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But I Can Do It! Can’t I?

…apart from Me you can do nothing.

John 15:5

God’s major emphasis in my training was the one that He weaves so skillfully through the Bible from In the beginning on page 7 to the Amen on page 1923. He just keeps trying to impress us as His children that we were never intended to fight the battles of the world. He said: Abraham, you can’t. Sarah, you can’t. Joshua, you can’t. Gideon, you can’t. Peter, you can’t. Paul, you can’t. And you can’t either–Anabel. But there is always a positive phrase tacked on to this negative one … but I can–trust in Me and My ability through you.

How well I remember the night I finally relinquished my control and said, “Lord, I can’t.” (Being a Performance-Based-Perfectionist, I can’t wasn’t in my vocabulary, so that was awfully hard for me to say.) How many sleepless nights, how many tears, how many unhappy hours passed before I finally discovered that not only could I not live the Christian life, I was never intended to live it. I simply said, “I give up. If anything is going to come of this marriage, You’re going to have to do it.” He answered-very gently-with seven little words: I will do it all for you, Anabel. My life began all over that night, and I have finally learned (nearly) to say quite easily, “I can’t.” Because I’ve learned that He can.

Bill’s experience was different. He was in the library at Oklahoma State University every night until midnight, cramming for his doctoral comprehensive exams. Failure was not an option. He had resigned his job, sold our home and moved all of us, including the dog, to Stillwater, OK. But, as he tells the story, “By lunch break on the first day of testing I was numb with the pain of knowing that I was failing. Lord, I’ve written for four hours and it’s no use. I’m not losing by a last-second field goal; I’m decimated. I can’t do it.” The Lord did not give Bill comforting words like He gave me. Instead, He took Bill’s pen in hand and gave him words on the exam paper. Thoughts began to flow. Paragraphs became organized. Points were documented. Bill says, “He passed me! I didn’t earn my degree–I received it. That was my first experience with Christ expressing life through me. I couldn’t, but He did.”

Those life-changing events for me and for Bill happened many years ago and we’re still learning. Oh, we knew the scriptures–just like you–Christ IN you … without Me you can do nothing … it is no longer I who live … not that I am adequate for anything within myself … when Christ who is our life … but we didn’t know how to make them work in our lives. These verses can be on your memory cards, they can be underlined and hi-lited in your Bible, but if you have not come to that place where you finally admit, “Lord, I can’t. You must do it all for me,” then you probably don’t know this marvelous truth.

Just another Christian clichu00e9, another Christian gimmick? No. It’s truth that God has given and that truth has awesome implications for your life: Christ lives in you to face life for you. It becomes a part of your everyday life by using the same two tools you’ve used for your entire Christian life–faith and obedience. First you accept by faith the truth that Christ, in addition to Savior and Lord, is your very life (Col. 3:3-4). Second, you obediently just “haul off and act like–live like–it’s true!” Amazing grace!

About the Author

Anabel spent decades teaching in many contexts through Lifetime Guarantee Ministries. She has taught countless others how to have a genuine intimate faith and a sound marriage. She shared from her heart about living from the heart. Lifetime’s beloved founder and mentor passed away November 7, 2010. Her legacy and influence are timeless and priceless.