Recently, my wife Dorothy and I read “The Spiritual Secret of Hudson Taylor” a book written by Hudson Taylor’s son. We came to a part in the development of the CIM where Hudson Taylor was challenged to believe for the impossible, so to speak. Bearing in mind, this was back in the 1800’s, and they did not have the resources we have today. On top of this, like a contemporary of his George Mueller, Hudson Taylor did not canvas support, but depended entirely on God, through prayer. The impossibility related to the need for more workers to come and join the CIM team in reaching inland China. Let me quote a portion of his writings, as he shared with his company of leaders. He begins by emphasizing the need to know what are God’s plan for the mission.
THE OTHER SEVENTY ALSO
Day by day, the needs of the whole work were laid before the Lord and guidance was sought as to His will in connection with them. Slowly the Lord’s plan for CIM was revealed.
“It was only gradually it came to them-for it seemed too big a thing for faith to grasp. Walking over the Serpent Hill in the midst of Wu-chang, Mr. Taylor was counting up with one of his fellow-workers how many men and women it would really take to meet the most pressing claims. Station after station was considered, their thoughts quickened meanwhile by the scene outspread before them-the homes of no fewer than two million people being gathered at that confluence of the mighty Yangtze with the Han. Thus it was the thought dawned, overwhelming almost in its greatness. Fifty to sixty new workers? Why, the entire membership of the Mission was barely a hundred! But fifty or sixty, at the lowest computation, would be all too few. “Other seventy also,” came to Mr. Taylor’s mind ‘the Lord appointed other seventy also, and sent them….’ (Luke 10:1)
But it seemed too much to ask; not in view of the great, waiting field, but in view of wholly insufficient resources. Just then, as they walked, Mr. Parrott’s foot struck against something hard in the grass.
‘See,’ he said, stooping to pick up a string of cash, ‘see what I have found! If we have to come to the hills for it, God is well able to give us all the money needed! ‘But they did not run away with the new idea all at once. Several prayer meetings and quiet consultations were held before they came to feel liberty and confidence in asking the Lord for seventy new fellow-workers.
‘I quite believe that Mr. Taylor prayed the prayer of faith tonight,’ wrote Mr. Parrott of one of those meetings and of another, ‘There was a great spirit of expectancy.’
This was the spirit, indeed, that characterized the whole transaction—definite expectation that God would answer definite prayer in the Name of Jesus.”
In the natural, it was an impossibility to believe for such an increase of workers, together with all the resources needed for transport out from England and to provide for their needs. But their faith and prayers were answered. Indeed, this was a stepping stone to more. For eventually, the workers in the China Inland Mission numbered well over a thousand.
NOTHING IS IMPOSSIBLE WITH GOD
The next moring, after reading about Hudson Taylor, during my devotional time, I read a passage from Dr. David Jeremiah based on Luke 1:37, ‘For with God nothing is impossible.’ Part of it reads, “The Bible tells us all we need to know about God’s ability: “For with God nothing will be impossible.”
“For example, an elderly woman past childbearing age gave birth to a son as did an unmarried virgin girl. In both cases, they were told that nothing is impossible for God (Genesis 18:14; Luke 1:37). Jesus made this same point on several cases. He said it was impossible for man to save himself but not impossible for God (Mark 10:24-27). Jesus declared that God could save Him from impending death if it was His will (Mark 14:36). He even said that nothing is impossible for the one who has faith in God (Matthew 17:20). The point of all these examples is the same: We must shift our focus from ourselves and our ability to God and His ability. What is impossible for us is possible for Him.”
He ends the devotional with a quote from C. T. Studd, the English cricket player turned missionary to China, “Christ wants not nibblers of the possible, but grabbers of the impossible.”
A CHALLENGE TO ALL OF US
Could it be that God would also call us today to believe for the impossible? At a recent Leadership Conference in the church that I pastor, I challenged the leaders to do what I have been challenged to do: Seek God for three impossibilities that He would have you believe for in the coming year.
How about you? What would God have you believe for? Remember that “Nothing is impossible with God!”