Nothing is Impossible
Because of erroneous theological perspectives like the prosperity gospel, faith teachers have gotten a bad rap in contemporary times. However, when we go back and look at the teachings of Jesus, he was, without a doubt, a faith teacher.
And that makes sense; without faith it is impossible to please God (Hebrews 11:6). That is, we will not doubt our way into God's blessings; we will not skeptic our way into a right relationship with God. Unless it is doubt that we our doubting and ubelief about which we're skeptical.
Consider these statements of Jesus:
- All things are possible for one who believes (Mark 9:23).
- Your faith has made you well (Mark 5:34).
- Do not fear, only believe (Mark 5:36).
- Have faith in God (Mark 11:22).
- Whatever you ask in prayer, believe that you have received it, and it will be yours (Mark 11:24).
We could go on; but the point is that Jesus preached faith. But why? Why is faith so important to God. Very simply, because faith is the demonstration that we believe God and that our thinking is aligned with his character.
What is faith? Very simply, believing that what God has said is true. Faith is believing that God will keep His Word. Faith is trusting that God will accopmlish his promises. Faith is acting like God is not a liar.
And that brings us to three observations about Luke 1:26-38, where we meet Mary, the woman of faith:
First, God doing impossible things is simply the reflection of his God-ness. In explaining to Mary how a virgin could conceive and have a child, the angel Gabriel says, 'The Holy Spirit will come upon you'. Never underestimate what can happen when God's Spirit gets involved.
Second, God knows no limitations in his capacities. Gabriel says, 'For nothing will be impossible with God'. Now, knuckleheads who think they're smart love to come up with apparent conundrums by asking things like, 'If God can do anything, can he make a rock so big he can't move it?'. By definition, a 'rock so big it can't be moved' is an immovable object. By definition, God's ability to move anything is an irresistable force. Thus, by definition, an immovable object and an irresistable force cannot simultaneously coexist, so this is actually a non-sense question with a logical flaw built into it. God only ever does anything that is consistent with his character (goodness, holiness, love, mercy, purity) and his will (that which he wants to happen). God, however, knows no capacity constraints, so it it imminently logical to trust him.
Third, faith involves trusting God and resting in his word. Note Mary's response: 'let it be to me according to your word'. That is, conceiving babies in the wombs of virgins is a God thing, and Mary can't make it happen. God is the one who does what is impossible for humans. Mary could have doubted; rather, she chose to believe. But even in believing, she had to rest in God, because the thing promised was beyond her.
What does all this mean for us? Very simply, some promises of God towards us are so big that only God can do them. First and foremost is saving sinners. That's a God thing - we can't do that. And that salvation rests on God doing God kind of things - like raising Jesus from the dead. There is no benefit is trying to have a faith in which faith isn't necessary; Christianity without God doing God things is not Christianity at all. Rather, the Lord invites us to follow Mary's example of trusting God completely. Because God does God things. And with God, nothing is impossible.