I Can’t?

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When my daughter Candice was about three years old (she’s now twenty), we were coming home from somewhere and she was in the car seat starting to doze off. It was early evening and my wife did not want her to go to sleep because she would get out of sync with her sleeping schedule if she did. So she said to Candice several times, “Stay awake honey.” Candice would raise her weary eyes each time and finally after several pleas from her mother to stay awake, Candice said quite emphatically, “I can’t because I don’t want to.”
 I think we are like that sometimes when it comes to God’s instructions to us. It is an interesting day in America where Christians have decided that we are just sinners so that is what we must do. We don’t give much resistance. We rely on the love of God to forgive us and when God tells us to stay away from something that is bad for us, we too often say, “I can’t because I don’t want to.”  The problem with this is that we will still pay the consequences in this life for refusing to do what God says is best for us, as the Bible says in Numbers 32:23: But if you fail to keep your word, then you will have sinned against the Lord, and you may be sure that your sin will find you out. (NLT)
The great news is that we don’t have to give way to every temptation. The word of God informs us that God is powerful enough to help us overcome the temptation.   
 1 Corinthians 10:13
No temptation has seized you except what is common to man. And God is faithful; he will not let you be tempted beyond what you can bear. But when you are tempted, he will also provide a way out so that you can stand up under it. (NIV)
It is true that the grace of God forgives, but it is also true that God’s grace has more depth than just forgiveness. As it says in Titus 2:11-12: For the grace of God that brings salvation has appeared to all men. It teaches us to say “No” to ungodliness and worldly passions, and to live self-controlled, upright and godly lives in this present age… (NIV) 
Think of that. God’s grace can give us the power to overcome the temptation and we can say “no” to the wrong thing and “yes” to God’s way. Candice should have said, “I can because you are helping me, mom.”  And we can say, “I can do the right thing because you are helping me, heavenly Father!”
Grace and Truth,
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