He Can’t Not

“From there he arose and went away to the region of Tyre and Sidon. And he entered a house and did not want anyone to know, yet he could not be hidden.  But immediately a woman whose little daughter had an unclean spirit heard of him and came and fell down at his feet. Now the woman was a Gentile, a Syrophoenician by birth. And she begged him to cast the demon out of her daughter. And he said to her, ‘Let the children be fed first, for it is not right to take the children’s bread and throw it to the dogs.’ But she answered him, ‘Yes, Lord; yet even the dogs under the table eat the children’s crumbs.’ And he said to her, ‘For this statement you may go your way; the demon has left your daughter.’  And she went home and found the child lying in bed and the demon gone…

And Jesus charged them to tell no one. But the more he charged them, the more zealously they proclaimed it. And they were astonished beyond measure, saying, ‘He has done all things well. He even makes the deaf hear and the mute speak.” Mark 7:24-30, 36-37

The tension between what Jesus initially wanted and what happened reveals the Son of Man, who needed rest and time alone with His Father, and the Son of God who was bent on fulfilling every iota of His purpose here on earth. There is no inconsistency between the two, only perfect, inexplicable harmony in the flesh of our Sovereign. He could not not be merciful to one who had not been His focus, but providentially approached in faith. He could not not be a Savior.

There are things we, while living in the flesh, can’t not do. This side of heaven, we will yield to temptations of flesh and mind. We will sin. We will suffer. We will regret. We will grow older.

But for Christ Jesus, what He can’t not do is always good, redemptive, and holy. O, to be like Him! Always full of love and compassion, always selfless and giving, always appropriate and kind! Always grateful, sensitive to needs and able to meet them perfectly. Always in tune with the Father, always yielded to His will. Always in control and zealous for God’s honor. Always doing all things well!

Holy God hates sin, but He can’t not be gracious- He does not always accuse nor harbor His anger forever. He allows helpless sheep to wander, but can’t not extend compassion and hold them tight. He disciplines us for good, but grows impatient at our misery, and can’t not be merciful. He sends us into storms, but can’t not be faithful to bring peace in the midst. He can’t not love, or rule, or abide as our dwelling place. His character and attributes are consistent and constant, unchanging and righteous, infinite and divinely balanced. (Judges 10:16; Psalm 90:1; 103:8-9,17; Matthew 14:22-27,32; Mark 6:34; John 10:28-29)

What default habits can’t we not do that we can humbly bring under Christ’s sway? Would we choose to appropriate what is true about God to each?

Lord, tether me to You and Your sure promises. May I glorify You by standing stable in all You can’t not be and do.

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