I CAN: two great words of faith.

Then Caleb quieted the people before Moses, and said, “Let us go up at once and take possession, for we are well able to overcome it.” Numbers 13:30

Many people don’t understand that faith is not just believing that God can, but believing that YOU can.

When the 12 spies can back from spying the land of Canaan they told the people that it was an excellent land. It was indeed a land that was flowing with milk and honey.  It was a beautiful land that was well suited for farming and produced excellent crops. In fact, it took two men to carry one cluster of grapes (Num 13:23)!  But the land was also the home of fortified cities, large and strong men, and the terrible descendants of Anak (who apparently was a pretty massive dude).  So even though the land was good and even though God had promised it to them, they looked at the situation and said, “We can’t do it.”

But the men who had gone up with him said, “We can’t attack those people; they are stronger than we are.” Numbers 13:31

Oh how sad. They had trekked through the desert from the land of their slavery and now when they have arrived to the place that God had promised them they were too scared to go take it.  They forfeited the blessing that God had for them by saying “I can’t.”

Now don’t get me wrong. I’m not implying that we can just have positive thoughts about whatever we want and then we will have it. What I am saying is that when our ‘I can’ matches up with God’s ‘you can’ then ‘we will.’  I love Caleb’s response when the 10 loser spies came back with a bad report to the people. He said, “Let us go up at once, for we are well able to overcome it.”

Why was Caleb so confident that they could overcome?  It’s because he believed the words that God spoke to them:

And I will send My Angel before you, and I will drive out the Canaanite and the Amorite and the Hittite and the Perizzite and the Hivite and the Jebusite   Ex 33:2

“I will send My fear before you, I will cause confusion among all the people to whom you come, and will make all your enemies turn [their] backs to you. And I will send hornets before you, which shall drive out the Hivite, the Canaanite, and the Hittite from before you.” Ex 23:27-28

Caleb took note of the words that God had spoken.  That’s why he had such confidence. I imagine that he was saying, “Look guys we have God on our side! He is much bigger than these puny folks!  He said that He would send His Angel before us, He said that his fear would be sent before us, heck, we’ve even got the hornets on our side! We can do this!”  Caleb looked to God’s word rather than looking at the circumstances.  He was ready to kick some butt.

We need to have the same spirit as Caleb had.  We need to be able to say, “I CAN do all things through Christ who strengthens me.” (Phil 4:13)  Many people don’t doubt that God can do it. What they doubt is that God can use them to do it. They look at the large circumstances and then at their puny selves and come to the conclusion that this isn’t gonna work.

Also, Many people are too caught up with their own short comings and their own failures and their own sins. They have let the devil convince them that, ‘sure, God can do it, but it’s not gonna be you.’  And you are right, it’s not going to be you unless you believe that it’s going to be you.  Don’t you understand that God has never had one person qualified working for him yet?  No, you stand by grace. It doesn’t matter how bad you think you’ve been or how many times you have let God down.  God’s grace is sufficient.  He will lift you up and seat you in the heavenly places in Christ Jesus.  He washes away every sin and makes you holy and blameless in His sight. You are well able to do anything that God’s word says you can do!!!!!!!!!!!

This is a lesson that has been hard for me to learn.  It’s easy to get discouraged about your own unworthiness.  I know that for me, in times past, I had a tough time believing God to have effective preaching when I would go out to minister.  I would feel unworthy because I hadn’t spent so much time praying or so much time in the word or because I had committed this sin or because I had spent too much time watching tv or something like that.  But now I’ve learned to agree quickly with my adversary: “You are right devil, I am unworthy. I’m glad you brought that up because that just reminds me of the incredible grace of God that redeemed my unworthy self from my pitiful state.  I have now, because of His death, been made righteous. He bore my sin, He took my shame; my sin He took and His righteousness I received!” What a great deal!  Now I can boldly come before the throne of grace to receive help in my time of need.  God looks at me and doesn’t see my old dirty self, but He sees the righteousness of Jesus Christ. Glory to God!

And because of all that I can take all of God’s word and apply it to myself.  When I go to preach I can have confidence and say, “I will minister with the ability of God. I will speak as the oracles of God. (1 Pet 4:11).”  I can say with Paul, “I know that I will come in the fullness of the blessing of the gospel of Christ! (Rom 15:29)”

So what CAN you do?  Go to God’s word and find out.  It’s slam full of promises for His children.  Find them and boldly declare: I CAN!

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