How many times a day do you hear the word “can’t”?
I hear it too much. Even from my own lips!
“I can’t believe it!”
“I can’t imagine it!”
“I can’t get up that early!”
“I can’t see myself doing that!”
“I can’t quit smoking!”
“I can’t lose weight!”
Here is one of the biggest “can’t”s that need to be dropped for our vocabulary: “I can’t help it!”
Oh yes you can girl!
Did you ever ask your teacher, “Can I go to the bathroom?” and hear her say “I don’t know, can you?”
I remember the first time I heard a teacher say that. They were correcting my grammar of course, but also pointing out something important. “Of course I CAN go to the bathroom.” The proper question would have been “May I?” I was using the word “can” in the wrong way.
So, how many times do we apply the word can’t where it doesn’t belong?
Where would can’t be acceptable?
Well, men can’t have babies.
Dogs can’t read.
But people CAN quit smoking and they CAN lose weight and they CAN change and improve their circumstances – if they will stop saying that they can’t and start seeing themselves as God sees them.
Can’t is such a powerful word!
Can’t comes with excuses.
If I say I can’t do something – I will need to follow it up with several reasons why I can’t!
Can’t creates limits.
If you can’t believe it, imagine it, see it – you won’t be it!
We have to start to believe it, imagine it and see it!
We have to start putting our mouth where our feet want to be.
We have to start saying: “I can see myself being successful!”
It isn’t enough to just think and speak positive – that is just silly. Positive words aren’t powerful in and of themselves – but God’s Word is! You need to find out what God’s Word says about you. That will change the way that you think about yourself and the way that you talk about yourself.
See yourself as God sees you!
Let me ask you’re a question:
Where does sin start? In the Mind, with thoughts and imaginations.
Romans 8:6 (NLT) If your sinful nature controls your mind, there is death. But if the Holy Spirit controls your mind, there is life and peace.
Consider adultery. A married woman meets a man and she feels attracted. But she is a moral woman and would never consider having an affair.
But – a thought comes, a temptation, and unless she casts it down immediately, she might start thinking about it more and more, soon she is daydreaming and night dreaming about this man. She imagines herself being with him. She compares him to her husband and thinks about how things would be different with him.
She may imagine having an affair with him or leaving her husband for him for months or years. When she finally succumbs to the temptation, it isn’t so hard – because she has done it a hundred times in her mind.
Just as sin is birthed in our thoughts and empowered by our imagination and brought to harvest in our flesh – so it is with changes for the better.
God calls it the renewing of our minds. He sows the Word into our lives. It comes into our minds and we start to think differently about ourselves – but we have to cultivate those seeds.
Just like the adulterous woman imagined herself having an affair – we can imagine ourselves being who God has called us to be. We have to stop judging ourselves after the flesh and start seeing ourselves in the spirit!
I am daydreaming about fulfilling my purpose as a writer and a speaker.
I am daydreaming about losing weight and being healthy.
I am imagining being financially secure.
I am imagining a time when I can give generously without concern for my utilities getting paid at the same time.’
I am daydreaming about meeting a great guy.
I am imagining a more patient me. A kinder me. A more loving me.
I am meditating on what the Word has to say about me.
Stop looking at your flesh and making excuses for what you can’t do!
1Corinthians 15:58 (MSG)With all this going for us, my dear, dear friends, stand your ground. And don’t hold back. Throw yourselves into the work of the Master, confident that nothing you do for him is a waste of time or effort.
Hebrews 10:19-23 (MSG)So, friends, we can now – without hesitation – walk right up to God, into “the Holy Place.” Jesus has cleared the way by the blood of his sacrifice, acting as our priest before God. The “curtain” into God’s presence is his body. So let’s do it – full of belief, confident that we’re presentable inside and out. Let’s keep a firm grip on the promises that keep us going. He always keeps his word.
What you are called to do has absolutely nothing to do with your flesh!
Not sure if you believe that?
The Apostle Paul says that his success in serving God had nothing to do with his “natural abilities.”
Ephesians 3:7-8 (MSG) This is my life work: helping people understand and respond to this Message. It came as a sheer gift to me, a real surprise, God handling all the details. When it came to presenting the Message to people who had no background in God’s way, I was the least qualified of any of the available Christians. God saw to it that I was equipped, but you can be sure that it had nothing to do with my natural abilities.
Read it in another version:
(NLT) By God’s special favor and mighty power, I have been given the wonderful privilege of serving him by spreading this Good News. Just think! Though I did nothing to deserve it, and though I am the least deserving Christian there is, I was chosen for this special joy of telling the Gentiles about the endless treasures available to them in Christ.
If Paul, who was incredibly intelligent, who knew scripture like we know our own name was quick to point out that his own skills were not to be credited for his ministry – then a lack of those skills can’t be an excuse to stay out of ministry!
Do you have a “can’t” in your heart that is keeping you from stepping out to do what God wants you to do? Begin to encourage yourself in God’s Word. Begin to visualize yourself doing what you feel drawn to do. Then begin to take practical steps towards that end!