With God

Written by: Steve Crowder

From his youth, Steve knew he was called into the ministry which ultimately led him to Applied Life Christian College in Arkansas. Now as Lead Pastor of Highway, after two decades of ministry experience, marriage and raising three kids, Steve teaches with unique insight and practical application.

April 27, 2016

Last week when I was studying online for a new series at Highway called, Who Told You?, I came across the man shown above named, Erik Weihenmayer.  Now Erik’s story captivated me on a extremely deep level…first because it’s a true story, but secondly becausewhotoldyou he overcame adversity in a major way.  You see, on May 25, 2001 Erik became the first blind man to summit Mt. Everest!  Yeah, if you saw the movie Mt. Everest that was recently in the theaters, you know that is an amazing feat!  I loved this quote of his he gave in one of his interviews…

“I started thinking, if I thought I couldn’t read, but I can and if I thought I couldn’t be mobile, but I can, maybe there are other things that I can do that I didn’t think I could do, if I just approached it differently, if I thought about the idea that we can get to the top; we just have to do it a different way.”

How often have I sat back and convinced myself that something couldn’t be done.  Especially when it was in regards to my own abilities.  Allowing myself to believe that it was impossible to achieve.  Usually it is not the mountain we have to conquer but the perspective within ourselves of it.  Maybe today, you feel like there is a circumstantial “mountain” standing in front of you.  Voices around and within bolding declaring that you will fail in reaching it’s summit.  Could be in the business world or in a challenging relationship.  Maybe it came with the last conversation with your doctor or argument with your spouse.  And a negative voice IMPOSES it’s opinion on your situation trying to convince you that you are faced with an impossibility.

In one of the gospel narratives recorded by Dr. Luke, there is one line in the first chapter that jumps off the page along this topic:

Luke 1:37 “For with God nothing will be impossible.”

What an amazing promise Jesus spoke over our human existence.  And I know, it’s easy to believe the truth that God can do anything…unless you are struggling to believe in God of course.  But, I realized that what Jesus was communicating was not a simple declaration of God’s ability but an revolutionary understanding of our own.  You see, the point is missed almost as quickly as we can read those seven words.  “For WITH God…”  As I dug a little deeper I realized that there are three words for “with” in the Greek.

The first is Meta. “Meta” simply means that someone who is in the proximity of or the vicinity of is “with” them.   Like saying, “The Crowd was with him.” They were in the proximity of, nearby or they were in the vicinity of where Jesus was. This is not the Greek word used in verse 37.

The second Greek word for “with” is Para. To be next to or near or beside.

“They said of Jesus that he sits down and eats with the publicans and sinners.”

It doesn’t mean that he had an in-depth relationship with them, it just means that he was in close proximity around the table with them. Still not the word He used here.

When we look at Luke neither the words meta (proximity) or para (close to) were used.

The Greek word Soon is used and it has a different meaning altogether.
It means to have a union with or a companion relationship with; completeness.
It means that there is something deeper that occurs between the two entities.

So when Luke 1:37 says, “With God nothing is impossible.”,  it’s not saying just in the proximity of God or close to God nothing is impossible. It’s saying to those who have entered into a union, into a companion relationship, something deeper that ties them together…for those who have found their completeness in Christ,”Nothing shall be impossible.”

6693ae54d476eaa56e35a10ba625d755Moses and the Israelites were WITH God : they were in covenant (spiritual agreement) together.  So when they found themselves in a crisis trapped between the Red Sea and an outraged Egyptian king, they learned experientially what it looked like to be WITH God!  It looked impossible from their perspective but God made a way.  Just remember today that God is Emanuel.  He has chosen to take up residence WITH us in this moment…in my chaos.  My fight is His fight and with God nothing is impossible!

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