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Experiencing Family Revival

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

Experiencing Family Revival

The Urban Alternative / Tony Evans, PhD

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February 13, 2022 7:00 am

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If we are going to be the men God has called us to be and we're going to man up to our responsibility, that means we're looking out for idols that try to sneak in the home. Dr. Tony Evans talks about the role fathers can play in bringing revival to their families.

Leadership means overseeing the atmosphere where I live. 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. Revival starts when God does something special inside us, but it doesn't stop there.

It's contagious. And today Dr. Evans explains how we can help it spread to the people who mean the most to us, our families. Let's join him as he takes us to Genesis chapter 24. One of the most dysfunctional families in all of the Bible is the family of Jacob. Almost from the time of his birth, his family was in chaos. He connived with his mother to rip the blessing from his brother and to deceive his aging father.

That would lead him to a life of deception and of confusion. This man would enter into a civil rivalry with his brother Esau that would threaten his very life. And he would grow up in a family of unforgiveness where Esau would seek to kill him. It was a family in chaos.

He would see worked out in his own situation, in his own family, the continued flow of the family in which he grew up. His daughter was raped, Dinah. Her brothers were so incensed at the rape that they connived a plan that turned them into mass murderers.

And so they slew a whole city full of men by getting them to agree to circumcision, and in their moment of weakness, they would kill them. This was a family in crisis. You know the ongoing saga of them selling their own brother Joseph into slavery because of jealousy. This was dysfunctionality at the nth degree. Perhaps you know a family is like this.

Perhaps you grew up in a family like this. Where, when you look back, it's chaos and confusion that has followed you. But our theme is revival.

And so today I want to talk today about family revival, where God returns to your home and brings order out of chaos and turns confusion around into something that is meaningful and productive. In chapter 35, right after the rape and mass slaughter that had become a part of Jacob's family, Jacob is now terrorized. Look at the end of verse 34, because all these men have been killed. Verse 30, then Jacob said to Simeon and Levi, You have brought trouble on me by making me odious among the inhabitants of the land, among the Canaanites and Perizzites, and my men being few in number, they will gather together against me and attack me, and I will be destroyed and my family and my household. But they said, should he treat our sister as a harlot? They raped our sister, we're going to kill them. Jacob says, but now you've jeopardized the whole family. We're few, and now these folks are going to be in an uproar and they're going to kill us. In other words, Jacob is in a crisis.

He's in a bad situation now because now that this mass murder has occurred, he knows that these folks are going to rise up and do to his family what his family did to the men of that city. And it's a mess. In chapter 35, verse 1, we start off with two words, then God. Remember, whenever you see the word then, you've got to ask the question, when? In the midst of family disintegration at the highest level, then God said to Jacob, arise, go up to Bethel, live there, make an altar there to God, who appeared to you when you fled from your brother Esau.

Now you read that, and it doesn't seem like much. But this whole story revolves around that statement, arise and go to Bethel. Bethel is where Jacob met God the first time. Jacob knows he's supposed to go back to Bethel, but he doesn't. He gets detoured along the way. He winds up in a place called Shechem. He buys some property there and now makes his home there, and that's when all hell breaks loose.

In other words, he doesn't do what he said he was going to do. He detours from what God's plan was and what God's direction was. Chaos breaks out in his life until he faces a crisis again like he did earlier with his brother, only this time it's with his children. And now the chaos in his own home, which was like the chaos in his father's home, produces God coming to him a second time telling him, aren't you supposed to be back in Bethel? God says, look, now that things are bad enough and you can't straighten it out, maybe I can get your undivided attention.

You have detoured from my plan and my will. There's chaos in your house. Go and live in Bethel. That's your home, because that's my home, the house of God. Make an altar there to God. Worship. Making an altar had to do with sacrifice, substitute for sin, get this spiritual stuff right in your life.

Make an altar there to God who appeared to you when you fled from your brother Esau over 20 years ago. Now, what does this say? This says you can have a jacked up family for over 20 years. You can have chaos in your home for year after year after year after year when you have detoured from God. So there was a spiritual detour, but there's good news here. The good news here is that God spoke to Jacob.

God was still talking to Jacob, even after 20 years. It's a bad family situation. It's messed up kids. It's messed up wives. It's a messed up father and husband, but God still spoke to him. You know, when it gets bad is when God no longer talks to you or you no longer willing to hear if he does talk. God spoke to him.

Jacob had not fulfilled what he was supposed to do and it showed up not only in his life but in his own children. Parents, if you want to save your children, you better go to Bethel. If you want to save your family, you better go to Bethel. It is the place where you meet God.

He says that's where God spoke to you was at Bethel. How do you know when God is trying to get you somewhere else? Because he allows too much chaos where you are. He allows where you are not to work. How you're situated right now, this is not working.

And the more I try to make it work, the messier it gets. Verse 2, so Jacob said to his household and to all who were with him, put away the foreign gods which are among you, purify yourselves, change your garments, because we're going to Bethel. He's ready to go now. It's called relocate, relocate, relocate. We're in the wrong spot here. Now notice what he says. He says you've got to do three things.

One, put away foreign gods. Now watch this. He's the father. He's the husband. He says put away foreign gods. So there are idols in his house.

He's the head of the house. There are idols in the house. He knows there are idols in the house.

He's been hanging out with idols in the home for over 20 years. An idol is anything you look to and treat it like it is God in your life. That means you've got two gods. And whenever you invite an idol, you invite a demon because idols are demonized elements. So anything can become an idol. Your television can become an idol if it causes you to replace God in your life.

In other words, if you can always watch your TV show but not get around to spending time with God, television became an idol. Rachel had brought the idols with her in chapter 31. It talks about Rachel bringing the idols of her father with her.

And that means that contamination entered the home. Verse 34 says, Now Rachel had taken the household idols and put them in the camel's saddle, and she sat on them. And so she brought the idols with her.

The thing about it is, at some point, Jacob discovered it and didn't do anything about it. We know he knows they're there because he goes and tells them, we've got to get rid of these idols. Because if we didn't have these idols, we wouldn't have this mess. We've got this mess because we've strayed from God and then brought foreign gods with us.

We've got to get rid of the idols. He says the second thing is, Purify yourselves. Remove the sin out of your midst. Thirdly, change your clothes.

Change your garments. To change the garment was symbolism of reorienting the life. When a policeman puts on his blue uniform, the change of the clothes represents something. When you see that blue, you know that the change of the clothes means that he is more than just an ordinary man. He is a, or she is a police officer with authority when they change the clothes. When a judge puts his robe on, you know he's not just an ordinary man.

He's a person with authority. In other words, the change of clothes represents another position. So to change your clothes meant to put on a new way of life, a new way of orientation. To change your clothes means we're going to do things differently now. We're not going to keep doing the way we're doing. We're not going to keep wearing the same old clothes over and over and over and over again. You have said to people in your family, to your children, why don't you change your clothes? You're wearing the same stuff.

You're functioning the same way. Dr. Evans will talk about the wardrobe change that took place in Jacob's life and spell out what it'll take for us to do the same when he comes back in a moment to continue today's lesson. First, though, don't miss your chance to get a great bundle of resources we recommend as a way to dig deeper into today's study. It starts with a two-volume, 14-part audio series we've been listening to today called Marriage Matters. Available to you on both CD and downloadable MP3s, this collection of messages covers how a marriage built according to God's blueprint can be one of the biggest blessings in your life. Along with the full-length audio messages, we're also including three of Tony's popular booklets that can give you a clearer look at what the Lord had in mind for your marriage. In For Married Men Only, he talks man-to-man with husbands about what it really means to provide spiritual leadership in your home, to sacrifice for your wife, and to meet her needs. For Married Women Only focuses on submitting to your husband's spiritual leadership, cultivating a gentle spirit, and experiencing God's protection and peace when your husband falls short.

And in Marriage Matters, he examines the scriptural foundation that causes a marriage to blossom and flourish. You can get this complete Marriage Matters package as our gift, and thanks for your contribution to help support the ministry of Dr. Evans and the Urban Alternative. Visit us today at to request this resource bundle, or call us at 1-800-800-3222, where team members are standing by to assist you.

That's 1-800-800-3222. Well, Tony, we'll come back with more of today's lesson right after this. The thing about serving an infinite God is that no matter how much you know about Him, there's always more to learn. So whether you're brand new to Scripture or an experienced ministry professional, there's something for you at the Tony Evans Training Center. You'll find online courses covering core concepts of the faith. Working at your own pace and schedule, you'll dig deep into the historical context of the book, uncover the key teachings, and learn how to apply them in real-world situations. There's lots of exclusive content from Dr. Evans to keep you interested and motivated, and an online forum where you can ask questions, get answers, and collaborate with other students. The more you learn, the more you'll want to learn. Give it a try. The Tony Evans Training Center.

A world of discovery, anytime, anywhere. Jacob finally mans up. He was the head of the family, but he was a bad leader. He was a bad leader because he did not control the spiritual level in the home. He didn't lead his family in God's way. He didn't make sure that there were no idols. And so the kids ran amok.

Everything ran amok because he was no longer in control. Listen, men, if you are going to be the man God has called you to be, if we are going to be the men God has called us to be, we're going to man up to our responsibility. That means we're looking out for idols that try to sneak in the home, even if your pretty wife brought it there. Leadership is not just a title.

Leadership means overseeing the atmosphere where I live. Overseeing the atmosphere where I live, he says, you kids have damaged the household. God says you need to go to Bethel. It is your spiritual departure, mister, that has put the family in this situation.

And yet it was contributed to by his wife, by Rachel, who was so in love with her idols that instead of being a helpmate, she became a hurtmate. And so he says, I will arise. Let us arise. Go to Bethel.

And I love this. Jacob says, okay, I led you wrong. Now I'm going to lead you right. He says, you can serve the other gods of all these other nations, but in Joshua 24, 15, as for me and my house, I'm setting the spiritual agenda. So what the question is, particularly for the men, is are you setting the spiritual agenda for your home, or are you just talking about I'm the leader? If you're not setting the spiritual agenda, you may be a good provider, and that's great.

We need more of those. But you should be setting the spiritual atmosphere for the household. As for me and my house, we shall serve the Lord.

He arises and goes to Bethel. I'm going to make an altar there, because that's what God told me to do in verse 1. We're going to have a family worship, family worship. By the way, men, are you leading your family in family worship?

An altar? You're supposed to be doing that. I'm supposed to be the pastor here. You're supposed to be the pastor there. He says, the reason I'm going back to God, the house of God Bethel, is he answered me in the day of my distress. I remember I was in a mess 20 years ago, and he came through.

I'm in a mess now. I need to go back home to Bethel. As they journeyed to verse 5, there was a great terror upon the cities which were around them, and they did not pursue the sons of Jacob.

Wait a minute. Remember in chapter 34, verse 30, he's terrified that these folks are going to jack him up because of what his sons had done to all the men of the city. But because he manned up, rose up, and went home, it says the terror of the Lord, verse 5, came upon the city, and they did not bother him. Because he was now going right, God entered in and protected him in a bad situation.

You may have been making mistakes for 20 years, but if you'll get up today, I'm not talking about I'm going to get up one day. It says he got up and started back home spiritually to Bethel. When he was on the way, he hadn't arrived yet, he was just pointed right. When he started moving right, and the family started moving right with him, it says the Lord intervened into his crisis situation and didn't let the circumstance he was in mess him up.

Because they were out to kill him. But the terror of the Lord, it said, entered in. It could be for you financial terror, or job terror, or career terror.

It could be whatever it is that's making you afraid right now. But God is so great and so powerful, if you will move you and your family back to Bethel, God says that the crisis doesn't have to control you. So Jacob comes back to Bethel. He arrives at Bethel, verse 7, he built an altar there, a place of worship, sacrifice. And called the place, watch this now, a little Hebrew, El Bethel, verse 7. Then God, verse 9, appeared to Jacob again when he came to pattern Aram, and he blessed him. You're looking for a blessing?

You can't find it? Maybe it's because you're not back at Bethel. Where did he bless him? He blessed him at Bethel.

He didn't bless him at Shechem. He blessed him at Bethel. He blessed him when he got relocated back to where he was supposed to have been all the time. He blessed him. How did he bless him?

Watch this. God said to him, your name is Jacob. You shall no longer be called Jacob, but Israel shall be your name.

He called him Israel. God said to him, I am God Almighty. And because he was back in fellowship with God, he says, I'm going to change your name.

Now watch this. When God changes your name, it's because he's fixing your character. When God changes your name, that means he's just calling you something different. To change your name means something's messed up in your nature, all right? Your character, you're a trickster, you're a conniver, you're evil, you're mean, you're disgraceful.

So you just don't need religion. You need a character change. But the only place I can change your character is at my location. Is at my location, is at Bethel. Many of us here, husbands, wives, children, teenagers, we don't just need more information.

We come to church weekly and get information. We need a change in our nature. He says, at Bethel, I will change your character. And when I change your character, you'll be fruitful and multiply, and a nation and a company of nations shall come out of you, and kings shall come forth from you.

That's a blessing. He says, family, you haven't seen family yet. I'm gonna do some stuff through you and your children and your family that will, you know, that will blow your mind.

That will blow your mind. I've got some dreams for you, some visions for you, some plans for you, some goals for you, some opportunities for you that will blow your mind, but you'll never see them where you're living. You'll only see them and hear about them when I can change you at my location at a place called Bethel. Jacob, verse 14, after God had spoken with him, set up a pillar in the place where he had spoken to him, a pillar of stone, and poured out a drink offering on it, and he poured oil on it, so Jacob named the place where God had spoken to him. Bethel. What's Bethel? Bethel is where God becomes real to you again. Bethel is when not just you're reading the Bible, but where the Bible becomes so alive that you know God is talking to you. Bethel is where God so controls circumstances in your life that you wonder, where did that come from? Bethel is the place where you're becoming a different kind of person than the person you've been all these 20 years, where you were known for your meanness, now you become known for your niceness, where you were known for your rebellion, now you've become known for your submission, where you were known for your lack of leadership, now you are known for your godly leadership, where you were known for your lack of support or respect, now you are known for your respect because you have gone back to Bethel. Bethel is the place where he changes your nature. It is a place where God fixes you up so that he can now bless you. So he can now do some of the great things in front of you.

Let me tell you how powerful Bethel is. Look up at verse 28, nine. Isaac breathed his last and died and was gathered to his people, an old man of ripe age, and his sons Esau and Jacob buried him.

What? I thought Esau and Jacob weren't talking. I thought Esau and Jacob were enemies. But when God gets up into a messed up family, where even the brothers can't talk to each other, can't stand each other, he can turn it out so that then create circumstances to bring them back together so now they're burying their father together. He didn't turn that thing around. God can turn that thing around. He can turn that marriage around.

He can turn that relationship with those children around. But you've gotta be at Bethel. You gotta be where he wants you to be. You say, but Bethel was a physical location.

Where am I supposed to go? We don't have time for you to turn there, but in John chapter one, say in John chapter one, Nathanael is sitting under a tree. And while Nathanael is sitting under a tree, the last section of chapter one, Jesus says to Nathanael, there's a man who there is no God, no deceit. Nathanael comes over, or Jesus goes to Nathanael, and Nathanael says that he believes in Jesus. Jesus says to Nathanael, because you believe in me, you will see angels going up and down a ladder between heaven and earth. Uh-oh, where have we heard that before? I think we heard that in Genesis 28.

Jacob is under a tree. He's a man of guile, deceit. But God finds him and says, you're gonna see angels going up and down. You're gonna see heaven touching earth. You're gonna see heaven engage with earth because you're in my place. Jesus tells Nathanael, because you believe in me, I am your Bethel. If you take me seriously, if you follow me, you're gonna see what Jacob saw in the Old Testament.

I am your new location. It's not enough to believe in God. Believing in God is nice, but he says, if you believe in me, if you follow me, you're going to see heaven touch earth. And I believe there's somebody in here today that needs to see heaven touch earth. I believe there's somebody here today that needs to see heaven do something in history.

I believe there's somebody here today who needs eternity to touch time. Somebody here to fix your personality, to fix your rebellion. You done brought into your marriage the misery of your mother.

You brought into your marriage the failure of your father. You're seeing worked out in your children the rebellion you showed to your parents. You're seeing this transfer, and you need God to turn this thing, or you better go back to Bethel and according to the scripture, Bethel is when you take Jesus Christ seriously and follow him by faith. That is your new Bethel. And at Bethel is where God speaks brand new.

He speaks afresh. Dr. Tony Evans, talking about how revival can spread from you to your entire family. As we're working our way through Dr. Tony's current series on marriage, there's been a lot of material we haven't had time to present on the air. So if you'd like to get Dr. Evans' complete look at this important subject, just get in touch with us for details on the special Marriage Matters package, including the two volume 14 message audio collection on CD or downloadable MP3s, as well as the popular three booklet bundle, Marriage Matters for Married Men Only and for Married Women Only. We'll send you this complete package as our thank you gift when you make a contribution to help us keep Tony's teaching on this station. This special offer is only available for a limited time, so don't miss out. Make your contribution today at or let one of our team members help you with your request by calling 1-800-800-3222. Our resource request line is always open, so there's no need to wait.

Again, dial 1-800-800-3222. Almost every day, we're reminded that it's past time to face up to some biblical facts about racism. Next time, Dr. Evans takes us beyond cultural thoughts on the issue and shares with us God's view and standards on race and racism. Be sure to join us for this powerful presentation. The Alternative with Dr. Tony Evans is brought to you by The Urban Alternative and is made possible by the generous contributions of listeners like you.
Whisper: medium.en / 2023-06-05 14:04:04 / 2023-06-05 14:15:19 / 11

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