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What Did You Expect?

Destined for Victory / Pastor Paul Sheppard
The Truth Network Radio
May 23, 2022 8:00 am

What Did You Expect?

Destined for Victory / Pastor Paul Sheppard

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May 23, 2022 8:00 am

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I'm going to say it again. God operates according to His sovereign will, and we must learn to go with His flow. Sovereign means there's nobody I have to answer to. And God is the only sovereign in the universe.

There's only one. When we say we serve the true and the living God, that's what we mean. He is God, and He is sovereign.

There are few truths in an uncertain world, but here's one of them. There's only one God, and we are not Him. Hello and welcome to this Monday edition of Destined for Victory with Pastor Paul Shepherd, who is Senior Pastor of Destiny Christian Fellowship in Fremont, California.

Thanks so much for tuning in. The God we serve is loving, merciful, patient, and kind. But He's also sovereign, which means sooner or later He'll allow things to happen to us that we don't understand.

But as you'll see today, God has a redemptive purpose for everything He does and for everything He allows. As always, visit to hear any recent Destined for Victory message on demand. That's

You can also subscribe to the Destined for Victory podcast at Spotify, at Apple Podcasts, or wherever you get your podcasts. Now, with today's Destined for Victory message, what did you expect? Here's Pastor Paul.

Last week, if you weren't with us, you'll need to know point number one was maximize the positives and put the challenges in proper perspective. Now, let's move on. I want to continue looking at this story and look at the rest of verse one and verse two for me. It said, through Naaman, the Lord had given victory to Aram. Now, bands of raiders from Aram had gone out and had taken captive a young girl from Israel, and she served Naaman's wife.

Now, I want you to think about that for me. These are Syrians. These are people from a country that doesn't know the Lord. Their people don't know Jehovah, and yet God gave their commanding officer, Naaman, victory.

So I want you to think about that. Why in the world this country is one of Israel's enemies at this time in history? And if God's people are Israel, and we know that they are, then you would say, okay, so then why would God give one of Israel's enemies victory? Things that make you go, hmm, gives them victory, and then look at verse two, and lets them raid Israel to the point where, that is Samaria, to the point where they take captive a girl.

And I'm sure they took several people, but because this story is about a particular young woman and the commander of the army, it names Naaman, and it talks about this one young girl, doesn't give us her name, but they kidnapped her. Okay, God gave the Syrian commander in chief victory, that's curious, and God seems to be okay with the fact that they went over, kidnapped some folk, one of whom is a girl that they bring back, and make her a slave of the commanding officer. So here's my second point, since you're dealing with God, expect the unexpected.

Since you're dealing with God, expect the unexpected. This point's going to make some of y'all uncomfortable, here's why, cause some of you all are professional controllers. Oh no no, I don't mean a financial controller, that's not what you do for a living. Financial controller, that's different. That means you're like the CFO of some company, no no, not that kind of control.

You are professional at controlling everything that happens around you, and even when you can't control it, you try real hard. I saw you in the spirit when I was writing this message, I saw some of y'all just control everything you possibly can. You have a controlled theology, you know what you believe, this is exactly what you believe about what God does about everything. Some of my hyper faith friends, they are super controlling because they think God jumps through these faith hoops all the time. And I'm a man of faith, I've walked with God by faith for many years, I am not anti-faith, I am quite a faith-walking man. I've just come to realize you can't put God in all your boxes all the time. There are times when you think you have done all your ABCs and 123s, and this is how God does, and if you do this, this, this, then here's the miracle you're going to get. And I want you to look at this passage with me to understand that we serve a God who is not going to allow you to control. You might think you control your world, but you can't control your God. And I need some of you all to back up off of God and let him be who he is and stop trying to dictate, here's what God does when you walk by faith, and when you walk in obedience, here is what he does.

See, some of y'all, you mad already? Some of y'all got to add to right now, I see you through the camera, you got to add to, you got to add to with me right now. You online, you can just jump, you don't even have to get up, like people used to do when they'd get mad at some point, I'd see them get up, grab their Bible and stuff, and storm out in the middle of a point, and I'd make it. Nobody's done it here so far.

But there is to that. Now that most of the church is online, some of y'all, and it's easy because I don't even get to see you. You just put in another www and you went off to somebody else's church. And you just, go ahead, God bless you over there, whoever you went this morning, you're going to see them. See, now you can sit at home, you can go to, I'm going to a church in Seattle, I'm going to a church in Fort Lauderdale, I'm going to a church in this and that and the other, go ahead, God bless you, tell them I said hey. Because I'm not going to preach something different so you stay with me.

I got a God to glorify. And so I'm going to tell the truth, the whole truth, nothing but the truth. My daddy was more cold blooded than me, he said if you get mad and I'm preaching the word, he said I tell you what, come up to me afterwards and apologize and I'll forgive you.

Oh, Pop was cold blooded. You get mad because I'm preaching the truth? Come say it pastor, I'm sorry, I'll say oh yeah, I forgive you, God bless you, go in peace my child. Look at this passage again, the Lord gave victory to one of Israel's enemies. What? And he apparently was not going to get them, at least not in the foreseeable future here, for kidnapping some of his people including this little girl.

We don't know if she was a young girl, we don't know the exact age, but took captive a young girl from Israel and made her the servant to Naaman's wife. You know what some of you controllers need to do? Learn to just delight yourself in the Lord without always trying to figure him out. Delight yourself in him now, but quit saying I'm only going to worship you when I understand what you're doing. You're going to have some moments where there is no worship going on in your life. So I need you to understand this, Naaman leads the military of a nation that hates Israel, God gives them success, raiders from Aram kidnap people from Israel and God lets it happen. What in your life?

I know you don't like because I just blew your cover. I know you don't even like thinking about it, but I want you to actively think about the stuff that has happened in your life in recent days, weeks, months or years, some of it's many years ago, and you never quite settled in your heart why God would let that happen. Some of you got some leftover, if God is, fill in the blank, then fill in the blank.

And I came to get that today with a bad back I came to get it. And to let you know that God operates according to his sovereign will. We must learn to go with his flow. Well, a day is coming when every knee will bow and every tongue will confess that Jesus Christ is Lord.

If you're going to bow eventually, you might as well do it immediately. Here's Pastor Paul with the rest of today's message. What did you expect? I'm going to say it again. God operates according to his sovereign will, and we must learn to go with his flow. Now, Pastor, what do you mean by sovereign? That's not a word we typically speak a lot in our day.

All right, let me help you. Sovereign means there's nobody I have to answer to. And God is the only sovereign in the universe, the only one. When we say we serve the true and the living God, that's what we mean. He is God and he is sovereign, so no one is outside of the scope of his sovereignty. No one can say, well, see, that's for you Christians.

No, it's not just for us. He is the God of all. Now, you don't submit to him yet, but just understand he is still God. See, we live in a democracy and we think we get to vote on everything.

That's the problem. We think everything has got to run by me. Well, I got to have a say. No, we serve a God who didn't give you a say, except if you want to say he gave me the opportunity to say yes.

Even though right now, by your life and your decision-making, you're saying no. But trust me, he's sovereign, so much so that Paul declared to the church at Philippi, the day is coming when every knee will bow. Not every Christian knee.

Not every Bible believe in me. Every knee will bow. Every tongue will confess that Jesus is Lord. So what we do when we gather is, before I close the service, I say to you, you need to submit to the Lordship of Jesus Christ and let him give you the gift of salvation. And what I'm really saying is, you're going to bow, so are you going to do it now or later?

I just don't want to sound that way when I'm saying it, but that's just the truth. You're going to bow, so you might as well bow now when you can live under the blanket and the luxury and the joy, the umbrella, however you want to describe it, of his love and grace. Because if you wait, you will bow under judgment. And so I need you to know, our God is sovereign. I need you, you precious Bible-believing people, to quit thinking God is a genie in a bottle. I decree and declare such and such, and God don't do it. Well, did he say he was going to do it?

Or did you just assume he was going to do it? And sometimes you grab a scripture. Well, is that rightly divided, and is it applied to you right now? He's Lord, you're not.

So we have to get this right. Look at the decision God makes through the Bible. I was just thinking about Peter's journey. Peter ended up being one of the greatest apostles of the early church. And he, of course, gives us not only the writings we see him follow the Lord, and we see how unpredictable a man he was, but I want you to think about it. One of the night Jesus was betrayed, Peter tried to kill somebody. The greatest apostle, one of the greatest apostles, tried to kill... No, the pastor ain't in the Bible.

Yes, it is. He saw them coming for Jesus. Peter grabbed the sword. He cut off the man's ear. Let me help you with something. When you are swinging a sword that high at a person, you are not trying, I'm going to get your ear.

Come on, I'm trying to help somebody. When's the last time you saw a murderer say, You know what, I'm so sick of you, I'm going to cut your ear off. When you swinging that high, you mean to split a head. You want that man's brains on the ground.

So how does an attempted murderer... Oh, and that's not all. Within hours after that, when Jesus told him one time, it's recorded in Luke 22, and Jesus says, Simon, Simon, Satan have desired to sift you as wheat, to shake you up. And Peter was like, what are you talking about? What I really don't know is why you picked some of these other clowns. That was Peter's attitude. He's like, look at this man. You should have picked me first, and then let me decide who the other disciples would be.

See, that's some of y'all, that same control thing. And Jesus didn't let him pick anybody, because Jesus knew who he had just picked. And Jesus told him before he was arrested, he said, you are going to deny even knowing me three times. Peter said, man, you're crazy.

Not quite that way, but that was the essence of the way he felt. Well, within hours, he denies Jesus three times. You try to kill somebody for coming for Jesus. Hours later, I don't know no Jesus.

What are you talking about? Third time, when the third person said, no, that's one of his followers, because now they're looking for his followers. And this little girl was the third one to say, oh, he's one of the followers.

Peter said, you know what, I'm going to make sure they understand that I don't know him. So rather than just deny it, the Bible says he swore. That doesn't mean he put his hand on the Bible. There was no Bible. That means he said, if y'all don't blankety-blank, get out of my blankety-blank.

Same one. Just tried to kill the man. Now he's denying him. Jesus knew all that. And Jesus said to him, when you're converted, because what that's going to do is make you take a good look at how jacked up you are. And when that conversion takes place, he said, I want you to spend the rest of your life strengthening your brothers. So after the resurrection, when the women saw Jesus after his resurrection, he said, I want you to go get my disciples and Peter and tell them to meet me. Why he say my disciples and Peter?

Probably because Peter thought, well, I blew that. You know, I was trying to stand for him, but I disowned him. I know he's through with me. He said, no, no, he called him by name. Go get my disciples and Peter.

Tell them to meet me. Peter got invited to the post-resurrection party. You know, talk about an after-party. The after-resurrection party was the one. Peter got invited to the after-party that Jesus was alive, and he got invited by invitation.

Why? Because God is sovereign. Churches would have voted him out. Forget him being a great apostle. He can't be our pastor no more.

What are you talking about? Trying to kill somebody, then deny the Savior? You can't sin worse than denying the only one who can save you. How do you get to deny him, and he saves you anyway? He not passing me no more. God's sovereign. He doesn't run by you to ask what you think about what he does.

You got to learn to just go with the flow. Not only did he accept him again, guess what? 50 days after the resurrection is the day of Pentecost. Guess who gets to preach the message on the day of Pentecost? Peter stands up and starts preaching. This is that which was spoken by the prophet Joel and starts preaching.

Dude was so happy that he was saved and forgiven and still in leadership. He preached so long that Luke, who gives us the book of Acts, after a while, he gives us a gist of the sermon. He walks through the Old Testament references that Peter made in the sermon, all that. After a while, Luke's like, with many other words, did he speak?

Read it when you get a chance. He gives you a lot of the sermon. I was like, shoot, that man, he preach long as Pastor Paul. That's the God we serve. He does stuff you don't expect.

And if you don't like it, that's your problem because he is sovereign. So I need you to understand that about your God. I need you to understand that since you're dealing with God, expect the unexpected. Thanks for joining us for today's Destin for Victory message, What Did You Expect? Pastor Paul joins me again from his microphone and studio in California. Pastor, thank you for joining us today. The last several months in our world have been challenging, to say the least, and we've had many friends who have suffered illness and many who have lost loved ones. Others have experienced God's mercy in many ways. And if we follow the Lord, I know we've all learned something along the way that I thought would be great if you would share with our listeners just a word what God has been teaching you through this time.

I'm happy to do that. I've been reminded over and over again about the truths captured in the lyrics of an old song. You know, I'm an old churchgoing.

I grew up being a pew baby. I heard lots of hymns, lots of anthems, and lots of gospel songs sung as I was growing up. And one of them I'm thinking about now was called Hold to God's Unchanging Hand.

Oh, wow. A couple of verses where time is filled with swift transition. None on earth unmoved can stand. Build your hopes on things eternal. Hold to God's unchanging hand. The second verse says, Trust in him who will not leave you, whatever the years may bring. When your earthly friends forsake you, or we might add, when they leave you just through death, you've got to hold to God's unchanging hand. And the chorus says, Everybody ought to hold to his hand God's unchanging hand. Hold to his hand God's unchanging hand. Build your hopes on things eternal and hold to God's unchanging hand.

I'm going to look that one up. I love those old hymns. I've been holding on to that theme throughout this pandemic. The one thing you can count on is that he is there for us. I have buried more people than I care to think about over these past two years as a pastor. Many of them were near and dear. Some of them were responsible for helping me get to where I am in ministry.

And I had to say farewell to them during this time. But whatever we go through with these swift transitions in life, we must understand how important it is to hold to God's unchanging hand. And I hope Destined for Victory is there to help you remember God is always a present help even in our times of trouble. Well, that's one of the reasons why I'm so glad to have you as a partner in ministry, Pastor Paul. You're always encouraging us to place our complete faith and trust in Jesus no matter what challenges life brings our way. Well, earlier this month on Destined for Victory, Pastor Paul shared his message taking care of caregivers.

It was a great reminder that people who spend a lot of time caring for others very often don't get cared for themselves. Today, we'd like to offer you a booklet that goes hand in hand with those messages. It's called Caregivers Need Care, Too, and it's our gift to you this month by request for your generous donation to Destined for Victory. Just 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.

Once again, the address, Destined for Victory, Box 1767, Fremont, California 94538. You can aspire to more, but where you are now is no excuse for you to not let God be glorified in your life then and it's no excuse for you to not help and bless other people. You can't be so mad at your circumstances that you refuse to glorify God. And that's next time in Pastor Paul Shepherd's continuing message, What Did You Expect? 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 / 2023-04-15 16:25:47 / 2023-04-15 16:34:44 / 9

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