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Help for the Helpless

The Urban Alternative / Tony Evans, PhD
The Truth Network Radio
December 10, 2020 7:00 am

Help for the Helpless

The Urban Alternative / Tony Evans, PhD

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December 10, 2020 7:00 am

Sometimes it feels like the answer to our problems is so close we can almost touch it. Almostbut not quite. Join Dr. Tony Evans as he explains that the Lord can extend our reach when we look to him for the right kind of help.

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Many of us are yet to discover the power of the Word because we're still discussing it, rather than stepping out on it. Dr. Tony Evans says there's a world of difference between simply dialoguing and actually doing. Because faith for the Christian is acting like God is telling the truth. 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. Words like impossible or incurable don't apply when God is part of the equation. But Dr. Evans says seeing miracles happen is in some ways up to us.

Let's join him as he explains. In John chapter 5, after these things there was a feast of the Jews, and Jesus went up to Jerusalem. Now there in Jerusalem by the sheep gate, a pool, which is called in Hebrew Bethesda, having five porticoes. In these lay a multitude of those who were sick, blind, lame, and withered, waiting for the moving of the waters. For an angel of the Lord went down at a certain season into the pool and stirred up the water. Whoever then first, after the stirring up of the water, stepped in was made well from whatever disease with which he was afflicted. And a certain man was there who had been 38 years in his sickness. When Jesus saw him lying there and knew that he had already been a long time in that condition, he said to him, do you wish to get well? The sick man answered him, sir, I have no man to put me into the pool when the water is stirred up. But while I am coming, another steps down before me. Jesus said to him, arise, take up your pallet, and walk. And immediately the man became well, took up his pallet, and began to walk. The man had been in this physical situation because of an unaddressed spiritual problem.

There was a spiritual issue, because he says, sin anymore, that had led to his physical, visible circumstance. Most of us go to the doctor when self-help won't work. We go to the doctor when mama's remedies won't work, when what's in the medicine cabinet won't work, and when what we can do across the counter is not enough. Then we appeal to somebody who will not be satisfied simply to hear about the symptoms. We appeal to somebody who won't be satisfied simply to see the external dilemma of what we're facing.

We now have to deal with somebody who's going to take pictures on the inside, because the doctor has a capacity that the average person does not have, and that is to get to the root of what is causing the external symptoms. Many of us have remained in an extended period of time in circumstances that have not changed because the spiritual issue that brought them about have not been addressed. Unless and until spiritual causes for external problems are addressed, the symptoms will remain. Many people want their circumstances changed without their spiritual condition being altered. They want their circumstances changed without their spiritual condition being altered. He says, I want to get better, but I don't have any human help. When you're in a dilemma and God doesn't raise up a human being, a homo sapien, to change your situation, it's because he doesn't want to use a human being to change your situation. He wants to change it himself.

He says, I want to get well, but there is no human help available to make me better. That's when Jesus says, verse 8, arise. Take up your pallet and walk. There's a whole lot in a short phrase. Get up, take up, move on. There are three movements in there.

Now, we have to understand something. The man is being commanded to do the very thing he's unable to do. He's unable to get up, take up, and move on.

That's why he needs a man to help him. He is unable to do what God commands him to do. He is to pick up his bed. I like this phrase that's used regularly in the New Testament, take up your bed and walk.

He wants to pick up the bed that he depended on and carry the bed with him. What this tells us is that the power to pull off what God expects is built into the command. He did not have power to do what he was being asked to do.

So the command had to also provide the enablement. The point is there is no divine expectation that does not have built into it the enablement to pull off that expectation. That is the relationship of the Holy Spirit to the Word of God. That's why he's called the helper or the enabler. His job is to help you to pull off what the command of God may give you an impression cannot be pulled off. How many times have you read the Bible about a divine expectation and said, I can't do that?

Well, you're just like this man. The man says, not only can I do it, I don't even have anybody to help me do it. But the power to pull off the expectation was in the command. Because the Word of God is sharp and powerful. Arise, take up your pallet and walk.

And immediately, verse 9, the man became well and took up his pallet and began to walk. Please note that verse 8 called him to do something, because faith for the Christian is acting like God is telling the truth. Faith is not first rooted in your feeling about a subject, although feelings are not negated. They just have to be guided. It is that their faith had to be demonstrated by the function.

Let me put it another way. He would have never realized that he could arise, take up his bed and walk, until he arose, took up his bed and walked. He could have sat down there thinking about it, meditating on it, and maybe even having a prayer meeting regarding it. He could have perhaps had some folk bring him in the Wednesday night service prayer meeting and say, y'all pray because Jesus told me to take up my bed and I need some prayer.

Because after 38 years, I've been laying down here and I'm unable to do it. He would not have discovered the power of the Word until he acted on the Word that had the power. He would have not discovered the power of the Word until he acted on the Word that had the power. It was the action with regard to the Word that demonstrated that the Word that he acted on had the power to produce what the Word said it could.

Many of us are yet to discover the power of the Word because we're still discussing it, having Bible studies about it, getting professional opinions regarding it rather than stepping out on it. Arise, take up your pallet and walk, and immediately the man became well. Now, 38 years of suffering solved in an instant. Why does it take 38 years of suffering before a solution is gained?

Because it took 38 years for him to be willing to be made well God's way. You cannot bring to God your cure for your situation. Dr. Evans will have more for us when he returns in just a moment. Stay with us. 2021 is just around the corner and your help is vital to finish the year strong and keep these messages coming your way. What people need right now is the hope and truth found in God's Word, but the financial costs to make that happen continue to increase. Your gift today will help keep the urban alternative going strong on air and online. So more listeners like you can continue to be encouraged by messages of hope and life. Visit tonyevans.org to give today. And when you help us out with a generous contribution, we'll say thanks by sending you the best of Tony Evans 2020, a giant set of 20 of his most popular messages, digging into subjects like overcoming addiction, worry, and anxiety, healing relationships, drawing closer to God, developing unshakable inner peace, and much more. And as an added bonus, we'll also include a copy of his popular devotional book, Called for a Purpose. Both of these wonderful resources are our gift to you when you make your year-end contribution online at tonyevans.org or call our resource center at 1-800-800-3222.

I'll repeat that information for you after Dr. Evans brings us part two of today's lesson. You remember 2 Kings 5, name it had leprosy, skin disease. And there was no solution. He was going to die. And somebody said, well, there's this prophet named Elisha down there and he can heal sick folk. He comes down with all his money, all his soldiers, the general in the army.

He got his posse. And they make their way down to Elijah. He knocks on the door. Little slave girl, servant girl comes to the door, says, yes, I'm Naman, I'm here to see the prophet Elijah. He said, what, may I deliver him a message? Yes, I'm the leper and I've come because I hear he can heal.

Just a minute, sir. She goes back to Elijah and says, Naman the general is at the door. He wants to see you about curing his leprosy. Elijah says, tell him go dip into Jordan seven times. He goes back to Naman and says, my boss, Elijah, the prophet says, go dip in the Jordan seven times. He says, what?

Yeah, my boss, the prophet said, go dip in the Jordan seven times. Naman said, now we got a couple of problems here. First of all, I'm Naman. I didn't come to talk to you. I came to talk to him. So first problem is what's he doing sending a servant to the door to give me instruction, I'm Naman. See, one of the reasons God has to give the cure is because God's cure will always demand your humility.

It's not you placing demands, it's you following instruction. Second problem is the Jordan is dirty. He said, well, wait a minute. If dipping in water, I don't have a problem dipping in water, but give me some clean water. The Jordan is dirty, he says, I got a couple of other rivers that are cleaner than the Jordan.

How come I can't do that? Then one of Naman's homies said to him, excuse me, but if the prophet had have asked you to do a difficult thing, would you not have done it? How much more of this easy thing, even though you don't like it? Naman goes and he goes down one time. Going down one time, two times, three times, four times, five times, still got leprosy, six times, still got leprosy, seven times. Bible says he comes up and his skin is like the skin of a baby.

You know why? Because he did what God told him to do. Now he could have gotten mad, got an attitude and died a leper, or he could have decided, maybe God is humbling me because he wants me to go his way.

This man takes up his pallet and begins to do something he could not do for 38 years. And we know it's a big deal because when the Jews saw it, they went off. They wanted to know, who told you to do this? They should have been rejoicing. Instead, they started fussing and cussing. Who told you, verse 12, to take up your pallet and walk? But he who was healed did not know who it was for Jesus to slip away while there was a crowd in that place, and after which Jesus found him. Behold, you have become well. Do not sin anymore, so that a worse thing may befall you. That's kind of deep sense.

To have something mess with you for 38 years, it don't seem like get much worse than that. What would it feel like to you to have Jesus come to your need, whatever it is, and say to you, rise, take up the situation you've been laying on and tote it around rather than it toting you around? Because see, when you lay on your bed, your bed has to hold you. When you carry your pallet, like your sleeping roll, when you carry your pallet, you carrying it. How many are in situations now that are carrying you rather than you carrying it? The problem that used to hold him, he's now holding.

The situation that made him lie down is now being rolled up and being controlled by him. It's a humorous story, I got pulled over for speeding and I was just coming from my house to the church, which is like a couple of blocks. I know you wonder how can I be speeding coming from the church, but I was, I was speeding. And I left my wallet at home because I was only coming to church and he pulled me over. And he said, sir, you in a hurry?

I don't know why they asked that question. Well, I said, yeah, I got an appointment at the church. What church? I said, oh, one right up the street, Oak Cliff Bible Fellowship. He said, you're the pastor?

I said, yeah. He says, my wife's been visiting that church lately. You're the pastor, right?

My wife's been visiting that church lately. Say, I'm gonna let you off this time, but go and speed no more. I said, hallelujah.

I said, hallelujah. The Jamaican lady was being sent back to Jamaica, being deported because of a crime that had been committed 10 years ago. 10 years ago, she had committed a crime.

And the law that was passed in 1996 said that when this kind of crime was committed, deportation was automatic. Many tried to help her stay here, including Bill Gates, one of the richest men in the world. But the court said she has to go. She has a daughter who's an American citizen. She did not want to take her American daughter back to Jamaica, so she was in a catch-22 and a helpless situation over something that had happened 10 years ago. She was at the airport, getting ready to board the plane back to Jamaica. She and a couple of friends got on their knees at the airport when it was time to be deported and called on God for the last time.

They had tried all the human options, and none of them had worked at the airport. A little bit before it was time for her flight, she and some friends got on their knees and prayed. Just before it's time to board the flight, officers of the court come up to her and tell her that the judge has given her a stay. Come to find out a lawyer had read her case and decided to take it on just out of good will.

A lawyer she'd never met, never talked to, decided to take her case, and through some connections or relationship, provided a stay. A prayer meeting turned into a worship service at the airport. Let me tell you when you know it's a real worship service. You know it's a real worship service when it can't be nobody but God. You know it's a real worship service when you've run out of human options and all the phone calls you make were closed doors.

All the contacts you make were locked opportunities. All the efforts you put forth didn't get you in any doors, but in the nick of time, at the right time. Sometime when it looks like there is no time, God breaks out on you. Always look for the spiritual root behind the physical fruit.

For the thing you are looking at may not be the problem that needs to be dealt with. Ask your Lord, your savior, the Jesus who knows where you are and how long you've been there. Lord, is it me, is it me, is it me, oh Lord? Is it me, standing in the need of prayer? Is there something that I have not seen about me that's gotten in the way of you doing for me what I need you to do? Reveal it, because guess what, Lord? I do wanna be made well. The first thing God reveals to us when we pray that kind of prayer is that we really are helpless, spiritually speaking, apart from a personal relationship with Jesus Christ.

People often think they know what that means, but it's better to be sure. So please take a few minutes to visit TonyEvans.org today and look for the link that simply says Jesus. There, Dr. Evans will explain what being a real Christian is all about and walk you through everything you need to know to start your brand new life. Before we wrap up, let me just throw in a quick reminder about our special year-end package, The Best of Tony Evans 2020. 20 of Tony's most popular messages, plus his powerful devotional book called for a purpose. This package is yours as our thank you gift when you support Tony's work here on the radio, on television, and with pastors, their families, and churches around the world.

Get Tony's best so you can be your best. The devotional book and 20 messages to end 2020. Make the arrangements today by visiting TonyEvans.org where you can also find great life-changing gifts for the people you care about. That's TonyEvans.org. Or call our 24-hour resource center at 1-800-800-3222. That number once again, 1-800-800-3222. Well tomorrow, Dr. Evans will explain why our relationship with God is exactly as deep as we want it to be and what we can do if we'd like to see a change. I hope you'll be back with us. 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 / 2024-01-16 09:15:25 / 2024-01-16 09:23:55 / 9

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