"It's Not Impossible" (September 2003)
There are two words that Christians need to get out of their vocabulary- "I can't". We listen to the enemy who tells us we can't; we listen to our own flesh, our weaknesses and inability, that tells us we can't; we listen to other people who tell us we can't; we listen to circumstances and agree with them when they tell us we can't. When we do this, we miss out on the victory, power, and abundantly living that God has provided for His people. The fact is we really can't (not in and of ourselves that is), but when we came to God and invited Christ to live in our hearts then that statement is no longer true. Why? Because God now lives in me. "Christ in you..." (Colossians 1:27) It's Christ Who is living in me and living through me. "And the life that I now live in the flesh, I live by the faith of the Son of God who loved me and gave Himself for me." (Galatians 2:20b) Now that Christ is living His life through me, I can say, "I can do all things through Christ which strengthens me." (Philippians 4:13)
I don't think we really know just Who it is living in us. If we did, we wouldn't live such defeated lives. I didn't say we wouldn't have trials, storms, temptations, or afflictions, I said we wouldn't let them defeat us like we do. We hear a lot of emphasis put on "knowing who we are in Christ", but recently, the Lord spoke to me that the reason we are missing it is not necessarily because we don't know who we are in Christ, but more so because we don't know "Who He is in us". Let me tell you Who it is that lives in you. It's the One Who spoke into a vast expanse of nothing and brought creation forth; the One Who is Omnipotent, Omniscient, Omnipresent; the One to Whom all creation bows; the King of kings and Lord of lords; the Eternal Lord of Glory; the Healer, Deliverer, Savior of the world; the One Who parts seas, calms storms, cast out devils, opens blinded eyes, raises the dead; that's Who lives in you, child of God.
Now that we have established the fact of Who is living in us, how should that affect our lives in regard to living in victory, power, and having abundant life? "And Jesus said unto them, 'Because of your unbelief: for verily I say unto you, If ye have faith as a grain of mustard seed, ye shall say unto this mountain, 'Remove hence to yonder place'; and it shall remove; and nothing shall be impossible unto you." (Matthew 17:20) "Jesus said unto him, 'If thou canst believe, all things are possible to him that believeth'." (Mark 9:23) In both of these verses Jesus said that we could do "impossible" things. (Takes the "I can't" out of it, doesn't it?) Jesus also said, "Verily, verily, I say unto you, 'He that believeth on me, the works that I do shall he do also: and greater works than these shall he do; because I go unto my Father'." (John 14:12) Jesus did "impossibilities" while He was on earth, but here He tells us that we will do them also and even greater works (impossibilities) than He did. How is that possible? First we have to look back at the life of Jesus and see how He did them. After all, while Jesus was on earth He was a man. "In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. And the Word was made flesh, and dwelt among us, (and we beheld his glory, the glory as of the only begotten of the Father,) full of grace and truth." (John 1:1,14) Everything He did, He did as a man. Listen to what He attributed His ability to do the impossible to. "I can of mine own self do nothing: as I hear, I judge; and my judgment is just; because I seek not mine own will, but the will of the Father which hath sent me." (John 5:30) "Then answered Jesus and said unto them, 'Verily, verily, I say unto you, The Son can do nothing of himself, but what he seeth the Father do; for what things soever he doeth, these also doeth the Son likewise'." (John 5:19) Everything that Jesus did- the impossibilities, the miracles, the ability to walk in power, love, forgiveness, and a sinless life- He attributed to His Father's presence in His life leading and guiding Him. This is how we will walk and live in the same way that Jesus did while we are here on earth- by the Father's power and strength- by His presence in us. "Not by might, nor by power, but by my Spirit, saith the Lord" (Zechariah 4:6) It's by His Spirit, and where does His Spirit reside? In us. "And I will pray the Father, and he shall give you another Comforter, that he may abide with you for ever. Even the Spirit of truth...for he dwelleth with you, and shall be in you." (John 14:16,17)
It would have been impossible for Jesus and it is impossible for us to live this life outside of letting God live it through us. "And Jesus looking upon them saith, 'With men it is impossible, but not with God: for with God all things are possible'." (Mark 10:27) This is why Jesus could do what He did while on earth. As a man He knew it was impossible for Him to do anything, but He also knew that nothing was impossible for His Father. Therefore, as He yielded and surrendered to the will of the Father, it was the Father in Him that was doing those impossible things through Him. There are a lot of impossibilities with us (men), but not with our Father. When He lives in us, and we yield to Him by letting Him live through us, He will do those "impossible" things through our lives too. Now I can take the "I can't" out of my vocabulary, because this great God, Who lives in me, can do those things which are impossible for me to do. That's what it means in Colossians 2:20a- "I am crucified with Christ; nevertheless I live; yet not I, but Christ liveth in me." It's not my life anymore but His life that is being manifested in my body. "But we have this treasure in earthen vessels that the excellency of the power may be of God and not of us." (2 Cor. 4:7)
This was why Jesus said that nothing shall be impossible to you, but He prefaced it by saying, "If you have faith; or if you believe". Believe what? Have a faith in what? If you believe that God/Christ lives in you and that with Him nothing is impossible then nothing shall be impossible for you because it's Him Who is actually doing it. We aren't the ones making anything happen; we aren't the ones who are all powerful; we aren't the ones who have such great faith; we aren't the ones who create anything; we aren't the ones who have strength to resist temptation...but He does and will do it in and through your life. Let me give you a couple of scriptures to help bring out my point. "Behold, I give unto you power to tread on serpents and scorpions, and over all the power of the enemy: and nothing shall by any means hurt you." (Luke 10:19) Do we have any power ourselves over the enemy? No. Does God have power over the enemy? Of course. So, Jesus is giving us His power to face and overcome the enemy. What was impossible for me to do on my own is now possible because of His presence in my life. "Submit yourselves therefore to God. Resist the devil, and he will flee from you." (James 4:7) Do I have power in and of myself to resist the devil when he brings his onslaughts my way? Is he so afraid of "me" that he flees from me? No, to both. Does the devil fear God? Will God cause Him to flee? Yes. While I pose no threat to the devil by myself, when I submit myself to God, His lordship and presence in my life, the devil cannot stand against me- "And he will flee from 'you'". Let me take the account from Acts when Peter and John went to the temple to pray and the man that was lame met them at the gate begging for alms. The Bible says that Peter and John healed the man and he went walking, and leaping, and praising God into the temple. When the people saw what a great miracle was done, they all ran together to Peter and John. This was their response to the people. "And when Peter saw it, he answered unto the people, 'Ye men of Israel, why marvel ye at this? Or why look ye so earnestly on us, as though by our own power or holiness we had made this man to walk? The God of Abraham, and of Isaac, and of Jacob, the God of our fathers, hath glorified his Son Jesus; whom ye delivered up, and denied him in the presence of Pilate, when he was determined to let him go." (Acts 3:12,13) What did Peter say? "Why are you looking so earnestly at us as though we healed this man by our own power and holiness?" Peter and John knew they had no power to heal this man. It was one of those "impossible with men" things. They let the people know just Who did do the healing- Jesus. It wasn't impossible for God to heal this man, so it wasn't impossible for Peter and John to reach out to him and see him healed and made whole. In all the scriptures we have just looked at, everything that was impossible for men to do became possible because the One Who does impossibilities was enabling them to do it.
Now that we have gotten a clearer understanding of Who is in us and what He can do, we now see that there is nothing impossible for us because of Him. It is possible for me to follow His command, live a godly life, have victory over sin, live an abundant life, walk in a way that pleases God, etc. etc. etc. "I 'can do all things' through Christ which strengthens me."
When "I can't" comes to you, don't believe it, don't receive it's report. It's not the truth. You can do it through Christ. It is no longer an impossibility for you because of Christ presence in your life. Listen to what the Psalmist said, "Yea, though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil." (Psalms 23:4a) How could he say that? Because he knew that the Lord was with him. "For thou art with me". (4b) It is possible to go through the valley of the shadow of death and not be afraid. It is possible to sit down at a table in the presence of your enemies and not be fearful. (v. 5a) It is possible to go through trials without being destroyed by them. "When thou passest through the waters, I will be with thee; and through the rivers, they shall not overflow thee: when thou walkest through the fire, thou shalt not be burned; neither shall the flame kindle upon thee." (Isaiah 43:2) With man it's impossible to go through the fire and not be burned, but with God nothing is impossible. It is possible for you to go through that fiery trial and not be burned or even scorched because God is with you and it's not an impossibility for Him. All those things the enemy told you that "you can't" face, don't believe it. You can face them. It is possible to face the lion's den with courage because Christ in you will give you His courage to do so. It is possible to face the unknown with faith. God sent Abraham out from his family, his home, his country and didn't tell him where he was going, but Abraham faced it with faith because he knew that God was with him leading and guiding every step of the way and empowering him to go on. The early church faced persecution with joy and grace. In and of ourselves how many could face torture and death with such peace? None, but with the abiding presence and power of the Lord they not only faced it with peace but they rejoiced that they were "accounted worthy to suffer for Christ" (Acts 5:41) and would "not accept deliverance from death." (Hebrews 11:35) It's impossible for man to walk on water, but with God it's not impossible. You can "walk on water", you can walk on top of your circumstances; it's not impossible for God in you to do so. Jesus already proved it can be done; He already walked on water and did not sink. Peter walked on water too and only began to sink when he looked at his own impossible ability instead of God's ability to keep him afloat. You can stay afloat on those things that would ordinarily drown you because it's not impossible for God in you to hold you up. "For by thee I have run through a troop; and by my God have I leaped over a wall." (Psalms 18:29) Sometimes it looks like there is a whole army out there trying to get us. It's those times when everything happens at once; if it's not one thing it's another; when it rains it pours times. Then there are times when it looks like you are coming up against a brick wall, the problem looks permanent, solid, immovable, and looming over you in an intimidating fashion. Don't get tempted to look at your situation and say, "I can't" make it through this. Yes, you can! "For by thee...and by my God". The Psalmist faced some pretty powerful obstacles but he knew he could do it, he knew he could get victory over it because he knew that it was not an impossible situation for his God Who was with him. It's not an impossible situation for you either (or rather for the God that is in you).
Take the "I can't" out of your vocabulary when it comes to serving God and being obedient to His commands. He told us to keep them, and He wouldn't have if it were impossible. It is possible for us to keep them because His strength is made perfect in our weakness. Stop saying that you "can't" get victory over besetting sin, you can; it's not impossible. You can stand fast in the liberty where in Christ has set you free. You can do all things through Christ which strengthens you. Through Christ Who lives in you it is possible to love your enemy; you can bless those who persecute you; you can be healed; it is possible to be set free; you can live for the Lord with your whole heart; it is possible to forgive those who have trespassed against you; you can turn the other cheek and go the second mile; you can walk uprightly before the Lord in the land of the living; you can trust the Lord with your children, your job, your church, your life; it is possible to run the race that is set before you; it is possible to do all that He has told you to do because He is with you always and will never leave you nor forsake you.
Let me sum it all up and leave you with this. The key point of this whole message is- Focus on Who is in you and His ability to do the impossible, and don't stay so focused on you and your inability. You will discover that those things that you thought were so impossible have become very possible.