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Devotionals by Dr. Michael Youssef

Week of November 18

Staying With God’s Program

Have you ever been trapped by fear? When we allow fear to build up and to affect us continuously, we begin losing not only our joy, but also our effectiveness in witnessing. Ever present fear steals our God-given potential. It causes us to keep quiet instead of testifying to God’s salvation.

Fear keeps us from reclaiming our workplaces, neighborhoods, and schools for Christ. Fear keeps us from giving generously of ourselves to the work of God. Fear keeps us from telling everyone we know about the One who saved us eternally.

Our only hope against conquering fear is faith. Like a see-saw, when faith is up, fear will go down. Fear will hold us back, but faith in God will lift us up. We can find comfort in the words of the psalmist: “God is our refuge and strength, an ever-present help in trouble. Therefore we will not fear, though the earth give way and the mountains fall into the heart of the sea” (Psalm 46:1–2).

Joshua 6. As Joshua faced the fortified walls of Jericho, he must have had his doubts. But instead of giving into fear, he responded with unquestioned obedience to God’s battle plan. And that is what faith is all about—it is expressed in obedience.

Even if God’s strategy doesn’t make sense to us, faith will compel us to obey. The more time we spend with God and studying His Word, the easier it becomes to exercise complete trust in His promises. As we develop intimacy with God, we can better hear His voice and understand what He is leading us to do and to say. As Scripture reminds us: “Your word is a lamp to my feet and a light for my path” (Psalm 119:105).

Whenever we act in obedience, God can work through us to touch even the most hardened hearts. Whenever we follow His strategy, He will give us success. He will give us our Jericho, causing the walls to crumble. The secret of Joshua’s success at Jericho was not his own military ingenuity, but his obedience to God’s plan.

When we seek to obey and to spend time in His presence, God will give us the words to speak to someone who does not know Him. He will tell us when to speak, and when to remain silent. He is the God of the harvest; He knows when the fruit is ready—and when it is not. When we are still and know that He is God, He will guide our words, our steps, and our minds. He will bless our service to Him, and He will overwhelm all of our fears.

This does not mean that we will not make mistakes or occasionally give in to fear or self-serving interests. Read Joshua 7. When Achan deliberately disobeyed God’s command, he brought failure to the entire nation. The Lord told Joshua the reason for the failure at Ai: “Israel has sinned. … That is why the Israelites cannot stand against their enemies; they turn their backs and run because they have been made liable to destruction. I will not be with you anymore unless you destroy whatever among you is devoted to destruction” (Joshua 7:11,12).

When we fail, one of the hardest things we must do is confront the reason for our failure— especially if it is the consequence of a hidden sin in our life. Unconfessed sin keeps us from being effective witnesses for Christ. That is why we must constantly purge these sins from our lives. When we confess and walk away from those sins, we will find a new beginning in our lives. Ai was eventually defeated, but only after the sin was purged.

Are you facing a Jericho today? What menacing obstacle stands in the way of your victory? What hindrance keeps you from sharing about Christ? Is it fear of rejection, failure, or being embarrassed? Or perhaps you have recently had a failure at Ai. What hidden sin is lurking in your camp? Confess it to God today and seek His help in purging that sin from your life.

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About Leading The Way

Along with partners committed to changing the world, Dr. Michael Youssef is leading the way for people living in spiritual darkness to discover the light of Christ. By passionately proclaiming uncompromising Truth through print, web, television, and radio, this international team of experts is uniquely providing hope that is revolutionizing lives at home — and around the world.

What began as a small local radio ministry in 1988 has grown into an international ministry reaching millions for Christ — including a vast audience in the Muslim world seeking Truth in closed countries. Leading The Way's television and radio programs are broadcast in more than 25 languages to audiences across six continents. Leading The Way also produces DVDs, CDs, books, a monthly devotional magazinesolar-powered Navigators, and daily e-devotionals to spread the light of Christ. In 2009, the ministry launched its own 24/7 satellite TV channel, reaching the Muslim world with Gospel programming in English, Arabic, French, and Indonesian. Leading The Way utilizes field teams to evangelize and disciple viewers in closed countries and help persecuted Christians on the ground.

Dr. Youssef and the Leading The Way staff are committed to sharing the Gospel with the lost and equipping believers to grow into a deeper walk with Christ. Learn how you can partner with this unique ministry today.

About Dr. Michael Youssef

Michael Youssef, Ph.D., is the Founder and President of Leading The Way with Dr. Michael Youssef, a worldwide ministry that leads the way for people living in spiritual darkness to discover the light of Christ through the creative use of media and field ministry teams. His weekly television programs and daily radio programs are broadcast more than 13,000 times per week in multiple languages throughout the world. He is also the founding pastor of The Church of The Apostles in Atlanta, Georgia.

Dr. Youssef was born in Egypt and lived in Lebanon and Australia before coming to the United States. In 1984, he fulfilled a childhood dream of becoming an American citizen. Dr. Youssef holds degrees from Moore College in Sydney, Australia; Fuller Theological Seminary in California; and a Ph.D. in social anthropology from Emory University. He has authored more than 30 books, including his most recent, Fearless Living in Troubled Times. He and his wife reside in Atlanta and have four grown children and 10 grandchildren.

Contact Leading The Way with Dr. Michael Youssef

Mailing Address
Leading The Way
P.O. Box 20100
Atlanta, GA 30325
Telephone: 
(404) 841-0100 
Toll Free Number:
(800) 337-5323