Thursday, November 13, 2014



Jesus said to them, “My food is to do the will of Him who sent Me, and to finish His work. (John 4:34)

The TV series and the movies that followed were entitled, “Mission Impossible.”  The assignment given to the heroes in the plot line was not to be taken lightly, for it was a mission seemingly impossible.  What happens as the story unfolds?  It becomes mission accomplished!

None has ever been given a greater assignment than the mission Jesus was given “to seek and to save that which was lost.”  (Luke 19:10)   The mission that brought Him into this world dominated His thinking, so much so that as He infiltrated Samaria, and was hungry, Christ was more consumed by doing His Father’s will than with consuming food!  He knew His time of ministry opportunity was short and that filling His moments with meaning was more important than filling His mouth with meat.  He would eat again later.  But, for now—and for numerous times, such as fasting forty days in the desert—the appetites of the flesh were subservient to the hunger for fulfilling God’s will. 

Someone will argue, “But we have to live!”  Do we?  Jesus said that following Him means self-denial and a sacrificial decision each day in taking up our cross.  He set the pattern and we are to follow that path.  No, we don’t have to live—we do have to die.  We die to our will that we might do His will.

This demands real faith.  We must be convinced that God’s will is always best no matter the cost.  God does not command us to do the impossible unless He will enable us in His might to accomplish the mission.  Jesus said, “With God all things are possible.” (Matt.19:26)  He told a man with a withered hand to do the impossible and stretch out his hand—and he did by faith.  Jesus told a crippled man to take up his bed and walk—and he did by faith.  He even spoke to the dead and said told them to rise—and they did!  Impossible to do?  Not with God!  By His grace, the will of God is achievable.

How could a Holy God and His sinful creation be reconciled without compromising God’s justice?  It was an apparently impossible gulf to span.  But, the bridge would be the old rugged cross.  With hands outstretched and pinned by nails, Christ would extend a hand both to the Holy God and to sinful man and bring them together in Himself.  He would be suspended between heaven and earth as though neither would receive Him, and yet in becoming accursed by God and man, He became a curse for us—bringing heaven’s righteousness down to us and bearing heaven’s wrath for us.  Jesus would cry out, “It is finished!” (John 19:30)  “Mission Impossible” was declared to be “Mission accomplished!”

Contrast that with the “impossible” assignment given to the children of Israel, and their response.  The will of God for them was clearly stated—they were to go into Canaan and conquer it.  But, their focus was on the size of the giants instead of the size of their God, and so they responded with fear.  Caleb, along with Joshua, tried to get them to focus on the strength of their God instead of the stature of the giants and to respond with faith.  Then Caleb quieted the people before Moses, and said, “Let us go up at once and take possession, for we are well able to overcome it.” (Numbers 13:30)  The people would not listen and rebelled against the will of God.  That didn’t turn out very well did it?

God’s finger never points where His hand will not provide.  If we are called to an assignment, He will enable us to discharge our duty.  Can we avoid pain?  Is there a price to pay?  Most certainly there will be—but God will even transform that into something redemptive.  Our response is not to debate the will of God, but to do it.  Listening to Caleb’s exhortation, and, preeminently, looking to Christ’s example calls us to do the will of God and to finish His work.

Then He said to them all, “If anyone desires to come after Me, let him deny himself, and take up his cross daily, and follow Me. (Luke 9:23)

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