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Recovering What the Enemy has Stolen, Part 2

The Urban Alternative / Tony Evans, PhD
The Truth Network Radio
January 13, 2022 7:00 am

Recovering What the Enemy has Stolen, Part 2

The Urban Alternative / Tony Evans, PhD

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January 13, 2022 7:00 am

You win some and you lose some. It's true enough in everyday life, but Dr. Tony Evans explains how, spiritually, even the battles we lose can be turned into victories.

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Don't throw away people who don't look like they have much to offer. Dr. Tony Evans talks about ways we can win spiritual battles we thought we already lost.

They may be the voice of God for you to get back what the devil has taken from you. 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. You win some and you lose some. It's true enough in everyday life. But today, Dr. Evans explains how spiritually, even the battles we lose can be turned into victories.

Let's join him. I want to talk to you about recovering what the enemy has stolen. Because there's probably nobody in this room who hasn't been ripped off of something that's in the spiritual realm.

Now, it may be affecting you in the physical realm, but it really, the rip-off occurred in the spiritual realm. And if you don't get it there, then you're looking in all the wrong places to get your stuff back that has been stolen. In 1 Samuel chapter 30, as the book of 1 Samuel concludes, David is in Philistine territory on the run from Saul. And it says, it happened when David and his men came to Ziklag on the third day, verse 1 says, the Amalekites had done a raid on Ziklag, overthrew Ziklag, burned it with fire, took captive women, all that was in it, both small and great, carried them off and went their way. There was a raid on their world. Their world got raided.

One day everything's looking fine, and one day everything's looking like it's going to be okay, and the next day there's a raid. And his whole world and that of his men were turned upside down because an enemy snuck in. When they weren't looking and stole, it says, all they had, both large and great, and burned it with fire. So what we're talking about is total destruction. Their world is collapsing right in front of their eyes. What they had built up, what they had developed was now gone, and like any good thief, it was taken a long way away, and they didn't know where to find it.

So what we have here is a major theft that occurs. David and his men come back to see that their world had collapsed, verse 3, was burned with fire. Wives and sons and daughters had been taken captive. And David and the people who were with him lifted their voices and wept until there was no strength in them to cry anymore. It goes on to say, verse 6, moreover, David was greatly distressed because the people spoke of stoning him. Now you already can't cry no more.

Your tear ducts are already dry and on top of what the enemy has done. Now your friends have turned against you. See, because he's not talking about now the folk who burned the city, he's talking about the folk who were riding with him. When they saw their mess, they had to find somebody to take this. David, if it wasn't for you taking us out of here, we would have been here if the enemy came.

Because, see, everybody's been messed up by this situation, and if you don't know who to blame, then you find the closest person to blame. Tagged on to verse 6 is a very potent line. But David strengthened himself in the Lord his God. He inquired of the Lord, saying, Shall I go after these crooks who have ripped me off? And shall I overtake them? Don't miss that question. He's asking God, Shall I go after this person or this group or band of robbers that's ripped us off? And shall I overtake them?

Why is he asking that question? I don't want to waste my time. I don't know who they are because we weren't here.

I don't know where they are. So I need you to tell me, is it worth my time trying to get back what the enemy has stolen? Because I don't know which way to go. I don't know whether I'm going north or south or east or west, because I don't know who they are.

So I need you to tell me what to do in this bad situation. When the enemy has ripped you off, and you don't know what to do, and you don't know anybody who can tell you what to do, that's because the Lord wants to be the only person who can direct you in the way that you ought to go. He goes in the God's presence, and he hears a word from God. Verse 8, God says to David, Pursue, for you will surely overtake them, and you will surely rescue all. He waited on the Lord. He inquired of the Lord only to get clarification about what he ought to do.

Then he got up, got on his horse, and went to get what the enemy had stolen. Now watch this now. Watch this. He says, pursue them, and you will find them, and you will rescue what you lost.

Okay, watch this now. That's insufficient information. David wants to know, should I go after them, and will I find them?

Now that's the question. God says, go after them, you'll find them. But that's insufficient information, because I still don't know where I'm going. I do not know where I'm going. I don't know where they went.

I don't know who they are. All I know is my stuff is gone. God rarely gives you all the data up front.

Rarely. Every now and then, God may give you the full picture, but God didn't even write the Bible that way. The Bible was not written with all the information in Genesis 1.

The Bible was written by 40 different authors over 1600 years, and is an unfolding of the drama of God. God, watch this now, most normally unfolds more information as you move with the information he's given you. In other words, David, if you don't get up, you're not going to get more. A lot of us are sitting, waiting for more when we haven't dealt with some. We're waiting for God to give us additional when we haven't done much with the information on the front end that he has given us.

Jesus put it this way, he that hath, more will be given, but he that does not have, that which he has, will be taken away. In other words, if you don't use the revelation and the illumination that I give you, more won't be coming. It says pursue. That's your instruction. Pursue. But that's not enough information.

Which way am I going? If God only tells you a little bit, then a little bit is all he wants you to know right now. That's all he wants you to know right now.

Why? Because he wants you to walk by faith, not sight. He wants you to learn to walk in trust, and not because you've seen the end. All the time, people want to know, show me the conclusion. Now, God most often works through the process. How will taking this step lead me to the conclusion that is most often not realized in the Bible? It is in motion that God reveals, and so he gives them some information. But it's specific.

Go after them. He's been given a promise. Okay, watch this now. The promise is you're going to get it back. Isn't that what the end of verse 8 says?

You shall surely rescue it all. It's called the promises of God. But what the promises of God don't always give you is the how.

It gives you the what? We can read the promises, but how are we going to get it? How are we going to get it? And God has a million different ways. See, that's why, saints, you can't come and ask me, and I can't come and ask you how God's going to do something. See, I can't answer that question. I can tell you based on the Word what God says he will do.

I can give you that. But what I can't tell you, and nobody else can tell you, only God can tell you, is how he's going to do that. Because how he does it for one person is not how he does it for... How he's going to give you back yours is not how he's going to give somebody else back theirs.

He wants to tell you that directly, because he wants a relationship with you that is not predicated on what he's done in somebody else's life. A testimony is simply how God did it for me, and it's to encourage you that God can still do it. But what a testimony is not designed to do is tell you how God's going to do it for you.

But he gives him a promise, you go and get it back, and you can go riding with a promise. Dr. Evans will have more encouragement for us about that promise from God when he returns shortly after these words. When life throws us a curveball, we all look for comfort. We all look for something or someone to bring us positive distraction. Well, God has some comfort for us, too. The Holy Spirit's job is to join us and to calm our souls in the midst of our chaos and confusion and bring harmony to our headaches. Life can give you a headache, but the Comforter can calm the heart.

You will find that the Comforter can do what a movie, what a television show, what a friend, and even what comfort food can. He can give you rest to your soul, and that sweet rest. Go to TonyEvans.org to find out more and request your copy of Hope for the Hurting. Tony's latest book, Hope for the Hurting, goes hand in hand with the message we've been hearing today. And that's why we've created a special bundle that includes the book, the entire 20-message Coming to the Comforter collection, as well as the optional companion Hope for the Hurting Bible Study Guide and DVD. Together, these resources give powerful insight into the purpose behind our pain, afflictions, and the difficult times we all face.

When we approach the Comforter, we can find the help and hope we need to carry on. And right now, we'd like to offer this package of resources to you as our gift, and thanks for your contribution to help support the ongoing work of Dr. Evans and the Urban Alternative. To get the details and make the arrangements, just go to TonyEvans.org Or, if you prefer, call us at 1-800-800-3222 any time of the day or night to let one of our team members assist with your resource request.

Don't miss out on this limited-time offer. Visit us at TonyEvans.org or call 1-800-800-3222 to request the Hope for the Hurting and Coming to the Comforter combo offer. I'll have that contact information for you again after Part 2 of today's lesson.

Here's Dr. Evans. He gets up on his horse with hundreds of men and David pursued. He went looking for an unknown cause of his problem, what he had lost. Along the way, they run into an Egyptian and they feed him, bring him to David. He hadn't eaten, verse 12, in three days and three nights, verse 13. And David said to him, to whom do you belong? And where are you from, he said. I am a young man of Egypt, a servant of an Amalekite, and my master left me behind when I fell sick three days ago.

We made a raid on the Negev and on that which belongs to Judah and on the Negev of Caleb and we burned Ziklag with fire. David ain't ask that boy all that information. All David said is, who are you? You see, if David would have just stayed home praying, oh Lord, make a way out of no way. You a bomb in Gilead, you a bright and morning star, you able.

He would have been still there today praying. God said, get up and pursue. Go get what the enemy has taken.

A lot of us are waiting for God to bring it. And God said, go get it, what the enemy has taken. And so, so he pursues and what does God do? God gives him additional information.

He now knows who did it. In addition to that, verse 15, a guide. Then David said to him, will you bring me down to this man? And he said, swear to me by God that you will not kill me or deliver me into the hands of my master.

And I will bring you down to this man. So what God does, watch this now, I'm watching, I'm going somewhere, what God does on his way to blessing David, to get back what David has lost, is give him an opportunity along the way to be a blessing to somebody else. Don't ask God to bless you if he can't let you stop along the way and be a blessing to somebody else. If David wasn't willing to give him some food, if David said, oh, there's a sick man down there, let's skip him, I'm looking for my blessing. There's a struggling person down there, skip him because I'm looking for my blessing. See, everybody coming to church looking for that blessing, walking over opportunities to be a blessing along the way.

Why? There was nothing about that boy that would make you think he could help you. There was nothing about that boy that make you think he could lead you.

There was nothing about that boy that makes you think he could guide you. But because he was willing to help somebody who was worse off than him, he didn't know that God had planted there an angel unawares. The New Testament says that we have angels, messengers from God, that God has strategically positioned along the way who have the right information and the right knowledge and the right direction, but they don't look the part because in being a blessing, you gonna get blessed.

Don't throw away people who don't look like they have much to offer. They may be the voice of God for you to get back what the devil has taken from you. The Bible says that David brought back all that the Amalekites had stolen, all of their spoils. But wait a minute, we were told that the Amalekites didn't just take stuff from Ziklag, we're told that the Amalekites took stuff from the Philistines and took stuff from Judah because they had been raiding places all over the world. And what I'm trying to tell you is that when you arrive to get back what the devil took from you, there's some other stuff there that's gonna be a surplus.

Somebody ought to be praising God right now to know that what the enemy has stolen from you, he can't keep, and there's more for you when you get over there to get what the enemy has taken. That's why, in closing, that's why I love the story of Jack and the Beanstalk. All they had was a cow. Along came a man who offered to trade him some beans for his cow.

To give up his cow was to give up the productivity, the cheese and the milk. But he traded the cow in for the beans. Jack planted the beans, and the beans grew up into a high stalk that went up way into the sky. Jack began to climb the Beanstalk. When Jack got through the clouds at the top of the Beanstalk, there was a castle. A fairy came over to Jack and said, Jack want to know what is this? She said, well, this is the castle that a knight, his son, and his mother used to live in. But a giant came and killed the knight and displaced the mother and the son.

Jack knew immediately that that was all his, that the giant had ripped him off of that which really belonged to him. So Jack snuck into the castle, hid in the closet until a giant went to sleep. There was a goose that was laying golden eggs. Jack said, that's my goose. Jack picked up the goose, climbed down the Beanstalk, and brought the goose to his mother. Jack climbed back up the Beanstalk.

The giant had bags of money. Jack said, that's my money. Jack took the money and climbed back down the Beanstalk. Jack went up there again. This time, the giant woke up, fee-fi, fo-fum.

I smell the blood of an Englishman. He says, I'm going to take this Englishman and destroy him. Jack ran for his life being chased by the giant. He came down the Beanstalk.

The giant was chasing him, much bigger than he was. But the story says, at the bottom, Jack had an axe, and Jack chopped down the Beanstalk. The Beanstalk fell over, and the giant broke his neck. Now, Jack not only had the goose, he not only had the money, the castle was his, because the enemy had now been destroyed. There's some good news here today, and that is that God planted something many years ago. Two thousand years ago, a virgin got planted with a seed, grew up to be the eternal Son of God, ascending into heavenly places.

And God says, up there is where the devil has your stuff hidden, because you've been blessed with all spiritual blessings in heavenly places. The Bible says that the stalk got cut down, because Jesus got crucified on the cross. But when the stalk got cut down, the Bible says, and they defeated him by the blood of the Lamb.

It was the death of Christ that killed the giant. You can now go back and get what the enemy has stolen from you, because Jesus Christ has declared, greater is he that's in you, than he that's in the world. You are more than a conqueror to him who loved you and gave himself for you. In this world you shall have tribulation, but be of good cheer. I have overcome the world. Somebody ought to praise him today.

He's still got your stuff. Dr. Tony Evans, with some good news about turning spiritual defeats into victories. Now let me encourage you once again to take advantage of that special package of resources I mentioned a little earlier. For a limited time, when you make a contribution to help keep Tony's messages coming to you and others here on this station, we'll say thanks by sending you all 20 full-length messages in his current audio compilation called, Coming to the Comforter.

You'll get 10 lessons on CD and 10 as downloadable MP3s. And as an added bonus, we'll also send you one of the first copies of Tony's latest book, Hope for the Hurting. Just reach out to us while there's still time, make a donation, and request this special resource bundle. You can make the arrangements online at TonyEvans.org or by phone anytime 24-7 at 1-800-800-3222. We look forward to saying thank you for your partnership in this ministry by sending you this helpful package of study tools. In fact, you can also get the companion Bible study guide and DVD. Check it out when you contact us.

Once again, that's online at TonyEvans.org or by phone at 1-800-800-3222. Too often, we think of turning to God as a last resort. When our backs are against the wall, the enemy is closing in and we're fresh out of ideas. Well, tomorrow, Dr. Evans will talk about taking a more heavenly approach to solving our earthly problems. I hope you'll join us for that. And until then, we encourage you to be looking for opportunities to show kindness to others. It'll bring a smile to your face and glory to God. The Alternative with Dr. Tony Evans is brought to you by the Urban Alternative and it's made possible by the generous contributions of listeners like you.
Whisper: medium.en / 2023-06-28 12:58:33 / 2023-06-28 13:06:58 / 8

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