Luke 18:27 says, “The things which are impossible with men are possible WITH GOD.” We like to hear about man’s possibilities with God, but what exactly does the phrase “with God” mean? “With God” can certainly mean being born again. In the New Birth, He is not only with us but in us. However, there’s more to receiving God’s blessings and experiencing His greater glory.
In the New Birth, we become qualified to be partakers of God’s divine nature and heirs of God and joint-heirs with Jesus. But how do we actually partake of the blessings and glory of God? How do we receive and experience them for ourselves?
So many people accept Jesus Christ as Savior, and then that’s that. They don’t receive Him as Lord of their lives. They don’t go any deeper in their walk with Him. They go back to living their lives the best they know how and waiting for the Sweet By-and-By when they’ll walk those heavenly streets of gold. But the “with God” that makes man’s impossibilities possible also means that we’re following Him. In other words, our being “with God” is a lifestyle, not just an event.
Let’s look at further at Luke 18:27 and the verses that follow.
LUKE 18:27-30 (NIV)
27 Jesus replied, “What is impossible with men is possible with God.”
28 Peter said to him, “We have left all we had to follow you!”
29 “I tell you the truth,” Jesus said to them, “no one who has left home or wife or brothers or parents or children for the sake of the kingdom of God
30 will fail to receive many times as much in this age and, in the age to come, eternal life.
Talking about himself and the other disciples, Peter told Jesus, “We have left everything to follow You.”
Did you know that to follow God sometimes means giving up some things or making a sacrifice? It may mean leaving a group of friends you’ve been associating with who don’t want to wholeheartedly follow God. It may mean moving to a certain place in obedience to Him and giving up the comfort of familiar surroundings. It could mean any number of things. But if you will follow God with your whole heart, He will give you more than you ever had before.
When Peter said to Jesus, “We’ve left everything to follow You,” notice Jesus’ reply: “…No one who has done these things will fail to receive many times as much in this age and then, in the age to come, eternal life” (vv. 29,30).
You never give up anything for God that He won’t prosper and bless you many times more as a result. Sometimes people want to see the blessing before they do the giving up. That’s where faith comes in. You have to believe Luke 18:27-30: that the God who does the impossible will increase you in every area of your life as you follow after Him. So don’t just sit around and try to figure out with your head, your natural human intellect, whether or not God will bless you. Just follow Him with all your heart. Obey Him in everything you do, and the blessings will come.
We know that if we’re “with God,” we’re following Him. But let’s break that down further. What does it mean to follow God? It means that if we’re “with God,” we have priorities—not our priorities, but His.
If you were to take a course in time management, one of the first things you’d learn is that you need to prioritize your activities, tasks, and goals so you can get a clearer picture of the things that are most important in your life. Then you could devote more of your time to those things.
When God’s priorities become your priorities, you will put Him and His Word first in your life. And it’s not an option; it’s a necessity. You won’t put friends first. You won’t even put listening to tapes, reading teaching materials, and attending special meetings first. You will put Him first! Those other things can help you, but they can’t take the place of the Word and of your fellowship with God.
You can always tell when a person is putting God and His Word first in his or her life. It’s not the absence of tests or trials that determines whether a person is putting God first. It’s what that person does in the midst of a test or trial that shows where his or her priorities lie. When you’re putting God first, you won’t wring your hands and worry, saying, “Oh, God, what am I going to do?” No, you will have already armed yourself with the Word of God, and you will begin to speak it out. What you have put in your heart will eventually come out of your mouth.
When a sponge becomes saturated with some kind of liquid, it’s not easy to recognize what liquid is in the sponge until the sponge is squeezed. Then whatever is in that sponge comes pouring out. In much the same way, when the pressures of life come against you, whatever your heart is full of will come pouring out of your mouth.
Another aspect of putting first things first is not only putting God and His Word first, but putting His will first. If we are going to follow God, we are going to have to put His desires above our desires and choose His will for our lives over our own.
The choice to put God’s will for our lives first is a decision that we will have to reaffirm throughout our lives. The decision to do the will of God takes continual dedication and consecration; it’s not just something we say to the Lord one time, and that’s it.
If you haven’t already done so, I challenge you to put God’s desires for your life above your own. He made you and has created you for a very special purpose. You can trust Him to cause that purpose to be fulfilled in your life. And it will be better than anything you could have planned on your own.
We’ve seen that if we’re really “with God”—if we’re really following Him—number one, we’re putting first things first; we’re putting God, His Word, and His will first. And number two, we’re learning to be led by the Spirit of God.
You Can Train Yourself
You can train yourself to be sensitive to the Greater One within you, the Holy Ghost, and to follow His leading even if your mind wants to do something else. For example, have you ever been in a situation in which your heart, your spirit, was saying one thing, but your mind was saying something else? Sometimes your mind can scream at you, especially when the pressure is on. But when you get quiet and begin to listen to what the Holy Spirit is saying to your spirit, you will know what to do. Your mind will argue, Yes, but I can’t figure that out. I just don’t see how that can work out.
But, friend, you don’t always have to have everything figured out! Follow the Spirit of God, and He will always lead you in line with the Word to victory and success.
In review, how do we know we’re really following God and positioning ourselves to receive His blessings and walk in His greater glory? Number one, we’re putting God, His Word and His will first. And number two, we’re learning to be led by the Spirit of God.
Now, number three, following God means we are committed to following Him as a lifestyle. We are committed to putting Him, His Word, and His will first on a continual basis. And we are committed to following the leading of the Holy Spirit.
We need to have the attitude that we are going to wholeheartedly commit ourselves to following the One who knows more about us than we know about ourselves and who cares more about whether we prosper and succeed than we do! He has our best interests at heart; we can trust Him with our life!
These things are what it means to be “with God” and to follow Him. If we are “with God,” we are putting God, His Word, and His will first; we are learning to be led by the Spirit of God and we are committed to doing these things despite the sacrifices we think we may have to make to do them.
Whatever you think you may be sacrificing to follow God is nothing compared to the rewards of following Him. Whatever you leave behind in order to obey Him is nothing compared to what you will receive from Him, both in this life and the next (1 Tim 4:8).
Someone might argue, “Well, you sound so certain, but I’m just not sure.” People like that often find themselves feeling dissatisfied and unfulfilled. They’re questioning rather than believing. They haven’t reached the point in their walk where they can say with full assurance of faith, “God said it. I believe it. That settles it!”
When the pressures and tests and trials of life come to try to steal from us and to make us doubt, we have let the infallible truth of God’s Word be our rock and the foundation on which we stand. We have to maintain our commitment to following God, His Word, and His will for our lives, no matter what. And we have to steadfastly follow the leading of His Spirit.
Many Christians will start out believing God when they’re in a test or trial. They study God’s Word just a little bit, but when the circumstances don’t improve, they give up. They’re not committed to God and His Word.
But, to receive the full measure of God’s blessing—to partake of and participate in His greater glory—we’re going to have to do our homework spiritually. We’re going to have to dig deep into the Word and obey what we find that He has told us to do. Then having done all to stand, we must stand and then stand some more (Eph. 6:13)! We must stand our ground, no matter how badly we may be hurting on the inside, knowing that God will not let us down.
Your heart may be broken and your mind may be shouting at the top of its voice, You’re not going to make it! There’s no way out of this! You may have to bite your lip to keep from giving in to hysteria and desperation. You may have to just close your eyes and cling in faith to the Master, because all you can see is hopelessness with no way out! But if you will hold to the truth that the answer to your problem is possible with God, you will make it through! You’ll come out of that test or trial and experience the fullness of God’s blessing.
As you trust in the Lord with all your heart and lean not to your own understanding, you’ll begin to get a new mindset, a new way of thinking. Then when your mind screams at you, Impossible,out of your spirit, a different cry will arise: Possible with God! Obstacles will be moved and you’ll receive the breakthroughs you need so that the plan of God can go forth in your life, and you can experience greater manifestations of His glory.
Editor’s Note: The following teaching article is an excerpt from
Kenneth W. Hagin’s book, God’s Greater Glory.
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