I Cannot Lk 14: 20 CLICK TITLE FOR AUDIO
“I cannot” is not an acceptable excuse with the Lord. If the Lord wants you to do something, don’t tell him, “I can’t.” I told right-footed kids, that I coached in soccer, to use their left foot to kick the ball. They said, “Coach, I can’t.” So, I devised practices to train them in the use of their left foot. Before long, they were even scoring with their left foot. “I can’t” is just a cop out. It’s not an acceptable excuse with us and it is certainly not acceptable to the Lord. Here are four examples where you don’t want to say I cannot. Don’t say:
I cannot come to the Lord – Lk 14:20 (15-20) – when the Lord wants you to be saved or to become faithful in church, your spouse may try to hold you back. He or she may be worried, may be reluctant, and so forth. But you can’t use him or her as an excuse. You must lead out. The Lord will take care of your spouse. Husband, your wife must trust God to lead her through you. And wife, you must trust that Jesus will reveal himself to your husband through you when you follow the Lord [1 Pet 3:1-5]. The Lord wants you to come to him.
I cannot understand the Bible – Is 29:11-12 – the learned man says “I cannot, for it is sealed.” Or another man will say, “I am not learned.” When you come to the scripture, you pray over it and you search it and you study it [Prov 2:1-7]. The Lord will show you what he wants you to see and learn. And there are those he gives you who can show you things you need to know to keep you in sound doctrine [Eph 4:11-14]. You are not excused from reading and studying just because the Bible is hard. The Lord want you to study [2 Tim 2:15].
I cannot witness to the lost – Jer 1:5-7 – Jeremiah tried to excuse himself from the call of God to be a prophet [Jer 1:5]. He said, “I cannot speak: for I am a child,” [Jer 1:6]. The Lord replied, “Say not, I am a child… whatsoever I command thee thou shalt speak,” [Jer 1:7]. God didn’t accept his excuse. Jeremiah wasn’t too young to be a prophet. Prophets receive what they are supposed to say from the Lord and then they say what he said. Jeremiah used his age and lack of experience as an excuse when, in fact, he was “afraid,” [Jer 1:8]. That was the real problem. Tell the Lord what your real weakness is. Then he can give you the strength, through his grace, to do what he wants you to do. Look how the Lord dealt with Jeremiah’s fear and how he strengthened him in Jer 1:17-19. The Lord wants to use your mouth to witness; don’t be afraid.
I cannot answer the call of God – Ex 3:11-4:10 – Moses tried to excuse himself from leading Israel out of Egypt. He asked God, “Who am I?” [Ex 3:11]. That could have been a legitimate question of humility. He asked, “What shall I say unto them?” [Ex 3:13] when they ask what your name is. That could have been a legitimate question of authority. Then he said, “they will not believe me,” [Ex 4:1]. That could have been a genuine concern since the Jews require a sign. But then he said, “I am not eloquent,” [Ex 4:10] and that’s when it was obvious that he didn’t want the job. Look how the Lord handled his excuses in Ex 4:11-17. When the Lord tells you that he wants you to do something, get on with it and trust him to take care of you and of the details. He knows what he is doing. The Lord has a job for you to do. Don’t excuse yourself, no matter what excuse you can manufacture. The Lord has a plan for you.
Conclusion: You can do anything that the Lord wants you to do. Paul said, “I can do all things through Christ which strengtheneth me,” [Phil 4:13]. Truer words have never been spoken.