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Looking Up When Life's Got You Down (Part 7)

Leading the Way / Michael Youssef
The Truth Network Radio
October 3, 2019 1:00 am

Looking Up When Life's Got You Down (Part 7)

Leading the Way / Michael Youssef

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Freedom means a lot of things to a lot of people. To those who are living under the tyranny of dictatorships look longingly to subsidence that is experiencing democracy and freedom. And yet so many of those who live in democracy and freedom of slaves to conformity those for suffering religious persecution.

Look longingly the countries that experiences religious freedom and yet so many people in those countries where religious freedom is experienced are slaves to sin and Satan.

Well, you see, there are many people who really think that freedom is a freedom to do whatever they want.

There are some who think that freedom is or means freedom from God. There are those who think that God and his word about factors that need to be torn asunder.

There are those who think that freedom means freedom from God and his words that are like accords need to fall apart while in reality, those who think this way are true slaves of sin and Satan. Only those who belong to the Lord Jesus Christ.

No true freedom. Repeat this only those who know the Lord Jesus Christ know what it is to be free. I want to explain why. Throughout his earthly ministry, the Lord Jesus Christ demonstrated over and over and over again, his power, his authority over Satan and his demons.

In Matthew chapter 1714 and following Jesus delivered those who were demon possessed in Mark chapter 1 verse 32 on following Jesus demonstrated his power, his absolute power to control the evil spirits by telling them to shut up and they said yes sir in Mark chapter 5 verses 1 to 13 Jesus commanded the multitude of demons to get out of one man who was possessed and get into the pigs and they obeyed in Luke chapter 4 verses 32 to 35 demons were terrified at the name of the Lord Jesus and in acts chapter 19 beginning at verse eight we see something that is very significant and it is that Jesus himself has given has authorized his apostles to exercise that same power over the demons wanted to turn to ask 19 eight but Jesus indeed delegated his authority over Satan and all his evil spirits, but his apostles, but there in acts 19 verses eight and following the something else that is a very very very important. I wanted to listen to me very carefully place because here we see the absolute danger of wanting the power of Jesus without submitting to the authority of Jesus. Here we see the absolute danger of having 1 foot in the world and 1 foot in the church we see the danger of wanting all the blessings that come from Jesus Christ without surrendering to Jesus Christ. Here we see the danger of wanting the best of both worlds are called here is the danger of singing with the saints and then sitting with the sinners. Here is a danger of being religious without being redeemed.

Here is a danger of wanting all of the benefits without any of the responsibilities. Here we see the danger of appearing to be a Christian on Sunday and then living like the devil for the rest of the week. Here we see the danger of wanting to please God, but they want to please self at the same time. Here is a danger of being a Luke warm. Remember to be a Christian is both privilege and responsibility in the average Christian is very happy to receive all of the benefits, the average Christian is very happy to be saved and sanctified the average Christian is very happy to get all of the privileges but none of the responsibilities. No wonder Satan rejoices over the state of the church today to have those writing power of Jesus Christ, that you must do some things and then you expect some things you do some things for the Lord and then you expect some things from him what that the Florida number first. When you have boldness in your life when you practice bold proclamation versus eight, nine and 10. It is only then can you expect God is faithful confirmation upon you and upon your life and upon your family and upon your business verses 11 to 12 is when you are unable to discern false imitation that you will expect the word of God to dominate his when you're bold for Christ.

You can expect God's confirmation upon you and upon your life when you are discerning, you can expect the word of God to dominate not only where you are personally but where you are even geographically understood the freedom and the power that comes from surrendering to the Lord Jesus Christ. I wanted to hear me right. I have counseled enough Christians to know that the average Christian wants to be a smorgasbord Christian God.

I want to do this and I will do this but I will do this and I will do the other thing that is not Christianity.

As far as the Bible is concerned when your desire is to unleash the power of the word of God. God is going to give you more power. Meanwhile, what's gonna happen. There's going to be partners on the part of others. It doesn't mean is going to be smooth sailing. It doesn't mean that when you're bold everything is going to work the way you wanted to work with what you think it works. None of the know this gonna be hardness of heart.

This cannot be opposition is going to be difficulties that winged tough times.

But the good news is, Jesus said, I have overcome the world. The good news is Jesus said that he was with us is greater than he was in the world. That's the good news of the gospel.

I wanted to look at acts chapter 19 verse 10 because it tells us about those who had hardness of heart. I'm really confident in a minute but I want to tell you. First of all, that boldness was the hallmark of the apostles. Paul's life boldness was the hallmark of the apostle Paul's ministry boldness was the hallmark of the apostle Paul's preaching. I please. There are some people who often confuse boldness with rudeness that is not it. There are some who think that the secret of boldness is belligerence absolutely not true boldness only comes from a complete surrender to the Lord Jesus Christ. True boldness only comes from a total submission to the will of the Lord Jesus Christ in your life. True boldness only comes from a total commitment not halfhearted commitment that we face in the church today.

Listen to me very carefully. I am yet to see someone I am yet to meet someone who has surrendered his or her life totally and completely to the Lordship of Jesus Christ and are living in fear and doubt. I have met one.

I am yet to meet someone whose only desire is to please the living God is to please the Lord Jesus Christ and they are timid about the biblical truth, I am yet to meet someone who fears no one but God and isn't terminated by the enemies of the truth of the gospel, I haven't met one yet polls bold proclamation in the synagogue for three months met with some hardness of heart, but that did not that there but did not stop him. That did not discourage him. That did not cause him to give the closing destroying the talents of Robin to be something else. No no no no, he continued on, but not limited tell you about the hardness of the heart that Paul is experiencing. Listen very carefully because that is a disease that seem to be touching a lot of Christians.

The hardness of the heart against God is a process. It doesn't happen just overnight.

It is a very slow and laborious process if you want to develop a callus anywhere in your body anywhere in your skin all you need to do. Just keep rubbing keep on rubbing keep on rubbing that same spot every day several times a day.

Keep rubbing that's what I've met people actually have no feelings in their hands they work with hard Robeson and heavy machinery that they have no feeling in their heads and had calluses callus hands.

Just keep on rubbing in the same spot. Sooner or later you will develop a callus begun to develop a hardness in that area of your body. It works the same way. Spiritually, when you repeatedly keep on rejecting God's truth when you repeatedly keep on ignoring God's conviction of sin in your life when you repeatedly keep on going back to the same sin when you keep on muffling the voice of God that is trying to speak to you and bring you the conviction I want to tell you your heart will become callous and hardened, it will not stop there. It will not stop the sea hardness of heart.

Eventually going to give way to a total rejection. That is why the Scripture says today if you hear his voice, harden not your hearts.

You know why one is Scripture repeatedly says today today today when you hear his voice hard and not too hard because the word of God, and God knows that what is going to happen.

The process is going to begin, and then the callus is going to take place in your country and your mind and in your heart and then is going to be harder for God to get through to you, but boldness is not deterred by the hardness of the heart. When Paul was thrown out of the synagogue.

He went to the hall that was owned by a philosopher, a Greek philosopher by the name of tardiness.

Now the word means our tyrant. Obviously it's a nickname that his students gave to their professors to their philosopher and in the Greek culture.

It was common in all Greek cities for the prominent philosophers to own their own hole where they will teach the students that's a very common practice of most Greek cities and they normally taught the students in the early hours of the morning in the cool of the day and then in the cool of evening, but these calls were empty between noon and 4 o'clock in the afternoon so the apostle Paul who didn't have much money. It was working with his own hands to support himself was able to rent it cheaply because in the heat of the day when everybody is having a sister nobody's using that hall so he would rent that in order to preach the gospel of Jesus Christ. Right in the heat of the day between 12 noon and four in the afternoon and there he would persuade anyone who would listen about the gospel of Jesus Christ.

For two years for two years.

I wanted to hear. I please.

Boldness does not give up. It does not give up and that is why boldness will always always receive. Secondly, the faithful confirmation of God. Look at verses 11 and 12 of acts 19 polls bold proclamation was confirmed by the Lord. I hear people all the time.

I wish I can get confirmation from the Lord. I wish I could hear the Lord saying something to me. Listen, you need to begin by examining your own life. Have you ceased to be bold for Jesus.

Have you ceased to be bold about your faith.

Have you ceased to be bold about the truth because when you are bold in your walk with God and in your ministry and in your life. God will confirm he will give you confirmation. He will bless your ministry he'll bless the work of your hands.

Whatever you do, you gonna prosper because God always gives confirmation to boldness. In fact, we here in this passage we see the extraordinary miracles that has never happened before or since that took place with the apostle Paul, not just sick of being healed, not just demon possessed were set free. But even apron and handkerchiefs things has never happened before or since were healing people that took place. Why, because God is faithful and he will always confirm and encourage the boldness of his saints.

When he refused to be intimidated when you refuse to be silenced. God will bless you.

There's a certain blessing with your name written all over it.

That's reserved for those who will not be intimidated. God promise to be faithful to those who are faithful, God promised that he will honor those who honor him. The Lord Jesus Christ himself said if you are ashamed of me before people on earth. I'm going to be ashamed of you in the day when you come to my father's presence in heaven hitting the right place if you are a timid person. If you're timid about your faith. Do not expect extraordinary blessings to come upon you. Why because extraordinary blessings only follows boldness and bold line for Jesus Christ, but another something else that is very important here whenever boldness is exercised.

True gospel preaching true witnessing to Christian living takes place. Imitators are not far behind.

Whenever God's people are faithful. There are those who like to imitate the which brings us to the third point false imitators that copycatted as are always there ready to exploit the situation.

Imitators are always ready to exploit people, the crooks are always ready to use God's name and God's power to serve their own purposes will always be there. They with their back then that are here now will always be there. See Ephesus was no exception. Look at verses 13, 14, 15, 16, of acts 19 you know what, the saddest part about the imitators and the false teachers and the false preachers of the false Christians you know the saddest part about this from my perspective.

The saddest part is that so many of the Christians cannot distinguish between the true and the false swelling of the Christians. I'm not able to discern the truth from falsehood probably breaks my heart more than anything else in the world. In fact, remind me of an incident with as I was looking through this and I was sifting through the Scripture. And I remember back in 1979 was my first visit to Athens, Greece, and like everybody else I wanted to see the Acropolis I went to the Acropolis and there I saw all these tourists and every one of them would pick a piece of the marble and take it home with them. I was fascinated with one thing. How come these pieces of marble never run out.

This is going on for centuries to Chicago from all over the world.

Everyone will think a piece of marble and go whole. So I turned to my guide as it please explain to me how come this marble has not run out. He grinned and he said it's very simple answer very simple answer is it every few months.

A truckload of marble pieces from occurring few miles away is no business side and then spread around the sport tourists are going home thinking that they piece of the real fighting excited. They got a piece of the Acropolis a piece of marble going home thinking they got the real thing when in reality they had nothing but a bunch of marble so delivered the night before on the truck thought of how many churchgoers are deceived of how many folks are being deceived between the truth and untruth.

How many Christians who are being deceived by all kinds of dictations of the real thing. How many Christians are of falling for this all unknown biblical worldviews that are spreading all over around us anything, even in some traditionally Christian schools. I thought of how incredible that this section is in these days that we live in. And here is an example. Chapter 19 of the book of acts 13 to 16 C in Ephesus there was a man by the name of Siva Skiba or Shiva in the way he has seven sons.

He had seven sons and they belong to the high priestly family. When the Bible called high priest in Ephesus and the high priest in Ephesus means that they belong to the high priestly family, what, whether they were actually themselves demon possessed and they would doing the magic work, they were exercising. So in a minute. How can a demon exercise a demon very simple he was possessed with a more powerful demon exercise Alyssa powerful beam of the Bible tells us that in the invisible army of Satan. There are ranks. There is order. There are generals there are foot soldiers. There are kernels there are all kinds. There are powers in the principalities, there's a rank, and Satan is invisible army and those who exercise other people who are demon possessed, they basically using a more powerful demon exercise a lesser powerful beam and that's with Siva and his seven sons would doing very were like modern-day pluralistic society. They really are. I wanted to focus with me just women, they were not very discriminating at all.

Whichever one would work that will take a long whichever evil spirit will they add them to the repertoire didn't make any difference. Like so many preachers of this day think that diversity is a great thing and cannot distinguish between Moses and Jesus and then Allah and Mohammed and Boudin Krishna and is it all is the same Shiva and his children were like that.

They wanted to add Jesus's name to the last have to do anything just the name to the list and it's okay that she was not a Christian. He knew Jesus only from what he saw happening in the ministry of the apostle Paul and the apostles. He wanted Jesus's power, but he did not surrender to Jesus as a thought that he wanted Jesus's supernatural strength without submitting to Jesus's power. So he invoked the name of Jesus and one of his magic show. As he was about to exercise one of those weaker demon possessed weaker spirits. What happened Satan actually knew more than these magicians and these guys he said Jesus I know Paul I know you think they did not understand the name of Jesus is no magical shop.

The name of Jesus is not to be used by Weimar. The name of Jesus is so uniquely authentic is so uniquely true is so uniquely.

I thought that there the name of Jesus as the power above all powers. The name of Jesus is the authority over all authorities. The name of Jesus is above all arenas. The name of Jesus. Overall, principalities over all demons, and they tremble at the name of Jesus. You see, that's why people do not want to mention the name of Jesus in public because there's power in the name of Jesus, but you have to learn the hard way he was addressing some of those demon possessed the converse. 13 acts 19 and sit command in the name of Jesus at home. Paul preaches and demons is what I know who Jesus is and I know who Paul is but who are you not only that but the demon possessed man with the evil spirit strength was able to give them all up good beating but not only that, he tore the closing have to run out in the street naked don't undermine the power of the name of Jesus spent a magical name.

It's power. The believers discerned truth from falsehood and in doing so, it led to the domination of the word of God.

You see whenever Jesus's power is contrasted with the power of Satan and the evil one, hands down. Jesus will win all the time whenever God's truth is contrasted to Satan's falsehood. The truth will win in the long run. No matter how long it may take when the Ephesians saw what the evil spirits did these false imitators, they turned to the Lord and they submitted to the authority of the word of God and they did not do this just as every action to what was happening.

They did not do this on a temporary basis. They did not do this just with words, only but they did it by lighting a match to $5 million worth of occult paraphernalia that they were practicing. That's equivalent amount of money for today, my beloved friends I want to tell you something. This is true repentance. This is true repentance is true repentance is not to keep on going back to the bottle.

True repentance is not to keep going back to those websites that you know you're not supposed to go there in the magazines and the books that you keep true repentance is not the keep on going back to the places of sin that you know you are in disobedience to the word of God. True repentance is his pandering of the paraphernalia of sin Ephesus was renowned for its cultic activities and so when the fear of the Lord came upon them, they were ready to surrender and they did not count the cost. I wanted to cry that moment and sell God give us men and women who would surrender to the authority of Jesus Christ count the cost.

Sometimes we think we give got 10% and then just do our thing that God is pleased with what we doing now.

God is more interested in the 90% that you keep in your pocket than the 10% to giving when they recognize that enslavement to sin and Satan, there were ready to be liberated when the Ephesians saw the real freedom they were ready to give up the false one and that is why when they witness the freedom from sin. They gave up enslavement to Satan. I will tell you this, as I conclude that I wanted to listen very carefully. This is something I thought about and reflect on several times. You see, Hollywood likes to portray a herd of wild horses strong and free roaming about roving and the planes and the hills frolicking with reckless abandon.

No restraint whatsoever, not there is an agenda here.

The agenda is.

They want to present this romantic fantasy can be ours.

This romantic fantasy of freeing the wild can belong to men and women only if they choose. It unbridled fashion of freedom have the best of both worlds, but nothing would be further from the truth. Listen to me. This is Satan's lie of presenting false freedom.society wild horses just like human beings. They fall slaves to the closed system of entrapment as a matter of fact, the Department of the Interior compiled overwhelming evidence that these mustangs which roam freely in the West that are held up as a model for society for humanity. They are not free at all. The breed literally deteriorates. They said that the bloodline is a mess that horses often fall prey to predators. They talk about the lack of food and nutrition there often first victims to natural disasters and diseases that are easily get injured and cripple and when they get infected. They die a very slow and very painful. Furthermore, the document from the Department of Interior said they never realize, of course, the full potential of the good life that comes from being harnessed broken to the bin. For groomed what fed balanced nutrition food, and in this case, freedom is not really freedom at all and Anke who says it. If you think that freedom is doing your thing. If you think that freedom is living independent of God. If you think that freedom is breaking of God's laws. If you think that freedom is picking and choosing which part of God's word to obey which part to believe which bark not to believe if you think that freedom is giving God the crumbs that fall off your table, spiritually speaking, you will be just like the wild horses and end up as food for the wild animals. My friend is only one true freedom. That is the freedom of surrendering to the Lord Jesus Christ. Thanks for listening to this message from Dr. Michael. You sat recently featured on leading the way. If you'd like to know more about us, please visit that LTW.Ward

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