40 Years Too Soon

We must trust in god and let things unfold in His timing

Linn Winters
Jul 9, 2017    40m
There is a tension between "letting go and letting God" and taking action on our own. Pastor Linn tells us to trust in God and to pray for guidance. 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.

Pastor Linn: 00:44 Hey Cornerstone how are you? OK. So I'm just going to say, because I am so jazzed to be back right now. I've been on vacation. My batteries are recharged. I am full of energy. I can't wait to beat the snot out of you and no, I'm teasing. Man I'm raring and good to go and I just I love being back and being part of just everything God's doing in this place right now. And so. . . .hang on. We're going to see what God does with us.

Pastor Linn: 01:12 If you've been around here for a while you know that we're in the midst of trying to figure out how to get a loan and to build some buildings, expand because our services are full, and this has been a long process. And it's been hard to communicate with you because we've had so many times where we'll be talking to an institution, to a bank, to a lending group and we get right to the edge and everything is looking great and then it just kind of falls apart at the end. And so to come to you and say, "Hey guys, it's really good!" and "We're almost there!" "Oh never mind." "Oh man it's amazing!" "Yeah we're going to get to a couple of weeks." "Oh it fell apart." You know it's just been it's been a tough journey so far. So all of that to say we're really close. Again. And so we've got a group that's talking about lending us some money to be able to go forward project it would be enough for us to go and tackle most of the first phase together. We're excited about that. The challenge right now is is that our appraisal has to come in really strong. And so that's got to happen in order for everything to go the right direction.

Pastor Linn: 02:25 Let me explain to you why this has been such a big journey and why it's been hard. It's not our finances, man, our finances are great. You guys have been faithful like crazy. What it really is, is it's kind of the equity deal. So banks when they come us us they go, "Look, what do we do if the place falls apart? I mean what if, what if, the whole thing closes down tomorrow? And we have to repossess the property and sell it?" And we go, "Guys, that's not going to happen. Are you kidding? The momentum that we've got, what's going on, that's not closing tomorrow." And they go, "No, no, no, no, we're bankers. So we have to ask that question. What if we end up with the buildings? And here's the problem. You're a church and you're big. So the question is who buys the property if we get it back?" And they say, "Hey, there's Central Christian over there. But they've already got buildings. And there's Chandler Christian right there. But they've already got buildings. And once you get past those two churches, the size of the next church on the list is really small. So if we ended up with the buildings who would buy them from the bank? And the answer is no one because you're a church and you're really big."

Pastor Linn: 03:30 And so this has been the hurdle that has been dead front and center in the conversation as we're going. So again guys we've got a group. They're saying that they're willing to loan to us. The appraisals got to come in strong. So what I thought we would do today is we would pray. I just don't know anything better to do in a moment like this then to say, "Hey God this is your plan. It's your will. If you want it, then you do it right on our behalf." So I just thought we'd stand together today and that we would just spend a moment in prayer. Honestly, I'm going to ask you for the next couple weeks, every time you drive by the church, every time you just think about the church, you just drop a little prayer.

Pastor Linn: 04:06 Say, "Hey God, you know what you're doing. We want to be part of what you're doing. If it's your will help that appraisal to be really strong." All right here's what I ask you to do. I'm going ask us to hold hands. And I know, I know, I know, and I know some of the guys in the room right now you're freaking out your going, "Look I don't hold hands with dudes." I get it, I get it, but it's ok during prayer. See all the rules are suspended during prayer. With the exception if he starts rubbing your hand you can let go. OK. All bets are off. OK. All right, all right, let's pray, here we go.

Pastor Linn: 04:39 Hey dearest Lord Jesus, now you know our hearts. You know that our ache is absolutely to make you famous to be able to help Christians grow and become stronger in their walk and follow you and God we just honestly need more seats. We need rooms to hold classes in. And so God we're coming to a moment when men are going to consider whether or not to give us a loan. And right now they're telling us it is dependent on an appraisal. So God we're just going to give that to you. Because we don't want to run ahead of you. We don't want to do anything that you're not doing and we're just going to put that in your lap and say God whatever you have for us would you simply do that. Grant us favor with the bank or have them turn us down. That's your plan. And that's what we want to do. And so we pray this in your precious name. Amen. Amen. Thank you guys. Grab a seat. Yeah. So now I've got to give you a report in a couple of weeks.

Pastor Linn: 05:35 All right. So, we're starting a brand new series. It's out of the book of Exodus and guys the worst part about this series is that it's only four weeks, which means you and I are only going to be able to, like, get some highlights through this book. And I hate that because the reality is we could spend twice as long and we wouldn't even come close to grabbing the richness that's inside of this book. So here's what I want to ask you to do so we all get a little bit more out of it. I know that everybody in the room does daily devotions, right? Yeah. OK. So, in your daily devotions I'm going to ask you to jump out of wherever you're at right now for the next 30 days. Would you just read one chapter each day out of the book of Exodus? That's going to keep you tracking with us and all of a sudden we get into church and we start talking, then you're going to go, "Aw man." And the story is going to come alive and you're going to see a depth to it that you didn't get the first time through. And guys I'm just going to tell you it's going to enhance the whole experience for us. So would you, would you, would you, would you, in your daily devotions just read one chapter of Exodus for the next 30 days. It will keep you up to pace. And we're going to get a ton more out of this conversation than if we didn't.

Pastor Linn: 06:42 All right. Exodus is an interesting book. It's actually a chronicle of Israel, the children of Israel, leaving slavery in Egypt and then God taking them to the Promised Land. It's a chronicle of that physical leaving and then journey to this new place that God had for him. Here's the interesting thing. That although the story is about physical historical events, theologians almost unanimously agree that there is a deeper story going on in the book of Exodus. That it actually chronicles our Christian walk, that when you read about Egypt, it's actually identifying with the moment you and I had in life before Jesus, when we were in slavery ourselves to sin. And this coming out process and then moving toward the Promised Land, moving toward the life that Jesus intended for us, and everything that it takes to go along that journey. And if you'll begin to filter these conversations through that lens and you go, "Oh my goodness, those people are just like me in their struggles. Those struggles are my struggles. And the very things that caused them to hesitate, are the things that cause me to hesitate and the the things that cause them to pause and be, I've been in that moment in my own life." And you and I are going to have the opportunity to say what does it mean to truly complete the journey.

Pastor Linn: 08:13 Here's what's interesting. If this is true. You realize, in the story that we're about to do, the children of Israel make some mistakes. They spend 40 years in the wilderness. 40 years after they've left the life of sin, the life of slavery and yet 40 years not making it into the Christian walk they're supposed to have. And the interesting thing is how many Christians in the church get stuck in the wilderness themselves. Not living like they did before Jesus but not experiencing what it's like to be in Jesus and follow him completely. And you and I are going to see a lot of ourselves in the next four weeks. So we're starting today with a conversation about God's will.

Pastor Linn: 08:57 And isn't it true, and if you've been here a while you would know that we've had this discussion together, that often God doesn't reveal his complete will to us. Instead what most often happens God comes he says, "OK, I want you to do that next." And then you and I take a step of obedience we go, "Wow that was a big decision. It was a lot of sacrifice but OK I'll give you that next." And then rather than telling us what's going to happen and where we're going God simply says, "OK let's do this one next." And then we take tests and then God moves us to the next piece. And typically we get frustrated and we go, "Hey wait, wait, wait, wait, wait. Could you just tell me where this is all going to end up? Could you tell me what's the end game because here's a little, hold on, if I knew where you were taking my life and if I knew how this was going to turn out I could approve it. And I would be so much more motivated to take some of these intervening steps because here's what I've got to tell you. Some of these are scary. Some of these are hugely sacrificial. But if I knew where we were going, I bet this would be easier." And God says, "Not a chance. Not a chance. Because here's the deal. Where I'm taking you, in your infantile faith right now, in your immaturity, you would look at what I'm about to do with you, and although it's amazing, and although it's incredible, you would say there is no way. There is no way that I'll ever climb that mountain. I'll never get to that in my Christian life." And so God says, "Here's what we're going to do. It's kind of like climbing a ladder, we're just going to do wrung after wrung after wrung, and then at some moment when you pause you'll be surprised at how far I've taken you."

Pastor Linn: 10:41 All that said, even though most often God doesn't necessarily tell us where we're going. There are moments when you kind of get a sense of it, aren't there? I mean aren't there are moments when you go, "No, no, no, no. I'm I'm pretty sure that this is part of God's plan for me." It's the single gal who says, "Look I'm, I'm just telling you the way that God's wired me, the way that I'm built, how much I hate to be alone, I'm just guessing and I think I'm pretty right, that God intends for me to get married someday. So here's what I'm thinking, God if you would just line up the twenty five potential candidates. I could do some speed dating right now. We could narrow it down to a field of three and we'll just see where it goes." Right? This is, this is the person who says, "Hey, I've got a child who's living in rebellion. And I'm just pretty sure that the heart of God, the intent of God, is not for my child to spend the rest of their life running away from him. That somewhere in the plan of God they're going to get right. They're going to turn this thing around. And I'm pretty sure that's what God is hoping for and intending." It's the person who says, "Hey, I know, I know, I know. I know my finances are disastrous. I get it. Matter of fact, the truth is, part of the reason we're here is because I've made some really poor decisions. I've kind of emotionally medicated and numbed myself by buying things that make me happy in moments of sadness and depression and I get it, I get it. But I also get that God probably wants me to be more fiscally sound in a better spot. And so I'm there. I'm just waiting for God to get to it. I'm just waiting for God to start making some progress in my life toward what I'm pretty confident is his goal for me. The thing he wants for me. But it feels like God's not on board."

Pastor Linn: 12:39 And isn't it true? Think about this. Isn't it true that in the moments, when we think we know what God is supposed to do or what God is intending, and when God isn't doing it either as fast as we want him to or the way we think he ought to. "God if you would just kill my enemy." That in those moments we become the most frustrated with God and our inclination isn't it, isn't it our inclination to just reach in and give it a little push. Just kind of like give God a nudge and if I can just help God get it going a little bit then maybe he can take it from there. And here's we're going to discover today. That every time you and I reach into the will of God and place our hand on it. We screw it up. We mess it up. And even if we do it with the best intention, even if we do it in order to help him, that when I place my hand in, even if I was right about what he was, even if I was supposed to get married, even if I was. My hand becomes a problem.

Pastor Linn: 13:47 And today we're going to take a look at the life of a guy by the name of Moses who's just like us. He's in a moment where he says, "Hey I'm pretty sure I know what God supposed to be doing. My people are living in slavery. I think it's pretty obvious that God wants to rescue them and free them. I just don't get when? When is God going to do something about it and how is he going to do it because Egypt looks so strong and so powerful?" And in that moment, you ready, he puts his hand in. And the results are disastrous. And you and I have the opportunity to watch his mistakes and learn from them. And to live differently than he did.

Pastor Linn: 14:28 So grab your bibles. It's in Exodus Chapter 2. This is going be the easiest series you're going to have to find our place in the Bible because Exodus is the second book of the Bible. So you're literally going to go to the front cover and then start working to the right. It's Exodus Chapter 2. We're going to start in Verse 11. Let me set us up, just a second for what's happening here. So, Joseph, you've heard the story of Joseph, Joseph is despised by his brothers. They're jealous of his success. They beat him up and they sell him into slavery. He ends up in slavery in Egypt. Through God's providence and God's grace to Joseph he literally is falsely accused thrown in prison and yet God continues to just elevate him, elevate him, elevate him, give him raises to the point that he finds himself being the number two guy in the nation of Egypt. Pharaoh literally just says, "Whatever that guy says, do that." I mean it's just a remarkable, remarkable story. The thing that helps move Joseph through the ranks is that there is a worldwide famine going on. And Joseph is the guy who through God's wisdom and, to him, comes up with a plan to not only spare Egypt, but to prosper Egypt. And so he's elevated the position. He ends up then contacting his brothers and his parents and saying, ""Hey look, this famine that's going on, it's going to be here for a while. Why don't you move down to Egypt and I'll take care of you?" And sure enough all of Israel moves down to Egypt, gotta to remember, it is just a small clan at this time. And the Egyptians literally give them the best section of the country. The land of Goshen. And they're there and they're thriving and their businesses are going the right direction. And what started out as a moment becomes a lifetime because it's, it's too prosperous to move.

Pastor Linn: 16:23 And so now when we pick up the story in Exodus it's four hundred years later. They've never gone back to the Promised Land. And slowly but surely all of their rights have been eroded and now they are literally slaves to the Egyptians. There comes a moment when the Egyptians look and go, "Hey these Jews, they're multiplying so fast they're literally going to be a majority of them and a minority of us. They could overthrow the country. So the plan is we're going to kill all the Hebrew male children that are born. And so a decree goes out through the land that if you give birth to a boy you have to hand him over to a soldier who will then promptly execute him. It's during this period of time that Moses is born. And Moses's mother can't bring her heart to take her newborn child and hand him to a soldier and so she hides him in the house. But like all children the older he gets the louder he gets. And so finally she faces the dilemma that says if I keep him here eventually it will become known. And then our whole family, our whole family will be in jeopardy and probably killed. And so she makes the heartbreaking decision. She takes little baby Moses and sticks him in a basket, kind of a boat kind of thing, sticks him on the Nile and pushes him off and says, "God, it's in your hands now." And by coincidence that basket floats straight down the Nile runs into a bunch of reeds right next to where Pharaoh's daughter is taking a bath. She sends over one of her handmaids to find out what the little baby crying in the bushes is all about. And they bring him back and immediately she knows it's a Hebrew baby.

Pastor Linn: 18:16 How does she know as a Hebrew baby? What did Jews do on the eighth day after child a male child is born? Circumcision. So she knows immediately this is one of the Hebrews. And despite that, she takes Moses in and here's the interesting part. Guess who gives Moses his name? Pharaoh's daughter. That's not the name his mother gave him. It's the name that Moses's daughter, I mean the Pharaoh's daughter gave him. She calls him Moses because she took him out of the water. And she takes him into the Pharaoh's palace. She raises him as if he was her son and Moses begins to move up the ranks there in Egypt.

Pastor Linn: 18:52 Here's the problem. He's never allowed to forget that he's a Hebrew. Don't you believe that every one of those teenage kids growing up with them said, "Hey you know. You're really not an Egyptian." Don't you know that on every occasion when there was any level of conflict someone said, "Hey your voice doesn't matter because you're not really one of us." And so he begins to identify with his own people and he begins to cry out to God and say, "God when, when are you going to rescue him?" He says, "I think I've got an idea that, that is your will. That is your plan to not just leave us here in slavery forever. But when are you going to do it and how? Cause Egypt is the most powerful country in the world. So God let's start something." And one day he walks out. He sees an Egyptian beating a Hebrew and in absolute frustration he says, "OK God." And he puts his hand in. The very thing you and I have been tempted to do in our own lives.

Pastor Linn: 19:49 Here we go. It's Exodus Chapter 2 starting at Verse 11. One day after Moses had grown up he went out to where his own people were and watched them at their hard labor. He saw an Egyptian beating a Hebrew. One of his own people, Verse 12. Looking this way and that to make sure that no one was seeing him he killed the Egyptians and hid him in the sand. The next day he went out and he saw two Hebrews fighting and he said to the one that was clearly in the wrong, "Why are you hitting your fellow Hebrew? Why are you beating up on your brother?" And the man said to him, "Who made you a ruler and a judge over us? Are you thinking of killing me as you killed the Egyptian?" Then Moses was afraid and he thought what I did must have become public. Somebody took an iphone, recorded it, Facebook and...

Pastor Linn: 20:41 When Pharaoh heard of this he tried to kill Moses. But Moses fled from Pharaoh and went to live in Midian where he sat down by a well. Now a priest of Midian had seven daughters and they came to draw water and to fill the troughs with water to water their father's flock. Some shepherds came along and drove them away. But Moses got up and came to their rescue and watered their flock. When the girls returned, Reuel, their father he asked them, "Why are you returned so early?" So apparently this happened everyday. Everyday these girls would go out to water the flock. Everyday the male shepherds would run them up and so they were always the last to be able to water their herds. They answered, "An Egyptian rescued us from the shepherds. He even drew water for us and watered the flock." "And where is he?" Reuel asked his daughters. "Why did you leave him? Invite him to have something to eat." Moses agreed to stay with the man who gave his daughter, Zipporah, to Moses in marriage. So Zipporah gave birth to a son and Moses named him Gershom saying, "I have become a foreigner. In a foreign land."

Pastor Linn: 21:50 Now, we're going to spend most of our time today talking about what Moses decides to do to the Egyptians and why he decided to do that. I wanted to read the part about him getting married and having a child because I think there is huge information in what he names his son. His first born son. Gershom. Foreigner. Alien. Can you imagine that your dad goes, "Hey, OK. Outcast, that's your name. Come here Outscast, you're about to get a whooping." I mean that would just hang on you all your life.

Pastor Linn: 22:27 Why does Moses do that? And I believe it's because Moses is painfully aware there was a moment. There was a moment when I was pretty sure of what God was doing and God wasn't being as active as I wanted him to be and he wasn't doing it as quickly as I wanted him to do it and I couldn't see any plan unfolding. And in that moment of frustration I put my hand in and I screwed it up and now, you ready? I'm condemned to live as a foreigner. I'm not living where I should be living. I'm not doing what I should be doing because I put my hand in when I thought I knew what God was doing. I think it's a powerful moment.

Pastor Linn: 23:07 What do we learn from Moses? First lesson, you ready? It is possible to do the right thing at exactly the wrong time? Let me say that again. It's possible to do the right thing at exactly the wrong time? And what you need to know is, is that God's will always has a when. See God's not just going, "Hey this is where we're going." He says, "This is when we're going." And in that moment Moses becomes impatient, right? Moses goes, "I think I know what God's plan is. I think he's going to free our people. I just don't see him being active. It's been four hundred years."

Pastor Linn: 23:53 Now think about this in, his frustration, you realize he misses the fact that his very birth is the hand of God in motion. And yet he becomes impatient with God. He goes, "God when? When are you going to do something?" And isn't it true that you and I have often felt the same way? That we go, "I think I know what God's doing. I think I'm supposed to go to school. I just don't have any scholarship. So when?" , "I think I'm supposed to get married but nobody's dating me. So when?"

Pastor Linn: 24:30 I had a couple come to me years ago and they said, "Hey, our hearts are absolutely broken. Can we meet with you?" and I said, "Sure, lets go to lunch. We'll spend some time." So we went out to lunch. I said, "What's the deal?" and they said, "Look. Just based on how he's wired and based on how she's wired, we're just telling you we believe we're supposed to be parents. We believe we're supposed to have kids. I mean, I just, we can't believe that God would have made us the way made us, given us the aches of our hearts that he's given us, and then not have us have kids. And I'm just telling you we've been trying and we've been trying and we've been trying. No kids." Here was my reply. I said, "Look, I'm not God. So I don't get to tell you for sure what this answer is. But I would affirm with you. Just looking at you, just looking at her, and just say to you. My guess is it's pretty reasonable to think that God has kids in your future. I just don't know how. And I don't know when. Would you consider saying to God, 'God you know what we're hoping for but we're going to let you have the timing. We're going to let you decide when." Anyway you want to guess how many kids they have today? 4. Didn't know when to stop. Right? 4. They ain't going, "Hey God bring some more. 4."

Pastor Linn: 25:58 Here's the part I want to get at. What if they had gotten to that answer earlier? What if they had said, "Hey God we think we know where you're taking us. We think we know what you're doing. But instead of demanding that you do it when we want to do it, we're going to let you do it when you want to do it." How much frustration with God, how much anxiety in their hearts, would they have avoided? If they had simply understood that God not only has whats, he has whens. You get. You get that there are moments when the right thing at the wrong time is disastrous. Which is why you and I have got to trust God for the right time because the right thing done at the wrong time can make a real mess of things.

Pastor Linn: 26:50 I had some parents who came to me and their son was in just absolute rebellion. And they said, "Linn, we don't know what to do because it's been going on for years. So every time he comes over to our house we find a way to preach to him. So somehow whatever it is, whatever the conversation that we're having, we find a way to put Jesus in it. We'll go, 'Oh enchiladas. Well that reminds me of Jesus.' And then we start talking about Jesus and there's a look. The problem is he's not only coming over less. He's getting alienated from us but he's getting alienated from God. So what do we do? Because we're pretty sure that God wants our son living for him." And I said, "Have you ever considered shutting up?" He said, "What? No, no, no, no, you don't understand. We may be the only Christian voices in his life." So I said, "I know, I know. So have you ever considered shutting up until God tells you when to speak? Because you realize that what you're doing right now? You're turning him off. And then here's what the dad said to me. "Yeah but I'm telling him the truth."

Pastor Linn: 28:01 "Yeah you're telling him the truth right out of your family." I said, "What if you just let God tell you when to say something?" And they said, "Well what would that look like?" And I said, "Alright, what if, what if you wait till his life starts to fall apart? That would be a great moment to talk to him about God. Right? Because here's, here's the deal. Scripture says whoever the Lord loves he spanks. So if his life begins to fall apart you're pretty sure it's a spanking and if it's a spanking guess who it's from? That'd be a great time to talk to him. Or, or, or. what if you waited till the moment when you could tell his heart was soft? Because here's the deal. The only way your son's heart's going to get soft is if the Holy Spirit begins to work on him. And if a Holy Spirit working on that would probably mean this is when God talking to him and you could join the conversation. But you keep talking right now. The right thing done at the wrong time can be really ugly and you may just lose your son."

Pastor Linn: 29:07 Let me ask a question. What would God do with you? What would God do in the circumstances of your life right now? If instead of you trying to help him and manipulate him and get him to do it when you want him to do it you simply said, "Hey God, look I'm going to trust you with my marriage. I'm going to give you my spouse. I'm going to trust you with my employment right now and you couldn't do what you're going to do when you want to do it."

Pastor Linn: 29:40 Here's something interesting, think about this. When Moses puts his hand in because he's frustrated with God over the when he ends up becoming an outlaw. He spends the next 40 years on the backside of the desert. If he would have exhibited some patience said, "God I don't know when but I'm going to trust you for when." If he had stayed in the palace when would God have used Moses to free the Children of Israel? I don't know? But I'm guessing quicker than 40 years. See I'm guessing his hand trying to make when now actually makes when a delay.

Pastor Linn: 30:22 Second thing. It is possible to do the wrong thing in an effort to get a good result. It's possible to do something that's completely, we go, "No, no, no, I get it it's wrong. But I'm just telling you I'm doing it for a good reason. I'm trying, I'm trying to get a good thing to happen by doing you know, I know, something that I probably shouldn't do." In the story of Moses is obvious right? He's going, "Hey I'm going to free the children of Israel by murdering a guy. That's my plan. I'm going to do a crummy thing hoping to have a good result on the other side." And I know, I know you're going, "Linn, that's just obvious. I'm just telling you as frustrated as I've ever been with God as many times as I've been impatiently I've never murdered I mean I wouldn't do that."

Pastor Linn: 31:13 I guarantee you if you sat down and talked to Moses he could justify it. I guarantee you if you said to him, "What were you thinking?" he'd say, "No no no. I was just thinking look it's been 400 years. No one, not God, not the Israelites, no one is doing anything. So I better do something really, really big. Look, look, look look, if they had started an investigation to find out if the Russians had colluded in the election of Pharaoh I would have been OK. But no one was doing anything. So someone had to do something and so here's what I thought. I'll literally play my biggest card. I'll kill who the dude. I'll sever all ties with the Egyptians. I'll put all of my cookies in with the Hebrews. They'll look and say, 'Man this guy has given everything to the cause it'll insight their courage. We'll all revolt.' It'll turn in a day." See I guarantee you. Moses could have justified doing the wrong thing because he was doing that for what he thought was the right reason.

Pastor Linn: 32:31 And you and I if we're not careful do exactly that. See it's the young gal who's dating a guy and she would just say, "I'm pretty sure I think God wants us together. I love him." Can I just get a, you know what I love him is code for? I'm getting ready to do something really stupid. That's what I love him is code for. It's just, "Why do you stay with him after he's cheats 14 times?" "I love him." "OK." "I think I know what God's will is. I think we're supposed to be together but he's pressuring me to get physical. And I know, I know, I know, I know, I know. I know that's not biblical and the Bible says we have to wait till marriage. But I think he's going to lose interest. There are plenty of other places for him to go. So I'm going to give in and be physical with him in order to make sure he ends up with me. I'm going to do something I know I shouldn't in order to do something that's good."

Pastor Linn: 33:37 It's the guy who lies on his resume. He says, "Look I'm responsible to take care of my family. I mean that's a God given duty on my part and I'm not getting offers because here's the deal. I've got a decent resume. I just don't have a great resume. And so I put my resume in and it's one of hundreds. So. If I were to write a paragraph about something that I haven't necessarily done but it would get noticed. If I were just to include and embellish and exaggerate a few things to get me the second look. And I know it's not necessarily the right thing to do. But I'm doing it to do the right thing.

Pastor Linn: 34:23 Here's what you need to know. It is never right to do something wrong even in attempt to do something right. And if you're not careful you'll say, "God look this is where I think we're supposed to go and I can't figure out how you're going to get me there. So I'm going to come up with my own how. I'm going, I'm going to move the ball forward that you seem to be so inept at making progress with and you and I will justify doing something wrong in order to do something we think is good."

Pastor Linn: 35:06 Now guys here's the deal. I get, I get that this isn't as cut and dry as I may make it sound. There, there are some moments when it is a little bit hard to go, "God you know, do I put my hand in? Do I not put my hand in?" Here is the guiding principle. You and I are to cooperate with God but never to manipulate God. ,In other words when God does call and when we're supposed to, there, it's probably going to involve some work. There's probably some things you and I are going to have to do but that's cooperating with God and it can never turn into manipulating God because you and I don't get that privilege deciding when or how it gets done.

Pastor Linn: 35:50 Some of you know this, that my granddaughter from Kenya came to live with us recently. That was a big decision. Lisa and I knew that something needed to change in this little girl's life. And so we kind of had a what. Something's got to get different for her. But man the when and the how got real hard. And so we finally just said, "Hey, in order for her to have a different chance and a different future, maybe she should come live with us." And guys I'm just telling you could argue on both sides of the wind. You could say, "Boy, right now you got to get her out of what's going on right now. You got to do that." or you could have said, "Hey you know what maybe a couple of years would make more sense when she's a little bit older." You could have argued either side of the what. You could have said, "Hey do we keep sending money or do we bring her here?" But can I tell you that every day since Catalina's come to our home we've prayed. And we just said, "Hey God, this can't be us putting our hand in. And so if we had gotten the when wrong you'd tell us. We will buy a ticket that day and we will send her back. If, if, if the what of living with us isn't what you had in mind, you let us know. We'll withdraw the offer." And the way things are going I'm going to be living with a lot of pink for a long time. But you understand we hold God's plan with an open hand in saying, "God, this has got to be your win. And this has got to be your how and not ours."

Pastor Linn: 37:52 What would have happened if Moses had done that? What would have happened if Moses had said, "God, I'm frustrated with you and I wish it was now." And I wish I could, you know, and what if he had said, "Hey God, I'm just going to trust you." You realize the story would've been totally different. Chances are he would have been elevated. Chances are he would have taken the pen and written a decree and the children of Israel would have been free. You and I will never know that story because Moses put his hand in.

Pastor Linn: 38:29 Put your hand in you'll change the story. But how fun would it be if you and I today had the courage to sit down and say, "God, look, look, look, I know my kids in rebellion. And I, I sense that you're wanting to recover. I have no idea where that job comes from. I got a feeling you've got one plan. But I'm not going to decide when and I'm not going to decide how. I'm going to let you do that. And the question is how incredible would the story be if you and I let him write it instead of sticking our hands in?

Pastor Linn: 38:29 Let's pray.

Pastor Linn: 39:10 Hey dear Lord Jesus. God this, this story of Moses hits right at home because we've, we've all lived in this moment. We've all said, "Hey God, when? When? It seems pretty obvious what needs to happen, so, when, when is it going to happen? And how? How do we get to there from here without my help?" And we've all been tempted to put our hands in and give you a nudge. God, remind us today that our hands are unneeded. And more often than not our hands make a mess. So God teach us to cooperate with you, just never to manipulate you. And God look, I don't know who this message was for today. But my guess is there are some of us in this room right now saying, "I know exactly which area of my life God's asking me to take my hand out of and trust him for when. And trust him for how." Help us do that. And this I pray in Jesus name. Amen.

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