Jesus said, “The things that are impossible for people to do are possible for God to do.” Luke 18:27
The rich young ruler who came to Christ and asked, “What can I do to be saved?” received an unexpected answer. Jesus told him that he needed to give up all and follow Him. The rich young ruler believed that he would be saved based on his accomplishments. He had kept the commandments since he was a child. But Jesus said that the young man needed to give up his accomplishments and his riches and follow Him. Jesus was asking the young man to depend on Jesus for everything. It seems like most of the time we want God to help us a little while we do our best. We feel that if we just pray more and try harder, we can do it. Unfortunately, we generally end up in despair, living a life without joy, strength or victory. That illustrates the first part of the text, “For with people it is impossible”. When we can finally admit that we are utterly helpless, we need to move on to the second part of the text, “But with God all things are possible.” Philippians 2:13 tells us that “It is God which works in you, both to will and to do.” We need to understand that when God has renewed the will, God will give the power to accomplish what that will desires.
Trying harder is about as futile as trying to fill a cup with water that has had the bottom removed. We can stand there and hold the cup under the water faucet all day but it will not fill up with the water. We can even try holding our hand under the cup, but by that point in time we would be able to do nothing else but stand there and hold the cup with both hands. Our selfishness in trying to get to heaven on our own without giving our lives up to God gets us nowhere but standing there serving ourselves. In the meantime the cup will still never really get full.
On the other hand if we take a cup that is whole and put it under the running water it will soon be filled up. At the same time we don’t even have to stand there and hold it, we can just set it down and go do other things. If we give our entire lives to God then He is able to fill us up with His good works and as long as the cup stays under the running water it will continue to flow over.
“Unto him who is able to do exceeding abundantly above all that we ask or think…. unto him be glory.” Ephesians 3:20