October 25, 2012

Nothing is too hard for God

Yesterday I read an incredible description of the size of the known universe. It began with the distance of the earth from the sun, 93 million miles. Then it said to imagine that distance as the thickness of an ordinary sheet of paper. 

It continued, asking me to think of the distance to the nearest star in those terms. That would be a stack of paper 71 feet high. Remember, each sheet of paper represents 93 million miles. Using that parallel, the next measurement is our galaxy, which is a stack of paper 310 miles high. After that, the description leaped to the outer fringes of my imagination in describing the size of the known universe. It is a stack of paper 31 million miles high, with each sheet representing 93 million miles. The author asks, “Are you getting a headache?”

The intent of this description is to show not just the amazing size of the universe, but also the awesomeness of the God who created it. He merely said, “Let there be…” and spoke it into existence. 

We don’t think about God like that, at least not very often. He, like these numbers, is beyond the grasp of our brains. He can do whatever He pleases. Nothing is too hard for God, not creation, not the management of human affairs, not even the task of reaching the entire world with the good news about Jesus Christ.

The eleven disciples went … into a mountain where Jesus had appointed them.… Jesus came and spake unto them saying … Go ye and teach all nations… (Matthew 28:16, 18-19)

At first glance, this command (known as the Great Commission) seems like a task for those who follow Jesus. We have been told to go and teach others what God has taught us. However, anyone who is a disciple of Christ knows that even this is impossible without the power of the Holy Spirit. I cannot teach anyone about Jesus because spiritual truth is hidden from people who do not have His Spirit.

The natural person does not accept the things of the Spirit of God, for they are folly to him, and he is not able to understand them because they are spiritually discerned. (1 Corinthians 2:14)

For example, when Peter correctly identified Jesus as the Messiah, Jesus said, “Blessed are you, Simon Bar-Jonah! For flesh and blood has not revealed this to you, but my Father who is in heaven.” (Matthew 16:17) 

God showed Peter the identity of Jesus Christ. God showed me the same thing. God reveals spiritual truth, not human reason, insight, intelligence, or even a good sermon. Paul gave the same testimony.

For I would have you know, brothers, that the gospel that was preached by me is not man’s gospel. For I did not receive it from any man, nor was I taught it, but I received it through a revelation of Jesus Christ. (Galatians 1:11–12)

As for passing on to others this revelation, in ourselves we are helpless. When Jesus gave the Great Commission, it was like telling sighted people to explain color to those born blind. As much as it is clear to those who see and believe, the gospel is not clear unless God opens hearts and reveals it.

How is this relevant to the awesomeness of God? When I read about the immensity of His creation and think about His power, then my stress about all things vanishes. Who can outsmart God? If He touches any person (like He touched me) they will fall on their knees before Him. When God reveals our sinfulness and our need of Jesus, we cannot resist agreeing with Him no more than we can condense the distance to the nearest star.

Lately my prayers are filled more with worship than they are with requests. When I ask God to reveal Himself to someone walking in spiritual darkness, I have no doubt that He can do it. I do not need to nag Him with my worries that this is too hard because, for God nothing is impossible.

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