A land becomes cursed when men cannot be located, even when males are everywhere. Dr. Tony Evans says men have a strategic role in God's playbook. The desperate need of today is to call males back to being men, as God defines a man, not as the culture defines him. 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. Superheroes give us hope and inspiration, and can always be counted on to do the right thing. And while the superheroes of comic books and movies exist only in a satisfying make-believe world, Dr. Evans says God has created a plan for ordinary men that, when followed, fills an urgent need in society, giving us real-life characters to look up to and to be inspired by.
Let's join him as he explains. Ezekiel chapter 22 verse 30, God says, I was looking for a man to stand in the gap so I would not have to curse the land, but I could find none. There were plenty of males, but he said, I can't find a man. So apparently you can be a male and not be a man. And he says, because I couldn't find a man, I had to curse the land.
So a land becomes cursed when men cannot be located, even when males are everywhere. And so the desperate need of today is to call males back to being men, as God defines a man, not as the culture defines it. And so I want to speak with you about answering the question about the position of a man.
Adam, where are you? Now, ladies, there are going to be two reactions to what I say today. Some of you will be frustrated because you will be thinking, oh, here we go with this man thing. Others of you will be ecstatic because the man in your life or the one you hope comes along will man up to God's definition. Here is the first thing that you need to understand about a man and his position, not his location alone, but his position, and that is that it is a position of priority.
I know some won't like that, but this is not a popularity meeting. It is a position of priority because God says in 1 Timothy 2, verse 12, God created Adam first. And then he created Eve. The word first. First has to do with order.
First has to do with progress in time. Adam and Eve were not created at the same time. Adam first, then Eve. Adam first, then Eve. God spends a whole chapter, Genesis 2, discussing Adam before Eve is ever created for Adam.
Why? Because it would be the man who would be responsible. The man was created first because God would hold him responsible. Even though it was Adam and Eve in the garden hiding from God, God didn't say, Adam and Eve, where are y'all? He said, Adam, where are you?
Because you are responsible. If you're going to be God's man, then you're going to have to accept responsibility for everything he brings behind you, second, third, fourth, fifth, and sixth, because you first. All of this, by the way, was happening in the garden. The garden was the place where God was hanging out in Adam's house as a single man, because he got married then. He's a single man hanging out with God in the garden. In other words, even as a single man, he was living in the presence of God. He was living under the covering of God. Something we'll get into more detail at another time, but that's where he was rolling.
That's where he was operating. He says, not only do I want you to do that, but I want you to keep the garden. Cultivate it and keep it. The Hebrew word for keep means to guard or protect. I want you to protect your house. I want you to protect your garden. What is he protecting the house from? I mean, this is a perfect world he's living in.
No, it's not. Slick is in the garden. Satan is in the garden, chapter 3. The serpent comes up to Eve. So there are going to be problems in the garden, because the snake is there, and the snake is going to call stuff. The snake is going to try to stir stuff up. The snake is going to try to get you away from God. There is a serpent in the garden, and your job is to keep him out, because you are responsible for the garden to keep the devil out, because he's trying to get in. So provision and protection, that is the environment that Adam was responsible for.
And then he gives him another instruction. Verse 16, Genesis 2, the Lord God commanded the man, saying, from any tree of the garden you may eat freely, but from the tree of the knowledge of good and evil you shall not eat, for in the day that you eat from it you will shown enough die. He gives him his word, his commandment, not his request, his commandment.
Why? Because a male who plans to be a man must position himself under divine authority, which means God's word has the final say so in his life. Not his posse, not his friends, not his homeboys. Nobody overrules God. Not even his wife. Because God is going to say in chapter 3, because you listen to your wife, all hell is broken loose in your life.
Because as much as you love her, she's not supposed to overrule me. That his job is to oversee the communication and the operation of God's word in his sphere of influence, starting with his family. Or as Joshua said, as for me and my house, Joshua 24, 15, this is how we roll, this is how we roll.
As for me and my house, this is how—there's no vote here. God commanded me. I'm under commandment. But notice the command, the command, the command was a happy command.
See, we look at the negative part, don't eat from that tree. No, no, that's not the first part of the command. The first part of the command was live it up. The first part of the command was from every tree of the garden you may freely eat. The first part of the command, he's a single man, he tells him, the first part of the command is maximize all that I have given you. Maximize my creation.
Maximize all that you can do. Just don't mess with that tree. You remember Don Cornelius and the Soul Train? You remember the Scramble Board? There were letters on the Scramble Board, and those letters referred to a particular singer or particular musical group or particular song, but the letters were all over the place. And so they'd get a couple of the dancers and they'd have to unscramble the Scramble Board, and so they would get 60 seconds to get the letters in order so that they could identify the group or the singer or the song, and so they had to work out the Scramble Board. You see, one of the reasons we're in trouble as men is God's Word has gotten all scrambled up.
And our job is to get the letters in place. He says, the day you eat of it, you're going to break relationship with me. That's death. That's like unplugging something in your house. It's alive when you plug it in because electricity flows. Once you unplug it, the instrument dies. It can't function anymore. And what we have today are males who don't function anymore because they're unplugged, because death has entered into him or the relationship or the scenario or the parenting or whatever the case may be.
He says that you are to carry my Word. What was the problem with this tree in the middle called the tree? It was a Google tree because it calls it a tree of knowledge.
It was Google. It was the Internet tree. This tree was full of data, all kind of data, good data, bad data, tree of the knowledge of good and evil. So the tree wasn't all bad. It had evil, but it also had good. But he said, I don't want you to eat it, even though it's got good stuff on it.
Why? Because Adam, if you're going to be the man that I want you to be, created you to be, and you're going to be operating like you're supposed to be, then I want you to live by revelation, not reason. I do not want your human reason to determine your actions. I want divine revelation, what I say, and when I'm ready for you to know it, I'm going to tell it to you.
Don't go out there apart from me and learn it on your own. One of the problems today with so many men is that they've gone so secular, or they've been to some college, or they've gotten stuck in some career, or they've been hanging out with the wrong folk, and they've gotten all of this definition of manhood messing them up so that they're not able to function in the way God wants them to function, and we wind up as men being dead men walking. We got the title, and we want people to recognize the title. I'm the head of this house. I'm the boss. I'm the man. We want the title without the responsibility. Just like men today, Adam was given a responsibility, and Dr. Evans will tell us about that when he returns in just a moment.
Stay with us. If you're like most Christians, there are people in your life who know you but may not know Jesus. You really want to do something about that, but don't feel equipped to share your faith effectively.
In other words, maybe if you knew more, you could do more. Well, that's where the Tony Evans Training Center comes in. It's an online Bible school with classes that'll take you deep into the most important core concepts of the faith. You can start with our free introductory course on evangelism, then move on to subjects like spiritual warfare, marriage building, maturing in the faith, and many more. The content is challenging, but you can move through it at your own pace anytime you're online. There's also lots of custom content from Tony and an online forum where you can get your specific questions answered.
Go to tonyevans.org and follow the link to the Tony Evans Training Center. It's like having a seminary on your smartphone. As a way of following up on today's lesson on why men matter, Dr. Evans has written a powerful book that's already helped thousands of other men move beyond an ineffective and feeble faith. It's called Kingdom and Rising, and it can inspire you to break past the obstacles of helplessness, boredom, and regret, and instead replace them with power, significance, and influence. We're excited to be able to offer this book to you today in a special double package deal. Along with this inspiring book, you can also receive all 12 full-length messages in Tony's current series of the same name, Kingdom Men Rising. Together, these resources can help you live up to your highest potential while you learn from the real-life struggles and challenges of other men as they seek to fulfill their purpose for God's kingdom. Right now, when you make a contribution to support Dr. Evans' work through the Urban Alternative, we'll send these resources to you as our gift, our way of saying thanks for making this ministry possible.
Just visit tonyevans.org to get the details, or you can reach out to one of our friendly resource team members to help with your request when you give us a call at 1-800-800-3222. Again, that's 1-800-800-3222. Well now, let's get back to Dr. Evans with more of today's message. Guess what Adam's job was to be? He was to make sure this information got transferred to Eve, because when the devil asked Eve, can you eat from the tree? She said, not only can I not eat from it, I can't touch it. So what Adam told her was, sweetheart, honey, sugar dumpling, don't eat from that tree. And in case you didn't get it, don't even go near it where you can brush up against it.
He was to transfer. So if the wife has got to ask you, are you going to church today? If the wife has got to ask you, are you going to pray with the family?
If the wife has got to ask you, are you going to have devotions? That means you're not fulfilling the spiritual responsibility of spiritually leading your home. You say, but I don't know what to do. Yeah, you do.
I'd have already done the work. So all you got to do is take what I did and say, family, let's discuss the sermon that we had on Sunday. You are the spiritual head. You say, but my wife knows more than me. That's got nothing to do with it. That has absolutely nothing to do with it. It's not who knows the most, it's who's responsible.
That's who it is. And this places things in order. It gets things in the proper place. God says, not your reason, but my word must define you before I give you a woman. Because when I give you a woman, and then when I give you a family, and then when I give you a culture, then when I give you a career, then when I give you all this stuff, it will be managed by me through you.
It will not be managed by you apart from me. A man is to be the vehicle, the flow-through from God to those entities, family, church, society, that he flows through as the first point of contact. Yes, women, you have your own personal responsibility and relationship with the Lord.
That is to be primary. The Bible says even a husband can't overrule God in the life of his wife. But at the same time, God has a process that he prefers to flow through. I know in this day of being politically correct, that's not a popular position. I ain't trying to be popular. I'm trying to be biblical.
Human reason was never to govern the man. Divine revelation was when my son Anthony was small, and we bought him a bicycle. Back then, they didn't put it together for you. You had to put it together yourself. It came with all these nuts and bolts and screws and washers and all this stuff.
It came with all this stuff and a thick book of instructions. Eight hours later, with just the handlebars on, with just the handlebars, I'm out there fiddling with the handlebars on. Sister Evans comes to the garage door and gives me a piece of interesting advice that I didn't want to hear. Basically, she said, could it be, just could it be that the bicycle maker knows more about bicycle assembly than the degreed one knows?
So I ask you, could it be that the man maker knows more about manhood than the man does? Many men say, my wife won't change. Whose book are you using? My kids won't change.
Which manual are you using? As you all have heard me say, at least the men have heard me say, I love being a man. And let me tell you one reason why. Verse 19 of chapter 2, out of the ground the Lord God formed every beast of the field and every bird of the sky and brought them to the man to see what he would call them. And whatever the man called a living creature, there it is. Ooh, that was his name. You know why I love being the man? I get the name stuff. I get the name stuff.
You know what the name stuff means in the Bible? When you got the name stuff, you got to own it. When you got the name stuff, you could exercise authority over it.
Now, you can't just go name anything. You got the name what God brings you. But once God brings it to you, you get to own that thing. So I be naming everything I can get my hands on and giving it back to God. God gives you the ability and the authority. You get to do that if you're underneath his covenant and his covering. So the question on the floor is, Adam, where are you now? And I know that we as men, even if you had it, stray from it. And God is asking us today, where are you?
But that's where the good news comes in. Because in the Bible, there are two men named Adam, not one. You got the first Adam in Genesis 2 and 3. And the Bible says in Romans 5, he blew it for the whole race. In verse 18 and following of Romans 5, the first Adam blew it for the whole race. But in 1 Corinthians chapter 15, verses 22, 45, and 47, it says there's another Adam. Adam number two, he's called the last Adam. While Adam number one got us booted out of the garden, the Bible says the last Adam is a life-giving spirit and he can escort you back into the garden. The first Adam may have messed you up, but the last Adam can pick you up. And you don't have to be like your daddy. You don't have to be like your granddaddy. You don't have to be like the people who influenced your life who were wrong.
The last Adam can rename you. Dr. Tony Evans will come back in a moment to wrap up his teaching on why men matter with a final illustration. As always, today's message is available in its entirety on both CD and digital download, including portions we didn't have time to include in the broadcast.
Better yet, you can also get it as a part of that special double offer I mentioned earlier. All 12 full-length messages in Tony's current series, bundled along with his powerful book, Kingdom and Rising. We'll send them to you as our thank you gift when you help support this ministry with a generous contribution. Get all the details and make your request online at TonyEvans.org, where you can browse through our huge library of resources and sign up for Tony's free weekly email devotional. Again, that's TonyEvans.org. Or give us a phone call at 1-800-800-3222, where team members are standing by around the clock to help you with your resource request.
Again, that's 1-800-800-3222. The last couple of years, we've all become very aware that we can catch something from those we come in contact with. Fortunately, not everything that's contagious is bad for us. In fact, there are many things we transmit that are helpful. Kindness is one of them.
And Dr. Evans encourages you to look for ways to spread it so others will see and do the same. Men grow up in a series of hoods. Babyhood, boyhood, manhood. But making it all the way to biblical manhood takes a certain kind of growing that Tony will talk about tomorrow. Right now, though, he's back with a final story to wrap up today's lesson. There were two guys in a mountain climbing incident. There was a man in the front and a man in the back. And there were two men in the middle who were climbing the mountain. But in order to get them up there safely, there was a guy at the front named Adam and a guy at the back named Adam.
So they are climbing up this mountain. But the problem is, as the first Adam, the Adam up front, he slipped. And all the folks were tied together by a rope. The first Adam slipped. And when the first Adam slipped, he pulled the two men with him. And they were going to fall off of the precipice. But the last Adam took his ax and plowed it into the mountain so that all the men that were behind him could climb back up. The first Adam slipped. And he's dragging all the men down. But the last Adam on the cross has nailed that thing. And he says, if you climb up on me, I will take you back to what you think you lost. So the question is, Adam, where are you? Men, it's time to come home. you
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