When you say, “I can manage this problem by myself, Lord,” God says, “Okay, you do it then.” But when you say, “Help me, Lord! I need You. I cannot do this on my own,” God says, “Good, I have been waiting for you to say that. You cannot, but I can. Now, watch Me!” That is how God is—He loves it when you depend on Him.
You see, when you think that you are strong and don’t need God, He cannot help you. But when you need Him and look to Him, He will not leave you weak and helpless. He comes and becomes the strength of your life. He becomes the breakthrough that you need.
A church member with a smoking habit came to me one day and said, “Pastor Prince, please pray that God will help me. I want to stop my smoking habit.”
I told him simply, “You cannot, but God can.”
He replied, “Yes, I know that I can’t. But with God’s help, I will discipline myself and try my best to quit the habit.”
I told him, “No, you cannot, but God can.” I repeated this to him a few times until he realized that it was not his self-discipline or willpower that would help him overcome his smoking habit, but the power of God. He finally understood that true deliverance from this destructive habit would not come by his own strength, but by “[being] strong in the Lord and in the power of His might.”
When I saw him again a few weeks later, he said, “Pastor Prince, since that day, I didn’t even try to stop myself from smoking. But each time I lit up, I told God, ‘I cannot, but You can.’ Then one day, the craving was gone! Jesus has completely delivered me from my bondage to nicotine!” This man experienced true deliverance, not just an outward form of discipline and willpower.
So when you say, “I can do something about it,” you are still relying on your human strength. But when you say to God, “I cannot, but You can,” you have just tapped into the real source of your strength—Jesus. And as you rest in His strength, you will see His power manifesting in your life!
© Copyright Joseph Prince, 2008–2019
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