“Cannot”

Paul wrote about “God, who cannot lie” (Titus 1:2).

Cannot.

In English, “cannot” often implies some kind of outward restraint. “I’d like to, but I can’t.” Unable, but not unwilling.

That’s not how God works. It’s not like God is honor-bound to speak the truth, but constantly wishing He could slip in a little deception. He cannot lie for one simple reason:

Because He will not lie.

That’s His character. That’s who He is.

In English, “will not” is about our intentions. “I will not do this” doesn’t always mean “I will never do this,” and it’s not even a guarantee that we won’t change our minds before it’s all said and done.

That’s not how God works either. He isn’t fickle and capricious; His character is dependable and unchanging. He is “the same yesterday, today, and forever” (Hebrews 13:8).

With God, a “cannot” is a “will not,” and a “will not” is a “cannot.” They’re the same thing. God abides by His perfect set of standards—He cannot go against them because He will not go against them.

Imagine having character so firm, so unshakable, that others could write about your “will nots” as “cannots.” Imagine someone gesturing to you and saying, “Oh, her? No, she can’t lie,” or, “Oh, him? Yeah, he can’t envy.” Not won’t, but can’t. Unable because you’re unwilling. No room for discussion or exceptions. Fixed. Immovable. Dependable.

You and I both know you’re not there. Not yet. None of us are. But it’s the direction we’re heading: “We know that when He is revealed, we shall be like Him, for we shall see Him as He is” (1 John 3:2).

We serve a God who cannot because He will not.

Every day is an opportunity to be a little more like Him.

Until next time,
Jeremy

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