Gina Caswell Kelly
One of the most popular verses in the Bible is Philippians 4:13 “I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me.” It is one of the most popular and one of the most misunderstood. It is the verse you see on the shoes of athletes many times. It is the verse of tattoos. Everyone likes to fall back on this verse. It is a good one, for sure.
But, when you say you can do all things through Christ, are you really understanding that this means you can do all things that honor Christ? I could easily stand on the roof and want with all my heart to fly. I could yell this verse at the top of my lungs and open my arms and jump! And fall flat on my face on the ground and then wonder why this verse did not hold true for me.
If you go back up and read the verses previous to this, Paul is talking about all the hardships he has had to endure for the cause of Christ. He says, in verse 12, “I know how to get along with humble means, and I also know how to live in prosperity, in any and every circumstance I have learned the secret of being filled and going hungry, both of having abundance and suffering need.”
What Paul is really talking about here is not a magic wand that will give you amazing abilities. He is talking about learning to depend on God no matter what your circumstance. This verse is about bowing down and depending on God when nothing is all you have, or when you have everything your heart could imagine. It is about recognizing where our strength comes from. It is about humbling ourselves before God and realizing that no matter what our circumstance, if our trust is in God, He will carry us through.
If we go back even further to verse 11, Paul says he has learned to be content in whatever situation he finds himself. Paul was truly a dedicated servant of God. He was not much concerned with the fluffy things of the world. He was totally concerned with serving God and spreading the Word of Jesus’ love for all. Even when it cost him everything. He knew he could do all things that God asked him to do.
There is another side to this. It is easy to say “I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me.” That is great. But what are you doing? Are you just saying the words and then scrolling Facebook for the latest debate on mask wearing or politics? Or are you saying these words and then following them up by asking God what are the things He wants you to do?
We have a world out here waiting for you and me to step up to the plate and spread the message. In case you haven’t noticed, our nation is in a world of hurt right now. We, as Christians, have got to realize that it is time to do what He is strengthening us to do! As Paul was so busy spreading the message, his situation did not concern him nearly as much as the lost world around him. Can’t we be more like that?
This may be sounding more like a lecture than words of encouragement, but I have had so much on my mind lately and those things in my brain have been distracting me from what I should be doing. I CAN do all things for God in His strength! I just have to make up my mind that I am going to be a part of God’s solution, rather than social media’s problems.
Further down in Philippians, Paul writes, “And my God shall supply all your needs according to His riches in glory in Christ Jesus.” When God is our strength and we are making ourselves available to be used by Him, He will meet our needs. He is that good!
If you can do all things through Christ, then what are you doing? Find what He made you to do. It will make a difference!