A-1 - Encouraged by What You Read?

Unlike the trite Hollywood storyline, Satan will not show up on our doorstep with a “legal contract” asking us to trade our souls for granted wishes. He is much subtler than that.


Satan’s bag is full of tricks. Over the course of our lifetime, he may use the full arsenal against us. But most of the time, he readily identifies our flaws and simply targets those weaknesses.


In the Scriptures, we see that even our Biblical heroes were not immune to tripping over their own feet at times. In the Old Testament, we learn that after having victory over Jericho, Joshua made a grave error, which cost him the battle at Ai (see Joshua 6-7). In his post-victory confidence, Joshua proceeded in battle unaware of the sin within his own camp, and the Israelites were defeated. When we allow our spiritual victories and personal successes to turn into overconfidence or arrogance, sinfulness will defeat us.


King David fell into temptation with Bathsheba because he ceased to be vigilant (see 2 Samuel 11). David wasn’t on guard against the devil, so what began as a tempting situation quickly escalated into a series of sinful choices. When we let our daily busyness crowd out our prayer time and study of God’s Word, we quickly find ourselves ill prepared to handle temptation.


Even one of Jesus’ own disciples fell victim to personal weakness. Simon Peter was sure of his faith and character and told Jesus during the Last Supper, “Lord, I am ready to go with you to prison and to death” (Luke 22:33). Yet Peter underestimated his own fears and flaws, and sure enough, he fulfilled Jesus’ words: “I tell you, Peter, before the rooster crows today, you will deny three times that you know me” (v. 34).


Prayer: Father, I realize that if Joshua, David, and Simon Peter were capable of falling victim to personal weakness, I most certainly am as well. Help me to be vigilant to protect my time with You so that I will be prepared to handle what the enemy throws my way. I pray in the name of Jesus. Amen.


“So then, let us not be like others, who are asleep, but let us be awake and sober” (1 Thessalonians 5:6).

Check out more from Michael Youssef, here!

About The Author

Dr. Michael Youssef, Ph.D.

Even before he was born, it is clear that God had a vision for Michael Youssef. His mother was in poor health when she became pregnant with Michael, and because his life was in danger at the time of birth, the doctor recommended terminating the pregnancy. An abortion was scheduled. But God intervened and sent the family pastor to reassure them that God was involved in this pregnancy. He told them not to be afraid and that the child would be "born to serve the Lord." Michael's parents accepted the pastor's message as a message from God and obeyed. His mother gave birth, and lived to see him give his life to the Lord at the age of sixteen.

Believing that God had called him out of Egypt, Michael sought an exit visa in a time in which no university student was allowed to have a passport or leave the country. God intervened again, and miraculously he managed to acquire a visa. He immigrated to Australia, where he studied at Moore Theological College in Sydney, was ordained as a pastor, and met Elizabeth who became his wife.

The Youssefs came to America in 1977, and in 1978 Michael received a master's degree in theology at Fuller Theological Seminary in California. Then he earned a doctorate in social anthropology at Emory University in Atlanta, Georgia. Michael served nearly ten years in the Haggai Institute, traveling around the world more than 32 times, teaching courses in evangelism and leadership. He rose to the position of Managing Director at the age of 31 years. The family settled in Atlanta, and in 1984, Michael became a citizen of the United States, making his dream of many years come true.

He founded The Church of The Apostles in 1987 with fewer than 40 adults with the mission of "Equipping the Saints and Searching for the Lost". The church has since grown to be a congregation of over 3,000 people today. This church has driven the international ministry of Leading the Way. While it is heard by millions at home and abroad, behind every message preached through radio waves, is the heart of a pastor, willing to nurture and care for these people. Clearly God has uniquely equipped Dr. Youssef to speak to a global audience. The path he has taken has given him an understanding and firm grasp of the Scriptures that transcend cultures. He preaches, teaches and calls with a sincere, based on the authority of the inerrant, inspired Word of God. With his personal knowledge of the Holy Land, its history and culture, Dr. Michael Youssef transmits life to listeners all over the world.

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