I Can’t, But He Can

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August 20, 2012 | 1 Comment

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by:  Staci Stallings

I believe one of the biggest challenges I’ve had in learning to be a Sower of Jesus Seed has been in the realm of stepping back from what “I’m called to do.”

You see, I used to take an idea like sowing God’s Word as something of a mandate or a requirement.  It was a burden placed on me by God, and I had better figure out how to do it and do it right, or ELSE.  I would walk away from divine encounters with other people feeling dispirited and worried.  What if I said the wrong thing?  I should have said this.  I didn’t say that.

And after awhile, I talked myself out of saying anything at all.  If I did say something, I said half of what came to mind because I was afraid to give voice to the other half.

What I am learning being a Sower of Jesus Seed, however, is that Jesus doesn’t require you to do the work.

The Scripture about the yoke captures this quite well:

Take my yoke upon you and learn from me, for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls.”  –Matthew 11:29

Now you might not know much about yokes, so let me explain this a little.

In the way olden days, before tractors and farm equipment, people used oxen to plow their fields.  Because it was important to have an oxen that behaved and knew what it was doing, they would yoke or harness two oxen together–a bigger, stronger, more experienced oxen and a smaller, weaker, less experienced oxen.  Then the younger one would learn from the older one.

But here’s the thing, the older, more experienced oxen would naturally pull far more of the weight of the plow even though the two were “yoked together.”  The younger one was more along for the ride than doing any of the heavy lifting.

So Jesus is saying, “Listen, this is not all on you.  It’s on Me.  Put My yoke on you and let Me shoulder the load.  When you yoke your life to Me, you will find rest because you won’t have to do the work yourself.  I’ll do it, and you can enjoy the ride.”

Another way to say this is that Jesus will do the work THROUGH us as we willingly surrender to Him.

One of the phrases I have learned by heart over these past few years of learning to be a Sower is this, “I can’t, but He can, and He will… if I will let Him.”

I can’t.  Oh, how freeing are those words when you understand that they do no brand you a failure.  When I learned the power of being honest by being able to tell God “I can’t,” life became a whole new ballgame for me.  It was as if God was saying, “Well, I was wondering how long it was going to take you to figure that out.”

But He can.  God can do miraculous things, things you cannot even begin to imagine or even hope for.  He absolutely can, and He absolutely will if you will ever stop trying to do them for Him.  The second I let go of trying to please Him, trying to be good enough, trying to make Him happy with my effort, He stepped in.  And it’s AMAZING just to watch Him work!

And He will.  Oh, the miracles I’ve seen.  Not big ones maybe, but miracles nonetheless.  The housewife who could not stand up for herself finally realizing her cowing to every demand placed on her was doing no one any good.  Then watching her stand up and stop being a doormat for everyone.  The woman drowning in debt who is coming to the end of the tunnel into a whole new life.  The woman who was ready to quit on helping because things weren’t turning out the way she wanted.

God has worked miracles in these cases.  Changes in hearts, minds, attitudes.  Changes in outlooks and renewed hope for the future.

If I will let Him.  Maybe it sounds easy to just let God do it, but for me, it’s been incredibly hard to learn that and even harder to practice it.  It sounds so counter-intuitive.  What King shows up and says, “Here let me do that for you”?  What King kneels to wash feet, to touch lepers, to lift a paralytic from his mat?  What King?

Our King.

He can, and He will.  When you can’t.  If you will let Him.

*~*

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