CHRISTIAN: ARE YOU ABLE TO DO THE IMPOSSIBLE?

You can do the impossible if you trust God.

Physical and spiritual walls must be broken through if we are to be free to stretch our endurance, abilities, and potential. Athletes learn that they can catch their second wind only when they are willing to go through the pain of breaking through a wall of resistance. Once they push through that physical wall, their task becomes easier and their energy and endurance increase exponentially.

I played basketball, baseball, and track in a small Christian college. I ran in the 880 and one-mile relays. A good coach won’t let his runners give up, stop, and rest when they come to that wall where they feel they can’t run another foot. A good coach will train the runners to break through it because he knows that if the athletes push, they will catch a second wind and start running like they were on air. Once that resistance is broken and the runners get their second wind, the next race they run they will know they can get through that wall—and hope it will happen sooner rather than later. I know about getting a second wind. It’s a fantastic feeling breaking through the physical wall of resistance. But there is also a mental wall of resistance that must be treated just the same.

When I coached at a small Christian high school, I taught my students about getting a second wind by hitting the wall and breaking through. However, some kids were not willing to put forth the effort and therefore never experienced getting a second wind. In basketball we played a full-court press defense and a fast-break offense, which required tough physical endurance. Many times we won by wearing out the other team. My job was to help players realize that to stretch their physical endurance and potential they had to push through the wall of resistance at least once. Nothing is more important than adequate preparation and hard work to build confidence and stamina.

Just as athletes experience a physical wall of resistance, Christians encounter a spiritual one. It’s called fear. Most often this barrier is more difficult to break through because the Devil and his spirits of darkness often put the “wall of fear” before us.

God did not create Adam and Eve to have fear. We know that Christ lived without fear. Genesis 3:8–10 tells us that once Adam and Eve sinned, they became fearful. Before God cursed the earth because of Adam’s sin, nothing was worthy of fear. But when God cursed it, fear immediately entered man.

Now two kinds of fear exist: positive and negative. Positive fear keeps us from standing in the middle of a busy freeway and challenging oncoming cars. Negative fear keeps us from using our full potential or abilities. It can be a fear of failing, thus an unwillingness to try something that requires faith, trust, or confidence.

Anytime you attempt something that seems impossible you will run up against a wall. Many have a first reaction to quit. As a store manager I found many who did not want additional responsibility. It could be they feared failing or just didn’t want to put in the effort. Of course, not everyone has a competitive spirit. It is not that they don’t want to be a winner; they just do not want to enter the race.

I believe God gave us His Spirit to help us in life. It bothers me to see a Christian young person who is not doing well in school. I understand if there is a handicap. What about a student with a decent mental ability? To some, they reach a “wall” in math or Chemistry. They hit the wall and can’t understand what they are being taught. The first reaction is to find an excuse to give up. The problem is we are making it too easy for our young people to be excused and not push them to break through the wall and put more time understanding. I have found each time a wall was in front of me, was to find a way around or through it. What made Steve Jobs different from most of us? He didn’t give up and found a way to get on the other side of the wall. As a result, he was known as a genius. I like what I read about Edison who invented so many new products. He worked a year and one-half to develop the incandescent light. He hit hundreds of walls before he finally broke through.

Here is where doing the impossible comes in. I believe God gives us ideas that will improve ourselves or others whether it is spiritual or material. However, to us there is a wall in front of it. No matter how much encouragement we receive from the Holy Spirit we just ignore what God is telling us. I have seen so many athletes and employees with exceptional ability and talent; fail to do what I felt they were capable of doing.

If a person believes God has a special task to perform do they not think that the Holy Spirit will help them accomplish it? God would never ask a person to do something they cannot do. Nothing in Scripture indicates that God opposes successful careers, wealth, position, or the pursuit of personal interests—recreational or otherwise. In fact, we have every reason to believe that God will bless us in these endeavors if we keep everything in perspective. Scripture confirms it: “Delight yourself in the Lord and he will give you the desires of your heart” (Ps. 37:4). (This is just one of many verses to commit to memory that remind us of what the Spirit desires and what we receive by yielding to His desires.)

The Apostle Paul had every reason to quit as he was always hitting walls. But God either got him through or around everyone of them. Through it all he was rejoicing knowing the power that was in him. II Corinthians 11:22 – 28 – “Are they Hebrews? So am I. Are they Israelites? So am I. Are they Abraham’s descendants? So am I. Are they servants of Christ? (I am out of my mind to talk like this.) I am more. I have worked much harder, been in prison more frequently, been flogged more severely, and been exposed to death again and again. Five times I received from the Jews the forty lashes minus one. Three times I was beaten with rods, once I was pelted with stones, three times I was shipwrecked, I spent a night and a day in the open sea, I have been constantly on the move. I have been in danger from rivers, in danger from bandits, in danger from my fellow Jews, in danger from Gentiles; in danger in the city, in danger in the country, in danger at sea; and in danger from false believers. I have labored and toiled and have often gone without sleep; I have known hunger and thirst and have often gone without food; I have been cold and naked. Besides everything else, I face daily the pressure of my concern for all the churches.”

I believe in self-fulfilling prophecy. We can become what we want to be—a success or a failure—depending upon how we think of ourselves. When we think positively, we can become highly motivated and more productive. If we think negative thoughts about ourselves, we become less enthusiastic and block our full potential. When you are doing something and you see a wall in front of you remember: the Holy Spirit can help you do the impossible. He did it for Paul.

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1 Comment

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    Reply

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