Share This Episode
Leading the Way Michael Youssef Logo

Counting Stars in an Empty Sky (Part 1)

Leading the Way / Michael Youssef
The Truth Network Radio
September 2, 2019 1:00 am

Counting Stars in an Empty Sky (Part 1)

Leading the Way / Michael Youssef

On-Demand Podcasts NEW!

This broadcaster has 464 podcast archives available on-demand.

Broadcaster's Links

Keep up-to-date with this broadcaster on social media and their website.

Renewing Your Mind
R.C. Sproul
Renewing Your Mind
R.C. Sproul
Renewing Your Mind
R.C. Sproul
Line of Fire
Dr. Michael Brown
Summit Life
J.D. Greear

This is a message from leading the way with Dr. Michael. You sat we pray that it will encourage you in your walk of faith. If you would like to learn more about Dr. you Seth for leading the way, please visit LTW.or the guy I'm commencing this new series and startled counting stars when you can see none for when God promised Abraham that his new sentence will be as many as the stars in the sky in the heavens, Abraham had gone no children whatsoever, but also as you look at Abraham's journey of faith.

You gonna see is not a smooth sailing you're gonna find that he faced all sorts of challenges he faced difficulties he faced doubt and fear in his life he faced his own demons he faced sin and failure. He faced opposition of all sorts and he faced many a temptation to stop counting stars. When God said to him, down stars, but in the long run. The reason Abraham is the central figure.

Make no mistake about it, Abraham is the central figure in the Old Testament and the reason for that is because he On counting stars regardless of the circumstances, regardless of the discouragement he got them counting stars when he could see none only had basically is God's own word, the God of power and might, spoke to him and he said that since that's enough for me. Here's what you got understand he did not have a Bible. He did not have a Bible study he did not have a small group to go to. They did not have a discipleship program. He did not have a church and another preacher.

Maybe that's for the best but only had is the word of the Almighty God, who said him Abraham start counting stars.

I know you have none right now but you start counting so I wanted to turn with me please to Genesis 12 God commands Abraham's of Abraham go out of your country, leave your country and get out dryland. I'm going to show you. He did not go on Google Earth to check out and see what kind of land it is we didn't have it. He said I'll make you a great nation. I bless you and through you all the families of the earth gonna be blessed now listen to me very carefully because I want you to see in Abraham's life America for your life in my life because it is for like Abraham, God called every single believer in the Lord Jesus Christ to come out all of the old country. He called every one of us who came from the country of sin because sin with which we are born every one of us were in that country where we born turning back to God. That's the old country for all of us as the country of sin is the country of rebellion in it to come to the living God is the country of pre-Christian life is it if you like. Everyone of us was born okay him out of the of Chaldees just like Abraham and then at some point God said to everyone of us, and follow me. Get out of your life of sin turn away from the old ways. With all of its selfishness with all of his stubbornness and rebellion and wanting to do your own thing with all of its selfish ambitions. With all of its confusion with all of his lost mess with all of its doubt and come and follow me. Seth everyone of us.

I will forgive your sins through the blood of my son Jesus Christ. I will heal your wounded spirit in your wounded soul. I'm gonna bind your broken heart. I will adopt you as my child give you a new identity. I will give you a heart that desires obedience to me. I will adopt you as a child of the King of Kings and you will become an heir and inheritor of all that belongs to Jesus, you are no longer be lost, but you belong to me will bless you as you trust me as your baby as you walk with me as you serve me from now on, I wanted to start counting stars ever heard.

God says to you when you become a believer with all the joy and excitement of becoming a new believer. God says okay now you can start counting stars and what you stars are different from mine, and vice versa. I am the God of power and might, I called you to myself for a reason. Here's a tragic situation, and in many ways. That's what happened to Abraham that after we come to Christ after we surrender our lives to him after the joy in the excitement of knowing that I am a child of the living God.

God forgave me all of my sins that he saved me internally that now I have this assurance of eternal life. After all the excitement is worn off, we get bogged down in our harangue say what is that Iran is a spiritual Las Vegas next message. I'll focus more on it but in that spiritual harangue what happens in harangue does not stay in harangue and there are many believers who get the harangue, the land of compromise and the land of confusion and they never moved to greater heights. The very thing that God called you for the very thing that God saved you for the very thing that God redeemed you for we never move to this greater land of promise and blessing with the Bible calls moving from one point of glory into another. We begin well and we start well when we say yes to Jesus, but then before long we begin to mix the old with the new. I am praying to the Lord that he will use this series of messages to challenge us like is never challenge us before challenge us to do what challenges us to give up mediocrity to throw away halfhearted faith to throw away heartland living to throw away the temptation of going into Egypt and staying in Egypt to throw away doubt and disobedience and begin to move the higher planes of God's power and might and glory men don't ever forget that when God called Abraham. Abraham his whole family were idolaters they were worshiping idols. In fact, many, many, many years later, his grandson Jacob goes back to Abraham's ancestors and their his uncle Laban kept idols practice wife Rachel stolen the idol worshipers.

There were not super spiritual worshiping idols. There is nothing more offensive to God than when his own children who claim to know him, or claim to love him. Those whom he redeemed on those whom he saved begin to mix your life with the new life; how do you know that in the book of Revelation, Jesus makes it very clear when he speaks to the believers in the city of Lago Senior, who were having 1 foot in the world and 1 foot with God were Jesus and he said your lukewarmness is making me want to vomit.

I wish you were either cold or hot and when Abraham got halfway to Canaan, he decided to stay in harangue.

Admittedly, they some of the historian said was his father's influence.

In fact, brought this father.he moved on and continued on the journey but harangue is always a symbol of compromise. Compromise.

Compromise and when God had to come and get him out of harangue, God was a zealous God, and he wanted him to leave that life of halfhearted Miss though some Christians believers. They cannot take being falsely accused of all sorts of false things that are all false that we are unloving that we are prejudice and that we don't believe in equality in all of these false accusations I have known some pastors who because they could not stand these false accusations. They decided to compromise with the world in order to be accepted.

Beloved, listen to me when he should not be surprised that the world hate us. Jesus said, he said. The world will hate you because you hated me. The world will have hates our righteousness. The world hates uprightness. The world hates our biblical standards and that should not surprise us. In fact, we should be expecting.

Let me show you from the Scripture in the epistle to the Hebrews Chapter 11 in verse seven is says of no or by his faith. He condemned the world know I didn't condemn the world, he actually was inviting people to come into the ark the same the world but the world felt condemned by the faith of Noah and you don't even have to open your mouth. Your uprightness is going to make those who hate God angry.

Don't be surprised. In fact, you need to rejoice when your false records what Jesus said in the Beatitudes rejoice when they falsely accuse you, for my sake and God asked Abraham to leave all of his past behind to leave what is dear and near behind to leave it and move to the place is never seen.

And maybe ever, never heard off and so Abraham found himself nearly alone, but here he wasn't alone. He had Yahweh.

And that's everything. Genesis 12. Look at verses two and three, God made certain promises to Abraham and God makes those promises to everyone we repent of our sins and turn to the living God. He mixes promises not only forgive your sins. I'm gonna walk with you, my child. I love you. You will never ever be forgotten or forsaken, and here's what he says I will make you into a great nation.

I will bless you, I will make your name great, you will be a blessing I will bless those who bless you I will curse those who curse you, I will make sure that the whole world.

Be blessed through you. How many wills did you count but also Satan says I will did you know that in Isaiah chapter 15 Satan said I will five times in Isaiah 15.

His word said I will ascend to heaven, I will raise my throne. I will sit in thy throne on the mount of assembly.

I will ascend above the clouds, I will make myself like the most high, and for this, boasting he got kicked out of heaven. But in Genesis 12 there is also several I wills missing. I know many of you would testify to this whenever I say I will I get into trouble whenever God says I will and I got along with God. I get blessed.

In fact, here in Genesis 12 God promised Abraham seven things to be exact seven things in return only asked Abraham to do is to walk away from his past walk away and leave behind the old country. With all of its idols.

With all of its idol worship to a land that he will show him. Let's look at the sevenfold blessings together. By the way, everyone of the sevenfold blessings fulfilled in Jesus Christ. I'm going to show you from the Scripture. Everyone of them who, according to the book of Romans and Galatians. These seed in the singular of Abraham. Blessing number one.

I will show you a land by the way, as you read those blessings make a note, you gonna find a natural progression you move from one point of glory into another. You don't get stuck in the Christian life. There is a progression.

The first blessing is says I'll show you a land go to the very last the seventh of the last one.

He says I'll give you a land that amazing.

I show you a land but I'm going to give it to you. You go from seeing to receiving and that is why a total trust is a key. What is the started as I show you a land being you possess the land.

God often works that way with you and me. He really does. He begins by saying I'm going to show your great blessings that are all yours and stored for you as you walk with me as you serve me as you present the first and foremost in your life all the way to saying you going to possess. You gonna rule and reign with him forever. As always gets to me. It really does when ever I choose my grandmas I get clobbered. But whatever God chooses and I follow his choice. I am totally blessed.

I know many of you would testify to that.

But please, please, please be careful when you adamantly want your way when is I want this. I want this.

I want this unit got my give it to you for a time. My let you have it for the time but be careful because a blessing is not on the other end. But when he takes you by the hand and take you to where he wants you to go you get blessed out of your socks. Blessing number two I will make you a great nation that this is the first of many unconditional promises that God made and just as well as being unconditional because of her was conditional who never made it ever was conditional on Abraham's perfection. If it's conditional Abraham's performance.

It was conditional on the faithfulness of his descendents there would never have made it.

These folks talk about Abraham's descendents. They messed up royally again and again and again in the Scripture we see it clearly that there are conditional promises that there are unconditional promises. Here's the problem. Many Christians confuse the two, and they go unclaimed from God, a conditional promise without meeting the condition. Are you with me when God chose us in Christ. That was his pure grace is unconditional had nothing to do with us. We had nothing that would endear us to him we had nothing to do with it. But then in our Christian walk.

There are number of conditional promises and I wanted to remember this when God made that unconditional promise to Abraham. Abraham as I said was 75 years old and Sarah his wife was 65. That's not in the fund still to come. And make no difference when God says start counting stars. There were retirement age still drawing Social Security. Is there such a thing of counting stars when you see none that is faith in the biblical pure biblical sense but God I'm all start counting stars Abraham hope that God what if I wander away from you will keep counting stars Abraham, but God. What if my descendents get away from you start counting stars all but God. One of my descendents become idol worship is one of the worship bailed down the road you keep on counting stars Abraham, but God what will happen if this takes place without that you keep counting stars. Why because the greatness of his descendents was as spiritual greatness because this unconditional promise is fulfilled in his one and only descendent the seed of Abraham in the singular. Nothing the plural Jesus Christ and millions of people today around the world come to worship the living God because of Jesus and because all of these blessings are fulfilled in Jesus and everyone. Paul said, who is following Jesus is a descendent of Abraham. No wonder in John chapter 8 when Jesus said, before Abraham was, I got so mad I want to kill him.

Blessing number three I will bless you. You personally did you get that I will bless you, that's another thing that gets to me the promise of making a great nation when he has no children at nothing itself is mind-boggling and selfless is absolutely mind chattering because is now in addition to that Abraham I'm going to bless you personally, my beloved, I can testify to the fact that in the last few decades, and I'm witnessing to the Lord. I'm not witnessing to me.

I'm witnessing to him with all my heart I sought the kingdom of God and his righteousness every waking moment I seek to serve and glorify Jesus and to my utter over whelming amazement.

I get blessed in the process.

I did not expect it. But that's the way God works him a ride please. There is nothing wrong with you to ask God to bless you. Did you get that there is nothing wrong with it. I just happen not to ask God for I just asked God to bless the ministry and the work of my hand. I spent my time praying for others and pray for the kingdom of God has been much every waking moment seeking first the kingdom of God. But in the process I get blessed out of my socks. Blessing number four. I will make your name great and you will bless the world of the world will be blessed by you to be sure the full 4000 years, Christians, Jews, first Christians and Muslims are all claim Abraham for the father. But what's the name of Abraham stands for that name stands for immovable faith and trust in the living God. The name stands for what God promised that name stands for what God had done that name stands for God's faithfulness and so God change his name from Abram to Abraham which means the father of many. Galatians chapter 3 verse 14 tells us that Abraham's greatest descendent by far is the Lord Jesus Christ and the world is blessed by coming to Jesus today. The whole world is blessed by that one descendent of Abraham people from every nation, from every tongue from every tribe. They are saved and they are redeemed and they are rejoicing in their salvation. Even in the midst of persecution because of the one descendent of Abraham, the Lord Jesus Christ.

Blessing five and six move very quickly of did not leave much time but he says I will bless those who bless you, Denise and I will curse those who curse you throughout history we see that in the Old Testament particular God fulfilled the promise again and again and again and again. I wish I can't give you a lot of examples but couple of examples.

When Joseph, the great grandson of Abraham, was sold into slavery in Egypt. The Bible said that God blessed Egypt because of Joseph. Rahab the prostitute when they're finally returning going into the promised land into Canaan, the Bible said that God blessed her and her family because of what you did for his robe and on and on and on. I could go on how God fulfilled this promise, literally and in spiritual in every other way. Now, as believers, and if you stand up in any way for your face to go to be enemies. You don't like enemies. I can tell you is the Lord, my witness, I have no enemies as nobody was my enemy from my point of view, it doesn't matter what they bring out my enemies, but they set themselves as our enemies. We don't do it, but they do they view themselves as our enemies and we don't have to fight them in any way whatsoever. In fact, we stand still and he will fight the battles for us, for God promised if they continue in their enmity. He will take care of them and he does a far better job than any of us can vengeance is mine says the Lord. I was talking to a young man who was so angry of some injustice that happened to him and he was angry and he wants to do something I said the blessing of living little longer. As I watch God do a much better job.

Be patient.

And sure enough, a few weeks later Dr. care of the problem for him and proved his faithfulness blessing number seven. I will give your offspring. This land at the time when this promise was given. Abraham had no offspring and he had no land that is article counting stars when you see none but that's not all.

Abraham and Sarah died and there were married without owning land and that amazing is amazing. And yet 400+ years later God fulfills his promise to the descendents of Abraham, and they receive the land of promise. God's promises. Beloved, listen to God's promise it will be fulfilled in the third on the fourth and the fifth and the sixth and the 10th generation. God's promises are more real than I'm standing right here in front of you.

Let me tell you this, as I conclude, Jesus made number of promises that you can literally stick to the bank in Matthew 1128 and 29, he said, to me, come unto me all who are weary and burdened. Take my yoke upon you and learn from me, and you will find rest for your soul and I don't know about you, and on the way you're in your walk.

You might be carrying a refrigerator on your back, you might be feeling so burdened and so weary and so tired but this is a promise of God to you.

You will come to him and he will unload that load on himself already has done that on the cross. Anyway, in Matthew 1921 Jesus's word to the rich young man. He said if you want what is eternal.

Give up your idols, give them away and come and follow me, and then are you going to have untold treasures in heaven. This, my beloved friends is the principal of God's calling to Abraham leave behind your country leave behind all people leave behind your land.

Leave behind your household and go to the land that you cannot see but I will show you and I'll make you a great nation, and I'll bless you all make your name great and I'll bless those who bless you I will curse those who curse you and I will give you the land, the Bible said Abraham obeyed, not because he had seen any evidence with his own eyes. He didn't even know where that land was, but he believed God, he took him at his word.

Beloved, listen to me when you place your halt confidence and trust in God's word even when you see no evidence whatsoever. God will keep you up on counting stars that my beloved friends is honoring to the Lord and that is the kind of faith that God honors father you promises a clear your promises of faithful because you are faithful and replace our faith, not in a man, not even in an assembly not in a church. Northern pastors but will place them squarely on the Lord Jesus Christ, we thank you that in him all the promises are yeah and amen and we thank you that he and he alone can truly bless us and make us a blessing. May we seek with all of our hearts. In the days to come in his name I pray, amen

Get The Truth Mobile App and Listen to your Favorite Station Anytime