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  • Writer's pictureCharles Lucyk

I Can't

During our quarantine, my family sat down and watched the Prince of Egypt, an animated movie released 1998 covering the story written in the beginning of the book of Exodus. Though the movie is not one-hundred percent historically accurate, I believe it captures the spirit of the Exodus story. There is a particular scene that recaptured my interest in Moses' life because of its relatability. The scene reflects what is written in Exodus 4.

After God explains to Moses through the burning bush that he has chosen him as the man to free the Israelites from slavery, Moses responds in verse ten. "But Moses said to the Lord, '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." (Exodus 4:10-12)

We often chastise Moses in thought when we read this passage. Others might make jokes about Moses' lack of confidence in himself; however, we ignore the fact that Moses was right to doubt himself. The reality of the matter is that we can't do what God calls us to do.

Moses did not have the ability to confront Pharaoh. Moses did not have the power to turn the Nile into blood, call hordes of insects upon Egypt, summon massive hailstorms to smite the land, or blot out the sun. Moses did not have the authority to take the lives of all Egyptian firstborn males. His sentiment of "I can't" was entirely accurate. Moses could not free the Hebrew slaves in him of himself.

Moses' folly was not that he lacked confidence in himself. His folly was that he believed he was to act out of his own power.

Whenever God calls us to do anything for his kingdom, we must dismiss the notion that he chose us because we are special. We cannot do what he calls us to do on our own. It is only by his power and his authority that we can get the job done. Moses did not free the Israelites. God did.

I have heard countless times, including from my inner monologue, "I wish I could do something like that". All around us are grand examples of God's power moving through other believers to further his kingdom, but all we look at sometimes is the man or woman that God is using without remembering what power and what authority has been given to them. This is one of the greatest lies the enemy has been planting in the heart of the modern church. We are not good enough. He is right. That is not the lie. The lie is that we are alone.

What was God's response to Moses? He says, "I will be with your mouth and teach you what you shall speak". Jesus promises something similar to his followers in Matthew 28:20 after commissioning them to further his kingdom. He says, "And behold, I am with you always, to the end of the age."

Believing that we can't do something that we are called to do is not humility. It is a lack of faith in God's promise. Part of the equipping process is realizing that God is working through us. He will mold and shape us according to our calling. He will grant us certain gifts. However, everything we have, our experiences, our talents, and our understanding comes directly from our heavenly father. You may have heard it said. God does not call the equipped; he equips the called.

Amidst our current circumstance in the middle of a global pandemic, what has God been placing on our hearts that we have been responding to with "I can't"? What can't we do? Perhaps, if instead of responding with "I can't" we choose to respond with the much more accurate "God can", we will see how he can use our lives to further his kingdom in a mighty way.

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