Counting Stars Gets You Back on Track | TBN

Counting Stars Gets You Back on Track

Watch Counting Stars Gets You Back on Track
September 8, 2019
27:35

Leading the Way with Michael Youssef

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Counting Stars Gets You Back on Track

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  • announcer: Have you experienced doubt
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  • announcer: Have you experienced doubt and
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  • announcer: Have you experienced doubt and fe
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  • announcer: Have you experienced doubt and fear
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  • announcer: Have you experienced doubt and fear in
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  • announcer: Have you experienced doubt and fear in yo
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  • announcer: Have you experienced doubt and fear in your
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  • announcer: Have you experienced doubt and fear in your o
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  • announcer: Have you experienced doubt and fear in your own
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  • announcer: Have you experienced doubt and fear in your own l
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  • announcer: Have you experienced doubt and fear in your own lif
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  • announcer: Have you experienced doubt and fear in your own life?
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  • When our world grows
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  • When our world grows dark,
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  • When our world grows dark,
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  • When our world grows dark,
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  • When our world grows dark,
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  • When our world grows dark, it
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  • When our world grows dark, it's
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  • When our world grows dark, it's e
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  • When our world grows dark, it's eas
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  • When our world grows dark, it's easy
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  • When our world grows dark, it's easy to
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  • When our world grows dark, it's easy to b
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  • When our world grows dark, it's easy to be
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  • When our world grows dark, it's easy to be discou
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  • When our world grows dark, it's easy to be discoura
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  • When our world grows dark, it's easy to be discourage
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  • When our world grows dark, it's easy to be discouraged,
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  • especially when
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  • especially when we
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  • especially when we
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  • especially when we
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  • especially when we on
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  • especially when we only
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  • especially when we only r
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  • especially when we only rel
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  • especially when we only rely
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  • especially when we only rely on
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  • especially when we only rely on o
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  • especially when we only rely on our
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  • especially when we only rely on ourse
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  • especially when we only rely on ourselv
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  • especially when we only rely on ourselves
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  • especially when we only rely on ourselves.
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  • God never intended for us
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  • to try to solve all our problems on our own.
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  • Did you know that there are more than 3.000 promises
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  • for Christians in the Bible?
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  • In his new book, "Counting Stars in an Empty Sky:
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  • Trusting God's Promises for Your Impossibilities,"
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  • Pastor and Author, Dr. Michael Youssef
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  • uses the life of a familiar Bible hero, Abraham,
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  • to encourage readers
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  • to keep their faith in God's promises
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  • even when the sky appears to be starless.
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  • Over the course of many years in waiting,
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  • and sometimes trying to take matters into his own hands,
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  • Abraham would count the stars in the sky as a reminder
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  • of God's faithfulness.
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  • Dr. Michael Youssef: As you look at Abraham's journey of faith,
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  • he kept on counting stars regardless
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  • of the discouragement, regardless of the circumstances.
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  • announcer: Like Abraham, you are never alone,
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  • even when the sky seems vast and the clouds begin to roll in.
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  • Just as the stars are plentiful and infinite,
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  • so is the love and grace of God as he fulfills his promises
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  • in your life.
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  • As a token of his appreciation for your faithfulness,
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  • Dr. Youssef would like to send you a copy of his new book,
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  • "Counting Stars in an Empty Sky,"
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  • for your gift of any amount.
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  • Call, write, or visit us online at LTW.org
  • 00:01:24.190 --> 00:01:28.140
  • to request your copy today.
  • 00:01:28.150 --> 00:01:30.150
  • 00:01:30.210 --> 00:01:40.200
  • 00:01:40.210 --> 00:01:50.200
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  • Dr. Michael Youssef: Abraham is the central figure
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  • in the Old Testament.
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  • He kept on counting stars regardless of the circumstances,
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  • regardless of the discouragement.
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  • He kept on counting stars when he could see none.
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  • I discovered that the place of blessing
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  • is in the place of obedience.
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  • The place of blessing is where he wanted me to be,
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  • not where I want to go.
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  • When you place your whole confidence
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  • and trust in God's Word,
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  • even when you see no evidence whatsoever,
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  • counting stars in an empty sky, that is faith.
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  • Dr. Youssef: From Watergate all the way
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  • to Monica Lewinsky scandal,
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  • from all the other public scandals
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  • by public officials, you remember
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  • how it's not the lying, but it's the cover up
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  • of that lying that got them into deeper trouble.
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  • While the Bible exalts us again and again and again
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  • that the confession of sin brings about God's healing,
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  • and God's forgiveness, and God's restoration.
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  • The covering up of sin, the rationalizing of sin,
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  • or blaming others for our sin, always cause us deeper pain.
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  • But perhaps there is no more powerful example of this
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  • than the life of the great patriarch Abraham.
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  • Now, I want you to turn with me please to Genesis chapter 12,
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  • beginning in verse 10 to 20.
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  • Throughout the Scripture, we see that Egypt is a symbol
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  • of going away from God.
  • 00:03:38.260 --> 00:03:41.170
  • Throughout the Scripture, you see that Egypt is a symbol
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  • of trusting in human ingenuity, and trusting in human resources,
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  • and trusting in ourselves.
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  • Egypt is always synonymous with lack of faith
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  • and living by sight and not by faith.
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  • In the Book of Isaiah, chapter 31, verse 1,
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  • "Woe to those who go down to Egypt."
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  • Has nothing to do with being geographical location.
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  • "Woe to you who got down to Egypt for help,
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  • instead of looking to the Lord."
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  • And I think every one of us,
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  • everyone, if we're honest with ourselves,
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  • we know a time when we placed our faith
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  • in people who deeply wounded us.
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  • We know a time when we replaced our faith in somebody else,
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  • they let us down.
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  • We know that when we placed our faith in ourselves,
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  • and we were deeply disappointed.
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  • Here's what often happens when you develop
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  • this dependence on Egypt, whatever your Egypt may be.
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  • Your proverbial Egypt is very different
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  • from the person next to you.
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  • Here's what happens, instead of trusting in the Lord,
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  • you'll trust in your Egypt.
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  • Your personal affection toward God and toward God's people
  • 00:05:05.280 --> 00:05:11.100
  • becomes cold and icy.
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  • Your walk with the Lord becomes formal and distant.
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  • Often when we are in this proverbial Egypt,
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  • we rationalize things in our head, we really do.
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  • "I sure want to obey God, but I have needs
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  • and I've got to meet those needs.
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  • Well, I sought God with all my heart to get me out
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  • of this terrible situation, but he didn't.
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  • I'm gonna lean on my natural instincts.
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  • I'm gonna lean on my resources.
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  • I'm gonna lean on my intellect.
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  • I'm gonna lean on my own innate ingenuity."
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  • You might not verbalize it, but that's how you think it,
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  • that's how you operate.
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  • "After all, God gave me a mind, I've gotta use it."
  • 00:05:57.080 --> 00:06:01.130
  • Abraham knew that his going away from Bethel,
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  • his going away from Canaan, he was going away from trusting
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  • in the Lord who personally appeared to him,
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  • who personally get made promises to him,
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  • who personally when he gave him these promises
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  • on the strength of these promises,
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  • he left what is near and dear in the Ur of Chaldeans
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  • and went to a land that he did not know where God said,
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  • "Not only I'm gonna show it to you," he said,
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  • "I'm gonna let you possess it,"
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  • and his descendants will possess it.
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  • But before I get carried away, what I want to do is
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  • share with you six steps.
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  • These are the six things that can draw you away
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  • from the trusting in the Lord and trusting in your resources.
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  • They're things that lead you away from living by faith
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  • and begin to live by sight.
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  • The first thing when you begin to use only human logic,
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  • you notice I said only, because nothing wrong
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  • with human logic, but you cannot only use human logic.
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  • If you use only human logic, you're gonna get into trouble
  • 00:07:06.110 --> 00:07:10.080
  • because human logic can show you the reality of your situation,
  • 00:07:10.090 --> 00:07:15.130
  • nothing wrong with that.
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  • After all, Abraham realized that he is in a land of famine.
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  • He's in Canaan, there's a famine.
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  • And he realized that the Canaanites are
  • 00:07:28.080 --> 00:07:32.050
  • in the same fix that he's in.
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  • He realized that these Canaanites are not about
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  • to go out and help a stranger and provide him with food.
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  • They're in trouble themselves.
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  • So, Abraham's first step on this downward slope was
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  • that he did not go to the God who appeared to him,
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  • the God who made him the sevenfold promises,
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  • the God whom he trusted enough to leave home
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  • in the Ur of Chaldeans and to go somewhere we he did not know
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  • where he's going.
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  • He did not seek that God's resources.
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  • He did not seek that God's provisions,
  • 00:08:06.240 --> 00:08:09.070
  • and power, and strength, and he used only human logic.
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  • When you only use human logic at the time
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  • of your difficult circumstances, you're looking
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  • at your circumstances like this or like this,
  • 00:08:21.080 --> 00:08:26.100
  • either circle or square.
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  • You're only seeing the circumstances.
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  • You are not able to see the whole picture and that's why
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  • use of human logic alone is gonna get you into trouble.
  • 00:08:35.070 --> 00:08:40.270
  • Because using human logic might let you see your circumstances
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  • in the reality, but also gonna show you
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  • the big picture is gonna reveal to you
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  • the God of your circumstances, and that the God
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  • of your circumstances is bigger than
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  • your circumstances, amen?
  • 00:08:57.060 --> 00:08:59.060
  • You remember when the spies, hundreds of years after Abraham,
  • 00:09:00.230 --> 00:09:04.010
  • were sent to spy the Promised Land?
  • 00:09:04.020 --> 00:09:06.070
  • And the 12 of them go there, and the 12 come back,
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  • and they were divided, ten against two.
  • 00:09:10.080 --> 00:09:12.290
  • Ten said, "There are giants in the land,
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  • and we looked like grasshoppers."
  • 00:09:15.220 --> 00:09:18.090
  • And they began to doubt the promises of God.
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  • Only two, Joshua and Caleb, and that's why
  • 00:09:21.280 --> 00:09:23.230
  • they will privileged to go there into that Promised Land.
  • 00:09:23.240 --> 00:09:26.240
  • They said, "Yes, they might be giants.
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  • Yes, we might look like grasshoppers as far as
  • 00:09:28.260 --> 00:09:31.020
  • they're concerned, but we have a greater God.
  • 00:09:31.030 --> 00:09:33.270
  • We have a mighty God.
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  • We know that God promised us.
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  • Let's go and take it."
  • 00:09:37.010 --> 00:09:38.290
  • I wonder how many of us have looked at the mountains
  • 00:09:39.000 --> 00:09:41.280
  • of difficulties in our lives and see ourselves as grasshopper
  • 00:09:41.290 --> 00:09:51.280
  • and fail to see the God of circumstances.
  • 00:09:51.290 --> 00:09:56.000
  • Using only human logic and not seeing the whole picture
  • 00:09:56.010 --> 00:10:00.190
  • is the first step that will begin to take you away
  • 00:10:00.200 --> 00:10:04.140
  • from the God of power and might.
  • 00:10:04.150 --> 00:10:07.290
  • Secondly, ceasing to worship.
  • 00:10:08.000 --> 00:10:11.060
  • And I'm not saying talking about singing on Sunday morning.
  • 00:10:11.070 --> 00:10:13.230
  • No, worship includes personal worship.
  • 00:10:13.240 --> 00:10:17.250
  • Worship includes offering sacrifices unto the Lord.
  • 00:10:17.260 --> 00:10:22.280
  • Worship includes self-giving to God.
  • 00:10:22.290 --> 00:10:26.040
  • Worship includes that place of meeting with God
  • 00:10:26.050 --> 00:10:29.170
  • on a regular basis on an intimate basis.
  • 00:10:29.180 --> 00:10:33.150
  • And when Abraham left Bethel, which means the house of God,
  • 00:10:33.160 --> 00:10:37.000
  • where he has built an altar, he went to Egypt.
  • 00:10:37.010 --> 00:10:40.100
  • And we see no evidence of him building an altar in Egypt.
  • 00:10:40.110 --> 00:10:45.090
  • And he did not come back to the heart of worship
  • 00:10:45.100 --> 00:10:47.280
  • until he left Egypt in humiliation.
  • 00:10:47.290 --> 00:10:53.230
  • We have no record of him worshiping God in Egypt,
  • 00:10:53.240 --> 00:10:57.120
  • only coming up with this cockamamie scheme
  • 00:10:57.130 --> 00:11:00.210
  • and ceasing to trust in God, using human logic
  • 00:11:00.220 --> 00:11:05.140
  • and failing to see the whole picture.
  • 00:11:05.150 --> 00:11:08.150
  • And the God of circumstances is gonna take you
  • 00:11:08.160 --> 00:11:11.030
  • to the second step, and worship will become boring.
  • 00:11:11.040 --> 00:11:15.100
  • Worship will become a chore.
  • 00:11:15.110 --> 00:11:17.180
  • Worship and spending time, it becomes a drudgery.
  • 00:11:17.190 --> 00:11:21.220
  • Albeit, it happens slowly.
  • 00:11:21.230 --> 00:11:23.240
  • It happens gradually, and it begins
  • 00:11:23.250 --> 00:11:26.210
  • by that first step.
  • 00:11:26.220 --> 00:11:29.000
  • Wherever you are right now, only you and God know
  • 00:11:29.010 --> 00:11:32.010
  • where you are.
  • 00:11:32.020 --> 00:11:33.110
  • Only God and you know where you are.
  • 00:11:33.120 --> 00:11:35.120
  • Wherever you are, you can come back
  • 00:11:35.130 --> 00:11:38.120
  • and trust God again.
  • 00:11:38.130 --> 00:11:40.070
  • You can come back to the heart of worship.
  • 00:11:40.080 --> 00:11:43.260
  • Now, there are some people who think that they can go to church
  • 00:11:43.270 --> 00:11:48.290
  • for one hour or maybe an hour-and-a-half
  • 00:11:49.000 --> 00:11:51.010
  • if you stretch it, it's two hours.
  • 00:11:51.020 --> 00:11:53.060
  • And they think that one hour a week or two hours a week
  • 00:11:53.070 --> 00:11:56.150
  • is going to give them victory the whole week.
  • 00:11:56.160 --> 00:11:59.140
  • Are you kidding yourself?
  • 00:11:59.150 --> 00:12:01.170
  • Because the world is too powerful,
  • 00:12:01.180 --> 00:12:03.280
  • and the devil is too conniving for you to just spend an hour
  • 00:12:03.290 --> 00:12:07.060
  • with God each week.
  • 00:12:07.070 --> 00:12:10.130
  • First, using human logic only, and not seeing
  • 00:12:10.140 --> 00:12:14.100
  • the whole picture.
  • 00:12:14.110 --> 00:12:16.070
  • Secondly, worship, personal worship goes
  • 00:12:16.080 --> 00:12:18.240
  • by the wayside.
  • 00:12:18.250 --> 00:12:20.100
  • Thirdly comes the third step which is self-sufficiency.
  • 00:12:20.110 --> 00:12:23.240
  • You look at your accomplishments.
  • 00:12:23.250 --> 00:12:26.100
  • You look at your accumulations, and you're not necessarily
  • 00:12:26.110 --> 00:12:31.000
  • verbalize what I'm going to say but do you think it inside,
  • 00:12:31.010 --> 00:12:34.070
  • "Man, I'm good.
  • 00:12:34.080 --> 00:12:36.060
  • Look what I did."
  • 00:12:36.070 --> 00:12:37.280
  • Oh, thank God yes, you give him lip service.
  • 00:12:37.290 --> 00:12:40.120
  • But then you go back and say, "I must be clever.
  • 00:12:40.130 --> 00:12:42.240
  • I must be wise.
  • 00:12:42.250 --> 00:12:44.070
  • I must be really, really good.
  • 00:12:44.080 --> 00:12:45.280
  • Look where I came from.
  • 00:12:45.290 --> 00:12:47.130
  • Look where I am now.
  • 00:12:47.140 --> 00:12:49.220
  • I got myself here.
  • 00:12:49.230 --> 00:12:52.210
  • Others may be falling and stumbling,
  • 00:12:52.220 --> 00:12:56.090
  • but I am self-sufficient.
  • 00:12:56.100 --> 00:12:58.280
  • I am financially independent.
  • 00:12:58.290 --> 00:13:01.170
  • I don't owe anybody anything."
  • 00:13:01.180 --> 00:13:04.100
  • Abraham probably thought to himself,
  • 00:13:04.110 --> 00:13:09.180
  • "These dumb Egyptians."
  • 00:13:09.190 --> 00:13:11.270
  • Now, I don't take that personally.
  • 00:13:11.280 --> 00:13:15.100
  • I mean, I can out negotiate them.
  • 00:13:15.110 --> 00:13:18.100
  • Sarah was not only my most important asset,
  • 00:13:18.110 --> 00:13:21.010
  • she is a beautiful woman.
  • 00:13:21.020 --> 00:13:24.100
  • "If Pharaoh ever finds out that Sarah is my wife,
  • 00:13:24.110 --> 00:13:28.250
  • he's gonna kill me and add her to the concubines.
  • 00:13:28.260 --> 00:13:31.160
  • So, I gotta scheme.
  • 00:13:31.170 --> 00:13:35.250
  • I got a self-sufficient plan."
  • 00:13:35.260 --> 00:13:38.210
  • What is Abraham doing?
  • 00:13:38.220 --> 00:13:40.010
  • Listen to me.
  • 00:13:40.020 --> 00:13:41.110
  • He not only did not trust God to provide for him in the time
  • 00:13:41.120 --> 00:13:44.180
  • of the famine in Canaan, he did not trust God
  • 00:13:44.190 --> 00:13:47.140
  • to protect him from Pharaoh.
  • 00:13:47.150 --> 00:13:50.040
  • He forgot the promise of God.
  • 00:13:50.050 --> 00:13:52.270
  • Counting stars while you can't see any,
  • 00:13:52.280 --> 00:13:55.230
  • that is the promise of God.
  • 00:13:55.240 --> 00:13:58.150
  • And you want to say, "Hey, Abe, my man,
  • 00:13:58.160 --> 00:14:01.240
  • didn't God say that you should be counting the stars
  • 00:14:01.250 --> 00:14:04.260
  • because he's gonna give you descendants
  • 00:14:04.270 --> 00:14:06.240
  • as many as the stars in the sky?
  • 00:14:06.250 --> 00:14:09.200
  • Didn't God say, I'll give the land of Canaan
  • 00:14:09.210 --> 00:14:12.220
  • to your descendants?
  • 00:14:12.230 --> 00:14:14.020
  • Didn't God say?"
  • 00:14:14.030 --> 00:14:15.170
  • "Oh, yeah, that was then, but that's now."
  • 00:14:15.180 --> 00:14:19.170
  • Hello.
  • 00:14:19.180 --> 00:14:20.270
  • And so, he takes matters into his own hand
  • 00:14:20.280 --> 00:14:24.080
  • and concoct this scheme with Sarah.
  • 00:14:24.090 --> 00:14:29.180
  • Question, what was Abraham's number-one concern?
  • 00:14:29.190 --> 00:14:37.000
  • His wife's husband, that was his number-one concern.
  • 00:14:37.010 --> 00:14:44.000
  • Look at verses 11, 12 and 13.
  • 00:14:44.010 --> 00:14:46.110
  • I have no doubt in my mind that Abraham probably
  • 00:14:46.120 --> 00:14:51.180
  • did not think he was lying.
  • 00:14:51.190 --> 00:14:53.210
  • "Well, at least it's not a black lie, it's a white lie.
  • 00:14:53.220 --> 00:14:56.110
  • It's a half lie.
  • 00:14:56.120 --> 00:14:57.210
  • It's not quite a full lie.
  • 00:14:57.220 --> 00:14:59.140
  • Because in Genesis 20, verses 11 and 12 says
  • 00:14:59.150 --> 00:15:03.010
  • that she's half sister, so it's really a half lie.
  • 00:15:03.020 --> 00:15:07.020
  • It's a white lie.
  • 00:15:07.030 --> 00:15:09.200
  • Back then, they did this kind of thing."
  • 00:15:09.210 --> 00:15:11.290
  • And he probably reasoned in his head, he said,
  • 00:15:12.000 --> 00:15:13.250
  • "You know, I really mean well, and I need to survive.
  • 00:15:13.260 --> 00:15:17.100
  • I can out negotiate these Egyptians.
  • 00:15:17.110 --> 00:15:19.150
  • I can drag this negotiation long enough until I leave Egypt."
  • 00:15:19.160 --> 00:15:25.220
  • And it backfired.
  • 00:15:25.230 --> 00:15:28.000
  • Now, beloved, a lie is a lie, is a lie.
  • 00:15:28.010 --> 00:15:33.220
  • And here's what God does.
  • 00:15:33.230 --> 00:15:35.240
  • He does not wink at lie.
  • 00:15:35.250 --> 00:15:38.250
  • He might not take you up on it, or you see the consequences
  • 00:15:38.260 --> 00:15:43.050
  • the next day, or the next month, or the next year,
  • 00:15:43.060 --> 00:15:45.180
  • but God never winks at sin.
  • 00:15:45.190 --> 00:15:49.030
  • He does not.
  • 00:15:49.040 --> 00:15:50.160
  • He forgives sins, but he doesn't wink at sin.
  • 00:15:50.170 --> 00:15:56.050
  • Using human ingenuity and human logic,
  • 00:15:56.060 --> 00:16:00.270
  • and not seeing the whole picture,
  • 00:16:00.280 --> 00:16:03.130
  • stopping true worship, personal worship,
  • 00:16:03.140 --> 00:16:06.100
  • becoming self-sufficient.
  • 00:16:06.110 --> 00:16:07.280
  • Fourthly, unconfessed sin will always lead to more sin,
  • 00:16:07.290 --> 00:16:12.110
  • not less.
  • 00:16:12.120 --> 00:16:16.180
  • And that will always happen when you cease to be a pilgrim
  • 00:16:16.190 --> 00:16:21.010
  • and you become a spiritual drifter,
  • 00:16:21.020 --> 00:16:23.140
  • it will always happen.
  • 00:16:23.150 --> 00:16:25.200
  • God had to supernaturally intervene to protect
  • 00:16:25.210 --> 00:16:30.050
  • Sarah's honor.
  • 00:16:30.060 --> 00:16:32.110
  • God had to insert himself supernaturally to protect
  • 00:16:32.120 --> 00:16:37.110
  • the promise that he made to Abraham of counting stars,
  • 00:16:37.120 --> 00:16:41.140
  • even when he can't see any.
  • 00:16:41.150 --> 00:16:44.030
  • There is a world of difference between sinning
  • 00:16:44.040 --> 00:16:47.130
  • and immediately repenting of your sin,
  • 00:16:47.140 --> 00:16:49.280
  • and confessing and turning to the Lord,
  • 00:16:49.290 --> 00:16:51.290
  • and sinning and staying in sin.
  • 00:16:52.000 --> 00:16:55.140
  • There's a world of difference between the two.
  • 00:16:55.150 --> 00:16:58.120
  • Because sin always, always, always adds to itself.
  • 00:16:58.130 --> 00:17:04.180
  • It's like a snowball rolling down a hill.
  • 00:17:04.190 --> 00:17:08.110
  • It gets bigger and bigger and bigger
  • 00:17:08.120 --> 00:17:11.210
  • as it rolls down the hill.
  • 00:17:11.220 --> 00:17:14.050
  • Don't ever forget what I'm gonna tell you.
  • 00:17:14.060 --> 00:17:16.140
  • Sin is always bigger and stronger than you are,
  • 00:17:16.150 --> 00:17:20.270
  • but it is not bigger and stronger
  • 00:17:20.280 --> 00:17:22.250
  • than the blood of Jesus Christ that was shed on Calvary.
  • 00:17:22.260 --> 00:17:27.050
  • And that is why only the blood of Jesus Christ
  • 00:17:27.060 --> 00:17:30.030
  • is the cure to all of our sins.
  • 00:17:30.040 --> 00:17:32.090
  • The fifth step in this downward direction is a terrible loss,
  • 00:17:33.270 --> 00:17:40.260
  • terrible loss.
  • 00:17:40.270 --> 00:17:43.160
  • Abraham's scheme turned into a disaster.
  • 00:17:43.170 --> 00:17:47.010
  • Abraham thought that Sarah was his meal ticket.
  • 00:17:47.020 --> 00:17:52.100
  • But alas, Abraham thought that he could stretch the negotiation
  • 00:17:52.110 --> 00:17:57.230
  • with Pharaoh until he leaves, but it backfired.
  • 00:17:57.240 --> 00:18:03.150
  • And I just want you to imagine Abraham at that moment
  • 00:18:03.160 --> 00:18:07.080
  • of absolute shock, and absolute horror,
  • 00:18:07.090 --> 00:18:11.190
  • and absolute terror and his heart pounding inside of him
  • 00:18:11.200 --> 00:18:15.210
  • as they came and snatched Sarah away from his household
  • 00:18:15.220 --> 00:18:20.170
  • and took her to Pharaoh.
  • 00:18:20.180 --> 00:18:23.030
  • Beloved, listen to me.
  • 00:18:23.040 --> 00:18:25.270
  • It may be another warning and a last warning to some of you.
  • 00:18:25.280 --> 00:18:30.260
  • Whenever we choose convenience instead of obedience,
  • 00:18:30.270 --> 00:18:36.200
  • we lose everything and we lose something very,
  • 00:18:36.210 --> 00:18:40.140
  • very precious.
  • 00:18:40.150 --> 00:18:42.170
  • Someone said that the world might entreat us well,
  • 00:18:42.180 --> 00:18:47.180
  • but that's a poor compensation for our losses.
  • 00:18:47.190 --> 00:18:52.290
  • There's no altar in Egypt.
  • 00:18:53.000 --> 00:18:55.030
  • There's no fellowship with God in Egypt.
  • 00:18:55.040 --> 00:18:57.280
  • There's no new promise in Egypt,
  • 00:18:57.290 --> 00:19:02.100
  • only desolation of his household.
  • 00:19:02.110 --> 00:19:07.260
  • You remember when the prodigal son
  • 00:19:09.110 --> 00:19:11.120
  • in Luke chapter 15 left home?
  • 00:19:11.130 --> 00:19:14.150
  • When he left home, he said, "Give me."
  • 00:19:14.160 --> 00:19:20.210
  • And then when he lost everything,
  • 00:19:20.220 --> 00:19:23.030
  • he came back to his father and he said, "Make me."
  • 00:19:23.040 --> 00:19:27.180
  • Whether you lost everything or you've got everything,
  • 00:19:27.190 --> 00:19:29.080
  • it doesn't matter.
  • 00:19:29.090 --> 00:19:30.180
  • Just say, "Make me."
  • 00:19:30.190 --> 00:19:32.080
  • Say it with me, "Make me".
  • 00:19:32.090 --> 00:19:34.090
  • The downward slope begins with leaving God out of the picture,
  • 00:19:35.240 --> 00:19:42.010
  • and using only human logic and stopping worship,
  • 00:19:42.020 --> 00:19:47.170
  • becoming self-sufficient, which lead to an avalanche
  • 00:19:47.180 --> 00:19:51.020
  • of sin and experiencing humongous loss.
  • 00:19:51.030 --> 00:19:55.010
  • And finally and sixthly, unconfessed sin brings
  • 00:19:55.020 --> 00:19:59.050
  • about rebuke and humiliation.
  • 00:19:59.060 --> 00:20:03.010
  • The greatest blessing in the Christian faith,
  • 00:20:04.140 --> 00:20:07.140
  • the greatest blessing is that God does not let go
  • 00:20:08.040 --> 00:20:14.240
  • of his children.
  • 00:20:14.250 --> 00:20:16.230
  • Did you get that?
  • 00:20:16.240 --> 00:20:18.250
  • He never will let go of you.
  • 00:20:18.260 --> 00:20:22.010
  • When he adopts you and gives you his last name,
  • 00:20:22.020 --> 00:20:25.070
  • you are held in the very palms of his hands.
  • 00:20:25.080 --> 00:20:29.040
  • Jesus said, "Those whom the Father gives me,
  • 00:20:29.050 --> 00:20:31.250
  • I lose none."
  • 00:20:31.260 --> 00:20:34.040
  • You're a child of God, you will not be lost
  • 00:20:34.050 --> 00:20:37.050
  • even if you try.
  • 00:20:37.060 --> 00:20:39.020
  • Even if other try, if the world tries, Satan tries,
  • 00:20:39.030 --> 00:20:42.030
  • you can never be lost.
  • 00:20:42.040 --> 00:20:44.200
  • And I'm so grateful to the Lord for this.
  • 00:20:44.210 --> 00:20:46.240
  • I'm so grateful that he pulled me
  • 00:20:46.250 --> 00:20:48.110
  • by the back of my neck.
  • 00:20:48.120 --> 00:20:49.230
  • And even now if you go to the places where I've been,
  • 00:20:49.240 --> 00:20:52.240
  • you will see the mark of the heels of my feet
  • 00:20:52.250 --> 00:20:56.070
  • in the sand as he dragged me back to himself.
  • 00:20:56.080 --> 00:21:00.100
  • This is, my beloved friends, is the greatest news of all.
  • 00:21:00.110 --> 00:21:04.060
  • Now, some people might not see it that way
  • 00:21:04.070 --> 00:21:06.220
  • because sometimes God does this by revealing,
  • 00:21:06.230 --> 00:21:12.020
  • exposing our sin.
  • 00:21:12.030 --> 00:21:15.290
  • Sometimes, we get rebuked by sin.
  • 00:21:16.000 --> 00:21:21.270
  • Sometimes our sin can bring about deep humiliation
  • 00:21:21.280 --> 00:21:26.050
  • as it happened to Abraham, but that's not bad news.
  • 00:21:26.060 --> 00:21:29.150
  • That's good news because from eyes of eternity,
  • 00:21:29.160 --> 00:21:33.210
  • he is saving you.
  • 00:21:33.220 --> 00:21:35.160
  • He is saving your soul.
  • 00:21:35.170 --> 00:21:38.190
  • Here we see a pagan Pharaoh, pagan Pharaoh,
  • 00:21:38.200 --> 00:21:44.190
  • rebuking and straightening out the friend of God.
  • 00:21:44.200 --> 00:21:50.260
  • Think about this, think about this.
  • 00:21:50.270 --> 00:21:54.010
  • Pharaoh said, "What have you done?
  • 00:21:54.020 --> 00:21:57.290
  • Why did you not tell me that she's your wife?
  • 00:21:58.000 --> 00:22:01.070
  • Why did you tell me that she's your sister?
  • 00:22:01.080 --> 00:22:05.030
  • Take her and get out of here."
  • 00:22:05.040 --> 00:22:07.040
  • It was a greatly subdued, humiliated and more importantly,
  • 00:22:08.290 --> 00:22:12.270
  • wiser Abraham who departed from Egypt and back to Canaan.
  • 00:22:12.280 --> 00:22:20.290
  • It might not be very pretty, a pretty sight,
  • 00:22:21.000 --> 00:22:24.090
  • but sin is never pretty.
  • 00:22:24.100 --> 00:22:26.230
  • It's never pretty.
  • 00:22:26.240 --> 00:22:28.150
  • Even if society approves it, are you with me?
  • 00:22:28.160 --> 00:22:34.000
  • The good news is this, Abraham is now back to Bethel
  • 00:22:34.010 --> 00:22:37.290
  • worshiping again.
  • 00:22:38.000 --> 00:22:40.250
  • Someone said that, had Abraham stayed in Canaan
  • 00:22:40.260 --> 00:22:44.050
  • during the time of famine, no doubt he would have suffered,
  • 00:22:44.060 --> 00:22:48.180
  • but his faith would have grown in leaps and bounds.
  • 00:22:48.190 --> 00:22:54.220
  • He would have seen the hand of God working in a way
  • 00:22:54.230 --> 00:22:57.150
  • he could never have dreamed of.
  • 00:22:57.160 --> 00:23:00.090
  • He would have seen the supernatural,
  • 00:23:00.100 --> 00:23:03.060
  • miraculous provision of God.
  • 00:23:03.070 --> 00:23:07.010
  • Thus the feminine that took him away from God would have been
  • 00:23:07.020 --> 00:23:11.270
  • the instrument of God for his spiritual growth.
  • 00:23:11.280 --> 00:23:16.020
  • When I was in my earlier days of walking with the Lord,
  • 00:23:16.030 --> 00:23:19.120
  • a young Christian, and I would face
  • 00:23:19.130 --> 00:23:22.090
  • an insurmountable circumstances, tough times and difficulties.
  • 00:23:22.100 --> 00:23:27.140
  • My cries have always been to the Lord,
  • 00:23:27.150 --> 00:23:30.040
  • "Get me out of this, God.
  • 00:23:30.050 --> 00:23:33.050
  • What's happening to me, Lord?
  • 00:23:33.060 --> 00:23:35.070
  • God, do you care?
  • 00:23:35.080 --> 00:23:38.060
  • What happens to this, your child?
  • 00:23:38.070 --> 00:23:40.100
  • Have you abandoned me?"
  • 00:23:40.110 --> 00:23:42.220
  • Now, after a few decades of walking with the Lord,
  • 00:23:42.230 --> 00:23:47.150
  • when I face insurmountable difficulties,
  • 00:23:47.160 --> 00:23:50.190
  • my prayer is, "Lord, I know this is
  • 00:23:50.200 --> 00:23:54.200
  • another opportunity for me to trust you.
  • 00:23:54.210 --> 00:23:59.230
  • Lord, this is another opportunity for me
  • 00:23:59.240 --> 00:24:03.050
  • to watch your mighty hand at work.
  • 00:24:03.060 --> 00:24:08.290
  • Lord, please use this opportunity to teach me,
  • 00:24:09.000 --> 00:24:14.080
  • to grow me.
  • 00:24:14.090 --> 00:24:16.160
  • And yes, I know you'll bless me in the process."
  • 00:24:16.170 --> 00:24:20.020
  • Abraham discovered the hard way that it takes more grace
  • 00:24:20.030 --> 00:24:25.150
  • to stay in Canaan, than to run away from Canaan.
  • 00:24:25.160 --> 00:24:31.000
  • Did you get that?
  • 00:24:31.010 --> 00:24:34.150
  • Because God loves us, and he loves to rearrange
  • 00:24:34.160 --> 00:24:41.160
  • our steps of faith to take us upward and onward,
  • 00:24:41.170 --> 00:24:47.220
  • upward and onward.
  • 00:24:47.230 --> 00:24:49.290
  • Can you say that with me?
  • 00:24:50.000 --> 00:24:51.090
  • Upward and onward.
  • 00:24:51.100 --> 00:24:53.210
  • Regardless of where you are, whether you're watching,
  • 00:24:53.220 --> 00:24:56.190
  • whether you're here, regardless of whether
  • 00:24:56.200 --> 00:24:58.220
  • you have gone all the six steps, or first step, or second step,
  • 00:24:58.230 --> 00:25:02.250
  • or third, whatever you are, I believe with all my heart
  • 00:25:02.260 --> 00:25:05.240
  • on the authority of God's Word, it's never too late
  • 00:25:05.250 --> 00:25:09.020
  • to come back to the heart of worship.
  • 00:25:09.030 --> 00:25:11.280
  • 00:25:12.140 --> 00:25:19.140
  • Dr. Youssef: If the title of this book,
  • 00:25:20.040 --> 00:25:22.080
  • "Counting Stars In An Empty Sky" intrigue you,
  • 00:25:22.090 --> 00:25:27.200
  • it should because every one of us,
  • 00:25:27.210 --> 00:25:30.100
  • at some point, we're in a place where we know
  • 00:25:30.110 --> 00:25:34.130
  • the promises of God but we cannot see a sign
  • 00:25:34.140 --> 00:25:38.050
  • that those promises are gonna be fulfilled.
  • 00:25:38.060 --> 00:25:41.010
  • But God says hold on.
  • 00:25:41.020 --> 00:25:42.230
  • And then if you have been there or if you're there now,
  • 00:25:42.240 --> 00:25:47.030
  • you will need to get this book.
  • 00:25:47.040 --> 00:25:49.190
  • It will strengthen your faith.
  • 00:25:49.200 --> 00:25:51.180
  • It will strengthen your trust in the promises of God.
  • 00:25:51.190 --> 00:25:55.060
  • Start counting stars and order the book.
  • 00:25:55.070 --> 00:25:58.070
  • announcer: In his new book,
  • 00:26:05.260 --> 00:26:07.050
  • "Counting Stars in an Empty Sky:
  • 00:26:07.060 --> 00:26:08.220
  • Trusting God's Promises for Your Impossibilities,"
  • 00:26:08.230 --> 00:26:11.150
  • Pastor and Author, Dr. Michael Youssef
  • 00:26:11.160 --> 00:26:14.010
  • uses the life of a familiar Bible hero, Abraham,
  • 00:26:14.020 --> 00:26:17.090
  • to encourage readers
  • 00:26:17.100 --> 00:26:19.150
  • to keep their faith in God's promises.
  • 00:26:19.160 --> 00:26:21.090
  • Dr. Youssef would like to send you a copy of his new book,
  • 00:26:21.100 --> 00:26:24.080
  • "Counting Stars in an Empty Sky,"
  • 00:26:24.090 --> 00:26:26.210
  • for your gift of any amount.
  • 00:26:26.220 --> 00:26:28.170
  • Call, write, or visit us online at LTW.org
  • 00:26:28.180 --> 00:26:32.040
  • to request your copy today.
  • 00:26:32.050 --> 00:26:34.100
  • male announcer: Connect with us on social media.
  • 00:26:36.110 --> 00:26:38.020
  • Like us on Facebook.
  • 00:26:38.030 --> 00:26:39.140
  • Follow us on Twitter and Instagram
  • 00:26:39.150 --> 00:26:41.080
  • to receive daily updates from Dr. Youssef
  • 00:26:41.090 --> 00:26:43.200
  • and reports from the team on the ground.
  • 00:26:43.210 --> 00:26:47.220
  • Leading the Way with Dr. Michael Youssef,
  • 00:26:47.230 --> 00:26:50.060
  • together we are sharing the gospel around the world
  • 00:26:50.070 --> 00:26:53.030
  • through every available means.
  • 00:26:53.040 --> 00:26:55.090
  • 00:26:57.040 --> 00:27:06.200
  • announcer: Passionately proclaiming
  • 00:27:06.210 --> 00:27:08.000
  • uncompromising truth,
  • 00:27:08.010 --> 00:27:09.160
  • "Leading the Way" with Dr. Michael Youssef
  • 00:27:09.170 --> 00:27:11.100
  • thanks you for your faithful support
  • 00:27:11.110 --> 00:27:13.200
  • through your continued prayers and gifts.
  • 00:27:13.210 --> 00:27:15.260
  • ...
  • 00:27:25.160 --> 00:27:29.210