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Watch 2022-2023 online sermons » Michael Youssef » Michael Youssef - Are You Building or Obstructing?

Michael Youssef - Are You Building or Obstructing?

Michael Youssef - Are You Building or Obstructing?
TOPICS: 100 Huntley Street

Lorna Dueck: Well, we're back with Dr. Michael Youssef in his studio here in Atlanta. And you know, you've done a lot of building in the world. You're challenging us this month to rebuild our broken world. Talk to me about, you term it in two ways, constructionists and obstructionists. What's the difference? How do I discern them?

Dr. Michael Youssef: Well, they're the opposites. Either I'm building or I'm destroying, or I'm stopping somebody else from building, and there are a lot of those around. The obstructionists are everywhere. In fact, you run into them in Christian institutions, in churches, you run 'em everywhere. And these are the people who will not do anything great for God, but they will try to stop other people from doing it. D.L. Moody, the great evangelist, one time was asked, a lady walked up to him, she said, "Mr. Moody! I don't like the way you evangelize". He said, "I don't like it either. How do you evangelize"? She said, "I don't". And he said, "Well, I'd rather do it the way I do it, not your way of not doing it". And in a sense, you know, the obstructionists always will come and create noise, but in reality, in the end, that's why it says, "Well done, good and faithful".

Lorna Dueck: Persistence is important.

Dr. Michael Youssef: Exactly. And he did not say, "Much done". He said, "Well done," not "Much done". 'Cause people think if they don't do something really huge, they're not gonna do anything. No, if whatever area God gave you, whatever stewardship you have, whether it be in your home, or your business, or your work, wherever you are, as long as you're faithful with that... and that's why, again, in another place, he said, "You have been faithful with little. Now I'm gonna give you much".

Lorna Dueck: And is it all God's? Everything matters, all the goodness that you're building on, whether it's something physical, whether it's helping children at school, wiping runny noses at home?

Dr. Michael Youssef: Jesus said, "A cool drink of water". That matters. I mean, we always say, "Well, a cold glass of water"? I mean, that's... yeah, he said that is big as far as he was concerned, if you do it in Jesus' name. So...

Lorna Dueck: So, it's attitudinal.

Dr. Michael Youssef: Exactly.

Lorna Dueck: You also talk about the idea that we need to cooperate together. We need to look at the landscape and say, "Let's try to find a way to pull the resources you are responsible for together". Explain that.

Dr. Michael Youssef: Well, you know, there are many churches that I have been familiar with, particularly in the days when I used to travel around and preach, and I see churches are totally divided. And you know, it's just like Paul said in the Corinthians, "I'm for Paul. I'm for Cephas. I'm for Apollos. I'm for", and they're all divided. And so, I learned from mistakes of others, I learned from my mistakes, and I remember when we started this church with a tiny handful of people, and I said, "We're not gonna vote," and to this day, we don't vote. We're gonna listen, and if we have the Holy Spirit who has one mind speak to all of us, and when we all come in unity over his voice, we will move.

Lorna Dueck: How do you do that? You've got a church of 3,000 now. You're not voting.

Dr. Michael Youssef: Well, I'll tell you, we still don't vote, but we have a monthly leaders meeting, elders meeting. It's a little, an hour and 15 minutes, and half of that time, the first half, spent in prayer. And when we get on our knees and seek God, and we've done this for 30 years. And we had people come and say, "You spend too much time in prayer". I said, "Right, you don't... you're in the wrong place". So, when we spend time in prayer, seeking the mind of God and the mind of the Holy Spirit, by the time we finish praying, we're all united anyway. I mean, we already discerned it. And we had twice in 30 years where somebody said, "I can't agree". And we said, "Okay, that's fine. We love you enough to wait until you", and eventually, and I told a story. I've written a book years ago called, "Trust and Obey," where I tell all these experiences of what God has done. And after we took, in this particular case, it was a big, major decision. And we took 36 hours of fasting and praying. The person who was really the one who's saying, "No, I don't agree. I don't agree," is the one who came, he said, "I wanna have the privilege and the joy of making the proposal that we go".

Lorna Dueck: So, let's take that now. There's a lot of people watching who have completely, you know, full business workplaces, and prayer, 90 minutes in prayer is not happening in the board room.

Dr. Michael Youssef: Of course, of course. I was only speaking to churches.

Lorna Dueck: Yeah, but how can you take your passion, you know, you come to work as someone fully connected to God, serving, working with God. How do you move as a builder in your workplace, a cooperator?

Dr. Michael Youssef: Absolutely, the first thing you do is you be sure you're spending time with God. Even in the early days, they said they knew they were with Jesus. They knew they were with Jesus. How? I mean, it just showed up on their faces. And so, when you are spending time with God, it's gonna show on your face, even among the Pagans, and the atheists, and the agnostics, and the non-believers. You will see favor that God is gonna give you, even with the non-believers. But I can't expect the favor when I'm, you know, spending, you know, telegraphic prayer driving in the car, but I don't make God the priority. I remember when I was even a pastor, I was doing exactly that, so I'm not speaking down on anybody. It's my testimony. And I was so busy. The early days of the church, I was the only pastor on staff, and it's growing fast, and I was running, running, running. And so, my prayers basically became in the car, growing to a breakfast appointment, then I had lunch appointment, and I had appointments in between. And so, that's how my prayer life was, and even the Bible reading, it was just the passage that I'm preaching from. And then I got hit with double pneumonia. I mean, literally knocked me, I had so many other diseases growing up, but this was, just knocked me on my back for 14 days. And I always say, when on your back, there's no way to look except up. And the Lord said, "Now I got your attention. You cannot minister to anybody unless you first minister to me". Well, I remember that day like today. It was 26 years ago. And I just sobbed like a baby. I said, "Lord, I am so sorry". And do you know, from that day on, I don't even use alarm clock, but early in the morning, the Lord wakes me up and I spend the first 2 hours with him and in intimacy with him. And I think everybody can do that.

Lorna Dueck: Regardless of your profession.

Dr. Michael Youssef: Watch television less. You know, do other things. I mean, we make excuses, but if we really are serious about really intimacy with Christ, we're gonna see things are gonna happen in the secular world, gonna happen in government offices, gonna happen in your company, it's gonna happen in your neighborhood, it's gonna happen at home, in your campus, on university campus or a school. God literally is gonna give you favor, just like he did with Nehemiah with the King of Persia, and even with the destructionists, Sanballat, and Tobiah, and the rest of the company.

Lorna Dueck: All right. Dr. Michael Youssef, "God, Help Me Rebuild My Broken World". Be sure to get your copy. We've learned so much as we've sat with these sessions with Dr. Youssef. We're gonna be back tomorrow, Dr. Youssef, and talk about your family and your grandchildren, and just how you built a great family life together.

Dr. Michael Youssef: Absolutely.

Lorna Dueck: Tomorrow.
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