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We Are an Army, Part 2 (cont'd)

Destined for Victory / Pastor Paul Sheppard
The Truth Network Radio
August 5, 2021 8:00 am

We Are an Army, Part 2 (cont'd)

Destined for Victory / Pastor Paul Sheppard

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August 5, 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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As iron sharpens iron, so one person sharpens another.

That's Proverbs 27 verse 17 and this is Destined for Victory. Today, Pastor Paul Shepherd talks about the vital role that other people play in our spiritual journey. In his message, we are an army.

But first, he joins me from his studio in California. Pastor, let's take a moment and talk here at the beginning. I know you're grateful for the way God has graciously supplied for our needs at Destined for Victory and we want to say, thank you to those who've been praying and generously giving even during the pandemic year. But I also know you're concerned along with me that as people emerge from the lockdown that maybe ministries like ours could be forgotten, especially during the summer.

Yes, sir. First of all, I cannot adequately say thank you to our partners, to the occasional donors and to our legacy builders, because they have been very consistent for the past 18 months or so, no matter what. What they heard, no matter what was going on in society, no matter what panic buttons people were pushing, donors seemed to get it that if we want to hear this kind of timeless preaching, we're going to have to make sure that this ministry is supported.

And they've done it faithfully. If you're one of those people listening, I want you to know how grateful I am that you followed the leading of the Lord. And I pray that it continues, not only in your life, but that we actually pick up new donors, because especially when the summer hits, all of us who do media ministry, we might sound like we're faith filled all the time. But some of us have those moments where we say, Lord, I sure hope these bills are going to be paid because the gospel is free, but the plumbing costs and those bills continue to be paid. And those bills keep coming in every month.

We can't get this done unless partners come alongside. And I'm grateful and I'm praying that the Lord will keep them giving and supporting throughout the summer months. I love traveling.

And now that we can all feel like, oh, let's get back in the car or some people, let's get back on planes or whatever. Great. Enjoy your summer. But please don't forget that the gospel has to be supported all year long, especially in the summer months.

All right. Thank you, Pastor. That's what it's all about. Reaching more people with the gospel. And that only happens as friends like you stand with us in prayer and with your generous financial gifts. When you give today, we'll be glad to send you by request as our thank you, Pastor Paul's booklet, You're in God's Army Now. It's a great companion guide to the messages this week on Destined for Victory, one that explains how to be an effective soldier in the army of God. That's You're in God's Army Now, a booklet from Pastor Paul and our gift to you by request for your gift to Destined for Victory.

Here's how you do that. Call 855-339-5500 or visit 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, that address is Destined for Victory, box 1767, Fremont, California 94538. And so we have to understand there is an accountability that we must call ourselves to. It's easy to be independent in your thinking in today's world. But in the kingdom, you are not an independent thinker or person who lives your life alone. You are part of a team.

And teamwork is what makes the dream work. Christianity is a team sport, one in which all of us working together strengthen the church by strengthening its individual members. Today on Destined for Victory, Pastor Paul Shepherd reminds us that it's up to each of us to be faithful in the role to which we've been called, even when we may not feel like we're holding up our end of the bargain. With this message, we are an army. Here's Pastor Paul.

You're absent and nobody gave you leave. See, I grew up in days they didn't play that. The saints taught us. You got to be faithful because God is watching you and the pastor is watching you. I remember in those early days when I would play the piano for my church and what have you, they gave me a little stipend.

It was really good. It came in handy because in those days I'm coming out of high school, getting ready to go into college, I need some little money. And I was the pianist and I trained the choir and then I played organ on the piano. But I remember a time when our church was having a Sunday afternoon service. See, some of y'all don't know nothing about the way church used to be. You couldn't come to a Sunday morning service and you're done for the week back in the day. Sometime there was afternoon service. Sometimes Sunday was all day long.

Oh, I shudder to think what it would be if that was happening in today's world all day. We started at church eight o'clock prayer, 9.30 Sunday school. Then Sunday school let out at 10.30 you had a half hour till service started at 11 and we would run to the store and get our little goodies between 10.30.

But at 11 you had to be there. That's when the choir and Jesus were coming in at 11 o'clock. Jesus and the choir came in at 11 o'clock. Come we that love the Lord and let our joys be known.

We're marching the Zion or whatever song they were marching in on that particular Sunday. And so that's what we do at 11 o'clock. And then my daddy had long services. Long service.

Oh, he had church till he was done. Forget order of service, write down what happens. That was the order of service. And often service will start at 11 and we were still in there sometime till 1.30 going on too. Amen. He was not unfamiliar with three o'clock services.

But he was happy. And we just learned that just the way it went. And so I'm talking about after that, then some folk will go home, but the others will go down to the fellowship hall. You would know that the meals being prepared because while Papa is still on his third point, the chicken is coming up. Come on some of y'all. It's coming all up and then mess with you.

Oh Lord. And you can tell the right people are in the kitchen today. It's smelling just good. They down there getting the chicken and macaroni and cheese and green beans and stuff together. And so I have service and we go down and we fellowship, everybody sit around and you have this nice meal, what have you and enjoy that. And then they sit around fellowship. But by four o'clock we back in the sanctuary. And one time in particular, we had these guests.

It was a couple and they, um, she played and he's, they sang together as a duet and what have you and they were going to come and it was planned and all that. And I was tired of, you know, I've been playing all week, been playing and so they're coming and I knew Ken and Judy and Judy was going to play. And so I talked to us, y'all coming. Yeah, yeah, we'll be there. It's all right. God might not be there for, for the afternoon service.

And so you go ahead on and, and just, just go and let the Lord use you. And this one time I'm chilling out at home. There's a game on I wanted to see. And so service both started say four o'clock. I don't remember the exact time at that particular season and say four o'clock, about four 20 my phone is ringing.

Y'all quit laughing at the past. Phone and ringing. I picked up. Hello? My father said, where are you? And you know what I wanted to say, I wanted to say, I'm home.

What are you talking about? Where do you think you call? Because this is before there's no cell phones.

So y'all got to realize there was a day there was no cell phones, anything like that. So I just said, Oh yeah, Papa. I was a little tired. Been a long week. And I started in on my song and dance.

He cut me off in the middle of the song and dance. He said, I want you here in 20 minutes. And I felt like saying my clothes are off. I'm in my draws. I'm feeling good.

Once you hear in 20 minutes, click. This is not a conversation. Oh, I'm trying to help somebody. This is not a conversation.

We are not going to explore how you feel. Oh, how tired you were this week. Oh my son.

That wasn't going to happen. On my britches, come back on, put on my shirt, everything. Jump in the car, drive to church, walk in, the song service is over.

No more music. Why I got to be here? Do y'all see what I'm, I hope I'm painting a picture not just of me. There's more at stake than you. You're in an army.

You can't be a wall. I should have asked him pop. It's been a long week.

Would it be okay if I stay home? I know what the answer would have been. Which is probably why I concocted the plan. Let's just go with forgiveness. When you can't get permission, get forgiveness.

That was an ill conceived strategy. Cause he called me out. He wanted me there cause I should have never not been there. Not cause he needed me to play a particular song that judy didn't know. It was cause I want you here and the next time you think you want to not be somewhere, you are accountable to me.

Are y'all getting anything out of this? We have to learn that's God's plan for all of our lives. A steward, Paul said in second Corinthians, must be found faithful. So must a soldier. So must all of us who want to get something done in our lives.

It's not about how we think or feel. These soldiers just confirmed it is about you doing what you're told cause you're told to do it. And you've got to do it knowing that other people are counting on you. And so we have to understand there is an accountability that we must call ourselves to.

It's easy to be independent in your thinking in today's world. But in the kingdom you are not an independent thinker or person who lives your life alone. You are part of a team. And teamwork is what makes the dream work.

And you've got to learn you can't be absent without leave. And so if you are going to be a part of a team, then fulfill your obligations, do everything humanly possible. Because the goal when it comes to your service in the army of the Lord, the goal is to hear him say one day, well done. That's what I'm living for, that's what I'm working for, that's what I'm serving for, that's why I'm doing what I'm doing.

It's not just because of the advantages of my work, it's because I want to hear my commanding officer one day say, well done. Good and faithful servant. We've got to be faithful folks.

Call yourself to faithfulness. We've got to learn principles like honor. These people, if I asked those soldiers to continue talking and would have asked them about their relationship with their commanding officers, they wouldn't have told us how much they liked their personalities. Oh, you know, my commanding officer had just the best way of engaging people, making them feel affirmed.

Do you all see how crazy that sounds? Affirmation, nothing. Sometimes they take pure joy in making you feel horrible. Why? Because they're teaching you your feelings have nothing to do with how good a soldier you are. And we just heard, and when it was time for roll call in the morning, you better not only be there, be there with the right attitude. And how are they going to know what your attitude is like? Because it better be on your face.

See, you can't have a funky face, you know, but at least I'm here. You need to mind your business. Just go on and tell us what you're going to tell us.

Don't go away. We're only about halfway through today's Destined for Victory message with Pastor Paul Shepherd, who is senior pastor of Destiny Christian Fellowship in Fremont, California. Be sure to subscribe to Pastor Paul on YouTube to watch some of his best video clips. For more details, visit

There online, you can also listen on demand or recent messages or find a variety of resources at our online store. Now, let's rejoin Pastor Paul with the rest of today's Destined for Victory message, We Are an Army. We got to learn the principles of following, principles of fulfilling directions. I've pastored people over the years of different cultures and what have you. Some people come from a very disciplined culture, like our sister said, her family. She said, so when I got to basic training, I was just continuing family life pretty much because she's learned the disciplines as she's lived her life, but not all of us have done that. Some of y'all have been, you've been taking it easy. You've been slacking all your life. And this is a season where God's, I'm not going to ask you to raise your hand to admit it, but some of y'all know that I've been a slacker pretty much all my life. And now I got to learn to do some things because God calls me in his word to do them because spiritual warfare requires it, because the team is counting on me. We have to get past our thoughts and feelings and get to a place where we learn how to be faithful.

One more thing and I'm going to let you go. Soldiers rely on each other. We just heard this from boot camp all the way through until they are discharged from duty. I'm here to tell you we're going to be an army that's successful only because we learn to rely on one another. We have to learn to rely on other people. Now here's the thing I need you to understand.

In the first part of this, we are an army. I was talking about the fact that a friend of mine, Bishop Thompson, he pastored for decades. He's now kind of semi-retired. He's turned his church over to one of his sons who's doing a marvelous job and all, and he's just sort of the overseer. But for many years as the active pastor of this church in New England, I stayed in touch with him.

He was a good friend of mine, like a big brother all of my life. And one of the things he did when he took this pastorate in New England, he was always physically disciplined, ran a lot, stayed in shape. And he entered the marathon, the Boston Marathon, one year, did not complete it successfully.

Five years later, he re-entered and he completed successfully. Let me tell you the difference because I asked him, I said, why were you successful the second time and not the first? And he said, three basic reasons as we talked.

I wrote down three basic reasons as he just sort of, I just asked him to three freelance in his thinking about what happened, and I put it down in three major categories. One was distracted. He got distracted. I said in the previous message how he was running at a pace he had trained at doing fine in the first race.

But this little thin child who was a real experienced marathoner, this girl could talk while she ran the marathon. And so she came by, hi, how you doing? And he said, fine, you know, but this is his first time. I don't need a conversation.

I'm trying to finish. So anyway, they talked for a while and then she left him. And he said, my pride kicked in. My ego said, I ain't letting no little thin child like that outrun me. And so he picked up his pace, which he hadn't trained at. Some of us, the reason why you're messing up is because you're running with the wrong folk.

I don't have time to go there. And so that was the first mistake. Second mistake was he didn't eat properly. The experienced marathoners had told him, if you want to finish well, then what you're going to have to do is eat certain things, which he said, they told me here's what you're to eat leading up to the race because a marathon is 26.2 miles, which means you're going to need to eat the things that will lock up your system so that you don't have to answer any calls in the course of running. And he said he hadn't quite done what they told him to do. And between mile 10 and 11 of his first marathon attempt, the call was too strong.

One of his members' houses was right off the route, and he ran down to her house. He said, I'll just go in there and handle things, and then I'll get back in the race. And he went, and he handled things. But as he was leaving her house, his legs said, you don't know it, but we are done. This is over. This is no longer a marathon for you. And he was done.

So those are the first problems, distraction and disobedience to what he was told to eat. And then he described a third and final reason that he succeeded the second time but failed the first. And I called the third one, he got a destiny connection.

I wrote that back in the 80s when I was taking these notes. I didn't know one day I would pastor Destiny Christian Fellowship. I didn't know I would have a broadcast called Destined for Victory.

But I wrote down back then, God gave him a destiny connection. What was that? He said, one of the ladies in my church was an experienced marathoner. And when she heard, pastor's going to try it again, I got up, told church, I've entered it this year, I'm going to try it again. He said, she came to me after that service and said, pastor, I'm so proud of you.

I'm so glad, I'm excited. She said, now pastor, would you mind if I help you? And he said, no, no, help me all you can. And so she said, all right, well, I want to help you with some knowledge because I know by being an experienced runner that there's something you're going to need at key points in the race. You're going to need somebody to give you. And she said, if you wouldn't mind, I'm going to set up some folks who will give you what you need at the point.

She said, based on my knowledge, I can pretty much determine when you're going to need this. And I'll station people. And he said, okay, that's good. And so he's out there running the second time. He didn't let any thin people mess with his head.

All of them running past like, go ahead, knock yourself out. He's running at his own pace. And then the second thing is he had eaten properly.

There was no call. He had to answer. He said, I'm doing good. He said, I got on up there past 12. So I'm farther than I've ever been before. I got up past 13 farther than I've ever been before. And he said, but right between 13 and 14, I was getting tired. I was doing what runners call hitting the wall. He said, but right about the time, I'm thinking, man, this is hard.

I don't know if I can do the rest of this race. Right about that time, he heard somebody say, Pastor Thompson. He looked over, and one of his members was standing there, had water in one hand and a banana in the other one. He ran by, grabbed him, said, go on, Pastor.

And he kept running, drank the water, which they had water stations. That wasn't uncommon at all, but also started eating the banana. I remember him telling me back in the 80s when I'm interviewing him, he said, man, let me tell you something. God was in that banana.

God was in that banana. He said, it gave me life. It gave me energy.

It helped me get past that mental block that was developing. And he said, I ran on 15, ran on, I'm doing good 16, ran on 17. He said, by then, I started getting tired again. I'm farther than I've ever been before, but I still got a long ways to go, 26.2.

And I'm at 17, and I'm starting to get, oh, man, my legs are getting heavy. I don't know. He started thinking like that, and he said, right as he was approaching the 18-mile marker, he heard somebody, a different voice, say, Pastor.

He said, I looked up, and it wasn't just another member station. It was the marathon runner herself. And she had a second banana. And he said, when he came over to her to grab the banana, he noticed that she had her own race number.

And she began to run with him at that point. And she said, Pastor, I run this every other year. I used to run it every year. She said, I'm at the place now I run it every other year, and this wasn't my year to run it.

But I was so excited when you announced that you were going to reenter. You weren't going to let your first failure stop you from doing what you wanted to do. She said, so in order to encourage you, I thought, this isn't my year to run, but let me at least run the last 8.2 miles with my pastor.

I'm going to run that last part with him just to help him, give him a boost. So she gave him the second banana, and he started to eat that. And she said, Pastor, I'm so proud of you. And she started building him up and giving him the vision of the finish line.

Said, oh, you're going to be so excited. We got the church. Bunch of the folk going to be there waiting on you when you come. We all going to be singing and worshiping and what have you, the real demonstrative church. And she started painting the picture of what it's going to be like when we hit the finish line. I came to tell you, he said, and as a result of that second banana, plus her encouragement all the way, I found myself hitting the finish line 26.2.

Never did it before, but I've done it now because I got a destiny connection. I came to tell you, the army is full of people who you need with you to strengthen you, to train with you, and to encourage you so that you can make it through the hardships of life. One day we're all going to hear the Lord say, well done, good and faithful son. Thanks so much for joining us for today's message, We Are an Army. To find out more about Destined for Victory or to contact us for prayer, be sure to stop by our website,

That's If God be for you, who can be against you? You don't worry about giants and walled cities when God has promised it to you. And so the point here is that you have to stay positive about what God has put in your heart to do. That's tomorrow in Pastor Paul Shepherd's message, Stay Positive. 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 / 2023-09-17 16:36:58 / 2023-09-17 16:46:51 / 10

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