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Watch 2022-2023 online sermons » Michael Youssef » Michael Youssef - Satan's Greatest Tool

Michael Youssef - Satan's Greatest Tool

Michael Youssef - Satan's Greatest Tool
TOPICS: 100 Huntley Street, Discouragement

Lorna Dueck: All right, Dr. Youssef. We have been learning every day from the book of Nehemiah with you. And when Nehemiah arrived to rebuild this massive wall, his enemies said, "It'll be nothing. A fox'll knock this thing down". Tell us just how, like, the physicality of what he was trying to tackle there.

Dr. Michael Youssef: Well, these wonderful people, Sanballat, and Tobiah, and you know, they basically were Satan's foot soldiers, and I often say, Satan's most valuable tool is discouragement. There's a fable about Satan was auctioning his tools and then selling them, but when he came to discouragement, he said, "I wouldn't sell this for the world. This is my best tool. I can't sell this". And it's really true in many ways, because that's what he does to all of us. Now, you have to remember that. When you see discouragement, you know it's from the devil. It's not from God. God is a God who encourages us, and lifts us up, and build us up. And so, always know discouragement comes from either the devil or some non-discerning believer, even, who is being used as a tool of the devil. There are some people in the churches who, because they are non-discerning, they're not walking with God, the devil uses them, and they can say things that absolutely discourages us.

Lorna Dueck: That's a pretty heavy charge that all discouragement is from the devil.

Dr. Michael Youssef: Absolutely.

Lorna Dueck: What if I'm just tired, I'm just worn out?

Dr. Michael Youssef: Well, that's not discouragement. That's just tired and worn out. You got and get some rest. Look what god did with Elijah. This is a good example of what you're saying. He runs all these miles. I mean, he runs all the way to Gaza from Mount Carmel, and anybody who been to Israel know what an incredible distance it was. He's totally exhausted. He's totally afraid of Jezebel. And so, he puts his head between his knees and said, "Okay, kill me, God". That's irrational, because if you really wanna die, he could have stayed there and Jezebel would have done a good job of killing him. But he was so worn out, he was tired, he was hungry, and what did God do? What a gracious, loving God. He let him rest.

Lorna Dueck: Yeah, he did.

Dr. Michael Youssef: He needed rest and he needed food, and God gave him both. And only after he rested and nourished, God began to speak to him. And he goes back and confronts the enemy again. And so, yes, we all get tired. I get tired. I get physically worn out, but discouragement not to do the work of God, or discouragement not to live for Christ, discouragement not to set the example of Christ's likeness and sanctification as the theologians would call it, now that's different from being tired and just, you know, sometimes if you're tired, you're tired. You don't even have to go to church. I mean, if you're so tired and you feel guilty about not going to church. No.

Lorna Dueck: So, how then do you handle that different level of discouragement?

Dr. Michael Youssef: Right.

Lorna Dueck: That is from the devil.

Dr. Michael Youssef: Well, you've gotta understand that he's behind all discouragement, okay? Once you get that, then when you see a situation and you begin immediately to say, "Lord, is this something you're trying to tell me? Is this something you're trying to teach me? Or is this just the enemy attacking me"? And you know the Holy Spirit will reveal that very quickly. And so, if it is just a matter of, as we've been talking about, rest, and diet, and all that, then do it. But beyond that, if he's trying to stop you from serving God completely or... you know, we all need to take time off, and there's nothing wrong with taking time off, and there's nothing wrong with resting, because when we are tired, that's when the enemy really even attack us, you know, hardest, and then we respond the fastest. And so, be sure... that's why it always bothered me in the Old Testament where God telling Israel, "You sinned, you sinned, you sinned". It always says, "You're not keeping the Sabbath. You're not keeping the Sabbath. You're not keeping the Sabbath". And I would always say, "What is special about the Sabbath"? I mean, but that's because they got themselves so busy with the world affairs that even the time they're supposed to spend in rest that God's mercifully gave us to rest, they didn't rest. And so, that was part of it, because once you're not spending time with God on the Shabbat, you're not gonna discern God, you're not gonna read his Word, and so you're busy doing your thing and that's gonna lead you to further sin. And so, I think what you are saying, Lorna, about the difference between when we need rest or we need medicine is different from the time when Satan would come in and really say, "Is anybody listening to you? Are you really making a difference? Give up already". You know, that's when you know this Old Nick's still talking and you need to shut him up in Jesus' name through the power of the blood.

Lorna Dueck: The other item you point out so clearly about Nehemiah's big task and our task on rebuilding what's broken, we get distracted.

Dr. Michael Youssef: Yes, yes.

Lorna Dueck: Boy, I mean, we've got so many devices to distract us, so many little bells going off on a computer screen. Talk to me about that. How do I minimize distraction? It takes an enormous self-discipline.

Dr. Michael Youssef: It does, and also it takes requesting supernatural power from God. I tried to only return e-mails three times a day, when I take time, and I go over, and then I respond. Sometimes twice a day, but it doesn't matter. I don't start my day with it. If you're gonna start your day on Facebook, or Twitter, and all that stuff, I mean, the day's gone, literally. You're starting it in the wrong place. So, and I used to get up early many years ago and I'll watch the news, and then I pray, but I'm totally depressed by the time I watch the news. So, the Lord showed me that clearly. So, the first 2 hours belong to God alone, and I just spend them with him in intimacy and his Word.

Lorna Dueck: You resist your devices?

Dr. Michael Youssef: I literally put them away. I don't look at anything until later in the day. And then, I'm busy with people and I don't carry this thing. I give it to somebody else to hold or leave them outside. And I said, if there's an emergency, somebody's gonna come and get me. But we always, you know, we have this sense of importance, and then we have the sense of we don't want to miss out on anything. And so, of course the enemy uses all this to keep us tied to these things instead of... you know, this... if Nehemiah saw the rubbles and he got discouraged, and then of course he got Sanballat, and Tobiah, and Geshem all coming in, and the Arab, and so forth, and all these things were distracting him. But in reality, he took time to pray. He took time to get his strength from God. And then, he took time to speak to the people, and teach, and train, and instruct, encourage, and even rebuke at times.

Lorna Dueck: Very focused on the task at hand. Very focused. Okay, we're gonna stick into the book of Nehemiah and we're going to find out what happens when the wall is close to completion with Dr. Michael Youssef tomorrow. Get your copy of "God, Help Me Rebuild My Broken World", our great offer this month with Dr. Michael Youssef. We'll be back with more good teaching tomorrow.
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