Don't Tell Me What I Can't Do

"But you, dear friends, must build each other up in your most holy faith, pray in the power of the Holy Spirit, and await the mercy of our Lord Jesus Christ, who will bring you eternal life." - Jude 20-21

I watched a TV show a few years ago called Lost. Those who know me also know I am a Lost junkie.

One character on the show, John Locke, planned for years to go on an Australian walkabout. He referred to it as a journey of "spiritual renewal and self-realization." He told his friends that he had booked the tickets. He also told his boss and scheduled time off to do it. John's boss was a bit of a jerk and told him that he was nuts. "You can't go on a walkabout, John. Give it up!" John told his boss, "Don't tell me what I can't do."

A few weeks later, John was in Australia arguing with the tour guide in the travel office for the walkabout. The guide wouldn't let John on the bus that would take them deep into the outback for the adventure. John had failed to inform the tour guide that he was bound to a wheelchair and hadn't walked in four years. As the bus drove off, John screamed at the tour guide, "I'm supposed to do this! Don't tell me what I can't do!"

On one hand, John's ambitions may have been a bit unrealistic. It's unlikely he would have faired well in the outback bound to a wheelchair. On the other hand, John had a lot of naysayers in his life discouraging him from chasing after his dream.

Even after the tour guide forbid him from taking the trip, John got a plane bound from Sydney back to Los Angeles. That plane crashed on a mysterious tropical island. When John came to on the beach, he noticed his feet starting to move. Within seconds, he was miraculously on his feet and moving about.

So, what am I telling you all this? Because magic islands can heal the lame?

Not at all.

In the Jude passage above, we find Jude encouraging his readers to "build each other up" in their faith. They were surrounded by false teachers and naysayers who wanted them to abandon the gospel message for some watered-down, wishy-washy teachings about Jesus.  Mostly, they denied Jesus' resurrection from the dead. To these false teachers, Jesus was not God.

So to make sure that his readership did not lose hope, he encourages them to build each other up "in the faith." He didn't want them to let the naysayers fill their heads and hearts with lies or to let them dictate what they could or could not do in the power of the Holy Spirit.

Be encouraged today as a follower of Jesus Christ. His Holy Spirit is your ever-faithful companion. He has power to save you from calamity and chaos. The voices of others around you might say, "Your God isn't really there. He's not going to save you from the train wreck of your life. You are the only one who can make the changes necessary to overcome."

Do not listen to those voices.

Rather, listen to the voices of other mature believers. People who would see you succeed IN the power of the Holy Spirit, not outside of it. And on your way to realizing God's incredible plan for your life, don't forget to encourage others along the way as well.

Pastor Scott