Have you ever wondered about the power of God? What can He do? Is there anything that He can’t do?
Again and again in the Bible we read about awesome stories that seem too good to be true. Some people speculate this to be fiction, but, as believers, we know it to be true. God can truly do all of these miracles in the Bible. After all, God can do the impossible. In this post, I want to regurgitate some of the points (as well as add my own) that I learned recently during a sermon from my pastor who ministries at the Church of God Jesus Christ Ministry International. The title of the sermon was “There is Nothing Impossible for God.” After such clear and detailed examples of the power of God I’ve come to realize even more about what God can do if we let him into our lives. And, while writing this post, I have come to learn there are things that God cannot do as well.
Can God do Anything?
No. God cannot do anything. For example, God cannot die. Also, he cannot sin, he cannot lie (Hebrews 6:18), he cannot be tempted by evil (James 1: 13) nor does he tempt others. This is because he is holy. These things would go against his holy nature, and we know that God is the same yesterday, today, and forever (Hebrews 13:8). He cannot go against his own nature.
Does this mean God isn't all powerful?
No. Absolutely not. God is still powerful. Psalm 147: 5 says “Great is our Lord, and might in power; his understanding is infinite.” The power of God is vast and beyond our comprehension. Multiple times in the Bible does it say how mighty he is: (Job 9:4, Psalm 24: 8, Isaiah 40: 26).
So even if there are things beyond the power of God this does not diminish his power at all. God can do the impossible. If making the universe in 7 days or flooding the world in 40 days isn’t proof enough of this, read on as this blog post highlights more about the power of God.
What can God do?
While there are an infinite number of things God can do, I want to focus on the the most unbelievable things in this blog post.
To start, let’s revisit the story of Mary and Elizabeth in Luke 1: 30-37 and 39-44. The first thing that the Lord did with Mary is have a vision with her through one of his angels. He granted her a vision and told her of what was to come of the child in her womb. In verse 36 and 37 it states, “Now indeed, Elizabeth your relative has also conceived a son in her old age; and this is now the sixth month for her who was called barren. For with God nothing will be impossible.”
This might seem like a paradox to what I just alluded to in the beginning. However, all this means is that God’s omnipotence means He can do all that is consistent with His nature. If it violates his nature (like lying or sinning), then he cannot do it. Helping barren people conceive does not go against his nature, as he is portrayed as a loving father to us all. (2 Corinthians 6:18)
In the latter half of these verses (39-44), we see another instance of the power of God. He fills Elizabeth with the Holy Spirit, and she begins to prophesy.
No one told Elizabeth that Mary was carrying the Son of God in her womb, yet she knows. This is the power of God. And the Power of the Holy Spirit. In this example not only does God indoctrinate her with knowledge, but he also uses her as a vehicle to prophesy. He speaks through her. And gives her revelations. All of these things are wonderful powers of God that we can come to expect in our own life.
Next, in Acts 1: 6-11, we see other instances of God’s infinite power. After being crucified on the cross, Jesus visits his disciples. Before He gets taken up into the clouds, He tells them that they will receive the baptism of the Holy Spirit. On the day of Pentecost this occurs and the 120 people there were filled with tongues of fire and filled with the Holy Spirit (Acts 2: 3-4). This reveals another two instances of God’s power. First, what Jesus predicted came to pass. And, second, Jesus gets taken up into the clouds by God. I imagine that this might be a little difficult for us to do, but for God nothing is impossible. At the end of times, He will come down from the clouds and take the followers of Him up with Him before casting judgment onto the earth.
Another impossible act occurs in Numbers 16 when there is a rebellion against Moses and Aaron. Korah, who is getting sick of Moses’s leading them through this Wilderness, rebels against Moses. The Lord wants to smote but Moses tries to intervene for them and their sin. In the end, it doesn’t work “33 and the earth opened its mouth and swallowed them up, with their households and all the men with Korah and all their goods. 34 So they and all those with them went down alive into the pit; the earth closed over them, and they perished from among the assembly.” God literally split the earth in two to devour the dissidents.
In 1 Samuel 14 it speaks of Jonathan’s defeat of the Philistines. In verse 12 it shows Jonathan’s amazing faith in the lord, as he tells his armorbearer “Come up after me, for the Lord has delivered them into the hand of Israel.” The story continues:
Once again, God reveals his power.
If God is all-powerful, why doesn't He do things the easy way?
These incidents, and many more, beg the question, “Why doesn’t he just do it the easy way?” Why doesn’t God simply kill the dissidents with Moses. Or why does God bother to tremble the earth with Jonathan? Why does God just give Peter the baptism of the Holy Spirit then and there? Why does he send down two heavenly messengers in white apparel to comment on his being taken away? The answer is that God wants to reveal his might. The power of God should be obvious in all of these situations. And that is the reason. The more obvious that God can make it for His followers that this wasn’t by their own design, but that their victory or saving came through His intervention, the more willing we are to lean on the power of God. And that is what he wants from us.
God puts us through trials and difficulties to test us. He allows these things to happen because we should need a reason to call out to Him. He might remain silent to your prayers, but then acts in the last minute because He wants you to know that it is His grace that saves. When we get things easily, we do not cherish them. We do not consider how much of a blessing they are. But when things are given to us at the right moment, we understand how much more of a blessing they are. Not only that, but we should grow cognizant of the fact that God does listen to us, even if He doesn’t respond right away. As I mentioned in an earlier blog post, sometimes we must invest in our spiritual bank before we can cash in our returns.
What else can God do?
Another glorious instance of God’s Power occurs in Genesis 18: 10-15. In this little scene God is promising Abraham that he will have countless descendants. Sarah overhears this conversation. She laughs within herself thinking, “After I have grown old, shall I have pleasure, my lord being old also?” (18:12) After, verse 13-15 state, “13 And the Lord said to Abraham, ‘Why did Sarah laugh, saying, ‘Shall I surely bear a child, since I am old?’ 14 Is anything too hard for the Lord? At the appointed time I will return to you, according to the time of life, and Sarah shall have a son.” 15 Sarah denied it, saying, “I did not laugh,” for she was afraid. And He said, “No, but you did laugh!”
Careful dissection of this passage reveals a couple of things. First, another power of God is being able to discern our inside emotions and actions. Sarah laughed internally, but God still knew about it. The overwhelming power for him to discern our innermost being scares Sarah and she tries to deny it. And while she may have not laughed outright, the Lord still knows that she laughed. Second, I love how God says, “at the appointed time.” Not at the time that is convenient for Sarah and Abraham, but in God’s time.
Oftentimes people don’t understand this. It is only human nature that we want to plan things. What do you want to be when you grow up? Where do you see yourself in five years? Society bombards us with these sorts of questions. And while it is nice to have a plan, God doesn’t care about any of that. He gives us what we need when we need it and when we are ready to handle it. Not observing this truth causes hardship and heartache in the long run, like it did for Abraham and Sarah. This instance in Genesis 18 was the second time God told Abraham about his promise to have a son. The first time, however, they didn’t listen and Sarah allows Abraham to sleep with her maid servant Hagar. (They were both called Sarai and Abram at this point in chapters 15 and 16 of Genesis.)
As I’ve said before, if there is one thing God cannot do, it is to lie. When God speaks to us and promises us something, it will come to pass. We must have faith in that. We must trust in the Lord and do our part in fulfilling it, but also, at the same time, not trying to force this prophecy its way into completion. God doesn’t need our help in fulfilling those prophecies, but He does need us to draw close to Him and to have faith. This final idea is expressed in Matthew 17:20
What does this actually mean though?
Here one more capability for the power of God is revealed. God senses our faith. And, after the last example with Sarah, it shouldn’t really come as any surprise. All the same, though, God can not only detect our internal reactions but also our level of faith. Here, he is telling his disciples that they didn’t have the faith to heal the boy. If they did have faith as a mustard seed, they could do the impossible.
To actually understand the significance of this, it’s important to note that the mustard seed is one of the tiniest seeds found in the Middle East. This means that the amount of faith needed to do great things is very small indeed. But even little faith is a lot when it comes from God, as is stated in his parable in Matthew 13:31–32. In the parable, the mustard seed grows into a huge tree. This represents the tiny beginning of Christianity flourishing and spreading through the kingdom when the disciples preached the Gospel. Eventually, the kingdom grew to huge proportions, encompassing the entire world and spreading over centuries. When it is true faith in God to do the impossible, this faith can grow to immense proportions. In turn, it will spillover and affect the lives of believers and all they come in contact with.
So what is the power of God?
While this is certainly not a complete list of God’s power. It is clear in any case that the power of God is vast and mighty. To recap God can:
- Grant people visions
- Take control of people and let them prophesy through the Holy Spirit
- Predict the future through prophecy
- Ascend to heaven on the clouds
- Send down angels
- Part the earth or make it tremble and quake at His whim
- Discern the innermost thought, actions, and faiths of individuals
All of this is to say that God can do the impossible. To conclude, I’ll end with an awesome Bible verse from Romans 8:31.