‘I can do all things through Christ which strengtheneth me. ‘ Philippians 4:13
This is an awesome verse. This verse has been taken out of context over the past few years. This verse appears a lot in the sports world. Don’t get me wrong, I appreciate these men and women using their platform to point people toward God’s word. This verse does not empower a person to score the winning basket, throw the winning touchdown, or hit the walk-off homer to win the game. Please understand, that this is an empowering verse but not in the context that it used today. Let examine this verse in its context and learn how it can be used throughout our lives.
- The Scope of Our Abilities: “I can do all things…” We have a tendency to zone in on our physical abilities. However; this verse has more to do with the emotional and spiritual abilities than our physical abilities. Paul is writing this letter while in prison so his physical abilities are limited. If you were to look at the previous two verse Paul is teaching us that he can emotionally, spiritually, and physically handle the ebbs and flows of life. He has been down, and he has been up. He can handle the victories and he can handle the defeat. Here is the overall principle: Once I learn how to “be” then I learn what I can “do”. I can overcome trials, I can overcome disappointments, I can overcome discouragements, and I can prevail in my weakest of moments.
- The Source of our Abilities: “all things through Christ…” Without Christ we can do nothing. I will also say that without Christ we are nothing. We will always be limited when operating through our own strengths. However; we will live a life of unlimited ability when we draw strength from Christ. Right now you are probably looking at a situation, or issue and saying to yourself “I can’t do this”…I will say you are right, you can’t at least not alone. Your strength comes from the Lord. We must stay plugged in to our power supply.
- The Significance of Our Abilities: God gives us strength. The word “strengtheneth” is not necessarily a past kind of word, but rather a continual kind of word. It is not that Christ has strengthened me, but rather he is continually strengthening me. Why is this verse so significant? Because we will never fully no what we are capable of doing through Christ until we actually try. Have you ever heard the saying “that person does not know their own strength”? Well, I believe God shakes his head every day at us and says “if they would only realize what they are capable of doing if only they will actually have enough faith to do it.”
I want to challenge you to step on faith and see what you are capable of doing through the strength of Christ. You will find that God has the ability to stretch us far beyond our expectations, dreams, or imagination. God has not failed yet and do not foreshadow failure in the near future.