Luke 18:27 – And he said, The things which are impossible with men are possible with God.
Grammar is a funny thing. In elementary school, we learn proper English grammar. We learn the parts of speech and what order they’re supposed to go in to form a complete sentence. Then as we got older, we used what we learned to write that A+ (well, maybe B) papers for anyone who required it. And once school is over, we don’t care much about the form of sentences just as long as the people we are talking to get the point.
One of the parts of speech that really wreaked havoc on my writing life was prepositions – and all because of the rule “don’t end a sentence with a preposition.” (And since I’m writing about it, I’m very subconscious now about what I’m typing.)
I had an enlightening moment with the verse above, all thanks to prepositions. Wherever I was and however it happened (I really don’t know), I learned this verse with the wrong preposition. I quoted that verse this way: “That which is impossible for men are possible for God.” And while there is some truth in the way I learned it, it has a completely different meaning. The best way I can define “for” in this situation is “intention”. So it basically makes the verse say “the things which men intend to do that are impossible, are possible when God intends to do them.” So, when men can’t, God can. There’s some truth there, right?
But the verse doesn’t say “for”, it says “with”. “With” had a “accompanying, relating, togetherness” definition. Here’s the verse again: the things which are impossible with men are possible with God. So, the things men and I do together that are impossible, are possible when God and I do them together. See the difference?
It’s not about saying “okay God, it’s impossible for me, so go ahead, do your thing,” and then sitting back to watch God turn the impossible into the possible. It’s about grace (God’s ability to do through you and for you – and shall I say – with you, what you can’t do for yourself). He sent the Holy Spirit to be our helper, not our errand-boy.
It changes my view on so many of the things I do – how I do church, how I do work, how I do marriage, how I do relationships, how i do communication – how I do all the things I believe God had called me to do. Am I trying to do them all on my own? Am I trying to do it only with the intellect of “great” me? Am I trying to do it with the religious “expertise” I think I have?
Or am I doing it with God? In the grace of God. Where I keep God close at hand during every move I make, instead of him being the far away consultant that I only call when I’m stuck and don’t know what to do next.
So, how are you trying to accomplish the impossible – with men or with God?