A-1 - Encouraged by What You Read?

When we become serious about being Christ’s disciples, Satan will work harder to discourage and to deceive us. And that is why we must know how to pray against deception.

In Joshua 9, the Israelites were returning from a time of revival, just before they encountered the Gibeonites. Had Joshua prayed for discernment, instead of relying on his own logic, he would not have been so easily deceived.

Godly wisdom is our weapon against deception: “Wisdom will save you from the ways of wicked men, from men whose words are perverse, who have left the straight paths to walk in dark ways, who delight in doing wrong and rejoice in the perverseness of evil, whose paths are crooked and who are devious in their ways” (Proverbs 2:12-15).

The Gibeonites knew that they could not defeat the Israelites with military might, so they decided to scheme against them instead. They knew that God had commanded Israel to destroy the Canaanites but to covenant with people of distant cities (see Deuteronomy 20). So they disguised themselves as travelers from a distant land and asked for a covenant. The Gibeonites told Joshua, “We have come from a distant country; make a treaty with us” (Joshua 9:6).

Sometimes the people who are most deceptive can quote the Bible as well as we can. They will use passages from the Bible to silence us from speaking the Truth. They quote the Bible—but twist the meaning—to deceive us and to intimidate us. The Bible warns us, “Let no one deceive you with empty words, for because of such things God’s wrath comes on those who are disobedient” (Ephesians 5:6).

The Gibeonites knew the Bible, and they used it to their advantage. If Joshua had sought God’s counsel and wisdom, then perhaps God would have shown him that the “travelers” were Canaanites in disguise. We must always be on guard against those who use spiritual language to seduce us away from the Truth.

Prayer: God, I pray that You would give me discernment and wisdom so that I will be on guard against those who might try to deceive me. I pray in the name of Jesus. Amen.

“For the Lord gives wisdom; from his mouth come knowledge and understanding” (Proverbs 2:6).

Check out more from Dr. 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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