Why Life’s Detours are a Promotion

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Why does God seem to lead us in circles instead of just directly taking us to our destiny? Tony Evans says one reason is that God prepares the people that He wants you to impact when you arrive at your destination. In this lesson on the detours of provision, learn how arriving at your destiny will always involve benefiting those around 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 had planned 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 going to 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. When we get into our story today, Joseph is going to be 30 years old. We started when he was 17, chapter 42 verse 46 says that Joseph is 30 years old when these events occur. So this is a 13 year detour because you don’t go from detour the destiny in a straight line, but I’m going to share with you the three things to look for that will let you know you’re getting ready to move off of detour on to destiny onto the place God has for you the place God’s taking you to the three things that come out of this story of the life of joseph that you ought to look for. If you are serious about your relationship with God and serious about his purpose for you. Yeah, number one, you know, you’re getting ready to leave detour and enter the Highway of Destiny. When God disappoints you just when you thought he was coming through for you, chapter 40 joseph is in prison. He has interpreted the dreams from the two gentlemen we talked about last week, joseph says only verse 14. Keep me in mind when he goes well with you and please do me a kindness by mentioning me to pharaoh and get me out of this house. This jail for I was in fact kidnapped from the land of the Hebrews And even here, I have done nothing. That should have put me into this dungeon. This jail, joseph looks like he’s finally going to be delivered. He’s interpreted the cup bearers dream told told the cup bearer, you’re gonna live, you’re not gonna die. He’s given the cup bearer of good news, he says, And when you get delivered, mention me to pharaoh, this is innocent, Hebrew boy still in jail. Get me up out of here, Up out of here, Up out of here because I don’t belong in here. I’m tired of being in here and you are going to be situated and since I help the brother out, HBO you, you remember me the pharaoh. When you get out of here, it looks like God has finally brought somebody into his life who can help him, Who can deliver him, Who can send a good word for him, it looks like his day has finally arrived, God has sent a contact who can speak on his behalf verse 23 yet. The chief cup bearer did not remember joseph, but for God, you know you are headed toward destiny and off of detour. When it looks like God has set things up to deliver you and he goes left on you. When God goes left on you, it’s good news in a bad situation, when your human contacts can help you and your money can’t buy you out of it and you are thrown on him alone then guess what? He gets the chance to be God. Number two, Number one is when God disappoints you. Yeah. Number two, which is kind of related to it is when God skips you, one is disappointed you, then he skips you altogether. Okay, Chapter 41: verse one. Now, it happened at the end of two full years that Pharaoh had a dream. And behold he was sitting by denial. Okay, let’s talk about these two years. Joseph is 30 before this. Before all this is going to come about, let’s get ready to happen. He’s in jail for another two years. So that means he’s 28, right? So he’s 28. So for 11 years now, he’s been on his detour. He finally looks like he’s getting ready to be delivered and the Cup bearer forgets all about it And he stuck there for two years. But two years later, pharaoh has a dream, joseph has never met Farrow, he hadn’t, he’d never met pharaoh. He knows pharaoh is pharaoh, but he’s never met him. Joseph has no connection with pharaoh’s dreams, pharaoh is going to sleep and he dreams he dreams about some ugly cows, seven ugly cows, eating seven good cows. Then he dreams about some Some some corn and seven ears of corn, uh tiny corn, eating a good corn and he can’t figure this out. I got cows eating cows and corn eating gone and and I can’t sleep. We met joseph is over here locked up in prison pharaohs in a mansion in in the king’s house pharaoh has a dream. This dream is going to be the link between joseph getting to me pharaoh, but the dream happens unbeknownst to joseph. So God is working over here. Unbeknownst to joseph over here because he’s doing something there that’s gonna hook up over here. That over here has no knowledge is taking place over there. Okay, let’s deal with vocabulary. Three words that either you shouldn’t use it all or if you use them, apologize after you use them luck, chance or fate are not christian words, you cannot have a sovereign God who’s in control and have luck, chance or fate because that means nobody was controlling the events. And since we have a sovereign God who the bible says not one hair of your head dropped off of which he is not fully knowledgeable of and fully connected to. There can be no such thing as luck, chance or fate. There is another word will describe later. It’s called providence. Where the fingers of God are in the glove of history controlling hookups when the two years already, why, why are you gonna leave joe there for two years? God, Because I need two years before pharaoh is ready for the dream. But I need two years for joseph to develop full dependency and when preparation meets purpose, detour meets destiny, pharaoh has a dream. Mm hmm, Verse eight. Now in the morning of his spirit was troubled. So he sent and called for all the magicians of Egypt and all of the Wise men. And Farrell told them his dreams but there was not one who could interpret them to Pharaoh. Hmm. He called the creme dela creme. He called the magicians and the smart folk called the wise man. He got the smartest people around said this was my dream. What does it mean? And they said, I don’t know because watch this when God is setting something up, he will not let human wisdom come up with an answer, joseph is sitting there wondering God, how long, how long am I gonna be on the tarmac? Well, joseph, joseph is sitting in the cell and God has skipped joseph because he’s dealing with his dream And that leads to a third thing God surprises you. The first thing is God disappoints you. The second thing is, he skips you. He does something outside of you, do, you don’t even know what’s happening. And then the third thing is he surprises you verse nine, Chapter 41. Then somebody say then then the chief cup bearer spoke to pharaoh saying I would make mention today of my own offense. Pharaoh was furious with his servants and he put me in confinement in the house of the captain of the bodyguard. Both me and the chief baker. We had a dream on the same night. He and I each of us dreaming according to the interpretations of his own dream. Now a hebrew youth was in there a servant of the captain of the bodyguard and was released and was related and we related them to him and he interpreted our dreams for us 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 you hanged him. Then pharaoh sent and called for jos and they Herod lee, brought him out of the dungeon, shocker. The dream says the pharaoh says they got a dream wise men interpret it, they can being light bulb comes on in the cup bearers head, dream interpretation, dream interpretation interpretation, dream dream interpretation interpretation dreams Farrell, I just remembered two years ago there was this dude in jail and I had a nightmare on Elm street like you did and there’s this, there’s this dude in jail and we had a dream and me and the makeup when you got mad at us and we told this guy this is just some dude named joseph, he’s a hebrew guy, we told him my dream, he interpreted it and the dream came true. Yeah, yeah, you want to talk to him now? I know for some of you that’s luck, chance or faith, but that shouldn’t be in your vocabulary. That’s called providence. The hand of God. Moving in the glove of history, creating a dream, reminding the cup bearer about his relationship years ago, that makes a connection. So that now pharaoh wants to meet a man named joseph, who he never knew because God brings back to the remembrance of the cup bearer when it it’s all right. See unless you believe that God is a god of time and that he is manipulating circumstances. Now, pharaoh calls joseph and says I got a dream, the copper says you can help me, can you help me? He said, well tell me the dream. And then because joseph never forgot God, he said, and God will give you the interpretation because joseph, even though he’s two years on a detour, he never forgot God, God will give you w he says, okay, the seven bad cows are seven bad years that you’re gonna have after seven good years, you have seven good years, seven bad years. So you gotta save up in the good years for the bad years and and he interprets it, oh by the way, when God brings you out of detour and on the destiny, he cleans you up uh because uh because we find out in verse 14, then pharaoh sent and called for Jos and then hurriedly brought him out of the dungeon and when he had shaved himself, changed his clothes, he came to pharaoh oh he can clean you up when it’s time to take you out of those jail clothes out of bad situations. And so and so now he surprises him because after two years you don’t think there’s no hope, You’re not gonna think there’s hope when you’ve been waiting for two years and nobody’s knocked on your door because some of you perhaps have given up because your detour is too long. Sometimes you need to do a study in. The bible on the word Suddenly suddenly is when God surprises you, when it comes out of nowhere. When you couldn’t have planned that, when you couldn’t have, when you couldn’t have expected that suddenly out of nowhere, he gets a knock on the door, leave yourself yeah, leave yourself because they’re the pharaoh needs to see you okay? But how do you know? How do you know that? What’s happening is really God because sometimes you want to, this is really God, is this just something okay? How do you know it’s it’s it’s a God move and not just something that happened? Well one, you shouldn’t believe in luck, chance of faith, but but how do you practically know that you know that you know oh this is a God move here. This is the move off of off of detour to destiny or at least moving me my progress of detour. How do you know? Okay, I’m gonna tell you how you can know. And it’s in the passage, chapter 40 one verse 32. Now, as for the repeating of the vision of the dream to pharaoh twice. It means that the matter is determined by God and God will quickly bring it about twice. The scripture says by two or 3 witnesses shall a matter be confirmed. So when God comes through twice, when he does it a second time, that’s why Gideon had the fleece on one side one day, flipped it on the other side another day because he needed verification. Is this really you God? Or is this the devil trying to trick me? Is this really you God? Or this? People trying to divert me? I need to know if it’s you look for twice because God will always confirm his will. He will always validate his word. And he says Farrell. The reason, you know it’s from God is because he gave it twice. He didn’t just give you the cows, he gave you the cows and the corn. And when he gave you the two seeds, then you know it is from God. So don’t just look at what happened. Look if it happened twice because God verifies himself a second time. I am not, we are not supposed to be in Dallas. Dallas is not where I am supposed to be. In terms of my plans. As I prepared my last year of school in college in Atlanta, we had driven up to Winona Lake indiana to a school. I decided to go to seminary. Believe that God wanted me to go to seminary. So we drove up and we got situated for school to plan to go to school in the following september in Winona Lake indiana. There’s a school there a seminary, they’re called Grace Theological Seminary. I drove up was accepted and went to look for housing. Everything was planned. All the preparation had been made because I had a plan, it was a clear plan. I was gonna go to Winona Lake indiana to this particular school. All arrangements made. While in Class one day a gentleman named Doug McIntosh after he got his master’s degree at Dallas Seminary. Doug McIntosh was invited to become a pastor of a church in Atlanta Georgia. I am going to school to college in Atlanta Georgia. Doug McIntosh was invited to be an adjunct professor at my school in Georgia. So he is teaching bible classes in the bible department of my college in Georgia, I elected to take one of doug McIntosh is class. I have already made my plans to go to Winona Lake indiana. It is too late to apply to anywhere else. Plus I’ve already decided where I want to go. Doug McIntosh passes me in class and says one sentence actually to sentence number one. Have you ever thought about applying the Dallas seminary? My answer. No, I’ve already applied to Great Seminary and I’ve already been accepted. Plus it’s now may. So it’s too late for the upcoming september. He says, if I pay your application fee, will you at least apply? Well, it’s only me filling out paper. If you’re gonna fill out the check, I will apply. But I’ve already decided that I’m going to Winona Lake indiana. He then writes out 50 $75 whatever it was with the application fee. I fill out the form and I mail it in with not much expectation because I already have my destination. I already have my plan and doug McIntosh as far as I’m concerned, it’s just a nice professor who wants to do a nice thing for, should I say a nice student. So doug McIntosh comes up and he writes the check and we mail it in two weeks. Three weeks later I get a response from Dallas Seminary that you have been admitted to Dallas Seminary even though it’s past the time for admittance. So now I got to rethink this thing, I got my plan. He comes out of nowhere. I don’t really know him. He asked me to do something I don’t need to do. He offers to pay for it even though it’s too late to do it. I get a response telling me I’m accepted all of a sudden. I got two witnesses. I got the witness of doug McIntosh asking me, but I got the witness of the school admitting me even though it’s past time. So with two witnesses, we flip our plans, make our way west to Dallas instead of Northeast indiana. And that’s why I’m at Oak Cliff bible fellowship because God has a way of twisting and steering and turning and suddenly coming out of nowhere. But he doesn’t via detours. He doesn’t do it on a straight line. So I’m challenging you today. If you’re on a detour to get in his will to stop letting human opinion keep you on a detour. Following the ways of man that contradict the ways of God. And even though I don’t know how long your detour is gonna be, I do know he knows where your destiny is located and when the hookup is supposed to occur, I know you get tired. That’s why you’ve got to be ministering to others in the same situation you’re in until God ministers to you so that you’re putting out and not just keeping it all in. I know that God has a destiny a place where he’s taking you with, but God has a place he’s taking you. There was a man one day who was ready to give up on God, he was tired, life wasn’t going well and he didn’t know if God was gonna come through when God was gonna come through and he told God I quit, perhaps that’s you today, I quit. That’s the way you feel. But you don’t want to quit because you know he’s there but you don’t feel him, you don’t see him, you’re like joseph, you’re locked up in jail. But he was ready to give up. He decided to go to the woods and have a final conversation with God. He says God you have disappointed me. You got me stuck out here and I don’t know why, I don’t know how long and I’m just ready to give up on you God, unless you do something or say something right now it’s as if heaven opened up and spoke to the man, Tell the man look around and tell me what you see. The man looked around and he saw some fern and he saw some bamboo, he said well in this spot, I mean I just see some ferns and some bamboo. God said exactly. He said let me tell you about the fern and the bamboo, he says when the fern seed was planted, the ferns grew up very quickly and they are lush and green and beautiful. He says well let me tell you about the seed for the bamboo when the seed was planted. For the bamboo. The first year you saw nothing. The second year you saw nothing. The third year you saw nothing. The fourth year you saw nothing and the fifth year you saw nothing. It was at the end of the fifth year, fifth year that the first shoots of the bamboo came up, He says, how tall is that bamboo that you’re looking at is 100 ft tall? He says the reason why the bamboo is 100 ft tall is because the five years when you saw nothing, it was growing deep on the inside. It was growing deeper roots on the inside. Now the reason it was going deeper on the inside is because I knew I planned for it to be 100 ft on the outside. Now that burn isn’t growing as high so it could come out real quick. But because of where I was taking the bamboo, I had allowed things to go deep inside before I could show what it would look like outside. If God has taken a long time with you. It’s because he’s trying to take you deep on the inside because of where he plans to take you on the outside. I see a lot of us want a skyscraper destiny on a chicken coop foundation that we want, we want God to take us way up here. But he can’t take us deep in here. If you want God to take you high then you gotta let God take you deep because the deeper he takes you, the higher he can take you and you won’t fall over when the bad times comes. Don’t give up on God because God has not given up on you. When we passed the test that God brings our way through the detours of life. Then he brings about a promotion to the next spiritual grade level. Now God does believe in retesting. So the quicker we passed the test that the detours bring our way, the quicker we can be promoted to what God wants us to experience next. Sometimes those promotions come quickly and suddenly. Other times they come gradually. But it’s clear when they come because the supernatural enters the natural God shows up in an unmistakable way and it becomes clear that heaven has visit history and has adjusted the trajectory of your life. So pass your test as quickly as possible so your promotion can come soon. Mm hmm. 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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