I can do all things through Christ which strengtheneth me.
The Word of God is not something that can be taken lightly. One verse can appear to mean several things at any given reading. But to truly understand what God is telling his Creation, we must do several things. Looking at the context of the passage is a good first step.
Looking at the above verse by itself, can give the impression that Paul is saying that he can do ALL things. He has become Superman with the strength of God and nothing can stop him. This sounds very promising but alas this is not what Paul is saying through the inspiration of the Holy Spirit.
Now this is a popular verse that is quoted often in the Christian world. It is right up there in the top 10 with such memorable verses such as Genesis 1:1, John 3:16 and Roman 6:23. I am very much in favor of learning to memorize Scripture but without a true sense of understanding, they can just become words. And there was a time that I actually thought that this verse meant something similar to what I just described.
In a recent Sunday school class, we discussed this verse in length. But it was not until I was in a quiet time alone that the true meaning became crystal clear. And I had to smile at its simple application.
So before I share my AHA moment lets look at the verses that proceed verse 13
8 Finally, brethren, whatsoever things are true, whatsoever things are honest, whatsoever things are just, whatsoever things are pure, whatsoever things are lovely, whatsoever things are of good report; if there be any virtue, and if there be any praise, think on these things.
8 Those things, which ye have both learned, and received, and heard, and seen in me, do: and the God of peace shall be with you.
10 But I rejoiced in the Lord greatly, that now at the last your care of me hath flourished again; wherein ye were also careful, but ye lacked opportunity.
11 Not that I speak in respect of want: for I have learned, in whatsoever state I am, therewith to be content.
12 I know both how to be abased, and I know how to abound: every where and in all things I am instructed both to be full and to be hungry, both to abound and to suffer need.
The whole book of Philippians has rich advice and most likely I will return and write more about this Epistle in a future post. But lets look at verse 8. This is food for thought in the best possible way! We know that all good things come from our Father in Heaven and this verse tells us to dwell on all of these types of things. Notice it does not tell to dwell on anything negative (like I wrote in my last post, “It’s all Good”)
Verse 9 reminds us not to just to think on these thing but also DO them ( reminds me of what James wrote:But be ye doers of the word, and not hearers only, deceiving your own selves. James 1:22
Verse 10 builds upon the act of doing by sharing an example of the care that the Philippians expressed towards Paul. In verse 11, he shares in essence that he is not a man of great desire but he is content with what he has. This leads us to verse 12 in which Paul states that he knows how it is to be both rich and poor. Neither is wrong though.
Now for my AHA moment. As I was reading Philippians 4:13 on a piece of paper, I saw that I cannot do all things, but all the things that I do, I can do through Christ. And Christ will give me the strength to complete my doings. I do not need to even try to do things “on my own” That would be one way but not the best way, And why should I live by second best standards!
You notice how each verse builds up to what the following verse speaks of. Its truly amazing. I am proud of the life that God gave me. Am I content like Paul? Oh how I wish I could truly say this. But I know, it is possible for my life so I will just have to keep on living in his Will until he comes.
Plan of Action: What are things we can do on a daily basis to stay in God’s Will? I open up this discussion to you my brothers and sisters…