When God is Involved, Nothing is Impossible!
Pastor Dennis Heppner
December 25, 2005 | Candlelight Service
Luke 1:26-38 The Birth of Jesus Foretold
26In the sixth month, God sent the angel Gabriel to Nazareth, a town in Galilee, 27to a virgin pledged to be married to a man named Joseph, a descendant of David. The virgin’s name was Mary. 28The angel went to her and said, “Greetings, you who are highly favored! The Lord is with you.”
29Mary was greatly troubled at his words and wondered what kind of greeting this might be. 30But the angel said to her, “Do not be afraid, Mary, you have found favor with God. 31You will be with child and give birth to a son, and you are to give him the name Jesus. 32He will be great and will be called the Son of the Most High. The Lord God will give him the throne of his father David, 33and he will reign over the house of Jacob forever; his kingdom will never end.”
34“How will this be,” Mary asked the angel, “since I am a virgin?”
35The angel answered, “The Holy Spirit will come upon you, and the power of the Most High will overshadow you. So the holy one to be born will be called the Son of God. 36Even Elizabeth your relative is going to have a child in her old age, and she who was said to be barren is in her sixth month. 37For nothing is impossible with God.”
38“I am the Lord’s servant,” Mary answered. “May it be to me as you have said.” Then the angel left her.
Do you believe in miracles today? Well, I do. I can say very positively that there are many people here today that would not be here If they had not had a miracle. The birth of Jesus is one of those phenomenal miracles and that’s what this scripture is all about.
A miracle is defined as an extraordinary event showing God’s intervention in human affairs.
Here is how it happened. The angel Gabriel is sent to a young engaged woman named Mary to inform her that she has found favor with God. Gabriel then informs her that the Holy Spirit will come upon her and the power of the Most High will overshadow her and she will give birth to a son. She is rather startled by the announcement because she is not yet married. I’m sure Mary did not fully comprehend all this but she replies by saying, “May it be unto me as you have said.”
To understand this story we must consider three things:
- God is perfect in His plans.
- God’s methods are powerful.
- God uses people to fulfill His purpose.
1. God’s Perfect Plan
One of my favorite Bible verses is Galatians 4:4
But when the time had fully come, God sent his son, born of a woman, born under the law, to redeem those under the law, that we might receive the full rights of sons.
On time, every time, every circumstance, every person—God is always on time. That’s very hard for us to comprehend because that does not apply to us. At times we are late, inconsistent, unfaithful and unreliable. We are taken advantage of occasionally, lied to and disrespected.
So how do you ever get it through your mind, based on your experience in life, that there is someone powerful enough to always be in control of their agenda and never be late? Truthfully, you can’t really understand that.
This sequence of events involving, Mary, Joseph, the Holy Spirit etc. was not accidental in timing. “When the time—at the right time—had fully come, God sent His son.”
The first prophecy found in the Bible regarding the coming of Jesus is Genesis 3:14-15. This happened right after Adam and Eve had fallen into sin.
So the Lord God said to the serpent, because you have done this, cursed are you above all livestock and all wild animals! You will crawl on your belly and you will eat dust all the days of your life.
And I will put enmity between you and the woman, and between your offspring and hers; he will crush your head and you will strike his heel.
Satan, the serpent had just won a tremendous victory over mankind. The most developed part of God’s creation–man and woman–had fallen because of Satan. As Satan is cursed and rebuked by God, he is told that someday God will use the child of a woman to crush his head. How many of you know that to kill a snake, you have to hit him on the head?
This happened hundreds and thousands of years before Jesus came. I’m not a Bible scholar and I cannot tell you why it was all those years before Jesus came but I do know that God had an agenda and was raising up a people and that in His mind, He was going to bring redemption to mankind.
This fall, this curse that came upon mankind would someday be lifted when someone born of a woman was going to place his foot on the head of the serpent and Satan was going to lose his power over mankind.
That is what Jesus is all about. The birth of Jesus, you could say, was the first step to victory for man over Satan and all he represents.
Jesus was born to die. His life, from the moment he was conceived, was heading for the cross to pay for the sin of Adam and the whole human race.
A rather arrogant young man once approached a preacher and said, “You say unsaved people carry a weight of sin. I feel nothing. How heavy is sin? Is it 5 kilos? Is it 20 kilos?”
The preacher replied by asking the young man, “If you laid a 200 K weight on a corpse, would it feel the load?”
The young man replied, “It would feel nothing because it’s dead.”
The pastor concluded, “That spirit too is indeed dead that feels no load of sin or is indifferent to its burden and flippant about its presence.”
That is exactly how we are before Jesus came into our lives–dead and without feeling for God–but when the Holy Spirit starts to work in our lives, we become aware of the load of sin.
Paul puts it clearly in Ephesians 2:1
As for you, you were dead in your transgressions and sins. 4 but because of his great love for us, God, who is rich in mercy, made us alive.
It is tragic that so many remain uncomfortable with God. They don’t want anything to do with Christians, church or Bible study mainly because it makes them feel bad or uncomfortable. That discomfort is just sin. Jesus came to liberate us from that discomfort by setting us free from it.
That’s it, God’s agenda: to deal with the fall of man.
2. God’s Powerful Method
The Holy Spirit is mentioned seven times in the first two chapters of Luke. “The Spirit will come on you,” Gabriel said to Mary. It is important to understand that the Holy Spirit, who is God, does not work independently of God’s agenda. The Bible tells us in Genesis 1 that the Holy Spirit was present at creation and that the Holy Spirit moved upon the waters or influenced the waters.
Powerful–powerful is the only way to describe Him. He- the Holy Spirit- will come upon you.
Why did the Holy Spirit come upon Joshua? — To lead the people into God’s promises
Why did the Holy Spirit come upon Gideon? – To bring deliverance to the people of Israel
Why did the Holy Spirit come upon David? – To defeat Goliath and bring victory to Israel
Why did the Holy Spirit come upon Jeremiah, Isaiah and others? – To speak the Word of the Lord to the people
These were all supernatural experiences.
As written in the book of Joel, the Lord says: “I will pour out my spirit and they will prophesy, see visions, dream dreams and they will bring men and women to Jesus.”
God’s agent is no less powerful now than He’s ever been. However, many Christians have tried to use the Holy Spirit rather than allowing the Holy Spirit to use them. If only we could fully understand that the pouring out of the Holy Spirit and His anointing on our lives is for the purpose of fulfilling God’s agenda.
In Acts chapter 1, agenda and power are connected.
“You will receive power when the Holy Spirit comes on you and you will be my witnesses…”
This is God’s agenda being clearly described and at that time, the Holy Spirit was outpoured. God’s agenda to redeem a fallen race can only be done supernaturally.
There was a picture circulated after the second world war of a soldier standing on the road and this huge tank bearing down on him. The odds don’t look good. He looked like he would be crushed until you noticed he was standing facing the tank with a bazooka on his shoulder. That’s the picture of what the Holy Spirit does. He gives you the weapon to be a victorious Christian against all odds.
3. The Role of Mary
Mary makes an incredible statement in response to the announcement of Gabriel. “May it be unto me as you have said.”
Who was Mary? She was a young Jewish woman, possibly 16 years old- we know very little about her. She had a father and mother, a family. She was very human. But what made her out-of-the-ordinary was that she was submissive to God.
Now, let me ask you these questions…
How badly do you want to succeed in life?
How much do you really want to enjoy life?
Do you want your life to end knowing that you fulfilled God’s purpose for your life?
Do you want your life to make an eternal impact here on earth?
There isn’t any human possibility that you can do a better job of running your life than God can. There is no way that you could do better.
Consider this: God is a spirit and Satan is a spirit, which means they are both supernatural–having more power than a human. Remember, even though they are both Spirit, that does not make them equal.
Then consider that you are merely human. There is nothing supernatural about you.
But what gives you a supernatural side is man’s ability to connect to the spirit world.
If you are merely human, what possibility do you have of overcoming Satan without the Holy Spirit? Not a chance!! You are doomed, destined to fail without the Holy Spirit.
I don’t want to scare any of you nor do I want to attack any of your view of theology, but I do want to ask you this question: When the angel made this announcement to Mary, what do you think would have happened if she would have said, “No, I will not do this!”?
She made a choice and that choice changed the future of the world.
When God is involved, nothing is impossible. To phrase it another way, let me quote the Bible in Luke 1:37: “For nothing is impossible with God.”
Years ago, Stuart Hamblim recorded a song, and it goes like this:
It is no secret what God can do
What He’s done for others He’ll do for you
With arms wide open He’ll pardon you
It is no secret what God can do
The whole message of the Bible shows us both the evil and the good.
The hope we get from the Bible shows us that nothing is impossible with God.
Never give up on God! He never gives up on you.
Let’s summarize this today.
God works with purpose for His people, for His church and for His children- that includes you.
His plans for us are entirely supernatural. None of God’s plans for you are merely human. You can do the human stuff on your own.
The real purpose for your life is bigger than you- but you will never see it unless you say, like Mary, “Let it be as you want.”
Finally God’s will and purpose will not happen in your life if you are unwilling to let him become involved.