Last Sunday evening we considered Genesis 18:1-15 and saw that the LORD once again appeared to Abraham to strengthen his faith, but this time it was for his wife’s faith to be strengthened. The climax of these fifteen verses is recorded in verse 14: “Is anything too difficult for the LORD?” Clearly the answer is “no, nothing is too difficult for the LORD” therefore He is all-powerful. I for one am ready to admit that I am not all-powerful. At every turn we are reminded of our limits, our inability, and all the complexities that come along with our weaknesses.
Given this reality, how wonderful would it be to live in the epicenter of God’s revealed power? Genesis 18:14 asks a question that gets asked or stated several times in the Scripture. If we want to know what the epicenter of God’s revealed power is, it stands to reason that we could get an accurate picture of that epicenter by examining the contexts in which God chooses to confront us with this reality: Nothing is too difficult for Him. We are going to do just that.
Genesis 18:14 14 “Is anything too difficult for the LORD? At the appointed time I will return to you, at this time next year, and Sarah will have a son.”
The context of this statement is the Abrahamic Covenant. Central to the covenant is this promise: “And I will bless those who bless you, And the one who curses you I will curse. And in you all the families of the earth will be blessed” (Genesis 12:3). What is clear is that all the families of the earth will be blessed through Abraham because the promised Seed of the women would come through his line and He is none other than Jesus the Christ, the One who would redeem sinners.
Jeremiah 32:17 Ah Lord GOD! Behold, You have made the heavens and the earth by Your great power and by Your outstretched arm! Nothing is too difficult for You and later Jeremiah 32:27 “Behold, I am the LORD, the God of all flesh; is anything too difficult for Me?”
The context of these verses is the LORD revealing the future New Covenant with Israel that would be provided for by the redeeming blood of Jesus Christ. The spiritual provisions of this covenant have now been expanded to all the nations (Luke 22:20).
Zechariah 8:6 “Thus says the LORD of hosts, ‘If it is too difficult in the sight of the remnant of this people in those days, will it also be too difficult in My sight?’
The context of this verse is the outworking of the New Covenant promises for the nation of Israel. It refers to the future 1,000 year reign of Jesus at which time the LORD will redeem and fulfill all His promises to Israel (Romans 11:26).
Luke 1:35-37 The angel answered and said to her, “The Holy Spirit will come upon you, and the power of the Most High will overshadow you; and for that reason the holy Child shall be called the Son of God. 36 “And behold, even your relative Elizabeth has also conceived a son in her old age; and she who was called barren is now in her sixth month. 37 “For nothing will be impossible with God.”
This context is about the coming of Jesus the promised Redeemer. The circumstances of His coming were impossible, but not with God. The coming of Jesus was certainly at the epicenter of the LORD’s power.
Matthew 19:26 And looking at them Jesus said to them, “With people this is impossible, but with God all things are possible.”
The context of this passage is the question of how rich people (and really anyone) can get saved given the fact that it is easier for a camel to fit through the eye of a needle. Those who enter into the kingdom of God are those that have the humanly impossible thing happen to them, they have been redeemed.
From this brief survey it is clear that when the LORD says something is not impossible or too difficult for Him it is connected to His wonderful plan of redemption. Whether it is the carrying out of the promises of redemption, the future national outworking of redemption, the actual coming of the redeemer or the individual redemption of sinners like you and me, the LORD is emphasizing to us that none of those things that were impossible and too difficult for human beings were too difficult for Him. So what is the epicenter of God’s revealed power? Without a doubt it is the outworking of the plan of redemption.
So do you want to live in the epicenter of God’s revealed power? Then participate in the outworking of this plan of redemption. How would we do this? I want to experience the power of God in my life and I hope you do as well. The following are ways that we can live “in the epicenter.”
First, and most basic to living at the epicenter of God’s revealed power, we have to truly be born again. In order to live our lives in, through, and about the outworking of God’s plan of redemption we have to be redeemed ourselves. When someone is redeemed they progressively have their eyes opened up to the “surpassing greatness of His power toward us who believe” (Ephesians 1:19). Paul continues on to say this, “These are in accordance with the working of the strength of His might which He brought about in Christ when He raised Him from the dead” (Ephesians 1:20-21).
Second, if we are to live at the epicenter of God’s revealed power our one main priority must be the glory of God as manifested in the gospel of Jesus Christ. We must be about the advancement of that gospel in us (individually and corporately) and through us to the unsaved world around us. God’s power is revealed in a life centered upon gospel advancement. In fact, Jesus promised that as we faithfully make disciples of Him, we become personally aware of His presence in a special way: “I am with you always, even to the end of the age” (Matthew 28:20). In addition to this evangelistic focus on the gospel we must throw ourselves into being discipled and discipling one another because God has revealed this: “He who began a good work in you will perfect it until the day of Christ Jesus” (Philippians 1:6). We must be unashamed of the gospel “for it is the power of God unto salvation” (Romans 1:16).
Third, if we want to live at the epicenter of God’s revealed power we must “let the word of Christ richly dwell within us” (Colossians 3:16). The Word is the sword of the Spirit (Ephesians 6:17), it is like fire and a hammer that shatters a rock (Jeremiah 23:29), it is through the Word that faith is strengthened in God’s power (Romans 10:17), the Word is that which always accomplishes what God intended it to accomplish (Isaiah 55:11), and those who meditate upon it day and night will be like a tree planted by streams of water (Psalm 1:1-3). We were redeemed through the message of the gospel revealed in the Word (1 Peter 1:23), we are sanctified as redeemed people by the Word (Ephesians 5:26), and it is by the Word being proclaimed that the plan of redemption is worked out according to God’s plan (Acts 5:42, 1 Tim. 4:2).
Fourth, if we want to live at the epicenter of God’s revealed power we must recognize that this takes dependence upon Him. Therefore we must be a praying people. God delights to exalt Himself among people who are so desperate for Him to work that they have forgotten about themselves in His Work. And the only way we rightly are dependent upon Him in this way is through prayer. We are to pray without ceasing (1 Thessalonians 5:17) that we might bear fruit (John 15:1-8) because God has ordained to carry out His purposes of redemption through the prayers of His people (Philippians 1:19; 2 Corinthians 1:8-11).
Fifth, if we want to live at the epicenter of God’s revealed power we must reject a compartmentalized Christianity. We must not accept the lie that if we are not in full time ministry or have all kinds of free time on our hands we are unable live daily with this power of God revealed in our lives in conjunction with His plan of redemption. We are to follow Jesus with all our lives and believe that this almighty power of God can and will be revealed in all of our lives as we do all for His glory (1 Corinthians 10:31). This power of God is available in every area of life. God delights to reveal His power in every area of our lives as we connect everything to the outworking of His plan of redemption.
Sixth, if we are to live at the epicenter of God’s revealed power we need to biblically value the epicenter of His work in the world today. After we are told that Christ’s power is at work in the believer’s life we are told that He is also head of the body the church (Ephesians 1:22-23). The Scripture is clear that this One body of Christ is expressed in local churches. In 1 Timothy 3:14-16 Paul is states that these local churches are the “pillar and support of the truth.” What truth? Verse 16 reveals the common confession of every true local church which is all about the Person and Work of Jesus Christ, the Redeemer. If you want to live at the epicenter of God’s revealed power then be faithful to and accountable to a local assembly. Prioritize what God has prioritized in this world today. He purchased it with His own blood His power is displayed there (Acts 20:28).
Now, all of this sounds very basic right? Exactly. If we want to live at the epicenter of God’s revealed “nothing too difficult” power we must acknowledge that our lives may have become distracted, wrongly prioritized and often focused on the peripheries rather than on the basics of God’s outworking of His plan of redemption in and through us. Remember, when God confronts us with the fact that He is the God of the impossible and that nothing is too difficult for Him, it is in connection with the outworking of His plan of redemption. If we are to live in the epicenter of God’s revealed power we must say goodbye to the days of shallowly applying this truth about God to our agendas. Rather we must by faith live according to His agenda and be amazed at His glorious power, for nothing is too difficult for Him.