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Impossible!
Markus Piercy-Reins















Some years ago, after she had for a while, followed what God had done in my life; a friend asked me, “Markus, does the Lord always have to lead us in such extreme ways? Can’t I just have contact with Him and have a normal life?”

I understood her very well! I’d asked myself the same question innumerable times. I hadn’t chosen to live that way to start with. On the contrary - I’d had a lot of conflicts with it! But there always was this deep desire in me to obey Him … so I made a deliberate decision to continue doing what He told me to do. Don’t think it was fun. It was completely the opposite – I was always stepping forward cautiously, in much fear and trembling.
Over the years however, I learned something and it’s this that I want to write about today.

There’s a spiritual law that we all have to face after deciding to follow the Master.
Being in direct contact with Him brings everything we’d like to have here on earth to an end … especially a quiet, cosy, normal life!
When Jesus spoke to Peter on the shore of Lake Genessaret, He told him that in future he would find himself in situations and places that he would never have chosen for himself (John 21:18-19) and reading Acts 10:10-13 we can see how this turned out.
Peter saw a vision, the message of which surprised him in a way he could never have expected. He heard a command from God to slaughter and eat unclean animals – which God Himself had forbidden Israel to eat! (Lev. 11 + Deut. 14:4-19)
Peter was shocked to his very core. Thousands of thoughts must have rushed through his mind:
“This can’t be God! God never changes, does He? So, if it was He who gave the order not to eat (or even touch!) those animals, how can it be God giving a vision which would violate His own laws? Didn’t Jesus Himself rebuke the devil with, ‘It is written’?? – No, no, this can’t be God at all! I have never even touched unclean animals, far less eaten one!” However the Voice which had spoken to him was very familiar and he knew it well, “Do not call anything impure that God has made clean!”

Today, unless you are an observant Jew who has lived all your life trying to fulfil the law, and like this expressing your devotion towards God, it is impossible for a person to understand what this situation meant for Peter. In Deut. 13:2-5, God warned Israel against following false prophets and signs and wonders. God said that He would send those forms of temptation to test Israel to see whether they would follow Him with all their hearts.
Upright, observant Jews, like Nathanael for example, would have had no difficulties accepting a prophet like John the Baptist. He only called sinners to repentance; completely in line with the written law of God … but to follow a prophet, who didn’t observe the Shabbat, ate and drank with sinners and made greedy suckers like tax collectors his disciples, and then even said that whoever saw Him saw God, was quite different! All the miracles in the world wouldn’t impress them because they knew Deut. 13:2-5 – and that was the end of the matter. Yes, they would be quite right to reject Jesus … even if they weren’t hypocrites and liars.
This was why Jesus said to Peter that flesh and blood hadn’t revealed Jesus as the Messiah to him, but God Himself! (Matt. 16:17) An upright and observant Jew would have had no choice but to reject Jesus – unless he were to receive grace and revelation directly from God to see through the veil of the flesh – and see God Himself.

Ok, back to Peter’s vision.

So, fair enough; it wasn’t a prophet speaking to him, but a supernatural sign and vision telling him to trespass against the law of God – so, might it not be satan tempting him, as satan had tempted Jesus?

Peter was faced with nothing but an existential conflict of faith. The vision turned everything he had believed in, up to that point, upside down. If he had known God before, confronted with this vision he suddenly lost touch with everything that had given him security in the past … and he ended up in a kind of limbo ... not knowing anything anymore, except the necessity of obeying a vision and a Voice which was commanding him to act against what he knew was from God.

On that previous occasion, when the Lord had told Him to get out of the boat and walk on water, that had been impossible; right; but it hadn’t been a conflict between everything he had known which was right and from God, and something else which appeared to be very wrong. Trusting Jesus’ word, he had left the boat and experienced the impossible becoming possible.
But this situation was a completely different kettle of fish! It was a clash of belief-systems – the old versus the new covenant. The old covenant based on following written rules given by God, versus the new covenant, based on following His Voice! (John 10:1-30)
Peter was confronted with doing something he knew was against what God had spoken… and there was nobody to ask if what he had heard was right or wrong! He was challenged to trust and obey a vision - a Voice - and go against his upbringing, his religion, and risk his reputation by acting against everything that all pious Jews knew was right. He couldn’t even begin to hope that his fellow believers – all pious Jews – would follow him here.

But Peter obeyed the vision – and thank God he did so!

I have heard so many Bible experts’ belittling comments about Peter’s weakness, when later on Paul publicly exposed his wrong actions before the Galatians. I just wonder how many of today’s ‘Bible verse experts’ would act facing the same challenge – if they have never heard God’s command intimately to do which is absolutely against everything of what they know of the bible and God Himself.
We have no idea what it meant for a Jew and Pharisee like Paul, to speak, write and act only upon what he had received directly from God in those fourteen years alone with Him. And this didn’t only happen with Peter and Paul! This clash between, on one hand, what we know, want and what we are able to understand, and on the other hand, obeying and following God’s Voice, is a genuine characteristic of everyone who follows the Lord – and it was so - even in the Old Testament!

Even before God gave the Law, Abraham had lived with God and had done what God told him to do. He had left his comfortable life in Haran (Gen. 11) not knowing where to go or when the journey would end – and more than that, he wasn’t alone but had several hundred people with him in his household. God had promised to make him a great nation but Abraham had no son. Then, after waiting for decades, he received his promised son… and yes, it was a genuine miracle of God. As the Lord had spoken, so it happened – at the ripe, old age of 90, Sarah gave birth to Isaak! Abraham knew the Voice of the Lord. He’d followed this familiar Voice for many years now and could have told many miraculous stories about the adventures he had experienced with his God. Until one day, when again he heard the familiar Voice … but what he heard this time froze his blood in his veins;

“Take your son, your only son, Isaac, whom you love, and go to the land of Moriah, and offer him there as a burnt offering on one of the mountains of which I shall tell you!” (Gen. 22)

Now, not only was this command utterly cruel, but it was against everything we know and Abraham knew about God. God doesn’t change. He is the same - yesterday, today and forever. The God of Abraham was the same God of Moses who gave this command later on.
Under the Law of Moses, anyone who sacrificed his son to the Canaanite god Molech was an abomination and had to die (Lev. 20:2-5), so how could it have been GOD who wanted Abraham to make a human sacrifice?

“It was murder – plain and simple - an atrocity! It couldn’t have been God who could have wanted Abraham to do this! Letting him wait until he was a hundred to perform a miracle in giving him his long-promised son, and now this … offering his son, ‘the son, whom you love’! It MUST be satan’s voice, mustn’t it - satan, who wanted to prevent the Messiah from coming, by killing his ancestor?”

Aren’t these logical, reasonable thoughts?

If you have children of your own, imagine that you heard a voice saying to you, “Come and slaughter your first-born son!”

Put yourself in Abraham’s position here. Understand the horrible, unutterable agony and confusion that must have pierced his heart when he heard the Lord speaking those words. Could you bear this?

The Bible doesn’t tell us about Abraham’s feelings. We only read that he rose early, saddled his donkey and went to carry out God’s command.

What must have gone through his mind during those three days on the journey to Moriah?

Did he wonder what on earth he would say to Sarah when he returned without Isaac?
Was he afraid that she would kill him?
Or hate him for the rest of his life, at the very least, all because he had followed a voice?

Today we know how it all ended up. It’s very easy for us to admire and praise Abraham … but do we follow the Lord like he followed Him?

We love reading that if we believe in Jesus, then we’re ‘the seed of Abraham’ (Gal. 3:29), but how far does our life show the characteristics of Abraham’s life?

Do we carry out what we hear God say? Are we so familiar with His Voice that we do what He tells us to do? Do we follow Him wherever He leads us? Do we forget about our own desires and wishes, and just obey His Voice? Do we abandon our reputation before others, abandon even the wishes of our family and do only what He tells us to do?
What about our security – will we live for Him alone?

Peter, Paul and the disciples lived this life to the fullest and paid the full price for it. What about us today?

Impossible?

I don’t think so.

For everyone who followed God’s voice, it always felt impossible … and it wasn’t easy by any stretch of the imagination. Every single person had to forget about themselves, their loved ones, their own understanding, reputation, and do what no one else before had ever done - the impossible!

But they simply followed God’s Voice and abandoned themselves completely.

But does it always have to be so? I hear you ask. Isn’t there the slightest possibility that I can maintain a normal life and still be a follower of Christ?

The answer is: No, you can’t!

You either follow Him obediently, or His anointing will leave you.

You might continue with your own appearance of godliness, but you will completely lose His power and authority (2.Tim. 3:5).

Understand me correctly here. It’s not about you getting your own idea and going off to do some kind of crazy stuff! It’s not about getting some emotional high and freaking out!

Obedience towards God always goes in line with the death of your own self

It is extremely painful and is never an emotional high or some ecstatic state of mind – but is instead the sacrifice of everything which means the most to you.

It’s knowing God’s Voice and doing what He says!

You see, you can’t be in contact with the Eternal God and not come to the boundaries of your own limited existence and state of being!

He isn’t limited by everything that limits us … and He simply doesn’t care about how we feel, but wants and intends us to be glorious overcomers.

So following Him out of your ‘Egypt’ will unavoidably lead you to the ‘shore of your Red Sea’ … the end of your own abilities … your impossible … not in order to abandon you there but to manifest His possibilities through your obedience.

A normal, mediocre life is nothing but a clear sign that someone is not in contact with Almighty God Himself.

It is in God’s own interests to bring all of us to the end of our own abilities so that He and His abilities can manifest in our lives.

Following Him means to face thoughts like, ‘What will happen if He doesn’t show up somehow? Will all be lost?’

But those fears will be overcome by the reality of our faith and trust in Him, when we say like Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego,

“If this be so, our God whom we serve is able to deliver us from the burning fiery furnace, and he will deliver us out of your hand, O king. But if not, be it known to you, O king, that we will not serve your gods or worship the golden image that you have set up.” (Dan. 3:17+18)

It is the life of complete abandonment to God that is prepared to pay the ultimate price by doing what He told us to do.

Where are your limits? Where is your ‘impossible’? What hinders you from following His voice?

Do you hear Him? Do you know His Voice?

Jesus said,

“My sheep hear my Voice, and I know them, and they follow me. I give them eternal life, and they will never perish, and no one will snatch them out of my hand. My Father, who has given them to me, is greater than all, and no one is able to snatch them out of the Father’s hand.” (Jo. 10:27-29)

Is it perhaps fear that prevents you, hidden behind an easy argument like, “The Lord never said that to me”?

Then you must ask yourself about the genuineness and source of that which you call, ‘your faith’.

The faith that comes from God; the faith that we see in the lives of Abraham, Moses, Peter, Paul and the disciples, leaves one ‘C.O.A. (certificate of authenticity) sticker’ attached to a person’s life,

“All things are possible for one who believes!” (Mark 9:23)

I want to invite you to seek Him with all of your heart first. Before being able to follow Him, you need to know Him and His Voice intimately.

If you know Him and are familiar with His Voice, I want to encourage you to follow this Voice wherever He leads you – even if you are the only one who does so!

Never allow your fears, family or friends, or your limitations to hinder you from experiencing the wonderful God, who said,

“For my thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are your ways my ways, declares the Lord. For as the heavens are higher than the earth, so are my ways higher than your ways and my thoughts than your thoughts.”(Is. 55:8-9)

“…What no eye has seen, nor ear heard, nor the heart of man imagined what God has prepared for those who love him.”  (1.Cor. 2:9)

He will lead you to your limits. You will have to face ‘your impossible’. But you will overcome and ‘His possible’ will become manifest in and through you, only to show that there are no limits with Him; as Jesus said,

“Truly, truly, I say to you, whoever believes in me will also do the works that I do; and greater works than these will he do!” (John 14:12)

Do you trust Him?

In His Service.


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