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When Faith Encounters a Famine

Destined for Victory / Pastor Paul Sheppard
The Truth Network Radio
March 3, 2021 7:00 am

When Faith Encounters a Famine

Destined for Victory / Pastor Paul Sheppard

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March 3, 2021 7:00 am

What it means to live by faith during times of great difficulty; based on various Old Testament examples.

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Hello and welcome to this Wednesday edition of Destined for Victory with Pastor Paul Shepherd. Today, Pastor Paul shares his message when faith encounters a famine, but before he gets started, he joins me now from his studio in California. But it got me thinking about a conversation you and I had just days before the election last year, and if you would be willing, I thought this would be a good time to remind us of what you said to all of us back then. So take just a moment to share some truth with us about where our hopes should be in these days.

Yeah, I'm happy to do that. I think the key truths to following Jesus are reminding ourselves that elections don't change what we're called to do and how we're called to live. Here's one of the things I think we need to keep in mind. You know, I grew up on the old hymns of the church. I grew up in a church where we sang gospel and had fun songs, but we sang hymns and anthems a lot. And so I love the hymn, and I'm thinking about it now in answer to your question. My hope is built on nothing less but Jesus' blood and righteousness. I dare not trust the sweetest frame, but wholly lean on Jesus' name. On Christ, the solid rock I stand, all other ground is sinking sand.

And fact of the matter is, I think you need to make sure that your hope lies firmly and solely in Jesus Christ. It can never be in the White House. It can never be in a party. It can never be in Congress.

It can't even be in the decisions made in the Supreme Court. It has to remain in Christ. All other ground is sinking sand. And I think if our listeners put their hope in Jesus Christ, then we will continue looking to Jesus, who is the author and finisher of our faith. I'm reminded of Psalm 20, verse 7.

Some trust in chariots and some in horses, but we trust in the name of the Lord our God. Thanks for those words of wisdom, Pastor Paul. Well, at a time when there's so much changing in this world, it's good to know the good news of the gospel of Jesus Christ forever remains a source of hope for all who embrace it.

And now more than ever, many are searching for that hope. This is why your prayers and financial support of Destined for Victory is so critical today. And as you make your generous donation today, we'd love to send you Pastor Paul's booklet, Your Purpose is Calling. If you're seeking God's specific will for your life, this will be a great resource for you. One that will give you three directives to help you discover his unique plans for you. That's Your Purpose is Calling, our gift to you by request for your generous gift to Destined for Victory. So call 855-339-5500 or visit pastorpaul.net to make a safe and secure donation online. You can also mail your gift to Destined for Victory, post office box 1767, Fremont, California 94538.

Again the address is Destined for Victory, box 1767, Fremont, California 94538. Faith, real faith, biblical faith is based on what God says. When I walk by faith or when I live by faith, I'm taking God at his word despite what I see, what I hear, what I feel, what I think.

Now my brothers, my sisters, let me tell you something, that's genuine faith. When we study God's word, we find there are four natural laws of the harvest. You reap if you sow, you reap what you sow, you reap after you sow, and you reap more than you sow. But there's a fifth law of the harvest, a supernatural law in which God blesses you in miraculous ways as you walk by faith. Pastor Paul talked about this fifth law of the harvest earlier this week.

Today on Destined for Victory, he explores it a little further. So now let's join him for his message, When Faith Encounters a Famine. If you have a Bible with you, I want you to turn with me to Genesis chapter 26. The 26th chapter of Genesis and we'll read a few verses there beginning with verse 1. There was a famine in the land besides the first famine that was in the days of Abraham, and Isaac went to Abimelech king of the Philistines in Gerar. Then the Lord appeared to him and said, Do not go down to Egypt. Live in the land of which I shall tell you, dwell in this land and I will be with you and bless you.

Skip down to verse 12. Then Isaac sowed in that land and reaped in the same year a hundredfold and the Lord blessed him. I've entitled this message, When Faith Encounters a Famine. When Faith Encounters a Famine. As I mentioned in that previous message, there are natural laws of the harvest, four of them that I've talked about a lot over the years, and recently I've locked in on the fact that there is a fifth law of the harvest that is not natural. And so I simply want to remind you of the natural laws, then I want to expound on this fifth law and zero in on the fact that it is driven by faith. So first of all, let me remind you of the fourfold natural laws of the harvest. The first is you reap if you sow. The second is you reap what you sow. The third is you reap after you sow. And the fourth is you reap more than you sow. That's what I call the fourfold law of the harvest. But the fifth law of the harvest is not natural, it's supernatural.

And I worded it this way. When you sow God's way, you can reap more than you ask or even think. And I want to stay with that subject matter, and I think this time it's important for me to emphasize the fact that that fifth law is driven by the principle of walking by faith. So let me talk you through this business of walking by faith. Because we all know, we who are Bible readers, we know that the Bible talks about walking by faith and living by faith quite a bit. In fact, you know if you're a Bible reader that there are several places where you'll see the words the just shall live by faith.

Let me point them out. In Habakkuk chapter 2 verse 4, you'll see the just shall live by faith. You'll also see those words in Romans chapter 1 verse 17. You'll see those words in Galatians chapter 3 verse 11. And you'll see those words in Hebrews chapter 10 verse 38. All of those passages say the just shall live by faith. Then when you get to 2 Corinthians chapter 5 verse 7, you'll hear the apostle Paul saying the same basic thing but using slightly different terminology.

Here's the way he says it in 2 Corinthians 5 and 7. For we walk by faith, not by sight. And I want to let you know that the Bible consistently tells us that the journey you and I are on as followers of Christ is a journey of walking or living by faith. So I want to make sure you're clear as to what faith is before I unpack this and talk about how important it is when you're going through famine or difficult times such as what we're going through in the world right now. Let me just make sure you understand because a lot of times church folk talk about concepts that if you ask them what it means, they couldn't give you a practical answer. I don't want to pastor people who know a lot of spiritual jargon and have no idea what it means.

So I want to make sure you know. If somebody were to ask you, well, what is faith after all? What is faith?

What would be your answer? Let me tell you the best thing you can do is point them to the scriptures and then be prepared to explain what those scriptures mean. A lot of us know Hebrews chapter 11 verse 1. We know that faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen. And so we understand that that's a definition built right into the scriptures. Faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen.

I've always liked the way NIV puts it. It says faith is being sure of what you hope for and certain of what you do not see. Now the bigger question is, well, what does that mean? How can you be sure of something you hope for and certain of something you don't see? If you don't see it, how could you be sure of it? That means you need to be prepared to tell people what faith is based on. The only way I can be sure of what I hope for and certain, I mean absolutely certain, of what I don't see is the proof is beyond circumstantial. The proof is beyond literal.

The proof is actually from God himself. In other words, faith, real faith, biblical faith, is based on what God says. When I walk by faith or when I live by faith, I'm taking God at his word despite what I see, what I hear, what I feel, what I think.

Now my brothers, my sisters, let me tell you something. That's genuine faith. It's saying, here's what I feel, here's what I think, here's what I see, but I'm not going to base my life on that because God has spoken over my life. He's given me a word and I'm going to stand on his word rather than stand on anything else. And so faith is based on the word of God.

In other words, if you go to scriptures like Romans chapter 10 verse 17, here's what you'll see. So then faith comes by hearing and hearing by the word of God. I need you to know that faith is based on what God says. I have faith in his word. The same God that said, let there be and there was, is the God who I can base my life on.

If he says it, he means it and I can stand on his word. So let me get back to the concept now. If we're called to be living by faith, if the just shall live by faith, if the just are called to walk by faith and not by sight, that means you and I need to make that our lifestyle, not just an occasional practice.

Here's what I want to let you know. God has called us to do everything in our lives by faith. Faith has got to be, we're living in the days of technology.

Let me put it this way. Faith has got to be the operating system for all of our lives. We who use computers all the time know very well about operating systems.

Every now and then you'll get updates from the particular company that you work with saying, you know, we have an update in our operating system and you need to update your computer and let the new operating system take over because it's going to help you do what you do better. You and I have got to understand that from a spiritual standpoint, we must have faith as our operating system, meaning everything you do is rooted in faith. I hope you understand that because it is critical to understanding this fifth law of the harvest. So when we say if you sow God's way, you can receive more than you ask or even think.

Why is that true? That's true because if we do what God says, then God is the one who will bless us. We'll be right back with more of today's Destined for Victory message from Pastor Paul Shepherd. Remember, you can always listen to the broadcast on demand at pastorpaul.net.

That's pastorpaul.net where you'll find a host of great resources in our online store. Here's Pastor Paul with the rest of today's Destined for Victory message, When Faith Encounters a Famine. Now plug that basic principle I just gave you into what we just read about Isaac. Isaac, the son of Abraham, is a man called and is destined to fulfill the word God gave to his dad, Abraham, that he is part of the lineage that will bless the entire world. So Isaac is a man called of God. And what did the Lord say to him here in Genesis 26? God said, listen, everybody else is panicking because of the famine and they're running down to Egypt. God said to Isaac, do not go to Egypt. Go where I tell you to go.

And if you go there and do that, I'm going to bless you. Think about your life. Here we are as I present this message in the summer of 2020. We're in an unprecedented pandemic, not only here in America, but literally around the world. We're in an unprecedented pandemic. How in the world are you and I supposed to operate in something we've never experienced before?

We have never seen anything. The numbers are rising of people who are testing positive. And now I just heard the other day, they said perhaps up to 10 times the numbers that we know of are actually COVID positive.

Imagine more than nine or perhaps even 10 times the numbers that we can verify now, people actually carrying this virus, even if they are secret silent carriers of the virus, which means they could give it to somebody else. I don't know about y'all, that sounds like stuff that if I didn't know the Lord, I would be downright paranoid. But I came to tell you, my brother, my sister, but we do know the Lord. And so we will not panic. We will not be upset. We will not act like things are not going to be anything that we can rely on. I refuse to walk in fear. I refuse to walk in panic.

He said to Isaac, I don't care what other folk are doing running to Egypt. You go where I tell you at the end of the day, my ultimate trust goes to the Lord. And I am asking him, God, if you're not done with me on this earth, if there's more you need to do through me, I will do my part. But I'm looking to you to do a part that I can't do. And I'm looking to you to bless my life.

I want to talk to you about some other areas of your life. Some of us really need to walk by faith because our money has been impacted during this pandemic. Some of us, our family dynamics have changed during this pandemic. There are a lot of people I'm seeing going through all kinds of changes.

Counseling is different these days because of what people are going through psychologically and emotionally and mentally. And the fact is those challenges are real. But my brother, my sister, I showed up to tell you, while challenges are great, our God is greater. So at the end of the day, we've got to walk by faith and not by sight.

We've got to make up our minds. We are not going to let circumstances, even challenging circumstances, dictate who we are or what we're going to do because we serve the same God that Isaac served. Now, I want you to notice that as a result of Isaac's simple obedience, he refused to go where everybody was going and he went where the Lord told him to go. And then I love the fact that, and I told you about it at the end of the last message, that he was willing to act in a way that was counterintuitive.

That's the term I use. I want to give it to you again. Sometimes when you walk by faith, you've got to be counterintuitive, meaning your intuition, your normal tendency, your proclivity would be to do a certain thing a certain way. But sometimes when you walk by faith, you have something that tells you don't do it that way, do it another way, even if everybody around you thinks you're crazy. So I need you to understand that God has called us to walk by faith, even when it means we have to be counterintuitive. So when we go back to sowing now, as this fifth law of the harvest says, you've got to be obedient to what God says, do it God's way. If the Lord tells you to sow your time in a way that other folk don't necessarily understand, you use your time the way God has told you to do it. If the Lord tells you to use your talent in a way other people don't understand, you use your talent in a way God's telling you, because there's going to be a blessing, a supernatural blessing in that. And when it comes to giving your treasure, God can tell you give, even though you don't think you can afford it. But if he says it, it's because he's setting you up for a blessing. Let me just walk you through some passages of scripture, just to drive home how obedience sets you up for supernatural blessings.

Think back to what I mentioned in the previous message. Noah is told to build an ark. A lot of folks say build a boat. But literally, when you look at what an ark was as instructed there in Genesis, that's not really a boat. When you think about it, the ark wasn't a boat. It was a large facility that could float because of how much rain was going to come.

But although it could float, it really wasn't built to be a boat. It was just built to house all manner of living things that God ordained to be saved through the flood. He built that when they didn't even understand that rain could be so powerful that it could flood the earth. When you read Genesis, you'll see. The people didn't know that such a rain could exist, but you're told there in Genesis that God said, I want you to build this because I'm going to send flood waters. And the earth certainly had water, but they didn't know what flood waters meant because they were not used to rains of any significant volume that it could cause things that they were familiar with to be underwater. But God said build it, Noah, because I am going to recreate all things.

And you know as well as I do. He built it when it made no sense. Here's my question to you. Since that was his act of faith, what things are you called to build even when other folk don't think you're supposed to build them? Some of you all perhaps are supposed to build a business and you say you don't build a business during a pandemic. The answer, you do if God leads you to do it. The people might say it makes no sense for you to try to build a certain kind of corporation during this time.

This isn't a good time to do it. If the Lord tells you this is what I've called you to do, you do it because of his word, not because other folk think it makes a whole lot of sense. Some of you are to build relationships during this season of your life and you've got to understand if God is leading you to develop certain relationships, you go on and do your part and watch the part that God will do.

What are you supposed to be building right now? And if you know in your heart there's something I'm supposed to be doing, don't wait for an opportune time, don't wait for the vaccines to be discovered and now we get a shot and now I don't have to worry about COVID. No, no, I'm not waiting for the vaccine. I'm believing that God's going to give them wisdom. I'm praying and I would encourage you to pray. Very specifically, I'm asking God, Lord, give researchers the wisdom they need to identify the right kinds of vaccines that will not do us harm but will do us good and protect us from this virus because this is quite a dangerous virus and so that's the way I'm praying. I would encourage you to pray the same way. But let me tell you something. Don't believe that just because we haven't arrived at the vaccine yet and we don't know how many folk are going to die, how many more tens of thousands are going to die before this thing, we all get under the curve.

We cannot live based on that. If God tells you to build something, start building right now. Thanks so much for joining us for today's message when faith encounters a famine. If you'd like more information about the Destined for Victory ministry or if you need prayer, be sure to stop by our website, pastorpaul.net.

That's pastorpaul.net. Is the Spirit urging you to do something or to go somewhere to do something that means you've got to give up what you're comfortable with? If God's calling you to give something up, although it's hard, say yes to Him just like Moses' mother said yes because on the other side of that, the fifth law of the harvest means you're setting yourself up for something supernatural. That's next time when Pastor Paul Sheppard shares his message when faith encounters a famine. 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 / 2023-12-19 09:33:11 / 2023-12-19 09:42:01 / 9

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