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You're in Training, Part 2

Destined for Victory / Pastor Paul Sheppard
The Truth Network Radio
February 17, 2022 7:00 am

You're in Training, Part 2

Destined for Victory / Pastor Paul Sheppard

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February 17, 2022 7:00 am

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And I want to help us understand that God is not going to graduate people who aren't ready. And so if you mess around and create a wilderness experience in your own life, I'm here to tell you God's going to teach you even in your wilderness. In many ways, the Christian life is like high school.

Some graduate right on time and others may get held back. Hello and welcome to this Thursday edition of Destined for Victory with Pastor Paul Shepherd, Senior Pastor at Destiny Christian Fellowship in Fremont, California. God is a patient teacher. If we fail a test, He'll go over the material again to make sure we understand it.

It may take longer to get to the next level that way, but at least we'll be ready for it when we get there. Pastor Paul joins us shortly with an encouraging reminder. God will do everything He can to make sure you graduate. But first, He has some things to teach you. As always, feel free to stop by pastorpaul.net any time to hear today's message or any recent Destined for Victory message on demand.

That's pastorpaul.net. Let's join him now as he shares today's Destined for Victory message, You're in Training. God does not need you to do everything right in order to teach you. He can teach you even through experiences that were not His perfect will for your life. Just like He taught them. He didn't want them in the wilderness.

He wanted them in Canaan. They chose the wilderness because of murmuring, complaining, and unbelief. But God said, That's all right. You're my children, whether you're in the wilderness or in the promised land.

So even while you're in the wilderness, I'm going to teach you some things. Some of us have to understand God doesn't need conditions to be perfect in order to teach you. You can make a mess and God will teach you in the mess.

It happens in our nation. A lot of times people try to figure out whether something was God's will. There are a whole lot of things God didn't want for us, but we chose them. There are a whole lot of things in life, period, that are neither God's will nor God's fault. But it doesn't mean God's not in charge. It means He will use things even when they're not His will or His fault.

He said, I can use it as discipline. For instance, back in 2001, when 9-11 took place, a lot of preachers felt compelled to get up and say, This is God's judgment on America. I was one of those that got up and said, It's not judgment.

It's not judgment. You know why 9-11 happened? Because those people who masterminded that heinous set of crimes were people who ever rebelled against the will of God. God says love. They chose in hatred.

They chose to believe that it was somehow their job to destroy people in another country. That was not God's will. But God said, although it wasn't my judgment, because I got up and said, If God was gunning for America, we would have experienced a lot more than the destruction of three buildings and 3,000 plus lives lost. As tragic as that was, this was not the judgment of God. If God is after America, we're not getting away with that. So I got up and respectfully disagreed with many national voices that were saying, This is the judgment of God.

I said, No, it's not His will that this happened. It's not His judgment, but He is using it as a national altar call. The Sunday after 9-11 more folk went to church in America than had gone in decades. I was telling all my preacher friends, You better be ready to preach this Sunday.

If you can preach at all, you need to be prepared to preach this Sunday because you're going to have a whole lot of folk at your church. And sure enough, people were flooding into churches all over the country. One of the newspapers sent a crew to our church to see what I was going to say. And I saw it in the paper the next day, and they were telling them highlights. They went to about four different churches in the region.

I was one of them, and they were writing down what I said and what have you. And the cameraman was there taking pictures. Cameraman got saved before he left the building that Sunday. Sure did when he got through with his job.

This is no lie. When he got through doing his work, had all his pictures and stuff, and they were packing up. He came and saw me, says, Can I see you for a minute? Can somebody pray with me? Because I need the Lord.

Absolutely, brother. We prayed with him, and he left that building saved. Listen, God doesn't have to will it to use it. A lot of the stuff in your life, it is not God's fault. But he will use it even when you're in the wilderness, even when you made some mistakes, even when you made some wrong terms, even when your attitude stinks. God says, I still know how to discipline you. Now, what I want to do is make sure you understand what the Bible's talking about when we talk about the movements of God in our lives. So look at this passage in Deuteronomy 8, verse 2, and I want you to see the movement of God even when Israel was out of sync. They were in the wilderness. Verse 2 says, Remember how the Lord your God led you all the way in the desert these 40 years. What do you mean God led them?

He didn't want them in the wilderness. That's true, but they were his children, so he led them anyway. God led them even though they were hard-hearted and murmured and complained. God was responsible for what was going on in their development.

He led them all the way. What else does it say God did? He humbled them, and he tested them. I want you to know that in your life you can expect at times that God will humble you and test you. Sometimes God will make sure that you realize you need him.

Because you know sometimes folks, some of us can't handle prosperity too well at a certain level in our lives. So until you learn how to appreciate God and to respect him and revere him no matter what, sometimes he will humble you. He will test you in order to know what's in your heart, whether or not you'll keep his commands. Sometimes that's the working of God in your life. Look at the next verse, verse 3 of Deuteronomy 8. He caused them to hunger and then fed them with manna in order to teach them that man doesn't live by bread alone, but every word that comes out of the mouth of God.

God caused them to hunger. Sometimes the Lord strips away some of the things that you used to be able to count on. Sometimes God will allow you to experience a certain amount of abasement so that you realize I need you Lord.

And he's trying to teach you not only do you need me to feed you physically, but you need every word that proceeds out of my mouth. See because the real test is you'll know you're growing when you learn to pray even when you're not in desperate need. See some folks you can know where they are in their growth because they only pray 9-1-1 prayers.

Not you but somebody on your row. Prays 9-1-1 prayers. The only time they pray is when they're in trouble.

They dial spiritual 9-1-1, heaven help! And you expect heaven to always say heaven what's your emergency? But this text says God will let you go through some things so that you come to understand I not only need him in desperate times, I need him every day of my life. In fact not only do I need him every day but the hymn writer said I need him every hour. You need him every hour of every day. You need to learn to pray all the time.

The Bible calls it praying without ceasing. You need to learn to pray when you get up in the morning. God I don't know what's ahead of me today but I'm trusting you.

My life is hidden with Christ and God. Lord you lead me today. You go ahead of me today.

I'm getting ready to go to that job. You know them crazy people I got to deal with Lord. You help me today. Learn to talk to him while you're driving in your car. Don't always be talking on the phone. Don't always be listening to music. Every now and then turn that music off for a few minutes and say Lord let me talk to you.

You have to learn to do that. To learn that you need every word that proceeds out of his mouth. And so he teaches you along the way. Verses 4 and 5 of Deuteronomy 8. It says your clothes didn't wear out.

Your feet didn't swell during the 40 years. Meaning God even when you create a wilderness experience for yourself. God says I'm going to make sure that it doesn't kill you. I love that about God. That God won't let your wilderness experiences define you. He will keep you.

Why? Because he was going to take them to Canaan. Now the first generation didn't get to go.

They died in the wilderness but God was preparing their children to go over and experience the promised land. And he said I didn't let your feet swell. I didn't let your clothes wear out because God won't let hard times kill you. I came to let you know child of God.

You who are believers. You've got to understand God is the authentic finisher of your faith. He's not going to let tough times kill you. Stay with us. The second half of Pastor Paul Shepherd's message is coming right up. We want to thank all of you who support Destined for Victory with your prayers and financial support. Gifts that help Pastor Paul share the joy of the Gospel with a growing audience.

Destined for Victory is supported entirely by friends like you. So please prayerfully consider making a donation to Destined for Victory today. Give online safely and securely from our website pastorpaul.net or give us a call at 855-339-5500.

Again the number is 855-339-5500. God always finishes what he starts and that includes the work he's doing in you. If you are going through a season of waiting today, a season of suffering, take comfort in the fact that God has not finished writing your story.

The rest of today's Destined for Victory message or in training starts right now. Once again here's Pastor Paul. You got to quit all that as a child of God. Oh Lord I can't make it. Yes you can.

Yes you can. How do I know you can make it? Because he said I'm going to get you where I'm taking you. So you might as well quit all that because God's not impressed. I used to pray. All of us have been there. If you haven't been there keep on living.

You'll get there. I used to have those days where I said Lord I can't take another day. I can't take it anymore. Oh God this is it. This is worse. I can't take another day. Guess what?

You go to sleep and then you wake up and you take it. But God makes sure that his grace is sufficient. Why does he do that? Because verse 5 of Deuteronomy says, know in your heart that as a man disciplines his son so the Lord your God disciplines you. Now here's what I need you to understand. I need you to understand the concept of the discipline of God in our lives. So when we go to our text in Hebrews 12 the first phrase is endure hardness as discipline.

God is treating you as sons. What is discipline? From a biblical standpoint what is the truth God wants us to learn in this passage? What is discipline?

You need to know that or else you'll miss this entire revelation. Let me give you the biblical definition for this word translated here in NIV as discipline. In some translations you'll see the word chastening. The Lord chastening his children. What does that word translated chastening or discipline mean? Here's the definition jot this down. To discipline or to chasten from a biblical standpoint means to train, to instruct, to equip, to mold, or to cause learning. Give it to you again. To discipline or to chasten means to train, to instruct, to equip, to mold, and to cause learning.

Let's unpack that. What that tells you is that the Bible says here endure the hard things you're going through in your life because God is going to use those hard things to train you, to instruct you, to equip you, to mold you, and to cause you to learn. In other words don't think that you need good times and wonderful experiences in order to get where God's taking you.

God can get you there even when the path leads you through difficult things because he's up to something. What this tells you is that this concept of discipline is a process. It's not an act. Now if you grew up in a world like I grew up in a lot of times we grew up thinking discipline means punishment for misbehavior.

A lot of us just assume that. Discipline means punishment for misbehavior because we most often heard the word discipline as it related to a parent getting with a child. Come on, I need the middle-aged folk and the seniors to help me with today's message because the young folk are listening. I hope they're taking notes but there's not a lot from their personal experience that they're going to be able to relate to. So they're going to have to learn to take it from us. That we grew up in an America where we often associated with discipline with punishment because we heard that a lot. Oh he got disciplined and that meant his mama or his daddy got with him. But I need you to understand that from a biblical standpoint the concept is much broader than punishment. It has to do with instruction and training and equipping and molding and causing you to learn.

Now that process may involve punishment when there's misbehavior but the process is far broader than punishment. In other words, the idea is you're going to learn throughout your experience. Now this is important to know because discipline means God has a process going on in your life.

And everything you go through, God is going to make sure to use it in a way that results in you growing and developing and maturing so that you are prepared for what he has ahead of you. Now there are three ways that I want you to understand this concept because today's generation can't understand it much in the way that it's spoken of here in Hebrews 12. Hebrews 12 talks about God treating us as sons and then it asks the question for what son is not disciplined by his father. See this is harkening back to a time in ancient cultures when the dad had the primary responsibility to shape the child into what the child was destined to be. In ancient culture your mother bore you but your father trained you and so we can't relate much in modern culture because today ideally there's shared parenting and all of that but there's not a whole lot of sense in today's culture of the dad having a primary responsibility of shaping and molding and equipping and all that. That's just long since gone away.

Even when we had little vestiges of it decades ago that has quickly evaporated. There was a show on television when I was a boy called Father Knows Best. Come on any of you old heads know about Father Knows Best? You couldn't put something on today titled Father Knows Best? People would instantly say what?

That funk would rise up right away. You're talking about Father Knows Best. We can't relate to it in today's world. There's so much you know equality and a sense of co-parenting and all that and there's nothing wrong with that. The Bible is not against the concept of the mother playing a significant role. It's just telling you that in ancient culture the primary responsibility didn't lie with the mother. The primary responsibility in ancient culture relied with the daddy. Daddy was the one to tell you who you were and how you were to be. Mama was a nurturer and all of that but daddy was the one who told you who you were.

Because you were going to carry his name and his family trade into the next generation and he was not about to let you carry his legacy and you not be mature and know what's going on in the world. So when you get to that concept you have to understand that because today's world we instantly get attitude. We're talking about Father Knows Best.

But no, no in biblical times that was dad's responsibility. So since you can't get the revelation much due to the world in which we live, I want to give it to you from three other paradigms. The first is I want to talk to you about this concept of discipline being a process from the paradigm of school. Let's start with school. Now school as it used to be in our world, in our day as young people, I'm talking the middle age and seniors now and the young folk are just listening in. When we went to school, school wasn't just about getting an academic education. When we went to school, at school they saw it as their responsibility to help shape you into a young man and a young woman. In today's world you do good to get an education. But in the world in which we grew up, we went to schools where the teachers took your development as a person as part of their responsibility. They were linking arms so to speak with your family. And they were saying wherever mom and dad need a little help, we're here to help.

Show you what I mean. I went to schools where they would teach you the importance of proper behavior. Now you know in today's world, you go to these schools, I pray for you who are teachers and what have you today. Because in today's world, you do good to educate some of the students in your class. But forget telling them how to dress, what to look like, how to speak. They're going to look at you like, what's the matter with you?

That's none of your business. And the system will support them more than it'll support the teacher trying to make them behave. Not so in our day. I went to elementary schools where when they lined you up in the morning, you lined up on a line in the school yard. Come on, come on old heads, y'all got to walk with me through this. They lined us up on a line. You couldn't just come on, bus on up in there whenever you felt like.

The bell rung in the yard and everybody went to their line and stood there. This line was for your one class. And they wouldn't even think about letting you in until everybody out there was in their line and quiet.

Oh, thank you for that help. Y'all going to have to walk with me all the way through here. Young folk never heard this in their life. In that line and quiet. I remember the teachers just walking the line. Just walking the line. They might say, good morning, how are you?

That was all the talk you heard. And when it got nice and quiet, they just waited. When it got nice and quiet, then they escorted us as elementary children into the building, up to our room where we went, sat in our pre-assigned seat, not where you felt like sitting today. Pre-assigned seat, that's your desk, had a little name card on it. Pre-assigned seat, you sat there and waited for the instruction of the day.

Why? Because they were grooming you. They weren't just teaching you academics. They were teaching you how to be a young man, a young woman. Jesus told us to go and make disciples of all nations. That means sharing the gospel with them.

But it also means helping new believers grow in their faith. And that's Pastor Paul Shepherd's mission here at Destined for Victory. You can take part in this mission with Pastor Paul and all of us at Destined for Victory by becoming a partner for as little as $20 a month. In light of some severe challenges these past two years or so, people are eager to hear about the hope we have in Christ, and many are getting that message through the Destined for Victory broadcast.

Please prayerfully consider joining Pastor Paul in his mission to share the light of the gospel to all people, even to those who have grown comfortable in the dark. As our way of saying thanks for your partnership, 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. Call 855-339-5500. Find out more about how to become a Destined for Victory partner. Or mail your gift letting us know you wish to become a partner. Our address is Destined for Victory.

Post Office Box 1767, Fremont, CA 94538. You can also become a partner from our website, pastorpaul.net. Now if you can't become a partner but would like to send a generous gift to the ministry today, we'd love to share with you a gift of our own. It's Pastor Paul Shepherd's booklet, Creating a Relational Legacy.

That's Creating a Relational Legacy, our gift to you this month by request for your generous donation to Destined for Victory. Some of you have been asking me to bless you, to bring you out of a certain crisis, and God says, I'm not bringing you out because you're not ready. I will only bring you out when I've taught you everything in it that you need to learn. That's tomorrow in Pastor Paul Shepherd's message, You're In Training. Until then remember, he who began a good work in you will bring it to completion. In Christ, you are destined for victory.
Whisper: medium.en / 2023-06-04 04:39:10 / 2023-06-04 04:48:23 / 9

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