Your God Can Do Anything

Luke 1:37

Hormoz Shariat, the “Billy Graham of Iran,” is at the forefront of a secret revival occurring in the underground church of Iran. Several years ago, a woman he calls “Dana” began calling into his program, very angry at him. Dina was a high-ranking official in Iran’s Female Secret Police, and she persecuted Christians. One day she called the program to tell Hormoz she and her bedridden mother were going to kill themselves. Dina had grown disillusioned with Iranian corruption, and she was discouraged because cancer was destroying her mother’s body.

Hormoz responded, “Since you’re going to kill yourself anyway, why don’t you give Jesus a week? If He doesn’t answer a single prayer for you…then go ahead and kill yourself…. You have nothing to lose.”

Dina railed against him, but in the end she agreed to his experiment. Every morning she prayed to Jesus. Early on the fifth day, she heard footsteps in the house. She thought an intruder had entered because the only other person at home was her bedridden mother. Yet her mother stuck her head through the door and said, “It’s just me, Dina.”

Dina was shocked to see her mother walking through the house and asked how it could be. Her mother replied, “Last night after you turned off the light, I thought…I should pray one last time. Then I saw His face. Right there in my room…. It was Jesus…. I woke up a few minutes ago and realized I felt no pain…. Not only that, but I could move comfortably and felt so peaceful that I decided to try to stand up. Dina, I could walk… I feel well again.”

Dina not only turned to Christ, she has become a fervent underground evangelist who, along with her husband, have planted a large network of underground churches in Iran.

God considers nothing impossible, and we have that on good authority—from the angel Gabriel. In Luke 1:37, as Gabriel explained to Mary how the Holy Spirit would overshadow her and leave her impregnated with the Messiah, he added, “For no word from God will ever fail.”

Most translations follow the example of the New King James Version and say, “For with God nothing will be impossible.” The literal Greek awkwardly (to us) says, “Every thing will not be impossible with God.”

What Gabriel was saying is that no word that God speaks can fail to come true. Nothing is impossible for Him. The Lord is able to do anything and everything—miracles beyond our 


This isn’t Gabriel’s opinion alone. In Genesis 18:14, the Lord reassured aged Abraham that his elderly wife, Sarah, would have a baby, saying, “Is anything too hard for the Lord?”

The prophet Jeremiah grasped this truth when he prayed, “Ah, Sovereign Lord, you have made the heavens and the earth by your great power and outstretched arm. Nothing is too hard for you” (Jeremiah 32:17).

Job said, “I know that you can do all things” (Job 42:1).

Jesus summed it up, saying, “With God all things are possible” (Matthew 19:26). In Luke 18:27 

He said, “What is impossible with man is possible with God.”

The apostle Paul said he was “fully persuaded that God had power to do what He had promised” (Romans 4:21). Our Lord, Paul said, “is able to do immeasurably more than all we ask or imagine” (Ephesians 3:20). We have a God who “gives life to the dead and calls into being things that were not” (Romans 4:17).

My favorite verse along these lines is Zechariah 8:6, when the Lord makes a set of promises to the remnant of Israel that they can hardly wrap their arms around His words. The Lord replied, “It may seem marvelous to the remnant of his people at that time, but will it seem marvelous to me?”

The Living Bible interprets this nicely: “This seems unbelievable to you—a remnant, small, discouraged as you are—but it is no great thing for me.”

What seems impossible to us is an easy lift for our God. In theological jargon, we call this omnipotence, which literally means “all power.” God possesses unlimited power, and the same Lord who spread out the universe like a canopy and created the earth like a spinning ball of water and dirt—He has infinite energy and He can do anything.

That is the Bible’s basic premise, but we have to understand a few things about this quality of omnipotence. There are four footnotes that we need to keep in mind.

1. God Theoretically Could, But Certainly Will Not, Act Contrary to His Nature.

First, God theoretically could, but certainly will not, act contrary to His nature. Remember, the Lord has other attributes, and all His attributes blend together so seamlessly that there are no gaps or cracks in His unified nature. For example, look at Hebrews 6:18: “God did this so that, by two unchangeable things in which it is impossible for God to lie, we who have fled to take hold of the hope set before us may be greatly encouraged.”

The operative phrase for our purposes is: “…it is impossible for God to lie.” In what way is it impossible? It is not theoretically impossible. I can lie, and if I can lie I’m sure God has the physical ability to utter a lie. But His omnipotence is seamlessly woven together with His righteousness, with His integrity, with His holiness. And He will not act contrary to His nature. That’s why it’s impossible for Him to lie.

In Psalm 89:34, God said, “I will not violate my covenant or alter what my lips have uttered.” In other words, God will not act contrary to His Word and His Will.

2. God Will Not Perform the Logically Absurd

The second footnote is this: God will not perform the logically absurd. Sometimes this is called the “Omnipotence Paradox.” If you discuss the question of God’s omnipotence with skeptics, someone will probably bring up a question designed to confound you, such as…

  • Can God make a rock too heavy for Him to lift?
  • Can God make 2 plus 2 equal five?
  • Can God make a square circle?

This has been widely discussed since the days of Augustine and most theologians agree that omnipotence is not defined as the ability to perform what is logically absurd. I heard a lecture in which someone asked William Lane Craig about this and he replied: “Omnipotence is not defined as the ability to do that which is logically absurd. In one sense, to do a task that is logically impossible is not a task at all. It is just a self-contradictory combination of words. So it’s no inhibition of omnipotence to say that God cannot do what is logically impossible, and that’s the way most theists historically have understood it.”

Augustine of Hippo articulated this in the 400s, and it has been the general position of scholars ever since. But let’s say you disagree with this. Can God make a rock so heavy He cannot lift it? Yes. He can make such a rock, and then He can lift it. But none of this is a logical reality. Questions that are absurd in nature do not really threaten the reality of God’s omnipotence.

3. God Can Do Anything But He Doesn’t Do Everything

A third footnote when it comes to God’s omnipotence is to remember that while He can do anything, He does not do everything. When Jesus entered Jerusalem riding on a donkey on Palm Sunday, the people praised Him, saying, “Hosanna. Blessed is He who comes in the name of the Lord.” The critics among the Pharisees told Jesus to quieten down the crowd, and Jesus replied, “I tell you, if they keep quiet, the stones will cry out” (Luke 19:40). God had the ability to make the stones cry out in praise, but just because He could do that doesn’t mean that He did do that.

That’s important for us to remember when we pray. God can answer our prayers with miracles, but He doesn’t always choose to do that, which is why we live by faith and not by sight. We trust Him even when He doesn’t do the thing we think is needed at the moment. We trust Him to know better than we do and to keep His promise to work all things for our good.

The ultimate example of this is when Jesus prayed, “Father, if it is possible, may this cup be taken from me. Yet not as I will, but as You will” (Matthew 26:39).

God certainly had the power to snatch Jesus back up to Heaven, and Jesus Himself had the power to call more than twelve legions of angels to deliver Him (Matthew 25:53). But Jesus nevertheless was nailed to the cross to provide eternal salvation and life for you and me.

4. God is Reluctant to Violate Our Freedom of the Will.

The final footnote is that God is very reluctant to violate the freedom of the will that He gave to humans. God could have made us so that we are programmed like robots to love Him and to always obey Him. But within the dimensions of His sovereignty and wisdom, He gave us a certain degree of freedom to choose how we’re going to live, to make our own choices. 

When the rich young ruler came to Jesus and our Lord called him to become a disciple, the young man turned away and left, for He wasn’t willing. Jesus could have snapped His fingers and turned the young man into a sort of puppet who had to turn back and follow Jesus. But our Lord knows that love and loyalty must be freely given, and so He didn’t exercise His omnipotence to do that. 


Those are four footnotes, but in no way do they diminish God’s infinite power or His ability to do anything and everything He desires. And it’s very helpful to know that His power empowers us. 

There are two passages about this in the book of Ephesians that I’d like to fuse together. The first is in Ephesians 1:19, which is one of the most underappreciated passages in the New Testament. Paul is praying for the Ephesians—and by extension for us—that our eyes would be opened to “His incomparably great power for us who believe. That power is the same as the mighty strength He exerted when He raised Christ from the dead….”

God exerted power when He raised Christ from the dead, and that same power is available for us who believe. The other passage in Ephesians comes at the end of chapter 3, and it, too, is a prayer. Paul prays that out of His glorious riches God will strengthen us with power through His Spirit in our inner being…” and He “is able to do immeasurably more than all we ask or imagine according to His power that is at work within us” (Ephesians 3:16-20).

So the God who can do anything—for Whom nothing is impossible—exerted omnipotent power when He raised Christ from the dead, and that same power is available to empower us in our daily living. It comes to us out of God’s glorious riches and is conveyed into our lives by the Holy Spirit who strengthens us in our inner being.

Along the way, we never know how God will use whatever we are and whatever we do for Him. In the late 1920s, a Presbyterian missionary named Robert S. Burris, set out across a section of China, and he carried 2,000 New Testaments in his luggage. Along the way he was surrounded by bandits who demanded his money. When they found he had only eighty cents in cash they threatened to behead him, but instead they took his luggage including all his copies of the Scripture. That night as Burris settled down and tried to sleep, he claimed Isaiah 55:11 regarding his loss, that God’s Word would not return empty but would accomplish what God desired and achieve the purpose for which He sent it.

Twenty-five years later, Burris was serving as pastor of a church in Canton, Ohio. He met a traveling missionary who had later worked in the same area of China, and the man showed slides of a church of 400 members where no Christian worker had ever been. How the church came into existence was a mystery. It’s also strange that every member of the church had a copy of the New Testament. The missionary admitted that no one knew where the Scriptures had come from. But Mr. Burris knew!

God’s wisdom and power are undiminished, and He is able to do exceedingly abundantly above all that we ask or think, according to His power that is at work within us.