Challenging the “I Can’t” Attitude
Have you ever been in a situation where you find yourself saying ‘I can’t’ a lot more than ‘I can’?
Is God calling you to do something that seems out of your comfort zone?
A few days ago my husband asked me when was the first time I felt that I wanted to write. In answering, I felt the urge to go and look through my past journals over the years. I wanted to know where and at what point it was that God had started speaking to me about writing. Looking back at all my notes and private thoughts, I realized that God had been speaking to me about my writing for the last two years. It suddenly dawned on me that it took me two years to finally step up to the call and assignment that God had for me. What a lot of time I have wasted!
When God first spoke to me about writing, my initial response was to just brush it off as something that I had ‘misheard’. It was easier to convince myself that it wasn’t God that was speaking than it was for me to put my pen to paper and start being obedient to what I had felt God called me to do. It’s easier to silence the gentle nudgings of the Holy Spirit than it is to turn up our frequency and tune into what He is saying. We too often fill our heads with our lists and reasons why we can’t do something. Our lists of ‘I cant’s‘ fill the space in our head where the heart of ‘I can‘ should be.
As I learned to be obedient to God, it became easier to tune into what God was saying. All of my I can’t statements turned into, ‘Yes Lord I am available to do whatever you want of me.’
I have a secret to tell you, friends. If God has placed something on your heart to do for Him – He will give you all the right tools to complete the work that He has for you to do. So often I think, Lord, what do you want me to write about. But as I sit in front of my computer in an act of obedience to His call, my fingertips begin moving around the keyboard so fast that my mind can barely keep up.
The bible is full of stories of men who said I cant to the call of God. Moses is a good example.
Now Moses was tending the flock of Jethro his father-in-law, the priest of Midian, and he led the flock to the far side of the wilderness and came to Horeb, the mountain of God. There the angel of the Lord appeared to him in flames of fire from within a bush. Moses saw that though the bush was on fire it did not burn up. So Moses thought, “I will go over and see this strange sight—why the bush does not burn up.” When the Lord saw that he had gone over to look, God called to him from within the bush, “Moses! Moses!” And Moses said, “Here I am.” “Do not come any closer,” God said. “Take off your sandals, for the place where you are standing is holy ground.” Then he said, “I am the God of your father, the God of Abraham, the God of Isaac and the God of Jacob.” At this, Moses hid his face, because he was afraid to look at God. The Lord said, “I have indeed seen the misery of my people in Egypt. I have heard them crying out because of their slave drivers, and I am concerned about their suffering. So I have come down to rescue them from the hand of the Egyptians and to bring them up out of that land into a good and spacious land, a land flowing with milk and honey—the home of the Canaanites, Hittites, Amorites, Perizzites, Hivites, and Jebusites. And now the cry of the Israelites has reached me, and I have seen the way the Egyptians are oppressing them. So now, go. I am sending you to Pharaoh to bring my people the Israelites out of Egypt.” But Moses said to God, “Who am I that I should go to Pharaoh and bring the Israelites out of Egypt?” And God said, “I will be with you. And this will be the sign to you that it is I who have sent you: When you have brought the people out of Egypt, you will worship God on this mountain.” Moses said to God, “Suppose I go to the Israelites and say to them, ‘The God of your fathers has sent me to you,’ and they ask me, ‘What is his name?’ Then what shall I tell them?” God said to Moses, “I am who I am. This is what you are to say to the Israelites: ‘I am has sent me to you.’ God also said to Moses, “Say to the Israelites, ‘The Lord, the God of your fathers—the God of Abraham, the God of Isaac and the God of Jacob—has sent me to you.’ – Exodus 3:1-15
Moses protested with God and fought Him when God called him to save the Israelites out of Egypt. Moses allowed his fear to rule his heart and get in the way of Gods plan. Eventually, after some negotiations, Moses was obedient to God. And his legacy lives to tell the tale. God saved the Israelites out of Egypt. And he used an ordinary man who, although full of fear, in faith he was obedient to the call and God used him mightily.
Some of us carry this I cant notion around our waist like a belt holding up our pants. We pull out the I cant card whenever we feel pushed beyond our boundaries. Unfortunately, when we do this, we sadden Gods heart because our I cant is actually an act of disobedience. Eventually, when we string all our I cant’s together, it makes up a lifetime of excuses. A lifetime of not being used by God because we allowed our fear to be bigger than our faith in Christ.
What does my I can’t message teach others? What is my I can’t message teaching my children? And what legacy am I leaving behind with my I cant attitude?
I’m convinced that it’s never too late, to turn to God and say ‘I’m sorry’ and it’s never too late to allow God to use you. So today, I encourage you to tackle your thinking around your I cant message and start by saying, I can. This is not a happy go lucky chant to recite over in your head. Rather, it’s an act of realigning my heart to a place where I’m ready to be faithful to Gods call. And that when He calls, I have prepared my heart to eagerly utter the words, Yes Lord, I Can!
I can assure you on the otherside of every ‘I can’t” excuse is a glorious adventure with God just waiting to happen.LYSA TERKEURST