Let me begin by saying that I have participated in the “I can’t” ministry. When I witness behavior and circumstances contrary to what I believe to be representative of the best a person, place or thing is capable of, I’ve been guilty of uttering the infamous, “I can’t.” Essentially this is a verbal expression that refuses to co-sign onto something that does not align with purpose. Yet, the “I can’t” implies the ability, dare even the desire to participate. As long as we state, “I can’t,” we will continue to be invited to the party. Yet, if instead, we adamantly speak, “I won’t,” we may find our name to fall off the guest list, leaving us open to the invitation to greater. What am I referring to? I’m glad you asked…
It’s timeout to simply passively agree to negativity, disappointment, disobedience and demise. It’s been said that “I can’t” reflects lack of skill, while “I won’t” reflects abundance of will. There is a huge difference between the two. I’ve never been skilled in mathematics, but because the passage of such was a requirement for graduation, I willed myself to overcome my lack of preparedness, interest and competency in order to successfully endure and eventually pass it. In this season, as Daniel demonstrated (Daniel 1:8), we must purpose in our heart that which we will engage in, and that which we will not waste our time, treasure nor talent. Will everyone go with you? No. And, that is not a bad thing! Traveling light ain’t such a bad thing at all. The greater the baggage, the longer the journey. Jesus carried the cross, and freed us from carrying people, their purpose, their messiness, and their lack of faith. I am not suggesting that we don’t serve as our sister or brother’s keeper, but we can resolve to walk with them; and should they require to be carried, let us usher them to the king. In many instances, “we can’t,” because Jesus already did! Its outside of our pay grade. More often when we say “I can’t,” its simply referring to a superficial statement that enables us to remain connected in some manner to the drama, only in a semi-supporting role as opposed to a main cast member. Offering, “I won’t” let’s the enemy know that I refuse to remain on Broadway; Jesus is the lead in my life, and if the script does not include Alpha and Omega, then we can fast forward through the acts, the intermission and closing scene and get right to the curtain call that was settled at Calvary.
Jesus set the standard. In the garden, he could have easily said, “I can’t,” and returned to glory. Instead, because of will, he demonstrated the posture of “I won’t.” If we are joint heirs (Romans 8:17), then we have the DNA that enables us to “I won’t” a myriad of difficulty masked in “opportunity.” Further, as long as we offer, “I can’t,” then we open ourselves up to be confronted again with space to fall prey to that which does not propel us to our destiny. I won’t allow the work of the enemy to make me believe that God is not in control (Isaiah 45: 6-7). I won’t forget that if God did it before, he can do it again (II Corinthians 1:10)! I won’t believe that God does not have a plan for my life to bring him glory (Jeremiah 29:11)! I won’t rely upon the strength of my circumstances, but instead the strength of God (Philippians 4:13). I won’t give up on what God has begun in me (Philippians 1:6). I won’t live in fear (II Timothy 1:7). I won’t believe that I must pimp out my gifts (Proverbs 18:16). I won’t believe that I can’t have joy in sorrow (John 16:20). I won’t live beneath the privilege I’ve been granted through relationship with Christ (James 2:5). Each day the enemy extends hell bound invitation to us. When he attempts to trick us to believe that we are weak for not engaging, we can let him and his imps know, “I can, but I won’t.”
I won’t stoop to levels by which God has delivered me from. I won’t spend time and energy on issues and people who continue to hide beyond their own self righteous behavior finding the spec in my eye while ignoring the plank in theirs. I won’t go back on promises I made to God when he met me at what I found to be my lowest state. I won’t allow the blessings of God on me and the life of my family to be eradicated by the foolishness of others. I won’t diminish my praise in what may be assumed as a barren season. I won’t engage in battles that God is already wearing the belt for. I won’t believe the lies of the enemy! Let’s continue in 2016 to look for opportunities to engage and boldly state, “I won’t” over “I can’t.” I know….God will be pleased!