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The Gift of Frustration

Destined for Victory / Pastor Paul Sheppard
The Truth Network Radio
August 20, 2021 8:00 am

The Gift of Frustration

Destined for Victory / Pastor Paul Sheppard

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August 20, 2021 8:00 am

Three unusual agents God uses to help renew our minds - futility, failure, and frustrating people; based on Eph. 4:23 and other passages.

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Newness can't start with the stuff, with your life, with your lifestyle, with your actions.

Newness has to start between your ears. We may recognize a changed life most easily by noticing changed behavior, but the kind of newness God wants to give us always begins from the inside out. Hello and welcome to Destin for Victory with Pastor Paul Shepherd, Senior Pastor at Destiny Christian Fellowship in Fremont, California. God doesn't come into your house merely to rearrange the furniture and slap on a new coat of paint.

He knocks down walls and replaces the old wiring, projects that may seem uncomfortable at first, but ultimately make the whole house more functional and more beneficial. Today's message is straight ahead. Stay with us now or visit to listen on demand. That's

And remember to subscribe to our podcast at Spotify or Apple Podcasts or wherever you get your programs. Now, here's Pastor Paul with today's Destin for Victory message, the gift of frustration. You were taught with regard to your former way of life to put off your old self, which is being corrupted by its deceitful desires. To be made new in the attitude of your minds and to put on the new self created to be like God in true righteousness and holiness. Now, we focused on verse 22 in the last message and we talked about that business of putting off the old self. I can't get back into that in the interest of time. Check out that message if you missed it because there's some stuff that got to go. If you're going to be who God wants you to be, some things in your life cannot stay.

Actions, attitudes, and the rest. There are some things the Holy Spirit's going to be coming for because in order for you to get where God's taking you, you got to shed some things. Sins and weights. So I can't get into that.

Check that message if you need to. Today, I want to focus on verse 23. Look at that again, to be made new in the attitude of your minds.

Pause right there. So you see that newness can't start with the stuff, with your life, with your lifestyle, with your actions. Newness has to start between your ears. Newness starts in the mind. Newness starts in the attitude.

That's what the apostle just told you. You got to be made new in the attitude of your mind. So if you want to be stronger, wiser, better, it's going to necessitate a change of mind and attitude. Jot that down if you're taking notes. Becoming stronger, wiser, better necessitates a change of mind and attitude.

Let that sink in. Becoming stronger, wiser, better. We say, yeah, all right, yeah, we want to really be that.

I want to be stronger, wiser, better. Good. Now, check it out. It means you're going to have to have a change in your mind and your attitude. Because Paul just said, no need of trying to put on newness until you're new in the head first. Everybody understand that? I can't hear you. Amen.

But I hope you're vibing with that message right where you are. It starts with your mind and attitude. Now, as I was preparing to develop this series, the first thing I thought when I got to this point is, well, you know, typically if you're going to preach on mind renewal, you'll go to Romans 12, 1. I beseech you, therefore, brothers, by the mercies of God, that you present your bodies a living sacrifice, wholly acceptable to God, which is your spiritual act of worship. That's where we typically go when we're preaching or expounding this idea of newness and renewed mind.

And if that works for you, then by all means, I want you to focus there. Because Paul gave us really important information in Romans 12. He said, you've got to present. God's not going to take it. You've got to make a presentation. He's not going to snatch you into newness.

You have to present yourself. Okay, Lord, I'm willing to move into the newness you have for me, and I'm willing to not be conformed to this world. I'm willing to be transformed by the renewing of my mind.

I started to go there, and then I said, no, I'm going somewhere else. I could have taken you to Colossians 3 and 2. Set your mind on things above, not on things of the earth, and teach you that newness in the head means you've got to put your mind somewhere other than where it's been. If it's been in sin, if it's been in worldliness, if it's been in things that don't glorify God, you'll never become new.

You've got to set your affection on things above, which means your mind on things above, not on things of the earth. Could have gone there as I prepared this part of the series, but I wasn't led to go there. The leading that came to me was strange to me, but I preached long enough to know that when a leading seems strange to me, somebody's going to need exactly what I am being led to say.

So this might not be for everybody, but you still want to take notes because you want to pray for the folk that it's for, and you want to know that later in your life, it may be for you as well. And so I'm taking a completely different approach to pull out this second phase of the pattern God gives us. Put off some things, renew your mind, and then put on some things. So we're in the second phase, the renewal phase, and here's what I was led in my study to do. I want to talk about three unusual agents God can use to renew your mind and attitude.

Let me give you the first one. It's the word futility, futility. God can use futility to bring about renewal in your mind as he prepares you for your future. He will highlight the futility that has taken place, but probably currently is still taking place in your life. Stay with me, I'm going somewhere. I promise you, I'm going somewhere. You are familiar with Luke 5, one through 11.

I won't pull it all up necessarily. You're familiar with the story of Jesus ministering the people by the shore of the lake of Gennesaret, and a crowd was there, and there were a couple of boats that were there, and they had been abandoned, and very near them were fishermen who were washing their nets. One of those fishermen was a man named Simon. We know him as Simon Peter, and he was one of the fishermen washing their nets, and you know that what happened is when Jesus saw there was a growing crowd he was ministering to, and he's standing in a single place on the shore of the lake of Gennesaret, he needed a better vantage point from which to speak to this large group of people. So he asked Simon Peter, would you push out a little and let me use your boat for my pulpit?

And Simon Peter pushed it out, said, okay, I'll let this guy use it. He clearly can draw a crowd, so let me just give him access to my boat. And so he uses the boat as his platform, and that gives him the ability to speak to a larger crowd of people, and he continues sharing with them.

When Jesus got through, again, read this in Luke chapter 5, if you think I'm making it up. When Jesus finished ministering, he said to the man Peter, he said, all right, now, I want you to launch out into the deep, and there's going to be a great catch of fish. Now, Peter said, okay, I just gave this guy permission to use my boat. Okay, he was saying some nice things. People were clearly feeling what he had to say, but now he's up in my business. Now he telling me, a fisherman, to go out and to get ready for a tremendous catch.

So Peter says, let me explain to him what the situation is. The situation is, I've been out all night. We have toiled all night and caught nothing. Futility. We've been working hard and caught nothing. We have done everything we are expert at doing and caught nothing.

We have done our very best and caught nothing. That's futility. I came to tell somebody that instead of preaching from Romans 12, 1, and 2, instead of preaching from Colossians 3, 2, and all the other scriptures, that are used that we traditionally think about when renewal of the mind is the subject, I felt a nudge that I believe is from the Holy Spirit to talk about some unusual agents that will help us get to the place of surrender where we're ready to let God have his way.

And the first of the three is futility. I bet there are some folk listening to this message, watching me right now. However you're hearing this word, this is a Rhema word, a timely word, a right now word for you because there's been some stuff going on in your life. You've been trying, you've been working, you've been pushing buttons, and you've been strategizing, and you've been planning, and you have done everything you know to do to get some certain movement and progress going on in your life. And in the words of Simon Peter, you have caught nothing. You tried that thing, whatever that thing is, and it yielded you nothing. You were in that relationship, and it yielded you nothing. You played by the rules, and it yielded you nothing.

You did what everybody said you were supposed to do, and it has yielded you nothing. I came to tell you God plans to use your futility as an agent to get you to this place where you're ready to change your mind and say, I've done it my way, I've done it other people's way. Now, I guess I have no choice but to do this God's way. 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 Pastor Paul shared the Gospel all over the world. And right now, during the busy summer months when donations often decline, your support is especially needed. So please, as God leads, prayerfully consider making a generous gift to Destined for Victory today. You can give securely online at That's

Or call us at 855-339-5500. If you want to change the way you live, you first have to change the way you think. Here's Pastor Paul with the rest of today's message, The Gift of Frustration. And I came to tell somebody that's exactly what God lined you up for. He loves taking futility to preach to you. Sometimes the sermons that you heard don't get it, although they were all true, but futility can preach like you wouldn't believe.

Don't believe me? Ask people like Hannah in your Bible. You remember Hannah. She was married to a godly man. He had two wives, Hannah and Paninna. And Paninna was having the babies, but Hannah couldn't have a single baby. And you would think, now, Hannah's a wonderful woman, a godly woman. And the husband was a godly man, and why isn't this working? Why is the other woman able to have all the babies? And Hannah had in her heart to be the mother of a child.

She wanted to give her husband a child and couldn't do it at all. And what have you? And the Bible says she was so, so frustrated with this thing and would cry out to the Lord and cry on her husband. And he said, aren't I good to you? Aren't I better to you? Then I'm the best husband around. And doesn't that make you happy? But in her heart, she felt she was supposed to be a mother, and they were doing what you're supposed to do to try to have a baby.

They weren't fronting on that side. They were handling their business, but she was producing nothing. I came to tell you, sometimes God uses nothingness, futility, as an agent to get us to the place where we're willing to say, okay, Lord, whatever you want, I'm not going to stand in your way.

I'm going to say yes to whatever you have in mind. Some of you have been trying to push buttons and make things happen in your life. And, you know, I'm the kind of person, I can relate, because there are some people who watch things happen. There are some people who make things happen.

There are people who simply stand around and ask what happened. I'm in the make things happen category, and many of you are, too. You are used to being ingenious and making things happen. You are movers and shakers. You don't sit around.

You don't play. You are the kind of person, I'm not going to ask you to do it. If I can do it, I'm going to just jump out there and do it. And we are movers and shakers. Some of us, that's the way we roll. So when we get to Christ and we're used to making things happen, when there's something going on in your life that's not satisfactory, you try your best to use your ingenuity and make it happen, but even we will experience futility from time to time. And so I came to tell you that if you are dealing with futility, you tried everything and everything has failed, it's because God wants to use that failure of your activity producing nothing to get you to a place where you can be stronger, wiser, better, because you're not going to get there if everything keeps working the way it's always worked, because then you'll think you are the one that makes it happen. And God wants to show you in this season of your life, when you grow spiritually, you're going to be growing more dependent upon Him and less dependent upon yourself. Oh, that's hard for some of us.

We're so used to depending on ourselves. I know how to get things done. Well, God says, good luck trying to keep your records of being undefeated, because you're going to begin to have futility manifest itself more and more and more in your life. And some of you need to know, God is serious about you becoming stronger, wiser, better, so when you see yourself becoming less fruitful and you're panicking, God is not panicking at all. You're saying, how come I'm not being as successful at this?

I should be very successful at what I'm doing. But God says, no, no, where I'm taking you now, what you have to learn in this mind renewal process is to stop putting confidence in yourself. Stop putting confidence in other people. Stop putting confidence in systems of men. Stop putting confidence in what you read, what you saw, somebody else's success story.

You tried to do what they did, they had success, and you have futility. And you're like, what up with that? God is saying, because where I'm taking you, you can't put your trust in anything or anybody else but me. Some of you are used to making things happen in your marriage.

You just think you can do it. I've often said, men marry thinking a woman won't change. Women marry thinking a man will change.

Both are in for a rude awakening. A woman marries thinking, okay, I'll change him. I married him as a fixer-upper, and so I'm going to change him.

He's got potential, that's why I married him. And once I get through changing him and making him the man he's supposed to be, it's going to be all right. And your marriage is more jacked up now than it's ever been.

And you're like, what's up with this? That's because you didn't understand. You weren't the change agent in his life. You can nag him long enough to get him to do the toilet seat or something minor like that. Enough nagging will get those kind of results. But if you want real substantial change, nagging won't work. Read the book of Proverbs. There's a verse in there that tells you a nagging wife is like a constant dripping on a rainy day. Write in your Bible.

That doesn't work for real change. So you're going to have to learn between your ears. You're going to have to renew your mind and say, I got to give this to God and say, Lord, help me to be who I'm supposed to be and help me to leave him in your hands. I can pray for him. You can talk to God for him all you want.

But you keep nagging, that's not going to get you where you want to go. Because, you know, men have an internal switch. Sisters, y'all don't know that. Y'all didn't learn that growing up. Preparing to marry. Nobody taught you about the switch.

Pastors here to help you. There's a switch internally. You've never seen it. But you can talk and nag so long. And after a while, the guy says, click. Once he clicks it, you're still talking. He might still be looking at you, but there's no conversation. He can be looking at you saying, uh-huh, yeah, yeah, I know. He went click five minutes ago.

Nothing came in. So you got to learn. God will let your futility lead you to the place where you say, okay, Lord, I'm going to give this to you.

And you teach me how you want me to be. Same thing with men. Men often think women won't change. And so when she was giving you all that primary attention and affection and all that, as y'all were courting and all that, you thought it was going to be life.

You didn't know this woman was going to be moving from stage to stage. Once she got to the stage where she's homemaking and she's family planning and all that, and you just thought it was going to stay, and she'll give you as much attention as you need for those plans to go forward. But after a while, a new season kicks in. You're not getting the same primary attention that you were used to getting before, and you're wondering what's happening.

And so some of you guys make the real mistake. You start barking, and you think your macho is going to make. All right, and you come in the house upset because the food's not what you want or whatever you're upset about. And you come in barking, and you drop your voice down in the bass range.

All right, I want some change around here. And you don't know that she's not scared of you. She's not scared of you. She works with people way scarier than you. She's not scared of you.

She's like, oh, please. Look, I had a rough day. What you need to do is go somewhere, sit down, watch Sports Center, and get out of my face. That's what you need to do. Your barking's not going to work.

Nobody's afraid of you in that house. So futility, futility, futility. When you keep looking at different areas of your life and you keep running into futility, I came with a word for you. You might not like it. You might wish I was preaching something much more fun for you. A fun message will come down the pike sooner or later.

Right now, eat this broccoli, whatever it is that you don't like but's good for you. And God wants you to know futility is being used as an agent to get you to renew your mind and say, Lord, I have toiled all night. And I have caught absolutely nothing. So when Jesus comes along and says, okay, so here's what we're going to do, Peter's like, I'm a fisherman. You're a preacher.

He didn't say this, but I think the feelings could have been there, and if it wasn't there for him, it would certainly be for some of us. I'm doing what I do. You need to do what you do. Peter, fortunately, the futility opened his heart. And he said, nevertheless, you just told me to go out into the deep, get ready for a tremendous catch. I've told all night, caught nothing.

I know when the fish are biting and when they're not. He said, but nevertheless, at your word, because you're saying it, I'm going to do what you said. That's where you and I have to get to. So futility is an agent God can and will use. And in some of our lives, he's doing that right now.

And he's using it to help you get to the place where you're ready to renew your mind and say, not my will, not my ideas, not my expertise, not my ingenuity, not my anything. Lord, you lead and I will follow. Do you want to embrace the newness of your life in Christ? Get out of Eden and into Gethsemane to a place where you can say, nevertheless, not my will, but thine be done.

Well, before he ascended to heaven, the last thing Jesus told his disciples was to go into all the world and make more disciples. And that's our mission at Destined for Victory. We depend on friends like you to partner with us so that together we can reach the world for Christ. As his way of saying thanks for your generous gift to Destined for Victory today, Pastor Paul would like to send you his booklet, You're in God's Army Now. This is a great companion guide to the message as you heard earlier this month 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. 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, our address is Destined for Victory, P.O.

Box 1767, Fremont, California 94538. The reality is all unrighteousness is sin, every shortcoming, every mistake, every slip up, every misjudgment, whatever little nice term you want to put on it, it's keeping you out of the center of God's will. And so the Holy Spirit says, until you're ready to renew your mind, the newness that I want to bring into your life will never come. That's next time in Pastor Paul Shepherd's message, The Gift of Frustration. Until then though, 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 / 2023-09-14 11:20:29 / 2023-09-14 11:30:14 / 10

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