I can do all things through Christ Who strengthens me.
Philippians 4:13 (KJ2000)
Picture of Rock Climbing courtesy of David Niblick at Imagebase
Thoughts on Today’s Verse
Although incarcerated in a Roman prison when writing the epistle to the Philippians, Paul demonstrated that the joy of the Lord was His strength, no matter what difficult circumstances he had to face. Yes – Paul had learned the sufficiency that only comes through Christ and had discovered that true contentment is only gained from abiding in Him.
Like king David, this apostle was encompassed about by many enemies and had to experience some of the most severe hardships, and yet he had learned the secret of total dependance upon the Lord and had come to appreciate that the grace of the Lord Jesus is sufficient for every eventuality. Yes – although incarcerated in a prison in Rome, Paul was able to write in his epistle to the Philippians; I can do all things through Christ, Who gives me His strength.
Jesus had warned us that without Him, we can do nothing and yet Paul rejoices that through Christ we can do all things. What a seeming contradiction and yet what a glorious truth is pronounced in this staggering truth from the Word from God. The works carried out in the flesh can achieve nothing. The deeds undertaken by “the old man” (i.e. the old sin nature), which we received from the first, ‘terrestrial‘ creation.. born of Adam, can produce nothing of value, but wood, hay and stubble.
The works of the spirit however are carried out through our new ‘born-again nature’. The old life in Adam, which was part of the first creation and was crucified on the cross at Calvary. But the ‘new life in Christ’ is part of the new ‘spiritual‘ creation in Christ Jesus our Lord. We can do nothing of our old self, and yet we discover that we can do all things through the power of Christ that flows into us, and through us, and out of us to others.
Every common task to which we place our shoulder and each Christian duty, which we are called upon to perform, can only be successfully discharged as we rely on the Lord Jesus Christ alone for guidance and strength. We are to live and work and be strong in the LORD, and in His power of His might – not in the strength and power of our own fleshly, human abilities.
We are to be strengthened in the ‘inner man,‘ through the power of the indwelling Spirit of God. This is not a one time strengthening, but a moment by moment reliance upon Him, until we are increasingly able to act upon His guidance, as we learn to listen to His voice saying, “this is the way..”
It is not by my strength or by my own power or wisdom that I can do all things – but through Christ… Who gives me His strength. Yes – like the apostle Paul, I can do all things through Christ “Not by might nor by power – but by My Spirit says the Lord.”
Teach me, my Father, to look to Jesus each moment of the day for my strength, and not to my own imperfect, human abilities and intelligence, for without You I can do nothing. But thanks be to God that as I rest in Christ Jesus, He will empower me through His Spirit to carry out Your will and not mine, in my life – to Your praise and glory, AMEN