What He Cannot Do

I was asked one day by a classmate, who claimed to be an atheist, whether God could do something that was completely preposterous. I did not have the presence of mind or the Scriptural knowledge at the time to give a convincing answer to the question. I walked away flustered and red in the face because I did not answer the question satisfactorily to either the person asking it or to me. I knew somewhere deep down what the answer was, but couldn't answer confidently at the time.

I have mulled two truths over in my mind in the years since then. The first truth is that with God all things are possible. The second is that there are verses in Scripture that clearly say that God is incapable of doing that which is against His character. Before I sound completely contradictory, let me clarify that what is possible with God is all that is good, just, full of hope, and what will ultimately accomplish His will and bring Him glory. What He cannot do is anything that is evil, unjust, sinful, shameful, or contradictory to His character. The following two lists are certainly not exhaustive about those two truths, but just some examples of what He can and cannot do.

What my God can do:

1) See me as righteous because of my faith, not my works--good or bad. (Romans 4:4-7)

2) Rescue me from any situation or pit I may face, no matter how long I have been in the pit or how fierce the battle for deliverance is. (2 Timothy 4:16-17)

3) Exchange my terror for His peace, which then guards my heart and mind even in the blackest darkness. ( Philippians 4:6-7)

4) Be with me no matter where in this universe I am--in the deepest depth of the sea or the farthest orbit. (Psalm 139)

5) Empower me with His Holy Spirit in the middle of my weakness to show His strength. (2 Corinthians 12:9)

6) Hear my prayer morning, noon, or night as though I am the only person alive. (Psalm 5)

7) Infuse me with courage to carry out His purpose for me in this life, even if it frightens me to the core. (Joshua 1:9)

8) Allow me to forgive that which I cannot forgive on my own. (Philippians 4:13)

9) Bring me safely to my heavenly home one day. (2 Timothy 4:18)

10) Raise this body from the dead to meet His Son, Jesus Christ, in the air and so be with my God forever. (I Corinthians 15:19-20)

But there are some things that my God cannot do. These I did not know well enough years ago, but that He has taught me through the years. What my God cannot do is:

1) Reject my cry for help if I am truly seeking Him. (Jeremiah 29:12-14)

2) Lie to me about His promises. (Numbers 23:19)

3) Not forgive my contrite confession to Him. (I John 1:9)

4) Remember my confessed sin against me. (Isaiah 43:25)

5) Not fulfill His purpose in me if my heart is seeking His kingdom first above all else. (Matthew 6:33)

6) Let me be snatched from His mighty right hand. (Isaiah 49:16)

7) Ever do anything or allow anything to happen to me that He cannot bring great glory out of and redeem for His own purposes. (Ephesians 1:11)

8) Leave me forever in the pit of despair if I offer Him sacrifices of praise with my mouth. (Psalm 50:23)

9) Not lavish me with His love. (I John 3:1)

10) Take away the promise of heaven and eternal joys if I have accepted His Son, Jesus Christ, as the way of my salvation. (I John 5:10-12)

Looking at the lists above, I revel in what my God can and cannot do. I belong to the most generous, loving, all-knowing Creator of the universe. He cannot do anything evil. Above all, I must remember that He is not a fallible human being with very limited abilities. He is the only wise God who delights to show off in a heart that will humble itself before Him to display His glory.

Jesus, You are my Rock. You are my anchor, my loving God, who is incapable of doing anything that is false, impure, selfish, unloving, or wicked. My faith is not in a human being who has such limited power, but in You, the One who will take me to Yourself one day. With You, all that is holy, beautiful, lovely, pure, praiseworthy, and impossible to me is possible.