When I was in the US Air Force, there was a time when we were all gathered in a class room and given our ASPC (Air Force Specialty Codes). These codes were assigned to us and provided a detailed description of the job/carrier in which we were about to enter, following Basic Training.
When the instructor called my name, I stood up and said, “Here Sir!” And the instructor looked at the paper and said, 3PO31 Security Forces. Immediately he and the senior instructor broke out in laughter. The senior instructor called my name and asked if I thought the physical training we endured at Basic Training was hard. I said, “Yes Ma’am it is.” She retorted back at me “What we do in Basic training is nothing compared to what you have to go through at Security Forces Academy.”
The other drill instructor said, “You won’t make it. You’ll never be Security Forces. Sit down.” What a jerk, right? To be fair, it’s the drill instructors job to make you as uncomfortable as possible throughout your time at Basic Training. I thought that they were both a little bit out of line with the way they handled that whole situation but it is what it is.
I had dreamed since I was a young child to be a cop one day. The Military offered me that dream, pending a successful graduation from Basic Military Training and Security Forces Academy. The Drill Instructors were right about the physical training I would need to endure.
When I joined the US Air Force, I wasn’t that out of shape. I was a few pounds over my limit when I first met with the recruiters. About 8 pounds if I remember correctly. I was 2 pounds under my limit when I enlisted and was sent off to Texas for Basic Training.
Physical Training was tough for me. I had a very difficult time running for 25 to 30 minutes non-stop. I had a hard time doing pushups for two minutes as well. I endured though! I wasn’t just doing those things to complete Basic Training, I was chasing after a dream!
Here’s what kept me going. Every Wednesday when my squadron went out to work out, there was one specific exercise we did in which we had to twist our backs. Whenever we twisted our bodies, I could see the Security Force Trainees doing their 3 mile run. I didn’t know it was a 3 mile run at the time. Nor did I know that it was one of the most difficult runs they had to endure because of what they had to put their bodies through leading up to that run.
Yet, there I was, every Wednesday, doing this exercise with a huge smile on my face, waiting for the day to come when I would be there. I was looking forward to that run!
Well, the day finally arrived and I graduated Basic Training and went across the Base and entered my new home, The Security Forces Academy Barracks. Over the course of the next twelve weeks, I endured further physical training and I had to fight through it. I had a heck of a hard time with the running, the push-ups, the sit-ups, the pull-ups, and everything else we did.
Finally the day arrived in which we would take that run that I had been looking forward to. I didn’t know it was that exercise at first but on our way back I could see the Basic Training Squadron working out and it hit me like a ton of bricks. “I did it!” I thought to myself! I was once over there, in Basic Training, wishing and waiting for the day to arrive when I would be where I am now. I only had a few days before I graduated Security Forces Academy as well!
That day came with a huge surprise. I graduated but I also graduated with honors. Out of a class that began with 130 students, we had dwindled down to about 110 students and only the Top Five Students received a “Distinguished Graduate” award. I was on that list!
I did what my drill instructors said I would never do!
So, as we look at the nature and character of God, I tend to think sometimes we mold him into our own image so he is more believable and perhaps a little bit more tangible. As we grow in our understanding of who he is, we quickly begin to realize he is greater than our minds can fathom.
Could you imagine if my drill instructors told God he couldn’t accomplish something? The question is rather intriguing because we tend to side on the fact that there is nothing too great that God cannot accomplish. However, I believe there are 4 Things God Cannot Do.
(1) God Cannot Change. (Mal. 3:6, Heb. 13:8)
Perhaps one of the greatest characteristics of God is that he cannot change. He is constant. This is by far the most essential aspect of God because everything else follows this-He cannot change. In our world, it is and can be difficult to think though this because everything we know does change!
When speaking of the immutability of God, we speak of his faithfulness. God is faithful in his promises. God has given us his Word that:
I. If we confess our sins, he will forgive us. (1 John 1:9)
II. He will be with us always. (Matthew 28:20)
III. He will never lose us and we are secure in him. (John 10:29)
IV. He will return for us one day. (Rev. 22:20)
(2)God Cannot Lie. (Numbers 23:19, Titus 1:2)
We, as fallen creatures, have the capacity to lie and do so often for two reasons. First, we do not always have the right information. Jesus said, “I am the truth.” As such, Jesus has no place inside himself for lies.
Secondly, we often lie out of fear. We often need to cover up or hide our shame, our past or our weakness. Lying is rooted in fear. The Word says that it is perfect love that casts out fear and God is love. When we lie, it only shows we are not yet perfected by love. God doesn’t lie because he is love and he is complete in that love.
(3)God Cannot Be Mocked. ( Gal. 6:7)
One of the best known arguments to throw in the face of God and believers is this: “Where is God in the face of tragedy?” or “Why does God allow suffering?” Many have used this argument to point to a God that is unloving and uninvolved in his creation.
The Scripture found in Galatians is the best defense for an all knowing and all loving God who is involved in the affairs of his creation. Sin is the reason for the brokenness we see in this world. It is not that God is uninvolved; it is that the law of principle is in full effect. The law of principle is that sin leads to death, and the Spirit leads to life.
When we consider the state of the world and everything that is falling apart around us, it points to the reality of sin at work. And when we see lives being transformed by Jesus, it points to the reality of the Spirit at work.
(4)God Cannot Fail. (1 Cor. 15:20)
The darkest hour God faced was also his greatest. Jesus, the Son of the Living God, was betrayed and handed over to the Roman authorities. He was tried and convicted, sentenced and crucified. The one who created life was losing his own.
In the darkest event of human history, it appeared that God lost the battle to the darkness. In the darkest even of human history, it appeared death reigned supreme. Yet, God can do anything but fail. Death is not the end. Jesus was simply borrowing a tomb so he could bring death itself inside the tomb and leave it there. Jesus rose from the grave and lives forever.
So yes, there are a few things God cannot do and I’m thankful for that.
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All Scriptures references via English Standard Version (Biblegateway.com)
- Malachi 3:6
- Hebrews 13:8
- 1 John 1:9
- Matthew 28:20
- John 10:29
- Rev. 22:20
- Numbers 23:19
- Titus 1:2
- Gal 6:7
- 1 Cor. 15:20