I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me. – Phil. 4:13
When I gave a project to a sweet friend who had graciously stepped in to help me with something in my ministry work over the preceding months, she was apparently taken aback. Not surprising since she had made it clear given her busy schedule and family life that she needed me to not overwhelm her with too much to do in too short a period of time. But there I was giving her more than ever before – with even less time to do it. I apologized afterward – after I realized I had been driven by fear and impatience and what I thought was best rather than trusting in and waiting on the Lord to give me direction and His time for His plan. But little did I know what would transpire until she came back to me with a beautiful testimony that bore within it a message from the Lord, I believe, for us all. For despite my flesh, and despite my friend’s flesh, He had a plan, a timetable, and a wonderful lesson.
One day she called me to exuberantly, joyfully, and delightedly tell me that she had nearly completed absolutely everything in a phenomenally short period of time. She was so thrilled she sounded almost like an ebullient little girl proudly, and rightfully so, sharing how well she had done with a big task. She was careful to give the glory to God, and with her report she shared with me this wonderful story.
As soon as I had asked so incredibly much of her, she had planned to respond that she could not, and would not, do as I had asked. I had the sense she would have expressed her displeasure with what I had asked of her, but something happened. The Spirit of God restrained her from responding to me as she had intended. She had been utterly determined in her thinking, “I can’t do this!”, but the Lord had a lesson for her. And for me. And perhaps also for you. His Spirit impressed it upon her that she should NOT think, and say, “I can’t!” She should simply go forth in what she needed to do in helping me and in so doing in serving Him. So that’s exactly what she did. Little did she know that on my end of things, I had been thinking to myself, and even had said to a few people, “She can’t do this!” It was obviously too much for one person, particularly given the timetable. We both had thought it was simply too much! Surely she could not! But the Lord knew otherwise!
Oh, how ecstatic we both were when she shared with me that she was just about finished with everything I had given her. She and I both had started off believing the devil’s lie that she couldn’t do this project for the Lord, and we both had set our eyes and hearts on her human flesh and thought, she can’t do this! We looked at the circumstances, we looked at her humanness, we looked at her schedule, and we figured, no way. But God knew the truth. He had the strength and focus she needed to do His task for His glory!
Someone long ago told me God equips us to do what He calls us to do. And so He had done that with her, and so He has and is doing that with me, and so He will do this with you IF – Yes, IF. IF we are committed to following Him, and faithful in saying yes with what He asks of us, and if we look to Him for the strength and any other resources and equipping we need to complete what He gives us.
Oh, to God be the glory! Let us not think, I can’t do this Lord! Let those of us who believe in Jesus Christ as Lord seek the Lord, and trust the Lord, and follow the Lord as His Spirit equips us and leads us forth in loving and serving Him forevermore!