Can You Really Do All Things Through Christ?

Tuesday, January 24, 2017

which life

"I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me." Philippians 4:13 (KJV)

Philippians 4:13 is one of the most misinterpreted scriptures. This one verse is used to encourage others to pursue their dreams, wants and desires with the promise that there is nothing that you can't do because of your relationship with Christ. Are you wanting that new car, new house or perhaps a new job? No problem! Just go for it and have faith because you can do all things through Christ. He'll give you the strength you need to get whatever you want so don't take no for an answer. I have heard some say that if you can dream it you can do it.

This was not what Paul was saying when he wrote this verse. This verse has absolutely nothing to do with getting what we want or need, nor is it intended to encourage us to pursue our dreams and goals. In fact, it has more to do with how to live by faith when we have nothing. It is a call to be consistent in our faith in all circumstances, whether in times of plenty or in times of desperate need. It has everything to do with Godly contentment.

We have to read this verse in the context of the verses before and after it. When we do that, we get a complete picture of what this verse really means. Read verses 10-14 in the New International Version.

I rejoiced greatly in the Lord that at last you renewed your concern for me. Indeed, you were concerned, but you had no opportunity to show it. I am not saying this because I am in need, for I have learned to be content whatever the circumstances. I know what it is to be in need, and I know what it is to have plenty. I have learned the secret of being content in any and every situation, whether well fed or hungry, whether living in plenty or in want. I can do all this through him who gives me strength. Yet it was good of you to share in my troubles.

As we read this single verse within this context we begin to see the true meaning. It is not a call to work our will through Christ, but rather a call to allow Christ to work his will through us. It's not about getting what we want but God getting what he wants. That is the essence of the gospel message. Too many Christians lose all faith in God when things don't turn out the way they want or when they don't get what they want. They have great faith when life is going good but the moment when life throws them a curve and things get difficult they lose faith and walk away.

If you want to learn the key to how keep your faith in times of trouble you have to correctly interpret this verse. Paul states that he knows what it is like to have everything you need and he also knows what it is like to have nothing. How did Paul not only keep the faith but experience a supernatural increase of faith in times of trouble? The answer is found in verse thirteen: "I can do all this through him who gives me strength." The key is in determining who does what through whom.

We get into trouble when we try to get God to live our lives through him. We have to make a 180 degree shift in our thinking. We have to learn to let God live his life through us. Do you see the difference between the two mindsets? We must understand that the Christian life is all about us laying our lives down for him. We must accept that fact that it is not our life anymore. It's his! It's about surrendering our life to him. That is the real meaning of this verse. I can tell you that if you are trying to hold onto your life your faith will crumble the moment things don't go your way. On the other hand, if you have relinquished your grip on your life and are holding onto his life, your faith will weather any storm life may bring your way.

Do you find yourself struggling with your faith when your face difficulty? Do your circumstances dictate how you feel about God? Perhaps you simply need a shift in your thinking. Maybe you are holding onto your life rather than letting go and holding onto his life. Make that 180 degree turn today and open up his pathway to success in all things. Let him live through you and you will discover his supernatural strength when life gets difficult. Stop trying to do things through him and simply let him do things through you. It will change everything.

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