#207 (13/11/05)
Courage to Free the Impossible

The Message

By: Robert A. Schuller

Special Guest

He is one of the most famous names in Germany. He is in Germany on secular television five days a week, what Oprah Winfrey is in the United States. And he’s new to us here in the United States. I met him because when I was in Germany at the last trip, he invited me to be on his show and that was such an honor. And I was very curious why because it’s not a religious program and he has to deal with all kinds of guests coming from all kinds of cultures and lifestyles and to think he wanted me was a great honor and I think it says something about where his heart is.

Special Music

"Joyful, Joyful.."
" Open Now the Doors to Beauty "
"We Build a New Tomorrow"

" How Lovely Are Thy Dwellings (Requiem)"

FLORENCE JOY – “Only Hope”
RONAN TYNAN – “Passing Through”

The Message

You know it's interesting when we look at the 50 year history of this ministry, and people come up to me and say, "Robert you've got some big shoes to fill." How many of you have ever thought that? You can be honest! I do have some big shoes to fill, there's no doubt about it, but the facts are my father wears a 10 and a half shoe and I wear a 12! Those are the facts. The facts are I could never fill his shoes, never. If I tried to walk in his shoes, I would have very sore feet. I wouldn't get very far.

God calls every single human being on planet earth to walk in their own shoes and there are many shoes that God gives so that everybody can have their own shoes. Today, God is calling you to walk in your own shoes. He's calling you to cross the JordaníK so to speak.

Let me tell you what I mean by crossing the Jordan. In Joshua, the first chapter, we hear these words. God speaks to Joshua and He says, "Get ready to cross the Jordan River into the land that I'm about to give you. I will give you every place where you set your foot as I promised Moses. No one will be able to stand up against you all the days of your life. As I was with Moses, so I will be with you. I will never leave you, nor forsake you. Be strong, and courageous, then you will be prosperous and successful. Be strong and courageous, do not be terrified, and do not be discouraged for the Lord your God will be with you, wherever you go."

Three times God tells Joshua be strong and courageous. Be strong and courageous he says. Be strong and courageous. Three times! One of those times He gives it in the negative just in case Joshua was too negative to hear the positive! Don't be terrified, God will guide you.

These are the words for us today. God has given you a pair of shoes. He has given you the steps and the guidance to walk the faith and to be the person he has called you to be. So what is it that holds us back from crossing into the Jordan and receiving the Promised Land that God has given to us? Be strong he says and courageous. Why does He tell us to be strong? I'll tell you why. He tells us to be strong so that we can stand up against the lies that tell us we're not good enough to walk in the shoes that He's given to us today. We hear these lies constantly bombarding our minds with negative thoughts.  Here are the lies: "I can't do it; I'm not good enough." How many memories do you have where you've said, "I'm not good enough, and God isn't real. If He is, He doesn't care about me. He won't help me when I need him. I can't trust God to do these things."

The Bible is filled with people from beginning to end who were not good enough and God always uses imperfect people to do the most impossible things. Think about it. Noah was a drunk, Abraham was too old, Isaac was a day dreamer, Jacob was a liar,  Joseph was abused, Moses stuttered, Gideon was afraid, Samson was a womanizer, Rahab was a prostitute, Jeremiah was too young, David was an adulterer, Eliza was suicidal, Isaiah preached naked, thank goodness I don't do that! Jonah ran from God, Naomi was a widow, Job went bankrupt, John the Baptist ate bugs, Peter denied Christ, all of the disciples fell asleep while praying, Martha worried about everything, the Samaritan woman had several failed marriages, Zachias was too small, Paul was too religious, Timothy was too young and had ulcers, and Lazarus was dead. I promise you there is not a single person or human being that could be worse than that list.

Yet, that is the list that God gives us of the prominent people who fulfilled His calling. And what do we say? "I'm not good enough and God couldn't possibly choose me. That path, it's a great idea. It's a wonderful possibility. But it's impossible, I can't do that."  We listen to these lies and we don't stand up and we don't move forward and as a result we live a whole hum drum life that never fulfills the calling we look for.

Today the call is for us to cross the Jordan. To be strong and stand against the lies. To be courageous, and to listen to the truth. What is the truth? The truth is that God is real. The truth is that God does care about you. The truth is that God will empower you. The truth is that God will forgive you. The truth is that God will guide you. The truth is that you can do something today. The truth is that you will succeed. The truth is you can take some steps today to make a difference today. That is the truth!

So we hear the words to cross our Jordans. Be strong; be courageous, because you can succeed. We face challenges, we face struggles, and we see them as sometimes the most horrific thing that could possibly ever happen.

When I first met Barbara Bowie, she was dancing with her husband and she told me her story.  She said to me, "Only a few years ago I was in a wheelchair with multiple sclerosis and I could not even feed myself.  I had no strength, nothing.  I reached a point in my life where I realized there had to be a way out of this wheelchair."  So her Jordan became getting out of that wheelchair and walking. She had her vision and her promised land.  She prayed and she believed in God.  One day she saw a huge muscle bound man walking into a gym.  And she thought to herself, "How did he get all those huge muscles?" She thought, "I need some of those. I don't need them that big; I just need some little muscles."  So, she went and she talked to him.  She wheeled herself into a gymnasium to talk to a big muscle bound trainer.  She said, "How did you get those big muscles?  There's got to be a way for me to get some of those muscles.  I need those muscles so I can stand, so I can walk, so I can dance with my husband again."  So she started by just lifting her hands. Then she would lift her toes. Then she just started with lifting whatever she could do and she went back again and back again and back again and just like that man built all of his muscles, she built her muscles and she goes to the gym every day and she lifts her weights and she exercises so she can dance with her husband. 

Nothing is impossible with God.  Those aren't my words.  Those are the words in the Bible.  We face what looks like impossible situations today; they are not impossible.  Not with God before us, not with Christ beside us and not with the Holy Spirit within us.  So I want you to take the first step today and ask God to forgive you.  Ask God to forgive you for all the lies you have believed, for the very first time you said I can't, to the last time you said to God, "Do You really care about me?"  To the time where you doubted if God would be there when you needed Him.  For the time you allowed the negative lies to come into your mind.  Would you pray with me?

Dear Heavenly Father, forgive me for the times I believed the lies.  That You didn't care, that You didn't love, that You didn't guide, that You weren't there.  And so as I go through the valleys of the shadow of death, help me to remember that You are guiding me through and that You will bring me to a point in my life where I will know that truly You are my God.  And so forgive me, Lord.  Give me the strength to never believe those lies again.  To listen to the truth.  To trust You.  To follow You.  To love You.  I love You Lord.  Amen.

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