Pentecost - Power to do the impossible
This month is Pentecost, when we remember the day that Jesus’ disciples, waiting in the upper room, experienced the world-shaking power of the Holy Spirit for the first time. Actually, I almost don’t like to say “remember” when it comes to Pentecost, because that puts it in the past, when the wonderful truth for us is that Pentecost never ended! It is ongoing to this very day. Jesus promised the Holy Spirit to every believer from that moment to this and until He returns.
“And I will ask the Father, and he will give you another advocate to help you and be with you forever –the Spirit of truth. The world cannot accept him, because it neither sees him nor knows him. But you know him, for he lives with you and will bein you. I will not leave you as orphans; I will come to you. Before long, the world will not see me anymore, but you will see me. Because I live, you also will live.” – John 14:16 – 19 (NIV)
What a promise! With the Holy Spirit inhabiting us, leading us, comforting and strengthening us, all things are possible. He outfits us with everything we need to meet every challenge, and to carry out God’s will in our lives.
God often calls us to do the impossible
There are many books today about self-improvement and personal success. They tell us that if we can learn how to exchange bad habits and attitudes for good ones, the end result will be wealth, health, fulfillment, and happiness. Many of the principles they teach are actually universal spiritual truths taken from the Word of God and then adapted to fit a wide variety of applications. They are like cheerleaders standing on the sidelines and chanting, “You can do it! You can do it!”
I do not intend to challenge you to “grow,” “develop,” “achieve,” or “change,” but rather to yield your life to God. If the “You Can Do It” philosophy were true, we wouldn’t need the Holy Spirit, would we? The “You Can Do It” mind-set needs to be replaced with another, which essentially says, “I can’t do it on my own, but I can do all things through Christ.” With His help and blessing anything is possible.
Finding the will of God always requires faith for the impossible and a childlike dependence upon Him. The Bible is filled with the accounts of men and women who found their destiny in the perfect will of God by doing things that were impossible for them to do on their own.
Noah and his impossible project
Noah was commissioned to build a ship the size of an aircraft carrier by hand! The ark was an enormous boat, big enough to carry every kind of animal in advance of a global flood. Imagine the sheer impossibility of even building such a boat by hand, much less gathering all the animals. Yet Noah did it with God’s help and grace.
Engineers have studied the biblical dimensions of the ark and found that its design was perfectly proportioned for maximum sea-worthiness! Thousands of years ago the ark utilized principles of engineering and shipbuilding that have been discovered only recently. Noah would never have been able to calculate those things for himself, but God knew all along how to build the perfect boat. Noah just had to listen and obey. The people of Noah’s day must have thought he had lost his mind as decade after decade he labored over this massive boat. But when the floodwaters began to rise, Noah was glad he had followed God’s detailed instructions.
Abraham and his impossible promise
When Abraham was at an advanced age, God told him he was going to have as many descendants as the stars of the sky and the sands of the sea. How could such a thing be? He and his wife, Sarah, were much too old for that to happen. Yet Abraham believed in his heart that God was faithful and able to fulfill His promises. He did become the “father of many nations” just as the Lord had said, even though, from a purely natural biological standpoint, it was impossible.
Moses and his impossible passage
Moses was eighty years old when he stood before a bush ablaze with God’s glory. God instructed him to bring approximately two million people out of Egypt and take them to a land He had promised to Abraham more than seven hundred years earlier. Moses had plenty of reasons to believe he was unfit for the job. He was too old. He was extremely shy. No one would listen to him. Pharaoh would probably kill him. Even if he were able to organize the people and even if Pharaoh allowed them to leave, how would he be able to lead and care for two million people in a hot desert without food and water? Yet despite these enormous obstacles Moses simply submitted to his destiny, obeyed to the best of his ability, and God did the rest! The story of God’s faithfulness, provision, and protection in the Book of Exodus is one of the most remarkable accounts in the Bible.
Mary and her impossible pregnancy
And of course, Mary! She is one of the most outstanding examples in the whole Bible of how God can produce something in a human being that, humanly speaking, is utterly impossible. The angel Gabriel appeared to her and told her that she had found great favor with God and had been chosen to give birth to the Messiah of Israel. But because she was still a virgin, she initially questioned how such a thing could happen. Still Mary submitted to the will of God, even though she did not fully understand it. As a result, she fulfilled her destiny by giving birth to and raising God’s Son.
Because of her unconditional commitment, the Holy Spirit was able to do an immeasurably great work in her. The crux of the matter is found in Luke 1:38: “I am the Lord’s servant,” Mary answered. “Let it be to me according to your word.” Mary submitted fully to the will of God and that is exactly what you and I need to do. We, too, need to reach the point in our lives where we say, “Lord, let it be to me according to your word, your will, your purposes for my life!”
Ordinary people do extraordinary things
The list of people in the Bible whom God called to do amazing things could go on and on. Throughout history God has always chosen very ordinary people to do very extraordinary things.
Some were men while others were women. Some were young and others old. Some were well educated, and others were almost illiterate. But they all had something in common: they had all been called by God to be part of something much bigger than themselves. Because of their willingness to simply yield themselves to the One who had created them and allow His purposes to be revealed in and through them, God used them in phenomenal ways. Healing evangelist Kathryn Kuhlman once said, “It isn’t silver vessels that He’s asking for. It isn’t golden vessels that He needs. He just needs yielded vessels.”
It seems that one of the common characteristics of God’s will is that it often calls us to do things that are impossible for us to do in our own strength. But as we yield our lives to Him, He causes His divine plans and dreams to become a reality! When we surrender to the Holy Spirit, actively listening for His prompting and guidance, the impossible transforms into the possible. God takes great pleasure in doing things through us that only He can do, so that in the end He receives all the glory, honor, and praise.
Together with you in Jesus,
Evangelist Daniel Kolenda
P.S. We are in full swing, preparing for the first of two Decapolis campaigns this year in Tanzania – 5 events happening in 5 cities in two weeks in June! Are you able to help us meet the steep financial cost of these evangelistic events? Every gift, big or small, is so deeply appreciated. And please keep praying for us. Thank you so much for your love and support.