Touching Heaven to Change Earth – Tony Evans Sermon

Many people find themselves attempting to mop up messes in their lives only to find that the source is an endless drain of trials that won’t stop. But instead of trying to clean up the problems in vain, Tony Evans says you first need to deal with the root. Once you discover the spiritual side of how the world works, you’ll find how your approach to challenges will start to change. Touching Heaven to Change Earth – Sermon by Tony Evans #sermon #TonyEvans

faith must always precede sight

once you put sight in front of faith

you’ve negated faith

faith is based on what you do not see

if you’ve got to see it first you won’t

see it

the euphemism of walking in the bible

means to live according to because

you’re moving with the mind of christ

you’re not just doing that on sunday

morning when it’s church time because he

wants to know that you want him so if

you’re in distress don’t let that drive

you away draw you near


so that you’re like jacob and say i’m

not gonna let you go

until you answer me so welcome to the



when you get close and want to live for

him want to please him want to honor him

want to exalt him want to draw near to

him then heaven opens up and he lets you

find him

he lets you find it

welcome to the fire


i want to begin our time by

going over today how the world works


many christians do not understand

how the world works

because we do not understand how the

world works we approach issues

in an illegitimate way

because we’re operating on a faulty

frame of reference

it is an understanding how the world


that allows us to be able to


the struggles stresses needs

in an appropriate way

many of us are trying to mop up messes

in our lives

and every time we try to mop it

there’s more mess to mop up

because we haven’t gotten to the root of

the problem

if you will understand the theology i am

going to attempt to communicate to you

today of how the world works

then it will shift how you approach

living and especially shift how you

approach challenges

in living

in second chronicles 15

we’re told in verse

three for many days israel was without

the true god

without a teaching priest and without


verse 5 says in those times

there was no peace to him who went out

or to him who came in for many

disturbances afflicted all the

inhabitants of the lands

nation was crushed by nation and city by


for god troubled them with every kind of


it says there was no peace to him

who went in or to him who came out

no peace means they were living in


there was conflict

it says first of all there was personal

conflict no peace to him

many of the problems of coping today are

people unable to live with themselves

that’s why they often go to devices to

help them to cope

that’s why they become dependent

because they can’t live with themselves

and so they are dealing with inner


but not only was there no peace to him

it says there was no peace to him

who came out or who went in that that is

when he left home and when he came back

home so there was conflict in the family

when he entered back into his home there

was more

conflict or disturbances

it says city rose up against city and

nation rose up against nation there was

cultural conflict

we’ll say city urban conflict

international conflict

many disturbances

that was the


ah but here’s where it gets


the end of verse 6 says

for god troubled them

for god troubled them

with their


into verse 6. now wait a minute

i would have thought with all that chaos

it would have said the devil troubled


i would have thought with all this

confusion verse 6 would end by saying

the devil troubled them with every kind

of distress but it says

god troubled them

so now we’re going to mess with your

thinking a little bit

because a lot of things you’re blaming

on on the devil is god

there was no peace

the family disintegration


urban conflict international conflict

and god says if you’re going to blame

somebody blame me

see a lot of us are blaming the wrong


because here’s how it

works in the world

if god is your problem

only god is your solution

if god is the cause

only god is the cure

you say but wait a minute how can all

this evil be given over to god

because god uses the devil to carry out

his dirty work

because even the devil is not the devil

the devil is god’s devil because the

devil can only do what god allows him to


so even if the devil is messing with you

it’s by divine permission

for god troubled them

with every


of distress let me put it another way

the spiritual always precedes

the natural

the spiritual governs the natural

the heavenly determines the earthly

so if you have an issue on earth

that has been caused by heaven

trying to solve it on earth is a waste

of time

if it’s an issue on earth

caused by heaven god troubled them

then you need heaven to come to earth to

fix the issue on earth that heaven is

responsible for

even if it’s a problem because they were

living in distress

in the old testament

you ran into the active wrath of god

when god would directly bring

pain about

he would rain down

fire and brimstone on sodom and gomorrah

he would flood the earth with water

he would open up the earth and swallow


rebellious people

that would be the active wrath of god

when god directly addressed

things on earth bringing about distress

when jesus died on the cross

god’s relationship to the world shifted

the bible says that with the death of

christ the world was reconciled to god


some people believe the god of the old

testament has to be different than the

god of the new testament because the god

of the old testament they say seem so


and judgmental why the god of the new

testament seems so nice and full of love

well there are two gods

but there are two relationships

in the old testament before the

permanent solution to sin was addressed

there was only a temporary solution

and god directly dealt with things

in the new testament

because the death of christ reconciled

the whole world

to god

god could now relate to the world


not because he changed but because his

relationship to the world changed

by predicated on the death of christ

which is why jesus christ is the key and

the center of all of life

so now you do not face the active wrath

of god

you face the passive wrath of god

now that’s spoken of in romans 1 verse

18 to the end of the chapter where it

says the wrath of god

is revealed against all unrighteousness

of men who don’t want to retain the

knowledge of god

and then romans 1 verse 24 26 and 28 say

the same thing it says

therefore god turned them over

that means god released them to life

without him

it says because they did not want to

retain the knowledge of god

god like a dog on a leash

let the leash go so the dog could run

away so when men don’t want god he lets

you not want him

and he lets go of the leash

and you can go your own way but when you

do that

you also invite in the space

between where god is and between where

you want to go that space becomes

occupied with consequences

and so the consequences we are dealing

with in our lives in our homes in our


we are dealing with them because there

is a gap

between where god is and where we are

because they no longer wanted to retain

the knowledge of god it says god turned

them over or released them to the

consequences of their decision

to be separated from him

and the built-in side effects

that are the result

so the problems that people were facing

on earth

were predicated on what god

was allowing to happen

now the question is why

they were in distress in other words

troubles they couldn’t fix

and i know in this house today that

troubles we can’t fix

and you know you can’t fix them because

you’ve been trying to fix them for a

long time and they either stay broke or

look like they fix but still break

he gives three reasons in verse three

for this calamity

for many days that is for an extended

period of time

israel was without the true god

okay problem number one

for many days an extended period of time

israel was without the true god

israel was not without religion

israel was not without church attendance

israel was not without quiet singing

israel was not without religious


it says israel was without the true god

the key word is the word true

they kept the name of god

they kept

praying to god

they kept religious activity they were

doing all of that without the true god

so evidently you can have church without


the biblical word for a false god is


that’s the biblical word for a false god

an idol is any noun

person place thing or thought

that you look to as your source

now in third world countries we would

condemn their idolatry

in third world countries and in backward

uh uh

nations that haven’t come into the

to the 20th and the 21st century

they may worship trees or rocks

or nature or

okay we would condemn that

but in the west we have

designer idols

we don’t worship trees and rocks

we have american idols

let me look at some of the idols that we

have that have replaced the true god we

got the idol of oh let’s see race

where my

color trumps god

where i where people get offended

when you correct their blackness with

the bible

when folk get offended when you correct

their whiteness with the bible

because their race is more important

than god’s rules

where they wind up worshiping black

being beautiful or white being right

rather than both having to be biblical


your race

is your source of your ultimate identity

your race is an idol and you are a false


oh let’s look at uh another

designer idol

politics is a designer idol

where you think god rides the backs of a

donkey or an elephant

politics is a designer idol when you’re

more democrat than godly

when you’re more republican than god

when god says one thing but you still

talking about what your party says

in ezekiel 43 god says how dare you

bring the throne of your king and set it

next to my throne

like we like we are equals

when god speaks

elephants got to sit down and donkey’s

got to back up

it’s okay to be a democrat it’s okay to

be a republican as long as the bible can

overrule either

or both because nobody should own you

but the kingdom of god

oh let’s see do we have another designer

idol let’s see

oh yeah science

science is a designer idol

because science


your kids

not an evolutionary theory but an

evolutionary fact

atheistic evolution is uh that’s what uh

fairy tales for adults

it’s a fairy tale for adults

because in the name of science they deny


and they set up a whole system of divine

denial based on that science

so because of that science man becomes

the ultimate definer of life

man becomes the ultimate definer of



becomes the ultimate definer of where

god should be placed in the culture

when people

elevate science science is a beautiful

thing but all science does is show how

god does stuff

he says there were idols

they’re economic idols they’re class


because of a certain amount of money or

where a person lives or the car they

drive they have elevated themselves to

the height of pride

where they’re better than other people

who have been equally created in the

image of god

so it can come in shapes and forms so

you don’t have to be an overt god denier

to be an idolater

all you’ve got to do is place anything

or anybody

in the place or the position of being

the source

of your identity

then it doesn’t matter how much you pray

because you’re praying to a false god

not the real god because the real god

not listening

if you have another idol

now why why

why were they

uh worshiping a false god

well verse three tells us because the

second thing that sells this it tells us

is there was not a teaching priest

there was no teaching free it didn’t say

there were no preachers

he just said they weren’t talking about


they were talking smack

a lot of this problems that we have in

our culture is because the church

christians have not risen to the

occasion to be what god has called us to

be and it’s just showing up in the

public square

if your life is falling apart

you’re in personal distress

then my responsibility a leader’s

responsibility even another believer’s


is to take the word

show you what god says about whatever

you’re dealing with

then give you practical steps to apply

what god said

then ask the holy spirit to take your

practical steps of obedience based on

what god said to bring change in your


but what we got is a generation of folk

who change books

they use this book for some things they

use human understanding for other things

they use popular opinion for other

things and they wind up living in


the third thing it says is there was no


there was no law

you see

when there’s no true god no teaching

priests there are no rules

people make up their own rules

you see

they either have no rules

or they have their own made-up rules

you know

people come up with their own you know

they walk around saying i know my truth

you know your truth

no it’s either truth

or it’s not truth

but we want to adjust truth we want to

make truth relevant

it’s okay to be relevant as long as

you’re not changing truth

and truth is whatever god says on any

subject about what he speaks

that’s truth so if god says it that is

the word about it

science just has to catch up

no rules wrong rules your own rules

no standard

was there a solution

now that you understand how the world

works the spiritual governs it if god

has caused it you don’t know anybody who

can fix it

unless it’s god using that person

verse 4 gives us a solution

because verse 4 says but in their


they turned to the lord god of israel

they sought him

and he let them find him


key word distress

in their distress

they turn to the lord god of israel

that’s the same word of verse six god

caused their distress

verse four says but in their distress

they turn to the lord god which means

god will let it get bad enough long

enough till you wake up

because it was in their distress

see god will let it get well he’ll let

us get addicted he’ll let us get into

all the consequences of our sin he will

let he will let you go down and down and

down and down until the only way you can

look is up

he won’t let anybody fix it any money be

able to get you out of it he will let

the distress

go down

but in their distress

when things got deep enough bad enough

long enough

it says they called on here it is

the lord god oh watch this now

when they return to the lord god

he let them find him ah



god created his stress i told you

about you know

sister evans when when um

when i

when i met her and she was not

responding at the rate to which i was


my girlfriend was moving a little slow

so i had to help her sister out

so in baltimore there’s this amusement

park called gwyn oaks amusement park

they had a roller coaster that did this

but the roller coaster would like go out

to the end like it was going to jump off

and turn real quick i said give me two


we got on the roller coaster for two

the wilder the ride got the closer she


by the time the ride was over you

thought only one person got on it

why did i buy two tickets i bought two

tickets to create distress

because i knew the worse things got the

closest you’d get

you see sometimes god has to put us on a

roller coaster ride so that we move over

and we slide over and we get a little

closer and we get a little closer

so if you’re in distress

don’t let that drive you away draw you



so that you like jacob and say i’m not

gonna let you go

until you answer me

and when you do that

when you get close and want to live for

him want to please him one to honor him

want to exalt him want to draw near to

him then heaven opens up and he lets you

find him

he lets you find


everything visible and physical is


by that which is invisible and spiritual

so if something needs to be changed or

corrected in the visible physical realm

we must identify

its invisible spiritual cause

heaven has something to say about what’s

happening on earth

so many things are

in chaos out of order

in conflict

in the world in which we live

on every level whether it’s people’s

personal lives or

family disintegration racial conflict

class conflict political conflict

these earthly realities

have a spiritual root

and if you skip the spiritual route

and just try to fix the visible fruit

then you won’t get to the source

or the solution

to the issues that need to be

transformed and corrected

god must be consulted

if correction is going to take place and


is going to come in our lives

in our circumstances

heaven rules

and when we understand

that if we grab the spiritual

if we grab heaven and allow that to


in the circumstances of earth

then we will have put things in its

proper order

and proper perspective

as i like to say

if all you see is what you see

you do not see all there is to be seen

if we continue to only try to solve our

earthly problems with earthly solutions

we will continue to live in earthly


and earthly failure

but if we will allow

god’s perspective

the reality of heaven

to interfere with and intervene

with what we are dealing with on earth

then we will have positioned ourselves

for real solutions

long-term solutions

because god doesn’t make mistakes

in fact

if it’s something god is allowed

that means only god can fix it

so let’s stay in touch with heaven

because earth is in trouble

we need to have earth touched

with the power and presence of god in


so that order can replace



when you’re in the spirit

but the bible calls the spirit a wind

a wind it blows

my opinion nobody’s opinion when it

conflicts with god

is to be considered as truth the bible

says let god be true and every man a


mother nature doesn’t work without daddy


that’s because truth

they’re the just

because if it comes from god it’s truth

because god has absolute standard by

which reality is measured