Dear readers, many of you have told me recently that you’re facing impossible situations. I asked my sister-in-Christ, Ilona Hadinger, a missionary in Mexico, to share an inspiring story with you today because I want the Spirit of prophecy released into your life. (You can read more about Ilona here, and follow her on Facebook here.)
Remember that the testimony of Jesus is the Spirit of prophecy? When someone testifies about how God did something impossible in their life, it releases the grace and power of God into your life for the same miracle. So if you need God to do something impossible for you today, link your faith to Ilona’s faith and my faith and RECEIVE the move of God in your own life! – Jamie 🙂
Ilona’s story about how God defies impossibilities, in her own words:
“God delights in impossibilities!” wrote Andrew Murray years ago. I love that quote, but I’ve learned something throughout the years: those impossibilities that God works in, out, and through usually come on the heels of prayer, intercession, and an all-out (or all-in!) faith.
Living and working cross-culturally among a people group who are extremely religious–yet refuse to accept the grace of God that leads to salvation–demands a life of continual faith, prayer, and waiting on God to ‘delight in impossibilities’– which were many.
One of those impossibilities was to hold a spiritual women’s gathering. Most of us women take it for granted to be able to meet together for Bible study, a conference, or a service. In the area in which we worked, that was impossible for several reasons:
- Spiritual gatherings of any kind were forbidden unless the leader was a male appointed by the community as a minister;
- Women were forbidden to gather together in any type of group larger than five or six;
- Women were forbidden to publicly teach the Bible; and
- Outsiders were not welcome.
I faced all those ‘impossibilities’ when God put it in my heart to host a public gathering of women.
He wanted me to proclaim salvation and hope found in Christ to them, asking me to take a step of faith. Impossible? In the natural, yes.
Let’s start with the biggest impossibility: I was an outsider.
My family and I were unwelcome in the community:
- The neighbors told us our kids couldn’t play with their kids because we weren’t one of them.
- Our landlord was branded a rebel and shunned for renting a house to us.
- When I would go shopping, women would stop, stare, and whisper to each other when I turned down their aisle.
Then the other ‘impossibilities’ included me being a female credentialed minister of the Gospel who would be preaching publicly in a large gathering of women that was not sanctioned by the local authorities. This was truly scandalous! Forbidden on so many accounts – but not God’s, who was ready to delight greatly in this!
The first thing we did was make this a matter of prayer. God moves in response to prayer!
Do we really believe James 5:16 that says “the prayer of the righteous is powerful and effective?” I believed it with all my heart. I still do. We also fasted, asking God to break demonic strongholds and cast down oppression. Then, we invited our prayer partners to intercede specifically for this event.
We did logistical things like find a place, make sure we had sound equipment, a keyboard player, and a singer to lead in worship. A major problem we faced was seating. We didn’t have chairs!
The closest rental business was 50 kilometers away, and their fee was more than we had. So, again, I prayed. “We need chairs, Lord! You put this on my heart, now please make a way for us to get chairs.”
I expected a large offering to be sent to us to cover the expense, or perhaps the owner of the rental place having a dream in which God would speak to him to lower the price. What I did not expect was God to say to me what He did:
“Go to the ones who you have reached and are teaching, your disciples, and ask for chairs. However many chairs you find, I will fill. I will fill every chair you will have in your meeting.”
So we began knocking on doors and making phone calls (to those who had phones) to borrow chairs. We had to convince most –who were fearful and doubtful already over the entire gathering – that this was indeed a God thing. We would get two chairs here, three chairs there. We kept at it and the day of the event finally arrived. We had managed to gather forty-nine chairs!
Before the doors opened, I stood and looked at the chairs lined up in rows. It was beautiful!
My team and I prayed over each chair, that the Holy Spirit would minister powerfully to the woman who would soon be sitting in it. Then we waited for them to arrive.
They arrived slowly at first, in small clusters of two or three. Some of the new believers asked why we had so many chairs? They did not believe, or expect, that so many would show up. “Impossible!” their expressions revealed. They knew well their culture; they had yet to learn God’s nature.
It was time to begin, and many of the seats were still empty. We opened in prayer, then sang a few hymns and worship songs. During that time, I closed my eyes and prayed, reminding God of his instruction and promise, and again asked Him to bless the preaching of His word so that lives would be eternally changed. Then I stood, and spoke.
It was a groundbreaking event. Some women accepted Christ that day. Others only listened. But each one heard the message of the Gospel…all forty-nine of them!
>God delighted in that impossibility I faced. Now he’s waiting to delight in whatever impossibility you might be facing. Are you ready?
Ilona Hadinger is a missionary with Assemblies of God World Missions. She and her family currently live in a Zapotec village in Oaxaca, Mexico where they make disciples and train leaders among indigenous and unreached people groups. Be sure to check out her blog here, and leave a comment below to let her know you appreciate her testimony!