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You're in Training, Part 5

Destined for Victory / Pastor Paul Sheppard
The Truth Network Radio
February 25, 2022 7:00 am

You're in Training, Part 5

Destined for Victory / Pastor Paul Sheppard

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February 25, 2022 7:00 am

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Boot Camp is designed to make a soldier out of you. Soldiers are not born, they are made. It's a change of life.

It's a change of lifestyle. And there are things you have to learn when you enlist or are drafted. The Christian life is a war.

You may not face real bullets, but you're under heavy fire. Hello and welcome to this Friday edition of Destined for Victory with Pastor Paul Shepherd. Earlier this month, Pastor Paul compared our training as Christians to our academic training and to an apprenticeship in which we learn a trade from someone who's already mastered it. Today we'll be reminded that as believers in Christ, we're in the army now.

Our battle is not against flesh and blood enemy forces, but make no mistake, it is a battle. Be sure to visit pastorpaul.net to listen to any of Pastor Paul's recent messages on demand. That's pastorpaul.net.

You can also subscribe to the Destined for Victory Podcast at Spotify, at Apple Podcasts, or wherever you get yours. But right now, with today's Destined for Victory message, you're in training. Here's Pastor Paul Shepherd. Hebrews chapter 12, beginning with verse seven. Endure hardship as discipline. God is treating you as sons. For what son is not disciplined by his father? If you are not disciplined and everyone undergoes discipline, then you are illegitimate children and not true sons. Moreover, we have all had human fathers who disciplined us and we respected them for it. How much more should we submit to the father of our spirits and live? Our fathers disciplined us for a little while as they thought best, but God disciplines us for our good that we may share in his holiness.

No discipline seems pleasant at the time, but painful. Later on, however, it produces a harvest of righteousness and peace for those who have been trained by it. We've been looking at paradigms that provide insight into the spiritual discipline, the spiritual training that God has us undergoing as his children. Earlier in the series, we covered two paradigms.

One about school, at least old fashion school, and most recently about apprenticeship. And I talked in the last message about how God is the ultimate master who teaches us as his apprentices the trades and the disciplines necessary to become masters ourselves. And we preached the gospel according to the karate kid for all practical purposes and learned some vital lessons there. From a biblical perspective, I now want us to look at a third and final paradigm as I wrap up our focus on this business of God developing us in terms of spiritual training. That third paradigm is to look at basic training, military basic training, otherwise known as boot camp.

I've never been, but I have friends who have been, relatives who have been. And I know that boot camp is designed to make a soldier out of you. Soldiers are not born, they are made. It's a change of life.

It's a change of lifestyle. And there are things you have to learn when you enlist or are drafted. Now, first thing I want you to understand about being in development as a spiritual soldier is that you did not enlist. You were drafted. I don't care if you say, no, no, no, pastor, there was one day when I realized I needed the Lord in my life and I got on my knees and I asked Jesus to come into my life and make me a child of God and I signed up to be his soldier.

No, you don't understand. Yes, you responded to an altar call or responded to inner conviction. Yes, you invited the Lord into your life, but I want to let you know, Jesus said, you have not chosen me, I have chosen you. What that means is you wouldn't have invited anybody anywhere had the Lord not decided in eternity past that you were to be his child and you were to be part of his kingdom and part of his army. God chose us. We respond because God gave us the wherewithal to be able to respond. And so don't use that language.

Just let's be technical. Don't ever tell anybody I found the Lord in 1983. I know what you mean, but change the language. You didn't find him. He wasn't lost. You were lost in 1983 and he found you and came into your life by his grace, saved you from your sins, made you a child of God, gave you authority to be a son, a daughter of God.

And now you are developing and becoming the person he wants you to be. And part of that requires discipline like unto that which you would go through in military basic training or bootcamp. Because I want to wrap it up in this message, I don't want to be too exhaustive, but I want to give you five tips for successfully completing bootcamp. As I was studying and preparing this series, I just went online and said, let me find what information I can that they use to help prepare little young recruits who think they want to be in the army. And so I came up, I saw several resources and I boiled all that I read and studied about down to five tips for successfully completing bootcamp. Here's number one, set your priorities.

Set your priorities. I learned that if you're going to be in bootcamp, they tell young recruits, they tell them now you are not going to be able to do this hit and miss, up and down, in and out, little bit of commitment. They tell you, no, that's not the way this works. Let me quote one of the training manuals I read. In bootcamp, your life is going to be broken down into two piles, things you want to do and things you have to do.

God speaking to somebody already. Things you want to do, things like sleep. That's what they put in the manual. You want to do, like sleep, read, write, talk with your buddies. They say in bootcamp that's going to be in the want to do category. They say, but the other things that you will have to do are things that maybe you're not accustomed to doing, but will be necessary as a young recruit, such as shine your shoes, roll your laundry, buff floors, scrub toilets, etc. They say the temptation will be strong to slack off and procrastinate.

Then the next word is don't. Take care of what you have to do first. That's what they're telling young recruits. Take care, what you're going to learn is knock out the have to dos first and see how many want to dos you get to enjoy. Don't slouch on your have to dos.

They say it's going to be trouble if you come short on the have to dos. 2 Timothy 2 verse 4 says, no one serving as a soldier gets involved in civilian affairs. He wants to please his commanding officer. You and I are going to have to learn that disciples of Christ have got to take on the mindset that your job, the reason you are walking the earth is to please our commanding officer. You are not on earth to do your thing.

You are not on earth to get the most gusto out of life you can. That's want to do. Have to do is, I have to do what the Lord wants for me. I have to serve him. I have to please him. I have to do everything that will get him to say, well done soldier.

That's my have to. And we've got to learn that that means setting priorities. Now, some of us aren't good at setting priorities. We're good at haphazard living. You just get up and do what you feel like doing.

No, no. God has you in spiritual development and spiritual development means you can no longer live a haphazard life. Some of you been saved for 15, 20, 25 years, but you're just now getting down to the disciplines of taking your life in the direction God wants it to go. And I want to let you know there's no seniority in the kingdom. Just cause you've been in the church a long time doesn't mean you have passed bootcamp.

Some of y'all never even got in the bootcamp yet, but God now has you in bootcamp, has you under the influence of a ministry that's designed to help you get where God is actually taking you in your lifetime. And it means you're going to have to set some priorities and decide what is first and foremost in your life. Anything you love, anything you decide you want to do with excellence has to be prioritized. You got to set priorities. You got to decide this is important enough to change my life. This is important enough to turn off the TV. This is important enough to get rid of raggedy friends. This is important enough to save money. This is important enough to make some hard decisions about my life. You can't prioritize with your mouth.

You prioritize with tough decisions and actions. Everybody talks a good game in the locker room. Every team's in there getting pumped up. I've been a chaplain a lot of different times. I pray with teams and what have you, and I've seen how hyped up they get before the game.

You know what I've learned? It doesn't matter how hyped you are before the game. What matters is how well you trained days, weeks, months, years before that moment.

Because when you get to that critical moment, your emotions have nothing to do with it. Because I've seen them all in there jumping around and making a bunch of noise. And then go out there and get their booties handed to them.

Come back in that same locker room at halftime, down 36 to nothing. I've seen it happen. Why?

It's not about emotions. It's about decisions and discipline. You got to pay the price if you want to master anything. And Jesus said about kingdom living, he said, seek first the kingdom of God and His righteousness. First, you got to be number one in your life. Up next, the rest of today's Destined for Victory message with Pastor Paul Shepherd. 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. When asked what was the greatest commandment, Jesus said, love the Lord your God with all your heart, all your soul, all your mind, and all your mind and all your strength.

He should be your first love. Here's Pastor Paul with the rest of today's message. You're in training. You're a spiritual recruit. God said, I'm number one. No questions asked.

I say you do no question. I'm first. I get the first of your time. I get the first of your worship. I get the first of your affection. Set your affection on things above, not on things of the earth.

None of those are suggestions. They're all commands from a commanding officer. People wonder, well, why is the modern church so much less powerful than the early church? Cause the modern church thinks is up to us. How much commitment we make to the things of God and the early church knew that they had to be prepared to live for him and to die for him. They had to serve him without these big fancy buildings we build. They had to serve him while their families were saying, if you're going to be a follower of Jesus, we will cut you off and have nothing else to do with you. They had to serve him enough to sell properties, pull resources, give it to the apostles.

So folks needs could be met. I mean, folk made a rock solid commitment and we sitting around deciding whether we want to go to church at praise and worship, or just wait and slip in there long enough to hear the guy preach. I need all that singing.

I just, I just, I just won't go hear him. You've got to realize this is God's church. This is God's agenda for your life. There's a lot of church on TV.

Why I got to go. I just sit in my home with my pajamas on and go to church. That's not church.

That's television. We will have live streaming at some point, but it won't be to substitute for showing up. It'll be for the sick and shut in and people traveling and can't physically can't get there. You can tune in and I'm still connecting with my pastor and my church, at least through the word.

It won't be substitute. Okay, now we on, we on the internet. I can just stay home. You're sitting up there laughing and eating and watching me.

Stay home. You're sitting up there laughing and eating and watching me. Devil is a lie. I'm a call you out through the screen. You try to mess. Why do I go? Because the commanding officer said forsake, not the assembling of yourself. Get with them where you can touch them, where you can hold their hand, where you can pray for them, where they can pray for you, where they can scrape you up off the floor.

When you had a bad week, they can pour oil on your head. They can preach conviction and then pray with you after the conviction comes. That is the will of the commanding officer. So you got to set your priorities and you say, I go to church.

That's what I do. I don't go to the mall before I go to church. I seek first the kingdom first of my time. Don't tell me that you, that I'm a priority and I get the worst of your time, worst of your energy, worst of your money. Don't tell me I'm a priority.

You're a liar. If somebody claims you are their priority and you are down the list somewhere, time, energy, resources, don't believe it. You single sisters, he say you a priority.

You get leftover time, leftover energy, leftover money. Don't believe it. Hit the road, Jack. Don't come back. No more, no more, no more, no more. I am not your priority because prioritizing is not a matter of rap.

Whole lot of people got a rap. Oh girl, you know you're mine. Don't listen to that.

Don't listen to that. Oh girl, you know you my boo. You're my number one. You got to tell him, no, first of all, if you're really serious about me, I can't be your number one.

I got to be your only cause if I'm number one, that suggests you got some others down the line. Oh, I just hit something. I just hit something. I just messed up some brother's game. He mad at me right now.

Somebody sitting there, dang bastard. You ain't had to mess up a brother game. No, no, no. If I'm it, I'm it. And you reflect that commitment of time, commitment of energy, commitment of money. It's clear that you've been generous and poured out money in other areas of your life, driving really nice whip and all that stuff. Don't come propose to me and then give me something. I need a magnifying glass to see something sparkle. I think it's a diamond in there. Hold on, hold on. Oh yeah, yeah, yeah.

I just caught some light. Don't fall for that sister. The proof is in the actions and the commitment and the decision and the sacrifice. Set your priorities, spiritually set your priorities. Decide if you say, Lord, I want to be closer to you. The Bible says, draw near to him and he'll draw near to you. Some of y'all wondering how come God's not closer to you? Cause you haven't drawn near. How come I'm not getting some prayers answered that I really want to ask cause you haven't drawn near. You haven't gotten into the Holy of Holies. You haven't gotten into that intimate space with him where God, you loving on him so good.

He'll do just about anything for you. And you have to learn to go deep in your commitment to the Lord. Set your priorities.

Number two, adjust your attitude. The purpose of bootcamp is to make you. Bootcamp isn't designed to destroy people. It's designed to make soldiers.

But the process, they don't start with making, you got to start with breaking. Cause we show up as civilians. We show up as independent Americans. I'm my own person. I do what I want to do.

Nobody tells me what to do. You ain't none of my daddy. That's the attitude most of us have perfected to this point in our lives. Y'all remember, y'all didn't say that when we were kids.

We would say that in a heartbeat. Anybody, any friend, any person, anybody like that, try to talk to you as authoritatively. You ain't none of my daddy. Listen, let me tell you something. When you get into God's bootcamp, you are going to have to be broken from your self will before you can move in the spirit.

And in military bootcamp, it's designed to break you so that they can make you. That's why it's always interesting to me when these hard headed kids get mad at the rules at home. That's all right. I turn 18, I'm going in the army. Okay. I've seen it happen several times. Pastor, he said, he won't go in the army. I said, let him, let him tell him, Oh, you know, son, that's a good decision.

You know why? Soon as they get on the bus or get into the first line, first time they run into a commanding officer, first time they're going to hear the twilight zone music. And they had going to be a whole nother world. Pastor friend of mine is a step parent to a couple of children. He said, one of them said to me, I'm going into the military. He said, I told him, all right, wish you well.

Went in the military as rebellious, when he left the house, as he could be. He said, several weeks later, our phone rang. His mother picked it up and he talked to her for a while. And then he said, can I speak to dad?

She said, he wants to speak to you, honey. He said, I got on the phone and I said, Hey son, how are you? He said, here's what he said, sir, I'm doing fine, sir. He said, I wanted to say, who is this? He said, but I asked another question. He said, I asked, how's basic training going? He said, sir, it's going very well, sir. Tell you no lie.

That's what he said he heard on another line. He said, I asked, are you glad you made the decision to enlist, sir? It was the best decision I've ever made in my life, sir.

Whole different ball game. Why? Because when they got through with him, he knew I either have to break my will or they're going to break some other stuff. And I'm here to tell you that you and I have to realize some of y'all been saved for years and you haven't really started your discipleship journey yet because your will is still in the way. You know, God is the only commanding officer who never makes a mistake. His orders are perfect and true and always designed for your ultimate good.

Learn to say, sir, yes, sir, and you'll be destined for ultimate victory, no matter what battles come your way. Now, if you need prayer today, if you are in a battle from which there seems to be no escape, the Destined for Victory Ministry team would like to join you in prayer. From the homepage at pastorpaul.net, use the contact feature to let us know how we can pray for you. And while you're there, be sure to ask for Pastor Paul's monthly letter of encouragement, yours at no cost or obligation. Remember, Destined for Victory exists only through the faithful prayers and financial support of friends like you. And today, in appreciation of your generous gift, Pastor Paul would like to send you his booklet, Creating a Relational Legacy. Earlier this month, he and his wife Meredith spent a few days here on the program talking about the ways we can improve and strengthen our personal relationships.

And this booklet highlights the major themes in that message. Again, it's called Creating a Relational Legacy, and it's our gift to you this month by request for your generous gift to Destined for Victory. Call 855-339-5500 or visit pastorpaul.net 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.

Once again, our address is Destined for Victory, Box 1767, Fremont, California 94538. You mad that he hasn't answered your prayers. He hasn't given you the car you want and the house you want and the job you want. You got the nerve to have an attitude with a commanding officer you have never committed to. And God says, this season of your life is designed to get you to sir, yes sir. That's next time in Pastor Paul Shepherd's message, You're in Training. Until then, though, remember, he who began a good work in you will bring it to completion. In Christ, you are Destined for Victory.
Whisper: medium.en / 2023-05-30 03:40:45 / 2023-05-30 03:49:39 / 9

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