Dr. Tony Evans said, “What we need is some men with a spiritual backbone who love themselves properly and love their families and love the world in which they live, but are inextricably clear: ‘Y’all may not want to go where I’m going.’ My race may not want to go where I’m going; my class may not want to go where I’m going; my culture may not want to go where I’m going. But let me tell you where I’m going whether or not you agree with me.”
Evans believes “There’s never been a time when fathers have been more critical to the well-being of…kind of like everything…than they are right now.”
Fathers and men are so important than according to Isaiah 3, when men don’t make the right choices, the children go into rebellion, the women can take on “an illegitimate authoritative role,” and the men become “neutered and weak.” Evans goes on to say, “Today we have too many men falling on the sword. Too many men becoming domesticated, meaning operating in a way that is outside your divinely ordained responsibility.”
Dr. Evans explains the context of Joshua 24 is that Joshua is concerned the Israelites, though they have left Egypt already, “still have a little Egypt in them.” “They want the benefits of the promises of God without the selection to the submission and service [and obedience] to God,” Evans says.
Dr. Evans says that voices are telling us “how to live, how to operate, how to move, what we ought to say, how we ought to feel.” Like Joshua, we need to say, “I have made a decision that my decisions will be defined, not by the culture around me, but by the Christ inside of me. By my commitment to the will and word of God.”
Tony Evans says many men are spiritually compromising. “They are one way in church but then they go secular as soon as they leave church.”
Evans says the decision to follow God “can’t be made by anyone but you as a man, as a husband,” and as a father. Evans says too many men today “are like jellyfish…they have no backbone, they just go with the current. They don’t take a stand. I don’t mean being mean, but I do mean being clear. That ‘I follow Jesus Christ.’ Everybody else is saying who they follow. Why should we be ambiguous as men about who we follow?”
By saying “and my house,” Joshua “takes responsibility for his family.” Why does he make a declaration and not ask for a vote, Evans asks. “Because in the Bible the father would be held responsible by God for the direction of his family.” A Kingdom man accepts responsibility under God. Not even your wife gets to make the final decision, Evans says. Explaining this, Evans says Adam got in trouble when he allowed Eve to overrule God’s instructions in the Garden of Eden, yea, in his house.
Joshua’s is a “covering statement,” Evans argues. “Unless a man lets God cover him, he can’t properly cover his loved ones.”
Dr. Evans says, “We’ve got a health pandemic, a racial pandemic, a police and community pandemic, we’ve got clashes going everywhere.” The best solution to these pandemics is “godly men taking their place and speaking about what God says about racial injustice, what God says about order, what God says about healing wounds, what God says about how we relate to other people, what God says about the role of government, what God says about how institutions ought to operate…”
There’s a dire warning in Evans’ Father’s Day sermon that he doesn’t want men to miss: “There’s a culture out there that doesn’t want men of God to succeed….While our goal is to move forward, there will be resistance. And that is why you need God on your side.”
Evans uses a football analogy to explain a covenant. The game of football uses the ball as the benchmark for every ruling in the game. For example, a touchdown is determined if the football has broken the plane of the end zone; a field goal on whether the ball has gone through the uprights; an offsides ruling is based on where the players are in relation to the football; out of bounds is determined by where the player has taken the football. Everything revolves around where people are in relation to the football. Likening the football to the covenant or the agreement we make with God, Evans asks “Are we relating to him and are we ruling underneath him?” In other words, where are we in relation to the covenant or the relationship?
“You’ve got a culture that wants to trick you and trip you up. The answer is in your choice. Do you choose to follow him or not?” If you choose to follow him, “then we ought to know about, your family ought to know about it, your friends ought to know about it, the culture ought to know about it, and when God sees it, you’ll see God act through it to make a difference in your life and our world.”