As a parent I have lost count of the many times my children have said to me: ‘I can’t‘. Be it riding a bike without stabilisers, to a hard piece of homework – children can often lack confidence and courage to do new things. That’s why one of the key roles of a parent is to gently but firmly challenge a child’s ‘I can’t with ‘Yes you can. You can do it.’
When the Lord called to Moses and told him the job he had to do, Moses had said, ‘I can’t… I can’t do it’. But the Lord had said, ‘Yes you can, I will help. I will provide.’ And he did. Eighty or so years later, through Moses God similarly calls Joshua to a great task. And deep inside Joshua feels just how Moses had felt: ‘I can’t. I can’t do it’. But the Lord says (Deut 31): ‘Yes you can. Be strong. Be courageous. Go for it. you can do it.’
I wonder, are there some things God has called you to do, that you’ve told yourself (and the Lord) that you just can’t do? I suspect there are, for all of us. Let me suggest one or two examples.
I can’t get up early in the morning to pray.
But the Lord says: ‘Yes you can, if you get to bed in good time and be disciplined.’
I can’t forgive that person for what they did.
But the Lord says: ‘Yes you can. Ask for my help to forgive. And choose to forgive.’
I can’t hear from God.
But the Lord says: ‘Yes you can. Seek me. Listen. Ask and I will speak.’
I can’t lead someone to faith in Jesus Christ.
But the Lord says: ‘Yes you can. You can show and tell of my love. You can lead
someone in a prayer of commitment to me.’
I can’t pray for healing
But the Lord says: ‘yes you can. Just reach out your hand, and speak healing.’
(This is just what my wife Sam did a few weeks ago when I stumbled and twisted my ankle on a step in our garden. She spoke healing to my ankle and the shooting pain up my leg instantly disappeared and I was fine)
In the life of a church like The Belfrey there are all sorts of ‘we can’ts’ that we don’t really articulate, but they are there – often unspoken – under the surface. Let me dig out a few.
We can’t grow in numbers.
We can’t get the volunteers.
We can’t find the money.
We can’t reorder the church building. It’s too big. Too difficult. We won’t get
We can’t see revival in the North. It’s for past generations, but not for us.
Folks, we don’t have to accept any of that. Because the Lord says, ‘Yes you can’.
So let me ask you – what are your ‘I can’ts’? And what does the Lord have to say about those things? Because if they are on his agenda, his response is always ‘Yes you can’.
I think the Lord wants us to become ‘make it happen’ kind of people, so our default position is: ‘let’s do it’. God wants us to become more and more a ‘Yes you can’/’Yes we can’ people, because the Lord is with us. Like Joshua, we can know that ‘The Lord himself goes before you and will be with you. He will never leave you nor forsake you. Do not be afraid; do not be discouraged’ (Deut 31:8).
The Lord says: ‘Yes you can’.