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Finding God in the Impossible  Part 2

Finding God in the Impossible

Part 1 of 3

by David A. DePra

     Have you ever found yourself in what we might term an

"impossible situation?" If you are a Christian, you have. Or, you

WILL. Impossible situations are a tool God uses to set us free

from the old creation, and conform us to the image of Jesus Christ.

     What exactly IS an "impossible situation?" An impossible

situation is one in which you do not have what you need, but have

no way of getting it. You are completely without resources. Or you

cannot handle what is going on with the resources you do have.

You must function in life but cannot seem to function. You cannot

go forward, but you cannot go backwards. You are hemmed in,

overwhelmed, and there is no solution in sight.

     Now, it must be noted that an impossible situation can be quite

SUBJECTIVE. What this means is that a situation may not really

be impossible. But if we think it is, then to us, it is impossible. We

just don't see the solution. Consequently, what is difficult for one

person may not be difficult for another. We are all unique in our

makeup, and at different stages in Christ. We all have different

temperments and all have different needs.

     Right here is where we must establish an important point. That

point is this: Trials are real. No doubt about it. But it is more how

we REACT to the people and things around us that contributes to

the difficulty of a circumstance. There are some things in this life

which are difficult for all of us. But there are others which are hard

or impossible for me simply because of my personal makeup. The

way I react and respond emotionally, intellectually, and because of

my temperment, is what makes something impossible for me to

deal with. Circumstances always exist completely independent of

my reactions.

     So we have this: An impossible situation is one in which I -- with

my personal makeup and spiritual growth in Christ -- do not have

what I need. And I do not have any way of getting it. In effect, I am

completely at the mercy of God. Unless He takes the initiative to

act, there is no solution.

Types of Impossible Situations

     Impossible situations come in all shapes and sizes. Some

of them come upon us in the form of circumstances. Events and

situations conspire to create for us a trial which seems impossible

to overcome. This or that cannot be happening, but it IS happening.

And there seems to be nothing we can do about it. Other situations

come in the form of relationships. Perhaps what seems to be an

impossible marriage, or a relationship between parent and child.

Maybe our impossible situation is a terrible work environment. Or

perhaps the inability to overcome the death of a loved one. There

are also terrible medical conditions and sickness. These can be

quite trying; seemingly impossible to deal with.

     All of those things may be our impossible situation. We, with our

personal makeup and place in Christ, cannot seem to function in

them. There seems to be no victory or resolution.

     There is, however, an even more impossible situation for a

Christian who is seeking a close walk with Christ. All the trials and

troubles are tough to be sure. But there is another issue which can

seem even MORE impossible than them all. What is it?

     The MOST impossible situation is when I cannot seem to function

in my relationship with Jesus Christ, because of what is happening

in my life. A trial of some kind has come between me and God. It is

not that I want it to come between me and God, but it has. I just

cannot reconcile what is going on with the Jesus I thought I knew.

I cannot think my way through to a resolution, and I cannot seem to

even pray my way through to the Truth. I am caught in the middle

of a terrible trial of my faith, and there seems no way out.

     Never say this will not happen to you. Indeed, the very essence

of a real trial of faith is exactly as described above. It centers on

my personal relationship with Jesus Christ. It disrupts it and makes

it difficult. That is what spiritual warfare is all about.

     Have you ever had your faith tested like that? To where you

could hardly live in a relationship with God -- not because you

were being deliberately rebellious -- but because what has

happened to you has brought out reactions and thoughts in you

that seem impossible to overcome? You try to pray but the

impossible situation is there. You cry and you try to reason it out.

But when you are done, you are still IN the impossible. There

seems no answer forthcoming from God. And there is no way out.

     Job has such a trial. The way he described it is exactly the

way many of us feel when we are in what seems to be an

impossible situation:

Behold, I go forward, but he is not there; and backward, but I cannot

perceive Him. On the left hand, where He works, but I cannot

behold Him: He hides Himself on the right hand, that I cannot see

Him. (Job 23:8-9)

     Job felt completely trapped. He could not go on -- but had to go

on. He could barely figure out what to do the next minute, let alone

for the next week. He simply had no point of reference for what God

was doing.

     Again, trials are real. But much of what seems impossible is not

from the trial. It is caused by our reaction TO the trial. Yet herein we

see a great Truth, and find God's purpose for allowing such things

to come upon us: God is doing a work in US. The impossible

situation is not really the trial and not really anything "out there" in

our environment. The impossible situation is in US. WE need to

be set free.

     The Christian life, as a whole, is actually one big impossible

situation. We have nothing of ourselves by which we can overcome

anything, or come into the freedom of Christ. But God is not

defeated. With God all things are possible. He has a solution for

the impossible.

The Biblical Example

     The Bible is filled with examples of where the people of God

found themselves in the impossible, and then God delivered them.

One of the best examples is found in Numbers 14. God has just

delivered Israel from hundreds of years of captivity. At last they

were free. He was talking them to the promised land. Accordingly,

He gave them specific instructions as to their next step:

And the LORD spake unto Moses, saying, "Speak to the children

of Israel, that they turn and encamp before Pihahiroth, between

Migdol and the sea, over against Baalzephon: before it shall ye

encamp by the sea. For Pharaoh will say of the children of Israel,

'They are entangled in the land, the wilderness hath shut them in.'

And I will harden Pharaoh's heart, that he shall follow after them;

and I will be honoured upon Pharaoh, and upon all his host; that the

Egyptians may know that I am the LORD. And they did so.

(Exodus 14:1-4)

     We know the story. Israel did exactly what God told them to do.

They encamped by the Red Sea. And Pharoah did exactly what

God said he would do. He came after them. And when these

events unfolded, Israel found themselves in an impossible

situation. They had no way out. They were hemmed in on all

sides, and Pharoah was bearing down on them.

     Have you ever felt like that? As if you had the Red Sea before

you, and the enemy coming down on you? You have no escape,

except that God intervene.

     It is easy to race right by these verses which lead up to Israel

getting themselves in this mess, and consequently, to miss one of

the most important points of the whole story. Ask: How did Israel

get themselves in this impossible situation? Well, they got there

by OBEYING GOD! Do you see that? God told them what to do

and they obeyed Him. Period. Yet it resulted in an impossible

situation -- one which God Himself had predicted.

     In this should be great hope. It shows us that nothing we get

ourselves into is a surprise to God. It also shows us that if we are

in a terrible trial -- an impossible trial -- that we may be there only

because we obeyed God. The entire thing may be exactly what

God wanted from the beginning.

     Now note: If we are in a trial because of sin -- because of our

own fault -- it does not mean these scriptures do not apply. Why?

Because even if we get into a mess because of our own self-will,

we can, at any time repent, and surrender ourselves, and our

circumstances, to God. Then our impossible situation becomes

GOD'S impossible situation. Then God will work THROUGH what

we have surrendered to Him to accomplish His purpose.

     God is a REDEMPTIVE God. He is the master as taking the

worst we can create and turning it into something good. This does

not mean that God will necessarily let us OUT of our trial. No.

There may be some situations we will never get out of until we die.

But God will use even those things to do a great work in US. In

other words, we may still be in the trial, but God will use the

impossible situation which we are IN, to accomplish the impossible

in US.

     If we walk with Christ, we are going to find that God does care

about our lives and our circumstances. We can take all of these

things before Him and ask Him about them. But more than all of

those, God cares about US -- about the ETERNAL things in us. So

while God does do His will in the external things of our lives, He

always works all of those external things together as tools to

conform us to the image of His Son. (see Romans 8:28)

God's Purpose in the Impossible

     Israel obeyed God. But because of it, they found themselves in

a mess. They had no way out. They did not have what they

needed, AND had no way of getting it. Sounds like they were

pretty weak, doesn't it? Yep. And God had deliberately brought

them to this place. Nothing which had happened took God by


     We will get back to Israel at the Red Sea in a bit. But first we

must get a grip on God's purpose for allowing such things to come

upon us. Why does God want to show us we are weak? Aren't we

supposed to be strong?

     As Christians, we often think that what God wants us to become

is some kind of "spiritual giant." God certainly must want us

STRONG, we reason. And according to our way of thinking, to be

"strong in the Lord" means certain things. It means to be almost a

"super-Christian." A "super-Christian" is one which has unwavering

faith, no matter what happens. They obey God better than most

people, although they are always talking about their imperfections.

A "super-Christian" is never confused or discouraged. They are

always in a good mood -- always feel like praising the Lord. They

have, in effect, "arrived" spiritually. They are past the problems

which most other Christians face on a daily basis.

     Now, there are two types of people who aspire to be this "super-

Christian." One type thinks they ARE a super-Christian. This type is

the New Testament equivalent of a Pharisee. They say they have

great faith in Christ, but really have faith in their faith. Their real

confidence is in the spiritual condition to which they think they have

arrived. In short, they are blinded by spiritual pride. They don't

know their need -- although they talk about it, since they know a

super-Christian is supposed to talk about it a lot.

     The other type of person who aspires to be a "super-Christian" is

the much larger group. This group sets up the "super-Christian" as

the standard and goal which they suppose God wants. But they

are never able to achieve it. Instead of being blinded by the notion

that they are a super-Christian, this type of person is constantly

frustrated and defeated by the realization that they are NOT. This

group of people are those who have put themselves under the

law -- whether it be God's moral law or the "law of the super-

Christian." But they constantly live under the weight of fear,

condemnation, and false guilt. They can never seem to get free.

     We see that both groups are really trying to accomplish the

same thing. Here we called it the "super-Christian." But the Bible

has another way of describing it.  Paul called it "trying to establish

our own righteousness by the law." In other words, any time I set up

a standard, and then measure my righteousness by whether I keep

it, I am doing just that. I am under the law. I am basing my

righteousness, and my standing before God, on what I do, and upon

what I am. Instead of upon what Jesus Christ has done.

     There is, of course, nothing new about us trying to establish

and maintain ourselves before God through our works and through

our own spiritual condition. Christians do it all the time. But it is the

antithesis of the grace of God. And God wants to set us free from it.

His primary tool is the impossible situation.

     The impossible situation is deliberately orchestrated by God for

the purpose of showing us how weak we are. It shows us how

utterly spiritually bankrupt we are without Christ. It shows that the

so-called "super-Christian" is a lie. It is not what God wants. God

want to show us how helpless we are, but also how great and how

faithful He is.

Paul, the Pharisee

     Paul knew what God was after in his life. He had experienced

what it meant to be made weak in himself, that he might be strong in

the Lord. It is through his words that we find a wonderful expression

of what this all really means.

     Paul gives an account of his experience in Philippians 3. There

we read:

I might also have confidence in the flesh. If any other man thinks

that he has something he might trust in the flesh, I have more:

Circumcised the eighth day, of the stock of Israel, of the tribe of

Benjamin, an Hebrew of the Hebrews; as touching the law, a

Pharisee. Concerning zeal, persecuting the church; touching the

righteousness which is in the law. (Phil. 3:4-6)

     Paul is leading up to something in this chapter, but in order to

do it, he must first rehearse to us his credentials. Paul was the

greatest Pharisee who ever lived. He had every spiritual

credential you could want in that day and age. Yet despite that,

he says -- what?  Notice his words:

But what things were gain to me, those I counted loss for Christ.

Yea doubtless, and I count all things but loss for the excellency of

the knowledge of Christ Jesus my Lord: for whom I have suffered the

loss of all things, and do count them but dung, that I may win Christ.

     Paul had to LOSE all those things to gain Christ. But notice

something here about what Paul had to lose: Not ONE of them was

sinful. Not one. Paul doesn't say he has to be set free from SIN in

order to gain Christ. Nope. He says he has to be set free from

those things which were gain to him -- that is -- from those things

which he might use to otherwise establish himself before God in his

own righteousness.

     Now here is the point:  None of the things Paul listed were sinful.

But because Paul used them to make himself righteous they were

tools of a great sin -- in fact -- tools of the greatest sin of all. You

see, because Paul was the greatest Pharisee of all he could later

say that he was the greatest sinner of all. That is because the

greatest Pharisee uses his own works to establish himself as

righteous before God. That is unbelief. It ignores the righteousness

which can come only by faith in the finished work of Christ.

      Herein we see the definition of legalism. Legalism is not law-

keeping, or the doing of good works. No. Legalism is USING my

works, or USING anything about ME, to establish myself before

God. In effect, legalism is faith in my works, in my spiritual

condition, or in my FAITH, or in my own righteousness. It is

opposed to real faith -- which must be in Christ alone.

     Paul had every spiritual credential you could want for that day.

He had kept the letter of all of God's law. But it was precisely all of

those "good" things that he had to lose. Not because they were

bad. But because Paul was using them for a bad purpose: To

establish his own righteousness.

     How about us? What do I use to maintain myself before God?

To keep myself righteous? Do I use my works? My spiritual

condition? My experiences with Christ? My history? My maturity?

God says there is NOTHING I can use to be righteous in his eyes.

So why do I use these things to make myself righteous in my OWN

eyes? I am deluded. I am NOT believing the Truth in Christ.

     The Truth in Christ is this: I am righteous only through a FOREIGN

righteousness which is imputed to me: That which is by faith in

Jesus Christ. Completely APART from anything about ME!

Losing to Gain

     Paul said he had to LOSE all of these things to GAIN Christ.

What does it mean to LOSE those things? Does it merely mean

that Paul wasn't a Pharisee anymore?

     No. Although it's true that he wasn't. Paul is talking about more

than an external loss of position, etc. He is talking about LOSING

that part of HIMSELF which benefited from using those external

things unto his own righteousness. In other words, Paul is talking

about the loss of religious flesh, and of spiritual pride. Paul had to

suffer the loss of his personal sense of self-righteousness!

     Now, this cannot happen merely by reading a book, or by

coming to the realization that it must happen. It can only happen by

happening! That which we know is the Truth must be experienced.

So Paul had to be put through many experiences which would

cause him to lose those things which were unto gain for him, that he

might gain Christ. Some of these experiences were impossible


     So here we see the primary purpose for the impossible situation.

It is through the impossible situation that God depletes and reduces

us -- causes us to lose those things which make us strong in

ourselves. The impossible situation -- IF we will respond to God

and surrender to Him -- will set us free from our personal sense of

self-righteousness. God will in it expose us from what we have

always been: Spiritually bankrupt. Then, and only then, will be

able to rest in HIS righteousness by faith alone.

     This is exactly what Paul said happened to him. Notice the

progression he describes next:

I have suffered the loss of all things, and do count them but dung,


That I may win Christ, and be found in Him,

Not having mine own righteousness, which is of the law,


That which is through the faith of Christ, the righteousness

which is of God by faith.


That I may know him,

and the power of his resurrection,

and the fellowship of his sufferings,


Being made conformable unto his death;

If by any means I might attain unto the resurrection of the dead.

     Can we possibly see what Paul is saying here? He is not merely

saying that losing our sense of personal righteousness makes it

EASIER to be found in Christ. No. He is saying you MUST lose it!

You MUST lose your own righteousness if you want to be "found

in Him, not having your own righteousness, but having the

righteousness of God by faith." You MUST allow God to purge out

of you that inner strength of religious flesh. You must be willing to

lose every sense that you can be righteous because of anything

about you.

     Notice how Paul then progresses. Having said that he HAS

suffered the loss of all of his personal self-righteousness, and

having said that he HAS embraced the righteousness of Christ

which is by faith, Paul tells us the result: That I may know Him, and

the power of His resurrection, and the fellowship of His sufferings.

     Then Paul adds, as a kind of summary of all of the above:

Because I have suffered the loss of my own righteousness, I have

been "made conformable unto His death, if by any means I might

attain unto the resurrection."

     It could not be plainer as to what the pivot point is for every one

of these deeper experiences in Christ: Losing my own sense of

righteousness, and standing only by faith in Jesus Christ. It is THAT

which Paul says led him to knowing Christ, and the power of His

resurrection, and the fellowship of His sufferings. It is THAT which

Paul says conformed him to the death of Christ, and was, right then,

preparing him for the resurrection.

A Thorn in the Flesh

     God used what must have seemed like an impossible situation

in the life of Paul, in order to bring him to the place where the

righteousness of Christ was his only righteousness. Paul calls it a

"thorn in the flesh." Although this "thorn" was only one of many of the

vehicles God used in the life of Paul, it appears that it was a major

tool in Paul's growth.

     We read of this "thorn" in his second letter to the Corinthians:

And lest I should be exalted above measure through the

abundance of the revelations, there was given to me a thorn in the

flesh, the messenger of Satan to buffet me, lest I should be exalted

above measure. For this thing I besought the Lord thrice, that it

might depart from me. And He said to me, "My grace is sufficient

for thee: for my strength is made perfect in weakness. Most gladly

therefore will I rather glory in my infirmities, that the power of Christ

may rest upon me. Therefore I take pleasure in infirmities, in

reproaches, in necessities, in persecutions, in distresses for Christ's

sake: for when I am weak, then am I strong. (II Cor. 12:7-10)

     Paul had been given incredible revelation from God. But as he

would elsewhere write, "Knowledge puffs up," (see I Cor. 8:1), there

was in this a danger. The danger was that Paul would become

exalted in pride over what he had received. So God had to allow

this "thorn" to come upon Paul.

     Now note: Paul tells us precisely WHY he was given the thorn.

He says, "LEST I be exalted above measure." The thorn was for

the purpose of depleting and reducing Paul of his own strength.

     Clearly, we are not here talking about physical strength, although

the physical might have been involved as part of Paul's trial. The

thorn, however, was predominately spiritual. We know that because

Paul talks about the results of the thorn: Infirmities, reproaches,

necessities (lack and constraint) , persecutions, and distresses. All

of these resulted from the thorn. They all worked to do -- what? To

make Paul WEAK, so that in Christ, he would be strong.

     Right here we find a principle in the workings of God. It is not a

comfortable principle, or an easy one to swallow. But we might as

well learn it sooner, better than later. That principle is this: God

must make us weak, in order that we be strong in Christ. There is

no use trying to say we can become strong in Christ any other way.

We WON'T. It simply isn't something a human being is capable of


     The tendency of our nature is that we will cling to every last

ounce of pride and self until the end. We will do this even while we

are saying to God, "Please make me weak." It is simply the way

we are. It is almost as if the flesh has a mind of it's own. Thus, we

cannot crucify ourselves, or make ourselves weak. Neither can we

become weak the way God wants us weak simply by willing

ourselves as such -- and skipping the pain. Rather, God must

bring about the thing which He alone knows will do the job. It will

strike at the heart and core of what makes us tick. It will be the

thing -- or series of things -- which will bring us to the end of

our own righteousness and strength, and keep us fully reliance by

faith in Jesus Christ.

     Paul's trial was so intense that he besought the Lord three times

to remove it from him. This holds a lesson for us. First, we should

pray things through to God, until we get an answer. Paul did not

stop praying after the first and second time. He only stopped

asking for God to remove the thorn after he got an answer from

God. Second, once God does answer, and we KNOW that it is

His final word on the matter, it's time to yield and surrender. We

may not get the answer God wants, but it is His will.

     Herein we see another hard lesson. There are some impossible

situations we will never escape in this life. At least not physically

or circumstantially. We MUST remain in them because we need

them. But if we yield to God -- and that is a big IF -- we will BECOME

something in Christ through them. Paul never did get out of his

impossible situation. But through it, and because of it, he became

weak in himself and strong in Christ. The "thorn" did it's job.

Back to the Beginning

     Before God did His work in Paul, Paul thought he had achieved

a certain righteousness before God -- based on works. Paul likely

had no idea what real righteousness in Christ was all about. Like

most of us, he was probably blinded to it.

     Christians today are the same. Despite knowing all the Bible

verses and doctrines to the contrary, many of us continue to

operate under the dynamic of "works-based acceptance" before

the Lord. We still think that our works determine God's forgiveness,

His love, and our standing before Him. We are blind to grace.

     As mentioned earlier, those of us who are blind to the grace of

God fall into two camps. The first are those of us who are like the

Pharisees. We think our works and performance before God is

good. We are happy with ourselves. So we think God is happy

with us. Thus, we based our standing before God on our works,

and think those works are pretty God. We feel pretty good about

ourselves before the Lord.  But then there are others who do not

feel very good about themselves. We feel like total failures when

it comes to our works, our attitudes, and our Christian walk. Thus,

we think that is also the way God feels towards us. We live in fear,

condemnation, and false guilt -- all products of being "under the


     BOTH of these types need to lost their own righteousness. They

are both trying to be righteous through works. The former think they

had achieved it. The latter think they haven't. But both have missed

the Truth: We are righteous only by faith in Jesus Christ.

     This tendency to try to make myself righteous is something which

afflicts everyone of us. No one is excluded. Even those who never

seem to think about the issue have it in them. It is part of what it

means to be born in Adam. Flesh is flesh. And when we become

Christians, it often turns into RELIGIOUS flesh.

     We see this tendency if we go back to the garden of Eden.

Before Adam sinned, the Bible says he was naked, but NOT

ashamed. After Adam sinned, it says that he was naked, but

AFRAID. Indeed, Adam hid himself from God. He even tried to

make himself a covering of fig leaves.

     Now notice what Adam was trying to do: Cover his nakedness.

In other words, FIX what sin had done. Compensate for sin. Make

himself whole. Make himself RIGHTEOUS and acceptable in the

eyes of God. Adam used fig leaves. We use good works, and

any number of other religious things. Those are OUR fig leaves.

Note that the fig leaves are not what is bad. It is our use of them.

     Thus, we find a definition in this of legalism. Legalism is not laws.

It is not law-keeping. Rather, it is the USE of my law-keeping -- the

use of my "fig leaves" -- to try to make myself acceptable to God.

We try to use fig leaves to cover our true condition -- that of

being spiritually bankrupt and naked. But God says, "I want to peel

off these fig leaves and expose you for what you really are. And if

you will let Me, you will find true freedom. You will see your

total helplessness and then, and only then, rest in the only source

of righteousness: Jesus Christ.

     The brutal Truth is: I will not embrace Christ as my righteousness

until I see how barren I am. I will not. And the only way to see this is

for God to expose me as weak and spiritually bankrupt. For this

work, He will often use an impossible situation. He will use some

equivalent of Paul's thorn. Then, if I yield, I will be brought back to

where Adam was in the garden: Naked and fully dependent upon


The Nature of Freedom

     Human nature -- under the blindness of sin -- cannot understand

the true nature of freedom. We think that to become weak in

ourselves means to be downtrodden and depressed. We think it

means to hate ourselves or call ourselves names. And surely, we

reason, God would not want us walking around in this condition.

     What we don't see is that being downtrodden and depressed

about ourselves is not freedom at all. It is not the product of having

repented of sin, or of being made weak in ourselves. Rather, it is

the result of continuing to be strong in our self, and focused upon ME

and MY works as the thing God looks at in determining whether He

loves me.

     In the final analysis, if I supposedly hate myself, I have the same

problem as someone who is thrilled with themselves. Both of us are

focused on ourselves. Both of us are looking at ourselves and our

works, and basing our righteousness upon it. It's just that I'm not

happy with myself. My counterpart is. And both of us are deceived.

True freedom does not result in spiritual pride, or in spiritual

defeat -- because of ourselves. Indeed, I am out of the picture all

together. True freedom is freedom from self. It is a focus upon


     What this brings us to is the gospel. But not merely doctrine or

teaching. Not merely words on a paper -- even if they are true

words. The reality of Jesus Christ will bring us to the place where

we believe and rest in NOTHING about ourselves, but totally in

Him. That is freedom. His righteousness -- which is completely

independent of anything we do -- is OUR righteousness.

Into the Impossible

     As we have seen, we can -- and must -- believe in the fact that

our righteousness is in Christ alone. But once we embrace this

Truth as FACT, we must then go on to experience it. We must

BECOME in accordance with this Truth.

     This is God's purpose in the impossible situtation: To cause us

to suffer the loss of our faith in ourselves, in our own righteousness,

and in our own spiritual condition. To suffer the loss of everything

that we might use to maintain ourselves before God. It will set us

free from the delusion of being self-righteousness, and it will set us

free from the frustration of not being righteous at all. It will cause us

to know Christ and to stand in His righteousness alone.

     So you see, God doesn't want us strong. He doesn't want us to

be a "super-Christian," or a spiritual giant. He wants little children.

He wants us weak in ourselves that we might be strong in Him. But

being strong in the Lord is exactly that: We have nothing to stand

on except Christ alone.

At the Red Sea

     We left Israel at the Red Sea. They were in an impossible

situation. They were trapped, with no way out. And they had

gotten into that mess by obeying God.

     God had a solution for Israel. And the solution He gave them

stands today as His solution for us in any impossible situation

into which He may bring us. Indeed, the historical experience of

Israel being delivered to Egypt, and brought through to the

promised land, carries a spiritual lesson for us as Christians today.

Egypt, of course, is a "type" of the realm of darkness. It typifies

sin, but really the entire old life. Egypt was where Israel lived and

operated before God delivered them. They were born into Egypt.

Until God delivered them, Egypt was all they knew. They were in

complete bondage there.

     Pharoah is often compared to Satan. But this suggestion breaks

down once you get Israel out of Egypt and Pharoah pursues them.

We'll see how in a minute. We'll see that Pharoah is not Satan, but

rather a "type" of OUR old man.

     Thus, we see that Israel was born into slavery in Egypt, the fallen

realm. IN Egypt, they were kept in slavery by their master, the old

man in Adam. There was no escape. The spiritual type is quite


     Then we come to God's actual deliverance. Most of us know the

story. God sent Moses to ask Pharoah to "let my people go." He

gave Pharoah chance after chance to voluntarily let Israel go. But

Pharoah kept changing his mind. He would harden his heart, God

would bring a plague, and then he would relent. But once God lifted

the plague, Pharoah once again hardened his heart.


     There is a question which needs to be asked about this: Why

did God go back and forth like that with Pharoah? Afterall, God

could have simply destroyed Egypt and the problem would have

been solved. Or, He could have empowered Israel to defeat them.

But no. We have God going back and forth with Pharoah, in order

to get him to voluntarily let God's people go. Why?

     Well, the answer comes back to the fact that Pharoah is a "type"

of our old man in Adam, that is, our flesh. God was illustrating that

no matter what plagues He brings upon the flesh, that the flesh will

never obey God. It CANNOT. A bad tree cannot produce good

fruit. It doesn't matter how many times we promise or how hard we

try: Our flesh cannot obey God. The best we can do is get

really religious and fake it for awhile.

     There was only one thing God could do with Pharoah.   Pharoah

had to DIE. Now, this began with the death of the first born. This

cut-off all inheritance -- which, in that culture, essentially cut-off their

ability to perpetuate themselves as a kingdom. In this we see that

through the death of Christ, OUR geneology is cut-off forever. We

are free from inheriting the sins of our fathers. We are free from the

sin of Adam. We are born again within a new creation.

     Now note: God will not and cannot try to fix the old creation. No.

The old creation must die. It did in Christ. And this was typified in

the death of the first-born, and later, in the death of Pharoah himself.


     It was on the night of the first Passover that all of the first born of

this kingdom of darkness died. The power of Satan, inherent in

the Egypt realm, was broken.

     Now ask: How much did Israel DO to deliver themselves? Not

one thing. They simply came under the Blood. They believed.

And because they did, they were set free. By the end of that night,

Israel was totally free from Egypt. Pharoah had relented. Indeed,

Israel was as free as they were going to get. They could not be

MORE free.

     The point here is this: It was finished. When Israel walked out

of Egypt that next morning, they WERE delivered. Nothing could

change that.

      Let's suppose, however, some of them wanted to stay behind.

Then what? Well, they would have still been delivered, but would

have been refusing to walk out into their freedom. Nothing we do

and nothing we believe or disbelieve can change the fact that

God has cut-off Egypt. We are no longer in bondage. We are

set free in Christ. But we do have to BELIEVE. Or our deliverance

will do us no good.

     Pharoah, however, once again changed his mind. He pursued

Israel. Despite the fact that his power was broken on passover

night -- typifying the death of Christ -- and despite the fact that

Israel had risen the next morning to a new life of freedom -- typifying

the resurrection -- Pharoah was still around. He was now coming

after Israel, threatening to destroy them.

     Here again we see Pharoah as a type of flesh. We ARE free in

Christ from the power of the old man of flesh. But he won't go

quietly, will he? No. He is like Pharoah, pursuing us and acting as

if he has the right to bring us back into captivity. And you know

what? God lets him! God uses him as a basic tool in the impossible

situations of our lives.

     Have you ever felt as if those things which you were certain you

were free of were now coming down upon you once more, seeming

to be there as strong as ever? Perhaps you have walked out of

Egypt and started your new life in Christ. But just around the corner

there is Pharoah again. You thought you were free. But all of a

sudden you are in an impossible situation. You have no way out.

     It is tempting at that point to react the way Israel reacted. It is

a temptation to say, "Because there were no graves in Egypt

have You taken me away to die in the wilderness? Why have You

dealt this way with me?" (see Ex. 14:11) In other words, "God, I

trusted You. I believed I was delivered from sin; from the flesh. But

here I am in this mess. Why have you allowed this?"

     God has already told us why: Pharoah must die. The freedom

we now fully possess in Jesus Christ as a reality must be literally

experienced. THAT is why God has allowed this -- the impossible


     It is one thing to be delivered out of Egypt. But now we must pass

through one experience after another, typified by the impossible

situation at the Red Sea, in order to have the freedom which is ours

made experiential and articulate in us. Our deliverance on

Passover night and the next morning was real. But now we are

going to experience the realness of it at the Red Sea.

     Thus what he see is this: The experience at the Red Sea

typifies -- not a one time event in the life of a Christian. It typifies a

spiritual process -- one which we must pass through over and over

again on many levels in our Christian experience. Salvation -- death

and resurrection in Christ is REAL. But we must, over and over

again, see the defeat of the flesh and the victory of Christ over it

made manifest. This happens at the Red Sea -- at the Red Sea

which we have in US.

     God gave Israel a four-fold solution to those impossible

situations of our Christian walk. He said, "Fear not, stand still, and

see salvation." Then He added, "Move forward." In these four

things we find the gospel, and the blueprint for faith that God has

provided for finding Him in the impossible.

Finding God in the Impossible  Part 2

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