Many times throughout the Bible, the Lord spoke to His servants saying He would be with them. Sometimes He even described it this way: "The Spirit of the Lord came upon them." I once made a list of every such encounter recorded in Scripture. I found an interesting truth: Whenever the Lord said He would be with someone, it meant he had just been given an impossible assignment.
God gave such a promise to Moses. It was connected to his assignment to lead Israel out of Egypt and out of the cruel control of Pharaoh into the Promised Land. A similar word was given to Joshua, the one who took over when Moses was not allowed into the Promised Land. Joshua was assigned to lead them into their inheritance, in spite of giants and other fearful enemies. The same promise was given to Gideon, who was then to deliver a weak and humiliated Israel from the powerfully oppressive hand of the Midianites. And again the same was given to the 11 remaining disciples in the Great Commission in Matthew 28. It was tied to their assignment to disciple nations. The implications of the promised presence are staggering. God's presence requires something from us—the invasion into the impossible.
Something is always expected from us when God is revealed to be with us. It is a grave mistake to think the Holy Spirit is among us simply to comfort or encourage. That is a given. He is also present to make possible the impossible task in front of us! Perhaps this is part of what the apostle Paul wanted us to see when he asked God to show us the hope of our calling (see Eph. 1:18–19).
One of my favorite verses, one that has had the most impact on me, has to do with Jesus, the eternal Son of God:
"You know of Jesus of Nazareth, how God anointed Him with the Holy Spirit and with power, and how He went about doing good and healing all who were oppressed by the devil, for God was with Him." —Acts 10:38
This verse gives us a synopsis of what is already revealed throughout the gospels: Jesus healed and delivered all who came to Him. It also reveals that sickness is from the devil. But the Holy Spirit wanted to make sure we know what made healing and deliverance possible: "For God was with Him." Although Jesus is eternally God, and never stopped being God, the Holy Spirit inspired Luke to pen this phrase, for God was with Him. This statement shows us that it was the same for Jesus as it was for our heroes in the Old Testament. When God is with someone, he is expected and enabled to invade the impossible. This helps us to connect with our God-given assignment by realizing and discovering His presence upon us, which makes the impossible possible.
Often when I see 10:38 on a clock, I stop and direct my heart to God and give Him thanks for the revelation of the nature and promise of God found in the life of Jesus. Interestingly, while writing on this quote, I looked at the clock on my phone, and it is 10:38. I am thankful for this Scripture that will ignite the hearts of many to invade the impossible in His Name and for His glory—for God is truly with us!
Jesus started His ministry with a bold confession: "The Spirit of the Lord is upon Me, because He anointed Me to ..." (Luke 4:18). The confession that started His ministry also revealed the nature of His ministry. It was to bring freedom to people, and it was because of the presence of the Spirit of God upon Him.
Help me to become more aware of Your presence upon me as the hope of my calling into the impossible. Help me to see my assignment as being impossible, so that I do not become confident in my abilities instead of Yours. Let this be a day of great breakthrough as I discover the wonder of being the temple of the Holy Spirit.
The Spirit of the Lord God is upon me for the same reason He rested upon Jesus. I embrace the call to the impossible, that God may be glorified in all the earth.
Bill Johnson is the senior pastor of Bethel Church in Redding, California. A fifth-generation pastor with a rich heritage in the power of the Spirit, he is the best-selling author of several books including Experience the Impossible—from which this article is adapted—and When Heaven Invades Earth. Bill and his wife, Beni, serve a growing number of churches through an apostolic network that has crossed denominational lines, partnering for revival.
Get Spirit-filled content delivered right to your inbox! Click here to subscribe to our newsletter.
Great Resources to help you excel in 2019! #1 John Eckhardt's "Prayers That..." 6-Book Bundle. Prayer helps you overcome anything life throws at you. Get a FREE Bonus with this bundle. #2 Learn to walk in the fullness of your purpose and destiny by living each day with Holy Spirit. Buy a set of Life in the Spirit, get a second set FREE.