Impossible Becomes I AM Possible

Imagine a little 2 year-old boy trying to tie his shoes. It is impossible! Dad comes along and ties the shoes for his son. It is possible.

Open your Bible to Mark 10:17-27 and read the account of the rich young man who wanted to inherit eternal life. It was impossible. Then read John 3:16, “For God so loved the world that He gave His one and only Son, that whoever believes in Him shall not perish but have eternal life.It is possible.

Mark 10:27 says, “With man this is impossible but not with God; all things are possible with God.Matthew 19:26 makes the same statement.

In Luke 1:26-38, an angel told Mary she would have a son. Impossible – Mary was not yet married. However, Gabriel explained this would be possible when the Holy Spirit came upon her. Luke 1:37 NLT says, “For nothing is impossible with God.

Similar statements are found in the Old Testament. In Genesis 18:24, the question “Is anything too hard for the LORD?” is asked concerning Sarah’s ability to have a child. It seemed impossible because of Abraham’s and Sarah’s ages. However, it was possible because God was in control.

Jeremiah begins his prayer in Jeremiah 32:17 NASB proclaiming, “Ah, LORD God, Behold, You have made the heavens and the earth by Your great power and outstretched arm. Nothing is too difficult for You.

With man, impossible. With God, possible.

Possible” is defined as able to be done. If something is possible, it means there is the power or capacity for it to be accomplished. If something is possible, it is attainable or achievable. When the prefix “im” is added to possible, the meaning completely changes. Now it means something cannot be done or achieved.

I want to have some fun with the word “impossible” and make a spiritual application. Instead of thinking of “im” as a prefix meaning “not”, I am reminded of the contraction “I’m” for “I am”. Taking it one spiritual step further, I think of the name for God as I AM. In Exodus 3:14, God said to Moses, “I AM WHO I AM.” The impossible becomes possible when God, the great I AM, is involved!

Since it is impossible with men and only possible with God, where are we? Are we left in the realm of impossibilities? Definitely not!

Jesus says in John 14:16, “And I will ask the Father, and He will give you another advocate to help you and be with you forever.Just as the little boy’s father helped his son tie his shoes, Jesus has given us the Holy Spirit as our Helper. The Holy Spirit helps us do what is impossible in our own strength.

Paul shares about pleading to have his thorn in his flesh removed in II Corinthians 12:8-10. “Three times I pleaded with the Lord to take it away from me. But He said to me, ‘My grace is sufficient for you, for My power is made perfect in weakness.’ Therefore I will boast all the more gladly about my weaknesses, so that Christ’s power may rest on me. That is why, for Christ’s sake, I delight in weaknesses, in insults, in hardships, in persecutions, in difficulties. For when I am weak, then I am strong.What Paul thought was impossible to endure became possible when the Lord helped.

Romans 8:26 says, “In the same way, the Spirit helps us in our weakness. We do not know what we ought to pray for, but the Spirit himself intercedes for us through wordless groans.The limitations of our minds can make it impossible for us to know how to pray. However, the Holy Spirit prays on our behalf. Once again, the impossible becomes possible.

God helped Moses, Isaiah and Paul comprehend how the impossible could become possible. Moses declares in Exodus 15:2 NLT, “The LORD is my strength and my song; He has given me victory. This is my God, and I will praise Him–my father’s God, and I will exalt Him!The Lord says in Isaiah 41:10, “So do not fear, for I am with you; do not be dismayed, for I am your God. I will strengthen you and help you; I will uphold you with My righteous right hand.Paul proclaims in Philippians 4:13, “I can do everything through Him who gives me strength.

Now for a personal application. I Chronicles 16:11declares, “Look to the LORD and His strength; seek His face always.” Then, II Chronicles 20:15 reminds me that “the battle is not mine, but God’s.If the battle were mine, I would probably lose. However, when the battle is the Lord’s, it is possible to win. He will help me achieve victory over any area where I struggle. Nothing is impossible for God!

Since what seems impossible to us is not impossible with God, let us ask Romans 8:31. “If God is for us, who can be against us?No one! Romans 8:37 tells us, “in all these things we are more than conquerors through Him who loved us.Being conquerors, implies possibilities rather than impossibilities. I want to echo the words of Paul in Ephesians 3:20 NLT, “Now all glory to God, who is able, through His mighty power at work within us, to accomplish infinitely more than we might ask or think.

Listen to Joshua 1:9. Have I not commanded you? Be strong and courageous. Do not be afraid; do not be discouraged, for the LORD your God will be with you wherever you go.Declare the words Job spoke to the Lord in Job 42:2 NLT, I know that You can do anything, and no one can stop You.” There is nothing impossible for God. Invite God, the great I AM, into your impossible situations.

How can we move from the realm of impossibilities to the realm of possibilities? Hebrews 11:6 tells us, “And without faith it is impossible to please God, because anyone who comes to Him must believe that He exists and that He rewards those who earnestly seek Him.Living by faith not only pleases God but allows Him to do the impossible for us.

Paul says in Philippians 4:4, “Rejoice in the Lord always. I will say it again: Rejoice!Remember to rejoice because I AM makes the impossibilities possibilities.

Let us close by reciting the words of Nothing Is Impossible. Sing along if you know the melody.

Nothing Is Impossible
Through You
I can do anything
I can do all things
Cause it’s You who gives me strength
Nothing is impossible
Through You
Blind eyes are opened
Strongholds are broken
I am living by faith
Nothing is impossible!

I’m not gonna live by what I see
I’m not gonna live by what I feel

Deep down I
Know that You’re here with me
I know that, You can do anything

I believe, I believe
I believe, I believe in You

 

 

 

 

 

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Pilgrimage Rest Stops

A road trip to Nebraska has been a frequent journey for my husband and me. We have our favorite rest stops where we pull off the interstate every 3 or 4 hours. We may just use the restroom and run around for a few minutes. If it is lunchtime, we will get a bite to eat. Whatever we do, we are refreshed and ready to continue down the road for another few hours.

I find a spiritual message in our road trips. As believers, we may not be traveling concrete highways, but we are traveling spiritual highways and byways to Zion. Psalm 16:11 declares, “You make known to me the path of life.

As we journey through life, the Lord provides spiritual rest stops – better known as places of refreshing. Our spiritual rest areas may be located in our local church on a Sunday morning or in a home for a small group gathering. Maybe a retreat at a Christian camp will be the rest area of choice. Even conversation with a friend in a coffee spot can be a rejuvenating place. Wherever we stop, our spirit can be fed. Matthew 5:6 says, “Blessed are those who hunger and thirst for righteousness, for they will be filled.

By car, we travel from New York to Nebraska in 2 long days. Our spiritual journey takes a lifetime. The journey’s length will be different for each of us. For the majority, the travel time will be 70-90 years. That’s a long trip! Most every parent knows the question young children ask when traveling in a car for an extended time. “Are we there yet?” Although God will personally greet us at the final destination, He wants us to enjoy the journey from here to there. That is why we need rest stops.

Ben Armstrong  says, “God is in love with process! He is not in a panic and He is not trying to get people to their future too fast without actually allowing them to go through the process that helps them gain strength and momentum. Process gives us the things that are needed to sustain the greatness that God wants in our lives.”

(Michele Weston is the artist.)

Let us look closely at Psalm 84:5-7 as a picture of our journey.

Verse 5, “Blessed are those whose strength is in You, who have set their hearts on pilgrimage.” A pilgrimage is a long journey, often leading to a sacred destination. As believers, we are on a lifetime trip. It will culminate with our arrival in the Lord’s presence for eternity. John says in Revelation 21:1-3, “Then I saw a new heaven and a new earth, . . . . I saw the holy city, the new Jerusalem, . . . And I heard a loud voice from the throne saying: ‘Behold, the dwelling place of God is with man, and He will live with them. They will be His people, and God Himself will be with them as their God.’”

Verse 6 goes on to say, “As they pass through the Valley of Baca, they make it a place of springs.” Valley of Baca describes a dry, barren place. Since we will experience difficult paths, spiritual rest stops will be helpful. At these spots, we will encounter other brothers and sisters in Christ. We will worship together. We will encourage and refresh each other. According to John 4:14, “Whoever drinks of the water that I will give him shall never thirst; but the water that I will give him will become in him a well of water springing up to eternal life.

Verse 7 states, “They go from strength to strength, till each appears before God in Zion.” During our pilgrimage, we will help each other grow in the Lord and gain His strength. Nehemiah 8:10 tells us, “the joy of the Lord will be our strength.” We never travel alone. The Lord will be with us as well as our fellow sojourners. Deuteronomy 31:8 says, “The LORD Himself goes before you and will be with you; He will never leave you nor forsake you. Do not be afraid; do not be discouraged.

When traveling to the Midwest, we have a specific route we follow. Although we are familiar with the route, we still plug in the GPS. We should take the same precaution spiritually. While on our pilgrimage, let us listen carefully to our spiritual GPS – God’s Provision through the Spirit. Galatians 5:25 says, “If we live by the Spirit, let us also walk by the Spirit.

We must remember to take breaks while traveling the thruway of life. Times of refreshment will help us stay alert to road traffic. Physically, stops at rest areas help prevent auto accidents. Spiritually, times of refreshing prevent crashes or clashes with the enemy.

Remember, God loves the journey as well as the destination. Travel with the Lord. Isaiah 35:8 says, “And a highway will be there; it will be called the Way of Holiness; it will be for those who walk on that Way.

Gates: In and Out

I paused when I read Jesus’ words in John 10:9. “I am the gate.While I meditated upon these words, I also reflected upon my childhood experiences with a gate. Two gates. Did the gate have a similar function in both instances?

A gate allows for entrances and exits.

While growing up, we lived on a farm. Our home and surrounding yard were enclosed by a fence. The fence had a gate. The purpose of the gate was to keep children in and chickens out. Children benefited from the safety of a smaller space on a big farm. While chickens needed to roam freely, we did not want them destroyubg flowerbeds near the house.

Children in and chickens out. How does this apply to Jesus?

To fully understand the function of Jesus as a gate, we need to continue reading Jesus’ words in John 10:9. “I am the gate; whoever enters through Me will be saved.

I John 1:9 says, “If we confess our sins, He (Jesus) is faithful and just and will forgive us our sins and purify us from all unrighteousness.” When we are purified of unrighteousness, sin is out! In addition to forgiving our sins, Jesus also functions as a gate keeping sin out. Sin and chickens out!

Ephesians 1:13 says, “And you also were included in Christ when you heard the message of truth, the gospel of your salvation. When you believed, you were marked in Him with a seal, the promised Holy Spirit.Ephesians 5:18 goes on to say, “Be filled with the Spirit.” The Holy Spirit lives within us when we enter through the gate of Christ. Holy Spirit and children in!

Let’s think about what we want to keep within our lives and what we want to throw out when Jesus is the gate to our hearts.

Out with religion and in with relationship. We experience more intimacy with Jesus when we allow Him to be the gate of our heart. Our faith is no longer simply based upon obeying religious laws.

Our soul is composed of mind, will and emotions. All three are affected when Jesus is our gate.

According to I Corinthians 2:16, we can have the mind of Christ. This is possible when Jesus is the gate protecting our minds. I Corinthians 2:14 KNJV tells us “the natural man does not accept the things of the Spirit of God, for they are foolishness to him.However, verse 10 says that God reveals things to us by His Spirit. So, out with the natural mind and in with the spiritual mind.

Our will undergoes a change from “mine” to “Thine” when Jesus is our gate. Jesus taught us to pray to our Heavenly Father in Matthew 6:10, “Your kingdom come. Your will be done, on earth as it is in heaven.We must let go of our selfish desires and yield to the leading of the Holy Spirit.  This requires humility. Philippians 2:3 says, “Do nothing out of selfish ambition or empty pride, but in humility consider others more important than yourselves.Romans 12:16 simply warns, “Do not be proud.” Ephesians 4:2 exhorts us, “Be completely humble and gentle.Out with pride and in with humility.

Our emotions are also affected when we allow Jesus to be our gate. Negative emotions must be replaced with positive ones. We want to kick out worry and fear. Philippians 4:6-7 NLT says, “Don’t worry about anything; instead, pray about everything.. . . Then you will experience God’s peace, which exceeds anything we can understand. His peace will guard your hearts and minds as you live in Christ Jesus.Jesus says in John 14:27 NLT, I am leaving you with a gift—peace of mind and heart. . . . So don’t be troubled or afraid.Then I John 4:18 says, “There is no fear in love. But perfect love drives out fear.Worry out and peace in. Fear out and love in.

As a child, I thought it was fun to swing back and forth on our farm gate. This activity defeated the gate’s purpose. Proverbs 4:23 NLT says, “Guard your heart above all else.Make sure Jesus, the gate, is in control of what enters and exists your heart. What we allow to enter our mind, will and emotions affects our spiritual life. Let us keep Jesus in our heart and listen to the leading of the Holy Spirit. The Bible warns us about vacillating (swinging back and forth) in our faith. Mark 11:23 encourages us not to doubt in our heart but believe.

Whether thinking about physical or spiritual structures, we always enter and exit through gates. Physical gates remind me that Jesus is our spiritual gate. A physical gate provides for children in and chickens out. A spiritual gate keeps sin out and allows the Holy Spirit in. Let’s keep our gates in place.

Rocks and Stones

The coastline of Lake Ontario is diverse. Occasionally, we go to Webster Park where the shore is lined with rocks and stones. It is harder to walk with rocks and stones underfoot but the terrain does not wash away as easily as sand.

What does scripture say about rocks and stones?

The LORD said to Moses, “Come up to Me on the mountain and stay here, and I will give you the tablets of stone with the law and commandments I have written for their instruction.”
Exodus 24:12

The 10 Commandments were engraved on tablets of stone. God gave them to Moses. The purpose was to lead the Israelites to a life of practical holiness. Today, these commandments continue to be guiding principles of life. We will not find these stone tablets on our rocky beach, but we can collect 10 stones and meditate upon the meaning of the 10 Commandments.

The LORD is my rock, my fortress and my deliverer; my God is my rock, in whom I take refuge, my shield and the horn of my salvation, my stronghold.
Psalm 18:2
Truly He is my rock and my salvation; He is my fortress, I will never be shaken.
Psalm 62:
2

Children often gather rocks and build forts on the beach. We can gather rocks from the Psalms and build a fortress of faith. God is often described as our rock in the Bible.

I will give you a new heart and a new spirit within you; I will take the heart of stone out of your flesh and give you a heart of flesh. I will put My Spirit within you and cause you to walk in My statutes, and you will keep My judgments and do them.
Ezek
iel 3626-27 NKJV

If I get a little stone in my shoe, it irritates and hurts while walking. I want to remove it. Think about what a person with a stony heart must experience. A hard-hearted person may irritate or hurt others without realizing it. God wants to remove a stony heart and replace it with a heart of flesh. Then He pours out the Holy Spirit upon this person so he/she can walk according to God’s way. His way is not irritating. It is easier to walk on the stony beach than to walk through life with a stony heart.

The stone the builders rejected has become the cornerstone.
Psalm 118:22

There are several scriptural stones that remind us that Jesus is the cornerstone. The gospel writers of Matthew Mark and Luke all quote this verse. Jesus is also referred to as the cornerstone in Acts 4:11. When a building was being constructed in Bible times, a cornerstone was the standard to make sure the other stones of a building were straight and level. Jesus’ life and teachings are the church’s foundation. While there are no cornerstones among our rocks and stones on the beach, stones are a good reminder of Jesus.

You are living stones that God is building into his spiritual temple. . . .
As the Scriptures say,
“I am placing a cornerstone in Jerusalem, . . .
Yes, you who trust Him recognize the honor God has given Him.
But for those who reject
Him,
The stone that the builders rejected
has now become the
cornerstone.
And,
He is the stone that makes people stumble,
the
rock that makes them fall.”
I Peter 2:5-8 NLT

So many stones on the beach. Stepping stones and stumbling stones. We can step on stones to prevent our feet from getting wet in the water. Or, we can stumble over a stone and fall into the water. If we make Jesus our cornerstone, it is our first step to a deeper walk with the Lord. If we reject Him, we will stumble and falter in our faith. Peter not only refers to Jesus as the cornerstone, but also describes believers as living stones. I want to be sure I am a stepping stone for others to know Jesus as the Rock of their salvation. I never want to be a stumbling stone that prevents them from this relationship.

The LORD lives! Praise be to my Rock! Exalted be my God, the Rock, my Savior!
II Samuel 22:7
Come, let us sing for joy to the LORD; let us shout aloud to the Rock of our salvation.
Psalm 95:1
Trust in the LORD forever, for the LORD, the LORD himself, is the
Rock eternal.
Isaiah 26:4

It may be fun to meander on a rocky reef, but nothing compares to knowing the Lord as the Rock of our salvation! While walking on a stony shore, may we take time to praise Him!