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Experiencing Family Revival

The Urban Alternative / Tony Evans, PhD
The Truth Network Radio
September 4, 2020 8:00 am

Experiencing Family Revival

The Urban Alternative / Tony Evans, PhD

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September 4, 2020 8:00 am

Revival starts when God does something special inside us. But it doesn't stop there; it's contagious. Join Dr. Tony Evans as he explains how we can help it spread to the people who mean the most to us: our family.

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If we are going to be the men God has called us to be, if we're going to man up to our responsibility, that means we're looking out for idols that try to sneak in the home. Dr. Tony Evans talks about the role fathers can play in bringing revival to their family.

Leadership means overseeing the atmosphere where I live. This is The Alternative with Dr. Tony Evans, author, speaker, senior pastor of Oak Cliff Bible Fellowship in Dallas, Texas, and president of The Urban Alternative. Revival starts when God does something special inside us, but it doesn't stop there.

It's contagious. And today Dr. Evans explains how we can help it spread to the people who mean the most to us, our families. Let's join him as he takes us to Genesis chapter 24. One of the most dysfunctional families in all of the Bible is the family of Jacob. Almost from the time of his birth, his family was in chaos. He connived with his mother to rip the blessing from his brother and to deceive his aging father.

That would lead him to a life of deception and of confusion. This man would enter into a civil rivalry with his brother Esau that would threaten his very life, and he would grow up in a family of unforgiveness where Esau would seek to kill him. It was a family in chaos.

He would see worked out in his own situation, in his own family, the continued flow of the family in which he grew up. His daughter was raped, Dinah. Her brothers were so incensed at the rape that they connived a plan that turned them into mass murderers, and so they slew a whole city full of men by getting them to agree to circumcision, and in their moment of weakness, they would kill them. This was a family in crisis. You know the ongoing saga of them selling their own brother Joseph into slavery because of jealousy. This was dysfunctionality at the nth degree. Perhaps you know a family is like this. Perhaps you grew up in a family like this, where when you look back, it's chaos and confusion that has followed you. But our theme is revival.

So today I want to talk today about family revival, where God returns to your home and brings order out of chaos and turns confusion around into something that is meaningful and productive. In chapter 35, right after the rape and mass slaughter that had become a part of Jacob's family, Jacob is now terrorized. Look at the end of verse 34, because all these men have been killed. Verse 30, then Jacob said to Simeon and Levi, You have brought trouble on me by making me odious among the inhabitants of the land, among the Canaanites and Perizzites, and my men being few in number, they will gather together against me and attack me, and I will be destroyed and my family and my household.

But they said, should he treat our sister as a harlot? They raped our sister, we're going to kill them. Jacob says, but now you've jeopardized the whole family. We're few, and now these folks are going to be in an uproar, and they're going to kill us. In other words, Jacob is in a crisis.

He's in a bad situation now, because now that this mass murder has occurred, he knows that these folks are going to rise up and do to his family what his family did to the men of that city. And it's a mess. In chapter 35, verse 1, we start off with two words, then God. Remember, whenever you see the word then, you've got to ask the question, when? In the midst of family disintegration at the highest level, then God said to Jacob, arise, go up to Bethel, live there, make an altar there to God, who appeared to you when you fled from your brother Esau.

Now you read that, and it doesn't seem like much. But this whole story revolves around that statement, arise and go to Bethel. Bethel is where Jacob met God the first time. Jacob knows he's supposed to go back to Bethel, but he doesn't. He gets detoured along the way. He winds up in a place called Shechem. He buys some property there and now makes his home there, and that's when all hell breaks loose.

In other words, he doesn't do what he said he was going to do. He detours from what God's plan was and what God's direction was. Chaos breaks out in his life until he faces a crisis again, like he did earlier with his brother, only this time is with his children. And now the chaos in his own home, which was like the chaos in his father's home, produces God coming to him a second time, telling him, aren't you supposed to be back in Bethel? God says, look, now that things are bad enough and you can't straighten it out, maybe I can get your undivided attention.

You have detoured from my plan and my will. There's chaos in your house. Go and live in Bethel. That's your home, because that's my home, the house of God. Make an altar there to God. Worship. Making an altar had to do with sacrifice, substitute for sin, get this spiritual stuff right in your life.

Make an altar there to God who appeared to you when you fled from your brother Esau over 20 years ago. Now, what does this say? This says you can have a jacked up family for over 20 years. You can have chaos in your home for year after year after year after year when you have detoured from God. So there was a spiritual detour, but there's good news here. The good news here is that God spoke to Jacob.

God was still talking to Jacob, even after 20 years. It's a bad family situation. It's messed up kids. It's messed up wives. It's a messed up father and husband, but God still spoke to him. You know when it gets bad is when God no longer talks to you or you no longer are willing to hear if he does talk. God spoke to him.

Jacob had not fulfilled what he was supposed to do and it showed up not only in his life, but in his own children. Parents, if you want to save your children, you better go to Bethel. If you want to save your family, you better go to Bethel. It is the place where you meet God.

He says that's where God spoke to you was at Bethel. How do you know when God is trying to get you somewhere else? Because he allows too much chaos where you are. He allows where you are not to work. How you're situated right now, this is not working.

And the more I try to make it work, the messier it gets. Verse 2, so Jacob said to his household and to all who were with him, put away the foreign gods which are among you, purify yourselves, change your garments, because we're going to Bethel. He's ready to go now. It's called relocate, relocate, relocate. We're in the wrong spot here. Now notice what he says. He says you've got to do three things.

One, put away foreign gods. Now watch this. He's the father. He's the husband. He says put away foreign gods. So there are idols in his house.

He's the head of the house. There are idols in the house. He knows there are idols in the house.

He's been hanging out with idols in the home for over 20 years. An idol is anything you look to and treat it like it is God in your life. That means you've got two gods, and whenever you invite an idol, you invite a demon because idols are demonized elements. So anything can become an idol. Your television can become an idol if it causes you to replace God in your life. In other words, if you can always watch your TV show but not get around to spending time with God, television became an idol. Rachel had brought the idols with her in chapter 31. It talks about Rachel bringing the idols of her father with her, and that means that contamination entered the home. Verse 34 says, Now Rachel had taken the household idols and put them in the camel's saddle, and she sat on them. And so she brought the idols with her.

The thing about it is, at some point, Jacob discovered it and didn't do anything about it. We know he knows they're there because he goes and tells them, we've got to get rid of these idols. Because if we didn't have these idols, we wouldn't have this mess. We've got this mess because we've strayed from God and then brought foreign gods with us.

We've got to get rid of the idols. He says the second thing is, purify yourselves. Remove the sin out of your midst. Thirdly, change your clothes.

Change your garments. To change the garment was symbolism of reorienting the life. When a policeman puts on his blue uniform, the change of the clothes represents something. When you see that blue, you know that the change of the clothes means that he is more than just an ordinary man. He is a, or she is a police officer with authority when they change the clothes. When a judge puts his robe on, you know he's not just an ordinary man.

He's a person with authority. In other words, the change of clothes represents another position. So to change your clothes meant to put on a new way of life, a new way of orientation. To change your clothes means we're going to do things differently now. We're not going to keep doing the way we're doing. We're not going to keep wearing the same old clothes over and over and over and over again. You have said to people in your family, to your children, why don't you change your clothes? You're wearing the same stuff.

You're functioning the same way. Dr. Evans will talk about the wardrobe change that took place in Jacob's life and spell out what it will take for us to do the same when he continues our message from his current series, Revive Us Again. There's no question that our country needs revival. Why not let it start with you? To help you get started, we'd like to send you all 14 full-length messages in this two-volume series as our way of saying thanks for your donation to support Tony's ministry. And as a special bonus, we'll also send you a copy of his brand-new book, God Himself.

It takes a detailed look at the most important characteristics that define the Lord, and it will draw you closer to Him as you realize more fully what it means to be made in His image. This special double offer will run out soon, so call our Resource Center today at 1-800-800-3222 to get the details and make the arrangements. Or visit us online at tonyevans.org. I'll have our contact information again after Part 2 of today's lesson and this. If you're like most Christians, there are people in your life who know you but may not know Jesus. You really want to do something about that, but don't feel equipped to share your faith effectively.

In other words, maybe if you knew more, you could do more. Well, that's where the Tony Evans Training Center comes in. It's an online Bible school with classes that will take you deep into the most important core concepts of the faith. You can start with our free introductory course on evangelism, then move on to subjects like spiritual warfare, marriage building, maturing in the faith, and many more. The content is challenging, but you can move through it at your own pace any time you're online. There's also lots of custom content from Tony and an online forum where you can get your specific questions answered.

Go to TonyEvans.org and follow the link to the Tony Evans Training Center. It's like having a seminary on your smartphone. Jacob finally mans up. He was the head of the family, but he was a bad leader. He was a bad leader because he did not control the spiritual level in the home. He didn't lead his family in God's way. He didn't make sure that there were no idols. And so the kids ran amok.

Everything ran amok because he was no longer in control. Listen, men, if you are going to be the man God has called you to be, if we are going to be the men God has called us to be, if we're going to man up to our responsibility, that means we're looking out for idols that try to sneak in the home, even if your pretty wife brought it there. Leadership is not just a title.

Leadership means overseeing the atmosphere where I live. Overseeing the atmosphere where I live, he says, you kids have damaged the household. God says you need to go to Bethel. It is your spiritual departure, mister, that has put the family in this situation.

And yet it was contributed to by his wife, by Rachel, who was so in love with her idols that instead of being a helpmate, she became a hurtmate. And so he says, I will arise, let us arise, go to Bethel. And I love this, Jacob says, okay, I led you wrong, now I'm going to lead you right. He says, you can serve the other gods of all these other nations, but in Joshua 24, 15, as for me and my house, I'm setting the spiritual agenda. So what the question is, particularly for the men, is are you setting the spiritual agenda for your home, or are you just talking about I'm the leader? If you're not setting the spiritual agenda, you may be a good provider, and that's great, we need more of those, but you should be setting the spiritual atmosphere for the household. As for me and my house, we shall serve the Lord.

He arises and goes to Bethel. I'm going to make an altar there, because that's what God told me to do in verse 1. We're going to have a family worship. Family worship, by the way, men, are you leading your family in family worship?

An altar? You're supposed to be doing that. You're supposed to be the pastor here. You're supposed to be the pastor there. He says, the reason I'm going back to God, the house of God Bethel, is He answered me in the day of my distress. I remember I was in a mess 20 years ago, and He came through.

I'm in a mess now. I need to go back home to Bethel. As they journeyed to verse 5, there was a great terror upon the cities which were around them, and they did not pursue the sons of Jacob.

Wait a minute. Remember in chapter 34, verse 30, He's terrified that these folks are going to jack Him up because of what His sons had done to all the men of the city. But because He manned up, rose up, and went home, it says the terror of the Lord, verse 5, came upon the city, and they did not bother Him. Because He was now going right, God entered in and protected Him in a bad situation.

You may have been making mistakes for 20 years, but if you'll get up today, I'm not talking about I'm going to get up one day. It says He got up and started back home spiritually to Bethel. When He was on the way, He hadn't arrived yet, He was just pointed right. When He started moving right, and the family started moving right with Him, it says the Lord intervened into His crisis situation and didn't let the circumstance He was in mess Him up.

Because they were out to kill Him. But the terror of the Lord, it said in it in. It could be for you financial terror, or job terror, or career terror.

It could be whatever it is that's making you afraid right now. But God is so great and so powerful, if you will move you and your family back to Bethel, God says that the crisis doesn't have to control you. So Jacob comes back to Bethel. He arrives at Bethel, verse 7, he built an altar there, a place of worship, sacrifice. And called the place, watch this now, a little Hebrew, El-Bethel, verse 7. Then God, verse 9, appeared to Jacob again when he came to pattern Aram and he blessed him. You're looking for a blessing?

You can't find it? Maybe it's because you're not back at Bethel. Where did he bless him? He blessed him at Bethel.

He didn't bless him in Shechem. He blessed him at Bethel. He blessed him when he got relocated back to where he was supposed to have been all the time. He blessed him. How did he bless him?

Watch this. God said to him, your name is Jacob. You shall no longer be called Jacob, but Israel shall be your name. He called him Israel.

God said to him, I am God Almighty. When God changes your name, it's because he's fixing your character. When God changes your name, doesn't mean he's just calling you something different. To change your name means something's messed up in your nature. Your character, you're a trickster, you're a conniver, you're evil, you're mean, you're disgraceful.

So you just don't need religion. You need a character change. But the only place I can change your character is at my location.

Is at my location. Is at Bethel. Many of us here, husbands, wives, children, teenagers, we don't just need more information.

We come to church weekly and get information. We need a change in our nature. He says, at Bethel, I will change your character. It's not enough to believe in God. Believing in God is nice. But he says, if you believe in me, if you follow me, you're going to see heaven touch earth. And I believe there's somebody in here today that needs to see heaven touch earth. I believe there's somebody here today that needs to see heaven do something in history.

I believe there's somebody here today who needs eternity to touch time. Somebody here to fix your personality, to fix your rebellion. You've been brought into your marriage the misery of your mother. You've been brought into your marriage the failure of your father. You're seeing worked out in your children the rebellion you showed to your parents.

You're seeing this transfer. And you need God to turn this thing or you better go back to Bethel. And according to the scripture, Bethel is when you take Jesus Christ seriously and follow him by faith. That is your new Bethel. And at Bethel is where God speaks brand new. He speaks afresh. Dr. Tony Evans, talking about how revival can spread from you to your entire family. Of course, you can't spread what you don't have. If you've never started a relationship with God through Jesus Christ, it begins by realizing that none of us is perfect enough to qualify for heaven on our own. But that's not the end of the story.

Here's Dr. Evans to explain why. He who knew no sin became sin for us that we might become the righteousness of God in him. Guess what? God is going to let you go to heaven on credit. He will credit to your account the righteousness of Christ, because God is credited to Jesus Christ your sin. So, your credit score can be 100 if you go to Jesus Christ for salvation right now.

How do you do that? Just visit tonyevans.org and click on the link that says Jesus. Tony has a short, powerful video that explains what real Christianity is all about, along with some free follow-up resources. Check it out today and discover the amazing difference it can make in your life.

Again, that's tonyevans.org. If you'd like a copy of today's message to review on your own or to pass along to someone else, you can get it as a part of our current two-volume, 14-message series called Revive Us Again. The complete series is available on CD and digital download and contains messages and additional material we won't have time to include on the air.

So, if you want to get the complete picture on revival, there's no better way to do that than to request the Revive Us Again series for yourself. And as I mentioned earlier, for a limited time, we'll send it to you along with a copy of Tony's brand-new book, God Himself, as our gift in appreciation for your contribution toward the work of the Urban Alternative. You can get the details, make your donation, and instantly download your messages online at tonyevans.org. Or call our resource center, where one of our helpful team members will be happy to assist you.

The number is 1-800-800-3222. On Monday, Dr. Evans will talk about the next step in the spread of revival. From our own life, to our family, and now to our church. I hope you'll be back with us then. The Alternative with Dr. Tony Evans is brought to you by the Urban Alternative and is made possible by the generous contributions of listeners like you.
Whisper: medium.en / 2024-03-16 08:52:48 / 2024-03-16 09:01:51 / 9

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