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We Are an Army, Part 1

Destined for Victory / Pastor Paul Sheppard
The Truth Network Radio
August 2, 2021 8:00 am

We Are an Army, Part 1

Destined for Victory / Pastor Paul Sheppard

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August 2, 2021 8:00 am

Understanding the reality of spiritual warfare and the need for us to train, grow, and fight together as a unit; based on 2 Timothy 2:1-4 and other passages. (Included in the9-part series The Power of We.)

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When you got saved, you came into a spiritual army. You came into a spiritual warfare. You might not have known that when you first got saved, but you better hurry up and find out because you have a real enemy who is arrayed against you and against everything that God has ordained for your life and for others' lives, and we have to learn how to war together. If you are a believer in Christ, you are in the army now, but that alone doesn't make you a soldier. Hello and welcome to this Monday edition of Destined for Victory with Pastor Paul Shepherd.

We're so glad you've stopped by. The biggest battles you'll face in this life will come against an unseen enemy, an invisible army led by Satan himself. Today and for the next few days, Pastor Paul will explain what it takes for you to be a faithful, well-trained soldier in the army of God. Stay with us now or visit pastorpaul.net to listen any time on demand. That's pastorpaul.net.

You can also subscribe to our podcast at Apple Podcasts, at Spotify, or wherever you get yours. Now, here's Pastor Paul with today's Destined for Victory message, We Are an Army. Second Timothy chapter two, where I'll read the first four verses. Paul says to his spiritual son Timothy, you therefore, my son, be strong in the grace that is in Christ Jesus and the things that you have heard from me among many witnesses.

Commit these to faithful men who will be able to teach others also. You therefore must endure hardship as a good soldier of Jesus Christ. No one engaged in warfare entangles himself with the affairs of this life that he may please him who enlisted him as a soldier. I come to let you know that we are not only soldiers in the army of the Lord.

I don't know if some of you all who maybe grew up in black churches or Pentecostal type churches. One of the courses they would sing is I'm a soldier in the army of the Lord. Oh, I see some of y'all been singing it. Got my war clothes on in the army of the Lord. If you had the right lead singer up there, they would shift into some other stuff. If I die, let me die in the army of the Lord.

I would start it now, but I'll never get the service back. I got to finish this series, but that was some good singing. I'm a soldier in the army of the Lord. And the fact of the matter is that's what we are told about ourselves as new Testament believers, that we have been called to be in God's army because you know there is a war going on, not just out here in this physical world, but there's a war in the spiritual world and we've got to be prepared to fight the good fight of faith. And so what I want to do in this message and the next one to conclude this series is to just make sure we understand why it is God has made us soldiers. You're not just saved by grace through faith. When you got saved, you came into a spiritual army, you came into a spiritual warfare. You might not have known that when you first got saved, but you better hurry up and find out because you have a real enemy who is arrayed against you and against everything that God has ordained for your life and for others' lives and we have to learn how to war together as the people of God. So all I want to do in these messages is walk you through a few key points that you need to lock in in your mind as you go through life.

Here's the first thing I want us to consider together. One is not a soldier merely because he or she is a skilled fighter. Think about that for a moment because some of y'all learned how to fight before you ever entered into the armed services if you are a serviceman or woman. Many of y'all learned how to fight just growing up. Let me see some growing up fighters. You learned how to fight pretty good.

Yes, just growing up maybe because you had a sibling who picked on you a lot and you learned how to get them up off of you or maybe you grew up in an environment where you had to deal with bullies in your neighborhood or at your school. For whatever reason some of y'all learned how to fight well and fight early on. I can see the fight still in some of your faces.

I know you say but some of y'all still look like you could take somebody down if push comes to shove. But just because one can fight well doesn't mean he or she is a soldier. They don't ask you how well you fight when you get to the place where the recruiting takes place. They don't care what your background is with regard to hand-to-hand combat or anything like that. They just want to know you're signed up and you are here ready to learn what it is to be a soldier. And just because one can fight well doesn't mean he or she is already a soldier.

Soldiers are enlisted or drafted for specific service. I want you to know what Jesus said in John chapter 15 verse 16. He said to his disciples you have not chosen me. I have chosen you and I ordained you. I have appointed you that you should bear fruit and that your fruit should remain that whatever you ask the Father in my name he will give you.

Listen to what Jesus said to them. Now here are people who were chosen as the early disciples but he said I want you to be clear you said yes to my call but that doesn't mean you chose me. You said yes to the call because I had already chosen you. And I came to tell somebody you think you got saved because one day I decided to make Jesus my choice.

I remember one of the songs growing up. I decided to make Jesus my choice. Well bless your heart. I know that's what you think but you didn't decide to make Jesus your choice.

He decided he would be in your life. So keep your theology straight. Yes I know we have a role to play in terms of responding to the gospel message.

We certainly have that role to play but don't get it twisted. The Lord made the choice before you made the choice. And so I want you to understand you are in this army that I'm going to be talking about not because you're a skilled fighter. Fact of the matter is they don't pick people because wow I think he'd make a good sir. I think that girl could really be a great soldier.

No that wasn't what went into it. In eternity past God said I'm going to make you mine. I'm going to do such a work in your life that everybody who knew you before I came into your life will wonder what happened to you because I took you from whatever background I decided to take you out of and I made you a lean mean fighting machine for the army of the Lord. Some were chosen and they didn't even know it.

Others feel like they did the choosing and they didn't know that God was at work. With that in mind I want to ask just a couple of my military personnel just come on up my brother. I want you to come I just want to ask you a couple of questions. First of all what branch of the armed services? Army. Army by the way give everybody your name. James Myers. Alright this is brother James he is an army man.

Give him a hand. Now brother James I want to ask you when did you become a soldier? 1987. 1987 became a soldier. I'm sorry 1982-87 and off and on between then to now. Okay so you started in 80?

Yes. Alright alright the millennials weren't even born yet. I know right. You were fighting for them and they hadn't even gotten here but thank God. 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 the second half of today's message. This teaching is part of a nine message series called The Power of We and you can order this series or listen online at pastorpaul.net. You can also listen to Destined for Victory anytime right in the palm of your hand by downloading our free mobile app. The app allows you to contact us for prayer, make a safe and secure donation, order books and CDs, even take notes on the daily messages and have them available the next time you tune in.

Just search Destined for Victory in your app store and download it today absolutely free. When we left off moments ago Pastor Paul was talking to James who joined the army when he was 18 years old. Catch the rest of the interview next as we continue today's Destined for Victory message We Are an Army.

Once again here's Pastor Paul Shepherd. Alright now under what circumstances did you come to be in the in the army? Actually I came from a long line of people in the military as far as back to the Civil War as well. My grandfather was a merchant seaman during World War II. My father was in the Air Force and many others and that's so it's kind of a lineage of service to the country. Okay when did you know you were going to join the armed forces?

Probably it's kind of odd but probably during the 1960s. I was a kid still but I do remember the Vietnam War and the tragedy of that particular conflict but even then my dad was in the Air Force he served twice in Vietnam and even though there was still a lot of hardship with the men coming home and who struggled with a lot of difficulties I decided to I need to do my time. Okay so I need to do my service to my country. So you were influenced by seeing him come back in the whole state of affairs at that point in our country's history and that was when you said you know what I need to do my part.

Absolutely. Okay and so was he Army? No he was Air Force. He was Air Force. How did you go to Army? I'll be honest with you it was the commercials.

Good good that's that's kind of information I want. Yes sir. I'll be honest with you it was the commercials you know it'd be all you can be I was coming right out of high school you know. Oh that's gonna mess around and preach by itself be all you can be in the Army. Yeah so that's that's what got me and I really had no plans to go into college so my dad told me it's either work some sort of military service or go to college or something and I decided to join the Army.

I love it I love it. And by the way I also joined during the time period of what they were doing what they call the the late entry program. So I was a senior and I signed up as a senior when when I graduated in May of 1980 May 27th three days later I was on my way to Fort Sill. And so late entry program that I've never heard that language tell me what exactly they were gunning for. What they were gunning for because coming right out of the the the Vietnam conflict was real difficult to start recruiting because they ended the Civil War in 1973 I believe.

And so they were encouraging young people at that time. You mean the Vietnam. Vietnam yeah I'm sorry Vietnam. I'm sorry.

No no problem no problem. Yeah the Vietnam War and they were encouraging young people coming out of that to inspire people to serve again and because it was so much issue with that whole conflict. So that's what inspired me. It was commercials I saw these guys running around you know with these these tanks and these shooting these weapons. It was it looked fun.

But I found out real quick it was a lot more just fun. That's good James. Stay nearby because I might need you for the for the next point.

Come on up my sister. Yes indeed. Oh that's some good stuff right there. He said those commercials got me. That's good.

Whatever it takes to grab the attention. All right. Give everyone your name please. Crystal Jordan. Crystal and what branch of the armed services are we talking about. Navy. The Navy. All right.

Come on give Crystal a hand everybody. All right. So give me a little bit of your story. How is it that you came to be part of the Navy. So my father was a Navy. I'm a Navy brat. My father served.

So retired actually. So that's all I knew. I'm a twin and she went to college and that was not my path. But my parents were like you're going to do something. So it's either that or go to work or whatever. So I thought I'd go into the military. It was again to his point it was not easy.

I don't know if I looked at commercials. So that's basically my back story. OK. So Navy brats you grew up in that life and lifestyle. What was your mom like. My mother was the disciplinarian my mother was the one who literally the matriarch of our family.

She continuously held us down. I'm one of nine. My mother I am the youngest of nine. She kept her foot on our neck when my father went on tour. That is my mother. While he's out on the ship she said don't get it twisted now.

He might be on the ship but I'm running this one right here. So I grew up with a very strong willed very beautiful woman who never lost faith in any of her children. Wow. That's good stuff. That's good stuff. Do you remember the day you actually went to sign up.

Yes I do. I actually was living in Lompoc at the time which is another Air Force community. OK. And I went down to L.A. I remember that very distinctly because that's where my mom and it was a change because that's where they leave you and you kind of have to figure it out. So I packed what I could which was bare minimum and gone on a bus and met strangers and it was like a foreign country literally. Well I do remember it like it was yesterday and I was only 20, 21. Wow. Wow. OK. And so those first few days were that was it a little traumatic to not have family around you.

Traumatic is an understatement. That is because I'm the youngest of nine. So I always had family I had friends I had you know it's a comfort zone.

So when you go into a scenario where it literally is being dropped in China where you don't speak any any of the language and you're trying to manage figuring out how to drive how to maneuver around and you're looking for commonality. That was my first you know safe place and somebody who could relate. So for me it wasn't easy. It was actually shell shock.

So it wasn't. But you manage and then you find commonality and you just start building friendships and but it wasn't the first three weeks because then you start boot camp and it's like. Oh yeah I'm coming back for boot camp. That's a whole nother level of like. That's why I don't want you go too far because I'm coming back for boot camp.

So just just hold on for a little while. And I'm sure there are others if time permitted you could tell your story. But we heard the fact that in order to become a soldier it wasn't just a matter of can you fight well. Nobody asked them that. When they sign up can you fight well how good.

Put up your hands let me see how you hold your hand. That had nothing to do with it. It started with a calling. My brother James said he saw the commercial that said be all you can be. How you do that in the army. I came to tell somebody all that God has destined you to be will be fulfilled while you're in the spiritual army of the Lord.

He has called you into his service. And the fact of the matter is both of these folks enlisted. But back in the actual war time I was a kid growing up in the days when the Vietnam War was underway. And I saw people from my neighborhood from my church drafted into the armed forces. They did not enlist. They did not go in and say you know what I saw a commercial I really like nothing wrong with that because we got great soldiers who enlisted. They went into the recruiting center and they actually enlisted.

I'm sure some of them didn't know what they were getting into but others said no I'm not feeling that. But at a certain point when the war was a definite thing it was going to take place. America had gotten itself involved in it. You could talk endlessly with people about whether we should have involved ourselves or not. People love having these academic talks about things.

When you get through talking it is not changing a thing. Whether we should have ever been in Vietnam. That's not the point. The point is some people in some room somewhere decided we were involved in ourselves. Some Joint Chiefs and the president and all that stuff they got their heads together and decided we are in this war. As a result we had to not only enlist and recruit soldiers they had a provision whereby if we don't have enough recruits we are going to draft some people. And a draft means you get a notice.

You will appear at a certain place at a certain time be there because you are now in the armed forces. And you say well what if I just wasn't going to do it. You folk who are young and you weren't in that draft period I'm sorry you just can't make me be something I don't want to be. I know a lot of folks feel that way who have never been in a war time America.

That's how we get to talk like that. I don't care what they done. I've heard the same thing with slavery. I wish I would have been a slave. Wait do you know the slaves were not enlisted?

Let me help you understand something now. It wasn't the slave sign up day. I wish I would have. I wish master would have came out here talking to me. What you going to do? You see that whip in his hand?

I wish I would have picked cotton. Yo you don't understand. See you have the thrill of ignorance working for you. One crack of that thing pow.

You be like I don't need a break I'm good. My mouths run where no sense lives. And when it comes to the armed forces in draft time it wasn't a question of if you felt like being in the armed services. If you are the right age group you were drafted. Let me tell you as it is in the natural so it is in the spiritual a lot of y'all are saved and you didn't know you were going to get saved till you did. God had his hand on you long before you knew that you were going to be drafted into the army of the Lord.

And God has a way. Jesus told us there in John 15 you didn't choose me. I chose you and I appointed you. I ordained you that you would bear fruit. I'm going to make your life give me glory when I get through with you people who knew you in your past would never believe you would end up like that. How many y'all listen this message as you think about it you look back over your life and say before I got saved my friends would not have given any money for me ended up I'm sitting up here in church singing about the things of the Lord.

Your friends would never thought that. But God who is rich in mercy. He had a plan for your life. And that plan was that you were going to go and you were going to bear fruit for his name's sake. And so you've been drafted into the army of the Lord. And so I want to let you know we are here by God's design. Being in the army of God is a calling answer that calling and you're in.

You don't have to be a good soldier right away just be willing to learn to take the Lord's instruction and wisdom and begin to apply it submit to him and let him fight the battle for you need prayer today stop by pastor paul.net and use the contact us feature to share your request with us anytime. That's pastor paul.net. While you're there, be sure to ask for your free copy of pastor Paul's monthly letter of encouragement yours at no cost or obligation. Well, our mission at destined for victory is to lead people to faith in Christ and to help them grow in that faith.

And because we know you feel the same way. Pastor Paul invites you to help by sending a generous gift to support his efforts. When you do we have a gift of our own to share with you. Pastor Paul shepherds booklet you're in God's army now. In his letters the Apostle Paul describes the church in various ways a flock a body and an army. In this booklet, Pastor Paul reminds us that we are continuously involved in spiritual warfare and explains what it takes for us to become good soldiers. That's you're in God's army now a booklet from Pastor Paul and our gift to you by request for your generous gift to destined for victory. Call 855-339-5500 or visit pastor paul.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 our address is destined for victory box 1767 Fremont California 94538. If you're going to become all that God wants you to be you got to train with other people. You got to sacrifice with other people. You got to give your time your talent your treasure. You got to invest in not only yourself but other people to become all that you are destined to be. That's tomorrow when Pastor Paul Shepherd shares his message we are an army. 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 / 2023-09-18 09:04:09 / 2023-09-18 09:13:01 / 9

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