Read Exodus 14:23-31.

When the Egyptians wanted to destroy God’s people, it was the pillar of cloud and fire that stood between the chariots of Pharaoh and the fleeing Israelites. The cloud—the Holy Spirit—protected the people of God. The cloud was also a sign of God’s presence and provision on their journey.

In the same way, the Holy Spirit is God’s presence for our life’s journey. The Holy Spirit temporarily filled people in the Old Testament—men like Samson and David. But today, because of what Jesus accomplished on the cross, the Holy Spirit has been given to us in an enduring, new way. He stays with us always, faithfully guiding us, empowering us to live as children of God and no longer as slaves, and marking us as new creations in Christ.

He is also a sign of God’s provision. The Israelites would have died in the wilderness without the cloud to lead them. They had to move when it moved, stop when it stopped. The cloud was guiding them to places of provision, preparing them for the Promised Land. Today, the Holy Spirit is preparing us to receive our inheritance, making us ready for the abundance God promised us in eternity. The Spirit is our down payment, proof that God has already made us new and will one day complete this transformation in us to perfection when He ushers in the new heaven and new earth.

Prayer: Jesus, thank You for the Holy Spirit who guides me to live as a child of God. I know I am a new creation because He dwells in my heart, and so I have hope that does not disappoint. I rest in the promise of heaven in Your presence. I pray in the name of Jesus. Amen.

“During the last watch of the night the Lord looked down from the pillar of fire and cloud at the Egyptian army and threw it into confusion” (Exodus 14:24).

Learn more in Dr. Michael Youssef’s sermon Treasure That Lasts: Giving Up Gold for Glory, Part 9: LISTEN NOW

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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