Breaking Free of The Can’t

I was watching an interesting video the other day where elephants were doing all kinds of amazing things. You know besides being the largest land animal on the planet, they are simply remarkable creations of God. Did you know:

  • Elephants love water and they are very excellent swimmers.
  • Elephants can make very low frequency sounds, which are below the human range of hearing.
  • Elephants sleep standing up and stomp when they walk.
  • Most elephants in Sri Lanka, whether they are male or female, have no tusks.
  • The trunk of an elephant has no bones. It has approximately 150,000 muscles and nerves, which provide flexibility.
  • The tusks of an elephant continue to grow throughout its life.
  • Elephants can take up to 18 quarts of water into their trunks at one time.
  • Elephants often rest by raising one foot and crossing it behind another.
  • Elephants are known to have a very sharp memory.
  • An elephant poops around 80 pounds in one day.

Ok, sorry about the last factoid, but 80 pounds!! And I thought cleaning up after my dog was bad. Anyway, you have to admit they are incredible creations. As I viewed this video I noticed how small a chain was holding these gargantuan behemoths. I mean these massive animals can up root trees, how is it that this little chain keeps them from running off. Well, when I was in Sri Lanka, Pastor Adrian shared with me that from the time an elephant is a baby they are chained to a post, and though they try to escape, they simple can’t. As they get older the memory that they can’t break free of the chain remains (remember that elephants have great memories). And so even as an adult they will not break free because they think they can’t. (This Sunday I will be showing a video where Pastor Adrian shares this reality.)

It is this “thinking we can’t” mentality I want to talk about with you (and yes, we will be talking more about this Sunday morning as we look at Luke 4:14-44 ‘Reach Like Jesus to the Captive’). But we do tend to think we can’t when it comes to our faith; can’t read my Bible constantly, can’t pray much, can’t understand some of those spiritual concepts, can’t seem to stop messing up, can’t find God’s unique call on my life, can’t be all that consistent in church attendance, can’t find a small group to attend, can’t get over struggles, can’t deal with stress, can’t live how God wants. The “can’t” list goes on, and we feel defeated. Then we observe others breaking free and start really believing we not only can’t, but maybe never will.

Yet if this is true, why does God say…

Romans 8:37  37 No, in all these things we are more than conquerors through Him who loved us.

The word ‘conquerors’ means to be completely and overwhelmingly victorious; to completely win over something, to gain a surpassing victory! I don’t hear ‘can’t’ in that, do you? So if we are to be surpassingly victorious in life, why is it we feel we can’t?

Maybe this verse in Proverbs helps…

NAS Proverbs 23:7 For as he thinks within himself, so he is…

Like the elephant, if we think we can’t. We keep telling ourselves we can’t and rehearsing reasons we why can’t. We will live the defeated life of ‘can’t.’

Maybe it’s time to start believing in the presence of the Holy Spirit in our lives (if you have come to the place where you believe in Jesus the Holy Spirit is with you). Here are a few verses about the Holy Spirit’s work in our lives:

  • Regeneration (John 3:3-7, Rom. 5:5, Titus 3:5)
  • Indwelling (Rom. 8:9, 1 Cor. 6:19)
  • Praying (Rom. 8:26-27)
  • Sanctifying – Helping us Grow (2 Thes. 2;13, 1 Pet. 1:2)
  • Teaching (John 14:26)
  • Guiding/Leading/Controlling (Rom. 8:14, Eph 5:18)

The result of the Holy Spirit’s work in our lives will be evident, as listed in Galatians  5:22-23 and in Ephesians 5:9. So the truth is we can! Remember…

Matthew 19:26  26 Jesus looked at them and said, “With man this is impossible, but with God all things are possible.”

This year, and for the rest of your life, break free and live life God’s way. It is possible, although it is not easy and will take gut-wrenching effort. There will be suffering and hardships, but also incredible victories, joys, and the thrill of life like you could never imagine.

Breaking free with you,

Mike

PS: Hope to see you this Sunday as we talk more about this. Yes, you can make it!

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