If you’ve never read something in the Bible that you knew you couldn’t do, then you probably haven’t read very much of it. If the Bible was composed of physical tasks like “read your Bible each day” or “give away a shirt every time you buy one”, you could probably pull that off. But instead God says things like “you must forgive from your heart” and “love your enemies” — things that you might be able to convince others you do, but not God who knows your heart.
When we reckon with this, we can become discouraged or, if it’s someone who is considering this as the truth of being a Christ follower, they may just turn away thinking it an impossible path for them. When Jesus told the rich young ruler to sell all that he had and follow Him, he just couldn’t do it, and so he turned away.
Recognizing that you can’t do it is exactly where you need to be, and it’s exactly where God wants you to be. The ones who are really in trouble are those who think they can do it and keep trying on their own. The truth is I need God — we all do. The things God puts before us to do are the things that bring us life, things that are impossible to do without Him. And that’s the point. When He tells me the impossible, then I turn to Him and He does in me what I cannot do. Most of the time this doesn’t happen in an instant, but happens as I continue to walk with Him, day-by-day, bringing to Him my struggle to do what He tells me.
Forgiving from the heart was a huge battle for me over many years. Some things that had been done to me were a big deal and had impacted my life greatly. But I knew Jesus said that for God to forgive me for all of the wrongs I’d committed against Him, that I had to forgive those who had hurt me. And so I kept coming to Him over and over. One by one and over many years, I was able to forgive those who had hurt me, and to forgive them from my heart. He did the impossible.
So what impossible task has God put before you today? Will you try to do it yourself? Will you turn away from God? Or will you turn to Him, however many times you have to, until He does in you what you cannot do. If you do turn to Him, I promise that you won’t regret it. There is peace, freedom and joy on the other side. I know because I’m living there now.