Impossible! That was the theme I proposed for our 2022 General Conference. Frankly, I did want to provide a shock factor. What we as God’s people are called to be and to do is … Impossible! I cannot be the whole-hearted, whole-minded, whole-life lover of God and others I am called to be. I cannot consistently do justice, love mercy, and walk humbly with God as I am required to do. There is no way we can go to seven billion plus humans and make them disciplined followers of Jesus with the evidence of transformed and obedient lives as we are commissioned. Impossible … unless we go “Beyond the Impossible.”
The leaders I work with wanted us not only to face the reality of our challenge, but also to comprehend that it is possible to go beyond the impossible. In our time we must experience the truths that state,
“And without faith it is impossible to please God, because anyone who comes to him must believe that he exists and that he rewards those who earnestly seek him” (Hebrews 11:6, emphasis added).
“For with God nothing will be impossible” (Luke 1:37, NKJV).
The fact is, without faith it is impossible. Without God it is impossible. Jesus’ mentoring of the disciples, who would make the impossible possible, was a regular exercise of instructing them by word and experience regarding a life of faith.
“… I say to you, if you have faith as a mustard seed, you will say to this mountain, ‘Move from here to there,’ and it will move; and nothing will be impossible for you” (Matthew 17:20, NKJV, emphasis added).
“So Jesus answered and said to them, ‘Assuredly, I say to you, if you have faith and do not doubt, you will not only do what was done to the fig tree, but also if you say to this mountain, “Be removed and be cast into the sea,” it will be done’ ” (Matthew 21:21, NKJV, emphasis added).
Consider with me the seemingly impossible task that we would be the whole-hearted, whole-minded, whole-life lovers of God and others that we are called to be. Many conversations, both in the church and in the culture around us, focus on how polarized we are, from families and churches through to nationwide divisions. Realism acknowledges the many examples of disunity and anger. Denial does not help us here—and, yes, it can seem that a generation of Great Command Christians is … impossible.
Without faith that would be true. Without God, the unifying agape we are meant to personally experience and share together in is impossible. However, to live in that sad state does not please God. Our response must be a continual coming to God. In a polarizing conversation, come to God! After reading a divisive post, come to God! If you experience an unjust criticism from a family or church member, come to God! When you are reminded of the deep divides there are in the culture, come to God!
Have faith. Believe that He is. Live in His presence, wisdom, love, and power. Be reminded continually of Jesus’ love for you and others; of His sacrifice, His passion for transformation and reconciliation. Welcome His presence as you look at others through His eyes rather than through the eyes of the blind. Do not be conformed to a self-centred, self-justifying, spiteful culture.
Be transformed by experiencing the rewards of those who seek Him. His character shaped in you is the greatest reward. To know by the Spirit:
- Love, not hate
- Joy, not despair
- Peace, not strife
- Longsuffering, not impatience
- Kindness, not cruelty
- Goodness, not wickedness
- Faithfulness, not infidelity
- Gentleness, not harshness
- Self-control, not unrestraint
Can you envision with me followers of Jesus who, by faith, come continually to the presence of God and are transformed by the Spirit’s life within them? They are the ones who love God completely and love others sacrificially. Motivated by this love, they live righteous, just lives that do justice, love mercy, and walk humbly with their God. Empowered by the Spirit, in word and action they call others to become followers of Jesus, living such transformed and joyfully obedient lives that others are supernaturally drawn to Jesus, becoming His followers as well.
Beyond the impossible—it is possible only by faith.
Jesus invited us to have faith the size of a mustard seed. We can say to this mountain of division and loss of first love, “Move from God’s people and our nations,” and it will move; for nothing will be impossible. We will be consistently whole-hearted, whole-minded, whole-life lovers of God and others.
Jesus invited us to have faith the size of a mustard seed. We can say to this mountain of injustice, lack of mercy, and arrogance, “Move from God’s people and our nations,” and it will move; for nothing will be impossible for God. We will consistently do justice, love mercy, and walk humbly with God.
Jesus invited us to have faith the size of a mustard seed. We can say to this mountain of apathy and disobedience to His mission, “Move from God’s people and our nations,” and it will move; for nothing will be impossible for God. We will consistently go, empowered by the Spirit, and make disciplined followers of Jesus with the evidence of transformed and obedient lives as we are commissioned.
Impossible? We know the God who does beyond the impossible. Lord, hear our prayer. Amen.This article was written by David Wells, the general superintendent of The Pentecostal Assemblies of Canada. This article appeared in the Spring 2022 issue of testimony/Enrich, a quarterly publication of The Pentecostal Assemblies of Canada. © 2022 The Pentecostal Assemblies of Canada. Visit www.testimonyenrich.ca.