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October 12, 2021 8:00 am
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There are three enemies that militate against what God wants to do in our lives. God has big plans for you and there are three built in enemies that want to come against and knock you out of the place where you can experience God's best for your life. Athletes and coaches are fond of saying were going to take it one game at a time, but in this battle called the Christian life. That's not always possible. Hello and thanks for stopping by for today's destined for victory message with pastor Paul Sheppard be nice if we could face one rival, one battle at a time, but in real life are three worst enemies often show up on the same day on the same field is like playing three games at a time against three formidable opponents don't merely want to beat you want to destroy. Who are these enemies and how can you find victory when the odds are so stacked against find out next by staying with us right here or visit pastor Paul.net to listen on demand. That's pastor Paul.net listen and subscribe to the podcast its bona fide Apple podcast or wherever you get yours now is Pastor Paul. Today's destined for victory message facing your three worst enemies. James chapter 4, beginning with verse one. What causes fights and qualities among you, don't they come from your desires that battle within you. You want something but you don't get it. You kill and covet, but you cannot have what you want.
You quarrel and fight.
You do not have because you do not ask God.
When you ask, you do not receive because you ask with wrong motives, that you may spend what you get on your pleasures.
You adulterous people, don't you know that friendship with the world is hatred toward God. Anyone who chooses to be a friend of the world becomes an enemy of God, or do you think Scripture says without reason that the spirit he caused to live in us in these intensely but God gives more grace. That is why Scripture says God opposes the proud but gives grace to the humble, submit yourselves then to God. Resist the devil and he will flee from you. Come near to God and he will come near to you. Wash your hands, you sinners, and purify your hearts, you double minded. Grieve, mourn and wail.
Change your laughter to mourning and your joy to gloom.
Humble yourselves before the Lord and he will lift you up. I'm entitled this part of our series facing your three worst enemies. The passage we just read anybody's the idea that there are three enemies that militate against what God wants to do in our lives. God has big plans for you and there are three built in enemies that want to come against and knock you out of the place where you can experience God's best for your life so James as he continues through this general epistle that was written to saints who were scattered into various places because of persecution. In the early church and he wants them to still have some good guidance even while they are not at home or having them to settle somewhere other than their home. He wants them to know some important information about living a practical Christian life. And so, in this passage, he lets them know that these three enemies. You gotta pay attention to, and you've got to learn to face them and come against them in the name of the Lord so that they don't prevent you from experiencing God's best plan for your life. One of those enemies well the first one is the flesh, the flesh, when the Bible and the New Testament speaks of the flesh is not talking about your body per se is talking about your mind in its carnal state your mind and its spiritual state your mind and its pre-salvation state your mind apart from considering and doing and focusing on the will of God. Now let me help you understand something when we come to Christ and ask him to be our Savior and we accept the fact that his finished work on the cross was sufficient for our salvation, we become saved that very moment you go from spiritual death to life go from condemned to justify never understate what happens when you come to Christ if you give your life to Jesus he changes you from the inside out and that change has eternal ramifications. Salvation suits you to live your best life here on earth and salvation prepares you to spend eternity in the presence of the Lord getting saved is a big deal. Not a small deal with a big deal. It's a life changer. It's an eternity changer but getting saved does not reach you of the problem of dealing with your flesh, and again when the Bible says flesh is not talking just about your skin is talking about your life in a carnal state, not minding the will of God, not caring what God wants or what his plan is. But doing what is natural and that is what the flesh is now James doesn't use that particular term but everything he describes clearly shows us that he recognizes our first animated deal with is the flesh look at what he says what causes fights and quarrels among you, don't they come from your desires that battle within you. He's talking about carnal desires.
What you want in your natural not prayed up not reading the word not going to church, not caring what God thinks. Self see a lot of you here have big Bibles that looks really impressive addressed a little differently than you do when your home just chilling out and some of you don't understand that none of that makes you spiritual good to have a Bible and expressive guys needed to have a big one. Good would big print giant print as fine big Bible doesn't guarantee you will be spiritual.
Some of the most carnal people I know have big Bibles put no charge goals or lease nicer clothes. I grew up there was actual church clothes, your mama said go put your church close on you got 45 minutes to do it. That's old fashion solo fashion but charcoal don't make you spiritual. The flesh is some you will have to deal with on till the Lord takes us out of this world and takes us to paradise to eternity with him. We like to build your flesh. You can't pray enough to never have to be what your flesh, you can't does not any amount of Bible reading any amount of going to church.
You will have to deal with your flesh every day of your life because your natural state causes fights and quarrels and you want what you want when you want and how you wanted.
He says you want something but don't get it.
You kill and covet and don't worry said, but I plan to meet.
You can kill a lot more ways than shoot somebody you can kill somebody's influence.
You can kill somebody's reputation.
You can kill somebody's motivation. You can assassinate a lot of things in a person while keeping them physically alive and that's what James is talking may not talk about natural killing. You can kill and covet covet is the desire for something and obsessive desire for something you covet it you don't just admire it, you will only and he says, but you can't have what you want. You quarrel and fight. He says you do not have because you do not ask God.
Some people don't even bother praying and giving that issue to the Lord say Lord is this something you be pleased to have in my life. You just want what you want and you go after and he said you don't have it because you don't ask God and then he says sometimes you asked what you don't receive because you ask with wrong motives.
Is anybody here ever ask God for what you wanted, but your motive wasn't right. You didn't want it to glorify him today and wanted to advance the kingdom you wanted it for some very fleshly reason and he said, God's not going answer your prayer when your prayer is not according to his will, he says you asked but you do not receive because you ask with wrong motives, that you may spend what you get on your pleasures. Is James suggesting you should have pleasure, not at all. He started out the book by saying, count it all joy.
There's nothing wrong with pleasant is nothing wrong with enjoying your life will spend in a number of years on this earth, you might as well enjoy them against you enjoying life is not against you having pleasures against you having pleasures that are carnal in nature and that don't reflect God's purpose for your life still had the second half of today's destined for the true message with pastor Paul Shepherd, Senior Pastor destiny Christian Fellowship in Fremont, California. We want to thank all of you who sustained destined for Victor 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 which means we simply can't sustain this ministry without your faithful prayer and generous financial support to give now, call 855-339-5500 855-339-5500 or give securely online at pastor Paul well if you choose to live for pleasure. Eventually you throw God out, but if you choose to live for God often throw pleasure in coming your way next the rest of today's destined for victory message facing your three worst enemies. Once again this pastor Paul.
Sometimes your motive is the problem he's talking there about the flesh. All of those things have to do with the flesh in fact, not only in the first few verses of James for, but in the last verses of James three he talks about people who have their perspective out of whack. In fact, take a look with me at James three beginning at verse 13. I want you to notice what he says in the end of the previous chapter. James three. Beginning in verse 13 who is wise and understanding among you, let him show it by his good life told you God want you to have a good life. But look at the rest of what he says, by deeds done in the humility that comes from wisdom, he says, but if you harbor bitter envy and selfish ambition in your hearts, do not boast about it or deny the truth.
Such quote unquote wisdom does not come down from heaven, but is in fact earthly on the spiritual and of the devil. For where you have envy and selfish ambition, there you will find disorder and every evil practice. But the wisdom that comes from heaven is first of all pure or then peaceloving, considerate, submissive, full of mercy and good fruit, impartial and sincere. Peacemakers who sow in peace raise a harvest of righteousness.
So what is he saying there, he's simply saying that the flesh doesn't seek godly wisdom and understanding, the flesh wants what it wants at any price and he says some of us have a problem with bitter envy and selfish ambition.
Some of us either in the past during the present. You had an issue of bitter envy. You want some things so badly that you envy those that have it in a better way.
You have a wrong something wrong going on in your heart if you can celebrate with people who are blessed if you can celebrate with people who have what you wish you had something is wrong. You got a crucified your flesh by making your self be happy for the people because nobody can steal your blessing. I don't care single don't care who you thought you wanted to marry. They end up hooking up with somebody else does not show blessed my man take your man your man Nobel Libyan take a bow if he was truly a man so all she did was look up what a guy who decided I rather be would be a but you're not supposed to be a bitterly MBS a.
They got together wish him well.
So you don't even know who he really was in the first place, you will know whether that would've been a blessing or not in your life, but I promise you that some people you thought would be a blessing, but end up counseling him and be and to be told there been many a time when I came out the counseling session, I knew you were a and I want to call you up and say you did good girl because my ethics would not allow me to do that I'm not supposed to do that to keep everything down on the down low. I counsel discreetly and confidentially so I never called UAs and told you, you got the bullet and just don't know it but let me tell you now, since you will know who I'm talking about a number of y'all have God's. The bullet and I know it took you a while to get your heart back and you cried few tears know to go and do what you got to do so. The flash is into bitter envy and selfish ambition, selfish nothing wrong with ambition, but it needs to be in God's order. You need to aspire to the highest and the best but don't do it in a way that is selfish and he explains when a person really lives in wisdom and understanding. It results in purity. He says it result in being peaceloving, considerate of other people submissive to God, and those he puts over you, full of mercy, good fruit, impartial and sincere. That's what your life is like when you get that flesh in its proper place and so James said both at the end of chapter 3 and the beginning of chapter 4.
We need to recognize and and deal head on with our flesh nor flash is the enemy that's in me you won't understand what went as I still don't get it past what the place.
The flesh is the me that in a me an enemy you can't blame from the outside because it's an enemy inside of you have interview ever recognize it anymore in your life that you can be your own worst your own worst problem.
If you could get you dealt with UBM so but everyone has to grapple with the flesh. This is not a matter of time and experience down those who here has been save the longest but whoever you are, been safe of 50 years I've been saying for 60 years in the great doesn't mean you don't have to still wrestle with your flesh, you will be wrestling with your flesh until Jesus comes and get you through death or through the second coming. You don't have to do with your flesh, and so we must learn that this is an enemy. One of our three worst enemies and it needs to be dealt with very very directly. Okay pastor, then how do I deal with the flesh.
The Bible says crucified it putting to death… About spiritual death.
Of course it means that that enemy that's enemy that wants me to be comfortable being outside of God's will you you need to say. I will be comfortable outside of God's will in any area of my life. Now that's saying something because your flesh will scream and jump up and down and rant and rave because it wants what it wants.
Some of you are in a bad relationship because your flesh wants a relationship and it'll take a bad one over no one.
And so you have to say no. If this is in a relationship that's blessing me that's happily draw closer to God. That's building me up. That's helping me get to the place where God wants me to be down care how fine they to how cute they are okay how built they don't care how whatever they are.
You have to put it to death. You have to do it for you.
I can anoint it out of you put some oil on me and asked the Lord to take peaceful, like the mess will be to take him out.
You take them out you say listen, we really can't continue this relationship as we have two different sets of values. I love you and I wish you well but did not for me because if they got Amos 222 walk except they agree to two or 33 it says how can two walk together except they be agreed.
So you can walk with somebody who's not kingdom first one the will of God.
They can't be a close somebody you really lean on and depend on you got friends of you have camaraderie when who don't know the Lord. Of course you're supposed to have that friendship evangelism is a very important style of event you will miss what Jesus did. He befriended sinners and publicans, but he was leaning on them for his strength. Jesus wouldn't hooking up with some some even carnal woman because he wanted companionship. When Jesus went to the places where sinners normally frequented. He was there to be salt and light was in there because he was trying to scratcher carnal itch like some of us have tried to do and some are currently trying to do well God and give me somebody so blame it on God does not eHarmony on high blame that on him until he sent me somebody is not his job. You walk in his way. Please the Lord, do what's right and you just plans that will serve you no matter who comes or doesn't come short. God delights in us hooking up with people of like precious faith in all that he delights in that and he will bless that, but don't try to hold God hostage till you send me some perfect person some perfect kingdom first person who had the same tastes and the kind of person I'm really when I see amount no, they look like one on the look and act like I want on the actin guys got better things to do in the fashion somebody you don't you hear now how selfish that is automatic. People you know in the kingdom of God in this fashion.
Some perfect person for that enemy just hurts her feelings real quick just to bring you into live. God fashioned a wonderfully perfect person. Why would he give them to you will hurt don't put Scripture to a fairytale and try to make it work out you will go with somebody like precious faith or you choose not to reach it's your call… But you take what you get. Because guess what, if you look up they taken what they get compatible. Both have weaknesses all have things that aren't just the other ones exact cup of tea sometime to get a sip or two but it's really about a company is not about China find some ideal it's about so your flesh militates against truth and all the good things in your flesh wants what it wants. No matter the cost for the flesh sets its desire against the spirit and the spirit against the flesh. These words taken from Galatians chapter 5 verse 17 tell us all we need to know about why the Christian life can often be so difficult to live. But thanks be to God, we have the Holy Spirit to teach us to convict us and to empower us to will and to act according to his good purpose.
Speaking of tough times the past 18 months or so been difficult in the history of our nation and our world.
Sickness and death, loss of jobs, loss of loved ones kind of challenges that can cause some to lose hope in his video message get your hopes up. Pastor Paul Sheppard reminds us that the recent challenges many of us have experienced neither surprise God nor derailed his plans for our lives as you follow along. You discover three reasons why each of us should live with renewed faith and hope even in the midst of tough times.
That's get your hopes up a DVD message from Pastor Paul in our gift to you this month by request for your generous donation to Destin for victory. Call 855-339-5500 or visit Pastor Paul.net to make a safe and secure donation online. As always, you can mail your gift to Destin for victory PO Box 1767, Fremont, CA 94538.
Again, our address is Destin for victory. Box 1767, Fremont, CA 94538 need prayer today use the contact us firstname.lastname@example.org and share your request with us why you're there we should ask for Pastor Paul's monthly letter of encouragement.
Yours, at no cost or obligation. You can condemn sex outside of the will of God. But you can't condemn the person who practices sex outside of the will of God love them like Jesus love the woman who just got through practicing adultery that's tomorrow and Pastor Paul Sheppard shares his message facing your three worst enemies. Until then, remember he who began a good work in you will bring it to completion in Christ, you are destined for victory