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A Journey He Didn't Choose Sermon Only Caleb Baker June 26, 2022

A Journey He Didn't Choose Sermon Only
Caleb Baker June 26, 2022

A Journey He Didn't Choose Full Service Caleb Baker June 26, 2022

A Journey He Didn't Choose Full Service
Caleb Baker June 26, 2022

Well, welcome to central. If you're here with me in this room or watching from wherever you're watching from, we are so glad that you're with us today. Thanks so much for being here. Uh, if you have a Bible, you turn to Genesis chapter 50, the last chapter in the book of Genesis is where we're gonna be spending our time. We're gonna be jumping in around a little bit today, but that'll be where we are the most, uh, as we continue on in this traveling. I would love to offer up a word of prayer and ask that God might meet us here and speak to us, and then we'll jump in. So let's pray together. God, we're thankful for, uh, these moments that we have together in your word. And as we've, uh, sang songs together, God, and, and taking communion together, I believe that we are continuing in worship now, as we learn from your word. And so, uh, we, we mean those words that we sang that were overtaken by your mercy. We're overwhelmed by the grace that you've given us God. And so we just pray that you'll continue that now that by your holy spirit power, uh, that you'll speak clearly to us and meet us here in this place. We love you so much. We pray this in Jesus name and everybody said, amen. Amen. I have a theory, I think, uh, that some of us think that following God is actually just trying to find a consistent framework for life's biggest questions. And we have a lot of questions, right? Like there, there are these things that, that rattle around in our heads that keep us up at night that make our heads hurt. And, uh, they're really, really big, complicated questions. Like what happens after we die? And we spend so much time thinking about this and worrying about this, or what is this idea of consciousness or when we talk about our soul, what are we talking about? What is your soul, or where is your soul, or, or why do bad things happen to good people? Or why do good things happen to bad people, right? Like, or, or can, can enough money make me happy? Like, I, I know that we all know no money. Can't make you happy, but. But can enough money make me happy? Like, can I try, you know, cause I've seen people on jet skis and they seem much happier than me. And so you're gonna have to do some explaining when you say money can't buy me. Happiness. Does God care about me? Is God real? does God still work and move and profound ways. What's my purpose. What's my meaning in all this, there's all these big questions. And a lot of times these questions tend to come back to us. Like, why is this thing happening to me or not happening to me? Why is this thing happening to my loved ones? Why am I not getting that promotion? Why, why is this next life stage not happening as quick as I think that it should, maybe you're single in here and you're like, man, I'm ready to step into this new thing. I'm ready for. I'm ready to find a partner to do life with God. What is taking you so long? What are you waiting on? I've asked this question so many times, like, why are there like committed, responsible, amazing, married people that aren't able to have kids, but like two 16 year olds can accidentally get pregnant? Like how does that make sense? we have all these questions. And I think that for some of us following God or coming to church or having some sort of faith really boils down to just trying to find answers to these questions, like all we need God for is to try to make sense of all of these crazy things that are happening around us. That that's my theory. I think in our culture, this idea of God or being a Christian or following Jesus has become a worldview. it's become a, it's become a religious box that we put things in. It's become an operating system or a framework. We have questions and we want answers. But following Jesus, isn't about getting answers. Following Jesus way for it is actually about following after Jesus. Like, if I ask you right now to follow me, I'm not asking you to ask a bunch of questions. I'm not asking you to develop a worldview. I'm not asking you to change your religion. I'm asking you to follow me, like step where I step, go, where I go treat people the way that I treat people. And every time we see Jesus call people into relationship in his recorded ministry, he says, these words, follow me. , he's not telling 'em the answers to all their questions. He doesn't hand them an owner's manual with all the answers to everything they've ever wondered. He doesn't hand them religion for dummies textbooks. Like here you go, guys. Here's a new one. Here's our new rituals. We actually move from Saturday to Sunday. I, I hope you got the email. Like that's not what we see. He says, follow me to, to make the point even stronger. Did you know that Jesus has asked 187 questions in his recorded ministry? 187 questions and he answers less than 10 of them. Isn't that frustrating? So like 95% or so of the questions that Jesus is asked in his ministry, he leaves unanswered. What can we learn from. I think we can learn that following Jesus. Isn't about getting answers to all of our questions and even more, as you know, some of life's biggest, most difficult, most complicated questions. Don't really seem to have answers at all. Jesus, isn't inviting us into an answer ministry. He's not you're you're gonna be my ministers of all the right answers. Go tell everybody how dumb they are. No, he, he calls us to be ministers of reconciliation. he calls us into grace and into relationship and my heart as a preacher and our heart as a church, isn't to give you more answers. It's the hope and the prayer that just, maybe we could fall in love with the really good God that even though things go unanswered and things are difficult in times, feel stormy, even with all of the mess. If we fall in love with Jesus, we can start to make sense of who we are. And most importantly, who he is. That's my prayer today. I'm reminded of a verse from Paul's letter to the Philippian church in, in chapter four of Philippians, verse six, he says this do not be anxious about anything, but in every situation by prayer and petition with Thanksgiving, present your requests to God and the peace of God, not the answers of God, not the religion of God, not the worldview of God, not the books of God. The peace of God. Which transcends all understanding will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus. So it seems like Paul was telling us you don't need more answers. You need peace that actually surpasses any ability to find answers. This type of piece that we can find in the name of Jesus that you can't Google. That's more than you can understand. And I know I've said this before, but I'll just tell you again, my mom and all of her Tennessee love that she could give me growing up was like Caleb, how small would God have to be to be able to fit into your brain? Like weirdly, okay. Worshiping kind of insult I'm into it. I got you. Like how small would God have to be? If we could understand him. And Paul speaks of a piece that transcends that surpasses our understanding all together. And by that piece, our minds and our hearts will be kept safe in his name. so how can we find that piece? Maybe you hear this and if you're anything like me, if you're anything as cynical as I am, you're like, cool. Like my life doesn't feel very peaceful. Our culture doesn't feel very peaceful. It seems like everything's falling down around us. Like this is a cool churchy, beautiful idea, but like be realistic. Like what does that mean? How do we find that piece? I don't know. But I think that Joseph's story as we find it in Genesis might be a good place to start. So let's try Genesis chapter 50. Look at verse 22. It's right there towards the end Genesis 50 verse 22 says this Joseph stayed in Egypt along with all of his father's family. He lived 110 years and he saw the third generation of rim's children. Also the children of maker, son of Manasa were placed at birth on Joseph's knees. the writer of Genesis is just using imagery to show us that Joseph lived a ripe old age, that he was able to see multiple generations of his ancestors after him. Verse 24. Then Joseph said to his brothers, I am about to die, but God will surely come to your aid and take you up out of this land. I love that translation. He'll take you up outta here, out of this land, to the land he promised on oath to Abraham, Isaac and Jacob. And Joseph made the Israelite swear in oath and said, God will surely come to your aid. Look at this. And then you must carry my bones up from this place. With all that Egypt brought Joseph, he's still telling his family, the Israelites, Hey man, when God shows up, when God delivers us, don't leave me here in Egypt because I don't belong here. I belong where God is. We'll talk more about that in a. Verse 26. So Joseph died at the age of 110, and after they embalmed him, he was placed in a coffin in Egypt. So this is Joseph's story, but this is the very end of his story. He's on his deathbed giving out his final request. I mean, this is right before the credits are about to start rolling. You might be asking, how did Joseph get here? How did he end up in Egypt? And more importantly, how is he so confident, so sure that God would come to their aid. You saw it in there, right? He says, God will surely come to your aid and take you up outta here. How does Joseph know that? How does he say that? So confidently. Let's start at the beginning. The story of Joseph spans across like 14 chapters in the end of Genesis, starting in Genesis 37, all the way to, to chapter 50 of what we read today. And because I don't want any of us to miss dinner, we're not gonna read all 14 chapters here together. Because I don't want you to fall asleep, but, but in all sincerity, I would encourage you at some point this week to read this whole story, man, cuz it's beautiful and it's messy and insane. And there's so much for us to learn about how to follow God in the midst of our lives. Before our time today, I'm gonna do like a 30,000 foot overview of the story so that we can understand it enough. So we have Joseph Joseph is the son of Jacob who was renamed Israel. And he was the great grandson of Abraham father, Abraham, who we've talked about the last couple of weeks. I tell you that to say, Joseph is just a couple generations after the original covenant that God made with humanity. So he's still in like the. First act of this relationship between God and the Hebrew people. And our story picks up with Joseph when he's a 17 year old kid and I love 17 year olds, man, they're the best. And I'm a student pastor, so I'm paid to love them, but I actually love them. Uh, because they're so confident for no reason. , it's amazing. And I remember it. I remember like I can drive now. Dad, you can't tell me what to do. He's like, okay, got it. You're brilliant. But so Joseph's 17. If you're 17 here, I love you so much. Welcome. I'm so glad you're here for real. Um, I have a penguin tattoo to prove it anyway, let's move on. So Joseph had a bunch of older brothers. He has 10 older brothers and he started telling his older brothers about these visions, these dreams that he was having. And in all of these dreams, like all of his brothers are bowing down to him. So he's like, Hey guys. Sit down. I got good news. I had this vision from God and we are all like these crops out in the field, but you guys are like much smaller crops than me. And you're all bowing down to me. Insane. Right? And they're like, cool. Like that's not a great way to make friends or get your older brothers to not hate you. And to make it worse. Like Joseph was already his dad's favorite. He gave him special clothes and special treatment. And so the brothers are already annoyed with their little brother Joseph and these dreams and vision. Push them over the edge. So all of Joseph's brothers decide why don't we just kill Joseph and get this over with? And everybody that's ever had a family, cuz like I've been there before. I understand that feeling. and then they're like, wait, wait, wait, maybe we shouldn't kill him. That feels a little extreme. what if we just throw him down into a pit? So technically we didn't kill him, but like, he's gonna die down there. You know what I mean? Like that's how that's gonna go. And then, and then they're like, whoa, wait, wait, maybe we shouldn't even do that. There's some, there's some slave traders over there. Why don't we just sell Joseph into slavery so that he's not dead, but we don't have to see him anymore and hear about his stupid visions and he's dead to us. so they decide on that plan, like, okay, we're gonna sell 'em to those guys team on 3, 1, 2, 3 team. And they sell their little brother into slavery. They tell their father, he was killed by an animal and they move on or so they thought Joseph is now chained up in a slave caravan. Egypt or bust. And, and once this caravan gets to Egypt, these Mediaite slave traders sell Joseph to this guy named Podifer and Podifer was the captain of the guard in Egypt. He reported directly to the Pharaoh farrows, just an Egyptian word for king. He reported directly to the boss of the empire. And Joseph has sold to this guy, pat. So he starts working for Podifer and Joseph starts rising and God's with him and he's building influence. and then Joseph gets falsely accused of assaulting ER's wife and he gets thrown into prison, even though he's innocent while he's in prison, God is with him. He starts rising again. He starts building influence again. And there's this scene where Farrow's cup bearer, who was the guy who had to try every drink before Faroh got to try it just in case he was poisoned sucks to be that guy Farrow's cup bearer, and his baker are thrown into prison with Joseph. How bad do you have to be at making cupcakes to get thrown into PR? Like Pharaoh's not like that. Let's try harder next time. He's like straight to prison with you. I love it. It's in the Bible. Uh, kind of, and so Pharaoh's cup, bearer and baker are in prison with Joseph and they start having these bad dreams and, and Joseph's like, Hey, by the way, I can interpret dreams. God's given me. Gift. And so he starts to interpret the dreams for these two men and they end up being spot on interpretations of their dreams. These two guys get out of prison eventually, completely forget about this guy who was killer at interpreting dreams. And then he spends a couple more years in prison. I love the Bible cuz we read through it and it it'll just be a verse like, and then some time passed and you're like, what? He's in prison, even though he's innocent. And like these guys, like he shows up for these guys and God uses them and then they leave and they forget, and he's just stuck there a few years pass and Pharaoh, the king starts having some bad dreams. He can't make sense of them. He's got some questions he can't find answers to. And that cut bearer from prison a few years ago goes, oh yeah, there's this Hebrew slave in prison that was just killer at interpreting dreams. And so Pharaoh's like give him a call and they bring Joseph out of prison to Farrow and Farrow tells him of his dreams. And Joseph interprets them and Farrow is immediately overwhelmed and impressed. And he puts Joseph in charge, like completely in charge Genesis 41 41. So Farrow said to Joseph, I hereby put you in charge of the whole land of Egypt. Little dramatic from if you're, if you're just being honest, like to take that for some leadership development. So after all of this, Joseph is now in charge of Egypt. He's Pharaoh's right hand, man. And then a famine comes into the land. There's not rain, the crops aren't growing. There's a shortage of food and resources. and Joseph's brothers who sold him into slavery all those years ago, come to Egypt, looking for resources and wouldn't, you know, it, they have to talk to the man in charge who just so happens to be their long, lost little brother. It's insane. It's such a cool story. And there's this beautiful reunion where Joseph forgives them and brings them all to stay with him in Egypt. He's reunited with his brothers and with his dad. And, and when I think about Joseph's story, when I think about all the twists and turns and ups and downs and prisons and palaces and everywhere in between to me, this is a pretty undeniable example of the fact that following God is not just about a world. that following God in our lives, isn't about finding answers to all of our questions. Can you imagine how confused Joseph was through this entire journey? He had no answers. He had no clarity and he was getting moved all over the place. He was getting accused of things and lied. about no, that following God is actually about following after God cuz rules. If we follow the rules, rules will never be enough to hold us. What happens when the rules get broken? What happens when people turn their back on you? What happens when you get accused of things? What happens when you find yourself in a prison for years? I mean, what a rule is gonna do. Following God. Isn't about finding answers to the questions. It's about putting our trust in God, regardless of what else is happening around us. And I, I know you know, this, but the older I get, the more I realize, I don't know the more questions I have that remain unanswered, but I'm not trying to find answers. And, and like, as much as I can, I'm not trying to find answers. I'm trying to find. And I'm not trying to preach answers to you today. I'm trying to preach peace. That's our only hope that peace that Paul says will guard our hearts and our minds. As we travel through life, as we're going, there are no answers that are going to satisfy you. Life gives us questions that are too difficult to answer. Our only hope is the piece that is found in Jesus. And I don't have any idea about why things happen the way that they do. I don't know the answer to that. I don't know how that eternal kingdom of God math works, but from Joseph's story, I can come to the concrete conclusion that when we lose control, God is still in. That, when everything is falling down around us, when everybody else has turned their back, that God promises to be there holding us up and advocating for us. That's the type of God that he has simply put. When we have God, we have everything we need. And you might feel like in your life, everybody else has left. Everybody else has moved on. No, one's there for you. And I want to tell you today that if all you have is God, you have everything that you need. and I don't mean like, you know, everything happens for a reason or, but God will never put you through something that's too much for you. I just don't even believe in that. I think there are tons of things that don't happen for a reason. I think in a fallen world with a bunch of sinful people with free will, who love to start fires every chance we get. There's a lot of stuff that happens for no reason. It's an opinion, but I do know of a God that meets us in the midst of it. That provides for us in the midst of it, that while we're on the slave caravan away, from what we know into the unknown, that God is there with us, that while we're in the prison that we were thrown in, even though we're innocent, God is there with us providing for us that there is no mess. There is no chaos. There is no unknown that God steers clear of. There's no hopelessness or darkness that God will not enter into with you. . I remember growing up, hearing that all the time. Like, God won't ever give you anything. That's too big for you. I'm like, have you read the Bible? It seems like that's all he does. Like show me one story. God's always calling us into things that are too big for us. He's always sending us into stuff. That's impossible if he doesn't meet us there. And, and then you factor in all the other dynamics and circumstances of just human free will and error. There is so much in this life that is too big for us, but if you only hear one thing, I want you to hear this. God won't ever give you anything. That's too big for him. Yeah. God won't ever call you into anything that he won't also promise. I'll meet you in the midst of that. And I'll actually fill in the gaps. I'm big enough to make up the difference of all the ways that you fall short. It's not about what we can handle on our own. Joseph couldn't do any of this. No, it's about God going, Hey, I got you. I I'm still with you. I'm still faithful. I'm still providing. Do, do you feel like your life is out of control today? like, like maybe your brothers sold you into slavery. Everybody turned their back on you. Even your loved ones, you feel betrayed. You were wronged. You have no one to turn to. You have no one to confide in. You have no one that cares about you or maybe you were falsely accused and imprison. People lied about you, you were handed cards that you didn't deserve. You're in a situation that you didn't ask for. You have some type of trauma or pain or baggage that was put on you by someone else. And it's just too heavy for you to carry, or maybe you were forgotten in that prison for years. And the world kept spinning and people kept living and everybody moved. and you might have even helped some people, but everybody forgot about that. And they've forgotten about you and no one has shown up for you for years. Do you know Joseph, like I said was 17 when his brother sold him into slavery and he was 30 and that verse in Genesis 41 that we read about when he takes over Egypt. I know we read it like three pages, but that's 13 years of Joseph having no clue. What's going. 13 years of no answers, no clarity. Wondering what the heck God is doing. God, do you still care? Are you still here 13 years when it made no sense to Joseph, can you imagine how out of control his life felt? but God was still working. God knew who he'd get sold to. God knew the gifts that he's given him. God knew the influence that he was going to gain. And if it's true for Joseph, then why wouldn't it be true for us? I think you need to hear today that no matter how dark or scary or hopeless your life might seem, God is creative enough and cares about you enough to make sense of the mess. to provide for you through it, to meet you and stand with you arm and arm, no matter what storm you're in the middle of God is creative enough and cares about you enough to make sense of it. I don't know why things happen the way they do. I don't know why people including us behave the way that we do. . , but I know that just like in the story of Joseph, God is with you, he's near and he's given you access as a son or a daughter. I know that God's still a rescuer. He's still a provider. He hasn't retired. And if we're willing to really follow him with our lives, we can find a peace that will guard our hearts and our minds. . I mean, just think of the different names that we see for God in his word. We talked last week about this name, Jehovah Gyra. He's the God that provides. It's not what he does. Sometimes. It's who he is. There's a bunch of other places in scripture that refer to God as our helper. He's our helper. He's close range. He's here. He's here to help. He's not an investor. Like, Hey, I've gotta check in on you in a few months. See how things are going. , he's not a critic. He's not an observer. He is a helper. He's here with you working it out for your good. I think so many of us go through our lives, seeing God, like he's some like figure skating, judge, just like watching you screw up. Oh, stick that landing. Nope. You know, like that's our view of God. And we sing these songs about how good he is and faithfully is, but we, but if we're really honest, we think that he's just up there and having been like, did you see that double turn? No, thank you. I don't even know if that's a thing. I know nothing about figure skating, but neither do you probably so. My God is the God who provides he's our helper. He's our close range. There's one of my favorite stories in scripture found in the beginning of Genesis or like toward the beginning is the story of this woman, Hagar who gets completely mistreated and thrown to the side. And in that story, she calls God, you are the God who sees me. I mean, think about what kind of God this is. How did Joseph get to Egypt and how could he say, God will surely come to our aid and deliver us out of this? It's because Joseph knows what type of God he follows. And he didn't have the answers. He didn't know what was going on for years, but he knew even when things feel totally out of control, I know that God is still in control and even when no one else will stand up for me, I know that God will advocate for me and fight for my innocence and come all the way to the cross so that I could step into relationship. With him. That's the type of God that we have. He's not a figure skating judge, just waiting for you to screw up. He's not an investor. Like I'll see in 18 months how you're doing, he is our helper. And he was with Joseph every step of the way. Joseph knew that if you have nothing, but God, then you have everything. If God is all you have, then you have all that you need. Like, look back at this story. Right after Joseph has resold to this guy Podifer and Genesis 39. Look at these verses the Lord was with Joseph, so that he prospered and he lived in the house of his Egyptian master. When his master saw that he was really gifted. No. When his master saw that the Lord was with him and that the Lord gave him success in everything he did. Joseph found favor in his eyes and became his attend. Pata, put him in charge of his household and he entrusted to his care, everything he owned. This guy, Joseph is getting traded around like a baseball card, but God hasn't gone anywhere. God hasn't left his side. God hasn't stopped working when Joseph had nothing else, he had God. And maybe you feel like that in your life. Like everyone's just passing you off. Like, you're this burden. That's too heavy for them to take. That nobody cares about what you are going through. Nobody cares about what your family's going through, and they're just passing you on to different places. There's too much going on. We don't have time for your mess, leave us alone. And we know from this story that even when we feel like we're being passed on and traded like a card, God's going, no, no, no, I'm still here. I haven't gone anywhere. I'm still working. I still have plans for. . What about when he's falsely accused of assaulting his master's wife, he's lied about and thrown into prison. Look at these verses, but while Joseph was there in the prison, The Lord was with him and he showed him kindness and granted him favor in the eyes of the prison warden. So the warden put Joseph in charge of all those held in the prison and he was made responsible for all that was done there. The warden paid no attention to anything under Joseph's care because the Lord was with Joseph and gave him success in whatever he did. So he's lied about it and mistreated and thrown into a prison that he didn't deserve for years. But God hasn't gone anywhere. And I don't know about your life. I don't know about the unfair things that have happened. I don't know how hard it's been or how long it's been since, but I know that in the midst of the prison, God goes, I know you feel like you're alone in here, but I'm with you. I know you feel like your story's done, but I'm just getting started. I know you feel like I've moved on, but I'm just laying the groundwork for the next thing that I'm gonna call you into and you might be going, God, this is prison. He's like, I know that. God, it's been 13 years. I know that I'm not done with you yet. Come on. Let's keep going. You gotta keep your eyes on me. We, we're not living for a prison or a palace. We're living for the peace that is found in Jesus' name. And Joseph didn't lose sight of that. Even in his prison. I'm not defined by this. I've had everything ripped from me, but God is still with me. The last one. I wanna show you when Farrow calls Joseph out of the prison to interpret his dreams, look at God, Genesis 41. Then Farrow said to Joseph, since God has made all this known to you, there is no one. So discerning and wise as you, I don't really have time to talk about this, but this just popped into my brain. The, the leader of this Egyptian empire, this world power who are known for their gods. it's going, man, you got God on your side. There's no one in this entire kingdom that can do what you do. Might that be a little word for us to remember who we're actually up against? As we're trying to fight for a kingdom or fight for this to get voted in or out or fight for this thing to pass or not pass. Can we remember that? Our God is the type of God that scares Pharaoh in all of his little lowercase G gods into submission by sending a Hebrew slave prisoner up to his throne room to say, tell me about your dreams. This is the type of God that we have. Look at me. He is not scared of the empire. He's not intimidated by the palace. He doesn't shy away. When people start throwing out big words and voting, he's the one that comes, uh, like you're not gonna think he might he's. He might use a Hebrew slave. He might use prison for 13 years, but maybe he's calling us into what he's calling us into because he is not scared of an empire. He's not scared of some kingdom. He's here to bring a new kingdom. He's here to usher in this hope that we can put our faith in, that will guard our hearts and guard our minds. That like in a way that the government cannot, the kingdom cannot, the empire cannot guard your hearts and your minds like that. Only the God that sees us, the God that provides the God that helps can do that for us. Wasn't even supposed to say that, but anyway, so. He says you shall be in charge of my palace. And all my people are to submit to your orders only with respect to the throne. Will I be greater than you? God is all Joseph has ever had everybody else left him and threw him out and, and sold him and resold him and accused him. All he's ever had is God in this entire story. And that's all he's ever needed. Are we willing to trust that with our lives? That if we have God, we have all we need. I just told you Joseph's story. And I don't know your story. I don't know how people have let you down. I don't know the ways that you've been hurt and mistreated and lied about and accused. I don't know the journey that you've been on. I don't know the baggage. That you're carrying, I don't know the prison that you feel like you've been in or the prison that you're in right now. And I don't know how long you've been in that prison. I don't know how long it's been since that diagnosis. Since that scary doctor's visit. I, I don't know how long it's been since the breakup or since you were laid off or since you lost a relationship with your kid. I don't know how hard it's been for you to adjust after the divorce. I don't know the broken relationships with your friends. I don't know about all the missed opportunities and all the times that people forgot about you. I don't know about how hard the. Is to hear about yourself. I don't know what that feels like for you. The names people call you the assumptions that they make, the things they say you did. I don't know a prison you are in today, but I can confidently say that all you need in that prison is the God that meets you there. That when everything else. It feels outta control when everyone else turns their back, we have a good God who says I'm still working. I'll stand up for you. I'll advocate for you. I'll stand in the gap for you. All you need in those accusations is the God that stands for you. All you need in these times of betrayal and loss and devastating pain is the God that comes to your aid. And the God that provides a way out, see on this journey as we travel, when you have God, you have all that you need. And I think that's why Joseph says at the end of his life, do you remember when he says, when God shows up and delivers you carry my bones about, of here, because I want to be wherever God is not. If God comes, but when God. Carry my bones out of this place, because I don't need all the ornate comfort and status and power of Egypt. All I need is God. And I don't know what Egypt you are in today. My guess is that it's come with some times where you feel like you're in prison. Maybe it's come with some times when you feel like you are in a palace, regardless of where you're. I know that we don't find our peace from the prison or the palace. We find our peace in the name of Jesus. We find our peace in the fact that there's a big, good close range. God, that promises to meet you both in the prison and the palace and everywhere in between. See Joseph had years as a Hebrew slave prisoner. And he had years, second in command over the entire world power empire. And he didn't put his identity into either one. He didn't put his faith into either one. He didn't allow either of those realities to label him. He said, Hey, when God comes and takes us to the promised land, you carry my bones outta here because I want to be where he. I'm not here for answers. I'm not here for excuses. I'm not here for status. I'm not here for a worldview. I wanna be wherever God is. I wanna actually follow him. I want a journey with him. And regardless of what prisons come with it or palaces come with it or slave caravans, come with it. Or people turning their back, come with it. I'm gonna, I'm gonna stay on the heels of God because wherever he is, there is hope and there is peace. And on this crazy life journey with all of its twists and turns and ups and downs. If we have God, we have all that we need. Let me pray for us. God, we're grateful for this story. I'm thankful for the example of Joseph to keep his eyes on you. I'm sure he didn't do it perfectly. I know there was moments of doubt and disbelief and this isn't happening fast enough, God, but ultimately he kept his eyes on you. I pray that we would follow that example, that that would challenge us to do the same. And even now in this moment, I'm gonna pray and we're gonna sing together. God, even now in this moment, as we lift our voices to sing to you, will you be close to us? Continue to work the soil in our souls, continue to open us up to be able to feel your presence that no matter where we go, no matter what we walk through, if you are there, that's enough help us to put our faith in that. God, we love you. It's in Jesus name that we pray. Amen. Thanks guys.
✖ CLOSE

Well, welcome to central. If you're here with me in this room or watching from wherever you're watching from, we are so glad that you're with us today. Thanks so much for being here. Uh, if you have a Bible, you turn to Genesis chapter 50, the last chapter in the book of Genesis is where we're gonna be spending our time. We're gonna be jumping in around a little bit today, but that'll be where we are the most, uh, as we continue on in this traveling. I would love to offer up a word of prayer and ask that God might meet us here and speak to us, and then we'll jump in. So let's pray together. God, we're thankful for, uh, these moments that we have together in your word. And as we've, uh, sang songs together, God, and, and taking communion together, I believe that we are continuing in worship now, as we learn from your word. And so, uh, we, we mean those words that we sang that were overtaken by your mercy. We're overwhelmed by the grace that you've given us God. And so we just pray that you'll continue that now that by your holy spirit power, uh, that you'll speak clearly to us and meet us here in this place. We love you so much. We pray this in Jesus name and everybody said, amen. Amen. I have a theory, I think, uh, that some of us think that following God is actually just trying to find a consistent framework for life's biggest questions. And we have a lot of questions, right? Like there, there are these things that, that rattle around in our heads that keep us up at night that make our heads hurt. And, uh, they're really, really big, complicated questions. Like what happens after we die? And we spend so much time thinking about this and worrying about this, or what is this idea of consciousness or when we talk about our soul, what are we talking about? What is your soul, or where is your soul, or, or why do bad things happen to good people? Or why do good things happen to bad people, right? Like, or, or can, can enough money make me happy? Like, I, I know that we all know no money. Can't make you happy, but. But can enough money make me happy? Like, can I try, you know, cause I've seen people on jet skis and they seem much happier than me. And so you're gonna have to do some explaining when you say money can't buy me. Happiness. Does God care about me? Is God real? does God still work and move and profound ways. What's my purpose. What's my meaning in all this, there's all these big questions. And a lot of times these questions tend to come back to us. Like, why is this thing happening to me or not happening to me? Why is this thing happening to my loved ones? Why am I not getting that promotion? Why, why is this next life stage not happening as quick as I think that it should, maybe you're single in here and you're like, man, I'm ready to step into this new thing. I'm ready for. I'm ready to find a partner to do life with God. What is taking you so long? What are you waiting on? I've asked this question so many times, like, why are there like committed, responsible, amazing, married people that aren't able to have kids, but like two 16 year olds can accidentally get pregnant? Like how does that make sense? we have all these questions. And I think that for some of us following God or coming to church or having some sort of faith really boils down to just trying to find answers to these questions, like all we need God for is to try to make sense of all of these crazy things that are happening around us. That that's my theory. I think in our culture, this idea of God or being a Christian or following Jesus has become a worldview. it's become a, it's become a religious box that we put things in. It's become an operating system or a framework. We have questions and we want answers. But following Jesus, isn't about getting answers. Following Jesus way for it is actually about following after Jesus. Like, if I ask you right now to follow me, I'm not asking you to ask a bunch of questions. I'm not asking you to develop a worldview. I'm not asking you to change your religion. I'm asking you to follow me, like step where I step, go, where I go treat people the way that I treat people. And every time we see Jesus call people into relationship in his recorded ministry, he says, these words, follow me. , he's not telling 'em the answers to all their questions. He doesn't hand them an owner's manual with all the answers to everything they've ever wondered. He doesn't hand them religion for dummies textbooks. Like here you go, guys. Here's a new one. Here's our new rituals. We actually move from Saturday to Sunday. I, I hope you got the email. Like that's not what we see. He says, follow me to, to make the point even stronger. Did you know that Jesus has asked 187 questions in his recorded ministry? 187 questions and he answers less than 10 of them. Isn't that frustrating? So like 95% or so of the questions that Jesus is asked in his ministry, he leaves unanswered. What can we learn from. I think we can learn that following Jesus. Isn't about getting answers to all of our questions and even more, as you know, some of life's biggest, most difficult, most complicated questions. Don't really seem to have answers at all. Jesus, isn't inviting us into an answer ministry. He's not you're you're gonna be my ministers of all the right answers. Go tell everybody how dumb they are. No, he, he calls us to be ministers of reconciliation. he calls us into grace and into relationship and my heart as a preacher and our heart as a church, isn't to give you more answers. It's the hope and the prayer that just, maybe we could fall in love with the really good God that even though things go unanswered and things are difficult in times, feel stormy, even with all of the mess. If we fall in love with Jesus, we can start to make sense of who we are. And most importantly, who he is. That's my prayer today. I'm reminded of a verse from Paul's letter to the Philippian church in, in chapter four of Philippians, verse six, he says this do not be anxious about anything, but in every situation by prayer and petition with Thanksgiving, present your requests to God and the peace of God, not the answers of God, not the religion of God, not the worldview of God, not the books of God. The peace of God. Which transcends all understanding will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus. So it seems like Paul was telling us you don't need more answers. You need peace that actually surpasses any ability to find answers. This type of piece that we can find in the name of Jesus that you can't Google. That's more than you can understand. And I know I've said this before, but I'll just tell you again, my mom and all of her Tennessee love that she could give me growing up was like Caleb, how small would God have to be to be able to fit into your brain? Like weirdly, okay. Worshiping kind of insult I'm into it. I got you. Like how small would God have to be? If we could understand him. And Paul speaks of a piece that transcends that surpasses our understanding all together. And by that piece, our minds and our hearts will be kept safe in his name. so how can we find that piece? Maybe you hear this and if you're anything like me, if you're anything as cynical as I am, you're like, cool. Like my life doesn't feel very peaceful. Our culture doesn't feel very peaceful. It seems like everything's falling down around us. Like this is a cool churchy, beautiful idea, but like be realistic. Like what does that mean? How do we find that piece? I don't know. But I think that Joseph's story as we find it in Genesis might be a good place to start. So let's try Genesis chapter 50. Look at verse 22. It's right there towards the end Genesis 50 verse 22 says this Joseph stayed in Egypt along with all of his father's family. He lived 110 years and he saw the third generation of rim's children. Also the children of maker, son of Manasa were placed at birth on Joseph's knees. the writer of Genesis is just using imagery to show us that Joseph lived a ripe old age, that he was able to see multiple generations of his ancestors after him. Verse 24. Then Joseph said to his brothers, I am about to die, but God will surely come to your aid and take you up out of this land. I love that translation. He'll take you up outta here, out of this land, to the land he promised on oath to Abraham, Isaac and Jacob. And Joseph made the Israelite swear in oath and said, God will surely come to your aid. Look at this. And then you must carry my bones up from this place. With all that Egypt brought Joseph, he's still telling his family, the Israelites, Hey man, when God shows up, when God delivers us, don't leave me here in Egypt because I don't belong here. I belong where God is. We'll talk more about that in a. Verse 26. So Joseph died at the age of 110, and after they embalmed him, he was placed in a coffin in Egypt. So this is Joseph's story, but this is the very end of his story. He's on his deathbed giving out his final request. I mean, this is right before the credits are about to start rolling. You might be asking, how did Joseph get here? How did he end up in Egypt? And more importantly, how is he so confident, so sure that God would come to their aid. You saw it in there, right? He says, God will surely come to your aid and take you up outta here. How does Joseph know that? How does he say that? So confidently. Let's start at the beginning. The story of Joseph spans across like 14 chapters in the end of Genesis, starting in Genesis 37, all the way to, to chapter 50 of what we read today. And because I don't want any of us to miss dinner, we're not gonna read all 14 chapters here together. Because I don't want you to fall asleep, but, but in all sincerity, I would encourage you at some point this week to read this whole story, man, cuz it's beautiful and it's messy and insane. And there's so much for us to learn about how to follow God in the midst of our lives. Before our time today, I'm gonna do like a 30,000 foot overview of the story so that we can understand it enough. So we have Joseph Joseph is the son of Jacob who was renamed Israel. And he was the great grandson of Abraham father, Abraham, who we've talked about the last couple of weeks. I tell you that to say, Joseph is just a couple generations after the original covenant that God made with humanity. So he's still in like the. First act of this relationship between God and the Hebrew people. And our story picks up with Joseph when he's a 17 year old kid and I love 17 year olds, man, they're the best. And I'm a student pastor, so I'm paid to love them, but I actually love them. Uh, because they're so confident for no reason. , it's amazing. And I remember it. I remember like I can drive now. Dad, you can't tell me what to do. He's like, okay, got it. You're brilliant. But so Joseph's 17. If you're 17 here, I love you so much. Welcome. I'm so glad you're here for real. Um, I have a penguin tattoo to prove it anyway, let's move on. So Joseph had a bunch of older brothers. He has 10 older brothers and he started telling his older brothers about these visions, these dreams that he was having. And in all of these dreams, like all of his brothers are bowing down to him. So he's like, Hey guys. Sit down. I got good news. I had this vision from God and we are all like these crops out in the field, but you guys are like much smaller crops than me. And you're all bowing down to me. Insane. Right? And they're like, cool. Like that's not a great way to make friends or get your older brothers to not hate you. And to make it worse. Like Joseph was already his dad's favorite. He gave him special clothes and special treatment. And so the brothers are already annoyed with their little brother Joseph and these dreams and vision. Push them over the edge. So all of Joseph's brothers decide why don't we just kill Joseph and get this over with? And everybody that's ever had a family, cuz like I've been there before. I understand that feeling. and then they're like, wait, wait, wait, maybe we shouldn't kill him. That feels a little extreme. what if we just throw him down into a pit? So technically we didn't kill him, but like, he's gonna die down there. You know what I mean? Like that's how that's gonna go. And then, and then they're like, whoa, wait, wait, maybe we shouldn't even do that. There's some, there's some slave traders over there. Why don't we just sell Joseph into slavery so that he's not dead, but we don't have to see him anymore and hear about his stupid visions and he's dead to us. so they decide on that plan, like, okay, we're gonna sell 'em to those guys team on 3, 1, 2, 3 team. And they sell their little brother into slavery. They tell their father, he was killed by an animal and they move on or so they thought Joseph is now chained up in a slave caravan. Egypt or bust. And, and once this caravan gets to Egypt, these Mediaite slave traders sell Joseph to this guy named Podifer and Podifer was the captain of the guard in Egypt. He reported directly to the Pharaoh farrows, just an Egyptian word for king. He reported directly to the boss of the empire. And Joseph has sold to this guy, pat. So he starts working for Podifer and Joseph starts rising and God's with him and he's building influence. and then Joseph gets falsely accused of assaulting ER's wife and he gets thrown into prison, even though he's innocent while he's in prison, God is with him. He starts rising again. He starts building influence again. And there's this scene where Farrow's cup bearer, who was the guy who had to try every drink before Faroh got to try it just in case he was poisoned sucks to be that guy Farrow's cup bearer, and his baker are thrown into prison with Joseph. How bad do you have to be at making cupcakes to get thrown into PR? Like Pharaoh's not like that. Let's try harder next time. He's like straight to prison with you. I love it. It's in the Bible. Uh, kind of, and so Pharaoh's cup, bearer and baker are in prison with Joseph and they start having these bad dreams and, and Joseph's like, Hey, by the way, I can interpret dreams. God's given me. Gift. And so he starts to interpret the dreams for these two men and they end up being spot on interpretations of their dreams. These two guys get out of prison eventually, completely forget about this guy who was killer at interpreting dreams. And then he spends a couple more years in prison. I love the Bible cuz we read through it and it it'll just be a verse like, and then some time passed and you're like, what? He's in prison, even though he's innocent. And like these guys, like he shows up for these guys and God uses them and then they leave and they forget, and he's just stuck there a few years pass and Pharaoh, the king starts having some bad dreams. He can't make sense of them. He's got some questions he can't find answers to. And that cut bearer from prison a few years ago goes, oh yeah, there's this Hebrew slave in prison that was just killer at interpreting dreams. And so Pharaoh's like give him a call and they bring Joseph out of prison to Farrow and Farrow tells him of his dreams. And Joseph interprets them and Farrow is immediately overwhelmed and impressed. And he puts Joseph in charge, like completely in charge Genesis 41 41. So Farrow said to Joseph, I hereby put you in charge of the whole land of Egypt. Little dramatic from if you're, if you're just being honest, like to take that for some leadership development. So after all of this, Joseph is now in charge of Egypt. He's Pharaoh's right hand, man. And then a famine comes into the land. There's not rain, the crops aren't growing. There's a shortage of food and resources. and Joseph's brothers who sold him into slavery all those years ago, come to Egypt, looking for resources and wouldn't, you know, it, they have to talk to the man in charge who just so happens to be their long, lost little brother. It's insane. It's such a cool story. And there's this beautiful reunion where Joseph forgives them and brings them all to stay with him in Egypt. He's reunited with his brothers and with his dad. And, and when I think about Joseph's story, when I think about all the twists and turns and ups and downs and prisons and palaces and everywhere in between to me, this is a pretty undeniable example of the fact that following God is not just about a world. that following God in our lives, isn't about finding answers to all of our questions. Can you imagine how confused Joseph was through this entire journey? He had no answers. He had no clarity and he was getting moved all over the place. He was getting accused of things and lied. about no, that following God is actually about following after God cuz rules. If we follow the rules, rules will never be enough to hold us. What happens when the rules get broken? What happens when people turn their back on you? What happens when you get accused of things? What happens when you find yourself in a prison for years? I mean, what a rule is gonna do. Following God. Isn't about finding answers to the questions. It's about putting our trust in God, regardless of what else is happening around us. And I, I know you know, this, but the older I get, the more I realize, I don't know the more questions I have that remain unanswered, but I'm not trying to find answers. And, and like, as much as I can, I'm not trying to find answers. I'm trying to find. And I'm not trying to preach answers to you today. I'm trying to preach peace. That's our only hope that peace that Paul says will guard our hearts and our minds. As we travel through life, as we're going, there are no answers that are going to satisfy you. Life gives us questions that are too difficult to answer. Our only hope is the piece that is found in Jesus. And I don't have any idea about why things happen the way that they do. I don't know the answer to that. I don't know how that eternal kingdom of God math works, but from Joseph's story, I can come to the concrete conclusion that when we lose control, God is still in. That, when everything is falling down around us, when everybody else has turned their back, that God promises to be there holding us up and advocating for us. That's the type of God that he has simply put. When we have God, we have everything we need. And you might feel like in your life, everybody else has left. Everybody else has moved on. No, one's there for you. And I want to tell you today that if all you have is God, you have everything that you need. and I don't mean like, you know, everything happens for a reason or, but God will never put you through something that's too much for you. I just don't even believe in that. I think there are tons of things that don't happen for a reason. I think in a fallen world with a bunch of sinful people with free will, who love to start fires every chance we get. There's a lot of stuff that happens for no reason. It's an opinion, but I do know of a God that meets us in the midst of it. That provides for us in the midst of it, that while we're on the slave caravan away, from what we know into the unknown, that God is there with us, that while we're in the prison that we were thrown in, even though we're innocent, God is there with us providing for us that there is no mess. There is no chaos. There is no unknown that God steers clear of. There's no hopelessness or darkness that God will not enter into with you. . I remember growing up, hearing that all the time. Like, God won't ever give you anything. That's too big for you. I'm like, have you read the Bible? It seems like that's all he does. Like show me one story. God's always calling us into things that are too big for us. He's always sending us into stuff. That's impossible if he doesn't meet us there. And, and then you factor in all the other dynamics and circumstances of just human free will and error. There is so much in this life that is too big for us, but if you only hear one thing, I want you to hear this. God won't ever give you anything. That's too big for him. Yeah. God won't ever call you into anything that he won't also promise. I'll meet you in the midst of that. And I'll actually fill in the gaps. I'm big enough to make up the difference of all the ways that you fall short. It's not about what we can handle on our own. Joseph couldn't do any of this. No, it's about God going, Hey, I got you. I I'm still with you. I'm still faithful. I'm still providing. Do, do you feel like your life is out of control today? like, like maybe your brothers sold you into slavery. Everybody turned their back on you. Even your loved ones, you feel betrayed. You were wronged. You have no one to turn to. You have no one to confide in. You have no one that cares about you or maybe you were falsely accused and imprison. People lied about you, you were handed cards that you didn't deserve. You're in a situation that you didn't ask for. You have some type of trauma or pain or baggage that was put on you by someone else. And it's just too heavy for you to carry, or maybe you were forgotten in that prison for years. And the world kept spinning and people kept living and everybody moved. and you might have even helped some people, but everybody forgot about that. And they've forgotten about you and no one has shown up for you for years. Do you know Joseph, like I said was 17 when his brother sold him into slavery and he was 30 and that verse in Genesis 41 that we read about when he takes over Egypt. I know we read it like three pages, but that's 13 years of Joseph having no clue. What's going. 13 years of no answers, no clarity. Wondering what the heck God is doing. God, do you still care? Are you still here 13 years when it made no sense to Joseph, can you imagine how out of control his life felt? but God was still working. God knew who he'd get sold to. God knew the gifts that he's given him. God knew the influence that he was going to gain. And if it's true for Joseph, then why wouldn't it be true for us? I think you need to hear today that no matter how dark or scary or hopeless your life might seem, God is creative enough and cares about you enough to make sense of the mess. to provide for you through it, to meet you and stand with you arm and arm, no matter what storm you're in the middle of God is creative enough and cares about you enough to make sense of it. I don't know why things happen the way they do. I don't know why people including us behave the way that we do. . , but I know that just like in the story of Joseph, God is with you, he's near and he's given you access as a son or a daughter. I know that God's still a rescuer. He's still a provider. He hasn't retired. And if we're willing to really follow him with our lives, we can find a peace that will guard our hearts and our minds. . I mean, just think of the different names that we see for God in his word. We talked last week about this name, Jehovah Gyra. He's the God that provides. It's not what he does. Sometimes. It's who he is. There's a bunch of other places in scripture that refer to God as our helper. He's our helper. He's close range. He's here. He's here to help. He's not an investor. Like, Hey, I've gotta check in on you in a few months. See how things are going. , he's not a critic. He's not an observer. He is a helper. He's here with you working it out for your good. I think so many of us go through our lives, seeing God, like he's some like figure skating, judge, just like watching you screw up. Oh, stick that landing. Nope. You know, like that's our view of God. And we sing these songs about how good he is and faithfully is, but we, but if we're really honest, we think that he's just up there and having been like, did you see that double turn? No, thank you. I don't even know if that's a thing. I know nothing about figure skating, but neither do you probably so. My God is the God who provides he's our helper. He's our close range. There's one of my favorite stories in scripture found in the beginning of Genesis or like toward the beginning is the story of this woman, Hagar who gets completely mistreated and thrown to the side. And in that story, she calls God, you are the God who sees me. I mean, think about what kind of God this is. How did Joseph get to Egypt and how could he say, God will surely come to our aid and deliver us out of this? It's because Joseph knows what type of God he follows. And he didn't have the answers. He didn't know what was going on for years, but he knew even when things feel totally out of control, I know that God is still in control and even when no one else will stand up for me, I know that God will advocate for me and fight for my innocence and come all the way to the cross so that I could step into relationship. With him. That's the type of God that we have. He's not a figure skating judge, just waiting for you to screw up. He's not an investor. Like I'll see in 18 months how you're doing, he is our helper. And he was with Joseph every step of the way. Joseph knew that if you have nothing, but God, then you have everything. If God is all you have, then you have all that you need. Like, look back at this story. Right after Joseph has resold to this guy Podifer and Genesis 39. Look at these verses the Lord was with Joseph, so that he prospered and he lived in the house of his Egyptian master. When his master saw that he was really gifted. No. When his master saw that the Lord was with him and that the Lord gave him success in everything he did. Joseph found favor in his eyes and became his attend. Pata, put him in charge of his household and he entrusted to his care, everything he owned. This guy, Joseph is getting traded around like a baseball card, but God hasn't gone anywhere. God hasn't left his side. God hasn't stopped working when Joseph had nothing else, he had God. And maybe you feel like that in your life. Like everyone's just passing you off. Like, you're this burden. That's too heavy for them to take. That nobody cares about what you are going through. Nobody cares about what your family's going through, and they're just passing you on to different places. There's too much going on. We don't have time for your mess, leave us alone. And we know from this story that even when we feel like we're being passed on and traded like a card, God's going, no, no, no, I'm still here. I haven't gone anywhere. I'm still working. I still have plans for. . What about when he's falsely accused of assaulting his master's wife, he's lied about and thrown into prison. Look at these verses, but while Joseph was there in the prison, The Lord was with him and he showed him kindness and granted him favor in the eyes of the prison warden. So the warden put Joseph in charge of all those held in the prison and he was made responsible for all that was done there. The warden paid no attention to anything under Joseph's care because the Lord was with Joseph and gave him success in whatever he did. So he's lied about it and mistreated and thrown into a prison that he didn't deserve for years. But God hasn't gone anywhere. And I don't know about your life. I don't know about the unfair things that have happened. I don't know how hard it's been or how long it's been since, but I know that in the midst of the prison, God goes, I know you feel like you're alone in here, but I'm with you. I know you feel like your story's done, but I'm just getting started. I know you feel like I've moved on, but I'm just laying the groundwork for the next thing that I'm gonna call you into and you might be going, God, this is prison. He's like, I know that. God, it's been 13 years. I know that I'm not done with you yet. Come on. Let's keep going. You gotta keep your eyes on me. We, we're not living for a prison or a palace. We're living for the peace that is found in Jesus' name. And Joseph didn't lose sight of that. Even in his prison. I'm not defined by this. I've had everything ripped from me, but God is still with me. The last one. I wanna show you when Farrow calls Joseph out of the prison to interpret his dreams, look at God, Genesis 41. Then Farrow said to Joseph, since God has made all this known to you, there is no one. So discerning and wise as you, I don't really have time to talk about this, but this just popped into my brain. The, the leader of this Egyptian empire, this world power who are known for their gods. it's going, man, you got God on your side. There's no one in this entire kingdom that can do what you do. Might that be a little word for us to remember who we're actually up against? As we're trying to fight for a kingdom or fight for this to get voted in or out or fight for this thing to pass or not pass. Can we remember that? Our God is the type of God that scares Pharaoh in all of his little lowercase G gods into submission by sending a Hebrew slave prisoner up to his throne room to say, tell me about your dreams. This is the type of God that we have. Look at me. He is not scared of the empire. He's not intimidated by the palace. He doesn't shy away. When people start throwing out big words and voting, he's the one that comes, uh, like you're not gonna think he might he's. He might use a Hebrew slave. He might use prison for 13 years, but maybe he's calling us into what he's calling us into because he is not scared of an empire. He's not scared of some kingdom. He's here to bring a new kingdom. He's here to usher in this hope that we can put our faith in, that will guard our hearts and guard our minds. That like in a way that the government cannot, the kingdom cannot, the empire cannot guard your hearts and your minds like that. Only the God that sees us, the God that provides the God that helps can do that for us. Wasn't even supposed to say that, but anyway, so. He says you shall be in charge of my palace. And all my people are to submit to your orders only with respect to the throne. Will I be greater than you? God is all Joseph has ever had everybody else left him and threw him out and, and sold him and resold him and accused him. All he's ever had is God in this entire story. And that's all he's ever needed. Are we willing to trust that with our lives? That if we have God, we have all we need. I just told you Joseph's story. And I don't know your story. I don't know how people have let you down. I don't know the ways that you've been hurt and mistreated and lied about and accused. I don't know the journey that you've been on. I don't know the baggage. That you're carrying, I don't know the prison that you feel like you've been in or the prison that you're in right now. And I don't know how long you've been in that prison. I don't know how long it's been since that diagnosis. Since that scary doctor's visit. I, I don't know how long it's been since the breakup or since you were laid off or since you lost a relationship with your kid. I don't know how hard it's been for you to adjust after the divorce. I don't know the broken relationships with your friends. I don't know about all the missed opportunities and all the times that people forgot about you. I don't know about how hard the. Is to hear about yourself. I don't know what that feels like for you. The names people call you the assumptions that they make, the things they say you did. I don't know a prison you are in today, but I can confidently say that all you need in that prison is the God that meets you there. That when everything else. It feels outta control when everyone else turns their back, we have a good God who says I'm still working. I'll stand up for you. I'll advocate for you. I'll stand in the gap for you. All you need in those accusations is the God that stands for you. All you need in these times of betrayal and loss and devastating pain is the God that comes to your aid. And the God that provides a way out, see on this journey as we travel, when you have God, you have all that you need. And I think that's why Joseph says at the end of his life, do you remember when he says, when God shows up and delivers you carry my bones about, of here, because I want to be wherever God is not. If God comes, but when God. Carry my bones out of this place, because I don't need all the ornate comfort and status and power of Egypt. All I need is God. And I don't know what Egypt you are in today. My guess is that it's come with some times where you feel like you're in prison. Maybe it's come with some times when you feel like you are in a palace, regardless of where you're. I know that we don't find our peace from the prison or the palace. We find our peace in the name of Jesus. We find our peace in the fact that there's a big, good close range. God, that promises to meet you both in the prison and the palace and everywhere in between. See Joseph had years as a Hebrew slave prisoner. And he had years, second in command over the entire world power empire. And he didn't put his identity into either one. He didn't put his faith into either one. He didn't allow either of those realities to label him. He said, Hey, when God comes and takes us to the promised land, you carry my bones outta here because I want to be where he. I'm not here for answers. I'm not here for excuses. I'm not here for status. I'm not here for a worldview. I wanna be wherever God is. I wanna actually follow him. I want a journey with him. And regardless of what prisons come with it or palaces come with it or slave caravans, come with it. Or people turning their back, come with it. I'm gonna, I'm gonna stay on the heels of God because wherever he is, there is hope and there is peace. And on this crazy life journey with all of its twists and turns and ups and downs. If we have God, we have all that we need. Let me pray for us. God, we're grateful for this story. I'm thankful for the example of Joseph to keep his eyes on you. I'm sure he didn't do it perfectly. I know there was moments of doubt and disbelief and this isn't happening fast enough, God, but ultimately he kept his eyes on you. I pray that we would follow that example, that that would challenge us to do the same. And even now in this moment, I'm gonna pray and we're gonna sing together. God, even now in this moment, as we lift our voices to sing to you, will you be close to us? Continue to work the soil in our souls, continue to open us up to be able to feel your presence that no matter where we go, no matter what we walk through, if you are there, that's enough help us to put our faith in that. God, we love you. It's in Jesus name that we pray. Amen. Thanks guys.

A Journey He Didn't Choose

by Caleb Baker • June 26, 2022

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