Sunday, December 20, 2015

Can You Do It

Can You Do It
December 21, 2015
Philippians 4:13  "I can do all this through him who gives me strength."

I can do everything through Christ who gives me the strength.  Oh what a wonderful, magnificent part of the Bible.  It you've been a Christian for any length of time, you've probably quoted this Scripture a time or two, chanting it even as a self pep talk.  We've all leaned on this verse at some time, believing the verse to be true, that we really CAN do all things through the strength found in Christ.  It is critical, though, if you are going to use this verse as a life quote, to make sure you are using it and understanding it correctly.  Can you REALLY do EVERYTHING?  I'm mean, the Bible uses the world "ALL" as if it is excluding nothing.  So can you really do everything through Him?

First we must understand who penned the words and why he said it.  It was written by the apostle Paul, and he said it to the Christians who were living in Philippi, trying to encourage them to live the life of a Christian through any and all circumstances.  He was telling them no matter what happens, he had to, and we must also, live as a Christian in every situation we find ourselves.  Specifically, Paul was talking about his ability to be content in times of plenty and content in times of trouble.  In fact, Paul never writes that he could do "ALL THINGS."  Paul said he could do, "ALL THIS."  Paul was being specific to his ability to maintain his Christianity in opposite physical and emotional scenarios.  Paul never said he could jump off a cliff and fly, which is obviously absurd, but the point must be made.  A Christian cannot decide what they want to do, then apply the verse to mean "ALL THINGS" to suit the preference.  This is a blatant misuse of Scripture, which has led many to believe inappropriately.

Before you get angry, first understand that the Lord's strength is full enough to equip you to truly accomplish anything He desires for your life.  This statement is true and is supported throughout all of Scripture.  But it must be noted that the Lord will not equip you and strengthen you if He has not first ordered it to happen.  Yes you can truly do it if the Lord has ordained it, but you don't get to decide what you get to do with the Lord's strength.  Paul DOES say you can be certain to draw on the strength of the Lord to help you in every circumstance you find yourself, but He does not say you get to manipulate the circumstances with the strength of Christ to bend it to your own will.  There is a difference between leaning on the Lord to get through difficulty and determining what you'd like your future to become.  You must first check your self, your pride, your agenda, your goals, and your desires at the door before you are allowed to quote this famous verse.  At no point can you quote it to speak into existence something that might actually be contrary to the Lord's will.

Your usage of this verse must be rooted in the foundation of the Lord's will for your life and the path you've ended up on if you've actually followed Him.  Using this verse must be tempered with what is written in James 4:15.  James says that you can pray and hope for a specific future outcome, knowing the Lord's will should be the only result.  So, you can quote the verse, if you actually quote it correctly, with the right words.  You must also intend the meaning the Lord ascribed to it.

Don't take my word for it; look it up: Romans 8:28, James 4:15

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