get some pizza and we're walking down the street.

God pulled a knife on us, said, give me your money. I reached for mine. He wasn't going to have no trouble out of me.

My mother raised no fool. Stevie said, what you doing? I said, he said he want our money. He said, put your money back.

Put money back in my pocket. Stevie reached in his pocket where his gun was. He said, what you want to do? You got a knife. I got a gun. What you want to do?

The guy walked away. I felt like, yeah, what you want to do? I mean, what's up? What's the problem?

Are we having a failure to communicate? What was the difference? The difference was who I was with.

If I'm out by myself in Brooklyn at night looking for pizza, you can have everything. But when I'm with my hoodlum cousin, it's a different situation. It's because of that cousin that I went to junior high with boldness. In my neighborhood, the junior high in my neighborhood was known for people, especially the early part of the school year, when you were just going from sixth to seventh grade and we little rookie kids going, they would have gangs at the entrances just checking you out. And the reputation was first day, first week of school, they would just find little rookie kids and just beat them up or take their stuff for no reason at all. And so I was scared that summer.

I'm about to go to Roosevelt Junior High. Oh, my goodness. I've heard all those stories. And what have you. And I called Stevie in New York.

And I unburdened my heart. I said, man, I'm about to go to Roosevelt. I'm scared. He said, look here.

Anybody mess with you at that school? Tell them who your cousin is. He's got all of them know me. He said, if that doesn't work. Just call me back. Tell me who didn't listen. He said, I'll be down there tomorrow.

Stevie was willing to come down to Jersey Turnpike. To beat somebody down. I went to junior high with a confidence you wouldn't believe. I remember I dressed up that day. And you're not supposed to look like you think you sound because that's asking for beatdown.

I put on blue bell bottoms. You're not. You're all. Come on.

Don't you don't you all perpetrate 50 and over. You all better know. Act like you know. Blue bell bottoms. I had a lighter blue high boy shirt. High collar. You start the collar. So it's set up just right.

How can I tell you what I wore that day in junior high? That's how confident I was. For I kind of wanted somebody to mess with me.

They didn't. But I kind of wanted it. It's a perspective thing. If you know somebody got your back.

Well that's what Enoch said. I'm living in the real world. I know there's problems and trouble. But I'm focused on who I'm walking with.

That's what I need somebody to decide. Part of your lifestyle of faith is you are more aware of God's presence than anybody else's presence. That's where it starts getting fun. Where you know the Lord is with you. He's right there with you. He told David my ride. My staff will comfort you.

My rod. God said I'm packing. I'm packing. They fool with you. You my boy. I'm packing.

I'm going to take care of them. It doesn't mean God doesn't allow persecution. Jesus promised that it would happen sometimes even when he lets that happen.

It's for his glory because he wants to show other people that he can bring you through that your faith is worth suffering over. But as a general rule as you live your life. As you go to your job.

As you go day to day. Deal with your family. Deal with your challenges.

All of that. Do it practicing the presence of God. Be more mindful that God is with you than anything else. The Lord is with me.

His rod and staff comfort me. And then he prepares a table David said. Before me in the presence of my enemies.

Before long I'm going to be sitting at a table God prepared. And he said the enemies are going to be watching. I love that. I love that. My enemies have to watch me eat.

Watch me and join the presence and the provisions of God. You sweating your enemies after a while they're going to be sitting looking at you. They got to pass you the rolls. Because they don't get to eat. He said nothing about them eating. He said you eat in their presence. God will make them the waiter.

Pass me that macaroni and cheese over there right there. Stay with us. The second half of Pastor Paul Shepherd's message is coming right up. We want to thank all of you who support Destin 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. Destin for Victory is a listener supportive ministry.

And as we're still finding ourselves going through some difficult times as a nation and a world. Your support is even more critical today because these are the times when people are more willing to turn to God for answers. So please prayerfully consider making a gift to Destin for Victory today. Give online safely and securely from our website pastorpaul.net or give us a call at 855-339-5500.

Again that number is 855-339-5500. Well Noah didn't just build the ark before it rained. He built it at God's request before it ever rained. That's what faith looks like. Here's Pastor Paul with the rest of today's message.

Developing a lifestyle of faith. Listen you got to be like Enoch. Enoch walked with God so well one day God said look man. We're closer to my house than to your house. Come on let's just go on with me.

That's walking. God just took him. They just hanging out and God said you know what you've never seen my house have you?

Come on come on my house. I can't believe all this time and we do we've been walking together all these years. You see how many years the man lived. Hundreds of years on earth and finally God said you know what.

Let me take you to my house. And they walked until he was not. Walked right out of this world. Some of you skeptics. I don't believe that. Oh well.

Not my problem. Because one day you hang around long enough I'm leaving too. But you're going to leave by dying. It doesn't matter to be absent from the body is to be present with the Lord. We all go in the same way. It's just whether you stop and have a funeral.

That's the only question. There were two people in the Bible who never had a funeral. Enoch and who was the other one? Moses had a funeral.

You all just didn't get to go. The Bible says he died and God buried him. So he did die but nobody was invited to the funeral. It was a private affair. And Moses was such a big shot God eulogized him.

You know you're a bad boy. Who preached the funeral? God. Who's the other one? I'm waiting for the other one.

Thank you. There's some Bible readers. Elijah. Elijah caught a chariot of fire. Elisha saw him when he left. Jumped on it and took off.

My daddy had one of those old saints from the old days. She was at the hospital dying. Had a couple of friends and family with her but she was waiting on one child. I forget whether it was her son or daughter. She said, I'm trying to wait for him because the Lord has taken me today.

He already showed me. She was laying in the bed. My dad would tell this story for years. Finally she said, where is so and so? They said, he's trying to get here. She said, I think it's going to be too late because I just saw Jesus get on the chariot. She saw him get on the chariot. He come to get me now.

They better hurry up. And before that relative got to that hospital, she said goodbye to everybody in that room and she died. She jumped on that chariot and took off. Listen, this stuff is real. You got to learn to enjoy your walk with God. Listen, I wouldn't be saved the way some of y'all are. Saved and miserable.

What's the point? Life is short. Just go on and enjoy Jesus. You enjoyed the world best you could. You acted a fool and weren't ashamed of it.

Went to the club, act stupid. Some of y'all couldn't dance, but that didn't keep you from dancing. And some of y'all, you know, when you got high or you got drunk, it was a bad situation. You know it was.

But you were all in. You smoked it. You drank it. You wore it. Some of y'all, your wardrobe, when you think back on what you used to put on your body, ought to repent just for the memory.

Just the memory. God, I'm so sorry. But you were all in.

Here's what I want to tell you. Now that you're in Christ, go ahead and get all in. All in. I'm enjoying Jesus every day.

I'm going to be all in. I'm going to walk with him. Talk to him. Talk to him in your car.

Talk to him while you're walking into the job. All right, Lord, you see they're here today. Now you got to help me because you know, you know what's fitting to happen. You know how we talk.

Just fitting to happen. Practice it. We learn to enjoy our walk with God.

Got time for one more. Look at the third person mentioned in Hebrews 11, whose name is Noah. Look at verse 11. Verse 11. NASB says, by faith Noah being warned by God about things not yet seen in reverence prepared an ark for the salvation of his household by which he condemned the world, became an heir of the righteousness which is according to faith. That might be a little heavy.

So let's go to NIV, which is a little more friendly in terms of its phrases. By faith Noah, when warned about things not yet seen in holy fear, built an ark to save his family. By his faith he condemned the world and became heir of the righteousness that is in keeping with faith. Now you know the story of Noah. The story of Noah is that he found favor with God. He found grace in the sight of God. It never said Noah was righteous, so he found favor.

It said Noah found favor and it was counted as righteousness. I need you to understand that about your life. You're not going to heaven because you deserve to go. You're going to heaven because God bestowed grace, unmerited favor on you. And that is what made you righteous. You're not righteous and God said, oh wow, you're living pretty good.

You're tripping. We're all messed up. But grace is what's bringing us all through. None of us can be righteous in and of ourselves. It is God's grace. And the righteousness you're learning to live in your lifestyle, that came because grace was first given so you could become a person who lives holy.

Don't put the cart before the horse. Grace, then holiness. Not holiness which produces great. No, no, it wouldn't be grace if your holiness produced it. You and I cannot measure up to God's holy standard except for grace. So Noah found favor or grace and God said I'm going to wipe them out but I'm going to keep you.

I'm going to preserve you and your family so that we can get started all over again. And that's why he built the ark. What is to be learned from Noah? It is living by faith means following God into the unknown. Following God into the unknown.

I need you to understand something that God is going to lead you. Now you're not going to have to build an ark and do what happened that time. That was of course a significant time in redemptive history where he had to build this large. People call it a boat. When you look at what God instructed him to do, that wasn't a boat.

It wasn't a boat at all. It was an ark of safety, somewhere to hole up and be safe. But because of the deluge of water, raining for 40 days and 40 nights, pouring. You ever been in a blinding rain?

Imagine that for 40 days and 40 nights. And that's what happened. And so the thing that God had him build just lifted. It lifted off of the ground because the ground was covered. And it lifted off the ground. This wasn't a boat.

He wasn't trying to navigate. It was an ark of safety, a place to hole up. And God had him build that when there was no rain in the forecast. Imagine the ridicule. You must be crazy. Imagine the bus tours. Let's drive by and see the crazy man.

Let's see how far he's gotten on this crazy house he's building. If God ever told you something, you'd never been there. You never thought of that.

Are you kidding? You got to know that living by faith means sometimes you got to expect the unexpected. You know, for me, I heard it feels good.

It's very comfortable. Oh, I know this. Oh, I've been here.

Oh, yeah, I remember this. But when you walk with God, expect the unexpected. Because there are going to be times when you say, Lord, I have never gone through anything like this before.

And I don't know how this is going to come out. God says, in effect, good. Because I don't want you led by your feelings or by what you know. I want you to be led by me. You know, faith is not a feeling.

It's a choice, a conscious decision to put our complete trust in God to acknowledge that he knows us better than we know ourselves, that his ways are higher than our ways, and that his plans are better than our own. If you find yourself struggling today, if circumstances have caused you to get a little off track in your Christian journey, the Destined for Victory ministry team would like to pray for you. Visit pastorpaul.net, click contact us, and let us know what's on your heart so that we can join you in prayer. And while you're there, be sure to ask for Pastor Paul's monthly letter of encouragement, which comes at no cost or obligation. And thanks so much for being here for today's message, Developing a Lifestyle of Faith.

Before we sign off, though, I'd like to tell you about this month's special offer, our gift to you for your generous donation to Destined for Victory. Introducing Pastor Paul Shepherd's booklet, Lessons from the Cocoon. You know, butterflies don't enter this world with wings. They don't even enter the world as butterflies.

Their transformation takes place over time. That's how the life of a believer in Christ works. In Lessons from the Cocoon, Pastor Paul helps you understand that God is doing good things in you even when your life seems somewhat stagnant and unremarkable. And he reminds you that eventually you will have wings because you were born to fly.

That's Lessons from the Cocoon, our gift to you today by request for your generous donation to Destined for Victory. Well, you don't have to know where you're going as long as you know God is going with you. Here's Pastor Paul.

And so don't bother coming, getting saved, and then giving God your expectations for the rest of your life. Throw them out, because he's going to take you where he's designed. He's going to have you do things you never thought of. He's going to take you places you never dreamed of. That's tomorrow in Pastor Paul Shepherd's 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 / 2023-12-28 03:52:13 / 2023-12-28 04:01:37 / 9

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