Reality Four – God Speaks

In our life in the Spirit God communicates with us in many ways.

Linn Winters
Feb 12, 2017    44m
In our life in the Spirit we should listen to God for advice on how to handle issues in our lives. There are several ways God speaks to us. Pastor Linn tells us how to listen to God for advice. Video recorded at Chandler, Arizona.


Christian Living 

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.

Pastor Linn: 00:44 Hey cornerstone. I'm super glad that you're here.

Pastor Linn: 00:51 You saw a video just a second or two ago about a men's conference that we're holding here at the church. And I just want to say to all the guys out there right now, you want to go. This is just going to be a really, really powerful time. And all it is guys, look. No hugging, no crying. Lots of meat. OK so it's a, it's a good conference right there. But here's the deal. The conference is designed just to help you move another step forward in godly manhood. That's all it is. Nobody is going to beat you up. Nobody is going to... It's just about encouraging you to say OK, what would it be like to move another step forward in godly manhood. I'm just going to tell you you'll be hugely blessed, your family is going to be blessed. It is just a great moment for you to kind of take some self leadership and just say hey I'm going to do this and then the other guys. How powerful if you bring your sons. How powerful if your sons watch you as a man say I'm going to move forward with God because that's what godly men do. And for them to see that and witness you doing that. So I'm just saying Guys this is a don't miss thing. If you don't make it there you're going to regret ... You want to go to this men's conference.

Pastor Linn: 02:02 Hey, we're in a series called Experiencing God. I want to give a quick shout out to our San Tan campus, to our Scottsdale campus. There are people watching this online. We don't care how you got to the conversation. We're just glad you're with us because we believe what we've been talking about is life changing. So we're just glad you're here. Hope you'll just stay tuned in with all we're talking about if been here and you were here last week you know it talked about this idea of God's invitation that when you see God working, God doesn't need to hold up a billboard or a neon sign. Just seeing him working is the invitation to join him. Then you're supposed to say, "Hey, god's apparently doing that, I should help God do that." That is the invitation. This week we're going to talk about the idea of God speaking to our lives, God informing and pushing into our hearts. And what does it mean to hear from God.

Pastor Linn: 02:54 Now this is a big deal and to illustrate it I asked Andy to get together and he is our prop guy, he said hey I need some bowling pins. I need a bowling ball. And I didn't ask him till Friday. So he's scrambling then to have the bowling pins in the bowling ball here and so I'm going to ask for a little bit of grace because. As he went to round up a bowling ball the only one he could find apparently was formerly owned by Christine. And judging by the size of the finger holes Christine was four, okay?. So that's going to make this a little bit awkward. But here's here's the idea. So I'm in junior high and I join a bowling league which was really just code for chaos. But a part of, one of the benefits of being part of this young person Junior High bowling league was that there was a coach, there was someone from lanes that would come in stop at each of the lanes where you were bowling and would do a little bit of coaching with you. So here I am, it's opening day I'm there with friends and you know we're rolling ball. It's just ugly. I'm just getting it right now. It is ugly. Praise God for gutters because it was, it was bad from the very start and horribly inconsistent. You know you'd bowl one ball when I go, "Hey I got it figured out now," and then the next ball. And it was bad.

Pastor Linn: 04:15 Lo and behold the coach shows up at my lane and ends up pulling me off to the side and says, "Hey, can I can give you a couple of words of advice on the deal?"

Pastor Linn: 04:15 And I said, "Well yeah, sure."

Pastor Linn: 04:15 And he says, "You see those dots?"

Pastor Linn: 04:15 I go, "Yeah."

Pastor Linn: 04:34 He says, "Those dots have a purpose. And actually if you would come up and every single time you get ready to bowl if you would place your foot on one of those dots then you would start at the same place every time. And then if you look down the lane and see that there's a whole new set of dots down the lane. And if you were to bowl your ball across one of those dots every single time your bowling ball would go right down the middle. And if you missed that dot little bit you just make that little bit of adjustment. And all of a sudden your game will change."

Pastor Linn: 05:01 Lo and behold he talked to me for two minutes. He leaves. I listen to what he said. My game was radically different. I mean it went from something that I felt completely defeated in, something that I thought I'll never do this again and why did I sign up to I couldn't wait to be there next week. Because hearing that coaching change the entire experience.

Pastor Linn: 05:23 Now here's where this gets big for us, what would it be like to hear from God? What would it be like for God to speak into our lives to give us that two minute adjustment to our game and suddenly we go from rolling a lot of gutter balls in life to rolling somewhere pretty close to center in everything that we're doing. That would be so cool if we could hear God speak to us like that and then make the corrective measures.

Pastor Linn: 05:52 Now here's the deal. I know some of you are saying, some of your saying, "Linn I would love for God to speak to me. I feel like I'm completely available for God to speak to me. But if I'm being honest I haven't heard God speak in a long time. I'm not even sure I would recognize his voice if he called on the phone. I wish, I hope but I ain't hearing much." Here's what's interesting about that moment because it happens to all of us right?

Pastor Linn: 06:28 Do you realize that God actually wants to speak to you with more fervency than you want to hear from him. That it is absolutely God's desire to spend that coaching moment, to speak into our lives. God aches to do that with us so much so, you ready for this? That when Jesus is getting ready to leave this earth he turns to his disciples and says, "Hey look, look, look, look, I'm get ready to go to heaven, I'm not going to be here, it's going to get a little scary but don't get all freaked out because here's what I'm going to do. I'm going to send my Holy Spirit, part of the Trinity' Father, Son, Holy Spirit so that you will always have me with you in you, and every one of us in this room who's ever put our faith in Jesus Christ the Holy Spirit resides in you for the sole purpose, you ready? For the sole purpose of speaking the heart of God to you.

Pastor Linn: 07:23 Matter of fact let me let me read a passage to you real quick. You don't necessarily have to go there but it's John Chapter 16, it's Verse 13. This is Jesus in that very conversation. That very moment with his disciples talking about the Holy Spirit, and then the Holy Spirit speaking what God wants us to know to us. Ready? It's John Chapter 16 verse 13. Here's what it says. But when he, this is Jesus speaking, and when he says he he's talking about the Holy Spirit. But when he the spirit of truth comes he will guide you into all truth. He will not speak on his own. He will speak only what he hears and he will tell you what is yet to come. He will glorify me because it is from me that he will receive what he will make known to you. All that belongs to the father is mine. That is why I said the spirit will receive for him me what he will make known to you. And Jesis says, "Look I'm going to leave you with the Holy Spirit, the Holy Spirit going indwell your life and his role is to speak into your life."

Pastor Linn: 08:36 Which then brings the million dollar question, then how come we're not hearing it? Is it possible, is it possible much like a husband whose wife's trying to talk to him and he walks out of the room at just the wrong moment. That it's like a conversation at a table with a lot of voices and we just happened to be having the conversation with the wrong voice. Is it possible that the reason we're not hearing from God is because we're not listening very well or the way we should.

Pastor Linn: 09:10 So here's what we want to talk about today. What are the four things that God uses what, are the four things that the Holy Spirit uses to speak into our lives. To line us up on the dots and to change the outcomes for us. Here we go, number one. Number one is probably the most powerful, it's the most direct. It's the one that if you and I would master, would probably take care of about 70 percent of hearing what God wants to say to us. And number one, is simply scripture, is the Bible. You realize that what God wrote in The Bible, he said, "Look, I wrote this in black and white. I put it there. I went through when I gave the vast, vast, vast majority of all the questions you're ever going to have. I anticipated them and I put them in scripture for you so that you would have them at any point when you needed them, and it's when you and I go to scripture that the Holy Spirit then takes the words of the Bible and begins to speak into our hearts and go that one's yours, that one's yours. That's the next thing God is doing with you.

Pastor Linn: 10:17 Imagine this, imagine you're dating someone and they're actually enrolled in the military. And so they get their orders and now kind of mid relationship they're sent overseas for 18 months, and for 18 months you don't hear boo, for 18 months nothing comes your way. They come back from overseas after 18 months and they're acting like hey we're ready man. This relationship's on high gear, and you're going what are you talking about? For 18 months I didn't hear anything. I have no idea where this relationship is. And they go what are you talking about? I wrote you a letter every single day. I talked about my dreams, I talked about how deeply I care for you. You're the one that didn't write back. I wrote you a letter every day trying to speak to you, communicate to you. And you go, oh the letters, I was hoping you'd face time with me. Letters, letters, letters are old fashioned. Snail mail, snail mail? And they go no, no, no, I did that on purpose because if we face time then that's a conversation that comes and goes and is gone. I wrote it down so that at any point you needed to go back and decide how did I feel about you. What did I actually say. It was physically there in writing so it was constantly a reference for you.

Pastor Linn: 11:44 Is it possible guys, is it possible the root of the reasons, the critical reasons you and I are not hearing from God is you and I aren't opening the letter. Hey guys you realize, you realize Scripture is God's love letter to you. Delivered to us for the express purpose, are you guys ready? For the express purpose of speaking into our lives. And I'm just telling you there's a lot of Christians out there who aren't reading their mail. And then we go, I'm not even hearing from God. Well of course you're not, matter of fact. Grab your bibles. Go with me to 2 Timothy because 2 Timothy describes how the Holy Spirit uses scripture to speak to us. Second Timothy, if you go to the back of your Bible and work to the left you're going to find this book of 2 Timothy. I'll give you a clue. It's right after 1 Timothy, I went to seminary, just sayin', just sayin'. In a 2 Timothy Chapter 3 Verse 16 here's what it says. You ready for this? "For all Scripture is God breathed." Now guys don't miss that. It's saying that when you read scripture you are so close to the voice of God. It's like you feel his breath. I mean how much more descriptive of God talking to us than you would feel his breath as you read the letter.

Pastor Linn: 13:29 Says, "All Scripture is God breathed and is useful for teaching for rebuking for correcting and for training in righteousness so that the servant of God may be thoroughly equipped for every good work." Now here's what it says, when I read scripture I am hearing God speak and that the first thing that it does is that it teaches me, it teaches me how I should live. Guys I'm going to suggest to you that 70 percent of all your questions are answered here. It's intended to teach you and me how to line up on the dots. How to roll this ball differently. It teaches us, and then it says it rebukes us because here's the moment. There's always that time when you and I go we don't need to do that, God didn't understand, this is the 21st century and all my friends are over there. And you and I get off half. And then it says in that moment when you're reading scripture, Scripture is going to jump off the page and go Dude what are you doing, what are you doing?

Pastor Linn: 14:30 You remember when you were a kid. You may remember when you started doing that you were supposed to be doing and all your parents had to do is give you the look. Remember that because you knew what happened after the look right? Scripture is God holding up a mirror. It's God giving you the look. Hey look where you are, you're not even lined up on the dots.

Pastor Linn: 14:54 It says that it rebukes. And then it corrects, and guys get this. We have a God that forgives what we do but we get so weird it on this, we think oh well it's okay because God forgave me which means I'm right back where I started from before I got off. No you're not. You're still in the ditch. You're just a forgiven ditch dweller. It's like if my son borrows my truck and he drives it in the ditch. I may forgive him for driving my truck in the ditch but I still need a tow truck. And when you drive your life into a ditch, there are moments you need correction. God has explained you, hey now that you're in a ditch here's what you do to get back to where you belong. Because some of you, some of you are going to have to rebuild trust. So let's talk about what does it mean to rebuild trust. Some of you have to deal with forgiveness. You're going to forgive somebody who hurt you or you're going to have to ask forgiveness from someone who you hurt. And this is what it means to correct you and get you back on the path.

Pastor Linn: 15:51 And then finally it says, and it's good for training and training is this. Now that we're back in alignment. Let's talk about how to roll more strikes, let's talk about how to stay right on path with this from now on. Is it possible, is it possible that God has been speaking to you and me all along and we simply have unopened mail.

Pastor Linn: 16:28 Second thing, second thing that the Holy Spirit uses in order to speak to us on behalf of God. Second thing is prayer. Now some of you are going, well Linn wait a minute I thought prayer would be the first thing. Prayer is not the first thing. Prayer is the second thing. Because everything in scripture is true all the time True and it's in black and white. So if you come to me and you say, hey look I've been praying, I've been praying, I've been praying and God told me to lie. No he didn't. Well how do you know that? Because Scripture says Thou shalt not bear false witness. Period. And the struggle with prayer and don't get me wrong, I'm a, I'm a firm believer in prayer. But here's the challenge of prayer. The prayer requires that you listen effectively and the dilemma is simply this, every time you pray especially when you pray about something that's even halfway critical. There's always going to be two voices in your prayer. You ever seen the cartoon where the little guy's got an angel on one shoulder and a devil on the other shoulder. You see that. That's deep theology. Wow, where did you get that one?

Pastor Linn: 17:46 All right. So yeah. Angel One Shoulder. Dylan on the other shoulder, hey, you want news? When you're struggling with prayer, when you're trying to figure out what God saying and seem to be hearing another voice nine times out of ten it isn't Satan on the other shoulder, it's you. The biggest struggle, the thing that causes the most hassle for you and I hearing prayer is the struggle between what God wants to tell me and what I want God to do for me.

Pastor Linn: 18:18 See if this helps. So a while back I'm driving my car and I get to a stoplight, stoplight turns green. The lady in the car in front of me apparently had put her car in reverse because when the light turned green whoom, she came back and ran right into the front of my car. So we pull over to the side and we're waiting for the police to come. Lo and behold as we talk she's a Christian tells me about her church she goes to all of that, and I say to her, "Look, look, look there's not a lot of damage here. My guess is it's probably right at or under the deductible. You're not going to want to report this to insurance because that's just going to make your premiums go up. I'll tell you what I'll do, I'll go get an estimate on the car if it's under or about your deductible then I'll just let you pay me and I'll go take care of it and then we can keep the insurance out of it. That will help you because... oh that would be so wonderful. So sure enough I take my car down, I get the estimate. I call her up and said, "Here's what it is, it was lower than the deductible." I said, "Hey, if you could just get me a check in the next few days." She was a Christian remember that? She was a Christian. So I began to pray for my sister, just sayin'. And I want to tell you that as I prayed for my sister I heard clearly two voices. One voice said, "Linn you should call her Pastor, you should say to her pastor, 'hey I'm pastor Linn over at Cornerstone and I was thinking it would be great if you did a sermon in your church about honesty and thinking there's a great illustration you can use, you know, just off the top of my head about a car bumping. You know, a Christian and promising to pay. And you know, in the story you could like make the person who bumped the car you know, I don't know, some name like Mirriam or something, I don't know ---'" not the name, not the name.

Pastor Linn: 20:24 There was another voice that said, "Hey Linn, maybe you should consider forgiving this to which I said that's a dumb idea. That's a really bad idea because ... if I forgive this then I have to pay to fix my own car. She will never have learned her lesson about responsibility. And I'm deeply concerned about her growing in her faith and so that, that cannot be the right answer. Now don't try this on your own but because I have gone to seminary and because I've been in ministry for a lot of years I was finally able to discern that the voice that was telling me to call her pastor was probably me and the voice that was saying forgive her was probably god.

Pastor Linn: 21:24 Here's the problem. A lot of times it's not as clear as that. A lot of times those answers look really, really close together. And one of the struggles or prayer is to become so familiar with the voice of God that you can hear his voice better than you can hear your own and it only happens with practice. It only happens with people who have found their life on their knees and they've learned the master's voice.

Pastor Linn: 22:01 Isn't that true. Isn't it true that often when we pray we pray upside down prayers, that very often in prayer we spend an awful lot of time telling God what he needs to do for us instead of asking God what he wants to do in us. See it's that, it's that horrible boss at work and you're just like, God there is no way that me having a horrible boss could possibly be your will. So I'm just praying God would you make your name glorified, would you just show yourself to be powerful. A car wreck would suffice. All right, transfer transfer to South Dakota, South Dakota. Right? Don't we spend an awful lot of time instead of saying, hey God, I'm trying, I'm trying to hear from you. This didn't surprise you, you gave me this horrible boss. You allowed this to happen. What are you trying to do in me by giving me someone who's so unfair, so unjust, so hard. Isn't it true that we spend most of our prayer time telling God what he should do instead of listening to God about what he wants to do?

Pastor Linn: 23:24 You realize Jesus modeled this, right? Grab your bibles and go with me to Matthew, Matthew chapter 6 if you're not familiar. Just go to the back of your Bible, work to the left. A lot of you gonna to know this is what we call the Lord's Prayer. It's Matthew Chapter 6 starting in verse 9. Now watch, watch how Jesus starts this, are you ready? This then is how you should. Pray. Give God your Santa Claus list. Tell God everything you want him to do. That's not what he says. God is not Santa Claus without the red suit.

Pastor Linn: 24:09 This then is how you pray: Hallowed be your name. Which is simply saying you're the boss I'm not. You're bigger than me. You're stronger than me. You're smarter than me. I'm just going to say that right at the beginning. Hallowed be your name and ready? Here's the first phrase: Your kingdom come your will be done on earth as it is in heaven. You know Jesus says right out of the starting gate the first thing you ought to say is God what are you trying to do and what are you trying to use me to do in it. Your will be done. Not my will be done. And then Jesus models it for you and me. You remember the garden of Ghassemi. Here's Jesus on the last night of his life and he gets to prayer with God. And he says, "Hey God, this whole crucifixion thing, I'm thinking bad idea." Remember that? He does. So he's just, God look ... and think about this guys, think about this. If Jesus is 100 percent God and 100 percent man he knows what the nails are going to feel like, he's not guessing he knows what the nails are going to feel like before he feels a nail. He knows what a cat of nine tails will feel like, and maybe more importantly he knows what will happen to his heart when everybody who loves him turns his back. And he says that God, God look, like I'm just sayin' I'd like to opt for plan B. But what are the next words. Nevertheless not my will but your will which you ready, ready for this? Is a posture of listening, it's a posture and prayer that says, "Hey look, I, I told you what I was thinking but now I'm listening. What do you want to do?" And God's answer was I want to do a cross. Is it possible that one of the reasons that you and I don't hear from God like we should is because we've been holding one way conversations. We've been the yakker at the table and God's not been able to get a word in edgewise. And what would happen, what would happen in our lives if we simply turn to prayer on its head and said, "Look God, I'm not here to tell you what I want you to do. I'm here to listen to what you want me to do. We'd hear from God.

Pastor Linn: 26:39 There's a third way that the Holy Spirit works in our lives to speak into our lives. This third way is wise counsel. It's people who've gone further than us, who know things that we don't know, whose spiritual life is way way ahead of us. And it's coming to those who say, "Look, I've read scripture I can't find an answer for this in scripture. I'm going to tell you that I've prayed and either I'm not hearing anything or I can't quite come to which voice is the right voice. And so I'm just telling you here are my circumstances, what's going on. Would you speak into my life?"

Pastor Linn: 27:14 Matter of fact grab your bibles. Go with me again to proverbs. Proverbs are going to be right somewhere in the middle of your Bible. Job, Psalms, Proverbs. Proverbs chapter 12 verse 15, here's when it says: the way of fools seems right to them. It's like a good idea. Best way out of this mess. Everybody else is doing it. There is a way, the way of fools seems right to them but the wise listen to advice. Isn't it true, let's be honest, isn't it true that when we get to the hardest moments of our life and we go for advice we run to people we know will tell us what we want to hear. We go to people, we go oh no, no, no -- they'll understand. They'll, they'll see it from my perspective. Or here's the other thing we do. We go to people that don't even know us at all so that we can tell them our version of the story because then surely they'll agree with us. I guarantee you, I guarantee you, you've watched somebody getting ready to do something absolutely stupid and you've said why, why are you doing that? And you know what they say. They always say the same thing. Everybody said it's the right thing to do. And you want to go, "Everybody? Who's your everybody? Who, Who did you go to counseling for, Beavis and his friend, who is everybody? How did you come to that conclusion? There couldn't be a more horrible... And are you ready? But it seems right. And it's why Scripture says to the fool there's a way, there is a way, there is a way that seems the right way, it seems the most natural way.

Pastor Linn: 29:39 You want wise counsel, you want someone who's going to tell you what you need to hear instead of what you want to hear. Let me give you three qualifications for a wise counsel in your life. Number one. They need to be deeply spiritual. In other words their reference point for life has to be God and what God said. There is no reason for a Christian to go to a heathen to ask for counsel. But you go, well Linn what about money? What about if you want to go get some basic principles on interest rates and money, OK. Because I don't... who cares. Just don't go to someone who doesn't know your Jesus about anything that's really important. Because they won't have the same reference as you. My son came to me a couple of months ago and he said, "Dad, I'm trying to work this through." He said, "All my friends are telling me that this is how I should respond, this is what I should do and something in my heart just doesn't ring right with that." And so we explained the situation and I said, "Josh, what your heart's telling you right now it's dead on. It's dead on. Please don't do what your friends have said. Do this other. And he said, "Dad you're the first one, you're the first one who said to me do the hard thing, do the honorable thing. And I said, "Well Josh it's because your dad, your dad loves you. And more than anything else doesn't care if you make a profit in this, doesn't care if somebody criticizes, I don't care. I want you to be a godly man in it. You go to someone who is spiritual and that that's the marker of their life.

Pastor Linn: 31:24 Second thing. Second thing you look for in a wise counselor. You want someone who's been there and done that. Isn't it amazing how many people who are struggling in their marriage go to their friends who are struggling in their marriage. They say let me tell you about my wife and I know my wife is just as bad, throw her out, throw her out. Are you kidding me? I don't want advice from someone who can't figure it out. I don't want advice from someone who's getting ready to fail. Go to someone who's landed a remarkable marriage a God fearing married and you look at it and you go I don't even know if it's possible for me and my spouse to have that married I'm just telling you they are so far ahead of us they have landed this thing so much more. That's who I'm going to going to go ask about marriage. If I've got a habit in my life I'm not going to go to an addict. I'm going to go to someone who's put that behind them and has had 10 years of living in freedom beyond it and say, "How did you do that?" I don't want someone in the midst of the struggle. All they can do is described the struggle to me and a wise counsel is someone who's already gotten to where you want to get to.

Pastor Linn: 32:43 Third requirement. Third requirement for wise counsel, and again just a reminder we're saying that very often the Spirit speaks through wise counsel to our lives. But the third requirement is that they're willing to say the hard thing, they're not interested in saying the thing I want to hear, they're willing to say the thing I need to hear. Matter of fact a great counselor is someone who hopes for your best more than they hope for your friendship, is someone who loves you enough to say, "Look, I'm going to say the thing that it may jeopardize our friendship. You may never ask me for advice again but it's the thing you need to hear. It's the thing that has the greatest capacity to help you and move you along. And I'm willing to risk you being frustrated with me and not liking me anymore. Not because I'm picking a fight. Because I love you too much not to tell you that this is the next thing." How many people do you have like that in your life? It may be why it's hard to hear God, and how powerful how powerful would it be if you had even one person like that in your life. You might just hear God speaking through them being used by the Holy Spirit.

Pastor Linn: 34:24 Last one: circumstances. Sometimes, sometimes God speaks to you and me through circumstances. Here's what you need to know. Of all of these this is the least dependable. This is the one that is hardest to actually hear the voice. Here'a why, because no matter what the circumstance it's left to you and me to interpret it. Which means it has the most highly likely capacity to be off. Take this for instance. You lose your job. And one person says, "Oh no, no, no, no, I know why I lost my job. This is God trying to teach me Faith. I'm forced to stay in this moment, I'm supposed to pray. I'm supposed to wait on the Lord to provide the new job. This is, this is a lesson in my life." Somebody else says, "No, no, no. The reason I lost my job is because God's trying to move me to Ohio." Someone else says, "No, no, no, the reason you lost your job is because God's not watching and he's absent." You realize that circumstances are the worst way to try to hear the voice of God because it's utterly dependent upon your interpretation of the circumstances. But there are, there are moments that God speaks through circumstance, that God says, "Look, I'm going to rattle your cage. I'm going to rip up your nest. I'm going to do something in your life because if I didn't do it you wouldn't move." And so there are moments when God speaks to us through circumstances. But here's what you need to know, a little bit of guide. We already have heard that the heart of God is always to win people who don't know him and to make more mature the people who do. Which means that when your circumstances happen there is a chance it doesn't have anything to do with you. It could be that there's someone in proximity to you that needs your Jesus and God saying, "Hey, I'm going to do this in your life it's going to be hard. It's going to be, it's going to be tough. It's going to be scary but I want that person who hasn't come to faith to watch what a real believer does in hard times so that they'll be intrigued by the Savior." So it's possible that it's God bringing others to himself or secondly it's about growing you up and teaching you a lesson that you would not learn any other way which then the question becomes God what are you doing in my circumstances in my life.

Pastor Linn: 36:40 Here's the dilemma. More often than not in our lives we get to the Bible and we go, it's got big words. I'm just telling you. And it's kind of hard to understand. And so I, I got to be honest, I don't, I don't spend a whole lot of time there and guys ready for this? I said 70 percent of what you need to know is here. You're giving away 70 percent of God speaking to you when you give away this box. If prayer, and I'm just making the numbers up, but if prayer is 20 percent. And if wise counsel's another 9 you realize you're at 99 percent. This ought to be the last box. But we say, man the Bible is hard to understand and it takes a lot of work and so I'm not doing that. And this is just always so frustrating and they always say things I ... I like people that agree with me and you ready for this? So we live most of our lives trying to hear God in the midst of our circumstances. The 1 percent box and we try to navigate as best we can, we do what feels right to us. We respond to the moment in whatever way seems to be good and what everybody else... And then when this doesn't work but only, you ready? Only after this is really, really failing then we jump to the second box and we pray and we go, God where are you and why aren't you speaking? No wonder, no wonder for some of us it's been a long time since we've heard the voice of God.

Pastor Linn: 38:29 And guys you heard me say, the order is huge that you and I should always start with scripture. That you and I should always then move to prayer, that you and I should then seek wise counsel and only as the last event begin to check out circumstances in our lives.

Pastor Linn: 39:02 What if, what if for the next 30 days just till we get to Experiencing God thing done you and I purposed in our lives to hear from God in a more powerful way than we ever have before. What would you do with your bible study? What would it mean to just take it up one notch. Five minutes a day in devotions. Some of us that are doing the workbook, you're already doing that. So what would it mean to maybe even... would you join a small group? Would you go to a small church? Would you go to a men's Bible study, a women's. But would you come to the mine, would you just be more faithful in your attendance? I don't know what it means but what would it mean to just say, "God I want to hear from you so I'm going to, I'm going to put myself more into the word for 30 days." What would happen if for the next four weeks we just said, "Hey God, I'm going to do a whole lot less telling and a whole lot more listening when I pray, that I'm just going to even sit in silence a moment and say, God I just need to hear from you. What do you want me to do with that boss? How do you want me to respond to that neighbor? God I've got a, I've got a sin issue in my life. What do you what do you want me to do now."

Pastor Linn: 40:22 What if we found one person. One person who's way ahead of us in their spiritual walk. One person who we look at and go, Man if I could just be anywhere close to the believer they are. And what if you and I bought him a cup of coffee and said, "Look, I just want to ask you one question about my life, that's all I want. Would you, would you speak into one thing in my life in the next 30 days. And what if you and I reexamined our circumstances and said, "God, help me to hear. Help me to hear how this makes you famous. Help me to hear how this is growing me up more than anything else. I want you to speak." If you and I did that we'd roll a lot fewer gutter balls. We'd be getting that ball much closer to center if we were hearing from and listening to God.

Pastor Linn: 41:28 So as we got ready to do this the some of the guys came to me and said hey hey Linn, at the end of the sermon you got to roll that ball for a strike. I go, Dude, this could be bad. So here's what you got. You got to help me here. You have got to imagine no matter what happens next that these pins fly and they cascade and all tumbled to the ground. OK. As we hear from God. Not bad for a preacher. Let's pray.

Pastor Linn: 42:21 Hey dear Lord Jesus, if we were honest today we want to hear. So we're just going to ask, would you speak to us? And here's what we're going to do to get ready. We're going to get into our Bibles more than we're in our Bibles right now. We're going to let the Holy Spirit use the words you wrote on paper to speak to us. To teach us and correct us and train us. God, we're going to, we're going to pray more and God maybe just even a few minutes more than we've been praying. But we're going to do a whole lot more listening and a whole lot less telling. And God we're going to, we're going to invite the voice of at least one person who's further than us, stronger than us in their faith. And we're just going to say, "Would you, would you just speak into my life. Help me. help me understand how you did that?" And that the Holy Spirit would use their words to guide and instruct us. And then God we're going to look for you in our circumstances. But we're going to look with new eyes, new eyes that say, hey this isn't about comfort. It's not about convenience. This is about God being famous. And is there anybody around me that God's trying to reach because of my circumstances? Is this a lesson I would have learned no other way in my life and so God brought me some tough times, some hard times to teach me about him? Because that would be you speaking. So hear our prayer. Speak to us.

Pastor Linn: 44:01 In Jesus name. Amen.

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