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Unrecognizable, Part 1

Destined for Victory / Pastor Paul Sheppard
The Truth Network Radio
November 8, 2021 7:00 am

Unrecognizable, Part 1

Destined for Victory / Pastor Paul Sheppard

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November 8, 2021 7:00 am

Lessons drawn from Joseph's life after being sold into slavery by his brothers; three ways Joseph matured while living in Egypt; based on Gen. 42:1-8.

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Music playing Today, Pastor Paul takes us to the story of Joseph, a man who went from favorite son to resented little brother to an all-but-forgotten prisoner in Egypt. But God never forgot his calling on Joseph's life, and the suffering he went through changed him so profoundly that his own family no longer recognized him.

His story is straight ahead. Stay with us here, or visit Pastor Paul's website. Visit to listen to this or any recent message on demand.

And now, here's Pastor Paul with today's Destined for Victory message, Unrecognizable. When we asked him to buy grain in Egypt, go down there and buy some for us so that we may live and not die. Then ten of Joseph's brothers went down to buy grain from Egypt. But Jacob did not send Benjamin, Joseph's brother, with the others because he was afraid that harm might come to him. So Israel's sons were among those who went to buy grain, for the famine was in the land of Canaan also. Now Joseph was the governor of the land, the one who sold grain to all its people. So when Joseph's brothers arrived, they bowed down to him with their faces to the ground. As soon as Joseph saw his brothers, he recognized them. But he pretended to be a stranger and spoke harshly to them. Where do you come from, he asked?

From the land of Canaan, they replied, to buy food. Verse 8, although Joseph recognized his brothers, they did not recognize him. I want to launch a short series that I'm I've entitled Unrecognizable. And my premise in this series is based on a sense I got as I was preparing these messages. You know, as I plan periods of preaching as a pastor, as I plan how to feed the flock by the leading of the Holy Spirit, there are times when I will just do an expositional series just based on some larger passage and just go down through the passage and that sort of thing. But there are other times when I get messages that are what I consider to be a prophetic utterance that God wants me to share. And this is one of those. I feel like this one is designed to be a prophetic declaration.

What do I mean by that? You know, the word of God is inspired. The Bible is very clear.

All scriptures given by inspiration of God is profitable for doctrine, reproof, correction, for instruction in righteousness. So there is the general inspiration of scripture. But then God gives what is called a rhema word sometimes. Rhema is a Greek word. And what that means is rather than it just being the overall inspired word for everybody, sometimes God will send a specific targeted word to you at a certain time for a certain reason in your life. This is one of those rhema words. This message at this time isn't for everybody.

But I would suggest that even if you don't come away from this series feeling like it was a rhema word for you now, I would suggest you take notes anyway. You know why? Because just because a word isn't for you now doesn't mean you won't need it down the road. Sometimes when you're on a journey, you pack a lunch and you take food with you. You're not hungry when you start out. But somewhere down the road, you all remember those old fashioned car trips. And you'd reach in there and your mama had some chicken and some stuff in there.

And you'd reach in there and get it when you need it. Well, that's the way this word will be for some of you. Down the road, you're going to need it. But I recognize the leading of the Holy Spirit. I've been preaching a long time. And I know that when I get the urge and the nudgings that I've gotten with this particular series, I know that it's a prophetic utterance for some of you right now listening to this message live or on a CD or on a broadcast.

This is a right now word for where you are. So I want you to open up your ears and hear what the Spirit of the Lord has to say to you. Now here is what I feel compelled to say as I introduce this message, this series. God is saying when you come through the particular season that you're in right now, God is going to have so transformed, blessed, and will be using your life in such a way that you're going to be practically unrecognizable to those who have sought to destroy or discount what God has ordained for your life. I'm here to tell you that if you'll just follow God and do what he's leading you to do in this season, when you come through what you're going through, you're going to be practically unrecognizable to those who have been against you.

Now consider this with me. In the verses we just read, Genesis 42, Joseph sees his brothers for the first time in a long time. If you're familiar with this story, you know that when Joseph was sold into slavery by his brothers, he was 17 years old. At the time of this chapter, chapter 42, when his brothers come from Canaan to Egypt to buy food, Joseph is 39. 22 years have passed since he last saw his brothers and since they last saw him. But did you notice the verse that said Joseph recognized them, but they did not recognize him?

That doesn't make any sense. Because yes, 22 years has passed, but 22 years did not cause Joseph to forget what his brothers looked like. Yet when they're looking at him, they have no idea who that is.

I want to suggest to you that it is more than he's grown from a teenager to a man now 39 years old. It is because they never expected to lay eyes on him again in life. When they sold him, they thought they were done with him forever. They thought they had gotten rid of him. They didn't know whether he was going to live or die. They didn't know whether he was going to fare well or be dealt with cruelly and harshly as a slave. They had no idea. So they had no expectation of seeing him. And then they certainly didn't expect to see him large and in charge.

They certainly didn't expect to see him as a prime minister of the whole nation of Egypt. That was a God thing. And sometimes God works so powerfully in our lives until unless people have spiritual discernment, they cannot even recognize who we are or what God has been up to in our lives. And I came to tell somebody, you just stick with God. And the people who are acting all common with you and coming against you and discrediting you and discounting you and opposing you on your job or in your family or wherever you're going through your hell, I came to tell you, just stick with God.

When he gets through, they won't even know you. Yeah! Yeah! Yeah! Yeah! Yeah! Yeah! Yeah! Yeah! Yeah! Yeah! Yeah! Yeah!

Yeah! Now, let's just kind of walk through some things as I lay a foundation for what I'll be saying in this series. When you go to Genesis 37, that's where you first meet Joseph. Now, he is the son, the favored son, of Jacob.

You know the name Jacob. If you have even a cursory idea of what is taught in scripture of redemptive history, you know Jacob because that is the man who was the grandson of Abraham, the father of the faithful. You know that in Abraham, God called out a nation unto himself. And he said, through you, all the nations of the world will be blessed, speaking of Christ coming through the lineage of Israel. And so God called Abraham and said, I'm going to start something very significant with you.

And it is going to run from generation to generation. So you have Abraham, the first generation. Then you have Isaac, second generation of Israel. Then you have Jacob, the third generation of Israeli patriarchs. And the fourth generation now is Jacob's sons, one of which is Joseph. Now, he has a number of sons. Joseph is one of his two younger sons. And Joseph is spoiled.

He is favored. We're clearly told in Genesis 37, favored loved more than the other boys. His father made no bones about it.

He didn't even try to hide it. Joseph is my favorite. Imagine now a father saying openly to whoever will hear it, of all of my kids, Joseph is the one I love the most. They are all right.

But Joseph is the one I love the most. I need to tell somebody right at the outset of this series, dysfunctional families is nothing new. I need you to understand that. There's nothing new about dysfunctional. Why do you keep thinking your family is special? Nothing new, been around forever.

Dysfunctional families have been around forever. Why do you keep going to Thanksgiving wondering why they acting crazy? We'll be right back with more of today's Destined for Victory message from Pastor Paul Shepherd, senior pastor of Destiny Christian Fellowship in Fremont, California. Listen to the broadcast on demand at That's, where you'll find a host of great resources at our online store. And stay with us after today's message when Pastor Paul joins me from a studio in California.

But first, from the life of Joseph, let's rejoin pastor for the second half of today's teaching, Unrecognizable. Some of you all in denial, you got to get this together. Your family is crazy. But they come from a long line of crazy folk. They didn't invent crazy. Crazy was here when they got here. Here we are in the first book of the Bible, and you got a man flat out saying Joseph is my favorite.

I love me some Joseph. In fact, go back farther than that. Go way back into the early chapters of Genesis, and you find the first family had dysfunction. The first family in recorded human history had dysfunction. Adam and Eve, dysfunction already.

Think about it now. There Eve is standing in the garden having a conversation with Satan in the form of a serpent. And the Bible says he deceived her.

He caused her to think she was making a good decision by plunging us into sin. And notice what it says. She ate of the fruit of the tree. You all call it an apple. The Bible didn't call it an apple. It said fruit. We don't know what kind it was, but we do know she wasn't supposed to have any.

She ate of the fruit of the tree, and then she gave to her husband who was with her. Dysfunction right there in the garden. Disinterested, disconnected sports center watching men is nothing new. Devil moving in on the family. He's sitting up there with a remote.

Nothing new. Doorbell ring, ding dong. Who's at the door? Somebody look at the window and say, it's the devil.

And the man said, somebody go get that door. Nothing new. Standing right there watching this conversation that she has no business having. They're both guilty. Can't blame it on one.

We fell over two folks. She had no business being deceived like that. He had no business standing there watching. I'm sure he was standing there saying, you know, I don't think this conversation going right. But when she ate, she said, here, honey.

He said, OK. Nothing. I'm here to tell you dysfunction didn't start with y'all. So quit tripping. When you go to Thanksgiving, yes, they going to act crazy. When you go to your family reunion, yes, they going to act crazy. Stop being in denial.

Your people are crazy. But it comes down through the generations. And here you've got a dysfunctional family. This boy is loved above all of his older brothers.

So much so that you're told in Genesis 37, they are out working, and he's home chilling in a coat his father had custom-made for him, a coat of many colors. How you get to stay home, your older brother's out working. This is a teenager. This ain't no little teeny boy who can't do labor.

This is a 17-year-old strong teenager. He home chilling, got on a Gucci Versace. Versace, how you wear a Gucci don't have a job. Spoiled, rotten, overindulged, underdeveloped, and the father's happy, think he's doing right. So we're told that although this boy is overindulged, although he is spoiled, rotten, he is called by God.

You need to understand something. Your calling predates your condition. The reason why the church has got to learn to make disciples and we've got to stop caring where people are when they start their journey or where people find themselves on their journey is because God called you before your condition was taken into account. In other words, God doesn't tell us to disciple folk who are pretty good in the first place and he just needs to do a little bit more with.

No, no. When he's looking to make disciples, it doesn't matter where you're coming from because it is God's calling that is going to bring about his purpose in your life. It is not how close to or how far from where God wants you to be.

That's a non-factor. God takes you from wherever you are to where he has called you to be. And Joseph was called to be a difference maker. He was called by God. And so the fact that he is a spoiled brat, the fact that he's overindulged, the fact that he comes from a dysfunctional family really has nothing to do with his calling. God calls us before the foundation of the world. You need to know that God made his mind up about you before the world began. And that's why you've got to be encouraged to know that when God is at work in your life, he has promised to get you to where he's ordained you to be.

And nothing in heaven or earth or in hell can prevent what God is doing in your life. That's how powerful his calling is on your life. This boy was called, called by God, so much so that he gets two dreams. You learn in Genesis 37, God gives him two dreams. Both dreams mean that one day his family will bow down to him. One day his family will bow down to him.

Now, the boy is 17. He's young and dumb. And he is so naive that he thinks it's a good idea to tell the rest of the family that God gave him a dream that one day all y'all going to be bowing to me.

You know, you've got to be young and dumb to do that, to think that's a good idea. But come to think of it, some of us grow up older and still haven't quite learned that you can't tell big dreams to little people. Now, you say, wait a minute, this is his family. His father's a patriarch. His father's called to God.

He's the grandson of Abraham. Why you calling them little people? Let me define little people for you. By little people, I mean people who don't have the emotional or spiritual or relational capacity to relate to you even when God is going to bless you more than he's blessing them. Little people are folk who can only mourn with you when you mourn, but they cannot rejoice with you when you succeed. Little people are people who can, in a patronizing fashion, try to act supportive of you when you fail, but cannot rejoice with you when you have great success. Little people are people who can show up at the funeral with a card, but can't show up at the celebration when you are being promoted head and shoulders above them and people like them. Little people are fair-weather friends. Little people are folk who can only show up under certain conditions. And I'm here to tell you, all of us at some point in our lives, and I hope this is the season for some of you, all of us must learn not to tell big dreams to little people.

They can't handle them. They don't have the capacity to handle what God is doing in your life. Thanks so much for being here for today's Destined for Victory message, Unrecognizable. Look for any of Pastor Paul's recent messages online on demand at, or subscribe to the podcast at Apple Podcasts or wherever you get yours. Well, I'm pleased to welcome Pastor Paul, who joins me now from a studio in California. Pastor, your ministry to us each day on the radio with the various online sources for Destined for Victory is so encouraging. One more thing that you do, and you feel very strongly about this, is the monthly encouragement letter that goes out to everyone. Let's talk about that for a moment.

Yeah, absolutely. The one letter I feel strongly about making sure we produce every month is an encouragement letter. And so I take some time, and based on some teaching of that month, and occasionally it's not related to the teaching, just something that God's put on my heart in that particular time, I write a letter to let people know not only are we preaching messages, but we're really trying to impact your life and help you with application. Because again, our ministry exists to help people know God's son, apply God's word, and fulfill God's purpose. And my encouragement letter is designed to help you know him, apply his word, fulfill his purpose. And so I feel strongly about it. And I want to encourage people who are not on our mailing list to please take a moment and let us know, hey, I'd love to get the letter. It's absolutely free of charge. There's no obligation for it.

No obligation at all. We will take care of the stamp and everything. All you got to do is let us know. We can reach you. We'd be happy to send it to you. We can also send it to you by email. And it's important for you to be encouraged month by month. And so please let us do that. Get in touch with us. Give us your email and your mailing address so we can get in touch with you on a monthly basis.

Well, the word encouragement means to give someone support, confidence, or hope, and sometimes all three. That's what Pastor Paul seeks to do each month with these letters of encouragement. Sign up today. You'll be glad you did.

And here's something else for you. When you make a generous gift today, be sure to request a booklet from Pastor Paul called Turning Your Test Into a Testimony, a great reminder that the challenges we go through are often the very things that help us grow. That's Turning Your Test Into a Testimony, our gift to you this month by request for your generous donation 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, box 1767, Fremont, California 94538. You have never shocked God in your life. Your circumstances have never shocked God. God has never been in heaven. Say, I can't believe this.

Are you kidding me? Nothing has ever caught God by surprise. That's tomorrow when Pastor Paul Shepherd shares his message unrecognizable. Until then, remember, he who began a good work in you will bring it to completion. In Christ, you are Destined for Victory. Yes.
Whisper: medium.en / 2023-07-26 08:04:16 / 2023-07-26 08:13:56 / 10

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