Share This Episode
The Urban Alternative Tony Evans, PhD Logo

The Detours of Provision

The Urban Alternative / Tony Evans, PhD
The Truth Network Radio
May 16, 2022 8:00 am

The Detours of Provision

The Urban Alternative / Tony Evans, PhD

On-Demand Podcasts NEW!

This broadcaster has 630 podcast archives available on-demand.

Broadcaster's Links

Keep up-to-date with this broadcaster on social media and their website.

May 16, 2022 8:00 am

To support this ministry financially, visit:


Rarely does God take you from where you are to where He wants you to be in a straight line. Dr. Tony Evans says God's detours will ultimately bless you, but that's not the end of the story.

So if it's all about you and nobody but you, you've not yet arrived at your destiny, because your destiny is never only about 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. God helps us grow into the people He wants us to be, but today Dr. Evans explains He does that in part because of what He wants us to do. Let's join him in the book of Genesis as he explains. Rarely does God take you from where you are to where He wants you to be in a straight line. You never just go from A to Z through B and C and D and E and F. You go from A to R to C to U to S to Q to V. God bounces you around.

Why? Number one is to develop your character. He wants to make you a better person, and He never does that without tests. Tests are adverse circumstances that God causes or allows in order to develop us spiritually. But there is a second reason for the detours, and it is the reason of our message today, that God allows detours on His road to destiny in order to prepare those who He wants you to impact when you arrive at your destiny.

Let me say it another way. Destiny always involves you benefiting others beyond yourself, because your destiny is never only about you. Look at chapter 15 of Genesis. He says in verse 19, He says in verse 19, But Joseph said to them, Do not be afraid, for I am in God's place. As for you, you meant it for evil against me, but God meant it for good in order to bring about this present result to preserve many people alive. So therefore, do not be afraid. I will provide—there's our word—I will provide for you and your little ones.

So He comforted them and spoke kindly to them. He said, God brought me here to provide for you, because your destiny is never only about you. Now, you have to understand, God is always doing more than one thing at a time that involves you.

It involves you, but because it's not only about you, He's manipulating different things in different places at different times until it's time for the hookup. Let's back up to chapter 40, verse 23. Remember, in the Bible, there were no chapters written.

We added chapters in order to be able to find things quickly, so you can kind of just read straight through, particularly the stories in the Bible. Verse 23 of chapter 40 says, Yet the chief cupbearer did not remember Joseph, but forgot him. Here Joseph is in prison. He interprets the cupbearer's dream. He tells the cupbearer, Remember me to Pharaoh, and the cupbearer forgets him. Have you ever been in a situation where it looked like God was answering your prayer and the reverse happened? You thought you had an answer, and the exact opposite to the answer occurred, and you want to know, God, why you want to do me like this?

When God disappoints you, He disappoints you on purpose. It says the cupbearer forgot him after he had saved the cupbearer's life through interpreting his dream. How long was he forgotten? Because he's in prison. Oh, by the way, he's not only in prison. It says he's in the dungeon. The dungeon was the hole underneath the prison, and he's there for having done nothing wrong. So he's an innocent person in a bad situation that God allowed.

Now, verse 1 of Chapter 41. Now it came about at the end of two full years that Pharaoh had a dream, and behold, he was standing by the Nile. So I won't go into all the details, but Pharaoh has a nightmare on Elm Street. He's got this dream that literally terrorizes him, and he can't understand it. So Pharaoh calls the professionals to interpret the dream. Verse 8, Now in the morning his spirit was troubled. So he sent and called for all the magicians of Egypt and all the wise men, and Pharaoh told them his dreams, but there was not one who could interpret them to Pharaoh.

Okay, stick with me now. Joseph is languishing in a prison in the lowest part of the prison called the dungeon. Pharaoh, who doesn't even know who Joseph is, has a dream that keeps him up all night and troubles him, and he calls the paid professionals to help him figure out his nightmare.

The paid professionals can't figure out his nightmare. Joseph doesn't know Pharaoh. Pharaoh doesn't know Joseph. The cupbearer knows them both, because the cupbearer was in prison with Joseph, and he worked for Pharaoh.

What happened? Verse 9, Then the chief cupbearer spoke to Pharaoh, saying, I would make mention today of my own offense. Pharaoh was furious for his servants. He put me in confinement in the house of the captain, the bodyguard, both me and the chief baker. We had a dream the same night. He and I, each one of us dreamt, according to an interpretation of his own dream. Verse 12, Now a Hebrew youth was there, a servant of the captain of the bodyguard, and we related to him, and he interpreted our dreams to each one he interpreted according to his own dream. And just as he interpreted for us, so it happened he restored me to my office, but he hanged him. All of a sudden, the cupbearer's memory comes back. Bing!

Bing! Wait a minute, Pharaoh. You had a dream. You couldn't interpret it. It scared you to death. Two years ago, I had a dream.

It scared me to death, and there was this Jewish kid in jail who interpreted my dream, and it came about just as it happened. When does the cupbearer remember Joseph? Because remember, we read he forgot him. He remembered it when it was God's time for a hookup to occur. God created a nightmare over here while Joseph is in prison over there, and he doesn't allow the negative event of Joseph to change until the nightmare occurs over here, and he brings to remember. See, God knows how to bring stuff back up in people's minds. He brings it back to the cupbearer's mind about Joseph. And watch this, because I want to make a big point, a big point, a big point. It says, verse 14, then the Pharaoh sent and called for Joseph, and they hurriedly brought him out of the dungeon where he had shaved himself, changed his clothes, and came to Pharaoh. Now, here's what I want you to know. Don't want you to miss this.

Joseph had absolutely no idea about the dream, had never met Pharaoh. He doesn't know what's going on. He's in a hole all by himself. But in less than 24 hours, his world changes. In 24 hours, he's released from prison. In 24 hours, he's given a shave. In 24 hours, he gets his clothes changed.

He gets brand new clothes. Verse 41 of chapter 41, Pharaoh said to Joseph, See, I have set you over all the land of Egypt. Then Pharaoh took off his signet ring from his hand and put it on Joseph's hand and clothed him in garments of fine linen and put the gold necklace around his neck. He rode him on the second chariot, verse 43, and they proclaimed before him, Bow the knee, and he set him over all the land of Egypt.

All this happened in 24 hours. Joseph is the man now. Joseph is living large now. Joseph has been blessed with stuff, having used his gifting, and now he is out of the pit and in the palace. The problem today is most people are satisfied with that definition of blessing.

I got more stuff, better job, more money, better car, nicer clothes, nicer house. Remember, your blessing includes you, but it's not only about you. Look at chapter 45. The story continues. He's now with his brothers, and here's what he says to his brothers who've been now faced with Joseph, who's now over them. Verse 5 of chapter 45, Now do not be grieved or angry with yourselves, because you sold me here, for God sent me before you to preserve your life. Watch this now. You sold, and while you were selling, God was sending.

You see that? You were selling me, and God was sending me. You thought you were getting rid of me, and God was preparing to use me. You thought you were messing over me, and all you were doing was blessing me.

If they would have known that their brother was going to wind up being their provider, they would have never sold them. But God let him sell them so that God could send them in order to preserve them. He says, God did this to preserve life. Verse 6, For the famine has been in the land these two years, and there are still five years in which there will neither be plowing or harvesting. God sent me before you to preserve you a remnant in the earth, and to keep you alive by a great deliverance. And he goes on to say in verse 11, There I will provide for you, for there are still five years of famine to come, and you and your household and all you have would have been impoverished.

Guess what the man says? He said, He didn't just send me here to live in a bigger house. He sent me here to preserve you.

He sent me here to benefit somebody other than myself. Dr. Evans will have more to say about the importance of looking beyond ourselves when he returns with more of today's lesson in just a moment. First, though, the message we're listening to today is from his series called Joseph, Detours to Destiny. In these lessons, Tony digs deep into the life of Joseph and the things that seem to take him off course, like being betrayed by his brothers and sold into slavery, then being falsely accused of rape and thrown into prison. But through it all, we discover God working behind the scenes to prepare Joseph for an amazing destiny that included reuniting with his family and saving a nation.

Learning how God provided for Joseph through all his life's detours will teach you how to make the most of the unexpected twists you face in life so God can prepare you for a future you never imagined. We'd like to send you the complete series on CD or digital download as our gift. Just visit, make a contribution to help support the ministry of the alternative, and we'll say thanks by sending all nine full-length lessons your way. Again, that's, or call 1-800-800-3222, where resource team members are standing by around the clock to assist with your request.

I'll have that contact information for you again after part two of today's lesson and this. Impactful. Amazing. Intense.

Thought-provoking. That's how just a few students describe their experience since enrolling in the Tony Evans Training Center. The best part is, the Training Center is wherever you and your online connection are. Going beyond a Sunday sermon, these compelling Bible study courses take a much deeper look at Scripture, the Bible's writers, social issues of today, and so much more. Log on today to learn more at Explore the Kingdom anytime, anywhere. When God blesses you spiritually, that's the most important blessing. When He blesses you materially, when He blesses you circumstantially, when He blesses you influentially, when He changes your status in life and He removes you from that negative situation, keep your eye open for the blessing He wants you to be.

Not that's the blessing that you have. Because the shortest way to cut short, your destiny is to only be thinking about you and not the reason that God blesses you, which is always to be a blessing to somebody beyond you, beyond you. God told Abraham, Genesis chapter 12, He said, Abraham, I want you to leave the land of your parents, and I want you to go to a land that I will show you, but I'm not going to tell you about it in advance. I just want you to walk by faith. Now, if you follow Abraham's life, he goes through 25 years of detour before God and he are ready to come through, before God has set things up where he has grown up enough and responsive enough for God to do what He's going to do.

And then God said to Abraham, and when I bless you through you, all the nations of the earth will be blessed. He says, I got a big plan for you, but you're not ready for it yet. It's going to take you 25 years for you to be ready for what I want to do with your life. But when you come around and grow up and begin to respond to me like I want you to respond, I'm going to work through you, and when I do my thing through you, it's going to blow your mind, because it's going to touch the whole world. God's got a world for you to touch.

Let me show you another one. I want you to turn to this one, Exodus chapter 2, because this is a pattern through Scripture. Remember, there are no chapter divisions when the Bible was written.

We added chapters in order to find places quickly. Verse 23 of Exodus 2. It came about in the course of those days that the king of Egypt died, and the sons of Israel sighed because of the bondage, and they cried out, and their cry for help because of their bondage rose up to God. So God heard their groanings, and God remembered His covenant with Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob. God saw the sons of Israel and took notice of them.

Pause. Israel is crying out. Israel is in Egypt. Israel got in Egypt because of Joseph. Joseph brought his brothers to Egypt. He provided them in Egypt.

They kept expanding. So Israel became a nation in Egypt, but now they're under bondage in Egypt. They cry to God, and they say, God, deliver us. Deliver us.

Deliver us. God says, I hear you. I hear you. I hear you. Okay? Deliver me.

I hear you. Now, remove the chapter 3, and let's keep reading. Now Moses was pastoring the flock of Jethro, his father-in-law.

Wait a minute. We just left all the children of Israel in Egypt, crying out for deliverance. God hears them, and now we jump to Moses.

Or did we? Because he says, the priest of Midian, he was leading the flock. So all this, man, is a shepherd man. The angel of the Lord appears to him, verse 2, in a blazing fire in the midst of the bush. He looks.

Behold, the bush was burning with fire, yet it was not consumed. Moses said, I got to turn around and see what's going on here. When the Lord saw, verse 4, that Moses turned aside to look, God spoke to him, Moses, Moses. He said, here I am. He said, don't come near here.

Remove your sandals. He said, verse 6, I am the God of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob. Moses hid his face, for he was afraid to look at God. The Lord said, I have surely seen, watch this, the affliction of my people. We read that in chapter 2, of my people who are in Egypt and have given heed to their cry because of their taskmasters, for I am aware of their suffering. So I have come down to deliver them from the power of the Egyptians and to bring them up to a land flowing with milk and honey, verse 10. Therefore now, come now, I will send you to Pharaoh so that you may bring my people, the sons of Israel, out of Egypt.

Anybody know where I'm going? God, here's Israel over here. Okay, y'all need deliverance. I'll be right back.

He runs over here. Okay, Moses, I've been training you for 40 years how to lead sheep. The reason it took me 40 years to train you is you messed up 40 years ago, which got you kicked out into this wilderness because I had to teach you not to move when I'm not ready for you to move. Well, Moses, hold on, right now, I'll be right back. Israel, I hear you, I hear you. Keep praying, keep praying.

I know you don't think I'm hearing you, but keep praying because I'll be right back. Moses, I got a bush burning here. I need you to turn aside and look at the bush that's burning, that's not being consumed, because guess what? Over there, they're calling for me. I need a leader, but I need a humble leader who knows how to trust in me. So for the last 40 years, I have you taking care of sheep because you need to learn how to lead dumb people. So I let you learn to lead dumb sheep. And now that the sheep are calling me over here and you've learned to lead sheep over there, come with me.

I'm going to lead you over here and connect you with these folks over there so you can tell Pharaoh, let my people go. In other words, God is always hooking stuff up. You just can't see it.

You just don't know what's happening. All you see is your situation. You remember Esther, pretty girl, shining star, Esther. Her name means star. Esther, Esther's a pretty girl and she's in the king's palace and she goes from a raggedy little Jewish girl to queen. She's queen now. Queen Esther. Mordecai says, this guy Haman is trying to kill all the Jewish people. You need to go tell your husband the king what's going on so we can be delivered.

Esther said, wait a minute. You're messing with my lifestyle. You're messing with my clothes. You're messing with my car. You're messing with my car. You're messing with my servants. In fact, you could be messing with my life. So y'all, y'all, I got mine.

Y'all get yours. You know, I can't mess with this. Mordecai says, star.

So Esther means star. Star, let me explain something. If you don't do this, deliverance will come from another place because God ain't limited to you. You that, but you ain't all that. Some of you have been there and done that. I hear you. You that, sister girl, but you ain't all that. All right.

Okay. Deliverance will arise from another place. But you have missed the point of you being here. You think you're here just because you're cute.

No, no, no, no, no. You are called to the kingdom for such a time as this to bring deliverance to your people, not just to look pretty in the palace. God doesn't mind you looking pretty in the palace.

He just mind you getting so tied to the palace that you miss the purpose. That you don't see He wants to give you your destiny so that you can be a preserver, a provider, and a deliverer. How would a little boy know that giving Jesus sardines and crackers would give a Moby Dick sandwich to 25,000 people? Because when your destiny is given to Jesus's hands, He's not only going to use it to fill you up, He's going to use it so you can be a blessing to others. How would the widow of Zarephath know that when she followed God's destiny regarding Elijah, she would be able to retire on what God would provide her? Because when you are a blessing that God can work through, He doesn't mind working too. How would Martin Luther King have known that as a pastor in Atlanta, there would be a lady in Montgomery named Rosa Parks who would refuse to give up a bus seat that would start a bus boycott where people would call on him from Atlanta to lead the boycott that would uproot and give birth to a civil rights movement that would give us freedoms today that were never known in the Jim Crow South that would lead him to speak on the Washington monument and give the greatest speech of a generation about a dream? How did he know that God would take him and a lady he never met, hook the two up and change the destiny of a whole group of people in the United States of America? Because God is always hooking stuff up.

Stuff you don't even know about. So don't be satisfied to be blessed alone, because your destiny becomes realized when you decide to be a blessing as well. Dr. Tony Evans talking about how we can keep God's blessings flowing through us to others. The final part of a message he calls the detours of provision. There's a lot more to this lesson than we had the time to present on the air, so if you'd like to review the full length version, you can get it as a part of Tony's current nine lesson audio collection called Joseph Detours to Destiny. It's our gift to you when you make a donation to help keep this broadcast coming your way each day. Just visit where you can find out how to get your copy right from the home page or if you'd prefer give our resource request line a call at 1-800-800-3222 and let one of our friendly team members help you with your request. Again that's or by phone at 1-800-800-3222. Just because two people are looking at the same painting doesn't mean they're both seeing the same picture. Perspective makes all the difference and Dr. Evans will tell us how the right perspective can get us through anything. Be sure to join us for that tomorrow and until then be looking for opportunities to show kindness to others for the benefit of our culture your community and the glory of God. 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 / 2023-04-18 08:02:54 / 2023-04-18 08:12:11 / 9

Get The Truth Mobile App and Listen to your Favorite Station Anytime