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What Are You Waiting For?

Destined for Victory / Pastor Paul Sheppard
The Truth Network Radio
October 22, 2021 8:00 am

What Are You Waiting For?

Destined for Victory / Pastor Paul Sheppard

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October 22, 2021 8:00 am

Guidance for those who anticipate the Lord’s return; three directives regarding how to live as we wait; based on James 5:7-12.

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Do you ever been on one of those sin searches and you're looking at every area of your life trying to figure out what you did to trip up God's work? The Holy Spirit is with you all the time. If he got a message to get to you, he knows how to speak your language. How many know God knows how to speak your language? You don't have to say, well Lord, if there's something in my life, tell me.

He will. Sometimes a search for significance can take you on a search for sin. Hello and welcome to Destined for Victory with Pastor Paul Shepherd. Maybe you're listening today and you already know your calling in Christ.

God has given you a purpose. He's revealed his plan and you're following his plan and yet everything seems to be falling apart. Pastor Paul has a word of encouragement for you.

When things go wrong, it doesn't always mean you've done something wrong. More often than not, that's the enemy talking to you, trying to settle you with guilt and self-condemnation. You'll want to stay right here for today's message, but if you can't, you can always visit pastorpaul.net to listen on demand.

That's pastorpaul.net or subscribe to the podcast at Spotify, at Apple Podcasts, or many other places. Now, here's Pastor Paul with today's Destined for Victory message, What Are You Waiting For? Some of you have a decision to make.

It's going to be a life-changing decision, a defining decision, a scary decision, but God is saying to you, get it done. Stay focused. Like the farmer focuses on making sure the crop is properly laid down and then waits on God to do what only God can do, which is to send the rain.

That's where some of you are. Some of you all trying to wait on God and you're not ready to wait yet because you haven't done your work. Time to stay focused.

Stay focused. He also talks about focus in verse 10, where he says, brothers, as an example of the patience in the face of suffering, take the prophets who spoke in the name of the Lord. When you read your Old Testament, you see prophet after prophet who stayed focused. What's a prophet's job to speak on behalf of God? Their messages weren't always popular. Their messages were often not popular. But a prophet's job is to not take popularity contest polls. A prophet's job is to say what God put in their mouth to say.

Sometimes it's popular, sometimes it's not. It's just another example of what it means to stay focused. Sometimes you have to witness the people who aren't pleased with what you have to say. Sometimes you have to tell the truth to people who don't want to hear the truth you want to share. But you got to say it because the Lord's coming back and he's going to ask you, did you compromise because somebody didn't want to hear what you have to say? You have to say it. You have to say it. You who are parents, every parent has some things you need to say. You're saved.

You're walking with Christ. You have kids who need to know what you know. And you have to say it. You can't say, well, I'm more interested in being my kid's friend. If friendship happens as a byproduct of you being a parent, that's great.

Great idea. No need of making enemies when you can make friends out of your kids. But your job as a parent is not primarily to be their friend.

Your job primarily is to be the parent. To say here's the way, walk in it. Here are mistakes I made, avoid them.

Come on somebody. Here's the way you ought to handle your money. Here's the way you ought to handle your love life.

Here's the way you ought to handle this business of romance and getting excited about other people. Teach your kids that the old fashioned way of doing it is right. Fall in love, get married, have babies. Teach them that's God's order. Even if you didn't follow that order.

They look at you like you had me out of wedlock. That's why I'm telling you, do better than I did. I'm not speaking to you from a holier than thou platform. I'm speaking to you because I've learned some things the hard way. Yes, God provided. Yes, I'm saved now.

Yes, I'm living right. But God wants you to do it better. You can avoid some of the pitfalls. Teach them, don't be afraid. Don't be afraid to tell them what you did wrong. You got some work to do. So stay focused on the assignments God has given you. You got assignments with work and with relationships and in the kingdom of God.

You got gifts you ought to be using to advance the kingdom, to help your church and ministries that are serving the Lord. Get down to the business of doing what the Lord has told you to do. Stay focused. The second directive as I look at verses 7 through 11 of James 12 is these words jotted down. Stand firm.

Not only stay focused but stand firm. Look at verse 8 of this passage. You too be patient and stand firm because the Lord's coming is near. Verse 11, as you know, we consider blessed those who have persevered. You have heard of Job's perseverance and have seen what the Lord finally brought about.

The Lord is full of compassion and mercy. The second directive I've boiled this passage down to is not only to stay focused but to stand firm. There are times when you have done your planting. You have done your work. You have obeyed God. You've done everything you know to do to this point. Now what you have to do is stand firm.

Now that can be difficult because sometimes you've done everything you're supposed to do and you're still not seeing your results yet. And we are a very impatient generation. Imagine if they needed this word in the first century AD. How much more do we need it in the 21st century AD? Standing firm because we're the generation. We want it quick.

When I do what I'm supposed to do, I want results tomorrow. It's the generation we live in. Technology has cursed us.

It's a blessing but it's also a curse because we see in the technological world, that's why companies exist, to make your life easy and simple and to let you do things efficiently. Y'all remember when the internet first started? Isn't that amazing that we'll be able to tell our grandkids, I remember when there was no internet. They're going to say what? They're going to look at you like you came from outer space.

They can't imagine a world without the internet. But y'all remember, come on some of y'all. We remember back 1990, 91, back there just those early days. I remember the first time one of my students, I was pastoring on the peninsula and had some Stanford students in the church. And when I said, pastor, I want you to come up to Stanford campus. I want to show you something. I came up there that day and they sat me down in a computer lab and showed me, they said, this is called the internet. And I didn't even know what I was looking at.

I said, is that right? Well, what did it do? And they began to explain the idea because back then nobody had, you know, there were very few websites, but they just were getting used to the concept. And sure enough, before long, if you didn't have a website, you were nobody. I passed the church. They said, we got to build a website for the church. I said, okay, website, huh?

You know what that was? And in a matter of just a couple of years, because back then I remember when we were trying to get word out about our church, the big thing was get yourself a good yellow page ad, yellow pages. And yellow pages would send people to your office and they come sit down and show you the different kinds of ads you can have. And your church will stand out.

We can give you a half page in color. And then, and that was back then. That's what I was doing. And before long, when the yellow pages man called, I said, oh, please, I can't spend that kind of money because we're building websites. And then Yahoo came out, then Google came out and you got to get yourself high in the search list. And then they come to, I'm telling you, the world has changed right before our eyes and things aren't the way they used to be. And it's a blessing, but if you're not careful, it'll be a curse. Because if you think all your results in life are going to be quick and efficient and easy, you got another thought coming. The farmer plants and does his work and then the farmer has to just stand firm and wait and make sure nothing comes to disturb what's under the ground.

You can't see it yet, but it's there. And that's what you have to do in your life. Sometimes you've done all that God's called you to do and you just got to stand firm. Job didn't understand why he was going through hell. He didn't know that in the heavenlies, there was a conversation between God and Satan. And Satan had said to God, the only reason Job is blessed like he is, is because you won't let me touch him.

Got a hedge around him. And God said, I must show you that I have some folk who will stand firm even when they don't understand why I'm letting them go through what they have to go through. And I'm here to declare to you that Job was one man, but sometimes you as a man or woman of God in the 21st century will go through a Job-like experience. It may not be as critical as his, but you'll sure go through times where you've done all your planting, you've done all your focusing, and you're waiting on the promise of God. And instead of things getting better, they are getting worse. Anybody ever here been smack dab in the middle of God's will and all hell breaking loose in your life at the same time?

Because the way we're built, we want the evidence that we're in God's will to be blessings are just flowing. Well, sometimes the evidence you're in his will is all hell is breaking loose. Job went from being what would be a billionaire in our economy. When you look at what Job had in the day in which he lived, Job lived back there in Abraham's day. He was before the law. And when you look at where he was and the things he had, Job would be a billionaire. He'd be on the Forbes 500 list in today's economy.

He right there, number 27, Job. He was a billionaire in his day. And when the Lord said, and I'm going to show you, Satan, that he's not serving me just because of how I blessed him, that he's got a heart for me, and even when he doesn't understand, he'll stay true and stand firm. And when the enemy got through touching his stuff, read his book in the Old Testament, he lost everything, and then the enemy came back and went after his family. He had 10 big, strong, wonderful children, seven sons, three daughters, and when the enemy got through, they had all died. And his wife, enemy kept her alive to say, let me see if I can use her to just tempt him to do something that God wouldn't want him to do. It was out of compassion. I used to bust on her all the time preaching. The devil kept her alive to get on Job's nerves.

No, he didn't. Kept her alive because she cared about her husband. She loved her husband. She said, honey, something's wrong here. Why don't you curse God so you can die and get out of this misery? She was actually trying to help him. I used to say she tried to curse him so she could get the life insurance.

No, that wasn't the case. Up next, the rest of today's Destined for Victory message with Pastor Paul Shepherd. But first, we want to thank all of you whose prayers and financial support helped Pastor Paul share the gospel all over the world.

Your donations do make a difference. So as God leads, prayerfully consider making a generous gift to Destined for Victory today. You can give right now by calling 855-339-5500.

That's 855-339-5500. Or give online securely at PastorPaul.net. You know, it's never a bad idea to examine yourself, to take a look in the mirror and see if there's sin in your life that needs to be corrected.

But sometimes bad things happen and your own mistakes had nothing to do with it. Here's Pastor Paul with the rest of today's message. What are you waiting for? She was trying to help him. She said, honey, I don't know what's going wrong, but you need to be put out of this misery. Look at you. You're sick. Your health is gone. Our family is gone. Our wealth is gone. Curse God.

Take yourself out of this situation. She was trying to be helpful, but Job looked at her and said, you're talking like a foolish person. He said, the Lord gave. The Lord has taken away. I don't know why, but I'm going to bless his name anyhow.

That's where some of you are now. You don't know why you're going through what you're going through and you keep trying to figure out where you sinned and where you went wrong. And whenever you're trying to go on a sin search, you always got people in your life like Job's three friends and who came along and tried to help him. His three friends came and at first the Bible says they sat there with him for days and didn't say a thing.

That was good. When your friends, your loved ones are going through something and you don't know what to say, don't say anything. Just be there with them. Can I get you a pillow?

Can I help? Some of you all just feel like you just got to bump your gums. I was raised around old folk. They say that kind of stuff. You're pardon me.

It's always bumping your gums. Just shut up. Some of you just feel obligated. Listen, when somebody is going through craziness, don't come. Somebody lost their loved one and you walk in the house. I know how you feel. I lost my sister last year. You don't know how I feel. That was your sister. You don't know the relationship I had with the one I just lost.

Don't try to enter in if you're not really there. Just be there for me. Hand me some water. Hand me a pillow. Just say I love you. Pray for you.

Can I do it? That's all. Just be. The ministry of your presence is sometimes better than your words.

I'm serious now. Have you ever think about it? You ever been in a tough spot and when somebody showed up, you were mildly ill and by the time they leave, you are gravely ill? Don't be that. Don't be the kind of person when they see you pull up and get you getting out your car and look out the window and say, oh, Lord. I'm already half dead. They come to finish me off. Be a blessing.

If you can't be a blessing, just pray from where you are. Stay focused. Stand firm. Stand firm. Don't let anything shake you. No matter what you got to go through, don't let anything shake you.

Stand firm. If you've done all you know to do, listen, you serve a God who knows how to convict you. Don't go on a sin search. If you've done all that you believe God's called you to do and you're in that season where you just got to stand firm because nothing's happening or what's happening is negative and seems to be going in the opposite direction. And, you know, our tendency is, well, I must have sinned just like Job's friends. Well, you obviously did something wrong and we go on those sin searches.

You ever been on one of those sin searches and you're looking at every area of your life trying to figure out what you did to trip up God's work? The Holy Spirit is with you all the time. If he got a message to get to you, he knows how to speak your language. How many know God knows how to speak?

You don't have to. Well, Lord, if there's some in my life, tell me he will. He will. He'll keep you up at night if he has to. Some of y'all know that you've been out of God's will and you knew it.

You couldn't get decent sleep, wake you up and dead in the middle of the night. I don't know why God likes to do that. He's done that sometimes. It's like, couldn't you talk to me like at 10 a.m.?

You sleep in good and then bam, 3 o'clock, eyes wide open. Holy Spirit said, let's have a little talk. He knows how to get to you. So if you don't understand what's going on, just stand firm. Wait on God. And then the last directive, stay focused, stand firm.

Number three, stop fussing. Say, pastor, where you get that? Verse nine. Look at verse nine. Don't grumble against each other, brothers, or you will be judged.

The judge is standing at the door. Do you understand that one of the ways the enemy loves to trip us up is when we are going through various things, waiting periods, manifestation hasn't come. You think you've done everything right and you're still waiting on the right results.

You started that ministry or that business or you started that educational process and things seem to be going wrong and you're about to flunk out and you're in one of those trying seasons. The enemy loves to get you to get in the scraps with people who don't have anything to do with your destiny. You have to be careful about grumbling.

You have to be careful. I'm learning in this season of my life, I'm learning that peace is of a high premium and that I don't have the luxury of fighting and feuding with folks over petty things. Some of y'all have got to decide in this season of your life to lay down your weapons of war and quit having these running arguments with people about things that in the end really don't matter. Some of you married folk got to quit all this fussing and stirring up stuff in your house. Your house is supposed to be a place of peace.

You're supposed to leave a world of trouble and trial and come into a house of peace and it's up to you to make sure that's what it is. You say, ah, but my spouse, they can't fight by themselves. Let them try.

You say, they can't fight by themselves. They start in on you, they say something provocative to you. It's up to you how you respond to it. You have to learn that sometimes less is more.

You have to learn. Sometimes they're having a bad day and they say something and it wasn't kind, it wasn't sensitive or you did something that they didn't want you to do and they came home and found it and when you come home, they're waiting on you. They're lying and waiting. We've all been there, come on, we've all been there, male and female. We've all been there ready to pounce on somebody. You've done it, parents, you've done it with your kids. I told them about it and you're just waiting.

Now they come in, they barely pass the test, they're going through all kind of stuff in school, they come home, drop their bags and pounce, here you come. We have to learn to walk in wisdom because your house ought to be a place of peace, ought to be a place where peace dwells and sometimes you have to tell them, sweetie, it's been a bad day. Let's talk about that. I see there's something on your mind.

Can you give me a few moments? Let me just settle down. Let me go somewhere and then you can be praying quietly, getting yourself ready to make sure this doesn't turn into World War III. You ever gone to battle over something that when you look back on it later, you say, what was that about? So we have to learn, don't crumble. At a certain point, you've got to understand peace is what God wants you to walk in. God wants you to have peace. And then the final thing I want to point out is verse 12 where he talks about swearing because a lot of people in our day would look at that and say, do not swear, what does that mean? Here's what he says, above all my brothers, do not swear, not by heaven or by earth or by anything else, let your yes be yes and your no no or you will be condemned.

What is that about? Well, first of all, I want you to notice that that echoes the words of Jesus in the Sermon on the Mount. Look at real quick at Matthew 5 and I'll be done. Beginning at verse 33, Jesus said again, you have heard it was said to people long ago, do not break your oath, but keep your oaths you have made before the Lord. But I tell you, do not swear at all, either by heaven or by God's throne or by the earth or by his footstool or by Jerusalem, for it is the city of the great king and do not swear by your head for you cannot even make one hair white or black.

Simply let your yes be yes and your no no, anything beyond that comes from the evil one. You see how James echoes the words of Jesus? And the idea was back in the first century AD and in centuries before that, people who were not credible, people who were not truth tellers would often try to bolster their case and make you believe that what they're saying is true by swearing against something. The idea was they're going to try to convince you that they are telling the truth and when in fact these people had no credibility because they had no character. So the idea was swearing by heaven or by anything else was the way that some folks with no credibility would try to get you to buy into what they said. And so both James and Jesus are saying, if you don't have credibility, don't try to borrow false credit. The problem is you personally don't have credibility. The problem is not you trying to swear by something else.

And so the word to us here is don't try to borrow against credibility you don't have. Instead, let God make you a credible person. Thanks so much for being here for this Friday edition of Destined for Victory with Pastor Paul Shepherd's message, What Are You Waiting For? Well, God has a purpose, a unique and specific calling for each of us. But our highest calling as disciples of Jesus Christ is common to all of us. And that is to go out into the world and make more disciples. A great way to do that is by partnering with Pastor Paul Shepherd and the Destined for Victory ministry.

In light of some severe challenges these past two years or so, people are coming to faith in Christ all over the world, many of them through the Destined for Victory broadcast. As our way of saying thanks for your partnership of $20 or more a month, we'll send you a few thank you gifts, including one of Pastor Paul's most popular CDs, The Best of Let My People Smile. So please call us at 855-339-5500 and find out more about how to become a Destined for Victory partner. Or mail your gift letting us know you wish to become our partner.

The address, Destined for Victory, Post Office Box 1767, Fremont, CA 94538. You can also partner with us through our website, pastorpaul.net. But if you can't become a partner but would like to send a generous gift to the ministry today, we'd love to share a gift with you of our own. Pastor Paul Shepherd's DVD message, Get Your Hopes Up.

That's Get Your Hopes Up, a gift to you this month by request for your generous gift to Destined for Victory. I want somebody to know that you are not accidentally saved, you were handpicked by God. God himself handpicked you and you are his intentionally. I need you to know that God had a plan for you before you knew him or knew that he had a plan. That's next time in Pastor Paul's message, Chosen by God. Until then, 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 / 2023-08-04 13:48:06 / 2023-08-04 13:58:22 / 10

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