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Men Who Beat the Odds

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

Men Who Beat the Odds

The Urban Alternative / Tony Evans, PhD

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March 7, 2022 7:00 am

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God wants you to start right where you are, but He wants you to use what He's already given you. Dr. Tony Evans says the Lord has preloaded us with the resources we need to pull victory out of defeat. God has given you something that He wants to grab and use for His glory and the good of others. 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.

Dr. Evans says if your situation is serious and the odds are stacked against you, good. God has a track record for showing up when the chips are down, especially when we practice some principles we'll learn about today. Let's turn to Judges chapter 5 as he begins. We're told in chapter 5 verse 6 that during the days of Shemgar, nobody was traveling along the highways. They went in roundabout ways. And if men wanted to go somewhere, if people wanted to travel, they had to go roundabout ways. They had to go on the dirt roads. They had to go on the side roads.

They couldn't go on the main fair affairs. You see, the book of Judges talks about God's people in a failed scenario. Judges 21 verse 25 says that there was no king in those days and every man did that which was right in his own eyes. There was no governing standard that governed everybody, so people made up their own rules, leading to cultural chaos. So when you read throughout the book of Judges, there's one chaos after another chaos. There's family chaos. There's community chaos. There's national chaos. There's all kind of violence.

There's all kind of scenarios that was tearing people apart. It was a calamitous situation in Israel because there was no standard in those days. Enter the Philistines. The Philistines were the enemies of Israel. When they saw the chaos in the society, they took that as an invitation to take advantage of a disintegrating culture. Since the folk can't get along, since everybody else is making up their own rules, since there's chaos everywhere we look, we the Philistines are going to invade Israel. So you've got major cultural collapse.

In the midst of the crisis, we have 22 words. Judges chapter 3 verse 31, 22 words about a man named Shemgar. Now the first thing I want you to note about Shemgar is what he did before he became a judge. Because it says he slew 600 Philistines with an ox gourd.

So that tells us what his job was before he became a judge over Israel. He's a farmer because an ox gourd is a eight-foot pole with a sharp metal tip on one end and a flat chisel area on the other end. The sharp end of the ox gourd was used to goad the ox and keep them pulling the plow. So whenever they slowed down, you would prick it and prick it and prick it so it would pick back up for completing the farming responsibilities. The chisel on the back end, the flat surface of metal on the back end, was for the farmer to dig up roots and to dig up things that were obstructing the process of tilling the soil so that he could plant his seed. So this was a very important tool in the hand of a farmer. Farmers had ox goats. So we find out about Shemgar that he doesn't start off as a judge, he starts off as a farmer.

Now why do you need to know that? You need to know that because the first thing you and I need to do is start where you are. You don't start where you want to be, you start where you are. A lot of folks are waiting till they get more money, more education, higher position, more notoriety before they do anything.

He doesn't start out as the big name in Scripture. All this man is doing is plowing his field. Unless you are willing to let God use you where you are, then you will keep him from doing with you where he ultimately wants you to go. Shemgar was dissatisfied, he's a farmer, but he sees that he can't travel down the main highway now. The main highways are blocked. The caravans, the philistines are stopping me from getting my produce from my farm to farmers market. It's stopping me from being able to go through the straight line down the highway because these evil people have taken over my neighborhood, my community. And now I got to find a roundabout way to go because those were the days and it's all because there was no standard in the land inviting the enemy to take over.

But because he's a man of vision, it dawns on him. I can use this ox goad for more than farming. I can use this ox goad to make this a better place to live, work, play, raise a family. I can use this tool that I thought was only for my economic prosperity.

I can use this tool to do something more. God wants you to start right where you are, but guess what else he wants? He wants you to use what he's already given you. He's already had an ox goad. He's already got that right in his hand. He just never knew it could be used for more than farming until it dawned on him one day.

Wait a minute. I already have what I need to do to get what God wants me to do done. It says that he slew 600 Philistine with the ox goad. This is 600 Philistines against one guy who only has one tool.

He slew 600 Philistines with one ox goad. Because when you take what you have and God can get a hold of it right, you will be amazed at what he can do with it. God asks Moses, Moses, what is that in your hand? Moses had a shepherd's hook, a stick with a hook on it. God told him, well throw it down. He throws it down and all of a sudden it becomes a snake. So Moses runs because it's a poisonous snake. Then God says, Moses, pick it up by the tail. Excuse me?

Picking it up would be a problem, but picking up from the tail is a big problem because that means the mouth is exposed to bite you. Because when God wants to show you more of what he can do with what you already have, he may ask you to do something that doesn't make no sense at all because that makes absolutely no sense. But Moses obeys the ridiculous. He obeys the ridiculous.

Because sometimes God will ask you to demonstrate your faith by asking you to do something opposite to your logic. Moses picks it up by the tail. It becomes a shepherd's hook again. Only now he can use it for more than leading sheep.

Because now he can go to Pharaoh and say, God said, let my people go. He can turn water into blood. He can get lice to come down.

He can get frogs. And then he can come to the Red Sea and hold it up and the Red Sea opens up. And then he could stand on the mountain while they were fighting in the valley. And it says whenever he held the rod up, God's people would prevail. But when the rod came down, God's people would lose.

Why? Because it was now no longer called the rod of Moses. It was now called the rod of God. All David had was a stone. That's all he had.

But he also had one thing. He says, you come to me with all that equipment Goliath. I come to you in the name of the Lord. So let's see what he does with this stone when I let it go. Holy Ghost took the stone, drew it into Goliath's head. He chopped off Goliath's head and said, hey, y'all.

In other words, all he needed was what he had. It just had to get sanctified by God so that it could now do something bigger than it could ever do on its own. All Samson had was the jawbone of a donkey. A thousand Philistines came against him. He put himself in the crevice of the rock. And the Bible says when the Spirit of God came on him, he slew 1,000 Philistines with the jawbone of a donkey.

Why? Because it was no longer just the jawbone of a donkey. God had gotten a hold of that thing and he did something bigger with that than Samson could ever do on his own. All the little boy had was sardines and crackers, a couple of fish and some barley loaves, but Jesus turned it into a Moby Dick sandwich. But he only turned it into a Moby Dick sandwich when the little boy gave his sardines and crackers to Jesus Christ. And when he gave it to Jesus Christ, Jesus Christ prayed over it and it did something bigger than what the boy could ever do on its own.

What I'm trying to say to you is that if you will allow God as a man to give you a vision for what he wants to do with your life, he will blow your mind as to how he can take a little and do a lot with it. Elijah was one man and there were 450 prophets who were threatening him, who were denouncing him. But because of his standing with God, he overrode what 450 couldn't do.

Gideon had 30,000 soldiers. God says, I can't use all of them because a lot of them are snowflakes. I can't use all of them because a lot of them are chumps. I can't use all those men because a lot of them are punks.

Give me 300. If you give me 300 of the right men, I can do more with 300 of the right men than 30,000 of males. See, God can't find the right guys. He can't find the right guys and so as a result, the community collapses, the families collapse, the society collapses, and the enemy, the devil, can come in and have his way so that we can't live in peace, walk in peace, be in peace. So how do we turn things around?

Dr. Evans will have some answers in just a moment. First, as we've been learning, men these days have been lied to and misled, and it's time for the truth. You'll find it in Dr. Evans' powerful book, Kingdom Men Rising. In it, he squares off against today's mangled view of manhood and presents a whole new game plan for overcoming temptation, recovering from past failures, leading your family, and building a legacy of faith and godly influence.

It's time to man up God's way. So we'd like to send you a copy of Kingdom Men Rising as our way of saying thanks when you make a contribution toward the ministry of the Urban Alternative. As a special bonus, we'll send it to you along with all 12 full-length messages in Tony's hard-hitting audio series, part of which we've been hearing today. Get both of these Kingdom Men Rising resources before this special offer runs out by visiting tonyevans.org, or let one of our friendly team members help you with your request when you call our 24-hour resource center at 1-800-800-3222. That's 1-800-800-3222. I'll repeat our contact information after part two of today's lesson.

Here's Tony. So the question on the floor now is how do you defeat 600 when it's only you and all you have is an ox goad? I mean, how do you do that? Well, you don't do it all at one time. If 600 come at you at one time, they had cut off all the roads, all the highways, which means they weren't all in one place at one time. See, they're spread out among the different highways. So he had a bunch of gangs he had to deal with. So he may have 25 here and 50 here. He looked at his ox goad and said, This could be a tomahawk missile.

It's sharp on one side, flat on the other side, and I know how to use it because I've been farming with this thing for years. Look, all Serena Williams has is a racket. She only got one thing. All LeBron James has is a basketball. That's all they got. That's all they got.

But what they have done is they have dominated an environment because they good with it. God has given you something. Every man has an ox goad. You may not even know what it is now, but if you are a man and you are a Christian, in fact, if you are a Christian at all, woman or man, but especially as a man, you have an ox goad.

God has given you something that he wants to grab and use for his glory and the good of others. But the way he did it was he picked them off a few at a time because they've shut down all the highways. So they are spread out, and he is so good. You remember Rambo? Rambo, he got rid of all these people, but not at one time.

He was just so good at what he did from special forces training that he was able to pick them off here and pick them off there and pick them off. I don't know how much, mister, you have coming at you, but if you ever let God get a hold of what he has given you, he'll pick off this problem today, pick off that one, pick off this one, pick off this, pick off. He'll pick them off one at a time, and by the time you look up, you done saved a bunch of folk. I want you to have a bigger vision.

You must start where you are, you must use what you have, and then you do a little here and a little there. The way you get victory is like you eat an elephant. It's one bite at a time. You may see 600 and you say, my problems are too big, the work is too big, the finances are too big, the family problems are too big. It's big, it's big, it's big, it's big. It's just too big for you.

It's just too big for you. 2nd Chronicles 16, 9 says God is looking for somebody. He's searching for somebody who he can use to show himself strong through. God wants to show off his problem is finding somebody. He's had problems finding somebody, and as we saw with other scriptures, especially finding a man, because there's some things he only wants to do through a man.

Not because women aren't critical, important, and strategic, but there are some things he wants to get men to do. But until a man is willing to humble himself and to say to God, you have your way with me, he says he's looking for somebody. Matthew 22, 14 says many are called, but only a few are chosen.

There are a whole lot of folk who play football, but there are only a few that are drafted. Just because you're in the vicinity doesn't mean you're going to get drafted to play in the pros, and just because you're in church doesn't mean God can do something through you. Many are called, but only a few can be chosen because only a few can be trusted. To handle what God has given you, God's way, for God's glory, starting where you are and then walking by faith. Why does not God leapfrog you from where you are to where he wants you to go? Because he wants to train you to walk by faith.

What was Shem God's secret? What was the key that shifted his life so that he became a judge and one man saved the whole nation? Well, you have to understand how you got to be a judge. Let me show you the first judge, chapter 3, verse 10. The Spirit of the Lord came upon him, and he judged Israel.

There it is. You know how you became a judge? God took over your life.

That's how you became a judge. The Spirit of the Lord came, and the Spirit of the Lord grabbed the man and now empowered him to do stuff out of the ordinary. When the Spirit of the Lord came, God came upon him, he got consumed by God's presence. He wants to own you, man. Own me, man. Own us as men. He wants us to cultivate such a deep, dynamic relationship with him all the time so that he owns your thoughts, owns your decisions, owns your feelings, owns your perspective, so that he can overrule you because he owns you. You say, my wife won't submit to me. Well, God says as soon as you submit to me, I'll get her to submit to you.

I want to own you. And until this idea of our relationship with God gets to a place of ownership, until we cultivate our relationship with God that the Spirit of God can come upon us and consume us, we will not seek God's transformation power, consume our lives, and then anything we touch. We're talking about one man gets rid of 600 Philistines and he saves a whole nation getting ready to fall apart.

Hear me now. If Jesus Christ comes back tomorrow, we don't have to worry about what's happening in our nation. But if he doesn't come back for another 200 years, you better worry about what's happening in our nation. And God needs some men with some spiritual ox goads who will step up to the spiritual plate, who will make a relationship with him the number one driving force in their lives, who will operate underneath his rule so that he can sanctify the ox goad and do things that will blow your mind as he starts slaying things that are trying to get rid of you. It means he's got to give you a vision.

That means you got to be close enough to hear his voice. See, if you have a long distance relationship with God, a small, something more than only, if that's your relationship with God, you're not going to hear him. God wants to give you new ideas as a man, new brainstorms, new initiatives, new ways to use old talents like the ox goad. He's got all this stuff he wants to do, but he's speaking in a whisper. So that's why you want to make time for God.

You want to make time for God because that's making time for you. That's giving him the right to give you new thoughts and visions about what he wants to do. You young men will have visions. You old men will dream dreams. So even when you get old, you're not supposed to be called. You're supposed to be coming up with new thoughts and new ideas and new visions and new expectations. Why? Because his mercies are new every day.

That's why. Dr. Tony Evans will have some final advice about starting where you are when he comes back in a moment to wrap up this lesson he calls Men Who Beat the Odds. Stay with us. How do you share the gospel with confidence? What's God's plan for our communities?

Why does the Old Testament matter to your faith today? Those are just a few of the questions you'll get answered when you enroll in the Tony Evans Training Center, an interactive online study experience with Dr. Tony Evans where you can grow in your knowledge of God's word and learn to advance his kingdom agenda in your life. Visit tonyevanstraining.org to get started today. That's tonyevanstraining.org. Before Tony comes back to wrap up today's lesson, I want to encourage you to take advantage of that special double offer I mentioned earlier, his powerful Kingdom Men Rising book and the 12-lesson Kingdom Men Rising audio series on CD and digital download. Both yours is our gift for a limited time when you make a contribution to help keep this broadcast coming your way each day. All the details are waiting for you online at tonyevans.org or by calling 1-800-800-3222. Our resource center never closes, so call us any time. Again, that's 1-800-800-3222. We learn by watching examples. Some we want to follow and others we want to avoid.

Tomorrow, Dr. Evans will introduce us to one of each when he tells us a tale of two men. Right now, though, he's back with his final word of encouragement. So if you happen to be on the farm right now, you ain't trying to save no nation. You can't even save your block. You're still on the farm right now.

It's okay. Because you start where you are and then you use what you have and then you do what you can, walking in faith, and then you watch God move and twist things and change things and flip things and you watch Him blow your mind. And then your wife comes along and says, How can I support? How can I help?

How can I infuse? Because I see you going somewhere. I see God taking you somewhere. I see you moving somewhere and so I want to get in on what God is doing with you. Wherever you are now, you start where you are and you pursue God's presence and His ownership so that He can now show you what He wants you to deliver. 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 / 2023-05-26 22:58:15 / 2023-05-26 23:07:11 / 9

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