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Now or Later

The Urban Alternative / Tony Evans, PhD
The Truth Network Radio
June 20, 2021 8:00 am

Now or Later

The Urban Alternative / Tony Evans, PhD

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June 20, 2021 8:00 am

From the moment we’re born, all humans share a common tendency: we want what we want when we want it. But in this lesson, Jonathan Evans will reveal how we jeopardize our future when we only reach for what we want today.

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The enemy will always be cooking up something that you're hungry for. But Jonathan Evans says there's wisdom in controlling our appetite. We're so into our flesh and what we want right here, right now, that we don't realize we're making a deal with the devil that's giving up our future.

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. From the moment we're born, all humankind shares a common tendency. We want what we want when we want it.

But Jonathan Evans says we jeopardize our future when we grab just what we want today. Let's join him as he explains. Let me turn your Bible to Genesis chapter 25, and I'm going to read to you starting at verse 29, verse 29 through 34. When Jacob had cooked stew, Esau came in from the field and he was famished. And Esau said to Jacob, please let me have a swallow of that red stuff there, for I am famished.

Therefore, his name was called Edom. But Jacob said, first, sell me your birthright. Esau said, behold, I am about to die.

So of what use then is the birthright to me? And Jacob said, first, swear to me. And he swore to him and sold his birthright to Jacob. Then Jacob gave Esau bread and lentil stew, and he ate and drank and rose and went on his way. Thus, Esau despised his birthright.

Now I'm going to walk you through this story. We won't go line by line, but first I want to set it up and make sure you have an understanding of all of Esau and Jacob's story. Esau is the older brother of Jacob and their twins. They're the sons of Isaac. Isaac is the son of Abraham. So you have Abraham, Isaac, Esau and Jacob. Now at verse 25, it tells you their birth.

It tells you their order. In verse 25, it says, Now the first came forth red all over like a hairy garment, and they named him Esau. Afterward, his brother came forth with his hand holding on to Esau's heel. So his name would be called Jacob.

And Isaac was 60 years old when she gave birth to them. It says Esau was born first and then it says Jacob was born second and Jacob would grab the heel of Esau. The author is setting up the story letting you know that Jacob would be coming after Esau.

From birth, Jacob would be grabbing his heel, trying to trip him up, known as the trickster, so to speak, to go after the blessing, to go after the birthright. So you have to understand the importance of that and also understand the order in which they were born. Why is the order in which they were born important? Because the firstborn would carry the birthright. The firstborn would have the birthright and the birthright is a big deal. The birthright means that the firstborn son would get a double inheritance of the father. But what if you have two children, Isaac and Jacob? You have two portions. Esau would get a double portion of two portions, which leaves Jacob with what?

Nothing. And he grabbed his brother's heel. I guess so. I would grab my brother's heel too. Not only that, the oldest child would also be given the succession rights of the father. He would be given the rule or dominion over the family. When you fathers leave your home, you'll look at your oldest boy and you say, Daddy's leaving, so now you're the man of the house. What you're telling him is, as the oldest son, he has the succession rights. And that's what Esau would have.

So not only does he have a double inheritance, not only does he have succession rights, but he has a third thing that's extremely important, probably the most important that comes along with this birthright, being the oldest child. God made a promise to Abraham. God told Abraham, I'm going to make your name great through you.

I'm going to create a great nation. And through that, all nations will be blessed. Well, all nations weren't blessed by Isaac. All nations weren't blessed by Jacob. All nations were blessed by the twelve tribes of Israel, Jacob's sons. So who blessed all nations? He was talking about Jesus Christ. You see, Jesus Christ would be the only one to come to bless all nations. So in Genesis, we're already referencing the coming of the Messiah. The firstborn son would have genealogy rights to the Messiah.

Their descendants would be connected to Jesus Christ. So Esau is born into the penthouse. He didn't go from rags to riches.

He started with riches and ends up at the end of this story with rags. Esau is famished. That boy is hungry.

And the author is making a point that right now, he's feeling it right now. He's all about his flesh right now. He is extremely famished and extremely hungry. But wait a minute now, Esau has the birthright. He's got the double inheritance. He's got succession rights. He's got genealogy rights to the Messiah.

Yeah, he's got all of that. But right now, he's extremely famished. Just because you're a believer in Jesus Christ and you've been born into birthrights doesn't mean you won't have time in your life where you're not extremely famished, where you have extreme desires in your life. You may be single and be looking for a mate. In your marriage, you may have a desire for that thing to come together and be on better terms. You may have a financial desire. You may have a job desire.

You may have a promotion desire. You may have an extreme desire in your life and you may have the birthright. Because all of us as Christians are born again into the birthright. We have certain rights. You have the right to be free and not be in bondage. You have the right to experience heaven now and not have to wait till you die to experience heaven. You have the right to an inheritance. You have a birthright. But right here, the man with the birthright is extremely famished.

So just because you believe in Jesus doesn't mean you won't meet some rainy days. It said Esau came in from the field extremely famished. Watch this. It says Jacob had cooked stew and Esau came into the house famished. Had means past tense. That means the stew was already prepared for him when he came into the house. Understand that the enemy will always be cooking up something that you're hungry for. Jacob is the one that would trip up Esau and he already had the provision prepared for Esau's hunger. God is not the only one who provides.

The enemy will provide for you too, but at what cost? He said he had cooked stew. It's already there for you. It's waiting. You famished? I've got something for you to eat. Esau is extremely famished and Esau says to Jacob, please let me have a swallow of that red stuff there.

For I am famished, therefore his name was called Edom. He is so famished and so hungry and so into his flesh right now. He just wants some of that red stuff that's on the stove because of how he's feeling right now in his flesh. His flesh is overtaking him.

All he cares about is what's cooking on the stove. But watch this. It says, therefore his name was called Edom. Watch this.

You can't skip that. The Hebrew word for Edom is Adam. That means red. In other words, he would be so into his fleshly desire that he would begin to identify with his need. His identity was connected to his flesh. His identity was not connected to his birthright.

He said, therefore his name was called Edom. Be careful that you don't feel so much of your fleshly desire and what you want now that you start identifying yourself by your need instead of identifying yourself by your birthright. Identifying yourself by your relationship with Jesus Christ. Well, I'm a single man or a single woman. No, you're not. You're a man of God or a woman of God. Well, I'm poor.

No, you're not. You're rich in Christ. The problem is you're identifying yourself by your need and not identifying yourself by your birthright. He says, therefore his name is red because he was so fixated on what his flesh wanted that he lost sight of his birthright. What were Esau's descendants' names? The Edomites were known for the red stuff that took away their blessing. The Edomites were known for the red stuff that took away their genealogy rights and connections to the Messiah. The Edomites were known for that red stuff that lost their inheritance. What is your family known for? Are your kids still connected to the Messiah? Are your kids' kids connected to the Messiah?

Or did they lose that because of that red stuff? What I was concerned with in my life, what my fleshly desire was, it wasn't wrong that Esau was hungry. That's a part of life.

But when your hunger is in disconnect with the truth, when your hunger is in disconnect with your birthright, then we have a problem. My friend called me not that long ago and he was telling me about a funeral that went bad. I don't know if you've ever been to a funeral that went bad, but it's not a great situation. He called me and said this was one of the worst funerals that I've been to in my life because the dude that tragically passed away, he was about 38, 35 to 38 years old right in there in his 30s.

I said, what happened? He said that he had about eight of his baby mamas there and children running all over the place and they were trying to view the body and they start fighting each other and the kids start cussing each other out and all that kind of stuff and it was just terrible. If he was only here to see his legacy. But I told him that's just remnants of what he was concerned about while he was here. You see, while he was here, he was just concerned about getting a little bit of that red stuff and now his descendants will be known as the Edomites. Because right here, he's so into his flesh, he's so into what his desires are, he's so into what he wants that it has generational impact of fleshliness, that red stuff. And Jacob says, oh, your flesh desires this thing that much?

You're going to identify yourself with it? You want it that bad? Okay, well first, sell me your birthright. You always know when it's the enemy because he's always going to make a trade with you. You see, when God gives you something, there is no sorrow with it. But when the enemy gives you something, he wants your birthright in return.

When the enemy brings something to you, when he provides some stew for you and you have that need, you would have to separate yourself from biblical truth in order to be satisfied. Jacob said, first, sell me your birthright. And he said, do it first. In other words, there's always going to be an exchange before you get to eat.

You're not going to get to eat before the enemy gets what he wants first. Whether you're aware or whether you're unaware, you always make a deal with the devil before he lets you be satisfied. He said, first, sell me your birthright. And then he said, sell.

Sell means that there is an attributed value to what's being sold. He didn't say, give me your birthright. He didn't say, trade me your birthright. He said, sell me your birthright. Understand that the enemy will always get more value out of the deal. Whatever you get is not going to be as valuable as what he takes.

Jonathan Evans will take a closer look at the cost of our recklessness when he returns in just a moment. Stay with us. There were times when I was overwhelmed with the burdens of life, when I didn't know that I could keep going. And yet God would bring someone or something to speak words of encouragement to me during difficult times. Of course, 2019 was one of those times when I lost my wife of over 49 years.

And how do you keep going during that season? One month after I'd lost my father. And yet God provided the strength that I needed to keep proclaiming His Word during those difficult days. And I'm very grateful that for 40 years we've seen His kind hand of favor on this ministry. Dr. Tony Evans, reflecting on God's faithfulness to him personally and for 40 years of ministry through the Urban Alternative.

Tony will be back on air with us following the conclusion of this special two-week series from his son, author, speaker, and chaplain Jonathan Evans. The series is called Forever Starts Now, and it's a collection of lessons that can provide just the kickstart you need if you feel like your life has become stuck and lacking motivation. These messages will equip and encourage you in the areas of understanding God's providence and your life purpose and fulfilling your destiny by applying God's wisdom to day-to-day thoughts and decisions. We'd like to send you all nine full-length messages in this series in instant digital downloads and on CDs as our way of saying thanks for your contribution to help continue this ministry on the air and around the world. And as a special bonus, we'll also include a copy of Jonathan's brand-new book, Your Time is Now, Get What God Has Given You. In it, you'll learn how to finally overcome your fear and procrastination and step up to the big call God has for your life.

This is a limited-time offer, so don't delay. Contact us right away at or call our resource request line at 1-800-800-3222, where one of our team members will be happy to help you. Again, 1-800-800-3222. I'll have that information for you again after part two of today's message and this.

The Bible makes it clear that you know when God has cursed a land, when its fathers are nowhere to be found. Dr. Tony Evans says that what becomes of the next generation of men depends on what happens with this one. Our kids need to see men in their midst who love God and who love them. But what does it take to be that kind of man?

You can find out with the help of the Tony Evans Training Center's free course called Kingdom Man. It'll teach you to see past the phony images of manhood that society surrounds us with and become the loving leader that a wife and family would want to follow. As with all of our courses, there's in-depth study material you can work through at your own pace. Lots of exclusive content from Tony, tightly focused Q&A videos, and an online forum where you can collaborate with other students. It's almost like having a seminary on your smartphone. Check out the free course called Kingdom Man and the growing list of other subjects waiting for you.

Visit today and follow the link to the Tony Evans Training Center. The stuff that we just talked about, the inheritance, that's future. You've got to wait on that. Your succession rights, ruling over the family, that's future. You're going to have to wait on that. Genealogy rights to the promised land and to the Messiah, that's future.

You're going to have to wait on that. What Jacob was saying is I'll give you this temporal now if I can have generational longevity. The enemy will always take your future if you just want to be satisfied right now.

What would Esau have to do in order to maintain his birthright? He would have to be willing to be famished. You see, most Christians don't connect their relationship with Jesus Christ with suffering. We're not interested in suffering. I don't want to be famished.

If I have a need, I want to satisfy that thing right now. There was a little boy one day who was talking to his father. His father had open heart surgery. And the father told the little boy, I had to have open heart surgery because I wanted to live longer. I wanted to save my life. I wanted to be here with you. And in order to live longer, I had to have open heart surgery.

That's why I have this big scar on my chest. And the son would always come in and ask questions. And the dad was like, why are you asking all these questions? And he said, because I just want to know the process that you went through in order to have a long life. And one day his son ran into the room and the son said, Dad, I'm ready to have surgery.

The dad looked at the boy like, what are you talking about? You're ready to have surgery. You don't need to have surgery. He said, I'm ready to have surgery. I'm ready to get my scar.

He said, son, slow down. You don't need to have surgery. You don't need to get a scar.

What are you talking about? He said, Dad, I know it's going to hurt. I know the healing process. I know that I have to have a scar the rest of my life, but I'm ready to accept Jesus into my heart. You see, the son attributed Jesus Christ to a scar and he was still willing to do it.

Most Christians don't attribute our relationship with Jesus Christ to bearing scars. So when it comes to how we feel right here, right now, I'll take care of that at the expense of my birthright, because I want to be satisfied and I want to be satisfied right now. The flesh will always demand that you be satisfied right now. But if you have to trade your birthright, your relationship with Jesus Christ, biblical truth, in order to feel good, then what are you losing?

What is the trade? There's always going to be an exchange when he lets you eat, when you're satisfied. He says, but first, sell me your birthright. And then Esau said, behold, I am about to die. So what used to me is a birthright.

Esau said, I'm about to die right now. As hungry as I am right now, what use is a future to me? What use is an inheritance when I'm hungry right now? What use is dominion when I'm hungry right now? What use is being connected to Jesus Christ when I'm hungry right now? Esau's saying, I'm trying to eat. I'm not worried about being connected to Jesus Christ.

Right now, I'm just hungry. He said, what use is this when I'm about to die? He said, I don't have time. I don't have time to be waiting on no Jesus Christ, waiting on future blessings from the Lord. I don't have time for that.

If Esau was in the 21st century, I could see him doing a YouTube video right now, right next to Sweet Brown. Ain't nobody got time for that. He said, I'm about to die.

I almost got bronchitis. Lord Jesus, it's a fire. Y'all ain't trying to have fun today. But that's what he's saying. I don't have time for that. Why would I be waiting on my future as hungry as that my flesh is right now? Why would I wait on a blessing from the Lord when I can bless myself right now? And that's what Christians have been doing these days. Blessing ourself right now at what expense? Living any old kind of way based on how I feel I want to live, based on the situation, based on the culture.

Living any old kind of way disconnected from biblical truths. And when it's time for the blessing to come, things change. He said, what is my birthright to me? For I am about to die. Esau, you just came in from the field. You ain't about to die.

You just came in from hunting. You are not about to die. But that's what your feelings will do.

It'll over exaggerate your reality. Your emotions will take you to a place that's not even really true. You are not about to die, Esau. You just came in from the field. You were just running.

How do you go from running to dying? Esau said, behold, I am about to die. So of what use then is the birthright to me? And Jacob said first, swear to me. So he swore to him and sold his birthright. Jacob said, I hear you talking, but first swear. You see, to swear in the Bible is an irrevocable transaction.

And we have things in our life, if the truth be told, if we could rewind time and do them over, we would. But when we indulged in the act, we swore on it. Once you indulge in the act that's disconnected from Jesus Christ, you just swore on it because you can't rewind time and get that thing back. Now, you can be forgiven.

You can be restored. But that act is still written in history because you swore on it. I have a friend of mine who tells the story all the time, so I know she wouldn't mind me telling this story. But when she was the short version is when she was 16 years old, she tells the story of her getting pregnant. And at that time in her life, she said there was no way that I was about to have a baby at 16 years old. I had too many plans. I wanted to move on with my life. I wanted to do what I wanted to do. And so I wasn't going to have a child at 16 years old.

I know I made the mistake, but I had to make something different happen because I didn't want to have a baby. So what she did was she went to the clinic and she had an abortion of the baby. She got to live her life. She went on to college. She graduated. She started working in the ministry at the church.

She started doing all of these things. And it seemed like everything was OK based on the decision that she made. Then she got married and she told her husband, we're going to go ahead and wait two years before we start trying to have kids so that we can be together. And then those two years passed by and then they started trying and then three years passed by and there still was no kid.

And so they're trying to figure out what is going on. And so they went to the doctor and the doctor got the history and found out that she had an abortion. So it made him run tests on her. And after the test, he came back in the room and said, I'm sorry, but that abortion you had when you were 16 rendered you barren.

You won't be able to have children. What she didn't know is that when she was 16, doing an act that was disconnected from God's word would swear her birth right away, literally. So you don't understand the decisions that you make now dictate the life that you lead. You may feel good about the decision right now and you may feel like you're able to move forward and there was no punishment. There was no foul.

There was no yellow flag. You were able to just move forward down the field. But when you are later becomes your now and then you're looking for a blessing from God. The question is, did we disconnect ourselves from the blessings that are associated from our birthright because we were operating in the flesh?

Now, don't get me wrong. She's restored. She adopted a child.

She's raising a child. She's teaching other women about this, but it's still written in her history because the act is swearing on it. Disconnected from the birthright of Jesus Christ, he said. And Jacob said, first swear to me. And he swore to him and sold his birthright to Jacob. Then Jacob gave Esau bread and lentils to and he ate and drank and rose and went on his way.

Thus, Esau despise his birthright. I noticed something. Remember earlier in the story, we said Esau just wanted a little bit of that red stuff. He just came in and said, Jacob, can I have a little bit of that red stuff? Jacob said, Well, give me your birthright. Esau said, I swear to you.

Jacob said, Oh, is that right? Oh, well, forget just the swallow of the red stuff. You can have bread. You can have a bowl of stew and I'll give you something to drink. Fully enjoy yourself while you're at it.

The enemy will always let you fully enjoy yourself in the moment. He ate. He drank. He had bread. You ever dip your bread in the stew? I'm a stew dipper.

I like to dip my bread in the stew. Esau got to do all of that because Jacob had his future. And the devil will even give you more provision than you asked for. If he can get the future out of it.

If he can tear your whole family up. Oh, yeah, you can eat. You can drink.

You can have dessert. But all you're going to get is the temporal now while he takes the generational longevity. It says he ate and he drank and got up and went on his way. What the author is showing you is that he had no remorse. He didn't sit there and think about it.

Question it. He said, no, he got up and left because in the now the decision was OK. It felt OK to give up the future.

What is the future to me when I'm about to die right now? Turn to Chapter twenty seven as we get ready to close. Because in Chapter twenty seven, you get to Esau's later. He was OK with eating a little bit of that red stuff.

Then. But when it came to later, look at Chapter twenty seven and I'll start reading at verse thirty six through thirty eight. Then he said, Is he not rightly named Jacob? For he has supplanted me these two times. He took away my birthright and behold, now he has taken away my blessing. And he said, Have you not reserved a blessing for me?

Isaac replied to Esau. Behold, I have made him your master and all his servants I have given to him as servants. And with grain and new wine, I have sustained him. Now, as for you, then, what can I do, my son? And Esau said to his father, Do you have only one blessing, my father? Bless me.

Even me also. Oh, my father. So Esau lifted his voice and wept.

He ate and he drank and he got up and went right on about his way in twenty five. But when he was looking for his blessing, he wept because he realized in his later what he had sold in his past. You may not realize it now, but understand that there are going to be some needs that you need the father to come through for you. And you're going to be sitting at his feet and you're going to be asking for a blessing.

But the reason why Esau couldn't get his blessing is because in chapter twenty five, he proved himself unfit to handle the blessing that's connected to the birthright. Jonathan Evans will return in a moment with a closing thought to wrap up today's message. But first, if you'd like to get the full length version of today's lesson, which includes material we couldn't fit into our program time. Visit Tony Evans dot org for details on the message titled Now or Later. Better yet, receive a copy of this lesson when you take advantage of that special double offer I mentioned earlier. Jonathan's complete nine message audio compilation forever starts now and his inspirational new book, Your Time is Now. They're yours as our gift when you make a contribution to help keep this program coming your way each day. This is a limited time offer, so don't wait.

Get the details and make your request at Tony Evans dot org or give us a call at 1-800-800-3222, where we have team members standing by day and night to help with your resource needs. Again, that's 1-800-800-3222. For too many people, faith is the last resort when all other solutions fail. But when Dr. Evans returns next week, he'll explain why the opposite should be true. For now, though, Jonathan's back to close out today's message with this final thought.

Jesus Christ, they stretched him wide, they hung his head and then he died. And we trade that for a little bit of that red stuff, whatever that is in our life. You young people, as you move forward, you graduates, don't trade your relationship, your birthright, your connection to Jesus Christ for a little bit of that red stuff. Because those college days swiftly pass and then you're going to be in church looking for a blessing from God. And the question is, does he see you fit to carry the blessing that's connected to your birthright? The question is on the floor for each individual in this room is simple and Jacob posed it to Esau. Is it going to be now or do you choose later? Are you going to take what you can get now or will you be willing to wait on the Lord so that he can bless you in connection to the birthright that he gave you through grace? 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 22:49:43 / 2023-11-01 23:01:33 / 12

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