2 Samuel 22: 34

He makes my feet like hinds’ feet, and sets me on my high places.

I have always liked this verse. It reminds me of a book someone gave me when I was a teenager, Hinds Feet on High Places by Hannah Hurnard. I am not sure I ever understood this verse though. This morning the words, “He makes my feet like hind’s feet” came to my mind and then I thought, “Why? Why does He make our feet like the feet of a hind?”

A hind is a female deer normally referring to the red deer. They live often in mountainous areas and are known for their ability to navigate the high terrain. They are able to move over the rocks with speed and grace. Watching them move, you wouldn’t even guess that the way is rough.

That really speaks to why God gives us hind’s feet. The answer that came to my mind this morning as I contemplated the analogy was that we are meant to live on the high places. Of course, the second part of the verse clearly indicates that Father sets us on the high ground. One insight that comes to me is that this is another example of how the Father equips us. No matter where He puts us, He always equips us with what we need in order to make the journey smooth.

The Bible uses this language in three places: today’s verse of course (2 Samuel 22: 34), Psalm 18: 33 and Habakkuk 3: 19. I appreciate a further insight we glean from Habakkuk, “The Lord God is my strength, and He has made my feet like hinds’ feet, and makes me walk on my high places.” The addition of the admission that the Lord God is our strength gives us confidence that we can, in fact, scale the heights. He sets us on high but not on our own. He empowers us, gives us strength and sure footing. He leads our steps so that we do not slip. Whatever He calls us to do, we can do as long as we are with Him. All things are possible with God (Mark 10: 27) though I do not like my chances very much without Him.

I believe our Father wants to lead us to mountaintops. I think He wants us to enjoy the view from the top. I cannot arrive there on my own though. Even if we could manage to get to the top, would we find the footing too difficult to maintain our position with ease? Knowing, however, that Father will set us on the top of the hill and give us feet purposely made for traversing that terrain takes the worry and concern from us. Our job is to enter into His rest; to live in Him. The rest, He takes care of. So, today, ponder what God the Father is saying to you through this verse. What does He want your heart to hear? I think He wants to take you higher.

To the Sky

Mark 10: 27

Looking at them, Jesus said, “With people it is impossible, but not with God; for all things are possible with God.”

Do you believe this statement? I know Jesus spoke this but do we really believe it? It is hard to believe, is it not? But then, Jesus takes us out of our comfort zone every time he speaks. Of course, he did remarkable things so maybe his performance has something to do with his belief system. Perhaps, he believed that all things are possible with God so he changed water to wine, walked on water, translated from one place to another and healed everyone who went to him. Does any of this answer the questions for us though, I mean, afterall, he is Jesus.

The problem with that justification is Matthew 17: 20 which reads, “And He said to them, ‘Because of the littleness of your faith; for truly I say to you, if you have faith the size of a mustard seed, you will say to this mountain, ‘Move from here to there,’ and it will move; and nothing will be impossible to you.’” Nothing is impossible to us, according to Jesus but then, what does he know? Maybe he only spoke metaphorically. In other words, he didn’t really mean this. Of course Mark 9: 23 stands in the way of that logic as well, “All things are possible to him who believes.” Now we are back to that belief thing again. And in Luke 1: 37 Jesus is recorded saying, “For nothing will be impossible with God.” Not to God, but with God.

I am forced to some conclusions. First, I don’t think Jesus wasted his breath saying things that are not true because: 1) he is the truth and 2) he knew his time was short. Yes, he spoke in parables but that is not the same as speaking metaphorically. I think accusing him of poetic rather than illustrative speech is just a way for me to justify my failures and lack of belief. If, however, I wish to rise from the ashes like a phoenix and stand on the high ground my Father promised me, then I think I must come to grips with this language in its truest and most literal form.

Second, in none of these verses is my doing of the impossible a solo act. It is our belief in and faith in God along with doing everything “with” God which empowers the supernatural so that all things become possible. Jesus didn’t do anything in his own might either (John 14: 10). He believed in and relied in the might of the Father.

Third, I must conclude and accept that Jesus consistently spoke about us doing these acts. Not only that, but Jesus gave us this very problematic verse in John 14: 12, “Truly, truly, I say to you, he who believes in Me, the works that I do, he will do also; and greater works than these he will do.” Though we cannot do them in our own might, we must also recognize that he talks about us doing the impossible just as he did, well, even greater really. My point is that none of these verses describes a scenario wherein we pray and God manifests and does whatever needs doing. It seems, in fact, it is quite the other way around. God empowers us to part the sea, heal the sick, and do all the other “impossible” things which each day presents to us.

As for me, I choose to believe that Jesus meant exactly what he said. Am I performing impossible tasks everyday? No, but I am reaching a great deal higher than I would if I did not believe Jesus, the Holy Spirit and my Father are capable of carrying me to mountain tops. Come with me. Let’s explore the boundaries. How far can we go if we believe?

Loving the Unlovely

Romans 12: 14

Bless those who persecute you; bless and curse not.

This is grown-up Christianity. We have gone into the deep water. We know that if we love Christ we will keep his commands. Paul is preaching Christ here. Besides, we know that Jesus is the word, the entire word. But if that is not good enough let us see what Jesus said when he was still in the earth. Matthew 5: 44 reads, “But I say to you love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you.” One translation says, “… bless them that curse you, do good to them that hate you, and pray for them which despitefully use you, and persecute you (KJV).

If you do not like these two verses, I don’t blame you. It is just not natural to heap blessing on those who persecute and hate us. But then, we weren’t called to be natural, were we? We are called to be supernatural through the power of Christ at work within us. These circumstances are when we most need the miracle working might of Christ Jesus ministering in us and through us. Jesus said that all things are possible with God (Mark 10: 27) so the key here is that we must be with God. We are not going to succeed in praying for and blessing our persecutors without God’s strength. The Apostle Paul received this revelation as well. In Philippians 4: 13 he wrote, “I can do all things through him who strengthens me.” With God all things are possible which is a really important thing to know when you believe that He has called you to the impossible like saving a country or forgiving your obnoxious brother-in-law. I wonder which is more difficult. Regardless, you are going to need God’s power and strength in order to do what you are supposed to do. We know that we are to follow all of Jesus’ teachings and obey his commands. If you have made a quality decision to follow in Jesus’ footsteps and be obedient to the calling within you including obeying all of Jesus’ ordinances then you need the power of God at work in your life. But, fear not. Father God has created a foolproof way for each of us to operate in that awesome power that can only be obtained through Him. He just comes and lives inside of us. We take off the grave clothes of our former lives and don the glory of the living God. He, God, becomes again our covering just as in the Garden of Eden when humanity was surrounded by the glory of God.  

There is nothing God cannot due and by extension there is nothing you cannot do when you are joined with the Holy One. You can even pray for your enemies and bless those who persecute you. Your glory is the Lord himself and He will lift you up and He will enable you to do all things. You are half of an unbeatable team. Now, what will you do?

Impossibly Victorious

Mark 10: 27

Looking at them Jesus said, “With people it is impossible, but not with God; for all things are possible with God.”

Let’s face it; when God calls you to do something it is often impossible in your own strength. And it is often humbling. We hear God or feel Him pulling us in a certain direction and then the next thing we do is look at ourselves. Immediately we know that the job is bigger than we are.

I confess that I know this feeling all too well. As God has ministered dreams, visions and plans to me I take inventory of myself and find that I am not enough. It is a very threatening feeling and can even be overwhelming. Recently, though, I have discovered something that is helping me. Taking a personal inventory as a result of something God has called you to do is actually self-centered egotism. Now don’t take that as bad news because you will find it is very liberating. Discovering the truth is freeing. Jesus told us that knowing the truth would set us free (John 8: 32). If we will take our eyes off of ourselves; our strengths, weaknesses and gross inadequacies and instead put them on Jesus then the pressure and stress immediately leave. Now, between you and me, I didn’t like God having to tell me that I was being self-absorbed but the trade-off was well worth it. Now I know that the impossible is His responsibility. I know that I am not capable of doing some of the things He requires. I do not feel personally up to the task sometimes but I am discovering that the anointing of God is well able to carry the day.  

If you are feeling stressed because of your responsibilities and heavy load, then look to Jesus and put the burden on him. Be yoked with him and let him do the heavy pulling. As soon as you are able to take your eyes off of yourself you will experience great relief. If God has called you to some office or position that you know is beyond you, fear not. You are in the best possible place. If it is too big for you, if the task is impossible for you then it will necessarily have to rest on Jesus’ shoulders. If you can’t do it anyway, then what is there for you to worry about? Just call on your big brother who is well able to do all things for nothing is impossible for him.