I am not able to, but God can - 3 July 2019

Ewald Schmidt

“For what the law was powerless to do because it was weakened by the flesh, God did by sending his own Son in the likeness of sinful flesh to be a sin offering. And so he condemned sin in the flesh …” Romans 8:3

One of our worst enemies in life is our own pride. The men of our species seem to be exceptionally vulnerable to attacks from these quarters. We think we have to be in control over every aspect of our lives. In the days before GPS, we did not see the need to stop and ask for directions when we got lost. We do not like to ask for expert advice when we face a complex challenge, it would make us seem weak. If there is a task that demands a lot of physical strength, we may never admit that we have doubts as to whether we can do it. That is where we get hurt a lot.

The law in the Old Testament was given to point us in the right direction. It helped us find God’s will for our lives. But in our own strength we would never be able to obey it fully and flawlessly. Why then would God ask something of us that we are not able to do? Why would he demand the impossible from us? Jesus made it even worse in Matthew 5:48 when he commanded that we, as believers, should be perfect, as our Heavenly Father is perfect. Is God not unreasonable to ask the impossible of us? Every human parent knows what God is doing here. A father sometimes sets a big challenge for his child, a task too difficult for the child to complete. The child tries to do it, but soon discovers that it is beyond his or her capabilities. This gives the child the opportunity to ask his or her parent for help. With the parent’s help, the task gets completed, and the child learns new life skills in the process. Growth and wisdom come by moving out of our comfort zones, reaching for huge goals we are not yet able to conquer.

We are not able to comply with all the demands of the law – our human nature holds us back. We want to do the right thing, but we don’t always have the wisdom, the insight or the power to choose the right path. Our Heavenly Father knows that! In Psalm 103:14, David teaches us that “… the Lord has compassion on those who fear him; for he knows how we are formed, he remembers that we are dust.” That is why God came to earth, when the Father sent his Son to show us his love and his grace, he took the burden of all our sins upon himself. Because he became one of us, he could be the perfect sacrifice for our sins.  He helps us to be holy.

Prayer: Lord it is not easy for me to admit, but I really need you in my life. I am not strong enough or wise enough to find my own way through the maze of life. Thank you, Lord Jesus that you have come to show the way, and to be the way I needed back to our Father’s house. You have set me free, and given me a new life. Thank you, Jesus! Amen

Go to top