Walk With God: Impossible Made Possible

A few years ago Honda had an advertising campaign all about making the impossible possible. It was innovative, creative and definitely caught your attention.

Dare I suggest that such a strap line could be used by God. He is all about ‘the impossible being made possible’. He is innovative, creative and definitely good at catching our attention.

For nothing will be impossible with God [Luke 1:37]

When those who can’t have children start having children, the impossible is being made possible. When God uses a young woman to bring the Saviour of the world into existence, the impossible is being made possible. And that was just the start.

Read through the Gospels and you discover moment after moment of impossibles being made possibles. Water into wine. Lame start to walk. Blind get their sight. Dead people being raised. People healed and in put in their right mind. Walking on water. Storms calmed. Multiples fed with a kids lunch. The worst of sinners forgiven. Religion put in its place.

Jesus laying down His life for us. His death for our new life. Transformational moments. Impossible made possible.

Then you examine your own walk with God and see His handprints all over it. God making moves behind the scenes. Creating opportunities. Bringing about His providential plan.

When I reflect I can see where He has moved the pieces. If certain things which I could not make happen had not happened I would not be where I am today. Don’t get me wrong, I was complicit in some of the actions but not in the final outcomes. God working out things from my indiscretions, for my good. Impossible made possible.

That is the God I walk with every day. So I should not be surprised when surprises occur. Maybe in my head I see the pleasure He takes in doing some stuff, a little glint in His eye as He speaks to me saying, ‘You didn’t see that coming, did you?’

Where have you seen the impossible made possible by God in your life?

Lead Well: 10 Steps Towards Gods Future For Us

 

 

 

 


We can make our plans, but the LORD determines our steps [Prov 16:9 NLT]
We plan the way we want to live, but only God makes us able to live it. [Prov 16:9 Message]

When I was younger I don’t remember having any great ambition to be something or someone in the future. Maybe you did. I would have loved to have been a sportsman of some sort as I was pretty good at a few. I can complain about lack of opportunity but I lacked the discipline needed when the opportunity came along.

Since then I have discovered that leading well is less about the destination and more about the steps along the way. It is less about what I achieve and more about who I become along the way.

Don’t get me wrong, we need the big dreams and a vision of a preferred future but it is the steps we take along the way which determine where we get to. And then we need to happy that when we get ‘there’ the preferred future may doubtless look different to what we anticipated.

Dreams are exciting and in reality, quite easy. We can all imagine great things. Steps though are more tricky, they represent where the rubber hits the road.

Steps take courage.
Steps involve action.
Steps are time consuming.
Steps demonstrate our faith in God.
Steps will grow us.
Steps can be hard work.
Steps can be quick sometimes or slow at other times.
Steps are often lonely.
Steps take us somewhere.

Steps are Gods to determine. After all, He wants to get us to where we ‘need’ to be more than we want to get to where we ‘think’ we should be.

At the age of 47 I never imagined I would be where I am, doing what I do, but I am. God’s plans have worked out how He saw best. To say I have faith in Him means trusting where I am and the journey I am walking are the steps He is wanting me to take.

My responsibility is simple ~ keep walking, one step at a time, with God very much in the lead position.

Why not take a moment to thank God for where He is brought you to?
Then pray and give Him permission to keep ordering your future steps.

 

 

Walk With God: Don’t Be a Jonah

I think it comes naturally to be a Jonah. To run from the call of God rather than towards it. To disagree with what we are being asked to do. To dare to believe we know better.

You cannot outrun God. You cannot outrun the call of God. 

Haven’t we all been there, wondering how we ended up where we did. We should have gone in one direction but we chose another. We find ourselves in a dead end or  simply in the wrong place and in trouble.

That’s Jonah.

So, let’s not do a Jonah.

He found himself inside a giant fish.

He never needed to wonder how he got there, he knew.

It’s a rough moment for Jonah. A 3-day rough moment until the fish threw him up but God has a myriad of ways to capture our attention. And more importantly, a second chance to be obedient.

Lesson learned, you would think.

Jonah continues to be frustrated by the way God behaves. God doesn’t do what we would do. Where we would call for judgement and punishment, God provides love and forgiveness. In our way of thinking this is not fair yet to God, it’s the perfect illustration of fairness.

We want fairness to be toward us but then to determine whether it should be given elsewhere. That is not fair.

God’s long arms of abounding love and slow anger is completely fair. Everyone can receive it, especially those who respond to the call to repent, who turn their heart back to God. It doesn’t seem fair but it is, and I am a thankful recipient of it.

When God saw what they did, how they turned from their evil way, God relented of the disaster that He said He would do to them, and He did not do it [Jonah 3:10]

So, let’s not be a Jonah. Instead let’s be more God-like in our working out of fairness in the way He deems things to be fair.

Maybe we should check our hearts today. Is there something God asked to do which we have our done best to ignore, turn away or even run from. Repent, then go for it and get back on the job for God.

 

The Future Awaits

When I was 19 I was given the opportunity to lead a youth group. Little did I know that this was the beginning of my future. A journey in leadership was taking it’s very first steps. Just like a toddler, I wobbled and fell a few times but through the encouragement of others, I got back up again and took some more steps.

Is that where you are? First opportunities are coming your way. The future has started and is waiting for you to make your way towards it.

Psalm 37:23 tells me that the steps of a good person are ordered by the Lord. One step at a time. Maybe we over complicate it but the simple aspect of one step is often all it takes. Yet we must take them with care. I heard something this week which has reminded me about how easy it can be take a wrong step.

We are one step away from greatness. One step away from being incredible for God. 

Or maybe we are one step away from a great act of stupidity. One step away from making ourselves invisible for God. 

I wonder why some people can navigate through life while others fail or give up on the journey. The balance between one and the other can be that fine. Every crucial moment, every challenge, every decision, every action ~ can take us one way or another.

The future awaits, if we stay focused. It can still be reached even if we mess up or have messed up along the way. The key is getting back up and taking another step.

The Apostle Paul encourages us to run as if to win. To not allow anything to hinder us or to allow anything to cut across us while we run our race.

As we take those seemingly fragile steps into the future let’s do so understanding the awesome power of God available and on our lives.

Let’s care enough to not hinder ourselves. Let’s run with enough determination that nothing will impede us. Let’s focus on what’s going on around us that we never allow ourselves to become shackled by opinion, persuasion or pride.

Your future awaits. Take that next step towards it and enjoy the journey as it unfolds before you. And never give up, even when you mess up. Just get back up an take another step. God loves it when we do that.

Nothing Is Impossible With God

The angel answered, “The Holy Spirit will come upon you, the power of the Highest hover over you; Therefore, the child you bring to birth will be called Holy, Son of God. And did you know that your cousin Elizabeth conceived a son, old as she is? Everyone called her barren, and here she is six months’ pregnant! Nothing, you see, is impossible with God.” And Mary said, Yes, I see it all now: I’m the Lord’s maid, ready to serve. Let it be with me just as you say [Luke 1:35-38]

Don’t you think that Mary is amazing. Read the whole encounter between Mary and the angel and tell me you are not amazed. Her simple faith just astounds me. It challenges me too.

Her acceptance about what was happening as if it were a normal every day occurrence. Not sure I would have remained so calm in the presence of an Angel, telling such incredible things about my future.

 Her willingness to go with the plans and purposes of God for her life, even though she wondered how it could all happen. It is a demonstration of her faith in the goodness of her God.

Her assurance in Gods ability to perform. Her ‘how can it be’ question is answered with the telling of a miracle. That is all she needs. If He says this will happen, who am I to argue. The best response is often to allow God to do what only God can do.

This Christmas time, you may be faced with what seems like an impossible situation. You may be faced with challenges that you are not sure you can complete. You may be wondering about the plans and purposes for your life. Take courage from the knowledge that nothing is impossible with God and speak those same simple words of Mary ‘Let it be to me according to Your word.’

What’s With All The Drama?

In my preparation for this Sunday’s message I thought about Mary and her incredible attitude to all that the angel Gabriel said to her. Imagine being told you that you would give birth to the Son of God.

Thing happen to us and we can go crazy. We lose all sense of perspective. We question our faith. Maybe we have a momentary ‘freak out’. Something unexpected is happening and we start to fall to pieces.

Yet with Mary…no drama.

As usual the Bible is understated in it’s recalling of this encounter. Mary maintains a coolness that most of us probably would not have managed. Not even a shriek, or a ‘no way’. Just a simple question, ‘How can this be?’

I’m not wanting to make little of all that we can be called to trust God in but I look at Mary and marvel at how sometimes I have possibly over-complicated my response. She had trust in God. She took the angel at his word. She was not so precious about her wonderful life to consider that the life that God was asking her to embrace would be even more wonderful.

She didn’t say no. I’m guessing the reason we hear about Mary is because she said yes. She held loosely to the thing which most of us hold tightly to and went with what God was saying. Her future laid aside for Gods future.

‘Let it be to me according to your word’.

I want my life to be wonderful. Help me Lord to have that simple faith that Mary displayed. I may not always understand or even like what is happening sometimes but my faith and trust are in You. Let it be to me according to Your word.

How To Walk Into Your Future – Pt1

Shared these thoughts last Sunday as my first venture into our new Preaching Series at Xcel Church about walking into our ‘flashforwards’. Whatever we see in our future – the best part about it is that we can have God right at the centre of it. This means we should be walking ahead…

Confidently
This is a confidence not based on getting the answers we want all the time but based on the knowledge that God will do what is right for us. The two invariably are not always the same. We may not always know our own thoughts on things but God is never uncertain. His thoughts are always working towards the expected end.

As Jeremiah 29:11 says ‘For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the Lord, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future’.

God wants us to be able to move ahead with confidence. By His grace & Holy Spirit he directs the thoughts, affections & designs of all. We can take confident steps into our future knowing that He has already thought about them. (Psalm 37:23)

Carefully
Paul wrote in Eph 5:15 (NKJV) ‘See then that you walk circumspectly, not as fools but as wise’

We want God to use us in the future – thenwe need to watch how we walk, to have a walk worthy of the calling to which we are called. The calling is to that of being a Christian and the opportunities that living out that calling may unfold.

Look at Noah – the Bible says there was something ‘different’ about him. He was a man right with God, careful to keep that relationship right, to always do what God asked him to, to keep his integrity. Maybe that is why God could open up what can only be described as a ‘once-in-a-lifetime’ opportunity.

To walk ‘circumspectly’ literally means to walk accurately, in the right way, frequently consulting our rule – so that we don’t act as fools but rather as people who are wise. Too many give no thought about how things look, about protecting their integrity, to think about how their actions represent God.

Instead of getting frustrated with God and wondering why He hasn’t noticed us yet, perhaps we should take more care how we walk, what we fill our time with and give ourselves greater possibility of ending up where God needs us to end up.

So where do we need to take care? How can we improve your walk?
What are we going to do this year to help us walk more carefully?