I like sushi. The weird thing is that if you would have asked me less than a month ago, I would have curled my lip and held up my hand, “No, thanks.” When the implications of my newfound appreciation occurred to me recently, I marveled again at God’s attention to even the tiniest details. See, the sushi thing is a part of a bigger lesson that God has been teaching me about the power to change things. It all started with my desperate cry. “How am I going to be able to do that?” About an hour later, God sent a sister in Christ with a Bible study titled simply, “God Is Able.”
God Wanted Me to Change
When God points out something that isn’t right in your life, it can be tough. Hebrews 12:11 calls chastening “grievous,” and I can’t think of a better word. Recently, God showed me that I have a problem with the “fear of man.” I care too much about what people think and not enough about the business of talking to them about Jesus. As I happens, the Lord wants me to talk to people wherever I go. At the grocery store, the thrift store, Walmart – wherever I happen to be. He showed me that my hesitance was tied to unbelief. I was devastated. Needless to say, as soon as the full impact of His words hit, I repented and tried by best to knock it off and get with His program. Unfortunately, as it turned out, my best wasn’t good enough.
He would nudge. I would stress. He would nudge. I would stress, push myself forward…and then swerve at the last minute. Again, He would nudge, I would stress, push myself forward to say a few words…and then run out of the building like it was on fire. Finally, I was getting desperate. I had prayed and prayed for Him to help me do what He wanted me to do, but it was seriously beyond my power to do it. In desperation, I cried out to Him in prayer, “How am I going to be able to make myself do this?” About an hour later, I had my answer.
He Is Able
“Now unto him that is able to keep you from falling, and to present you faultless before the presence of his glory with exceeding joy.”Jude 24
When I signed on to my usual Saturday morning Zoom Bible study a few minutes later, I had no idea I was about to get an earful from God. From the moment my sister in Christ, Sister Belinda, announced her title, “God is Able,” I don’t think I stopped crying the whole time. See, Jude 24 is my life verse, the Bible verse I most identify with and hold closest to my heart. It started right after God saved me and the enemy started to torment me with the fear of losing my salvation. I remember crying out to God with tears asking Him seriously, “How am I going to be able to keep my salvation? If it’s up to me, surely, I will be lost.” In His great mercy, He sent me to Jude 24 and the words that comforted me deeply. Here again, He was answering my desperate cry with the very same words: God is able.
*What follows is my version of that Bible study, used by permission.
Sister Belinda’s Bible Study: “He Is Able”
She started with a question.
Jeremiah 32:27 says, “Behold, I am the Lord, the God of all flesh: is there anything too hard for me?”
And gave the answer.
Jeremiah 32:17 says, “Ah Lord God! behold, thou hast made the heaven and the earth by thy great power and stretched out arm, and there is nothing too hard for thee.”
Then she said the words that really hit home.
“Our fears and weaknesses can’t interfere with God accomplishing His purposes.”
In Adam’s sinless state, he was unable to keep himself from falling. How much more difficult would it be for those of us who were born with a sin nature? We simply can’t keep ourselves from stumbling, but Jesus can.
That’s not to say we have no part to play. Our part is to:
- Spend time in God’s presence
- Dig deeply into His Word
- Take every thought captive
- Cast our cares upon Him (for He cares for us)
- Remain in Him in spirit and in truth.
Sometimes we fail no matter how talented we are or how hard we try. Despite our weaknesses and the odds against us, God can still work. The Lord alone can keep us from falling.
Examples from the Bible
In Genesis 18, Sarah laughed when she heard the prophecy of the birth of her son in her old age. In Genesis 18:14, the Lord says, “Is anything too hard for the Lord?” Within a year, Sarah had baby Isaac in her arms. She saw that without a doubt, God was able.
In Exodus 3, Moses was afraid to speak to Pharaoh. He told God that he was slow of speech and slow of tongue. Even after God told him to get his brother Aaron to help him and to be his mouthpiece, Moses was still fearful. But God said He would be with him, and He was. Moses brought the children of Israel out of Egypt in a miraculous way. Moses saw God was able.
In Genesis 22, God asked Abraham to sacrifice his son Isaac. God had already given Abraham a promise that he would be the father of many nations, so he knew that even if he went through with it, God could raise Isaac up again. Romans 4:21-22 says, “And being fully persuaded that, what He had promised, He was able also to perform. And therefore, it was imputed to him for righteousness.” God was able.
Where Does the Power Come From?
On our own, we can do nothing. John 15:5 says, “I am the vine, ye are the branches: He that abideth in me, and I in him, the same bringeth forth much fruit: for without me ye can do nothing.”
But even when we are weak and overcome with burdens, we can trust the One who lives inside us. He has power beyond our comprehension. 1 Chronicles 29:11-12 says, “Thine, O Lord is the greatness, and the power, and the glory, and the victory, and the majesty: for all that is in the heaven and in the earth is thine; thine is the kingdom, O Lord, and thou art exalted as head above all. Both riches and honour come of thee, and thou reignest over all; and in thine hand is power and might; and in thine hand it is to make great, and to give strength unto all.”
He is Able, But Is He Willing?
A lot of us believe that God is absolutely able, but way too many of us aren’t fully convinced that He is willing to move on our behalf. This is simply a lack of faith. We pray and “try” to believe, but do our actions really follow what we say? We must pray, “Lord, I believe. Help thou, my unbelief.”
Because when it comes down to it, God is the same yesterday, today, and forever. What He has done for others in the past, He can and will do for us today.
He Is Able to Provide in Our Wilderness
In Deuteronomy 29.5, God reminded the children of Israel that for all their years in the wilderness, their clothes and shoes never wore out. They had food, water, and direction because God provided for them. He is able to provide for us in our wilderness too.
He is Able to Defeat Our Giants
In 1 Samuel 17, David faced the giant Goliath. To the natural eye, he must have looked scary and impossible to beat. A lot of us face things that are just as scary and impossible, but the God in us is able to defeat them too.
He is Able to Deliver Us
In Daniel 3, the three Hebrew boys refused to bow to an idolatrous image. They were confident that their God was able to deliver them. He didn’t keep them from the fire, but He went through it with them. Daniel 3:25 says, “He answered and said, ‘Lo, I see four men loose, walking in the midst of the fire, and they have no hurt; and the form of the fourth is like the Son of God.’” God is able to go through our fiery trials with us and bring us out unharmed. No matter how intense the circumstances, God can meet our needs. There are no limits to what God can do to help us.
His Power Works in Us
Ephesians 3:20 says, “Now unto him that is able to do exceeding abundantly above all that we ask or think, according to the power that worketh in us.” God’s power can’t be measured. It’s unlimited. He can do more than we can even imagine. When we have a relationship with God through Jesus, and the Holy Ghost lives in us, it is His power that is able to work in us. He can give us what we need to handle whatever comes our way with confidence if we truly believe. We can pray and persevere in prayer until we know without a shadow of a doubt that God is able and truly willing to work on our behalf. He is waiting for us to recognize it and come to Him in faith, believing.
He Is Able to Supply Our Needs
Philippians 4:19 says, “But my God shall supply all your need according to his riches in glory by Christ Jesus.” Facing urgent needs or intense challenges, it may seem like we are on our own to handle them. But God’s Word says that He will never leave us nor forsake us. We must direct our attention past our circumstances to God’s willingness and ability to help us. God’s promises apply to our lives anytime, anywhere. God can help us no matter our circumstances or suffering.
Paul Was Convinced
2 Timothy 1:12 says, “For the which cause I also suffer these things: nevertheless, I am not ashamed: for I know whom I have believed, and am persuaded that he is able to keep that which I have committed unto him against that day.” Paul was convinced that God was able. Like Paul, we can get to know God’s character through His Word and His Spirit. We can let that knowledge remind us that God is completely trustworthy. The more we know Him, the more we can be convinced that He is able to meet all our needs and more. We can trust Him with our lives.
God’s Grace Abounds
2 Corinthians 9:8 says, “And God is able to make all grace abound toward you; that ye, always having all sufficiency in all things, may abound to every good work.” God wants us to prosper and not to fail. He gave His only begotten Son that we can have life, and that more abundantly. God is able, despite how things may appear or how impossible the outlook may seem. We must stand our ground, continue to fight the good fight of faith, and hold to the Almighty’s unchanging hand. We must know and have full confidence that God is able.
- There is no problem He can’t solve.
- There is no pain or sickness He can’t heal.
- There is no broken heart He can’t mend.
- There is no wayward soul He can’t save.
God Is with You in Your Storm
Wherever your storm wages its biggest attack on your life. Whenever you feel like the weight on your shoulders has increased and become unbearable, know that not only is God able, but He is willing. He can make all grace about toward you. He is more than able to bring us through the storms of life, and He will if we truly believe in faith.
Ben Stein once said, “Faith is not believing that God can. It’s knowing that He will.”
Bring your inability to the ability of God. Instead of saying, “Lord, I don’t know how I’m going to be able to do this,” say, “Lord, I can’t wait to see how You do this.” Always remember that no matter the storm or situation, no matter how big, ugly, or impossible it may seem, our God is both willing and able to move on your behalf.
God Has Been Moving for Me
Since that study, I have been taking God at His Word and believing that He is not only able but willing to use His great power to make changes in me. He can take me from fearful to bold, from anxious to compassionate. Already I’m seeing His progress a little at a time. Last weekend when I figured out that He had changed my attitude about sushi, I saw that as just one more little wink to let me know that He’s got me. My case isn’t impossible. In fact, I’m no challenge at all — and your situation isn’t either. Nothing is too hard for our great God who is able.
Interested in more articles about testimonies? Check out The Hand of God is on His Children or When You Aren’t Enough, Jehovah Jireh Is. Please sign up to receive my blog in your email at the top right or the bottom on your phone. Also, check out my YouTube Channel where I read the blogs out loud. I also have a playlist of hymns from my church.