Have you taken some wrong turns in life that you’d like to reverse? Well, friend, your past does not have to be a prophecy for your future.
Dr. Tony Evans is with us on this week’s 4:13 Podcast episode, and he says U-turns are possible. Yet, it’s up to you to choose whether or not you want them.
While Dr. Evans really needs no intro, let me brag on him anyway. He’s the founder and senior pastor of Oak Cliff Bible Fellowship in Dallas, the founder and president of The Urban Alternative, has served as chaplain of the NBA’s Dallas Mavericks and the NFL’s Dallas Cowboys, and is the author of over one hundred books and Bible studies.
The first African American to earn a Doctorate of Theology from Dallas Theological Seminary, Dr. Evans has been named one of the “12 Most Effective Preachers in the English Speaking World” by Baylor University. He holds the honor of writing and publishing the first full Bible commentary and study Bible by an African American. His radio broadcast, The Alternative with Dr. Tony Evans, can be heard on more than 1,400 U.S. outlets daily and in more than 130 countries.
Listen in as Dr. Evans gets honest about how we use our human freedom, the consequences of negative choices, and how to reverse those consequences. This conversation is power-packed, and you will love it! So, get ready to learn how to make a divine U-Turn.
Jennifer’s Highlights and Take-Aways
- What is a U-turn? U-turns are reversals. God can do more than redeem our past. He can help you make reversals. A U-turn is a reversal of your direction to get back on the road you should have been on to begin with. Dr. Evans explains that God can turn your life around so you end up “accomplishing His program and His will in spite of the detours that have come your way.”
- We get to choose our path. God is always giving His people a chance to choose. For example, in Deuteronomy 30:15-20, God encourages His people to choose life.
Dr. Evans explains that God has sovereign boundaries that are non-negotiable, like the lines on a football field. But, within those lines, each team makes choices about the play they will call. It may be a good play or a bad one. It might move them forward or set them back. Similarly, we operate within God’s sovereign boundaries, and our choices determine whether we move forward or backward in our lives.
God’s sovereignty does not negate our responsibility or the implications or consequences—negative or positive—of our choices. He honors, to a degree within His boundaries, the choices we decide to make. If you choose for Him, you get empowerment and strength. But if you choose against Him, that is what produces negative consequences. Dr. Evans says, “We have to reverse our choice if we want to reverse our consequences.”
- What is the key to a reversal? Dr. Evans explains, “At the heart of a reversal is repentance.” He says, “To repent is to change your mind because you want to reverse your direction.” The decision starts with remorse. Then you confess and begin to take steps of repentance. God’s sovereignty determines to what levels consequences can be reversed. God will never ignore repentance.
U-turns may come from your sins, or you may need a U-turn from circumstances. Sometimes you are facing something out of your control. Emotions may be getting the best of you, and you need a U-turn from the sorrow or sadness. Ask God to give you a reversal and, Dr. Evans says, “cleanse you from any negative emotion that you are attributing to yourself or to Him.”
- What does a U-turn look like in a person’s life? Dr. Evans used Moses as a picture of the power of U-turns. He described Moses’ life of privilege and the bad choice he made as an adult that led to forty years of consequences. But then, God met him at a burning bush, and Moses chose a U-turn.
God presented Moses with a contradiction—bushes should not burn without being consumed. Dr. Evans suggests that whenever God creates a contradiction, “it is to bring you to a new realization of Him.” When Moses responded to God, God gave him a “recall.” A recall is a fresh opportunity.
Invite God to give you a recall so you can respond and be restored. God used Moses’ life powerfully too. After the U-turn, Moses led the Israelites out of Egypt. His usefulness was restored.
- Extra Truth Bombs I Don’t Want You to Miss!
- There is no area of life that sits outside of God—personally, family, church, or culturally.
- Because of the bifurcation of life, we have many problems not only in the world but also in the church.
- God must have the final say-so in every area of life.
- Until Christians decide that He is the final decision-maker and that it is not my will, but it is His will… We will not see His power, authority, and full blessing manifested in our midst.
Bam! Good stuff! I just love that Dr. Evans made a big deal of the supreme nature of God. We don’t make Him fit our agenda and will. Instead, we fit into His agenda and will.
Until next week, remember whatever you face, however you feel, you can do all things through Christ, who gives you strength.
Books & Bible Studies by Jennifer Rothschild
- Invisible: How You Feel Is Not Who You Are
- Invisible for Young Women: How You Feel Is Not Who You Are
- Hosea: Unfailing Love Changes Everything Bible Study
More from Dr. Evans
- Visit Dr. Evans’ website
- U-Turns: Reversing the Consequences in Your Life
- The CSB Tony Evans Study Bible
- Follow Dr. Evans on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram
- Don’t miss an episode! Subscribe to the 4:13 Podcast here.
- Were you encouraged by this podcast? Reviews help the 4:13 Podcast reach more women with the “I can” message. Click here to leave a review on iTunes.
4:13 Podcast: Can I Keep My Past From Determining My Future? With Tony Evans [Episode 140]
Jennifer Rothschild: Your past does not have to be a prophecy for your future. You may have taken some wrong turns along the way, but today Dr. Tony Evans shows you that U-turns are possible. Yet, he says you get to choose whether or not you want that. Well, my friends, I sure want that. And I bet you do, too. So if you do, this episode is for you. Dr. Evans, he's going to get honest about the consequences that come from negative choices and the way to reverse those consequences. This is power-packed and you are going to love it. So get ready for a divine U-turn. K.C., crank it up.
K.C. Wright: Welcome to the 4:13 Podcast, where practical encouragement and biblical wisdom set you up to live the "I Can" life because you can do all things through Christ, who strengthens you. Now, welcome your host and my soul sister, Jennifer Rothschild.
Jennifer Rothschild: Hello, our people. That was K.C. Wright, my seeing-eye guy. You are in the right place because it is just two friends, one topic, and...
K.C. Wright: Zero stress.
Jennifer Rothschild: Yes.
K.C. Wright: That's my favorite part.
Jennifer Rothschild: It is my favorite part. So if you're having a stressful day, just breathe, sisters and brothers. And we are going to relax today and really learn something awesome. So if we've never met before, my name is Jennifer and I am just here to help you be and do more than you have ever felt capable of. As you tap in and live this "I Can" life through the power of Christ in you. And remember, y'all, It is not a magic pill to just do what you want to do. It means that whatever God has called you to do, whoever He has called you to be, He will strengthen you and empower you to do it. So that means you can say "I Can." Oh, and I'm telling you, we need that because there are some things in our lives that we regret. In fact, this book today that we're talking about by Dr. Evans is called U-turns: Reversing the Consequences in Your Life, and I am saying there are some things I would like to reverse.
K.C. Wright: Yes.
Jennifer Rothschild: And I would like to do a divine control Z. Do you know what control Z is, K.C.?
K.C. Wright: Delete?
Jennifer Rothschild: Nope.
K.C. Wright: No.
Jennifer Rothschild: I wish.
K.C. Wright: Control Z.
Jennifer Rothschild: It's undo.
K.C. Wright: Oh, undo. Okay, yes, you're right.
Jennifer Rothschild: So like if you're typing something or you accidentally delete something or whatever.
K.C. Wright: Okay.
Jennifer Rothschild: And you're like, you think, oh my gosh, I didn't mean to do that. The computer command is control Z.
K.C. Wright: Okay.
Jennifer Rothschild: And it'll undo it and put it right back where it was.
K.C. Wright: Well.
Jennifer Rothschild: Don't you wish life was like that?
K.C. Wright: Oh, do I ever.
Jennifer Rothschild: I'm telling you, I've got some regrets that are way too personal to share, but I'll share with you the ones that are not too consequential. Like, here's one thing I regret.
K.C. Wright: Yeah.
Jennifer Rothschild: When I was well, 20s, 30s, 40s, I wish I had worn a little bit more sensible shoes. I mean, those stilettos, they were so cute. But I am regretting it now because all I can wear now are cowboy boots and really cute little Steve Madden's.
K.C. Wright: Oh yeah.
Jennifer Rothschild: Because it hurts to have heels on, I'm just saying. So a lot of regrets are worse than that, of course. But, you know, that's just how it is sometimes.
K.C. Wright: We have a new restaurant in my neck of the woods and this is a breakfast place where they're known for the 14-inch pancake.
Jennifer Rothschild: Oh.
K.C. Wright: Home of the 14-inch pancake. Well, Ellie wanted that the other morning.
Jennifer Rothschild: Ooh.
K.C. Wright: So I'm regretting going there because I am so oh -- my face a little bloated today. I look like I'm storing acorns for the winter.
Jennifer Rothschild: I get you. That's where I carry my weight too -- my face.
K.C. Wright: But then there are more serious regrets where you know, you wish you would have spent more time with a loved one who's now in heaven.
Jennifer Rothschild: Or there are bad choices, you know, that we've all made.
K.C. Wright: Yes.
Jennifer Rothschild: And you find yourself sitting in the pile of regret looking back and thinking, "Well, I can't change it." In fact, that's one of the things I talked to Dr. Evans about.
K.C. Wright: Yeah.
Jennifer Rothschild: So you can't change what happened in the past.
K.C. Wright: No, life does not come with a rewind button.
Jennifer Rothschild: So that's why this conversation was so interesting because he's literally talking about reversing the consequences. Okay, so you guys, you're going to love this conversation. And when we were talking, Dr. Evans and I, it was over Zoom audio and a couple of minutes into the conversation, I could hear this sound. It sounded like a beached whale joined us in our conversation. I think it was actually a plane going overhead, but I don't know if the editor's going to be able to get it out. So just know you might hear it. And if you do, it won't last very long. So just smile and listen and don't imagine a beached whale. Imagine an airplane. And by the way, this is not a long conversation, but it is so deep and it is so rich. So listen fast because there's so much truth there. But also, I do want you to remember that you can relax and you can just listen because I'm going to have it for you on the show notes and on the show notes I'm also now providing transcripts of the conversations with our special guest. And then I'm just giving you my highlights and my take-aways. So they're going to be at the show notes at 413podcast/140, Episode 140. So 413podcast.com/140. Or you might even want to listen to this conversation twice. It's going to be so good.
K.C. Wright: And truth be told, it was a beached whale because I did consume the 14-inch pancake.
Jennifer Rothschild: Okay, that was good.
K.C. Wright: Well, Dr. Evans really needs no intro, but let me brag on him anyway. First of all, he's one of my favorites. I mean, he's the pastor to all pastors. Okay, Dr. Tony Evans is the man. He is the founder and senior pastor at Oak Cliff Bible Fellowship in Dallas. The founder and president of the Urban Alternative, served as chaplain of the NBA's Dallas Mavericks and the NFL's Dallas Cowboys, and is the author of over 100 books and Bible studies. The first African American to earn a Doctorate of Theology from Dallas Theological Seminary. He has been named one of the most, one of the "12 Most Effective Preachers in the English Speaking World" by Baylor University.
Jennifer Rothschild: I agree with Baylor.
K.C. Wright: Me too. Wow, what an honor. Dr. Evans holds the honor of writing and publishing the first Bible commentary and study Bible by an African American, which I have a copy of personally. His radio broadcast, The Alternative with Dr. Tony Evans, can be heard on more than 1,400 U.S. outlets daily and in more than 130 countries. So this is all a "Wow, God," right?
Jennifer Rothschild: I'm telling you.
K.C. Wright: Wow, God. Well, this conversation between Dr. Evans and Jennifer will be a double wow. So let's join them right now.
Jennifer Rothschild: Well, Dr. Evans, I have been really looking forward to talking with you because, well I'm a PK and I love pastors. So that's one thing. And I've followed your ministry for years. So it's an honor. But I also got to say part of the reason I was looking forward to this conversation is I was looking forward to exploring this concept of U-turns because you also call them reversals. And often, you know, I think we just focus on God redeeming our past. But in your book, you really are helping us understand how we can do some reversals for our past, some U-turns. So explain what you mean by doing a U-turn.
Dr. Tony Evans: Well, the concept of a U-turn is, you know, when you're going down the highway and you're going in the wrong direction and you discover and are willing to recognize that, you exit off. You go over the overpass, you come down on the on-ramp, and you are actually reversing the direction you were going in, in order to get back on the road that you should have been on in the first place. So what I'm trying to show in the book is that God can not only heal you from the pain of that which you have gone through, but He can actually reverse it and turn it completely around so that you wind up accomplishing His program and His will in spite of the detours that have come your way.
Jennifer Rothschild: Because we've all had lots of detours and we've all made lots of, I guess, wrong turns. But you say that we're free to choose our direction. So help us understand how and why that's true when so many of us feel powerless to change anything because we can't change our past. So how do we do that?
Dr. Tony Evans: Well, over and over again, in the Bible, God invokes His people to choose and to return. And that's also tied to that concept of reversing. In Deuteronomy 30, He told them to choose life, don't choose death. So He places the choice in their hands. It's like this, God has sovereign boundaries that are non-negotiable, like the lines on a football field, they don't move.
Jennifer Rothschild: Mhmm.
Dr. Tony Evans: But each team can make choices about the play they call. They can call a bad play, a good play, a play that takes them forward, or a play that takes them back. But they get to choose within the sovereign boundary lines. So God has established sovereign boundary lines, but within those lines, He says you can choose and your choice will determine whether you move forward in your life or whether you move backward in your life. In other words, God's sovereignty does not negate our responsibility or the implications and consequences, positive and negative, of our choices. So He honors, to a degree within His boundaries, the choices we decide to make either for Him or against Him. But if you choose for Him, that is what brings empowerment, strength. If you choose against Him, that is what produces negative consequences in our lives. So we have to reverse our choice if we want to reverse our consequences.
Jennifer Rothschild: Oh, okay, that's good. All right, then what is the key to a reversal?
Dr. Tony Evans: Well, at the heart of a reversal is repentance. Repentance is the reversing word in the Scriptures. God says, "Return to Me and repent." To repent is to change your mind because you want to reverse your direction. Without the decision, it starts with remorse, that you are remorseful about whatever you contributed to the wrong direction. And then, when you confess and acknowledge that and then begin to take the steps of reversal, God meets you in that place of decision to bring you back another way. So repentance is the keyword for experiencing a reversal of direction which affects a reversal of consequences. Now, obviously, God's sovereignty decides to what level consequences can be reversed. Sometimes He just limits the impact. Sometimes He eradicates it completely. Other times He changes you in the midst of it. But He does not ignore repentance.
Jennifer Rothschild: Well, it's Romans 8:28. He's going to work it all together for good. And we get to cooperate with that through repentance. I appreciate you bringing that out because often we experience, I believe a lot of us, our faith in a very passive way. Well God redeems and God forgives, but He gives us the privilege of cooperation with it. And I think that's what we see also in the story that you use in your book to help illustrate this. You chose one man's story to illustrate, you know, our stories when it comes to U-turns. So give us the skinny on him, Moses. Tell us some of his story so that, you know, we can also feel some hope about our own past regrets and the potential U-turns we can make.
Dr. Tony Evans: Well, Moses obviously was raised in a privileged environment being raised in Pharaoh's house, and he did something at 40 years old that would change his trajectory and produce a 40-year consequence. And that was when he killed the Egyptian and then was rejected by the people he thought he was to lead out. He did not use God's method. He used his own understanding and that led to a negative downturn in his life. So for 40 years, he's tending sheep. He's on the backside of the desert. That's when God meets him at a burning bush. When God meets him at a burning bush and he responds to the invitation to meet God, he goes over to that bush and says, "I've got to see what's going on here." And that's a principle that we all need to pay attention to. Whenever God creates a contradiction, because a bush on fire is supposed to burn, this bush was not burning. Whenever He creates a contradiction, it is to bring you to a new realization of Him. And so when he responds to that, then God gives him a recall, okay? And when God gives you a recall, that means He's giving you a fresh opportunity. So stay awake to God's recall, even when it's your fault that you're in the situation. And if you come back, He's inviting you to give you recall, if you will, so that you can be restored. And he got full usefulness because, of course, he leads Israel out of Egypt and through the wilderness. So he got full usefulness and God gave him enough life to make up for the 40 years he lost in terms of impact.
Jennifer Rothschild: Yeah, I'd say, I'd say, well, that story does give us tons of hope because details may be different, but lots of us got the same kind of stuff going on in our stories. And God is our Redeemer. And I appreciate that Dr. Evans. There are so many truth bombs in that. I can't wait to go back and just review this. And I know our listeners are feeling the same way, like they're trying to write everything down as quickly as possible. And just know our dear listeners, I'm going to have all this in the show notes for you, because this is so good, Dr. Evans, and we don't want to miss it. Your chapters in the book, okay, they include things like U-turns, like reversing addiction, or doing U-turns when it comes to idolatry or anxiety, discrimination, finances, even some relational U-turns. I appreciate how practical this is. So this may be too personal, so you handle it however you choose, but I'm curious if there was one category, one chapter you were writing that, as you were writing it, you were like, "Wow, I'm writing to myself right now." So is there one U-turn that's really resonated with you and your life?
Dr. Tony Evans: Well, you know, chapter six talks about emotional needs U-turns. We've come through a tumultuous year. I've come through a tumultuous year with a lot of losses in my life. My wife, my father, my sister, my brother-in-law, two nieces, all passed away. And that created an emotional challenge for me that I needed a reversal from because one of the things I point out in the book is that U-turns can come from your sin or you may need U-turns from your circumstances, because you may be facing something that is outside of your ability to control. And sometimes emotions like that, they come when you don't invite them, you don't want them, and you pay the consequence for having them, particularly when they're for long.
Jennifer Rothschild: Yeah.
Dr. Tony Evans: And so asking God to reverse that and to cleanse you from any negative emotions that you were attributing to yourself or to Him in the circumstances you face for emotional healing. So, yeah, I would say that would be the chapter that resonated with me.
Jennifer Rothschild: Yeah, I think a lot of us that resonates with right now. You know, Pastor, as I'm listening to you, how many years have you been in ministry?
Dr. Tony Evans: Well, we passed 44 years here at Oak Cliff Bible Fellowship and preaching for 50 years.
Jennifer Rothschild: Fifty years. Well, you have seen so much and, well, let me just tell you, this is going to be our last question, even though I could just listen to your wisdom all day. But I'm curious, because you've seen so much over the years, and I'm wondering if over the years how God has maybe refined your focus to see what really matters most. And so, I wonder, what would you say to the Church? What is the, what is the life message of Dr. Tony Evans that you want to leave as a legacy?
Dr. Tony Evans: Well, my legacy message is called the Kingdom Agenda, the visible manifestation of a comprehensive rule of God over every area of life. And the thing that God has refined in my life over the years is this comprehensive connection, that there's no area of life that sits outside of Him: personal, family, church, or cultural. And it's because of the bifurcation of life that we have a lot of the problems, not only in the world but in the Church, that have gone unresolved in our relationships because God does not have the final say so in every area. And until Christians decide that He is the final decision maker and that it is not my will, but His will, that I must adjust to Him, He must not adjust to me, we will not see His power, authority, and full blessing manifested in our midst. So it is very important that we position Him as He demands and expects to be positioned. Seek first the kingdom of God. And that is, that is my mantra.
K.C. Wright: Bam! This was so powerful and profound. I'm not listening to it twice, I'm going to have this on repeat until it gets inside me. Okay.
Jennifer Rothschild: I know.
K.C. Wright: So good.
Jennifer Rothschild: I know. I was blown away. I loved how he ended too, K.C. I love that he made a big deal of the supreme nature of God. I mean, you remember him saying we don't make God fit our agenda and our will, but we fit into His agenda and will. Bam!
K.C. Wright: Yeah.
Jennifer Rothschild: That's what I'm saying.
K.C. Wright: Oh, there was so much packed in this. It was kind of like trying to drink from a fire hydrant. So if you're like me, you may want to listen again and again and again. So check out the show notes. Even better, you need to read his book and we've got a chance for you to win a free copy of U-turns: Reversing the Consequences in Your Life. So here's how you enter to win. Go to Jennifer's Insta profile @JenRothschild or go to the show notes now at 413podcast.com/140 to get connected to her Instagram.
Jennifer Rothschild: Yeah, we make it easy for you. And some of you may already know this, that every Wednesday I scroll through all the Instagram comments and I send audio messages to some of our 4:13'ers.
K.C. Wright: Really?
Jennifer Rothschild: Yes.
K.C. Wright: I didn't even know that. I love that.
Jennifer Rothschild: Well, I haven't told you yet because I just started it a couple of weeks ago and I'm going to involve you. You need to do it also.
K.C. Wright: That is beyond sweet to me.
Jennifer Rothschild: It's fun. Well, it's so fun. I just thank them for listening.
K.C. Wright: Little shout outs.
Jennifer Rothschild: Yeah.
K.C. Wright: Yeah.
Jennifer Rothschild: Yeah. So anyway, so some of you know I do that already, but if you keep commenting, I will probably get to you eventually. Of course, I can't get to everybody, but it's really fun. So don't be surprised if suddenly you get notified that I am an audio message on your Instagram feed.
K.C. Wright: I love it. Hey, we love hearing from you. Lots of you leave such kind reviews and your words encourage us so sincerely. You listening right now, thank you so much. But they also encourage others to give the podcast a chance. So thanks for spreading this hope-filled encouragement by leaving your kind ratings and reviews. If you haven't, of course, we ask you to leave a review if you have a few minutes, even right now. Okay, our people until next week. Remember this truth. Whatever you face, however you feel, you can do all things through Christ, who gives you strength. I can.
Jennifer Rothschild: I can.
K.C. Wright: And you sure can.
Jennifer Rothschild: Wow, we didn't even have to say that Dr. Evans pretty much showed that the entire conversation.
K.C. Wright: Listening in on that conversation with you and Dr. Tony Evans, phenomenal.
Jennifer Rothschild: Okay, he's so articulate. He's so brilliant. I just, that Bible you have, I bet that is a treasure.
K.C. Wright: Oh, yeah. I will treasure that forever.
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