When God Disciplines Us

The bible tells us that we should love and obey God.

Linn Winters
Jul 23, 2017    39m
This part in the Exodus series is about obeying God. Obedience is never measured by whether it turned out the way we want it to, but rather did you do what you were asked to do when you were asked to do it? We see in the Bible that Moses finally, after being disciplined by God seven times, gets it right on the 8th time. In contrast, Pharaoh is never obedient to God and it does not turn out well for him. Video recorded at Chandler, Arizona.

messageRegarding Grammar:

This is a transcription of the sermon. People speak differently than they write, and there are common colloquialisms in this transcript that sound good when spoken, and look like bad grammar when written.

Linn: 00:44 How are you doing? OK. So if you've been around you know that we've been talking about trying to get a loan from the bank. We got to have a really strong appraisal. And what I have to tell you today is we still don't have an answer. So, and you guys just honestly, this has, this has been part of the journey. This is part of why it is so hard to communicate but we were closer than we've ever been before. And I'm just gonna tell you, I just think when you're most, you pray, you just pray, you pray. So I'm going to ask again where you stand with me real quick. I want us to pray again because the heart of the King is in the hands of our Lord and I've got to trust that that even includes bankers. So. Here we go. Let's pray.

Linn: 01:29 Hey dearest Heavenly Father we come to you in a moment when we believe with all of our heart were simply being obedient to the thing you've called us to do. And God. It's been delayed, delayed, delayed, delayed, and so God we're just going to come back and be faithful once again and just say God please would you go before us? Would you grant us favor? Would you cause the appraisal to come back strong that we could move forward for you. We pray this because we want so desperately to do what you've given us to do. So we pray this in Jesus name, Amen.

Linn: 02:06 Thank you guys. All right. So we're in a series on Exodus and we've been saying to you "Please, please, please read ahead." We're covering too much ground, too fast, and if you're not reading a chapter of Exodus every day then you're going to not get everything you could or should out of this. Today is a perfect example. We're going to literally cover four chapters in 35 minutes together. And if you haven't, if you been reading, you're going to go, "Wow this is great." If you have it you may feel a little bit like there's a couple gaps.

Linn: 02:40 Here's why today's conversation is critical in most of our lives. If you've been a Christian for any length of time at all, I guarantee you that there are moments in your life where you would say, "Hey, this isn't working real well. See I've, I've decided to be obedient. I started doing the right thing." You know maybe you started coming to church after you hadn't been to church for a long time. And suddenly in the midst of you doing the right thing, life gets harder. And you go, "Whoa, whoa, whoa, wait a minute. I'm finally doing what I was supposed to do. How, how is it fair? Why would it ever happen that God would let it get harder?" You started tithing and last Sunday you put your 10 percent in and so on Monday you went to the mailbox expecting to have a bonus check. Right? I put my tithe in and so, "OK God you know show up." And instead it was a dentist bill you forgot you even had. And you're like, "OK God. Wait a minute. I'm doing the right thing. You were supposed to make the dentist forget about me. That's that's how this works, right? If I do the right thing then, then good things are supposed to happen."

Linn: 03:48 You heard us talk about the idea that your faith can't be private and so you just made a resolution here, you said, "OK I'm going to start going out loud at work or maybe in my neighborhood. And I'm just going to kind of let people know that I'm a person of faith. Suddenly you're not getting invited to lunch anymore. Your supervisor sitting down with you and saying, "Hey we don't want none of that here." and you find yourself in a conundrum where you're going, "Wait, wait, wait, wait, wait. I'm, I'm finally obeying. I mean I'm doing what I ought to do and it's not turning out well."

Linn: 04:23 And today's pastors, today's stories, I mean just hit this thing square on. Matter of fact you and I are going to look into just an epic showdown between Pharaoh and the servant of God. And the interesting thing in this showdown is both men are going to be struggling with God over the topic of obedience
Linn: 04:46 Both of them are going to be saying, "Hey God what you're asking me to do right now is really, really, really hard to do. And I'm not sure I want to do it." Here's the interesting thing Moses the guy that we've been working with so far, who had, this has been a hard journey, I mean over, and over, and over again he's come up with excuses. He's told God why can't do it.

Linn: 05:07 Moses for the first time today is going to start getting this answer right in his life. He's turned the corner on this particular question. And you and I are going to learn tons, and tons, and tons about obedience. But if you're going to fall asleep, if you're, you know, you're going to leave early and get coffee whatever that is, let me just bottom line it for you. Obedience is never measured by whether it turns out right or not.

Linn: 05:35 See obedience is not, "Hey I'm going to do this" and that somehow that blackmails God, or twist his arm, or you know, pays him off and then my life is supposed to get better. Things, what I was hoping for has to happen because I chose to be obedient. That obedience, ready for this? Obedience is always simply measured by this. Did you do what I asked you to do. Were you obedient to what I called you to be obedient? Even went and maybe, ready, maybe even, especially when it looks like things are turning out wrong.

Linn: 06:15 So here we go. So we told you this is a showdown between two guys, Moses and Pharaoh. Pharaoh is gonna really, really struggle with this. He's actually going to make two classic mistakes when it comes to obedience. He's going to decide that God's patience in his life has actually been God's weakness. And then secondly, he is going to decide when God finally starts to spank him, when God finally begins to bring discipline in his life, that God is now being unfair or unjust. And he's going to completely blow up and miss obedience.

Linn: 06:57 OK. We said the first part is Pharaoh is going to mistake God's patience for weakness because here's what a Pharaoh would say. At the beginning of the story he'd say, "Look. I've gotten where I've gotten being disobedient because I get it, I get that I worship false gods. I get that the culture of Egypt is full of mysticism and witchcraft and darkness. But here's the deal. We're the most powerful country in the world. And I'm the most powerful man in it. So the reality is I've gotten to where I've gotten doing exactly what you would say was wrong. The very things that God wouldn't want me to do is what's gotten me to where I am. And now Moses all of a sudden you're coming and saying hey God's not happy with me and I need to change my. Why would I do that? Why would I do that? Because being disobedient has actually gotten me great results.

Linn: 08:02 It's interesting. Years ago I was taking a group of kids on a week long camping experience. We had hired professional guides because we were going to Yosemite. I'd never been to Yosemite before and one of the things we said to them right out of the chute was, "Hey there's got to be an overnight camping backpack experience for the juniors and the seniors on the trip. It's just landmark. All the kids look forward to it every year." We get to Yosemite. It's the night before the overnight backpack and the professional guide that we've hired comes to me and says, "Oh yeah we could not find a backpacking experience. Instead we've got a day hike up Half Dome."

Linn: 08:44 So now I have to go to all the kids that I've just jazzed up and said, "Hey we've got this big coming of age and you got to be rough, and seniors and juniors, and you get to do this thing, and the rest of them don't." And we got to a day hike and I got to sell this to the kids. So I get up and I do my best sales pitch. I sit back down and the professional guides wife turns to me and says, "I can't believe you're taking those kids up Half Dome." And I go, "What are you talking about?" She goes, "The last time I went up Half Dome I sat down halfway up and I wept." Now here's what you understand about the professional guide's wife.

Linn: 09:20 This is not a normal woman. This woman eats tree bark. She's got hairy armpits. She's more of a man than I'm a man. I mean, she's burly and she's telling me that the last time she went up Half Dome she sat down and wept. So I won't bore you with all the details, just needless to say, we end up hiking I think it was 14 miles. Almost all of it is uphill. We got to these huge massive boulders we were, like, stepping up almost two feet and lifting and it was just backbreaking to get there. But finally you saw the sky through the trees and you went, "All right we're making it to Half Dome. We're making it to the top. We clear the trees, exhausted out of our minds, and we are at the base of Half Dome. I wanted to weep in that moment. But it gets worse, you ready? Because Half Dome, if you're not familiar, is this incredibly smooth rock that it just looks like one massive boulder that goes in a dome. And then the other side just is sheer straight up and down cliff. So the easy way to get up Half Dome is to go up the dome side of Half Dome. And someone's come along drilled holes, they've stuck pipes in the holes and along the top of the pipe they run cable. So that you get a Half Dome by walking sideways up this sheer smooth cliff to get to the top. We get halfway I stop and I look and I realize. One slip. One slip and someone's going to die. It's not if they're going to die, it's someone's going to die. There's just no stopping till you make the bottom again. And I'm thinking to myself, what in the world have I done.

Linn: 11:03 We get to the top of Half Dome. Thankfully no one dies. We come back down. When we get to camp that night the kids are all huddled around me they're going, "That was the best. That was the most amazing thing. You're the best youth pastor ever." In that moment I'm left with a decision. Are we doing Half Dome next year? Right? I mean because hey it worked out. I'm just telling you. It may have been kind of stupid and probably not the wisest decision I ever made. But the best youth pastor ever.

Linn: 11:39 And then a moment of clarity hit me and I went, "I ought to be sitting at the hospital right now. I ought to be in a waiting room praying for a kid to still be alive." And I couldn't either in this moment go, "Hey this paid off really well. It turned out better than expected and apparently I'm just that guy who can take kids to the edge of death and be untouched and it just turns out OK. And I could repeat my decision." Or I can say, "You know what? By the skin of my teeth. By the grace of God, we're all still OK and I'm going to make better decisions next time."

Linn: 12:23 That's where Pharaoh is. See Pharoah says, "Hey my life's turn out good. I like what's going on." And the answer is yes because God has been patient with you. God's been good to you up till now in order to create margin. In order to say, "Hey Pharaoh I get it. I get that this decision's a long ways. I get that this is hard. And so I'm going to put my people living in your land. You're going to get a chance to watch them. But the reality is I'm giving you margin to go, 'Wow. The way I've been living, the things I've been doing probably shouldn't be turning out right. And if I keep this up somewhere it catches up with me.'"

Linn: 13:01 Grab your bibles real quick go with me the Book of Romans, it's Romans Chapter 2.

Linn: 13:05 If you're not familiar, if you go to back your Bible work to left you go to find this Book of Romans. All the way back, working left, Romans Chapter 2 starting in Verse 4. Here's what it says. Or do you show contempt for the riches of his, of God's kindness, forbearance, and patience not realizing that God's kindness to you, up until now, God not giving you what you deserve. God, God not spanking you for what you, God, God give you margin.

Linn: 13:47 Do you not understand that God's kindness was intended to lead you to repentance? That you are supposed to take stock of the moment and just go, "Man, I'm not getting what I deserve. It could have turned out so much different. And God in His kindness has given me time to figure this, and I need to figure it out." Because you ready for this? I guarantee you there are some Pharaohs in the room. There are some of us in the room that said, "Hey I'm just telling you. I've got where I've gotten to doing things that you would say I shouldn't be doing. And right now, I'm just telling you, it's turned out okay."

Linn: 14:21 "See when I got on and looked at that pornography and no one caught me, and I'm just I'm just telling you, it's working for me." "I know. I know I've been reckless with my finances you know. I've been running up charge cards, I'm just tell me I've been able to Rupay or Paypal. I've been able to do it and it's working." "I know, I know, I know she's not my wife." "I know he's not my husband. But we're living together and I'm just telling you the relationship feels better than it's felt and it feels like we're heading in the right direction and I'm just telling you it feels like it's going to land OK."

Linn: 15:16 And is it possible that you're living in a moment of God's grace and kindness to you in which you're supposed to take stock of the moment and say, "Hey by all rights what I'm doing right now ought to end badly and just because God is being kind right now, just because God is giving me some margin to figure this out before he starts this thinking, I'd be crazy to keep doing what I'm doing and thinking everything's going to be OK."

Linn: 15:51 Second mistake of Pharaoh. Not only does he mistake God's patience as if it was weakness, secondly when God finally begins to discipline, when God begins to spank, he now decides that God has been unfair. So if you're familiar with the story God begins to descend Moses to Pharaoh and to say to Pharaoh, "Hey Pharaoh, look you've got to let the children of Israel go." If you don't then here's what's God's going to do. God's going to bring a spanking in your life and a discipline in order, you ready? In order to get you to change your heart, to change your mind. And if you're familiar with the story at all, hopefully you've been reading, you know that this begins for us a series of literally 10 plagues, 10 moments where God says, "Hey I'm asking you do the right thing. If you don't I'll spank you."

Linn: 16:30 And here we go real quick, through this, please. OK that's working really well. All right. So let me give you a real quick. Here's where they are. There's the plague of blood. There's a plague of frogs. There's the plague of gnats. There's the plague of flies. There's the plague of livestock. There's the plague of boils. The plague of hail. The plague of locusts. The plague of darkness and then death of the first born.

Linn: 16:56 Now here's you've got to get. Every one of these is a moment of discipline, a spanking in which God is saying, "Hey are you ready to obey me yet? Are you ready to do the right thing?" And they escalate. It's like, it just it's like a parent who just says, "OK. You're grounded to your room. Oh that didn't work. OK I'm taking your cell." It just gets bigger, bigger, bigger, the whole way till they get to the death of the first born. And you just want to say, "Pharoah, why are you being such an idiot? Why are you being so hard. You realize the best thing you could do right now is simply give in. And yet you're digging your heels in." And you ready for this? And in his heart he's saying, "Hey God this is totally unfair." And he's getting, ready? He's getting mad at Moses and he's getting mad at God. But guess who he's not getting mad at? Himself.

Linn: 17:44 I've got a friend and his journey has been so heartbreaking. And years ago you saw kind of the beginning of it. He had just moved out of his house. He'd moved in with his best friend and they were splitting rent and they were delivering pizzas, paying the rent. And Allen, which is not his real name but we'll call him Allen, Allen about midway through this start staying up late playing video games and then sleeping in during his work hours. Well guys you don't start delivering pizzas till noon. So think how late guy sleeping in? And he's sleeping in and not showing up so he gets fired. And this pattern starts to go over and over again he gets fired and sleeps in, and irresponsible doesn't show up, gets fired, gets fired, to the point that his best friend in life says, "Allen I can't do this any longer. I've been carrying you and rent for months. You've gotta keep your job." To which he has an evening where it's time to go in for his job and he just decides, you know, I don't feel like going in tonight. And he loses the job. The next day his best friend in the world puts all of his belongings on the sidewalk in front of the apartment and says, "We're done."

Linn: 19:00 As he does that, Allen gets really, really angry. And his friend says, "Hey look. I know, I know you don't want to hear this right now. I'm not doing this to get even with you. Honestly, in my heart I'm doing this because something's got to change in your life. This thing that you're doing is going to be a problem for the rest of your life if you don't get to the other side of it. And I get, I get that this is going to be hard to swallow. But I've honestly, I've made this decision hoping that it wakes you up, that you come to a new place."

Linn: 19:38 Can I tell you that in that moment, as Allen packed the boxes in the truck, he was mad. He was mad at his friend and he was mad at God. Guess who he wasn't mad at? Himself. And if I were to go and chronicle the rest of Allen's life you would see moment, after moment, after moment, including a marriage that everyone went, "Man, Allen what? You are so blessed to be married to that gal" and all of his old habits, that he had not learned and had not overcome because he was busy being mad at everybody else for his spankings, came to haunt him and he lost his marriage.

Linn: 20:19 So chances are you know one Allen, right? You know a person who makes bad decision, after bad decision, and you can just stand there and watch him go, "Look I can see. I can see that the consequences are literally the hand of God. It's God trying to get your attention. It's God trying to say 'Hey you can't live like that and have life turn out right.'" And on every single one of those moments instead of finally going, "Hey look this, you know, I get it, I get it." Instead they're mad at the people who God uses and they're mad at God for doing it because they believe that God's discipline is unfair to them.

Linn: 20:54 And I'm just going to say this in the room if you're Pharaoh today, if you're someone who right now is in a wrestling match with God because God has finally gotten past the time of patience and has moved on to the moment of spanking. And right now your answer to the discipline of the Lord is God's being unfair to me. And you're mad at the people or the circumstances that brought the discipline or you're mad at God for bringing the discipline. You're a dummy. Can I just say that, you're a dummy.

Linn: 21:36 And if you don't figure this out it's going to go on because, we ready for this? If you live your life in a wrestling match with God. How many guesses do you want about who's going to win? And the only question right now is how much pain does it take till you finally call uncle?

Linn: 21:57 Pharaoh struggles with this idea of obedience. Contrast that, contrast that with the guy we've been talking about. A guy by the name of Moses, who guys think about this for a second, right up until the moment of this conversation this story this has been his downfall. This has been his struggle this whole idea of obeying God. When God says, matter of fact if you've been reading up until now, Moses are you ready for this? On 17 occasions has said, "Oh no, I can't, I can't. No I couldn't do that. It's not possible. No, no, no, no, no."

Linn: 22:28 And on 17 occasions God had to come back and say, "Moses, Moses the outcome doesn't depend on you. I'm going to be with you. I'm going to help you. I'm just simply asking you to obey" and Moses has struggled like crazy. The interesting part of this story is that Moses is going to get it right finally. He's going to live, in what I think is one of the hardest circumstances to live for God, and he's going to choose in that moment to simply obey.

Linn: 22:56 Grab your bibles because I just think this is critical. Exodus, Chapter 7. So all the way to the front of your Bible now. Exodus, Chapter 7. OK. So let me set this up. So this is Moses he's on the other side of the plagues. God is sending Moses to go tell Pharaoh, "Pharaoh here's what you need to do. If you don't do it then God's going to send a bunch of frogs. If you don't do it, God's going to turn the Nile into blood" and every single time Pharaoh's going to harden his heart. But if that's not bad enough. Look at how the story starts.

Linn: 23:35 So it's Ephesians Chapter, I mean Exodus Chapter 7 starting in Verse 8 here we go. The Lord said to Moses and to Aaron when Pharaoh says to you perform a miracle then say to Aaron take your staff and throw it down before Pharaoh and it will become a snake. So Moses and Aaron went to Pharaoh and did just as the Lord commanded. So they did exactly what he asked them. They are being completely obedient in this moment. Just as the Lord commanded Aaron through his staff down in front of Pharaoh and his officials and it became a snake. Pharaoh then summoned the wise men and the sorcerers in the Egyptian magicians. Also did the same thing by their secret arts. Each one threw down his staff and it became a snake but Aaron's staff swallowed up their staffs. Yet, Pharoah's heart became hard and he would not listen to them just as the Lord said would happen. So think about this for a second. So Moses finally says, "OK I'm going to go stand in the most powerful man in the world. I'm going to do exactly what you said to do." And the first thing God says is, "Hey when stuff gets we'll rough demonstrate my power. Throw down the staff. It's going to turn into a snake." He does exactly what God told him to do. Pharaoh then calls in the magicians and they throw down their staffs and they turn to snakes.

Linn: 24:57 I mean just there are snakes. OK it was kind of cool you know Moses's staff ate the other snakes. But here's the deal. If I am Moses I'm going, "Dude this was not helpful at all." I mean Pharaoh at this moment is going, "Oh you know great magic trick. My guys can do the same magic trick." And guys look I'm not, I'm not thinking that the magicians staffs were actually snakes that they, like, hypnotized to be stiff. My guess is they're doing this with black arts. You realize the enemy has a power. And so Moses just says, "Hey this didn't turn out well. And I did exactly what you said and let's just be honest. Pharoah's heart is even harder because of what you told me to do."

Linn: 25:50 Then, if that's not enough, God says, "OK here's plan number two. You're going to go out to the Nile River you're going to hold up your staff the whole Nile is going to turn into blood. This is really, really, cool because some of the key gods of all of Egypt, the Guardian god of Egypt, is the God of the Nile. So we're just going to get right into that and you're going hold it you're going to turn to blood can be a good moment." So sure enough there goes Moses. He stands out. He lifts his staff, boom, everything turns to blood. Well guess what. Pharaoh calls them magicians. They come over to the side of the river into the bank. They dig down into the sand. They find some fresh water and they take it, pour into a bucket, it turns into a blood and so Pharaoh's heart hardens even more.

Linn: 26:30 And then, OK you're ready? Chapter 8, Verse 1. Then the Lord said to Moses, "Go to Pharaoh and say to him this is what the Lord says. Let my people go so that they may worship me. If you refuse to let them go I'm going to send a plague of frogs for the whole country." Now I'm just going to tell you that up until now, personally, I haven't been very sympathetic to Moses. See, up until now as God has told Moses, "Hey you need to go do this and this is what I'm asking you to do" and Moses is whining. I just want to go, "Dude. Are you a four year old little girl? Come on. This is God asking you to do something do it."

Linn: 27:15 But if I'm Moses, two miracles in, other words I'm Moses, I've taken this scary step. I've done the obedience thing. And the obedience has turned out bad both times before now. And now God says, "Hey go back again." Can I just say to you this is where personally I'm going, "Whoa, whoa, whoa, god. Have you read the last chapter and a half. You're know you just kind of feels like you're winging it. You know we go to flies and then we go to gnat's. Is there a plan here? Because I'm just telling you it's not going well. My obedience is not turning into good results."

Linn: 28:02 Can I tell you just with all honesty, I've wrestled this with the building program. That I've sat here and have said, "Hey God you know we're a church that's full and we're trying in obedience to still affect this community and move your name forward. We've raised money. We've responded. And suddenly bankers are not giving us a loan. And God I just don't get it? It doesn't make sense to me that I'm obedient that things are turning out not like we planned." And can I just be honest? There is a moment when I just want to just pull a Moses. Knock off a couple bankers. You know you get a phone call, "Hey are lending parameters have changed, yea."

Linn: 28:47 Because let's just be honest. It's hard enough to obey God but isn't it even harder when you will obey and it doesn't appear to be working like it should. It's the, it's the person who hears the report back that is cancer and they pray. They do all the treatments and they pray and they just say, "God you know I'm going to trust you and let you do your miracle" and it just keeps going south.

Linn: 29:27 This is, this is that moment when you're in a marriage and everything in your heart says I need out. I've got to get out. And then you look at scripture and scripture says, "No you stay, you stay and be a witness to your spouse." And so you've been living now for years being Jesus, as much as you can be Jesus, in that home. And I'm telling you your spouse doesn't feel one inch closer to Jesus today than they did five years ago. And you just want to say, "God wait. I'm obeying but it's not turning." Isn't it true that this is the hardest time to be obedient?

Linn: 30:07 Here's the interesting thing. Moses is going to go back eight more times and seven of the next eight times are going to fail. And God doesn't get mad at Moses. He doesn't go, "Hey if you just would have thrown down the staff a little firmer Moses." He doesn't blame Moses for the outcome. He simply says to Moses, you ready? "Obedience is not conditional on it turning out the way you want it to turn out. Obedience is just simply conditional on doing what I asked you to do when I asked you to do it despite the results."

Linn: 30:46 You know it's interesting because TV evangelists don't tell us this right? Now you get watching late night, TV TBN, and all the sudden it's, "Hey brother, if you send in your offering than 10,000 fold is going to be sent back to you. Hey if you pray the prayer of faith than you're going to be healed instantly because, because you obey God then everything turns out OK." You get that's not biblical, right?

Linn: 31:11 Moses would tell you that's not biblical. That obedience isn't conditional on things turning out the way you want. Obedience is just simply about obeying what I've been called to obey. Matter of fact there's a great passage. Go with me to Hebrews, real quick. Hebrews is going to be in the back of your Bible. All the way back, past revelation, first John, second John, third John, James. You'll get to Hebrews. Hebrews, Chapter 11 years. OK, let me give you some background.

Linn: 31:51 Hebrews, Chapter 11 is literally God's Hall of Fame. So literally these are people who've had such outstanding faith in the way they follow God that God mentions their name in the Bible as being our model for obedience. And so here you go.

Linn: 32:07 He's already talked about Noah and he has already talked about Abraham and now he's getting a little later. And so is Hebrews Chapter 11 starting in Verse 32. Here's what it says. Ready? What shall I, more shall I say. Do I not. I do not have time to tell you about Gideon, Barack, Samson Japheth, about David and Samuel and the prophets, who through faith conquered kingdoms, administered justice, gained what was promised, who shut the mouths of lions, quench the fury of flames, escaped the edge of the sword, whose weakness was turned into strength, who became powerful in battle, routed foreign armies, women received back their dead raised to life again. "Amen, Amen, Amen. Let's Every have that kind of faith right."

Linn: 32:54 You don't want to read the rest of the passage because the rest of the passage talks about those who had faith, who obeyed God, and it came out just a little bit different. There were others. There were others who were tortured. You mean they obeyed God? They did exactly what he said to do and they were tortured? Refusing to be released so that they might gain an even better resurrection, some face years and flogging and even chains and imprisonment. They were put to death by stoning. Sounds like a bad outcome. They were sawed in two. They were killed by the sword. They went about in sheep skins and goat skins destitute, persecuted and mistreated.

Linn: 33:44 The world was not worthy of them. This globe that we stand on was not worthy for these Christians, these saints, to put their footprints on it because in a moment in which obedience was going south they chose in that moment to simply be obedient again. And the Bible says and the world was not worthy of people who live out their faith like that. They wandered in deserts and mountains living in caves and in holes in the ground. They were all commended for their faith. Yet none of them received what had been promised since God had planned something better for us so that only together, with us, would we be made perfect.

Linn: 34:33 I get it I get it. Some day we get to heaven and whatever we've done in obedience, whatever we've done by faith, God rewards. It all get set straight. But I'm talking about here and now and I'm just saying to you, "You've got to learn the lesson that Moses learned and that is my obedience is not contingent on the story going the way I want the story to go."

Linn: 34:57 See I'm going I'm going to choose in this moment. Even though my obedience actually looks like it's going the wrong way for me to simply be obedient again. And I'm just telling you. "If God never heals the cancer, I'll obey." "If my children who are living away from God, if I never live to see them get their hearts right, I'll obey." "If when I'm generous with my tithe or when I'm open with my testimony at work or whatever it is, when I decide to break up with that boyfriend or girlfriend because the relationship is gone south. I don't care what it is and even if in the moment of my obedience it doesn't seem to work, I'll obey."

Linn: 35:50 Because obedience is never measured by the outcome. It's simply measured by what I did when I was asked. And I just want to speak honor. I know that there are some Christians in this room, and you are living tough, tough moments. You've got a child who's handicapped and you just went, "God I don't, I don't understand the assignment?" and God said, "Just be faithful to that." And you've prayed you've said, "God I would just, I'd be happy if I could just see improvement." And it's been years and you would say, "Linn I'm just telling you the movement is microscopic." There are some in this room and you broke up and left that relationship because it wasn't God honoring and you haven't had a date since. Obey. You've lived for God. You've done what you could. Your family doesn't understand. Obey. Because obedience is never measured by the outcome . It's measured by what you decided to do. When god said, "Go."

Linn: 37:16 Hey dear Lord Jesus we, we simply come to the moment and God we're we're going to be honest. Some of us in this room, some of us are struggling with obedience much the way that Pharaoh did. We've been living our lives and so far it's been turning out pretty good. And we would simply say apparently God's not strong enough or aware enough. And so it's worked till now so I'm just going to keep doing it. God, that it would suddenly occur to us today that you're giving us margin. That in your kindness you're giving us some room to figure it out before the spankings required.

Linn: 38:00 Now some of us were neck deep in the spanking. Some of us are are fighting and wrestling with you. And every time you discipline, every time a new consequence comes in our lives, we get angry at you. We get angry at the people that it comes through and we never realize, this is me. This is me. And the truth is the pain that I'm experiencing right now is actually an expression of God's love trying to get my life on track before I completely screw it up. This is me.

Linn: 38:34 God for the Christian in this room who would say, "I've been obedient. I just got to be honest. It's not turning out the way I thought it would turn out and it's getting really hard." Remind us again today obedience is not conditional on things turning out the way we wanted. It's simply measured by what did I do when God asked that I choose to obey. That's what we choose today in Jesus name, Amen.

Recorded in Chandler, Arizona.
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Cornerstone Church
1595 S Alma School Road
Chandler, Arizona 85286