By Joe Chesser
In the entire known history of the world, never had the entire wall of a city suddenly collapsed just because some people marched around it for a few days and blew a trumpet and yelled. Never! But that’s what God promised, and what happened (Josh. 6:5, 20).
In the entire history of the world, never had the sun delayed going down for about a full day just because a man asked God to do it. Never! But it did that day (Josh. 10:12-14).
Never in the history of the world did the waters of a sea separate allowing people to walk across it on dry land. But it did that day (Ex. 14:21-22).
Never in the history of the world did a man skip death to ride a chariot of fire up to heaven in a whirlwind. But Elijah did! And Elisha saw it happen (2 Kings 2:11-12).
Never in the history of the world did a man get out of a boat and walk on water. Never! But Peter did, even if it was just for a brief moment (Matt. 14:29-30).
The Bible is full of such stories. And because we believe the Bible is the word of God, we believe these stories actually happened. About the time we think we have God figured out, He surprises us by doing something totally unprecedented. He made a widow’s oil and flour last until the drought ended (1 Kings 17:14). He turned a boy’s lunch into enough food to feed 5000 people (John 6:5-13). A man who had been dead for four days was given life again (John 11:38-44). Peter’s prison chains unpredictably fell off and an angel led him to freedom (Acts 12:6-19).
This last incident illustrates a valuable lesson we need to learn. Sometimes in our minds we put God in a box and expect Him to work only within that box. We sometimes think that because we have never heard of God doing “something like that” before, then He won’t do it now. Oh, we believe that the Bible says that “all things are possible with God” (Matt. 19:26), but we struggle with believing that God will actually do something unheard of. For example, when Peter was in prison, the church had gathered at Mary’s house (the mother of John Mark) to pray for him (Acts 12:12-17). They no doubt expected God to answer their prayers, but what they didn’t expect is when and how God chose to answer them. So, when Peter knocked on Mary’s door, the servant recognized his voice and told those inside that Peter was at the door. “You are out of your mind,” they told her. They believed in God. They believed in prayer. They believed that “all things are possible with God.” But they didn’t believe that Peter was at the door! In their minds they could not imagine that God so quickly let Peter out of jail. They couldn’t imagine that Peter was actually standing at the door! Anyone who said he was had to be crazy, out of their minds!
What do you believe about God? Do you actually believe that “all things are possible with God”? Do you believe that God will still do unprecedented things? Are you limiting how God can work by your limited view of Him (Matt. 14:31)? Sure, it’s a slippery slope. Sure, people will think you are crazy. But if you are wholly anchored in the word of God you will expect God to do whatever He wants however He wants to do it!
- Joe Chesser preaches for the Fruitland Church of Christ, Fruitland, MO. He may be contacted at firstname.lastname@example.org