January 26, 2022
There are an infinite number of things to know, more than anyone can grasp in a lifetime. We’ve categorized these fields of knowledge (science, history, psychology, mathematics, etc.) in an attempt to organize our understanding.
In our educational system, we begin with the most basic and then proceed to the more complex year by year. Without some foundational understandings we are severely handicapped as we seek to navigate this world.
But there are two truths that are more important than all the rest. These are usually not taught in our schools or valued by our society. Sadly, most people are never even exposed to these truths, and they live regrettable lives, hampered by tragic misunderstandings.
These two truths are the flip side of the same coin and should be the foundation for our life on this earth and beyond, but our pride blinds our eyes. It’s a simple, essential couplet:
I CAN’T, GOD CAN
Without this understanding we walk through life trying to do the impossible on our own. We never turn to God for what only He can do. We rarely look to Him in dependency and faith. C.S. Lewis said that our souls are made to live on God, like gasoline to a car and it’s impossible to try to live life any other way.
One young man in a season of human history became the most powerful and useful on earth because he understood this essential couplet. In fact, his understanding led to the physical salvation of the entire known world.
Pharaoh said to Joseph, “I have had a dream, but no one can interpret it; and I have heard it said about you, that when you hear a dream you can interpret it.” Joseph then answered Pharaoh, saying, “It is not in me; God will give Pharaoh a favorable answer.” (Genesis 41:15-16)
Joseph understood the limits of his humanity (“It is not in me”), but he also believed in the limitless power of God (“God will give Pharaoh a favorable answer”). This understanding pushed him naturally to a life of dependency on God; a life that was rightly aligned; a life that God could use to bless the world.
Joseph’s humility and faith let God into the equation. The results were what only God could have accomplished, and Joseph was seen as the wisest man in the earth, simply because he understood the essential couplet.
Father, help me to understand. Move this essential couplet from my head to my heart—from the back of my understanding to the front. Let it be my first thought always. Let me constantly respond today, at every juncture, with this prayer: “Lord, I can’t do this, but You can.” And may You be glorified before others for what You alone have done!
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