The Impossibility of “Impossible”

by Lester Young

“That’s impossible!”

“I can’t do it!”

Do you realize that those two phrases should not even be in your vocabulary? As a matter of fact, they shouldn’t be in the collective human consciousness at all. Why would I say something as outlandish as that? Because of two even more amazing statements that have gotten far less critical attention from us than they should. You might recognize them:

• “With God nothing shall be impossible” (Luke 1:37); and
• “If you can believe – all things are possible to him that believes” (Mark 9:23).

Did you happen to notice that those two Scriptural comments perfectly contradict what we typically find coming out of our own mouths? Okay… I can hear some of you thinking, “Wait a minute! Sure, God can do anything – He’s God. But just because nothing’s impossible for God doesn’t mean everything’s possible for me. I can’t do something that’s not possible for humans to do!” And oddly enough, you’re half-right – but that, by definition, also means you’re half-wrong.

How? Well, look a little more closely at Luke 1:37 and consider what it doesn’t say as well as what it does. Now we know that God is omnipotent and therefore capable of doing anything – anything! But that’s not really the main thrust of that verse, because it doesn’t say “‘For’ God…” – as in, “Nothing shall be impossible for God.” It declares “‘With’ God…” – as in, “If you’re with God (and thereby He’s with you), nothing’s impossible for you because nothing’s impossible for Him.”

Think that’s taken out of context? Not at all. As a matter of fact, let’s look at the very context it’s in: “And, behold,… Elizabeth, she has also conceived a son in her old age; and this is the sixth month with her, who was called barren. For with God nothing shall be impossible” (Luke 1:36-37). Now this verse says Elizabeth conceived and became pregnant. But it also tells us that she didn’t have the ability to become pregnant, because she’d always been barren. How did it happen, then? Simple. She and her husband Zechariah believed the Word of the Lord that came to them and acted on it by doing what they were able to do (in other words,… well… you know), and the Lord provided the power to accomplish the ‘impossible’ part (see Luke 1:11-25).

Still not sure? Recall what God told Moses to do when he was leading the Israelites out of Egypt: “You [Moses] lift up your rod, and stretch out your hand over the sea, and divide it: and the children of Israel shall go on dry ground through the midst of the sea” (Exodus 14:16). I think we can all safely agree everybody and their brother knows good and well that Moses couldn’t divide no water. Yet God told him to ‘take his stick and divide it’. The only thing Moses had the power within himself to do was hold the stick out over the edge of the sea in obedience to what he’d been instructed. And, of course, when he did that, God provided the necessary miraculous power to get the ‘impossible’ part done (Exodus 14:21).

But let’s not ignore that other verse, Mark 9:23; where Jesus said, “If you can believe – all things are possible to him that believes.” Consider that for good measure He corroborated its truth by coming at the matter from the opposite direction (Deuteronomy 19:15; 1 Corinthians 13:1), when He very matter-of-factly declared in John 15:5, “For without [apart from] Me you can do nothing.”

Without God – without His power and grace to sustain our lives – we cannot do anything (any thing at all!); including waking up, getting out of bed, brushing our teeth, eating breakfast, going to work, laughing, crying, complaining or picking our nose. Without Him, simply put, we are dead. So there you have it. We can do absolutely nothing apart from God; but with Him, there’s absolutely nothing we can’t do. What more need be said?

“I can do all things through the Anointing which strengthens me!” (Philippians 4:13) That’s the attitude we’re supposed to have – the attitude He wants us to have. When you get bold enough to adopt that mindset, it actually blatantly shows the Lord’s Spirit with you: because where the Spirit of the Lord is, there’s libertynothing and no one can tie you down, hold you back, limit you or keep you from victory! (1 Corinthians 15:57; 2 Corinthians 2:14, 3:17, 12:9-10) Just be obedient to the Lord’s leading – whether you initially understand it or not – and do whatever it is He tells you to do. You do your part – the part that’s within your power to do. He’ll do all the rest. And because you’re with God, nothing will be impossible for the two of you!

By the way, I don’t think I’m quite done with this impossible notion of “impossibility”… more next week. God bless!

 

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