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Developing a Lifestyle of Faith, Part 3 (cont'd)

Destined for Victory / Pastor Paul Sheppard
The Truth Network Radio
February 8, 2021 7:00 am

Developing a Lifestyle of Faith, Part 3 (cont'd)

Destined for Victory / Pastor Paul Sheppard

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February 8, 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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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. No matter how bad things may get, here's God's promise to you today.

Things will start looking up when you start looking up. Hello and thanks for stopping by for this Monday edition of Destined for Victory. You know, it was the Holy Spirit who led Jesus into the wilderness to be tempted by Satan. This was God's perfect will for his son at that point in time. So when we find ourselves in the valley of the shadow of death, not only is God with us, he's often the one who led us there. Today, Pastor Paul Shepherd reminds us that the promises of God always prevail over the problems of man. Stay with us here or visit to listen anytime on demand. That's or access the podcast at Apple Podcasts or wherever you get yours. Now, here's Pastor Paul with today's Destined for Victory message, developing a lifestyle of faith. I don't know if some of you have experienced this yet in your walk with God.

If you haven't, it's coming. God will give you surprisingly little information. I mean, he'll give you like just a little word because you know how we are.

We want it GPSed out ahead of time. Okay, Lord, so where am I going now? God said, don't worry about it, just go. You'll know when you get there.

Oh, wow, thank you so much. And see, that's what's going to freak some of you all out because you need a five-year plan. You need God to bind it up in a little binder and just give you, here's what's going to happen from this season to that.

You're going to do this and then you're going to do it. And God won't do it. He said, get up and go. And Abram, that's why he's in the Hall of Fame, he got up and went. Got up and went and just did what the Lord told him to do and it was very little information. We are also told that when he got there, he lived there for years with no additional information on how God was going to fulfill the rest of the promise. God can not only send you into the unknown, he can leave you there a while.

My first seven years in California, I feel like I was in the twilight zone, like where are all these people? I mean, I knew all the people in there, they're all saved, I don't need to give an altar call. Sometime I gave an altar call just because. Anybody want to receive Christ, just let us know, just come on, we'll be glad to pray for you. I know they all saved, ain't but 30 something of them, 40 something of them, 50 something of them in those early years.

But I gave it anyway. There were times I saw visitors, didn't know whether they were saved or not. I always gave altar call. Then, you know, one of them received Christ, nobody respond. After a while I got to the place, you know, you have outer dialogue and inner dialogue.

And there were many times, especially when we went from like 50 to 250 in those years, we were growing by the twos and fus. And there were unsaved people sometimes and a few folks got saved along the way. But for the most part, I'd give an altar call and I didn't even expect anybody to get saved.

Because I'm so disillusioned, where are the thousands? And so I'd stand up, give the altar call, nobody would respond. And my inner dialogue was like, of course not, who want to get saved in this church? I don't even want to be here myself, I'm just the pastor.

Being honest with you all, at a certain point, it was just mockery in my head. I would drive home, ask my wife, I would drive home many of those Sundays just as depressed. I'm driving home like, I think we missed it. God didn't tell us to come here.

He said something else and I just missed him. And she being a little dutiful, I said, no honey, we heard from God. I said, well, we heard from God, where are these people?

And she just tried to keep me encouraged, I'd go on a fast. Because I moved, I've done the first thing. Abraham, the Lord said, get up and go. The Lord told me, go west young man, go west. So here I am, and here now for years, in the third year, the fourth year, the fifth year, sixth year. And still no thousands. And I'm preaching good messages too.

You know, it's not like some junk, man, I was coming with it. And almost 70, 80, 120, 150 people say, hey man. But with my best work, I'm now where God said to go. Like Abraham, he stayed there for 10 years before he heard anything else from God. He's in Canaan, which is where God was sending him, the place they were to inherit.

We later came to call it the promised land. He's there, God's saying nothing else. I've been there, I know what that's like.

You're there, preaching for years, leading and serving. And God's saying nothing. I go on a fast. Oh, I'm going to make God speak, I'm going to drink nothing but water. I'm a guy going to have to say something. I hold up somewhere for days. I go on a fast, go somewhere for days, neither drinking anything but water or eating. God says something to me, trying to force God's hand. And all I do is lose a few pounds. He's saying nothing. I remember one time my wife picked me up.

I was on one of them little retreats. She picked me up and she was all excited. I said, what did the Lord say?

I said, nothing. Like, let's just go home. And I'm going to eat too, that's what I'm going to do. He can't stop me from eating, I know that, I'm going to get whatever. Oh, but if you're faithful, then just wait on him.

Just wait on him, that's all you got to do. When you're in obedience, just wait on him. In Abram's case, 10 years in Canaan, then the Lord speaks up. The Lord speaks up. And here's where I want to take you to another lesson from Hebrews 11. Look at verses 11 and 12. By faith Abraham, even though he was past age and Sarah herself was barren, was unable to become a father because he considered him faithful who had made the promise. And so from this one man, watch this, and he as good as dead, came descendants as numerous as the stars in the sky and as countless as the sand on the seashore. Do you see the power of that? God took a man that derided to the Hebrews who wasn't trying to clown him, but just had to tell him like he was.

He said he was as good as dead. And God gave him descendants as numerous as the stars in the sky or the sand on the seashore. What lesson do we learn from that? Here's the next lesson. Developing a lifestyle of faith means seeing our problems through the lens of God's promises. Now, 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.

Now, what's the problem? The problem is God has promised him that he is going to become the father of many. And when God first spoke to him about picking up and leaving, going to a place he would show him, he was 75. He gets there and lives there 10 more years before God says anything else. When he's 85 and his wife is 75, now God says, all right, let's get this son here that I promised.

And that's where they went wrong. That's what I love about the Bible. The Bible isn't full of folk who did everything right.

And what I love is that that way I can get something out of it and so can you. Because if we were reading a book of folk who did everything right, after a while we'd be like, what's the point of reading this? I can't relate to any of them. Oh, but you can relate to this book. If you've never been in your word, you need to get in that Bible.

Because there's folk there who look just like you. And they get this one so wrong. Abram and Sarai have a little business meeting, a little family meeting to figure out what's up with this word about having a kid. I'm 85, she's 75.

We've never been parents. And now here God is talking about, okay, it's time for y'all to have a baby. So they had this little meeting. I always pictured as one of these little marriage techniques that some marriage leaders tell you how to do. And one of them is sit face to face and knee to knee.

And I saw one, they said you hold it and they illustrated it for the group. And you hold hands and you look each other in the face so that you can have real intimacy. And then you talk about what the problem is in your marriage.

And so I just imagine Abram and Sarai sitting there knee to knee and holding each other's hands and looking in each other's eyes. And Abram says, all right now, baby, you know that God said we're supposed to have this baby. And Sarai said, well, he may have said that, but did he call my name? Did he specifically say me? No, baby, he didn't say you, but you're the only one I'm married to. And she said, well, then maybe that's where we need to take some action.

I can give you my handmaiden, my maidservant Hagar, who's a young Egyptian woman. She's in childbearing years. Because remember, this woman now that he's talking to is 75 years old. She had some good years. She could have had a baby in her 20s and in her 30s and in her 40s. But after a while, she hit that menopause and she got on the other side of childbearing years. And she said, well, he must not be talking about me, so why don't I give you Hagar? Now, we always snicker at that, but let's take a moment and applaud her. This woman is so anxious to see the will of God done, she's willing to place a younger Egyptian woman in Abram's arms for the purpose of fulfilling God's promise. You know most of y'all.

Come on, marriage sisters, help me make this point. You know most of y'all would have been like, I don't know how God's going to do it. But I can tell you how he's not going to do it.

Don't even think about. You're listening to Destined for Victory with Pastor Paul Shepherd, senior pastor of Destiny Christian Fellowship in Fremont, California. He'll be right back with a second half of today's message. But first, an important reminder. If you haven't already, be sure to download our free mobile app so that you can listen to Destined for Victory right in the palm of your hand. The app is easy to navigate. You can even take notes on Pastor Paul's messages, so they'll be there the next time you tune in.

Search Destined for Victory in the app store and download it today absolutely free. Well, God has given you a free will, but be careful how you use it. Abraham and Sarah learned that lesson the hard way.

Here's Pastor Paul with the rest of today's Destined for Victory message, developing a lifestyle of faith. She was so anxious. She said, let's try. Maybe that's God's way. And you know, everyone's like, all right, now, baby, are you sure that's what you want to do?

You know, he think I don't want this coming back on me. Long story short, she gave him Hagar as a second wife. And when Abram was 86 years old, Hagar had a baby by him, but it wasn't the child of promise.

See, you can finagle some things. All of us are ingenious people. You can make something happen, but that doesn't mean it was God. I said that doesn't mean it was God. You haven't done something, and when you look back on it, that was just you. No need of blaming God.

That was just me. He didn't tell me to do it. He didn't strengthen me to do it. Abram got that strength without God's help. That's impressive.

That means Hagar was a pretty impressive sister. You know, 86 years old, and he came through. Y'all help me. We got children. I can't tell you the whole story.

Just act like you know what I'm saying. 86, and my man, yeah, she had a baby. It wasn't the child God promised. Be careful how much of your will you exert, because just because you make something happen doesn't mean it's God. And certainly the mistakes you make, don't blame them on God.

Any of us who have ever recovered from a mistake, it was only after we said, Lord, this was me. No need of me rationalizing. No need of me blaming somebody else.

Circumstances. What had happened was you only get right once you admit you've been wrong. And some of you need to look at your Ishmaels and say God didn't do that. It was me. And some of us better know that now, because you have more than one Ishmael in your life.

More than one thing you did, you forced it to happen. Some of y'all have Ishmael, Ishmaelah, Ishmaelika, come on, you know it's the truth. They came up with Ishmael, wasn't God, wasn't God at all. So God said nothing. See, God lives outside of time.

He's not pressed for time. And when they made this mistake, he let them live with it. I've come to realize the reason you don't want to have Ishmaels when God has promised you an Isaac is not because he won't bless you with the Isaac, it's just that you have to raise the Ishmael.

And so you're taking time and energy from your own life when you do things the wrong way. God's got all the time, he good. So when Ishmael was born, Abram's 86, God says nothing else to them for 13 years.

Nothing, just raised that boy. And Hagar and Sarah went through their little trouble, which started immediately. As soon as Hagar knew she was, remember that, as soon as she knew she's pregnant, she got new. Now, she works for Sarah, Sarah writes her paycheck, and she still got new with her. Walking around the house, flaunting the fact that she's pregnant and Sarah has never known what it felt like, and she wanted to take that knife and just kind of turn it.

I got one up on my boss, and I'm having a baby by her husband. See what I'm saying? Just that little...

Some of you sisters know you're looking holy, but you know exactly, sitting up here looking so holy, like, I can't relate to a spirit like that. You know exactly where Hagar was like, mm, that baby sure is kicking. Oh, but when Sarah came back on her, because Sarah went to her husband and said, you did this. Now, see, back when they were having a little knee-to-knee meeting, that's exactly what Abram didn't want, this to come back on him. But soon as Hagar started acting up, Sarah went to Abram and said, you caused this.

And Abram had been married long enough to know what to do. See, you little, young little rookie husbands, y'all don't know what to do in a moment like that. You little rookies, you want to defend yourself. Uh-uh, see, I told you when we had that meeting, remember back then when we had that meeting, I told you that, uh-uh, don't come to me now, you dumb.

We who've been married long time, when we know we tried our best to make this thing the way it was supposed to be and to make sure that she had signed off on, in fact, this was her idea, then when she come back and say, you did this, what you're supposed to do, what Abram did, well, baby, well, what you want to do now? Don't you fight? Because if you fight, you're going to look like you're on Hagar's side.

See, I'm trying to help y'all, you little rookies, you need to know something. Because then she'll come back on you, oh, so now it's you and Hagar against me. Same line is, God said nothing for 13 years. Then when he speaks up, Abram's now 99 years old, Sarah's now 89 years old. What they could have done in the 80s and 70s, now because of disobedience, God made them wait 13 more years, now you got to believe for the same miracle.

And if you thought it was going to be a miracle at 86 and 76, guess what it's going to look like now? So now you still got to live by faith. That's why I'm here to tell you on this point, you're going to have to learn to trust God with your problems, but you do it by standing on his promises. Now the promise is, I'm going to give you the child. God didn't say, y'all figure out how to have a baby.

He said, I'm going to do it. All you need to do is get your faith lined up. And that's when God will do exceeding abundantly above all that we can ask or even imagine. Now this one's God, the other one was Hagar, gave that man some energy.

This one is God, he and Sarah. And the Bible says about him at 99, he though as good as dead. He was an old man wishing for younger days, but God got in the picture. You got to learn that when God gets in the picture, all the problems have to subject themselves to his promise. There's nothing that can withstand the promise of God. When God says it, he's going to pull it off.

He's going to bring it to pass and there's nothing the enemy can do about it. When I saw that happen in my ministry, in those years after all those times of Lord, where are these people? How come your promise isn't working? Suddenly God began to answer.

I don't know why he chose that time. I had done the same work. People say, what was the difference when they saw the growth of the ministry in that season? How'd you go from 250 to 2,500 in eight and a half years in a little 14,000 square foot warehouse? Where do you even fit those people? I said, you just follow God and go where it's going. The 300 seat sanctuary filled up and we said, oh, we better have a second service.

And so we did two services and then eventually both of them were full. Then one Sunday, one of the ushers or somebody came to me and said something about the people in the back. I said, what people in the back? They said, oh, there are folk who come every Sunday, they don't get here early enough to get into one of the 300 seats, but they sit in the back and try to listen through the wall.

When God is moving, nothing stops it. And people sitting back there listening through, I said, what? They said, oh yeah, they sit there every Sunday.

They just pull up a chair and just sit there. I said, well, no, we can't have that. And so I said, well, put up a screen. Some of y'all figure out how to do overflow and put up a screen and bring some audio in here. And that's how we created overflow.

I didn't get that from a church growth conference. I got it because folk were sitting in the back. Next thing I know, a couple more years later, the first service has overflow and the second service has overflow. Now we got to have a third service. And we started third service.

I remember 730, 930, 1130. And then all three services had overflow. And by this time, folks are getting saved every week. After years of giving altar call, like, of course nobody's coming, why am I even doing that? Now I'm giving altar call and every week somebody is getting saved. And now three services are full and we got to go to a fourth service. And we ended up in those days, we did the four, we wanted to do them all on Sunday.

And so we did a fourth service Sunday at 530. It was a God thing. People say, well, you must have been preaching different.

No, I wasn't. I was preaching as good in the theater as I was in the little 14,000 square foot warehouse. But it was a God season where we had sown in tears and waited on him and obeyed him in the little things.

And now he's ready to show himself strong. And now people are getting saved all the time. We're locking people out of two of the services, locking them out because we can't have another person in the building.

And security would have to go out there and say, we're so sorry, but there's just no way we can add anybody in here. And for the 930 folk, they would say, but if you stand here, you'll be the first in for 1130. And the people would just stand there and you walk right by the church in those days and people stand outside waiting for the next service. Look like the premiere of Batman Returns or something.

You say, what was the difference? God was ready to move. I've seen him do marvelous things and he's going to do it again.

Just like Ty Trippet's things, if he did it before, he can do it again. And I'm believing God for that. God has done amazing things in the life of Pastor Paul Shepherd, and he'll do amazing things in your life too.

Focus on God's promises instead of your problems. Put your complete faith and trust in him alone, and you'll begin to see him move in your life like never before. As you may know, Pastor Paul has devoted his life to the advancement of the gospel, helping lead people to faith in Christ and then helping them grow in that faith. And because he knows so many of you share that desire, he'd like to invite you to help by sending a special gift today. Destined for Victory is a listener supportive ministry. So as God leads, please consider making a generous donation today.

And when you do, please be sure to request this month's special offer, Pastor Paul'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. Well, 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 gift to Destined for Victory. 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 on our website, Thanks in advance for helping keep Destined for Victory on the air. Anybody ever experienced that syndrome of, there's something I believe that God had for me, but looking at where I am now, it seems like I am no longer eligible for God's promise to come to pass in my life.

Have you ever been there? This message is for you. That's tomorrow when Pastor Paul Sheppard reminds us that it's never too late for God to be right on time. 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 / 2023-12-26 21:50:13 / 2023-12-26 22:00:28 / 10

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