Lutz Campus

18333 Exciting Idlewild Blvd.
Lutz, FL 33548

Idlewild at The Springs

8209 N 19th St
Tampa, FL 33604

Iglesia Bautista Idlewild

Main Campus, Student Building, Hall 2
 

I CANNOT

I CANNOT

There is nothing more bothersome to me than to realize I cannot do something I really want to do. But the reality is, there are many things I cannot do.

As much as I love songs, “I cannot sing”, I have tried it and it sounds good to me, until I seek the opinion of those around me.

I admire men who are masters of the culinary arts. They impress their wives’ and their wives friends. “I cannot cook,” my cooking skills barely make the level of chicken on the barbie. That is, if you don’t care for extra, extra crispy chicken.

One of my favorite movies of all times is “Play It Again Sam.” I love to see Sam tickle the ivories, but it also reminds me, “I cannot play the piano.”
Tried it when I was younger, my highest level of proficiency was “Mary Had a Little Lamb” and it was painful to the ear.

When we go to the Florida Strawberry Festival, I am always captivated by the man drawing caricatures. I am impressed on how he can exaggerate the features on a person’s face and how quickly he finishes the drawings. When I was young, I was a comic book fan I tried to draw the characters in the books, but once I was done with them, they no longer looked like superheroes. All this to say, “I cannot draw.”

I am not alone in the things I cannot do. Throughout history, there have been men whom have been known for something they could not do, although these things have not been so trivial as drawing, singing or playing the piano.

In 1521, Martin Luther, who through the church’s excommunication, was practically declared a heretic, was invited to Worms, a town on the west bank of the Rhine river in Germany by the Emperor, who had been pressured by a few princes. Both the church and Emperor wanted Luther to recant his teachings while he was there. But they quickly heard about the one thing Luther could not do.

Luther had to appear before the Emperor twice; each time he was clearly told to take back his teachings. Luther didn’t see any proof against his views which would move him to recant: “Unless I am convinced by Scripture and plain reason – I do not accept the authority of the popes and councils, for they have contradicted each other – my conscience is captive to the Word of God. “I cannot and I will not recant anything, for to go against conscience is neither right nor safe. God help me. Amen.”

Luther was totally convinced of the scriptural truth of his discovery, that ‘the righteous shall live by faith and that we do not earn salvation because of doing the good works.’ He defied the pope and the powerful Roman Church. Though despised and persecuted, he remained faithful to the principle that man is saved by his faith in Jesus Christ and His atonement.
Luther was not willing to change his beliefs on salvation, he could not!

Many years before Luther, there was prophet called Jeremiah. Jeremiah had been given the task by God to take the message to Israel, “Stand in the gate of the LORD’s house, and proclaim there this word, and say, Hear the word of the LORD, all you men of Judah who enter these gates to worship the LORD.” (Jer. 7:2)

Unfortunately, God also told him, “So you shall speak all these words to them, but they will not listen to you. You shall call to them, but they will not answer you.” (Jer. 7:27)

This did not matter to Jeremiah, because there was one thing he could not do. If I say, “I will not mention him, or speak any more in his name, there is in my heart as it were a burning fire shut up in my bones, and I am weary with holding it in, and I cannot.” (Jer. 20:9). Not speaking of God was painful to Jeremiah, he could not do this. For us, many times it’s the opposite.

Right between Luther and Jeremiah, you find two of my bible heroes Peter and John admitting they could not do what was asked of them. But Peter and John answered them, “Whether it is right in the sight of God to listen to you rather than to God, you must judge, for we cannot but speak of what we have seen and heard.” (Acts 4:19-20). These two men could not stop speaking of their Savior.

When I look back at all the things I cannot do, I pray there will be at least two things I will not add to this list. The first is: I will never back off from sharing God’s Word when given the opportunity to do so. The second is, I will never deny the truth of His Word.

I pray I can live up to Paul’s words, “as it is my eager expectation and hope that I will not be at all ashamed, but that with full courage now as always Christ will be honored in my body, whether by life or by death.” (Phil. 1:20)

What about you? What are the things to which you say, “I cannot do that”? Are they trivial things or Kingdom things?

Ray Sanabria

Look at our Mission Trip’s for 2012 and say “I can do that”!