God is all powerful and nothing is impossible with him. Think of the times when God would make a promise to someone and they would struggle with doubt. When God told Abraham and Sarah when he was right at 100 years old and she was right at 90 that they would have a son whom they were to name laughter,(which is what Isaac, means). She couldn’t believe it and Abraham questioned it. God’s answer was, “Is anything too hard for the Lord?” On two occasions he asked Isaiah when he was struggling with doubt over some promise of God, “Is the hand of God too short to save or his ear too heavy to hear?” When Gabriel told Mary she would have a son and call his name Immanuel meaning God with us, she couldn’t understand how it could be since she hadn’t ever had sex with anyone. But God’s power is unlimited.
Yet what stands out about God’s power is how often he works through our hands to accomplish His mighty deeds. He could easily have performed every one of the ten signs performed in Egypt to convince Pharaoh to let Israel go. But over and over again it involved Moses and the rod in his hand. Even when the Israelites stood on the banks of the Red Sea and the Egyptian army was fast approaching from behind, the people were trembling in fear, God’s answer was for Moses to stretch out his hand with the rod he held over the Red Sea and the waters separated so the Israelites could cross on dry land.
In our present time, God could easily shout the message of salvation down from heaven to all humanity for them to hear in their own language how he loves them and that Jesus died on the cross so their sins can be forgiven, that he was raised from the dead in power and now reigns as king on David’s throne as the one who has all authority on heaven and in earth. But God’s choice was very different from that. He chose to have Jesus choose twelve ordinary men, men with weaknesses, flaws, problems, and failures, to train them to become his ambassadors into the world to make disciples of all the nations. They were able to preach the gospel to the entire known world in one generation. People said of them that they were “turning the world upside down.” How could they do such a thing? Because God hands are constantly working through our hands to accomplish the work he has given us to do.
I often think of the disciples gathered with Jesus as it is described in Acts 1 when he had spent the time between his resurrection and the ascension back to the Father telling them about the kingdom and that they were to wait in Jerusalem until they received power from on high when the Holy Spirit would come upon them. They asked if this was the time when he would restore the kingdom to Israel and he said it wasn’t for them to know of the times and seasons. But listen closely to what he told them of what they were to do when he ascended to the Father and the Holy Spirit was sent to be with them and with all who become followers of Jesus in the time following. “You will be my witnesses in Jerusalem, in Judea, in Samaria and to the uttermost parts of the earth.” One intriguing point to remember is that the word translated “witness” and the word for “martyr” are the same.
Notice, he laid out for them a plan. Start where you are then spread out to the area around you, then reach out to the people with whom you have some similarity but you must plan and work from the start to share the message with everyone, everywhere, during every time. Obviously, he was speaking to the apostles there but his message, like that of the great commission, was one for every person who becomes a follower of Christ for all the ages. When Jesus sends us out on our mission to the world, he never sends us alone. In the great commission, his promise was, “I am with you always, even to the end of the age.” In telling them about the plan of action they were to wait for the Holy Spirit to come to be with them forever.
From creation itself, God has been moving through our hands to accomplish his work. He made man and woman and put them in charge of the creation. Adam was to dress and keep the garden. All things David said were put under his feet. God’s longing today for people everywhere is for them to hear the good news of Jesus and come to know him as Savior and Lord, to turn from their sinful ways to live for him and be baptized into Christ, into his body to become a part of his mission and plans for the universe.
Far too often those who have made a commitment to Christ are waiting for someone else to do the job, to be the witness, to share the message that God is calling on them to carry out. When our hands are yielded to God’s use and no holding back it is amazing what God can accomplish through us. When our mouth or ears or money or things are totally laid at the altar of God with the readiness for Him to use us and own us as part of his body, there will be no limits to what God’s people can accomplish for Him in the world. But it must start with readily offering ourselves on the altar of God, giving our bodies as a living sacrifice to him. Then, see where God leads and what He does through you.