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Powerful Spirit

Leading the Way / Michael Youssef
The Truth Network Radio
April 19, 2022 8:00 am

Powerful Spirit

Leading the Way / Michael Youssef

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April 19, 2022 8:00 am

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Would you like to experience God's power for daily living?

Dr. Michael Yusef explores that next on Leading the Way. Recent years have given excuses for many to just pause and question God's purposes in these difficult seasons. We've experienced seasons when answers from mom and dad and friends or even your loving spouse just won't cut it. You really need to hear directly from God. And yet, the sound of silence and the waiting can be deafening.

Hello. Welcome to Leading the Way with pastor and author, Dr. Michael Yusef. Today, see how the early church gathered and waited, hearing silence as they were obedient in seeking God.

Listen with me now to Dr. Michael Yusef and his very challenging Leading the Way. For most of us, waiting is never easy. In our culture, waiting for anything is not considered to be a virtue anymore. Waiting is something that children hate and adults do too. Everything in our culture and in our society and seem to be expanding throughout the world is instant. We do have instant food and instant drinks and instant diets and even they have now manufacturing antique while you're waiting. In fact, I read this week that the average person, the average person gets agitated within a period of 40 seconds waiting for an elevator. 40 seconds and then become to show a feasible agitation.

Here's a problem. That most people bring this agitation, they bring this impatience, they bring all of this into their faith and into their walk with the Lord. And their expectations for instant things grows by the same proportion as it grows in society at large. The problem is because of our instant society, we tend to think of God as just another person and we try to treat God just like if he's another friend or somebody down the road. We have lost that vision of God of so being awesome God and being a transcendent God and being a magnificent God who's in control of the whole universe. What do I mean by we treat God just as another person?

Well, the best way I can give it to you is in form of illustrations that you can relate to. When you get the silent treatment from your angry spouse, what happens? What normally happens?

You get confused and you feel isolated, right? In fact, it was George Bernard Shaw who said, silence is the most perfect expression of scorn. Now, beloved friends, let me tell you, God is not like that.

Let me repeat this. God is not like that. When God is silent is not because he's angry. As I understand the scripture in all the decades I've been studying it, as I comprehend the word of God, I have learned from the word of God that there are several times when God is silent in our lives. When God is silent is probably because he is putting you through his practical school.

He's putting you through his training school. When God is silent is possibly because he's trying to teach you something or some truth about yourself that you need to know in your relationship with him. When God is silent it is possibly because he wants to see how you can really trust his word, that you trust his promises, not just when the sun is shining but even when it's pouring rain. When God is silent is possibly to get you quiet so that he can work on your behalf.

When God is silent it is possibly because he loves you so much that he wants you to rest on his love in confidence. And in Acts chapter 1 verses 12 to 26, God gave the apostles a period of waiting, but that was not a waste of time. There was a period for waiting.

It was a period for preparation for them to be able to receive the Holy Spirit of God. God always when he keeps you waiting is for a purpose. It's always for a purpose of preparing you for something greater in your life. What is this lesson? And the lesson is this, God is doing things in your life that you cannot see, that God is doing things in your life which you are totally unaware of.

God is doing things in your life in order to develop your character and that takes time and possibly you cannot see it. What was God doing in a period of 10 days? This 10 day period from the time that they saw Jesus, the resurrected Jesus Christ ascended into heaven after he's been with them for 40 days. This period of 10 days was the time from when they saw him going up to heaven to the time that the Holy Spirit was poured out upon them on the day of Pentecost. That was a 10 day period of time and that waiting period was serving three purposes. Purpose number one, waiting for the Lord was to strengthen the apostles.

How? First in this incident by teaching them obedience. In Acts chapter 1 verse 4, he says, go to Jerusalem and wait. That was the command. He commanded him to wait. Here in verse 12, what are they doing?

You're going to find them obedient to the command of Jesus. He said, go and wait. In 4, he said, wait. In 12, they are waiting. He said, do not leave Jerusalem. I'm going to tell you why in a minute.

There's a reason for that. He said, don't leave Jerusalem, but wait for the promise of the Holy Spirit to be fulfilled. And he didn't tell them when. He didn't give them a clue as how long it's going to take for the Holy Spirit to come upon them. So they waited for the Holy Spirit. How many of us would have gotten restless by the third day? Fourth, fifth, eighth day, a week past? Now, I don't believe for a moment that it was easy for these men and women.

It was not easy. Most of these apostles, in fact, all of them with the exception of Judas, they all came from the Galilee region, which is north of Israel. Jerusalem is in the south. So they're all away from home. They're away from their familiar surroundings. They're away from their loved ones. They're away from their families and have been away for a while. Some of you might remember that after the resurrection, Jesus did not show up for a few days. They already saw the risen Christ more than once, but he did not show up for a couple of days.

And you know what happened? Peter got restless. In chapter 21, verse 3 of the Gospel of John, he said, I'm going fishing.

The waiting is killing me. I'm going fishing. And the others followed him. And Jesus appears to them on the shore of Galilee as a form of rebuke. And here the apostles could have said, look, Jesus has now gone to heaven and we need to get on with life. We need to leave Jerusalem and get back north to the Galilee region.

We need to go home to Nazareth and all the other villages from where we came. We need to get on with business. We need to get on with life. We can't just sit around and do nothing. Please listen to what I'm going to tell you. The one thing you are not supposed to do while you're waiting for the Lord is nothing.

Did you hear that? The one thing you are not supposed to do while you're waiting for the Lord is nothing. There is nowhere in the Scripture that I find in the Old and the New Testament that God called anyone who was sitting there idle.

They were doing whatever they were doing and God came and spoke to them and called them to serve and do a ministry for God. The most important obedience, the most important obedience in your life is the obedience that you practice. When you have no earthly idea or earthly reason as to why you are called to do what you are called to do.

I want to repeat this. The most important obedience in your life is the obedience that you practice. When you have no earthly reason as to why you are called to do what you are called to do.

Listen to me carefully. You are not learning obedience if you have all the logical explanations given to you ahead of time. If you know all of the what, where, who, when, that's not obedience. You have not obeyed yet. You have not learned obedience yet.

If you know all the circumstances and all the facts surrounding the situation. But when you cannot see any rhyme or reason why you should do what you are being called to do. Then you're practicing simple obedience. The disciples were being strengthened by waiting how? They were learning obedience. But also in waiting they were not only learning obedience, they were learning, 120 of them, how to fellowship together. And here you thought that family reunion was hard. And this was not just for a few hours of the day and then you got your hotel rooms or your houses. This was not even for the whole day and then got your rooms or got your homes.

Now that was day and night in one room, 120 of them. Please listen carefully to what I'm going to tell you. I know that there are people who can get on our nerves. I know that. I know that some people can drive us nuts. I understand that some people who just irritate us. I know there are people who are just pure pain. I know that.

But listen to me. You cannot live the Christian life in isolation. If we are to grow in Christ, we need people. If we are to develop the character of Christ, we need people.

If we are to exhibit the marks of Christ, we need people. In waiting they were learning obedience, but in waiting they were learning fellowshipping together. But also they were learning how to pray together.

Look at verse 14 of Acts chapter 1. It says, in unity they were constantly praying. What do you think they were praying about? Well, possibly they were confessing their sin.

They exhibited cowardness and they all ran away and left the Lord. And they were confessing. They were probably giving thanks for the Lord's forgiveness of their sins. Giving thanks for the Lord's patience with them throughout these three years of training them.

And it seemed not anymore than we are able to get the lessons of life. They were probably preparing their hearts for anticipation of the coming of the Holy Spirit. They were probably reading the Old Testament as we saw graphically illustrated. They were searching the scripture together.

They were reading all about the death and the resurrection of Jesus Christ. And they said, ah, that's what Isaiah meant. That's what Ezekiel meant. That's what Jeremiah meant. They were reading the scripture together and praising God through the word together.

Probably they were studying the book of Joel chapter 2 verse 28 to 32 about the coming of the Holy Spirit. Waiting for the Lord strengthens the apostles but secondly waiting for the Lord separate the apostate. Verses 16 to 20. Let me tell you what an apostate is. An apostate is a person who knew the gospel and even accepted it intellectually and believed it in their head. But they, after that, they've turned their back on the gospel and went their own way. That's an apostate.

A person who turns. We have many an apostate pulpit all over this country. Apostasy abounds. Those who preach the denial of the virgin birth. Those who preach the denial of the divinity of the Lord Jesus Christ. Those who preach the denial of the bodily resurrection of the Lord Jesus Christ. Those who preach the denial that Jesus is the only way to heaven.

Those who preach the denial of the fact that he is coming back and he will judge the earth. That's apostasy. An apostasy abounds in churches today. You see, that's what Judas Iscariot is all about. Judas Iscariot was an apostate. You see, he followed Jesus.

He went to church. But he had his own agenda of what he wanted to get out of Jesus. He followed Jesus because it was profitable for him. It was beneficial for him to follow Jesus. He followed Jesus because he wanted to use Jesus. He followed Jesus only to try to manipulate him.

To get out of him what he wanted out of him. You see, when Jesus failed to deliver what Judas wanted, namely a revolution against the Roman occupiers, he turned on him and he delivered him to the rulers. Judas represents those who throw away the most incredible opportunity they will ever have in their lives.

Eternal life. Judas represents all those who are church goers. Oh yes, they go to church. They hear the gospel message. They accepted it intellectually.

They are sent to it intellectually. But they never commit their lives to Jesus as Savior and Lord. Judas represents those church goers who have been privileged to hear the word of God.

But it never takes hold of them. And they live their lives crookedly. See, Judas represents those who follow Jesus only for what they can get out of him.

And when Jesus doesn't deliver, they betray him. In chapter 1 verses 16, 17, and 18 of the book of Acts, Peter obviously is giving us some detailed account of how Judas committed suicide. Detailed information that we don't have anywhere else right here in these three verses. Obviously, he was trying to hang himself from a tree that's on a cliff. And his weight must have pulled that branch. And his body smashed all the way down in the valley on the rocks. And his body was cut to pieces.

By the way, some of you might not know this. Do you know when Judas, who received 30 pieces of silver to deliver Jesus to the rulers, is the price of a slave? When his conscience was burning within him, he took the 30 pieces of silver and returned them back to the rulers. Do you know what these hypocrites said? They said, this is blood money.

We can't take it back. We're going to give it to charity. And with that money, they got a cemetery in which they buried the strangers among them.

Please let this be a warning to all of us. Waiting for God strengthens the apostles. Waiting for God separate the apostate. Waiting for God solidifies the anointed.

They set aside. Because the apostle waited on the Lord, they have learned obedience. They have learned fellowshipping together. They have learned how to pray together. But they also learned how to discern the will of God together. You know, in my years in ministry, I had many people who have come to me would say, I feel the call of God upon me for a full-time ministry.

Do you know what my reaction is? Discourage them. Discourage them. You say, why do you do that?

Very simply. Because God is always going to get his man or his woman. So I'm not worried about that. I've experienced that firsthand. I know how God works. When God has His hand on you, I mean, you run all you want.

He ain't going to help you one bit. So I know that. I'm not worried about that. But most often, I meet those who see full-time ministry as an escape from the other things that God had called them to do. They saw that as a way out. I'm amazed at times when someone comes to see me and says, I feel called of God to go across the ocean to witness for Jesus Christ. My simple question is this. Have you ever gone across the street to witness for Jesus Christ? Don't tell me you've got a vision to witness people across the land.

Until you had a vision to witness to people across the street. And here the apostles are very careful in selecting a replacement for Judas. They have put a set of criteria. They have put set of qualifications they believe the Lord has given them. And even then they wanted God to be the final one to call somebody to replace Judas. And they waited upon the Lord and the Lord showed them. I'm getting close to the end, but I want you to listen to what I'm going to tell you. You've heard me.

You heard many of us. And many of you pray for a revival. We often pray for a revival. And we're absolutely right to pray for a revival, genuine Holy Spirit revival.

When God's Spirit is pouring upon people and we can see it with our own eyes. But I have often wondered and I continue to wonder every single day when I pray personally, publicly or privately, I always wonder and ask myself the question, are we really prepared for a revival? It's one thing to pray for a revival, but am I really prepared for it? Are we as a body prepared for a revival?

That's the question we need to ask ourselves. Are we really prepared for it? You say, what do you mean by prepared for it? As I read church history, I learned that when genuine Holy Spirit revival breaks out in an area or across the world for that matter, it is the most draining experience emotionally, physically, spiritually, the most draining thing that more than anything in the world.

I read this again and again in history books. During times of revival, people come under such conviction of their sins that they are literally pressing into the church. The people who when they come under conviction of their sin, they don't want to go home when they come under conviction of their sins in times of revival. Christians, new Christians are hungering and thirsting for the Word of God. They're hungering and thirst for godly men and women to teach them, to train them. They're hungering for godly men and women to counsel them, to give them wisdom, to strengthen and help them straighten their lives.

And are we really prepared for that? I'm becoming more and more convinced that if we're really going to experience a revival, we had better prepare for it. Thank you for joining pastor and author Dr. Michael Youssef for Leading the Way. Hey, are you struggling to get some momentum in your spiritual life? Maybe you've been looking for something to jumpstart your faith walk. Well, leading the way just might be what you need. If you're a reader, Dr. Youssef has written many books and they're great ways to connect you with God's Word and at a more personal level and encourage you to grow in your relationship with Christ.

Here are a few titles to consider. God Helped Me Rebuild My Broken World. And here's one of my favorites. Conquer Your Battle Plan for Spiritual Victory. And how about Never Give Up? Dr. Youssef just recently released that book, Never Give Up, and we've already heard so many encouraging words from people who've read it, who've experienced growth and encouragement. Never Give Up takes you right into the heart and soul of the Apostle Paul as he reflected on his life of faith and as he contemplated his quickly approaching execution by Rome. Dr. Youssef capitalizes on Paul's words, offering a heartfelt charge to make sure that you are leaving a spiritual legacy. You see, no matter your age, the impact that you have on those around you will touch generations.

Plus, you'll clearly hear Paul's charge to never give up when it comes to being faithful in your pursuit of God, His Word, and where you're called to serve, even when you feel that giving up is your only option. So get the ordering details for any of Dr. Youssef's books. Give us a call. 866-626-4356.

That's 866-626-4356. And the website is That's And if you'd like to jot us a note, you can send it in the mail to Leading the Way, Post Office, Box 201100, Atlanta, Georgia, 30325.

That's Post Office, Box 201100, Atlanta, Georgia, 30325. Well, do make a note of this time and join us again for another message from Dr. Michael Youssef as he passionately proclaims uncompromising truth right here on Leading the Way. This program is furnished by Leading the Way with Dr. Michael Youssef. Connect with us through our YouTube channel, Facebook, Twitter, and all of our social media networks. Learn more at
Whisper: medium.en / 2023-04-30 01:52:01 / 2023-04-30 02:00:32 / 9

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