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The Urban Alternative / Tony Evans, PhD
The Truth Network Radio
June 21, 2021 8:00 am


The Urban Alternative / Tony Evans, PhD

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June 21, 2021 8:00 am

We’re often eager for God to change our circumstances as long as we don’t have to do too much changing in the process. Join Jonathan Evans as he explains why it usually doesn’t work that way, making us the biggest obstacle in the way of our own deliverance.


I'm not ignoring them and I'm not saying they're not real. I'm just saying that we serve a big God that is able to turn that thing around in an instant. Jonathan Evans says it's easy for us to become discouraged by our negative circumstances. God is showing us that if you just submit and give your heart to Him, then you can be open for so much more of what He wants to do. Celebrating 40 years of faithfulness, 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. We're often eager for God to change our circumstances, as long as we don't have to do too much changing in the process. But today, Jonathan Evans will explain why it usually doesn't work that way, making us the biggest obstacle in the way of our own deliverance. Let's join him in 1 Samuel 16 as he explains. I want to give you a power punch Bible study and encouragement.

Can I do that? Because right here you have Samuel, the prophet of God, who was going to the house of Jesse because God told him that I want you to go choose the king for myself. I don't want you to choose the king for anybody else. I want you to choose the king for me. Last time y'all had a king, y'all chose him. It didn't work out too well.

Let me do it. And so God said, go to the house of Jesse so that you can choose a king for me. And so Samuel said, okay, I got you. And he went to the house of Jesse. And what Jesse did, once Samuel told Jesse what was about to happen, Jesse presented seven of his sons. And he left his youngest child outside tending the sheep.

Now, I would like to submit first and foremost that Jesse did that on purpose. If someone comes to your house to offer one of your kids a max contract, you know what a max contract is? At Shafton and the Cowboys, I see some of these guys get max contracts. Zeke just signed for 90 million. That is called a max contract. For some of these NBA guys that get 150 or 200 million, that means they ran into their max offer.

Okay? The king of Israel is a max contract. Everything changes. And Samuel's coming into the house of Jesse and he's saying, I have a max contract by God put on the table right now. And it's going to come to one of your sons.

I don't know which one it is. God's going to choose the most valuable player out of your son. So I need you to present your sons to me. Jesse presents seven of the eight of his sons for the max contract. Now, I don't know about you, but if anybody comes to my house and offers me, my kids, a max contract, I'm not going to leave one of them out.

Matter of fact, if there's kids who spend the night all the time, you come over too just in case they call you out because somebody is going to get this. We're not leaving anybody out when there is a max offer on the table. And so what I'm letting you know is that Jesse knew what he was doing. There was something about David that made him more unlikely than everybody else.

Jesse saw that there was a legitimacy with his seven sons that he didn't have with his eighth son, that there was something going on that made the father reject one of his sons. Psalm 51 says this as David is doing a sinner's prayer to God, kind of a sinner's prayer. This is what he says in Psalm 51. He says, Behold, I was brought forth in iniquity, and in sin my mother conceived me. So let me tell you how his parents treated him based on the fact of how he was conceived in Psalm 27 10. Psalm 27 10 reads this way.

You can highlight it on your own time. But let me start at verse nine and then get to verse 10. He's talking to God and he says, Do not hide your face from me, Lord. Do not turn your servant away in anger.

You have been my help. Do not abandon me, nor forsake me, O God of my salvation. Why is he asking God this? Verse 10. For my father and my mother have forsaken me. In sin, I was conceived. I was even marginalized and ostracized by my parents because of how I was conceived.

And why in the world would his parents treat him that way? Why in the world would Jesse marginalize him just because he was conceived in sin? Certainly, there's forgiveness there.

Certainly, we can overcome this. Why is this such a grandiose problem that it seems to be such such a grandiose problem that it seems to be a continual rejection that David gets to experience in his life? Well, now you got to turn to Deuteronomy 23, verse two. No one of illegitimate birth shall enter the assembly of the Lord.

None of his descendants, even to the 10th generation, shall enter the assembly of the Lord. I would like to suggest to you that the reason why Jesse left him outside is because David had a different mother than his brothers. And Jesse was looking at the rules. And Jesse said, it can't be David. Because when I was doing my own thing after the seven brothers, he was the mistake child.

He's the one that goes against the rules. He's illegitimate. I've got my legitimate sons that are in position to be chosen as king.

These are the ones that you have to choose from. Because certainly God won't overrule himself to go get the illegitimate one. That's not possible. I mean, we can't expect that God would choose the one who's been marginalized and ostracized and can't be recognized. Certainly he can't be the one. So Jesse left his illegitimate son outside on purpose. Because it just can't be David. And so Jesse presented his seven sons. And Samuel said, nope. You ain't got no more kids?

Jesse said, well, I got one outside. And I can, in his mind. But he's illegitimate. There's a reason why I didn't bring him in here.

We will not sit down until you bring him here. Because you got to understand something about God. God loves to go to the back of the line to bring those in the back to the front. People may view you as illegitimate, and God says, I can change that title.

Matter of fact, I can even overrule my own rule in order to give you grace that you don't deserve. David was the one that could not be chosen. David was the one who was marginalized by his father.

People didn't see him as someone that was to be in the fold but should have been an outcast. David was never supposed to have a life. David was never supposed to come up. David was never supposed to have a call on his life by God.

It could not be David, and we will not sit down until you bring that boy in here. Because we serve a God who doesn't grade on the same grading scale that man does. God doesn't look at you the way your dad looked at you. Your dad may have viewed you as illegitimate, but God sees a very legitimate way that he can use the ones that man thinks are illegitimate. Because God gets greater glory when he overrules himself for people who don't deserve it. God goes up a notch in our eyes when we understand that his grace is sufficient even for those who don't deserve it. You can't use your circumstance as a barrier for God not to come to you. We got people grumbling, groaning, whining, and complaining about what they go through, where they're from.

They just got fired. My dad didn't love me. My mom put me on somebody's doorstep. I had somebody steal something from me. I had somebody take people, try to get over on me, all of those different things. And you continue to say that I am unlikely. And what I'm telling you is the more you say you're unlikely is the more I say perfect. God knows how to go to ones who messed it up and give them a makeup.

You ever have a teacher give you a makeup? It changes the curve on the grading scale because God is able to change things around. He did it with Moses, from murderer to deliverer.

He's wandering around in Midian, just hanging out, feeling sorry for himself. But that joker ran into a burning bush. And I'm hoping today that the bush will burn and that you will realize I cannot use my circumstance to allow my feelings to control my faith.

We are a people who are more emotional than we are biblical. I know that you're just trying to make ends meet. I know that it is a struggle. I know that you've been marginalized and you still have daddy issues. I know that there has been some fracture and some things that have happened in your marriage. I know that you've made mistakes. I understand all that. What I'm saying is God is greater than anything that you can bring to the table that you think makes you able to build a wall to block him out. Because it could not be David.

You know, it wasn't supposed to be Tony Evans. He was raised in Baltimore, Maryland, where the word statistic derived its meaning. If you were to ever go and visit my grandparents back in the day, you'd be like, what? It's horrible out there. Every house is boarded up. I remember my wife, while we were there for two daddy's funeral, she was looking up houses on the market that were in two daddy's neighborhood. There was a fully renovated 2,500 square foot, three bed, four bath, row house, wood floors, paint, baseboards, all done nice, crown molding, all of that.

It was on the market for 30 grand. That's just a picture of the neighborhood that my dad grew up in. He stuttered as a child, couldn't even speak, had to go to lessons, raised by high school dropouts. Y'all know the story. But God can turn that thing around because he goes to places. I'm just trying to encourage you by David's selection, it wasn't supposed to be David. So if you are just a bit discouraged in the room because you're looking at your circumstances, I'm not ignoring them, and I'm not saying they're not real.

I'm just saying that we serve a big God that is able to turn that thing around in an instant. Jonathan Evans will come back to take a look at how God sometimes surprises us in the most unlikely ways. But first, I wanted to let you know that today is the last message in Jonathan's powerful series, Forever Starts Now.

And that means two things. First, Dr. Evans will be back here with us tomorrow. And second, today is the last day to take advantage of receiving the special double offer that includes Jonathan's book and complimentary audio collection. The book is Your Time Is Now, Get What God Has Given You, and it expands on what we've been learning about discovering and fulfilling our God-given purpose. And the complete nine-message audio collection, Forever Starts Now, on both CD and digital download, includes the full-length versions of the lessons we've been hearing each day. God has something special he intends for you to do, and these resources will help you find what it is and take action toward doing it, and doing it now.

Unlock the satisfaction of discovering your purpose for now and for eternity. We'd like to send you Forever Starts Now and Your Time Is Now as our thank you gift when you make a donation toward the ministry of the alternative. Contact us today for more information on this powerful package of resources. All the details are waiting for you online at, or call us at 1-800-800-3222 and let one of our team members help you.

I'll have those contact details for you again after part two of today's message. Here's Jonathan. Why is it that God chose David, even in the most unlikely position, and left out those that were right in front of the preacher's face?

Because God's calling came under one condition. Samuel went in there in verse 6 of chapter 16 of 1 Samuel, and this is what he said, Surely it's Eliab. It's got to be him. He's tall. He's got the stature. That boy looked like a king. He got the stature. That boy looked like a king.

There's no other way to go other than Eliab. Surely God would choose the one who outwardly looks like he should be the one. Certainly, it would be the one that looks like they have it all together. Don't you see how they live? Don't you see what they drive? Don't you see how they dress when they come to church? Don't you see them all holding hands and saying kumbaya as a family as they walk on in? Don't you see how together it is for my boy Eliab? Surely that's the one God wants to pedestal to the next level for his kingdom.

Nope. I don't grade on the outward appearance. I'm not looking at what y'all are looking at. I see things a little bit different, Samuel. Even the pastor got it wrong, where he was about to elevate somebody that God wasn't elevating. It was a different scale.

You know what it was? Man, you see the outer appearance, but I'm looking at the heart. It is not your outer circumstances that are the block.

It is not what you've done, what you've gone through, what somebody else did to you, or how somebody else marginalized you or even felt that you were illegitimate. God is looking at your heart. All those outer things, yes, they hurt, and yes, they make you feel, and yes, makes you unsure, all of those different things, but God is looking at your heart.

The man is staring at the outside, and God is saying, mm-mm, I'm just looking at the inside. And if I can get the right heart, they can get the call. They can get the call. What's the purpose of getting applauded by man and getting booed by God? When I travel with the cowboys, the red carpet is rolled out.

Even with mediocre seasons, it still gets rolled out because it just is what it is. It makes you puff your chest out. There's cameras everywhere.

Even when we went to Washington, people on every level waving flags, and it's just all of these people who are applauding the outward ability that can be put on the field physically. And I say to them all the time, and I'll say it to you and say it to myself, don't get it twisted, because just because man sees you as having it together, and you're able to put on a show physically and let everybody else at least believe on the outward onset of things that everything is together, that even if it's loud on earth, it can be silent in heaven. Because God is looking at something totally different. And we have people who are falling apart, marriages that are falling apart, churches that are falling apart, God's people, the society is falling apart because you've got a whole lot of people who stand and sit in front of the preacher who got bad hearts.

They look good. Nope. I don't want them. Because out of the eight of them, only one has the heart that I can use. That's why Acts 13, 22 says David was a man after God's own heart. How do you know that you're a man or woman after God's own heart? It tells you in that same verse, because he loved to do his will. I just want to take a moment to just ask you to check your heart.

I'll say it plainly. Check your heart. My wife and I, we bought iPhones 3G just when we first came out. We was excited because we knew it was going to be in there playing and having fun. We got home, needed to charge them up. I plugged it in.

I was excited. I said, let me let it sit for a second so I can get ready to play with it because we were about to have some fun. And then my wife went in and then she plugged it in and nothing happened.

It just was a dark screen. And I was thinking, ah, we bought a dud. We're going to have to take it back. And nobody wants to make an appointment at the Apple store and sit in the lines and do a, I don't feel like doing all that.

We just came from the Apple store. So I asked my wife, I said, let me see, let me hold it. I was holding down the buttons to see if the screen would light up. Maybe she didn't hold it down long enough.

She's like, babe, I held it down long enough. You know, I said, I'm just checking. I'm just checking. Let me help you.

Let me help you. And so she was like, I wonder if it's not working. I said, well, did you plug it in? I mean, I see that it's in, but I wonder if it's in. She said, come on now.

I plugged it in. I said, yeah, but let me just make sure it's in there. She said, it's it. Ooh, don't clap. Trying to have the right heart.

I don't need you to clap. So she went around the corner and I just had the, you know, I went low and behold, that thing jumped in. You see, it was in there, but it wasn't in there. I see that you're in here. That's not my question.

My question is, are you in here? Because the condition of His calling was not based on the condition of His circumstances. His experience was not based on the fact that His father didn't love Him like He loved His other children.

It wasn't about Him being marginalized and underutilized and ostracized. They found out real quick that the boy just had a good heart. My dad would often say, man, we've got all these churches and all these corners with all these members with all these programs and all these youth programs and all these conferences and all these serving opportunities, and we still got all this mess.

There must be a dead monkey on the line somewhere. And you have people who line up and show up in front of the preacher, and God is looking at them and saying, nope, because they're in it for the human Trinity, me, myself, and I. I want to make sure that you're encouraged by the simplicity of David's selection and how he was called. Don't think that your circumstances are too big for God, because you know that even if you go through something bad and you use that to allow you not to move forward in submission and the heart for God's using and choosing, that you're prideful. See, most people think pride is I think too highly of myself. Pride is even when you think too lowly of yourself. The problem with pride is you're thinking about yourself. Whether it's high or low, you are the object and the subject of your thought, which makes you prideful. And to think that God can't overcome what you've gone through is to be prideful to say that what I've gone through is bigger than what he can do. God is showing us that he can hit a bull's eye with a he can hit a bull's eye with a crooked stick. He is showing us that if you just submit and give your heart to him, then you can be open for so much more of what he wants to do.

Not comparing from one person to the next. Just saying that I want to be a servant of the king right where I am, and I'll let him decide what happens next. Jonathan Evans, wrapping up his final message from Forever Starts Now. Don't forget, all nine full-length messages in this collection can be yours with our thanks if you'll help us keep bringing this teaching here each day with your generous contribution.

You'll receive the complete series on CD and downloadable MP3s. And as a special bonus, when we hear from you today, you'll also receive Jonathan's brand new book, Your Time is Now, Get What God Has Given You. To take advantage of this offer, be sure to call right away, 1-800-800-3222.

Resource team members are on hand 24-7 to help you. That's 1-800-800-3222. Or you can make the arrangements online at Again,

For too many people, faith is the last resort when all other solutions fail. Well, tomorrow, Dr. Evans will be back to explain why the opposite should be true as he begins a series called The Kingdom Life. But before we go today, we want to share this quick shout-out we recently received in celebration of 40 years of God's faithfulness to the ministry of the Urban Alternative.

Hey, Dr. Evans, O.S. Hawkins and Jack Graham here, just thanking God for you and your 40 years of ministry. We've been in this city together with Dr. Evans and his wonderful church all these years, 30 years plus for me and you, 25 years. And we've just seen God do incredible things in your life, not only in this community where you are loved and appreciated, but through the Urban Alternative and the ministry of your church around the world. I love you.

I respect you. I thank God for you, Dr. Tony Evans. And Tony, let me just add that today as Jack and I sit here just to wish you a happy 40th anniversary of ministry. As Asaph said of King David, you've led your people with the integrity of your heart and the skillfulness of your hands. Just want you to know you're loved and appreciated. The alternative with Dr. Tony Evans is brought to you by the Urban Alternative and is celebrating 40 years of faithfulness thanks to the generous contributions of listeners like you.
Whisper: medium.en / 2023-11-01 23:01:33 / 2023-11-01 23:10:43 / 9

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