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Lessons from the Battlefield, Part 1

Destined for Victory / Pastor Paul Sheppard
The Truth Network Radio
June 11, 2021 8:00 am

Lessons from the Battlefield, Part 1

Destined for Victory / Pastor Paul Sheppard

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June 11, 2021 8:00 am

Examining David's conflict with Goliath to gain insight on how to fight and win with spiritual warfare.

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When you are in the Bible, you will find Pastor Paul at Destiny Christian Fellowship in Fremont, California.

Thanks for spending part of your busy Friday here with us. Today Pastor Paul takes us to the book of 1 Samuel chapter 17 for one of the most popular stories in the Bible, David versus Goliath. It's a message about spiritual warfare and one that promises to help you face your own giants and find ultimate victory over them. Be sure to visit pastorpaul.net to hear any recent message on demand. That's pastorpaul.net. You can also listen to or subscribe to our channel.

You can also subscribe to the Destined for Victory Podcast at Spotify, at Apple Podcast or wherever podcasts are heard. Here's Pastor Paul with today's Destined for Victory message, Lessons from the Battlefield. 1 Samuel chapter 17 is where we will spend our time. Now we are currently examining the early life of David.

And we're doing so not just for the value of historical information but we're doing so for the purpose of practical insight. We are seeking to learn lessons from the life of this great man of God. And even in the early days when we are introduced to his life, when he was still a young boy, there are lessons we can learn to apply to all of our lives.

Now let's get caught up. Number one, that there are God ideas for your life. Just as David was called of God and God had a specific plan for him, so it is with all of us that God has a plan for our lives.

Number two, don't worry about being overlooked. We talked about the fact that when Samuel came to anoint the next king of Israel, Jesse assumed that it would be one of his older sons. So he brought before the prophet seven of his eight sons, complete and complete. Completely ignoring David. David only came into the picture after Samuel realized that none of the other seven sons were called of God. He asked, do you have any others?

And that's when Jesse brought in David. Don't worry about it when you are overlooked because God sees what he wants to do in your life. Number three, handle well your present responsibilities. Today's actions are a direct reflection of where you are headed.

And so you must value today because your tomorrows are built upon your todays. Number four, wait your turn. We saw that David was anointed as a lad, but the anointing of David to be the next king did not authorize David to immediately ascend to the throne. The fact is your calling and your sending are often two different seasons, and some people go too soon.

I know some folk who were called and who were sent, and I know other folk who just went. And let me tell you something, when you go prematurely, you miss out on some key blessings because there's timing in the movements of God in your life. Number five, develop your strongest gifts. David mastered a few of his strongest gifts, and they were a blessing to him and a blessing through him to others. And likewise, you and I have to learn to strengthen our strongest gifts, master your strongest gifts. Some people always focus on trying to turn weaknesses into strength, and I think that is a waste of time and resource.

Now, I'm not talking about character development. You do need to develop your character. If you have weak areas of character, by all means, by the help of the Holy Spirit, and the development, the cultivation of spiritual fruit, you ought to develop those. But I'm talking about when it comes to giftings, if you're not gifted to do something, don't keep sweating it. Leave it alone because there are other things that God has gifted you to do, and that's where God will use you, and that's how he will bless you.

And number six, get good at meeting other people's needs. We looked at the fact that David spent a whole season of his life where all he did was took care of the needs of Saul, and God prepared him for greatness by first making him an excellent servant. And likewise, you and I have to learn that the will of God for your life is always going to involve other people. There's no such thing as being in the center of God's will and not having impact on other people because God loves people, and his will for your life is going to include you being a blessing to others.

Having discovered those lessons from the pasture, I called them, I want to now look at lessons from the battlefield. In chapter 17 of 1 Samuel, we move to that scene where David is going to have the opportunity to face a large task in the person of Goliath. Now even if you are unfamiliar with your Bible, generally speaking, I have the privilege of pastoring and leading to the Lord a lot of unchurched people. In fact, what drove me to this ministry was a word from the Lord that he was going to bless me to reach unchurched people if I would just preach his word and raise up others who would help me pray and disciple others in the things of God.

And we're so blessed to see that happening. So a lot of people I minister to, both in our church and on the radio, are unchurched by background. And perhaps you didn't have the experience of growing up in Sunday school and learning all of these stories. But even those who weren't raised in church, chances are you know about David and Goliath because that's such a popular story.

And we even talk about it in secular society. Even people who really aren't Bible oriented will often describe a situation where there's perhaps some small company that's living in the shadow of some large corporation, talk about it as a David and Goliath scenario. And so if you're familiar with the story, I want us to look deeper into it and learn some lessons for our own lives. The first and most important lesson we can learn from 1 Samuel chapter 17 is that challenges and conflicts are inevitable.

Write that down if you're taking notes or note that in your mind. Challenges and conflicts are inevitable. Notice the very first verse of 1 Samuel 17 tells us that the Philistines gathered their forces for war. Every now and then as you read through this time in the life of Israel, you see that enemies will just gather their forces against them. Israel hasn't provoked a fight.

Israel hasn't caused a fight. But yet the enemy shows up ready to fight anyway. And some of you are discovering that same dynamic in your life.

And I've come to give you a context as to why that is. When you are in the will of God, when you are seeking to love God, to please God, to serve God, to minister to others in the name of God. As sure as you decide you're going to live a life that brings God glory, you can count on it the enemy is going to show up.

It's just the nature of doing business with God, doing kingdom work. There are going to be forces that come against God's plan for your life. And so I want someone today, my goal in this part of the series is to help you become comfortable with conflict. Now not all of us find that easy to do because you know, now some of us are fighters by nature and you're like, cool, bring it on. But not everyone is a fighter by nature. Some folks are what I call flighters by nature. And you tend to run from conflict. First thing you want to do is get out of conflict. You see it in interpersonal relationships and dynamics. Sometimes you'll see a marriage where you have a fighter and a flighter married to each other.

Boy, is that a mess. Because when there's an issue the fighter wants to confront and they jump right in and we need to talk about something. And the flighter is trying to figure out how can I get out of here.

Two different instincts all together. And in your life, some of us are fighters and some of us are flighters. But let me tell you something, even if you are a flighter by temperament, now that you love God are called according to his purpose, seeking to live a life that pleases him. I've come to tell you, my friend, you're going to have to strap on your armor because you are in a fight. You don't have to start the fight. The enemy will find you. You're in a fight. As soon as you decide that you're going to live for God, live righteously, you are in a fight. The enemy will begin to gather forces together to come against God's best in your life. And so I want you to know you can do the will of God but you're not going to get it done without a conflict. There are going to be challenges.

You're going to have those times where you have got to throw down. And so you got to make up in your mind, Lord, even though by temperament perhaps I don't like fighting, when it comes to spiritual matters, in order to do your will, I see from your word that I am going to have challenges and conflicts come against me. Indeed, one of the promises in the scripture that folk don't like to claim, you know, we're in a generation of believers who love claiming promises. Up next, the second half of today's Destined for Victory message with Pastor Paul Shepherd. We want to thank all of you whose prayers and financial support help Pastor Paul share the gospel all over the world. And right now as we recover from the challenges of the past year, your support is even more critical today because more people than ever are looking for answers that only Jesus can give. So please, as God leads, prayerfully consider making a gift to Destined for Victory today. Visit pastorpaul.net to make your best gift right now or call 855-339-5500.

We have some special gifts as a way of saying thank you and we'll tell you all about it at the end of today's message. Right now though, here's Pastor Paul with the rest of that message, Lessons from the Battlefield. We love saying, oh, I'm standing on the promises of God. Well, that's a good place to stand, but take all the promises with you. See, what we often mean is we won't stand on the promises like, my God shall supply all of my needs according to his riches and glory. I'm standing on it. God said, ask what I will and it shall be given.

I'm standing on it. Well, those are wonderful promises to stand on, but I got another one for you to stand on. Jesus said in John chapter 16 verse 33, in this world you will have trouble. He promised you trouble. He was talking to his disciples when he said it.

In John 16, he was preparing them for the fact that he was soon to be betrayed, to die a vicarious death, to rise from the grave and to eventually ascend back to heaven and getting them ready for life apart from his physical presence and companionship. Jesus said, I can promise you something else. I promise you that in this world as my followers, you are going to have trouble. Now, that's not a promise you're excited about claiming, but you might as well grab it because the promise is as true as every other promise of God.

But thank God it didn't stop there. He said, in this world you will have trouble, but take heart. King James said, be of good cheer.

Why? Because Jesus said, I have overcome the world. The reason why you shouldn't shy away from the promise is because he said, you are going to have the trouble, but don't sweat it because I've overcome and your trouble comes because you're associated with me in the first place. And so what that means is because you are kingdom first in your focus and in your life, when the trouble comes, the victory that I won, you are going to get to share in that victory.

So he said, be of good cheer because I have overcome the world. Now, I want to spend a little time getting our theology straight. I don't want to rush through this point of challenge and conflict because we're going to have it and it really is the stuff of which your life in Christ is going to be made.

So we got to get this point down clearly. So let me take some time and really build a strong infrastructure of understanding in your heart and mind about this whole business of warfare. First, I want to deal with some theological issues. One of the problems we have in today's church world is that there are a number of extremes of teaching and in different areas and warfare is one of them.

And so I want to look at two extremes and bring them to your attention so that you will be sure to avoid both extremes. When it comes to this matter of conflict and warfare, there are two theological extremes that need to be avoided. The first extreme suggests that there is an epic struggle between God and Satan so we really can't be assured that you and I can live a victorious life. Some people think that God is really having a hard time with the devil and because we're not quite sure who's going to win the war, we really can't be assured of personal victory.

Now let me tell you something. If you've been exposed to that kind of teaching, that kind of weak spiritual teaching, unbiblical teaching, I'm here. My job as a teacher in the body of Christ is to do permanent damage to ignorance. And so I want to help you understand that there is no biblical basis for this contention that there is an epic struggle in the heavenlies and God is really sweating having a tough time with the devil. Now I think some folk got that not from Scripture, they got it from Star Wars. Now Star Wars was wonderful movie making, but don't make that your personal theology. I'm talking about the original trilogy. They've come out with some other things since then. I'm talking about those original three Star Wars pictures. You got to go back.

I think it started in the late 70s, went up into maybe the early 80s. You all know what I'm talking about? The first one was called Star Wars. That was the name of the movie. Star Wars. And then after that, there was the Emperor Strikes Back. The Empire Strikes Back.

That's right. And then the third one was The Return of the Jedi. Oh, you all with me? Now those were some movies. Those were some movies.

Man, that's when it was worth it. Buy the ticket, go to the movie, get your popcorn, man. You're into something. Some of this stuff they make today, you don't know what you're watching.

Or why. But boy, those were some movies. Wonderful flicks. And the premise was there was the force in the universe. There was the force. And that there were two sides, two dimensions of the force. There was the good side of the force and there was the dark side of the force.

You all remember that? And you know, on the good side, you had Luke Skywalker and you had Obi-Wan Kenobi, remember? And you had Yoda. You all remember Yoda? Ugly dude, but he had power.

Come on now. Yoda didn't look like much, but my man had power. And so that should be encouragement. If you're not crazy about the way you look, long as you have power, you tell the devil, I might not look like much, but don't fool with me. They were on the good side of the force, but you also had on the dark side of the force, you had the Emperor, you had Darth Vader, you know, folk like that. And there was this epic struggle between good and evil. And Luke Skywalker at a certain point, he discovered who Darth Vader really was. That was his own daddy and he had to struggle against the darkness and not cave in and all of that stuff.

And you had this epic. Now that's good movie making, but that's bad Bible. Because I've come to tell you something, the devil doesn't have so much power as to truly be able to contend with God. I'm here to tell you that biblically speaking, the devil was created by God.

He is the created God is the creator. He will never the longest day he lives and that's forever. He will never ascend to anywhere near the power of Almighty God. In fact, your Bible tells you that the devil is flat out defeated. And so what you got to learn to do is rejoice in the fact that the Bible says we in Christ already have the victory. We're not trying to have it, hoping to have it.

Maybe one day if we're really lucky, we'll have it. No, no, the devil is defeated. He's a defeated foe. And so there is not this epic struggle between good and evil. The reality is God is all powerful. Satan has limited power. God is all knowledgeable. Satan has limited knowledge. God is omnipresent.

Satan, though a spirit can only move from one place to another. And so in fact, when you say you're dealing with the devil, I know what you mean. We're dealing with demonic forces, but you're not fooling with the actual devil because he can't fool with you and other folk at the same time.

He can only be in one place at one time. That's why he operates through a legion, through demonic forces. And you, you know, who believe you're so westernized that you don't believe in spiritual warfare, you better hurry up and believe in it.

Because whether you know it or not, you're fooling with demons. The Bible says we don't wrestle against flesh and blood. We're wrestling against principalities and powers, against rulers of darkness, against spiritual wickedness in high places. And when you set out to live for God, you got demons on your trail trying to discourage you, trying to defeat God's best in your life.

But here's the good news. We serve the God who has all power and who has promised us the victory. And so get your theology straight.

Star Wars is good movie making, but it's not good Bible. There is no epic struggle in the heavenlies. God has won.

That's the bottom line. In fact, the devil and his demonic forces, all they're really doing now, God has already sentenced them. They know that they've been assigned to hell and eternal damnation. They already know that they are under sentence.

They're like somebody who has been sentenced and they're awaiting the execution of the sentence. The devil knows what his end is going to be. Demons know what their end are going to be. Death and hell, the Bible says, will be cast into a lake of fire. They know they're in.

All they're trying to do is fool with you until they have to go serve their sentence. And so don't think the devil's got all that power, because the reality is he is already defeated by the power of Almighty God. So there is no epic struggle. Be encouraged today, no matter how low the valleys of life take you, no matter how hard the enemy hits you, you are seated in the heavenly places with Christ, who has defeated sin and death and Satan himself.

No weapon formed against you shall prosper. In Christ, you are destined for victory. Thanks so much for being here for today's message, Lessons from the Battlefield. But before we say so long for the weekend, I want to thank you on behalf of Pastor Paul Shepherd and the entire team for all you do to make Destined for Victory possible. As a listener supportive ministry, we're counting on your continued prayers and financial support because so many people need to hear the saving grace that only Jesus Christ can provide.

Your donations do make a difference. And as we enter the summer months when gifts to the ministry often decline, we ask you to prayerfully consider sending your best gift of $25 or more to Destined for Victory this month. And when you do, we have two great gifts of our own to share with you. The first is Pastor Paul's book, Why God Created Dads, an insightful and inspirational look at the subject of fatherhood through the lens of Scripture. The second is an audio CD, A Tribute to My Dad, a message delivered by Pastor Paul following the death of his father.

Men and women alike will be inspired by these timely resources. Again, that's why God Created Dads and A Tribute to My Dad are gifts to you this month for your best donation of $25 or more to Destined for Victory. 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, CA 94538.

Again, that's Destined for Victory, Box 1767, Fremont, CA 94538. My position in Christ is sure, I'm a victor. Whether I possess that victory, live out that victory, enjoy that victory, depends on how I tap into his grace, how I follow his word, how I say yes to his will. That's next time in Pastor Paul Shepherd's message, Lessons from the Battlefield. Until then, enjoy your weekend and remember, he who began a good work in you will bring it to completion. In Christ, you are Destined for Victory. .
Whisper: medium.en / 2023-11-06 01:18:36 / 2023-11-06 01:27:16 / 9

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