God of all possibilities
(God who specializes in impossibilities!)
Math 19: 26. Jesus looked at them and said, “With man this is impossible, but with God all things are possible.”
When we get to know God more in our lives, there are many things we learn about His character & nature that we might have never noticed. Through the study of His word & through our day to day walk with Him, He reveals himself in greater clarity just as we get to know a friend or a spouse a lot more than we did the day we met.
One of the many facets of God’s divine nature is His specialization in impossibilities. In other words his area of expertise or specialization is impossibilities! That is His designation! When we come across a medical doctor or a scientist we like to know what there area of specialization is. When we have a specific ailment or need then we go to that specific person who deals with that particular area. Similarly when we face impossible situations in our lives there is no better person for us to go to other than God. Of course, the same applies for every other need & not only impossible situations.
When we take a close look into God’s divine nature we come to know that He not only specializes in impossibilities but He looks for impossible situations to work on just as a musician would love to play his favorite style / genre of music. God enjoys working on impossible projects! Although at such situations our faith is tried & tested & we are far from anything near ‘enjoyment’, handling such situations is rather ‘cool’ in God’s sight!
How do we know this?!
Here are a few examples:
Elijah had a pretty good sense of humor! We read about it when he challenged the prophets of Baal to bring down fire from heaven through their worship of Baal. The Baal prophets worked themselves up the whole day & were exhausted with no results from Baal. No sign of fire, not even a flicker, no smoke & not even the smell of a smoldering match stick! Next, Elijah gets into action to prove His God. To prove that His God not only answers prayers offered in faith without much of a fuss but that He does so even in the most impossible situation. Look what Elijah does in the following verses in 1Kings 18-32-35 (NIV)
With the stones he built an altar in the name of the Lord, and he dug a trench around it large enough to hold two seahs of seed. He arranged the wood, cut the bull into pieces and laid it on the wood. Then he said to them, “Fill four large jars with water and pour it on the offering and on the wood.””Do it again,” he said, and they did it again. “Do it a third time,” he ordered, and they did it the third time.The water ran down around the altar and even filled the trench.
The prophets of Baal were looking out for fire from their God at an hour of dry heat at the peak of midday. A little boy with a magnifying glass could have fixed it! A little friction in the trees could have set the whole place ablaze. Yet their prayer were not answered.Elijah,knowing the personality of His God, makes the altar on which He was expecting the fire from heaven ,an impossible place for fire to burn. He pours gallons of water, three times to make it the worst place for fire to catch on. (We all know that water & fire are not very good friends and that water is used to quench the fire & not as fuel!).In other words God was trying to get Elijah to make the situation as ‘impossible as possible’ to prove His area of expertise. This is one reason we need to learn not to panic when we face similar situations in our lives & to know that our impossible situation is only a sign that God was about to perform His miracle. The prophets of Baal must have had a good laugh over Elijah when he was soaking the sacrifice with water. Quite often we feel that we are not only going through a time of ‘no way out’, but we are flooded with waters of adversity at the same time. We are flooded with doubt & unbelief, challenges & accusations from people around us whom we highly esteemed, people pointing their fingers & jeering at us just as they did when Jesus hung on the cross asking ‘Where is your God who saves ?’Our own supposedly ‘common sense’ pointing at the flickering flame of faith in our hearts & sneering at us, waging its ugly head of unbelief. Ever been there before? Well, if we are still there then let’s see how Elijah brought fire from heaven at the most impossible juncture from verse 36 onwards:
At the time of sacrifice, the prophet Elijah stepped forward and prayed: “O Lord, God of Abraham, Isaac and Israel, let it be known today that you are God in Israel and that I am your servant and have done all these things at your command.Answer me, O Lord, answer me, so these people will know that you, O Lord, are God, and that you are turning their hearts back again.”Then the fire of the LORD fell and burned up the sacrifice, the wood, the stones and the soil, and also licked up the water in the trench.When all the people saw this, they fell prostrate and cried, “The LORD–he is God! The LORD–he is God!”
If we read the above passage we would know what to do in an impossible situation from what Elijah did. The first sentence itself says, ‘Elijah stepped forward & prayed.’ This is exactly what we need to be doing. Before Elijah prayed he stepped forward. Until then he was in the back just giving out orders to get the altar soaking wet. Elijah soaked the altar not exactly with water but with faith. Every drop of water he poured on the altar was a drop of faith in action. Elijah was carrying out James 2: 18
But someone will say, “You have faith; I have deeds.” Show me your faith without deeds, and I will show you my faith by what I do.
He was just showing His faith in His unfailing God by his deeds & actions. Verse 26 says that Faith without works is dead. Now after he acts out his faith by watering the altar, he steps out of the confused & faithless around him & gets into the presence of God. If he would have remained with them they would have probably convinced him of how ‘insane’ he was. But He did the right thing by stepping forward. There are times in our lives when we need to come out of an area that is feeding us doubt & unbelief & get into God’s presence. The former area is what is called the ‘world’! The world & the flesh are very good in feeding us doubt & unbelief. It will feed fear until we are fed-up & give up!
That is why Elijah had to step out of such a situation. That is why Jesus said in Math 6:6
But when you pray, go into your room, close the door and pray to your Father, who is unseen. Then your Father, who sees what is done in secret, will reward you.
Our prayers will be a lot more effective if our doors have latches! This even means the doors of mouths (our included) that speak words of unbelief! We need to shut ourselves from every doubt promoting situation & get into God’s presence where doubt & unbelief has no entry. When we are in His word & when we praise Him & worship filled with His Holy Spirit, fear & doubt will have to exit. Many times our prayers are not answered since we really haven’t stepped forward & come away into the presence of the almighty As the above verse says God, who sees in secret, is able to single us out for a mighty blessing when we come into the secret place of the most high (Ps 91:1).This is not because God has better eye sight in the secret place but that we have better focus on God when we come away from distractions, worldly worries, earthly entertainments that try to stifle our faith in God. This is the place where God can answer even the simplest child like prayer.
Elijah did not pray an elaborate prayer with many words. He did not scream & cry out like the pagan prophets of Baal did in desperation. He prayed a simple prayer with the right attitude that God himself could not withhold the answer. What was that right attitude? We read it in verse 37 .Answer me, O Lord, answer me, so these people will know that you, O Lord, are God, and that you are turning their hearts back again.
He prayed without a selfish desire in him, but prayed that God’s name will be glorified. So many times we pray with the ‘me’ & ‘mine’ mentality. James 4:3 says ‘When you ask, you do not receive, because you ask with wrong motives, that you may spend what you get on your pleasures.’ How very true this is. When we seek God’s glory in everything, He glorifies His name in blessing His children & answering their prayers. This is the key to answered prayers. This is the key to the fire anointing that we thirst for. Elijah asks God just for one reason, that the people will know that He is God. The NIV version of verse 38 is awesome. It says, Then the fire of the LORD fell……….. .It looks like God could not withhold the answer any longer but the blessing just fell through His hands! Elijah’s prayer of faith with the right attitude literally grabbed the blessing from heaven (so to speak) onto the altar of sacrifice. What followed after that was not only the answer to his prayer but the annihilation of his enemies –the total destruction of hindering forces of the past. This is our God who specializes in impossibilities.
The Bible is full of passages proving the power of God in impossible situations. Here are a few we can meditate on to strengthen our faith.
John 11 –Jesus shows up 4 days after Lazarus death, when he was stinking & rotting in the grave in order to raise him up!
2 Kings 5:1-14 God heals Naman the leper by getting him to bathe in the dirtiest water in town!
Luke 5:1-11 Peter has the catch of his life, caught so many fish when Jesus was in his boat, at a time when there was no fish to be found.
Gen 21:1-7 Abraham had become a father to Isaac in his 100th year & Sarah a mother when she was past the age of child bearing.
Let us take time to read those passages to strengthen our faith. If we believe in God, we better believe that He is a God that specializes in impossible situations & with God all things are possible.