Can I Do All Things In Christ?
When discussing challenges or encouraging people, it’s typical in Christian talk to share how we “can do all things in Christ.” This comes from Philippians 4.13 (NKJV): “I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me.”
Unfortunately, however, Philippians 4.13 is often taken out of context and used as a blanket statement that’s applied to any and all things. When talking about “I can do all things,” the Apostle Paul is actually referring to previous events: being mistreated and abused (1 Corinthians 4.11-13), suffering and hardship (2 Corinthians 6.4-5), danger all around and concern for the people of God (2 Corinthians 11.25-28).
In this way, Paul’s saying he can do all of “these” things because of Christ who gives him the ability to do so. The amplified translation of this verse also adds clarifying context to this statement.
“I can do all things [which He has called me to do] through Him who strengthens and empowers me [to fulfill His purpose—I am self-sufficient in Christ’s sufficiency; I am ready for anything and equal to anything through Him who infuses me with inner strength and confident peace.]” Philippians 4.13 AMP
The context and true meaning of “I can do all things through Christ” assumes that we’re doing, and thus are capable of doing, the things that God calls us to – those things that agree with His will and fulfill His purpose(s).
Philippians 4.13 is not a blanket statement encouraging or empowering us to do any and all things as we see fit – even if we think that they’re good. Rather, it’s God empowering us to do His will and the things that He’s called us to do. After all, why would God call us to do or endure something and withhold the means (time, energy, finances, etc.) for us to accomplish what He’s asked?
Remember: God’s will for something to happen is just as important as God’s way and timing for it to happen. God may desire something for us or even call us to do something for Him, but the way and the timing of that may be different than what we have in mind. He leads, we follow.
When it comes to the ways of God (how He does things), we must remember that in all of our doing for Him, what He initiates, He sustains, and provides for. What we initiate, we have to provide. He leads, we follow.