‘But I Can’t’ vs ‘But I Will’

“Then the Lord said, ‘I have surely seen the affliction of my people who are in Egypt and have heard their cry because of their taskmasters. I know their sufferings, and I have come down to deliver them out of the hand of the Egyptians and to bring them up out of that land to a good and broad land, a land flowing with milk and honey… Come, I will send you to Pharaoh that you may bring my people, the children of Israel, out of Egypt.’ But Moses said to God, ‘Who am I that I should go to Pharaoh and bring the children of Israel out of Egypt?’ He said, ‘But I will be with you… I AM WHO I AM… Say this to the people of Israel: “I AM has sent me to you.”’

“‘I promise that I will bring you up out of the affliction of Egypt to the land… flowing with milk and honey… But I know that the king of Egypt will not let you go unless compelled by a mighty hand.  So I will stretch out my hand and strike Egypt with all the wonders that I will do in it; after that he will let you go. And I will give this people favor in the sight of the Egyptians; and when you go, you shall not go empty…’

“Then Moses answered, ‘But behold, they will not believe me or listen to my voice, for they will say, “The Lord did not appear to you.” ..Oh, my Lord, I am not eloquent, either in the past or since you have spoken to your servant, but I am slow of speech and of tongue.’ Then the Lord said to him, ‘Who has made man’s mouth? Who makes him mute, or deaf, or seeing, or blind? Is it not I, the Lord?  Now therefore go, and I will be with your mouth and teach you what you shall speak.’ But he said, ‘Oh, my Lord, please send someone else…’ And the Lord said to Moses, ‘When you go back to Egypt, see that you do before Pharaoh all the miracles that I have put in your power. But I will harden his heart, so that he will not let the people go.'” Exodus 3:7-8,10-12a,14,17a,19-21; 4:1,10-13,21

Moses’ ineloquence and slow speech became a stutter of ‘but,’ repeatedly uttering all he could not do. The I AM countered every protest with supernatural ability and promise. For every doubt and denial came a matching pledge of adequacy and provision, yet still the nervous shepherd resisted God’s call to leadership.

Lest we criticize Moses, we, too, have received grace upon grace at every call of God. We, too, have His very great and precious promises pertaining to life and godliness. We know He is able to make all grace abound to us, and provide for every need. And yet our flesh that fears, and is lazy, and self-conscious, also makes excuses and says, ‘I can’t.’ (John 1:16; 2 Corinthians 9:8; Ephesians 3:20-21; Philippians 4:19; 2 Peter 1:3-4)

Obedience that honors God must relinquish my “I can’t”s and take hold of His “I will”s. It is a matter of faith in who He is and what He has said. Where has my resolve grown feeble, and my whine of ineptitude disabled my confidence in God’s ability?

Father, help me trust Your “I will”s with all my heart and in every action, and so magnify Your greatness and glory.

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