TOPIC:“Doing What You Can't”
by Rev. Dr. Reg Dunlap
“I can do all things through Christ who strengtheneth me” (4:13)
Some years ago, while browsing in a public library, I came upon a very interesting book entitled, “The Possible You.” I must confess that I do not know what the whole thrust of the book was about for I did not have time to read it. But the catchy title of that little volume caught my attention and started me thinking along that line.
I started asking myself questions such as these: How much can I do for Christ if I really put my mind to it? And then also: To what extent can I gain the victory over temptation and accomplish those things that I constantly confess that I don't have time to do, or that I really don't want to do? May I confess that I was ashamed and humiliated at the way that I had permitted myself to fall into the negative mood of always thinking and saying, “I can't.” But quickly came back the words of Christ to my mind when He said: “All things are possible to him that believeth” (Mark 9:23).
To be sure, the natural way to get out of doing a certain thing is simply to say, “I can't,” which in reality is just another way of stating, “I don't want to.” D. L. Moody, the great evangelist of past years, once said: “I hate the word 'can't.' Whenever I hear someone say, 'I can't,' I do everything in my power to say, 'I can'." Let us listen for a few moments to a man who comes upon the scene and says not, “I can't," but "I can and I will.” And he did! That man was the Apostle Paul.
To begin with, as we look at the text, notice the AFFIRMATION that is found in the words, “I can.” This is a FACT.
As we look at the confession of this little first-century Christian, we find a man who was totally persuaded and completely convinced that he could do anything that God wanted him to do. Paul realized that the God who gave the command was also the same God who provided the resources by which to fulfill that command. The comment of Guy H. King in his devotional study on the book of Philippians is worth noting at this point. He wrote: “As we look at the Apostle Paul we get an impression of a man stirred, even excited, by the sudden realization afresh that there is absolutely nothing required of him by God that he cannot do.” What a supreme example of faith and trust. Paul reasoned that if God says he can do it, it can be done.
And yet, it is extremely easy to locate people who fall into the category of simply saying, “I can't.” . . .