Read Exodus 17:8-16.

These days no one wants to lose. It doesn’t feel good, and some people inevitably get upset. So what do we do? We get rid of winning and losing. We give everyone a trophy. We pretend the competition doesn’t matter. We pretend everyone has already won.

There are even some people who pretend they’ve already won their spiritual battles. They pretend they don’t really need to fight. They pretend that the war between the Spirit and their flesh doesn’t really exist. But spiritual battles are real, and if we don’t fight them, we lose.

As those who have been made new in Christ, the way we fight is different than you might think. We do not achieve victory by doing, but by surrendering. We must surrender to the Holy Spirit, who calls us to walk in the way everlasting. And only total surrender will win the fight.

We see a picture of this in the Israelites’ battle with the Amalekites. God gave His people the edge as long as Moses’ hands were lifted high with his staff over his head. Whenever his hands fell, the Amalekites began to overpower them. Victory required total surrender to God’s ways.

In your spiritual battles, don’t give up the fight. Whatever you do, don’t settle for partial obedience. Keep surrendering to Jesus, no matter what comes. Only unconditional obedience will bring you the victory.

Prayer: Lord, I want to surrender to You. Forgive me for trying to fight in my own strength. Help me to trust You to win my battles as I walk in Your ways. I pray in the name of Jesus. Amen.

“As long as Moses held up his hands, the Israelites were winning, but whenever he lowered his hands, the Amalekites were winning” (Exodus 17:11).

Learn more in Dr. Michael Youssef’s sermon Treasure That Lasts: Giving Up Gold for Glory, Part 11: 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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