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Testimony for the Ages, Part 1

The Urban Alternative / Tony Evans, PhD
The Truth Network Radio
June 13, 2021 8:00 am

Testimony for the Ages, Part 1

The Urban Alternative / Tony Evans, PhD

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June 13, 2021 8:00 am

Many people want God to be more like their GPS, routing you around any trouble spots in the road ahead. But in this lesson, Jonathan Evans will tell us about the up side of downtimes and explain how the things that cause us to complain can ultimately give us cause to celebrate.

Crossroads Connection
Pastor Andy George
The Urban Alternative
Tony Evans, PhD
The Urban Alternative
Tony Evans, PhD
The Urban Alternative
Tony Evans, PhD
The Urban Alternative
Tony Evans, PhD
The Urban Alternative
Tony Evans, PhD

Understand that when you are down to nothing. It's only because God is up to something Jonathan Evans is God is ready to transform our tough situations that he comes into the problem and he changes your testimony from the problems with friends celebrating faithfulness. This is the alternative Dr. Tony Evans authored speaker, senior pastor of Oakland Bible Fellowship Dallas, Texas, president of the alternative, not one of us is immune wondering why we face certain struggles in our lives. But today, Jonathan Evans explains the guy can turn any negative situation into something good for us and for those around us. Let's join him as he helps us get a look at the big picture.

Each person in this room can look back and tell a story of how they got to where they currently are to talk to you about one verse one verse that really caught my attention as I was talking and thinking through what I talk about this morning and it's what I call a testimony for the ages because this verse spells out how that thing works.

It spells out how a testimony works how this church is gotten to where it is how you gotten to where you are, how I'm even able to stand on the stage right now and beware God is called me to be at this very moment. If the testimony is found in Genesis 50 verse 20 mil you will know it will after I read this verse and say it out loud. You may make the church space because you notice is verse by Genesis 5020 simply says this Joseph was looking at his brother and he said you meant it for evil but God meant it for good.

In order to bring about this present result to preserve many lives. That right there is a testimony. He's looking back on his life and he's recounting his story to get him to the place where he currently is. Now what about 100 years old he died of 110 and is looking back and letting the people in his presence know his brothers that there was something bad that happened.

But God was able to turn around and make it good it was to bring me to the place where I'm currently standing in the goal is always to preserve somebody's life that this church is testimony. Everything was always good at the beginning there were some hard things that we had to work through in order to get to the present place where we currently stand, but even though we had some hard things God took those hard things and made them good things so that we can get to a pinnacle or present result, or he has a in the goal is always to preserve somebody's life. That's how the testimony works. That's how your testimony works. That's how Joseph's testimony worked in he's letting us know he's giving us some of his 2020 vision and some of his hindsight so that some of us that may be in the hard part or the pit part or the dark part. The empty part, the part that's hard to give you a little bit of some of his vision so that you don't give up because there is going to be somebody in the future that's going to be counting on your testimony. The reason why you're sitting in this room is because early on when things are tough. The church didn't give up and now there are many people who are benefiting on the church's testimony.

The fact that we can stand here for 42 years, but Joseph let you know that this testimony is an investment that God makes in your life.

In other words, it starts in the red and moves its way to the black most people be God, and they wanted to start in the black. Knowing God makes an investment in your life, because he has a place where he's trying to take you. He's going to make that investment and you'll find yourself starting in the red but it's for the goal of that investment to take root so that you can move to the black. That's why you can't make the mistake and look at where somebody is currently in think that you know their story. You can't come to this church and sit down and and see how big it is in all the land and all the buildings and think that you know how we got here. A lot of people make assumptions when they look at other people and what they have or what the where they live and what they drive and they start assuming things about them, but really there. Reality is you don't know them. You don't know what God took them through to get them to the place where they currently are because there were things that each person in this room has gone through to make it where you are or are going through in order to get to the place where God wants you to be. It's called the testimony of Joseph spells out how this thing works. He said you meant it for evil is started back but God meant that things are good in order to bring about this present result in order to preserve somebody's life. He starts out by telling his brothers, you meant it for evil, you know what he was talking about, you know the story.

I just want to survey it for second he's talking about Genesis 37. You see, Joseph was the man who had favor from his father. His father loved him and gave him a robe or tunic a very colored tunic that represented dominion and authority that represented his calling that represented the fact that he had been handed rights, firstborn rights, even though he wasn't the firstborn, so he had that external evidence of the father's favor that he was wearing, but not only did he have that Joseph had a dream. He was a visionary.

He had a dream of things that he was thinking about how high up. He would go and that his brothers would actually be bowing down to him and so somebody didn't give his brothers the memo that favor a fair somebody didn't let his brothers know that it is everybody doesn't get portion out the same.

It doesn't work like that. Matthew 25 wasn't written then so they didn't know about the talents in the five and the two when the one they didn't understand all of that, so they didn't get the memo that favorite and fair. So when they saw that tunic and when they heard those dreams. They were jealous and they did not want Joseph to experience the calling on his life.

So it says in Genesis 3723 and 24 that his brothers stripped him of his tunic is very colored tunic and then they threw him into the pit and the pit was empty without any water in it. So here Joseph is going from happen, the father's favor to being stripped of the external evidence of the father's favor. Then being thrown into a pit and then being in a pit or he's not even getting the simplest of provisions. Water and feeling that it's empty. Here he is in the pit of his testimony he's thinking and recounting Genesis 37 while he's at Genesis 50 3200 years old and he's letting you know that this thing started bad, you know what my brothers tried to do. They tried to strip me of the father's favor that there are people with you know it's bad when the people that you think you can tell your dream to our jealous of the very dream that you have and people that you think will push you towards your dreams are the ones who want to strip you from your dreams. It's a sad reality when the people closest to you don't want to see your well-being because they didn't get the memo that favors just not fair. And so they stripped him of the external evidence of the father's favor on his life. But why do they do that because they couldn't strip him of his dream. That's internal so because they couldn't reach into his brain and stripped him of his dream. That's what they wanted. They decided to strip him of the evidence of his dream so that his external body would never make it to his drink. See, this is a tactic of the enemy. John 1010 that the enemy comes to steal, kill and destroy. Trying to take your testimony from you in the way that he does that is to strip you of the external evidence of the father's favor in your life so that you will feel like you have lost the father's favor in your life and if I can make you feel like you have lost the father's favor.

Then I can make you operate as if you do not have the father's favor. So what the brothers were doing as they were stripping him externally, but it was so that they can get an internal result get them into a pit where he can't move, but I want to show you how else God took that same scenario to turn it and make it good. It says that the pit Genesis 37 it says in verse 24.

It says that the pit was empty without any water in it now was thinking to myself, no one in the world. Sometimes you read the Bible and step back and think a little bit why in the world with the author go so much trouble to tell you the nature of the pit is good enough that he got strip and begin their why are you telling me that it's empty and it has no water in it so I prayed about that for about three days what what is the correlation between Joseph having to experience not just a stripping not just the pit but also a pit that's also empty and doesn't have the provision of water in it in the spirit threw it up into my mind and said this is how it works. God will always prepare you for how he's about to use you if you see in chapter 41 he's giving Pharaoh answers to his dreams that there is a famine coming Pharaoh put him in charge over a famine of famine means you have people who are experiencing emptiness.

No food and who are experiencing no water. So, what God will allow you to do is experience the purpose of what he's going to do what he puts you in the palace because he doesn't just want you to have the information when you preserve somebody's life. You need to be able to sympathize with their weaknesses, so he has Joseph in a pit that's empty and waterless because I need you to be able to sympathize with some people who were about to be empty and waterless when I reclothe you I need you to know what to do if somebody is experiencing a falling out of the family were divorced, that you may be even the pastor, but let me talk to somebody that's experience what I'm going through. There's a way that God wants to use you and you can always get the identifier by how he's going to use you by keeping your eyes open and the pit. God will always give you evidence in your struggle. See most people are thinking about the struggle, but they don't have their eyes open to the evidence.

If you have your eyes open to the evidence, and even though you're in the pit. You know what God is going to do later. That's why people are passionate about things they previously experienced. Have you ever noticed that your passion to help somebody comes from the very thing you use the struggle with God uses that and turns it upside down so that you can have a testimony to preserve somebody's life realize this is not just about you that we like to to correlate scriptures from the New Testament. I correlate scriptures you got Romans eight $28 work all things out for good for those who love God and are called according to his seaweed jump over pews and we swinging from the rafters on the first part, but he works it out for good. Because of his purposes. He's thinking about whose life he need you to preserve these thinking about the outworking of his kingdom.

A lot of people sit in the pit for an extended amount of time because they want God to change things for their own Christian narcissism. They want God to bring a cloud down the sit on them for them for their throne for their omniscience for their omnipresence for what they want to do in their life. Joseph got to a .4151 he named his son, Genesis 4151 he named him Manasseh because it means the Lord has made me forget about all my troubles out on you forgot so you don't remember what you went through know he remembers cousin Genesis 50 said you minute freedom so as not that he forgot is not the his cognitive capacity is failed is just that where he is and so plush work God has taken them from a so good that where he's been no longer controls him where he, so even the fruit that comes from me have to give names based on where I am writing name in pain not named him Manasseh was mean only remembered as the my mom could tell you I told you about the sweat factory. But you know when I asked her about the sweat pecorino. She would always call my sisters in there to help you to be like we do is hot you're frustrated when his hot you know that are in there trying to help my mom out in the sweat factory. When I asked her about those days as a man I know that was rough because I wouldn't dare I get the best position in the house. Baby and family. All of that rest of his overages party sleep. Have fun. Bring me something to drink him having fun, but they had it hard when I asked her about it she said yeah that was tough but now 1000 stations and over hundred and 30 countries, but now I'm not in the sweat factory anymore. I'm in this air-conditioned building that we purchased. That comes out the ministry of Tony Evans but now I been the executive director for national and international ministry for 30 years. But now, because when God shows up. He makes you forget a little bit got a little bit amnesia when it comes to what's going on in your life, not because you forgot, but because he's just that good. Jonathan Evans will share with us a trying personal story from his family continues. Today's message just a moment first so I want to let you know that Dr. Evans will be returning to the broadcast on June 22. Following the special two week presentation of messages from his son, author, speaker and chaplain Jonathan Evans forever starts now is a nine message audio collection. We are excited to make available on both CD and digital download that it contains material. We won't have time to present on the year.

Through these messages, you discover that God is holding something special for you and it's much more valuable than anything else. You spent time and effort trying to achieve. Unlock the satisfaction of discovering your purpose for now and eternity. We like to send you forever starts now is our thank you gift when you make a donation toward the ministry of the alternative that if you do it right away. As an added bonus will include a copy of Jonathan Evans brand-new book, your time is now building on the insights we been learning today. This encouraging book will help you understand your own calling and significance of the kingdom of God sending you this powerful package of resources is one way we can show our appreciation for your faithfulness to contact us today for more information on forever starts now and your time is now. All the details are waiting for you or call us at 1-800-800-3222 like one of our team members help you. Those contact details for you again after part two of today's message and this way, you're more than a job greater than the balance in the bank status phase for character and courage leave a legacy that lasts only your yesterday's definer tomorrow made for much more. In a sequel to the instant bestseller kingdom men Tony Evans came to men rising urges men to embody the greatness of God's already given lookahead behind you, eyes forward. All God has for you is there for you right now going to get his faith was needed right now.

Get the book kingdom men rising today. Discover how find out more. Tony Our first child for all of you pregnant ladies in the room right now. This will be your story. We got introduced with Kelsey. Probably a week before she was scheduled to be born because they said she was there to be a big baby and sure enough she came at 880 who would wait a week. She might've had that nine.

Our two sons were 9591 so we plan okay. We went in and they gave her medication.

We know now that she doesn't need medication to have babies because her labors are quick. Our last child from the start of her labor to the delivery with an hour and 1/2, but this one we didn't know was our first time, and so we we had some medication. We got induced that medication had a negative effect on my life. She had contractions with no breaks. So her contractions are going up as I'm looking at it on the monitor in minutes falling down and I see her breathing. Some nothing goes right back up and she would say all Lord, here he comes again and I'm thinking you know I'm saying out loud.

I wish I could take it from your were stuck in my mind unlike me forget about that. I can say that now in a cavity in the end of my right they know heroes around here we go.

Then we went through 16 hours of labor.

Okay, this is not your experience and then finally the baby came and it was just J you know who tire was so I had already shut down in my mind that because of this experience.

We just had we done we will in and out of their I'm pretty sure that my wife is not going to do this again. After going through that type of experience.

We came so after about 10 months past. She came to me and she said I'm ready for number two I said I said, but don't you remember what happened with number one, don't you remember she said I remember. But look at this baby. So what she was looking at overrode what she remembered about the pain of the birth so I said are you sure you want to do this and she said I'm sure I want to do this. It was the baby see when God delivers what he's going to deliver in your life you look at that baby and say it was worth. Let's do this thing again. There is a testimony and he said it was so good that I can even remember my troubles in my father's household that God is trying to do something in your life.

He's trying to birth something and produce something and bring fruit about but you can quit. You can throw in the towel in the middle of your testimony or the stripping from the enemy would have one that he's taken you down and you never lost the father's favorite. Just because you lost a little bit of physical evidence physical evidence does doesn't override God spiritual Providence so never get it twisted. As you're walking through this life that I got to keep going because somebody's life is going to be preserved.

Based on my testimony. When we tell your story about my testimony just for second most people know I was a sports guy was. The thing is over now, but I was a sports guy football player played at Duncanville high school won the state championship then went to Baylor got educated when were no gains but my parents got I was a winner because I got a full scholarship that means you want I careless. How many games you with so I've got a full scholarship fluoride to go to Baylor University and I had a dream. Everybody knows my dream was to play in the NFL wanted to play in the NFL. I told God just allow me to run out the tunnel, I just want to run out the tunnel, I just wanted fueled the fire and see the planes and and hear the crowd. I just wanted that opportunity to play a few games in the NFL and I got a chance, I was picked up in the 2005 draft class by the Dallas Cowboys. Some of you cowboy fans know that the draft class of Marion Barber and DeMarcus Ware and Jay Ratliff and all of those guys you don't know because they were better but I was there they still write checks for everybody. I was in there so I was there three weeks into being equipped I was stripped I walked up to the door and the guy that we call the Grim Reaper.

He stepped out and put his hands on my chest. Then he reached out and he took the playbook didn't say a word.

He just pointed that way because you know what that means. He just going back now only had 20 minutes to mocha plan for the account without me home in 20 minutes so it's not like I got a flight to cry about it know I gotta go home and try to reassemble and then I got a call from the San Diego Chargers. I said okay.

Got let's make this thing happen.

Let's make this dream come to life.

And then they said were going to allocate you to NFL Europe so that you can develop like develop only to develop so I go to this NFL Europe league and things keep going downhill were in training camp and you have a two hour practice than they let you take off your helmet and eat a banana and apple put it back on and go to another to our practice.

I said the same for me. I don't want to do this route there in Tampa is hot. We finally a flight to Germany is white walls, white sheets, no English-speaking channels for several months. I wanted to quit.

I call my dad and I told him I said I'm going to quit football amount I'm done. This is not for me. So I said book a flight because I will have no money remembered always talk about waiting on the money and we cosign, leaving the cosign I need you to sign by himself. I need you to book this ticket so I can get home because this is not for me I can handle this stripping that I'm going through my favorite scenes like it's been lost or gone and I need to go home so he is a sure sign. I said, I'm really sure book the ticket he booked the ticket I go sit in the coaches office and tell them I'm going home. He said we really don't want you to go home for a good player. I said literally I don't care what you want this job and everything I can with what you want because I was frustrated and I'm 22 years old 23 years old.

I'm going home right now and he said we can go home right now because you haven't been your exit physicals you can do your exit physical tomorrow night because that's a liability. You let a player go home before he does exit physicals then come back and say I was hurt on the job and try to get paid that way. So I call my dad and said I can't go home till tomorrow night. My dad said don't you think it's interesting that all Lord here goes the philosopher that you couldn't leave when you wanted to leave because I want you to do some form.

I want you to go out to one more practice and I want you to ask God if he wants you there in spite of what you think you want to be there so I went back out to that practice and I kid you not in the practice. I was crying you know when you're really crying because you can't control your neck just I'm crying. My neck is talking back, I can do nothing about it because I don't want to be there. This is a pit for me to experience but I asked God if you want me to be and you will have to give me a peace that surpasses all understanding, and I kid you not. The next time I put my hand in the dirt's that's exactly what I felt made the next play and turned around and looked in my coach and I said I'm staying in and he said okay great, where this came from but then I realized by the end of the season. My teammates had given me a new nickname call me rear seven players accepted Jesus Christ.

So now I know the business transaction that has to take place to get on the field and the NFL was all I could do is pray for people lead people to Jesus.

Now you will let me run up the tunnel right so I'm just trying to manipulate God for him to put me in the palace where I see myself so I go to the Titans. I do it will guide us.

Call me to do, but I still get cut. I go to the Washington Redskins. I do it, but I still get cut. But finally, in 2011 I'm standing in the tunnel.

I circle back around to the Dallas Cowboys and I call my dad and I said that we did it we hear I'm about to run out the tunnel for the first time in my dad said amen son amen know what you should be wondering why where you got your cell phone in the tunnel because the first time I ran out of the tunnel for my first NFL game wasn't the player I was the chaplain because God has a plan for your testimony. Now, it may not be your plan, but it's a good plan and is to give you a future and they give you a hope.

Don't think it's about you that you end up like a fruit that is eating itself rotten you been placed here to preserve somebody's life by the blood of the lamb and the word of your testimony, Jonathan Evans, reminding us God has our best interests at heart when we allow him to do his work in our lives. And if you're not sure how to do that. Dr. Tony Evans would love to explain it to you. Just visit Tony and follow the link that says Jesus will discover what it takes to start a brand-new life right now, right where you are again it's 20 and while you're there, don't forget to check into getting a copy of Jonathan Evans brand-new book, your time is now look at finding your reason for being in experiencing greater fulfillment. As you realize your life's purpose and as a special bonus when you make a financial contribution toward keeping this ministry, coming your way. Each day will say thanks by sending you your time is now, and all nine full-length messages from Jonathan's corresponding series forever starts now.

You'll find us you can make all the arrangements or give us a call, day or night at 1-800-800-3222 were a resource team members are standing by to help.

That's 1-800-800-3222. Dr. Evans will be returning to our broadcast on June 22 after Jonathan Evans completes this special series called forever starts now.

Next time you point out that we jeopardize our future impulsively grab the things we want today sure to join us for the alternative with Dr. Tony celebrating 40 years of faith thanks to generous contributions like

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