Will God Ever Ask You to Do Something You Can't Do?

Contributing Writer
Will God Ever Ask You to Do Something You Can't Do?

Will you teach the preschool Sunday school class? I can’t because I have no experience with children.

Can you become a missionary in another state? I can’t because I have no knowledge about the people that live there. 

Could you help a mission team work on houses in an impoverished area? I can’t because I have never worked in construction.

These are only three of the endless number of callings God gives to His people. In each situation, we can probably come up with a reason we can’t follow through on those callings. What we fail to consider is would God ask you to do something you can’t do?

To answer this question, we must also consider why God created mankind in the beginning and how can we know when God is calling us.

Why Did God Create Man?

On the first pages of Scripture, we witness the creation of the world, including man. God created the heavens and the earth before he made Adam because He already knew where mankind would live and what their purpose was. Genesis 2:15 states “The Lord God took the man and placed him in the garden of Eden to work it and watch over it.” We see similar instructions given to Noah after the flood in Genesis 9:1, “God blessed Noah and his sons and said to them, ‘Be fruitful and multiply and fill the earth.’”

In the beginning and after the destruction by the flood, God specifically states His purpose in creating humanity. He wants us to work and watch over what is His. He wants us to be fruitful and multiply by keeping the values of family in our hearts. 

To obey these instructions, we must be willing to follow through on the calling(s) He has for us. For God to call us to do something, He must know what we can do. Our individual gifts come from God, and he intended for us to use them to grow His kingdom.

“For we are His workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared ahead of time for us to do” (Ephesians 2:10).

A Biblical Lens on God’s Instruction

God knew that mankind would always have questions about their purpose. Because of that truth, He gave us many great examples in Scripture. 

Moses was asked to bring the Israelites out of bondage in Egypt. He questioned God. He said he could not complete the task because he could not speak well. But God had a plan already and knew that Moses was the one to save His people.

Then there was Esther, a young Hebrew girl who was to become a queen. She may have thought she could not save her people, but God knew she could. Through God’s plan, Esther became a queen and saved her people. 

God told Jonah to go to Ninevah, but Jonah did not want to go. He felt he could not because the Ninevites were dangerous people. God knew Jonah could and gave him three days in a whale’s belly to consider his choice. With God’s help, Jonah went to Ninevah and proclaimed what God had told him. The Ninevites turned from their evil ways and were not destroyed. 

The disciples may have thought they could not drop their fishing nets and follow Jesus because they only knew the water and the nets. When they did, the disciples were witnesses to the miracles and teachings of Jesus. The three years they spent with Jesus molded them into the witnesses for Christ that helped build the early church. 

God has always been asking His people to obey commands. In each situation, God’s instruction is doable because He has already set his plan into motion. God did not leave Moses, Esther, Jonah, or his disciples. It was with Him they accomplished their tasks.

Today, nothing has changed. God does not call us to obey and leave us to our own devices. 

How Do You Know What God Wants from You?

As God’s people, we want to do whatever God asks of us. The problem we have is that too often we struggle to know what God wants us to do. We spend a lot of precious time questioning Him and that can leave little time for obedience. 

So, how can we know what God wants from us? We must start by preparing our hearts to hear the Holy Spirit. (James 4:8) Preparation starts with prayer. It does not have to be an elaborate and elegantly worded prayer. It can be a simple prayer, one in which you confess your sins and God cleanses your heart. Prayer will fine tune our spiritual ears to hear the commands of our Lord. 

We also need to search the Scriptures. Isaiah 8:20 says, “Go to God’s instruction and testimony!” Everything we need to know is right in front of us when we open God’s Word. If we saturate our hearts and minds with God’s truth, we cannot miss what He is calling us to do. 

God speaks in various and mysterious ways. To allow yourself to hear Him, you must silence the distractions you have in your life. We must turn the TV and social media off at times. We must not fill our schedules with earthly obligations and forget the obligation we have to the God who created us. 

We must also seek counsel and consider the context of what we feel God is calling us to do. Proverbs 11:14 says “Without guidance, a people will fall, but with many counselors there is deliverance.” Godly counsel will help you know if what you are feeling aligns with the character of God and will produce kingdom fruits. 

Why Do We Miss God’s Call?

The number one reason we can miss God’s call is that we are simply too busy to hear him. We rely on our own understanding and miss the mark. Proverbs 3:5-6 tell us we are to rely only on the Lord and when we do, our paths will become straight. 

Our doubts can also keep us from seeing and hearing God’s call. The idea that we cannot do something or don’t have time to carry out God’s instruction clouds our judgement and hinders our faith in God. 

“Now without faith it is impossible to please God, since the one who draws near to Him must believe that He exists and that He rewards those who seek Him” (Hebrews 1:6).

We expect God to always speak in a bold, dramatic way. God is not always going to give you loud, vivid instruction. You may not get your answer from a burning bush; Elijah received his answer in a gentle whisper (1 Kings 19:12). When we quiet our souls is when we will hear Him call. 

Missing God’s call can also happen when we do not prioritize worship. God did not intend for man to do everything alone. He wants us to have a strong Christian community that will encourage us, pray for us, and make disciples out of us. 

Final Thoughts

Will God ask you to do something you cannot do? No. God’s purpose for humanity was to do the work He called us too. Through examples like Moses, Esther, Jonah, the disciples, and many others in the Bible, God showed us that He would never call us to something we cannot do because we can do anything with His strength. 

If you feel that God is calling you to do something, put the distractions and doubts aside. Pray and search the Scriptures. Participate in worship and lean on your Christian community to guide you. If you do these things, you will be given the strength and knowledge to do whatever God calls you too. 

Photo credit: ©Getty Images/Aaron Amat

Ashley Hooker headshotAshley Hooker is a freelance writer passionate about missions. She has collaborated with mission teams in North Carolina, Mississippi, Texas, West Virginia, and Vermont. Presently, she lives in North Carolina with her husband and two children, where she fulfills roles as a pastor's wife, a dance mom, and a farm girl.