If you grew up in church as I did, you may know the Southern Gospel song by Ira Stanphill,
God can do anything, anything, anything. God can do anything but fail. He can save He can keep. He can cleanse and He will. God can do anything but fail.
When sung with much gusto, this song was riveting and definitely built one’s confidence in a Holy God.
But it would seem the catchy tune left out a few things that God cannot do, which by the way, have nothing to do with failure. In this article, we’ll explore the things God is not capable of doing.
God Cannot Abandon You
God has said, “Never will I leave you; never will I forsake you” (Hebrews 13:5).
When I felt I needed God the most, I could not find Him. This is what started my personal faith deconstruction over a decade ago. For years, I battled with the feeling that God had abandoned me.
Painstakingly, I began to learn and study for myself about who Jesus was and what He really said. That is when I found Him. The real Jesus, the God Who was always there giving me the freedom and grace I needed to explore my faith.
He had not abandoned me; I was just looking for the wrong person. The man-made persona of Jesus I had been taught about during my formative years, He was not the true Jesus.
When we look back on a situation or season of life, you will see how God was showing up in some great ways, they were simply hard to see at the time:
1. Provision. It does not always come in the means you asked for, but God’s provision is being extended to you. Have faith. See the little things, they are there as part of the bigger picture.
2. Protection. Even when the world seems to be falling apart around you, God’s got you. Bad things happen to us or those we love, and it seems there is no possible way God is protecting anyone. But He is there. Only Jesus can redeem what was meant for evil.
3. Preparation. At the end of the experience or sorrow, we begin to see how we were being prepared for what comes next. We can help others who are suffering. We can stand assuredly knowing that God had our best interest at heart all along.
God has promised to always be with you and the real God cannot break that promise.
God Cannot Show Favoritism
For God does not show favoritism (Romans 2:11).
In the King James Version of the Bible, this passage is stated to be, “God is not a respecter of persons.” God does not respect or favor you more (or less) because of your race, denomination, or nationality. Education level, family of origin, lifestyle choices, or the sins you have not committed apply too. God is not partisan.
For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life (John 3:16).
God cannot love you more because of your good choices or the list of rules you follow. God cannot love you less because of what you have done, how you are living, or what has happened to you. Working harder does not give you additional credit. Following every one of the 10 Commandments does not give you extra points.
He causes his sun to rise on the evil and the good, and sends rain on the righteous and the unrighteous (Matthew 5:45).
You are a human being. Jesus came to Earth, took on the form of a human, and then died on the cross to make a way for humans to live eternally with Him.
Being a human is all the qualification you need for being loved and accepted, unconditionally by God. You cannot earn God’s favor by doing something or not being something.
Then Peter began to speak: “I now realize how true it is that God does not show favoritism (Acts 10:34).
Unlike our own human nature, God does not play favorites, perhaps this is part of why we think He might. Grace is extended to all — unmerited favor from God.
God Cannot Go Against His Own Character
Having a form of godliness but denying its power. Have nothing to do with such people (2 Timothy 3:5).
If the voices you hear are shouting anything that does not reflect the character of God, it is time to take a deeper look. God cannot change His own character.
There are many who claim to be Christian but who are acting with the exact opposite character of God. We see this in the news and on TV every day. Just because something is labeled Christian does not mean it is Christ-like.
Below is the evidence of God’s true character:
- Second chances
- Unconditional love.
If it walks like a duck, sounds like a duck, and looks like a duck, it must be a duck! That is not the case within the traditional definition of the term Christian. According to Miriam-Webster, the definition for Christian is, “One who professes belief in the teachings of Jesus Christ.” Notice it says, “professes belief.”
“Not everyone who says to me, ‘Lord, Lord,’ will enter the kingdom of heaven, but only the one who does the will of my Father who is in heaven. Many will say to me on that day, ‘Lord, Lord, did we not prophesy in your name and in your name drive out demons and in your name perform many miracles?’ Then I will tell them plainly, ‘I never knew you. Away from me, you evildoers!’” (Matthew 7:21-23).
There are many well-intentioned people who are preaching a brand, or form, of Christianity that are not in line with the heart and track-record of God. If your red flag is raised because of how a church or individual is speaking on God’s behalf, listen to that inner voice. It just might be the Holy Spirit directing you.
What Does This Mean?
The 1950s’ Bible song by Ruth Harms Calkin reminds us that,
My God Is So Big, So Strong And So Mighty, There’s Nothing That He Cannot Do.
As we have just seen, there are a few things that God cannot do, and they are pretty amazing. So, maybe the old songs were only partially correct.
Photo Credit: ©iStock/Getty Images Plus/James Dale
Rebekah Drumsta’s work has been globally reaching by serving with various nonprofits and organizations. Her background is diverse including educational and online content development, event coordinating, international relations, and public speaking. Currently, Rebekah delights in being a homeschool mom and Life Coach. She serves as Director of PR for an international non-profit while also hosting her personal blog, RebekahDrumsta.com which focuses on recovery after religious trauma and spiritual abuse. Rebekah holds a BA in Urban Ministry and Family Crisis with a Christian Counseling Minor, an MA in Religious Education, and is a Certified Professional Life Coach. She has made appearances on and consulted with sources including BBC, NBC, ABC, The Daily Telegraph, and a variety of other platforms.