What Jesus & Muhammad Ali Have To Say To Us About Impossibility.
It's been all over the news...Muhammed Ali passed away this past Friday night at the age of 74. After a second-to-none career, bolstering an amazing 56 wins (37 by knockout) in 61 bouts, he was a heavyweight champion of champions known as "The Greatest" and "The People's Champion". He started training to fight at age 12 and just 10 years later would be wearing world heavy weight belt.
Ali was known for his mouth as much as he was his 78 inch reach and quick hands. He would say things that were wildly arrogant as well as profoundly accurate.
Ali fought in the ring and lived life with heart. Born the grandson of a slave, he was no stranger to opposition and struggle. The Bible teaches that out of the abundance (overflow) of the heart, the mouth speaks-and boy did he speak!
Muhammed Ali was not one of my top sports role models, but his words have caused me to pause and think on more than one occasion.
Probably my favorite quote of Ali's deals with the subject of "impossibilities".
“Impossible is just a big word thrown around by small men who find it easier to live in the world they've been given than to explore the power they have to change it. Impossible is not a fact. It's an opinion. Impossible is not a declaration. It's a dare. Impossible is potential. Impossible is temporary. Impossible is nothing.”
Whether you are a parent, CEO, pastor, or professional athlete, we ALL have to grapple with this idea of "impossibility."
- What is truly possible?
- Are certain things truly impossible?
- Do things that seem impossible change with time, more money thrown at them, or sheer will power?
I love the story found in Bible (Luke 1) that talks about Jesus' birth.
An angel comes to a teenage Jewish girl named Mary and tells her that she is going to give birth to the Son of God. How's that for a normal Tuesday??
The text says that she is was confused and greatly troubled at how this conversation started. Who blames her?!? She's thinking, "I'm engaged to be married to Joe and we've never had sex. How in the world could I ever get pregnant, let alone deliver the Savior of mankind?!?"
The angel helps Mary out and shows her how impossible things become possible.
Here's the secret. Lean in because this is true for every single one of us as well.
Luke 1:37 "For with God nothing will be impossible."
The direct translation in the Greek says, "no rhema [freshly spoken Word from God] will be impossible." That is amazing.
There will never be a freshly spoken Word from God that comes to our lives that is impossible.
Make no mistake, the circumstances that surround us WILL seem impossible.
People will say, "It will NEVER happen."
But the truth is, when it comes to God, nothing is impossible!! That is one core value that we repeat to our kids often:)
There will be no more virgin birth scenarios needed because of what Jesus accomplished. But you and I will most certainly face seeming impossibilities.
Mary quickly turned her heart towards possibility and said, "May your word to me be fulfilled." May that be our response the next time the Holy Spirit speaks to us.
Muhammad Ali said A LOT of crazy things. Many things that are not worth taking seriously. But this was not one of them! Ali may go down in history as the greatest fighter of all time. I'd like to simply be remembered as the guy who fought each of his fights with faith, and an unrelenting belief that every freshly spoken Word from God is possible!
How about you?
What dreams are you contending for?
What "impossible" circumstances are trying to choke out your pursuit of more?
What Word is holding you on the inside regardless of what seems to be happening around you?
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