Impossible? Absolutely Not!

Jesus replied, “What is impossible with man is possible with God.” Luke 18:27

We serve a magnificent, all-powerful God. Nothing is too difficult for Him. Things that loom beyond our human realm of possibility become quite possible when the Almighty enters the scene.

Unfortunately, most of us don’t live as though that’s true. We tend to limit what we’ll expect from God, especially when it comes to our understanding of how God might want to use us. We often allow our abilities—or lack of them—to define our idea of what God desires to do through us. That misplaced focus can cause us to miss out on marvelous blessings.

Today we visit the desert with Moses to join him beside that famous burning bush. We have much to learn from his encounter with God, so come close. Feel the heat of the flames. But don’t worry, these won’t consume so you don’t need to fear getting burned (Exodus 3:2). You will, however, learn how to push past your own self-doubt and trust God to do something extraordinary through you.

Let’s first consider the scene. Moses has spent the last forty years tending sheep in the desert, a long way from Pharaoh’s palace where he’d been raised. A botched attempt to save an Israelite slave ended in murder and sent him fleeing Egypt for his life. Now suddenly, on an ordinary day while Moses performed an ordinary task, God showed up and told him it was time to finish what he’d started forty years before.

The Lord said, “I have indeed seen the misery of my people in Egypt. I have heard them crying out because of their slave drivers, and I am concerned about their suffering. So I have come down to rescue them from the hand of the Egyptians and to bring them up out of that land into a good and spacious land… So now, go. I am sending you to Pharaoh to bring my people the Israelites out of Egypt.” Exodus 3:7-8, 10

Moses’ response to God was less than enthusiastic. Honestly, I’m pretty certain mine would have been as well. I mean, who really wants to return to the scene of their most tragic failure? And the last time Moses saw Pharaoh, he wanted to take his life.

Like Moses, you and I possess all sorts of reasons for not wanting to do what God asks of us. On the surface, some of them even appear to be very valid reasons. But I think you’ll find that if you bring them to the Lord and allow yourself to see them overshadowed by His greatness, their validity disappears.

How do you typically respond, dear one, when God calls you to move on His behalf? Do you charge ahead full of faith, or do you argue like Moses to see if God changes His mind?

I used to do quite a bit of arguing. I am full of faith in God’s ability, but I often doubt myself. Thankfully, God’s pretty good at winning battles.

Moses offered up four arguments against doing the thing God asked of Him. Today we’ll consider the first three and save his final argument for next week. As we look at each one, contemplate how God’s response to Moses applies to you.

Who am I? Moses’ first argument stemmed from self-doubt.

“But Moses said to God, “Who am I that I should go to Pharaoh and bring the Israelites out of Egypt?” (Exodus 3:11)

Essentially, Moses questioned God’s choice, “Are you sure you’ve got the right guy?” I can tell you I’ve spoken similar words to God myself, and God answers with the same words He spoke to Moses.

God’s Answer: “I will be with you.” Exodus 3:12

Who are You? Next Moses asks for a little clarification. God had already revealed who He was at the start of their conversation, and Moses hid his face in reverent response (verse 6). Still, upon hearing the task God appointed for him, Moses asks…

“Suppose I go to the Israelites and say to them, ‘The God of your fathers has sent me to you,’ and they ask me, ‘What is his name?’ Then what shall I tell them?” Exodus 3:13

We should note that God revealed His names in scripture as His people experienced that aspect of His character. It’s as if Moses is asking, “You said you’d go with me, but who are you going to be?” Would He be Deliverer? Comforter? Provider? God Almighty?

God’s Answer: “I AM WHO I AM” Exodus 3:14 

By proclaiming Himself I AM, God declared, “I am everything you need.”

What if they don’t believe me? We can easily face a crisis of faith when we consider how others might view it. Wondering what others think can keep us from believing ourselves. I would bet every fisherman that abandoned his net to follow Jesus dealt with this one. Moses, it seems, faced that same doubt.

Moses answered, “What if they do not believe me or listen to me and say, ‘The Lord did not appear to you’?” Exodus 4:1

 God’s Answer: Essentially, “I will show myself.” Exodus 4:2-9

God promised Moses that if he would trust Him by going to Egypt to rescue the people of Israel, God would make it known to the people that He was with him. He would provide evidence that He was present and that He did in fact send Moses to deliver them through miraculous signs.

Eventually, Moses chose to trust God and saw Him keep every promise. God showed up to perform marvelous works that brought great deliverance and altered the course of history. And that shepherd tending sheep in the desert became the leader of God’s chosen nation.

Beloved, what is God calling you to do that you have neglected to trust Him for?

Obedience invites God’s presence. And as you step out in faith with I AM, you can rest assured that God will eventually show Himself to doubting scoffers. If He has invited you to participate with Him in His plans, just like Moses you can believe that when the time is right, He will reveal Himself in the midst of it.

I’d like to leave you with one closing thought to chew on. When Moses voiced the reasons he couldn’t do what God had asked, not once did God encourage Moses by building him up. He didn’t offer the words, “You can do this.” Moses’ ability was a non-issue.

God’s response was simply, “I will; I AM; I can.”

The First and Only

“You shall have no other gods before me.” Exodus 20:3

God has this thing about being first.

You can’t blame Him, really. After all, He is the First. And the Last. And He’s everything in between.

“Listen to me, O Jacob, and Israel, whom I called! I am he; I am the first, and I am the last. My hand laid the foundation of the earth, and my right hand spread out the heavens; when I call to them, they stand forth together. Isaiah 48:12-13

The God who IS —who existed before time and created all things—longs for us to recognize His preeminence. And to honor it.

“Be still, and know that I am God. I will be exalted among the nations, I will be exalted in the earth!” Psalm 46:10

God created us to live in relationship with Him, fully dependent on Him as our source.

Source of what, you may ask? Of everything.

God gives life and He takes it. He commands the sun and the moon. He spins the earth on its axis. He created and governs time. He is our source of love, joy, peace and security. He gives and maintains health. He causes the rain to fall and the ground to produce so we can have food to eat. He gives us the ability to prosper.

Beloved, God simply asks for us to recognize His role.

Don’t be deceived, my dear brothers and sisters. Every good and perfect gift is from above, coming down from the Father of the heavenly lights, who does not change like shifting shadows. James 1:16-17 NIV

Every good thing we long for can only come from God. And He longs to bless us with those perfect gifts. But to receive from God, we must acknowledge Him as our source.

This, dear one, is where the deceiver wreaks his havoc among us. He convinces us that we’re responsible for providing our own good. He whispers the same lie he offered Eve in the garden, suggesting we don’t need God. No, we ourselves can be like Him.

So we strive and toil to build the life we desire instead of learning to trust God and receive.

Wise King Solomon had a few things to say about that.

What has a man from all the toil and striving of heart with which he toils beneath the sun? For all his days are full of sorrow, and his work is a vexation. Even in the night his heart does not rest. This also is vanity. Ecclesiastes 2:22-23

Have you ever noticed that the harder we work, the more miserable we become? And we never seem to attain the goal we seek. We may get close, but satisfaction remains elusive. Because even if we reach the goal, it changes on us like a shifting shadow. Suddenly what we thought we wanted isn’t enough.

And our hearts can’t rest.BlogPosts_TheFirstandOnly

Solomon saw the answer to this vain struggle.

There is nothing better for a person than that he should eat and drink and find enjoyment in his toil. This also, I saw, is from the hand of God, for apart from him who can eat or who can have enjoyment? Ecclesiastes 2:24-25

Do you see it, dear one? Every good and perfect gift comes from above, even our ability to enjoy our work. You see, joy is a gift. We can’t manufacture it. We must receive it from its source. And God is the only source of everything good.

Just in case we missed it the first time, Solomon repeated the concept in chapter 3.

. . . also that everyone should eat and drink and take pleasure in all his toil—this is God’s gift to man. Ecclesiastes 3:13

God wants us to find pleasure in our work and in our lives, but that pleasure can only come from Him. Otherwise, it will be fleeting, changing and shifting. Never resting.

That’s why He invites us to come close and trust Him. He declares, I AM the First and the Last, and He asks us to live like we believe it. He calls us to put Him first so His blessing can flow into our lives and out on this earth.

Is He first in your life, dear one? Do you run to Him first to share good news? Do you offer your grief to Him before you transfer the burden to one of your loved ones? Is He first in your thoughts when you wake in the morning? Do you recognize He is your only true Healer?

Our enemy would have us believe we can extract our own good from life. If we work hard enough we can prosper ourselves. We can find healing through physicians and medicines.

God may use physicians, but He alone is Healer. Asa, king of Judah, learned that lesson the hard way.

In the thirty-ninth year of his reign Asa was diseased in his feet, and his disease became severe. Yet even in his disease he did not seek the Lord, but sought help from physicians. And Asa slept with his fathers, dying in the forty-first year of his reign. 2 Chronicles 16:12-13

Asa was a man of God. He rid Judah of its idols and won great battles by the Lord’s hand. Yet after so much success, he began to rely on his own strength instead of continuing to depend on God.

It cost him dearly.

Nothing the world offers is an adequate substitute for God. He asks you, dear one. Will you live like you believe it?

Week 8: Equipped for Your Calling

Do you ever feel like you just don’t have the ability to do what you feel God is calling you to do? I can relate! Doubt has a way of derailing us from experiencing the wonder of God at work in our lives. Today God wants to shift your focus off of your inability and onto His great ability.

Click here to print the prepared note sheet for this video.

Watch the Video

Week 8 Assignment

Complete Days 3-5 of Week 4 in your workbook.

Additional Suggestion:

Ask God to show you opportunities where you can exercise faith and trust Him. When doubt tempts you to turn back, choose to stand on God’s promises… I AM, I can, I will.


I am who I am


“. . . I AM WHO I AM . . .

“. . . This is my name forever, the name by which I am to be remembered from generation to generation.” Exodus 3:14,15

Have you experienced I AM? Have you encountered the God who IS?

One of my favorite biblical stories of the revelation of I AM is found in John 18:3-6. On the night that Jesus was arrested, Judas led a group of soldiers to find Jesus in an olive grove.

So Judas came into the grove, guiding a detachment of soldiers and some officials from the chief priests and Pharisees. They were carrying torches, lanterns and weapons.

Jesus, knowing all that was going to happen to him, went out and asked them, “Who is it that you want?”

“Jesus of Nazareth,” they replied.

“I am he,” Jesus said. (And Judas the traitor was standing there with them.) When Jesus said, “I am he,” they drew back and fell to the ground.

Picture the scene. An angry mob comes to arrest Jesus carrying torches, lanterns and weapons. Against Jesus’ small group of twelve men, they clearly had the upper hand. Yet the moment Jesus identifies Himself, proclaiming, “I AM he,” instead of advancing on Him, they drew back and collapsed.

Can you imagine the fear and confusion that must have gripped them? Jesus pronounced Himself by the name their God was to be known by for generations, and as they heard Him utter the words, they involuntarily fell to the ground!

I can relate to their compulsory response. I have a similar experience every time I encounter I AM. It occurs each time God speaks His will to me and I follow Him in faith—full of doubt in myself, yet choosing to trust the God who IS. And He reminds me, “Your story is not about who you are; it has EVERYTHING to do with who I AM.”

Several years ago, I began to awaken early each morning with a sermon forming in my mind about Hagar and Ishmael, a mother and son whose story is found in the Old Testament. I saw myself standing at the pulpit in my church, and God began to lay out this teaching in my mind. I didn’t say anything to anyone and didn’t write anything down. I just kept waking up with this message building in my head, point by point.

I knew God had called me to teach, but I’d only ever taught women and never such a large group—and my pastors do quite well at giving the sermons! I waited on God to reveal Himself.

One morning I received a phone call from the head of our women’s ministry. She said our senior pastor had contacted her regarding Mother’s Day Sunday. The Lord had lain on his heart to have a woman give the message that Sunday morning, something they had never done before. As they were talking, their thoughts went immediately to me.

I hung up the phone and collapsed to my knees, sobbing in my bedroom. My God had been faithfully giving me the message I was to share before I was ever asked! I guess He wanted me to know it was Him so I would have no excuse to back out—unless I wanted to choose direct defiance to His will. A few months later, I gave that message in all 3 services in my church, reaching over 1000 people that day.

I returned home that Sunday afternoon after pouring out the message God had given me and retreated to my room. I found myself right back where I began with Him—on my knees, weeping, overwhelmed by how He had revealed Himself and gotten me through. In the years that have followed, as I have trusted Him to be who He IS, we’ve met there many times. He has proven to me over and over,

I can do everything through him who gives me strength.” Philippians 4:13

Beloved, I AM has a plan for you. If you will trust Him to be who He IS, you will see Him reveal Himself gloriously in your life. And as He does, you will likely fall to your knees in worship. Relish the moment, dear one. You’re in good company.