The Detours to Pardon

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If there is one thing that can keep you from the destiny that God wants to take you to, it’s unforgiveness. Tony Evans says too many of us are choosing to keep carrying the pain of the past. In this lesson, experience the freedom of forgiveness so that God can lead you to what He has in store for you.



remember your blessing includes you. But it’s not only about you detours detours are distractions from the original intended route that you had planned to go. They take you off the beaten path. It takes you longer than you would plan to be using to arrive at where you are hoping to go. If you’re here today and you want your destiny, I would not be being fair to the word of God if I didn’t tell you that they’re gonna be dry spots where nothing appears to be happening and you find yourself stuck. If you are a believer in, jesus christ today, you have a destiny. I’m telling you to let you know that when God is ready to move it, don’t take long. Yeah, A lot of us are not reaching our destination because we’re still carrying the pain of the past. The weightiness of yesterday is still weighing us down, causing us pain today, keeping us from the place God wants us to arrive at. Unforgiveness. Is that one area that must be addressed. If you’re gonna reach your destiny, If anybody had a right to be angry, bitter and hold a grudge, it was joseph. A dysfunctional family. A dysfunctional father put in a pit sold into slavery, seduced un unjustly jailed. Forgotten in jail. If anybody had a right to be mad. If anybody had a right to say life is not fair, it was joseph, joseph occupies From chapter 37 to chapter 50 of the book of Genesis. So God wanted us to zero in on this man’s life. He gave so much of the first book of the Bible to it because he wanted to show us the key to destiny. And one of the things that joseph was going to happen to grapple with, that you and I will have to grapple with if we’re ever gonna get through the detours and arrive at God’s design for our lives, Destiny, his purpose for our creation and our salvation. If you’re going to finish life, having fulfilled the reason why God left you here, then you’re going to have to we’re going to have to deal with the issue of forgiveness. Joseph had to deal with it. In fact, look at verse 15 of chapter 50 when joseph’s brothers saw that their father was dead, they said, what if joseph bears a grudge against us and pays us back in full for all the wrong which we did to him? So they sent a message to joseph saying your father charged before he died saying thus, shall you say to joseph? Please forgive I beg you the transgression of your brothers and their sin, for they did you wrong. And now please forgive the transgression of the servants of the god of your father And joseph wept. When they spoke, he had to face the issue of forgiveness. Many of us are being hindered from our destiny because we’re being held hostage by a leash around our souls called unforgiveness and that leash keeps jerking us back. Maybe it was something that happened in your childhood. Maybe it was an abusive mate, maybe you were forsaken, neglected, abused, wrongly fired. It could be a multitude of things. Whatever it is though, it’s holding you hostage today. We want to see you set free. So let’s start with the definition regardless of how you feel, because you could be up or down relative to what happened to you. It is the decision to no longer credit to the account of the offender when you and I sin against God or sin against somebody else. It’s like a cash register going off and a debt is incurred. It doesn’t mean you justify what went wrong. It doesn’t mean you excuse it. It doesn’t mean you pretend like it didn’t happen. It doesn’t mean like that. You you ignore it, but it means you make a decision to no longer relate to that person based on the infraction. Now, let’s go deeper with this understanding of forgiveness, Forgiveness can operate on two levels. Unilateral forgiveness and transactional forgiveness. Let’s talk about level number one unilateral forgiveness. Unilateral forgiveness is when you forgive and the person hasn’t asked for it, requested it or repented of what they did to you. You are unilaterally that is on your own without their involvement granting them forgiveness. Now, why would you grant somebody forgiveness who doesn’t even want it. Ask for it and who certainly doesn’t deserve it. The reason you grant unilateral forgiveness is so that you can keep going. Unilateral forgiveness keeps you from being hostage to something that the other person may never ever get right. Unilateral forgiveness is given for a number of reasons. Maybe the offense is so small, it’s not a big deal. So you don’t even want to bring it up. Or maybe the person who has offended you has died. So they can’t say I’m sorry. So you see, if you’re not willing to unilaterally forgive, you’re being held hostage by a dead person until you die, since they can never make that thing right. Or maybe they disappeared and you don’t even know where they are anymore. So they cannot ask for forgiveness. If you do not unilaterally forgive, even though the person hasn’t asked for it, then you’re held hostage by something. You can never change. When jesus was on the cross, he said, Father forgive them. They weren’t asking for it, but he granted it because he was in the purposes of God. But then there is a second level of forgiveness. Transactional forgiveness, transactional forgiveness is where there is a desire for reconciliation and restoration of a relationship. It’s where the person who has offended you is willing to confess and repent in order to restore what was broken. That’s what I’m calling transactional. That’s why the bible regularly calls us to repent. It caused us to repent in order to reestablish the relationship. So that’s transactional forgiveness because it’s reconciliation driven. It’s restoring something that has been broken. The brothers wanted to be forgiven joseph’s brothers. But joseph didn’t take their word for it because, you know, a person can say I’m sorry and not mean it approach can say I’m sorry because somebody made him say it, A person can say I’m sorry, because it’s the thing to do. That’s why confessions must be tested to see whether their true repentance and that’s exactly what he does in chapter 42 he gives them a test. He says in verse 15. By this, you will be tested by the life of pharaoh. You shall not go out of this place unless your youngest brother comes here, verse 16 of chapter 42 send one of you that he may go get your brother while you remain confined. That your words may be tested. If somebody says I’m sorry, put them to the test, he tests them again. In chapter 43 he puts his cup in Benjamin’s bag and I hope you’ve read the story. We can’t go over the details. He puts the cup to see whether they would return the cup and to see whether they would protect Benjamin or throw him to the dog house. Like they threw joseph to the doghouse. He put them to the test. That’s why the bible says, we want to see fruits of repentance. That is something I can see touch here. Not just I’m sorry, I’m sorry, is a confession. Repentance is a change of action. So if a person wants to restore something that has been broken by their offense, you want to see whether not only do they confess that they did the offense confession. You want to see whether there’s a change of action to prove they were serious about the confession. The change of action is called repentance Repentance with God and with one another opens up the door to some level of restoring the relationship. If a person repents, the goal should be as much as possible restoring the relationship. So, the idea is that in forgiveness, as much as as possible, when there is repentance, you want transactional re give forgiveness. That is you want to restore to whatever the situation allows you want to reboot the relationship. Now, I want to show you in chapter 45 the steps you take to validate your own forgiveness. Chapter 45 verse one, Then joseph could not control himself before all those who stood before him, he cried, Have everyone go out from me so that there is no man with me. When joseph made himself known to his brothers, he wept so loudly that the Egyptians heard it and the household of pharaoh heard of it. What did joseph do? He sent all the Egyptians out of the room when he confronted his brothers and he wept. Here’s how you know you’re serious about forgiveness. You don’t bring other people in who have nothing to do with the sin. He told all the Egyptians. Y’all leave y’all are not involved with this. Y’all have nothing to do with this. I’m gonna confront the offenders. But y’all get out. You always know a person who has not forgiven because of the gossip. They bring people in who have nothing to do with it, Who can’t fix it. They can’t resolve it. They don’t even know about it. But I want to bring them into it because I want to vent because I’m seeking vengeance. True forgiveness does not bring people into it who have nothing to do with it. Leave the Egyptians outside. Now, of course, during this time he unveils himself to his brothers so that they now know it’s joseph, which I think means he showed them his circumcision, because that would have been the thing to validate that he was his brother. Since the jews were the only ones who circumcised their young males. So he revealed to the fact that he was the fact that jewish brother, But he also removed those who had nothing at all to do with it. So, if you are gossiping to everybody else about the offense and the offender, forgiveness has not occurred. Secondly, you know, you have forgiven when you make the offender feel at ease with you. Verse four, then joseph said to his brethren, Please come closer to me. Oh, when you haven’t forgiven. You say, Get away from me. He says, come close, You did me wrong. Come close to me. I am now welcoming you into my space. The next thing that happens verse five now do not be grieved or angry with yourselves because you sold me here. The next thing that true forgiveness will do is it will help the offender to forgive themselves. When they asked you to forgive notice what he says, he says, don’t be angry with yourself. They were upset with themselves of what they had done because they repented. We’re talking about transactional forgiveness. They’ve said, I’m sorry and have passed the test and demonstrated they were sorry. So he says, well, let me help you forgive yourself. In other words, here’s what they didn’t do. Keep guilt on top of guilt. They were already guilty. They already repented. They didn’t heat more guilt on top of the guilt so that they could feel double guilt. He said, don’t be angry with yourselves. Now, I know the question is how can you do that? How can you do that? It goes back to your view of God, Remember last sermon providence? Look at what he says after he tells them. Don’t be angry with themselves. In verse five, in verse five, he says, you sold me here for God sent me here. Oh, you sold. But God said, See when you have a view of God that he even uses the mess that messed over you to take you to your destiny. It enables you to help the guilty people to forgive themselves. Because God used their wrong to promote you the way he wanted you to be. But if you don’t have that view of God, you’re gonna be seeking your own vengeance. He released them from more guilt because they were already seeking transactional forgiveness. And then he did one more thing, wow! Harry and go to my father, joseph says, and say to him, my father Jacob say to him. Thus says, your son joseph, God has made me Lord of all of Egypt. Come down to me. Do not delay. I don’t want to miss this. He tells his brothers go back home and tell daddy I’m okay up here in Egypt. Wait a minute. You mean? You’re not gonna tell him, Go tell daddy what y’all did to me. You’re not gonna go back and tell daddy, I want you to go back and I want you to tell daddy every little thing y’all did to me how you did it. I want you to go tell daddy what he did was he protected them from the one who would have been hurt most by it because he was seeking transactional forgiveness. If you’re holding on to vengeance. Watch this, then you are blocking God from taking care of it for you. If you’re trying to pay him back yourself, then God will let you pay them back yourself. But God will stay out of it. The scripture says vengeance is mine. Sayeth the Lord and I will repay. God believes in justice. He believes in payback his way his time and he does it without your help. I’m not about somebody who breaks the law. That’s a legal issue. It should be addressed. But we’re talking about personal vengeance. He says that I will repay and if you read the story, you’ll find out he did take judy. And the reason I want to talk about Judah is because he was the lead guy who got Joseph put in the hole to begin with when he was 17. Because when you read the story of Judah, in the middle of the story of joseph, Judah starts losing its sons to death. He gets tricked by his daughter in law, has an affair with his daughter in law. Giving birth to a child from his own daughter in law. His whole life crumbles because God will repay. But if you don’t believe that, then you get to pay it without God. But if you believe that, then you know vengeance is mine. And you know when God moves, he moves, what helped joseph to forgive? This was a painful situation he’s lived through and there are many here who have lived through or maybe are living through the pain of yesterday and it’s a deep wound on your soul, in your body, with your career wasn’t right. It wasn’t fair. Y’all did me wrong, whatever that thing was what helped them to forgive. I want you to look at chapter 41 and I want to show you what set him up for forgiveness and you have it for Youtube. Watch this verse 50 through 52. Now, before the year of famine came, two sons were born to Joseph whom smf the daughter of era priest of on board to him, joseph named the firstborn manasseh for he said, God has made me forget all my trouble and all my father’s household. He named the 2nd Ephraim for he said, God has made me fruitful in the land of my affliction. God set him up for forgiveness. Because guess what God did? He gave him another family. Remember his family messed him up. He gave him a whole new family. And he said, my new family helped me forget my old family and the way he kept reminding himself that he was no longer hostage to his own family was in naming his kids. He named one Manasseh and one Ephraim. So, if you want to get over the past, have a baby, get spiritually pregnant and have a baby Baby. # one is Manasseh. Manasseh means God has helped me to forget my troubles. So, you need a Manasseh in your life. Something that is a daily ongoing reminder. So that God is reminding you that you can overcome the pain. But to help Manasseh out, you need to have a second baby. If real. If real means, God has made me fruitful, What’s his name? And he says, In the Land of my affliction. God has made me fruitful. Okay, Manasseh, God has caused me to forget. That is the pain every um he’s blessing me where I am right now. See if you get so locked into the past that you don’t see the goodness of God that he is showing you right now. So you need to say, Manasseh. But then you got to turn and look at Ephraim, because if freedom says, oh well, what that happened to me yesterday, but God is providing for me today. He’s blessing me today. He’s taking care of me today. And even though I had a bag yesterday, my baby’s name is if freedom today and I like this. He says, he’s blessed me in the land of my affliction, Manasseh and Ephraim and you call their names every day. It will release you from the pain of the past. It doesn’t excuse the pain it releases you from the pain of the past to be fruitful. In a place you didn’t ever expect to be in, in a location. You never thought you’d be in, in a situation, you never thought you’d be single, but he walked out on you. You never thought you’d be out of that career. But but but God has made you fruitful in the place where he has you So do me a favor and go out the day and have two babies. Manasseh Israel, God gave him a new situation in a place he didn’t expect to be didn’t excuse a thing. What happens if you forgive forgiveness crosses you over to the supernatural? Let me reverse it. Unforgiveness blocks you from the supernatural Lord’s prayer Matthew six forgive us our trespasses as we forgive those who trespass against us. You read further in the chapter and he says, for if you do not forgive, you will not be forgiven. In other words. See we all have to remember, we got two sides to our story. The need to forgive and the need to be forgiven. There is very, there are very few people who need to forgive who don’t also need to be forgiven. Okay, forgiveness is a beautiful word when you need it. It’s an ugly word when you have to give it. But we all need both words because we need to be forgiven and we need to forgive, he says, and when you do your father who is in heaven will forgive you. He’s not talking about your salvation. He’s talking about your fellowship, your harmony, your experience with him. You no longer walk in darkness, john Chapter one says, you’re now living in the light. You’re in the light of the supernatural. Your GPS is working now. He can move you on to the place. He’s taking you God will recycle your pain. He believes in recycling and he will recycle your pain to his purpose. Doesn’t excuse it, vengeance is mine. It doesn’t say you ignore it. Not saying any of that. I’m saying you have a providentially sovereign God who can overrule it and fulfill his purposes in spite of it. And in fact uses for where he’s taking without excusing it. One of the things that can delay your detours from arriving at God’s design destination is unforgiveness. When we harbor unforgiveness, we block God’s movement in our lives. Forgiveness doesn’t mean that reconciliation automatically occurs, but it does mean you’re no longer seeking vengeance against the perpetrator of that which has caused you pain, vengeance is mine, Sayeth the Lord. He will repay. So don’t let unforgiveness stop God’s work in your life. Remember, don’t destroy your bridge over which you yourself will have to cross. One day we all need forgiveness. God wants us also to forgive forgiveness so that we’re imitating him in our relationship with others. I’m standing here in Alaska, one of the most glorious places in God’s great creation. And I want to invite you to join me in our urban alternative family for the Alaskan Cruise. We’re going to have a magnificent time in God’s word and in God’s creation, we’re going to enjoy great fellowship. Great fun, great food. And I’m looking forward to meeting and greeting you on R. T. U. A. Alaskan Cruise. Register to be there can’t wait to be with you

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Tony Evans Dr. Tony Evans is the founder and senior pastor of Oak Cliff Bible Fellowship in Dallas, founder and president of The Urban Alternative and...

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