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Perspective Is Everything

Destined for Victory / Pastor Paul Sheppard
The Truth Network Radio
August 10, 2021 8:00 am

Perspective Is Everything

Destined for Victory / Pastor Paul Sheppard

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August 10, 2021 8:00 am

God’s declaration about Corinth versus what Paul could see in natural terms; learning to adopt God’s point of view as we pursue a God-given dream; based on Acts 18:1-11. (Included in the 6-part series Making Your Vision a Reality.)

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When it comes to fulfilling the vision that God's put in your heart, you've got to learn to look at things from God's point of view. You can't afford to look at it through your natural eyes because you will miss what God is going to do. To the grizzled veterans of the Israelite army, Goliath was a giant who was about to kill.

But to 17-year-old David, he was an enemy of God who was about to die. Hello and welcome to Destined for Victory with Pastor Paul Shepherd. Wherever you are, however you may be listening, thanks for spending part of your day with us. You know, in the Kingdom of God, perspective is everything.

Whether it's the Red Sea, a fiery furnace, or a Philistine warrior who was never lost to fight, some people focus on what they see, others focus on who they know. Pastor Paul wants to encourage you today. When there seems to be no way out, God will always make a way through. Stay with us now or visit to listen on demand. That's

Also, you can subscribe to our podcast at Spotify, at Apple Podcasts, or wherever you get yours. Now, here's Pastor Paul with today's Destined for Victory message, Perspective is Everything. Acts chapter 18, beginning with verse 9. One night the Lord spoke to Paul in a vision, do not be afraid, keep on speaking, do not be silent, for I am with you and no one is going to attack and harm you because I have many people in this city. So Paul stayed for a year and a half teaching them the Word of God.

Now, we've covered a lot of ground in the series so far, and I certainly don't have the time to do any meaningful review, but let me just give you the principles by title that we have covered. We talked, first of all, about the fact that in order to fulfill the God-given vision you have, and again, let me remind you that that vision doesn't have to look particularly spiritual, because we learned from Ephesians 2 10 that we are all God's workmanship, and we're created in Christ Jesus to do good works, which God prepared in advance for us to do. And so the vision that's in your heart is designed to help you do the good works that God puts in you. Another way to put it is to look at what Jesus said when he said, we are good people who out of the goodness in our hearts bring forth good things. God has made us people who he has called and equipped to do some good things. They don't have to look, quote, unquote, spiritual because the truth be told, everything you do as a person who walks with Christ is going to have some sort of reflection of his plan and purpose in your life and in the lives of others.

And so don't think that in order to have a vision it's got to be spiritual, like I have to start a ministry or I have to be connected with a particular ministry or something like that. No, when you go to work, you go to work really representing the kingdom of God. When you go to school, you represent the kingdom of God. When you do whatever you do, go wherever you go, you are a representative. The Bible calls us ambassadors of Christ.

We represent him everywhere we go. And so here are some of the principles we've covered for making your vision a reality. The first is partners. I said you can do the will of God but you cannot do it alone so God's going to raise up partners and you have to discern those people and locate them and you have to build the right relationship with the right partners. Then we talked about the principle of perseverance. If you're going to fulfill the vision God's given you, you're going to have to persevere, meaning God may have given you the vision but it's not going to happen easily. You're going to have to press through a number of emotions and a number of challenging circumstances in order to make your vision a reality. And the third one we covered in recent messages is positivity. We talked about the importance of keeping a positive attitude because you've got to know that it's not over till I win. When it comes to fulfilling your vision, you've got to not take no for an answer. You have to remain positive so that like Paul when he ran into abusers, people who made his life miserable, he simply remained positive. He went next door where he could have an easier opportunity to minister and he kept doing what he was doing.

So those are the keys we've covered so far. Now I want to wrap up the series by talking about one more principle and it is in captioned in the word perspective. Jot that word down, perspective. If you're going to do the will of God, if you're going to fulfill your vision, you're going to have to have a certain perspective as you move through this phase of your life. Now look at the words we just read from Acts chapter 18 and you will notice that Paul is obviously thinking about leaving Corinth where he has been ministering and dealing with these challenges and this abuse.

He's thinking about leaving. I know it because of what verse nine says, the Lord spoke to him one night in a vision and said, look at this, do not be afraid. Keep on speaking. Do not be silent for I am with you.

No one is going to attack and harm you because I have many people in this city, many people in this city. Now the reason why I'm using the word perspective to help you understand this principle is because when Paul looked at Corinth, he saw a lot of things, but many of God's people was not one of them. When Paul went to Corinth, he went to a city that was known for immorality. Let me read you some of the comments made in a commentary that's connected with the life application Bible. Here's what they had to say. Corinth was permeated with religion, but it was not necessarily, these are my words, it was not necessarily religion as you would think of it.

Here's what they say. There were at least 12 temples located in Corinth. The most infamous of those temples was dedicated to Aphrodite.

You know where that word, does that ring any bells? The God, the Greek God from which we get the words we're familiar with was named Aphrodite. And the most prominent temple in Corinth was dedicated to Aphrodite, the goddess of love.

And they didn't mean love, they meant lust. This temple featured 1,000 sacred prostitutes. Imagine, 1,000 prostitutes that they had the nerve to call sacred were there to assist worshipers.

Are you all feeling this? 1,000 prostitutes there to service people, they had the nerve to call it a temple, they had the nerve to act like it was worship, and all it was was a place where all these people could act freaky in the name of religion. Another temple in Corinth was dedicated to Apollo, and in that temple they employed young men whose job was to fulfill the sexual desires of both male and female, quote unquote, worshipers. That's Corinth.

You get it? Corinth isn't a city that looks like, oh it has a bunch of wonderful godly people in it. No, Corinth is a city that is known for its immorality. Due largely to these facts of these temples with these prostitutes and folks who serviced those who came through, because of this fact the city was notorious for its immorality. So brazen was their immorality that a new Greek verb was eventually coined, and people began to say, we're going to Corinthianize tonight.

We're going to do the Corinth this weekend. People who didn't even live in Corinth, when they wanted to get freaky, they talked about doing the Corinth, Corinthianizing. That is how the Greeks referred to people when it came to sexual immorality. In fact, the Greek philosopher Plato, when he referred once to a prostitute, he called her a Corinthian girl.

She wasn't from Corinth, but the idea is she acts like she comes from Corinth. Now that's what was going on in the first century AD when Paul shows up in town to tell them about Jesus. Still ahead, the second half of today's Destined for Victory message with Pastor Paul Shepherd, Senior Pastor at Destiny Christian Fellowship in Fremont, California. We want to thank all of you who sustained Destined for Victory with your prayers and financial support. Gifts that help Pastor Paul share the gospel with a growing audience.

Destined for Victory is a listener supported ministry, and right now, during the busy summer months when donations to the ministry tend to decline, your help is very much needed and appreciated. So as God leads, please prayerfully consider making a gift to Destined for Victory today. You can give online securely in just a few moments at

That's or call 855-339-5500. If God has given you a promise, pay no attention to the obstacles that may stand in your way. God has a long and storied history of making molehills out of mountains. Here's Pastor Paul with the rest of today's Destined for Victory message, Perspective is Everything. So at this point in his ministry there, when he's thinking about leaving town because he's been experiencing opposition and abuse, God speaks up in a vision and says to him, don't go anywhere, stay right where you are, keep on preaching, don't be silent.

And then God says, because I have many people in this city. When you looked around at the Corinth Paul was preaching in, you didn't see folk who looked like they were close to accepting Christ as their savior. You saw folk who were buck wild. You saw people who were used to immorality.

In fact, immorality wasn't even considered immoral. They actually had the nerve to have temples where they did it and tried to act like this was some sort of worship. But when God looked at those people, he said, I have many of my people here. Paul, you got to stay here and preach because it's through the preaching of the gospel that people come to know who I am. You got to stay here because I have many people here and they've got to meet me through your ministry. Now, I bring this up to show you that when it comes to fulfilling the vision that God's put in your heart, you got to have the same approach. You've got to learn to look at things from God's point of view.

You can't afford to look at it through your natural eyes and your personal carnal perception because you will miss what God is going to do. And when it comes to your vision, whatever it is, some of you have a vision to start a ministry. Some of you have a vision to start a career. Some of you have a vision to change your career. God's going to send you in another career direction.

Whatever it is, this is the time for you to lock in and get it done. And here's what you've got to know. You can't afford to look at what God has placed in your heart through natural eyes. You have to learn to walk by faith and not by sight.

Walk by faith and not by sight. Because if you walk by sight, if Paul was doing this by sight, he'd say, although we've gotten some folks saved and we've done some good ministry here, it's not worth it. Thank God for these that have gotten saved, but it's not worth it to stay here. And he would have packed up and left. But God said, no, you can't leave because I have many people here.

Right now they're out there acting like God knows what, but God said they're my people. When you look at the vision God's given you to bring to fruition, you've got to learn to look at, Lord, if you're going to be pleased with this, if you're going to bless this, I'm going to move forward in faith and obedience, and I'm going to learn how to go to a deeper level of walking by faith and not by sight. Now let me illustrate this through a story I learned back in the late 80s. It's a story of a man who had a form of blindness that was curable by certain specialists. And so he found such a specialist who diagnosed him and prepared to do a procedure which he really believed was going to result in the man's sight. And so the day came, the procedure took place, they had to bandage the man's eyes up for quite a period of time, and then the time came when the man came to the doctor's office to have the bandage taken off. When the doctor did that, he said, now can you see anything? And the man looked, he said, yes, I see you talking to me.

Wow, this is amazing. I can, for the first time in my life, he was born blind, I can see you. The doctor said, terrific. Then the doctor began to point out a few things in the room. There was an orange sitting on the desk, and the doctor said, can you see that? He pointed to it. The man looked and said, yes, yes, I see it. The doctor said, what is that? The man said, I don't know, but if I can touch it, I can tell you. The man walked over and touched it and said, oh, this is an orange. And the doctor said, can you see that?

The man said, yes, I see it. What color is it? I don't know. What is it? I don't know.

Let me touch it. Oh, that's a pencil. And after a couple of things like that, the doctor rejoiced that the man could see. He said, now I'm going to set up an appointment several weeks from now, and I want to see you again and make sure everything is going as it ought to go.

And so the man left. The doctor was really excited that he was able to get the man his sight. But weeks later, he comes back for his follow-up appointment, and the man by that point had closed his eyes and returned to voluntary blindness. And when the doctor said, why are you walking around with your eyes closed? Why do you have your cane tapping around?

What is this about? Did you lose your sight? The man said, no, but it's too overwhelming to learn how to live with sight. I spent my whole life figuring the world out without sight.

Do you get this? He spent his whole life, he tapped his way as he walked. He felt his way through life. He listened, had very keen hearing so he could know what was happening as a result of what he heard.

He lived with exaggerated sense of hearing, exaggerated sense of touch, exaggerated sense of smell, because that's how he navigated through the world. And what he discovered was it was an overwhelming burden for him to now have to relearn everything because of this new sense of sight. And for him, what could have been a wonderful opportunity felt like an overwhelming burden because he was already used to feeling his way and hearing his way and touching his way and tapping his way through life. And to open his eyes means he's now got to relearn everything in order to be guided by sight.

And you and I would listen to that and say, oh my goodness, what an opportunity he missed. But for him, opportunity felt like a burden. So he closed his eyes and went back to the familiar. I've come to tell you as I wrap up this series that if some of you are going to get done what God has put in your heart, you are going to have to be prepared to leave the familiar. Because you can't get where God wants to take you and you won't fulfill the vision you have if you insist on things being familiar and comfortable. You're going to have to be OK with I got to relearn some things. I've got to recalculate some things because I need to know how to get this new vision fulfilled.

It's something I've never done before. And if I depend on what I see or what I think, I will miss it. So you're going to have to be prepared to go in a new direction. Some of you are being called to start a business and you've never done that before. Some of you are being called to change careers and you've never done that before. Some of you are going to have to go back to school in order to fulfill what's in your heart. And you were glad to get out of school the first time. Last thing you want to do is head back, especially now that you're older.

Come on somebody. Some of you all say I wasn't even that good a student when I was young and had to go. Now you've got to make up in your mind I'm going to choose to go back because there's a calling on the inside that's going to require me to leave my comfort zone. Whatever it is that's in your heart, whatever your vision is that's still unfulfilled, because you're committed to not dying with that unborn in you, you're going to have to be committed to learning how to walk by faith, not by sight. Our challenge is to learn how to walk by what God says, by what God leads us to do, by the promptings of the Holy Spirit, as opposed to walking by what we can figure out. So God says to Paul, don't be afraid, keep on speaking, don't be silent, and he gives them the promise nobody is going to attack or harm you, because I have many people in this city and the implication is I have called you to win them to Christ, so I'm not going to let you be killed here. Now later on Paul was killed, but not then.

He ended up losing his life by being beheaded, but not before he was able to testify in 2 Timothy chapter 4. I fought a good fight, I've run my race, I've kept the faith, now I'm ready. That's what I want. The reason why I preach this series is because I want you to die being able to say like Paul, I did everything God's called me to do, now I'm ready to go home. That's what I want for you.

I want you to be able to go home ready to go home. I don't want you dying with stuff unborn that you were supposed to give birth to. I don't want you dying and there were gifts you never used and callings you never fulfilled, things God had put on your heart and you never did them. You are supposed to not die until there are works following you. That's the language from the book of Revelation, there's a verse in Revelation that says, blessed are the dead that die in the Lord, yea sayeth the Spirit for they rest from their labors and their works do follow them. When you go into eternity, there's supposed to be a parade behind you of works. This is what you did when the Lord put it on your heart.

These are the folks you reached, this is the business that you established in his name. This is how God called you to operate in this world. Here are the people whose lives you touched, here are the people you helped, here are the people you got saved, here are the people you encouraged when they were down and out. There ought to be a parade of testimonies and highlights of your life because you didn't die until you could say like Paul, I'm ready. God's plan is always a victorious plan, but it's never an easy plan. It will take faith and perseverance.

There will be days when you wonder if you'll ever reach your destiny. Be encouraged today by Pastor Paul Shepherd's message and by the stories you read in God's word. Countless men and women have faced impossible situations only to have God deliver them to the destiny to which he has called them all along. If you are a follower of Christ, make every effort to look at your life from his perspective, not your own. Well, we have a great resource to share with you today, Pastor Paul Shepherd's booklet, You're in God's Army Now. In his letters, the apostle Paul describes the church in various ways, a flock, a body, an army. In this booklet, Pastor Paul reminds us that we are continuously involved in his spiritual warfare and explains what it takes for us to become good soldiers.

It's called You're in God's Army Now. This booklet from Pastor Paul is our gift to you by request for your generous gift to Destined for Victory today. Call us at 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, the address is Destined for Victory, box 1767, Fremont, California 94538. And if you need prayer today, visit, click contact us and share your request with us so that our ministry team can join you in prayer. While you're there, be sure to ask for Pastor Paul's monthly letter of encouragement, yours at no cost or obligation.

I came to tell somebody, God's getting ready to give you a net breaking miracle. But you are going to have to get your thinking out of it, telling God you did this before and it didn't work and I know somebody who tried it and they made a fool of themselves. You got to get all of that out of your mind and you got to say this is what God's telling me to do. That's tomorrow when Pastor Paul Shepherd shares his message, perspective is everything. Until then though, remember, he who began a good work in you will bring it to completion. In Christ, you are destined for victory.
Whisper: medium.en / 2023-09-16 15:04:06 / 2023-09-16 15:13:11 / 9

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