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The Purpose of Detours

The Urban Alternative / Tony Evans, PhD
The Truth Network Radio
May 3, 2022 8:00 am

The Purpose of Detours

The Urban Alternative / Tony Evans, PhD

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May 3, 2022 8:00 am

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Part of experiencing your destiny is understanding your detours. Dr. Tony Evans says some of the roadblocks we run into aren't there by accident. The reason why God creates detours is because he's got to do some construction in our lives first. 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. They say life is what happens to you while you're busy making other plans. Well, today Dr. Evans begins a series focusing on what we can learn from a man who had more than his share of unexpected twists and turns.

Let's join him as he begins. Detours. Detours are distractions from the original intended route that you had planned to go. When we get in our cars, we get in our cars with a destination in mind.

We typically know how we plan to get there, which highway we're going to take, which streets we're going to turn on to arrive at the destination that we're headed to. But along the way, on many occasions, we run into a detour. Often, detours are inconvenient. The straight line was a convenient line, but now a whole lot of folks are on the detour, slowing you down from getting to where you want to go.

Detours are typically inconvenient distractions, taking you off of your pre-planned route to arrive at the destination that you are seeking to reach. God has a plan for your life, a purpose for your existence. The reason why you weren't taken to heaven the moment after you were converted is because there is a purpose on earth He desires you to fulfill. There's a reason why you're here.

It's not just to work. It's not just to go through the motions. There is a God-designed stamp on your life where He is taking you, but He rarely, and I do mean rarely, ever takes His children to their destiny apart from detours. In other words, He rarely ever takes you from A to B to C to D. He takes you from A to Z to F to R to B to Q.

And you never know which letter He's pulling out of the hat next. Part of experiencing your destiny is understanding your detours. When you look at Scripture, it is full of destinies being reached through detours. When God told Israel He was going to take them to their destiny in Canaan, they had to cross the Red Sea. But when you read the Scripture, He didn't take them directly to the Red Sea. He took them down south, brought them back up before He let them cross the Red Sea, took them on a detour.

In fact, they wind up on a 40-year detour. Moses was on a detour for 40 years. He knew what God wanted him to do, thought God wanted him to do it at one time. God had to take him over 40 years before He let him do it. Took him on a detour to the backside of the wilderness. Abraham was on a 25-year detour. God told him, this is what I'm gonna do with you.

This is my plan. He never thought it would take 25 years for the destiny to be reached, because it seemed so real when he heard it. The greatest apostle in the New Testament, Paul, was taken on a three-year detour to a desert where God took him off of the front page, took him into a detour, then brought him back before He let him fulfill his purpose.

So let me repeat. God has a destiny for you, a place He wants you to be, and there is no better place for you than His place destined to you. But you won't get there in a straight line. There is no individual in the Bible who illustrates this principle of detours and its relationship to destiny like the life of Joseph. Now, I love a good suspense novel. I love a drama. I love a movie or a book with twists and turns along the way, where they've got a story, and then they got a story within the story, and then a story went in the story that's within the story that was in the story. So you got all kind of things happening at the same time. Now, if I'm impatient, I'll go to the last chapter, because then I can see where all this stuff winds up.

Why don't we do that? Why don't we go to the end of Joseph's story? Look at Genesis chapter 50. This is the end of the story. We go back up to the beginning of the story in a second, but let's go to the end, because the end helps us understand the concept of destiny. And I challenge you to read the whole story, chapters 37 through chapters 50 this week.

37 to 50 gives you the whole suspense novel. But Joseph said to them, that is his brothers, do not be afraid, for am I in God's place? You got a hint of destiny there.

Destiny is being in the place God has for you. Am I not in God's place? As for you, you meant it for evil, but God meant it for good in order to bring about this present result to preserve many alive, so therefore do not be afraid. I will provide for you and your little ones, so He comforted them and spoke kindly to them. Please notice that phrase, as for you, you meant evil against me and God meant it for good.

Watch it, watch it. That tells you something about destiny. It includes evil and good. Let's go back to the beginning of the story, chapter 37. We find in verse 2, Joseph was 17 years of age. He is the 11th son of Jacob.

Now, in order to appreciate this and how the story unfolds and where the story ends, which we'll discover as we go along, Joseph is born into a dysfunctional family. Let me tell you about his daddy, Jacob. Jacob, ever since he was a little boy, was a deceiver. He was a trickster.

His name means trickster, because he was always deceiving somebody out of something in order to get his way. He is a manipulator by trade, so the deceiver gave birth to deceivers. Joseph's oldest brother, Reuben, has sex with Jacob, his father's wife. Chapter 35, verse 22. Oh, now you're reading your Bible. Talk about scandal. So he has a relationship with his father's wife, and his father finds out about it.

So you can imagine the dynamic there. Two of his brothers, Simeon and Levi, are mass murderers. Simeon and Levi are mass murderers, chapter 34, verse 25. They talk a whole time of men into getting circumcised, meaning get spiritual. They get circumcised, and while the men were healing, they killed all the men, because it's hard to fight back if you're a grown man and you've just been circumcised.

They killed the whole time. He's got a brother, Judah, that has a sexual relationship with his daughter-in-law. I call this a messed up family. And that is the scenario into which Joseph was born.

So if we look at family, we don't see a lot of the raw ingredients for a great destiny, but it gets worse. Verse 3 says, Now Israel, that's Jacob, Jacob loved Joseph more than all his sons. So Joseph, who's right now the baby boy—there will be one that come after him, Benjamin—but Joseph, the baby boy right now, is the favorite of the daddy.

Why? Because he was the son of his old age. Because the mother of Joseph is Rachel, and Rachel was the wife that Jacob loved. Joseph is his favorite because it came from Rachel. He came from Rachel.

He loved him. He loved Joseph more than all the sons, because he's the son of his old age, and made him a varied color tunic, a multicolored coat, or you and I would say, an elegant robe. He made a robe for his favorite kid, the baby in the family. Now, you need to understand this robe. This is the robe of a king. 2 Samuel 13 verse 18 talks about the robe the king gave, David, gave to his children, and it was an indication of royalty.

This is like you having a bunch of kids, and on graduation day, you buy the baby kid a brand-new car, and everybody else got a bike when they graduated. You're treating him like royalty. When he made them this special coat, notice what happens. Verse 4, his brothers saw that their father loved him more than all of his brothers, and so they hated him and could not speak to him on friendly terms.

So now you got a sibling situation, cuz daddy's playing favorite. Now let me tell you why they hated him all the more. Not just cuz he got a pretty robe. That would have been enough of itself, but that's a robe that goes to the oldest son, because it was the firstborn who was to be the most recognized, and the firstborn got a double inheritance. In other words, the firstborn got twice as much as any other kid in the will. So they understood what this robe meant. This robe meant that he was going to be treated like the firstborn, even though at this point he's the lastborn, and it says, and they hated him and would not speak to him on friendly terms.

They talked about him, they degraded him, and there were sibling conflicts, and some of you know what it's like not to be able to communicate with brothers or sisters or siblings because of what went down with daddy and mama. And the problems for Joseph continued to escalate, as we'll see when Dr. Evans continues our message in just a moment. What you're hearing today is the first part of Tony's nine lesson series called Joseph Detours to Destiny.

It explains why many of the twists and turns we experience in life are part of God's plan and reveals ways we can learn and grow when life's road takes us in unexpected directions. Right now we're making this collection available on CD or instantly downloadable mp3s as our way of saying thanks for your gift toward the ministry of the alternative. Just visit to make your donation and request your copy of Joseph Detours to Destiny. This is a limited time offer, so be sure to drop by today, or call us at 1-800-800-3222.

Team members are available around the clock to help you with your resource request. Again, that's 1-800-800-3222. I'll have that information for you again after part two of today's lesson, and this. Far too many of us want to throw in the towel before we've thrown up the prayers. Tony Evans says Christians have a habit of underusing or overlooking our most valuable spiritual resource. Grace is available, but only at the throne, and you can only approach the throne through prayer. You can deepen your connection with the Lord through our in-depth course on Kingdom Prayer at the Tony Evans Training Center. You'll discover how God has wired the world to work by prayer and experience for yourself how it connects heaven with earth and time with eternity. You'll not only gain a new understanding and appreciation for prayer, you'll actually pray in transforming ways you've never experienced before. The course is intense, but you can work through it at your own pace and get all the help you need through our online forum. And, of course, there's custom content from Tony not available anywhere else. Connect with the Tony Evans Training Center at It's like having a seminary on your smartphone or other device.

Start today, Verse 5, then Joseph had a dream, and when he told it to his brothers, they hated him all the more. Okay, now they already don't like you, boy.

But he now goes out, has a dream. He says, Please, verse 6, listen to the dream I had last night. Verse 7, Behold, we were binding sheaves in the field, and lo, my sheaf rose up and also stood erect, and behold, your sheaves gathered around and bowed down to my sheaves. Now, they already don't like you, boy. And you're gonna tell them you had a dream where they bowed down to you.

So, what was their response? Verse 8, And their brothers said, Are you actually going to reign over us? So they hated him even more, for the dreams he dreamt and the words he told them.

But not only that, we ain't finished. Verse 9, Now he had still another dream. This boy need to stay up. This boy having too many dreams. He had another dream. And he related it to his brothers and said, Lo, I have still another dream. And behold, the sun and the moon, eleven stars, were bowing down to me. He related this to his father, to his brothers, and his father rebuked him and said to him, What is this dream you have?

Shall I and your mother and your brothers actually come and bow ourselves down before you to the ground? His brothers were jealous of him because he shared a dream, but he's made three mistakes. Let me review Joseph's mistakes with you.

Mistake number one, the end of verse 2, And Joseph brought back a bad report about them to his father. He's a tattletale. Well now, if your brother is tattling on you to your daddy, you're not gonna think much of your brother. But okay, he's 17 years old. So we understand that, you know, he's immature.

That's the first thing. Second thing he did was tell his dreams to folk who don't like him. Some dreams you need to keep to yourself.

Now they may be God-given, but it's God-given to you or people who are going to support it, not people who are hating you already. There's a third mistake he made, sporting his tunic. Okay, watch this now. We read in the beginning of the chapter, he's taking care of flocks with his brothers. His brothers already don't like him and speak harshly to him. He's taking care of flocks with his brother. Now he gets suited and booted. He's got on this multi-colored, flamboyant tunic.

Everybody else is riding up in the bike, he drives his car to the flock, digging the scene with a gangster lean. He's sporting his tunic. The boy is looking good. And you'll see in a moment, he's sporting his tunic. He didn't just wear it one time.

In other words, he threw it in their face. I'm the favorite one. I'm the royal one. I'm with the dream.

Daddy loves me more than daddy loves you. And the proof is, every day I get up, I'm gonna wash this so I can wear it again tomorrow. So he rubbed it in their face.

So watch this. Joseph has a dream. Joseph has also been given a gift to interpret dreams.

So that is his uniqueness. To have a dream and to interpret dreams, which is going to work well for him down the line, but Joseph is also immature. So Joseph is gonna have to grow up before he can realize his dream, which means he needs a detour.

Here it is. The purpose of detours is to develop you for the destiny God has for you while God is developing the destiny for when you arrive. God is doing two things at one time. He's developing you, maturity, through the things he takes you through for the destiny, while he's working on the destiny for when you get there. When God is getting ready to move you to the next spiritual level toward your destiny.

Here it is. You won't like this, but I got to tell the truth, the whole truth, nothing but the truth. So help me God. Things may get worse before they get better. And I know everybody looking for that blessing and all of that, that's half the truth. The other half the truth is in order to develop you, God will detour you, and I think most of us know most detours occur when construction is taking place.

There's a construction crew on the road creating a detour. The reason why God creates detours is because he's got to do some construction in our lives first. He's got to chip away at the parts that don't fit where he's taking us. He has to chip away at the things we're not ready yet. And depending on how we respond to the detours tells us how long we're in the detours and how long we're gonna be blocked from the destiny. So I got to tell you the truth, things may get worse before they get better, because development is part of the process. See, we want the destiny.

God wants to make sure you're ready for it, because the worst thing you can have is to be somewhere God wants you to be and not be ready to be there, because then you'll mess up the destiny. Dr. Evans will come back with a final comment about why that development process he mentioned can sometimes get uncomfortable. But first, if you'd like to get a copy of today's lesson, to review again, or to share with someone you care about, the title to ask for is The Purpose of Detours. Better yet, you can get the full-length version of today's message along with eight other insightful lessons as a part of Tony's audio teaching collection called Joseph Detours to Destiny. The complete collection is available on CD or downloadable mp3s as our thank-you gift for your contribution toward the continued outreach of the alternative.

Don't put it off. Visit us today at to make your contribution and resource request. That's Or you can let one of our friendly team members assist with your request when you call us at 1-800-800-3222.

That's 1-800-800-3222. The Bible tells us one of the attributes of God's Holy Spirit living and operating inside of us is kindness, and that's something we can never have too much of. Share a kind word or gesture with someone today as you seek to carry God's light to a world in need of His love. Tomorrow, more about the purpose of life's detours and why, just when we think we're ready for what God has in store for us, God thinks we're ready for more preparation and purification.

That's coming up tomorrow, and it makes the perfect lead-in to Dr. Evans' final comment for today. Everybody in my family will remember September 1st, 2013 we gathered, and that's where my granddaughter, Charis, was surprised with an engagement ring from her boyfriend. He took out a crackerjack box.

He did. He poured the crackerjacks out, and out comes this diamond engagement ring, and he gets on one knee and hands her a Bible, and then he says, Will you marry me? If you run into her, she gonna make sure you see that ring. But the ring on her finger purchased from the store didn't start there looking good. That was dug up from the ground, and it was dirty. It had value, but the value was not now realized.

It had to go through a process before it ever wound up on her finger. I know many of us have dreams of shiny lives and gold lives and magnificent lives, but God says, I can't put you into my store until I clean you up first. I cannot give you your destiny if you will not allow me to shape your character. I can't give you your destiny if you do not allow me to deal with your sins. I cannot give you your destiny if you don't allow me to promote your righteousness. I can't give you your destiny if you don't allow me to mature you. So therefore, in order to give you your destiny, I've got to detour you first. You don't go from the ground to the store. You go through a process first of detour. That means things may get worse before they get better. 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 / 2023-04-23 17:28:21 / 2023-04-23 17:36:47 / 8

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