Philippians 4:13 is a commonly quoted verse from the Bible. It is not usually misquoted, but often taken out of context. We’ve seen this verse on t-shirts, coffee cups, license plates, etc. “I can do all things through Christ who gives me strength” (NLT). In this verse, Paul gives us the courage we need to take on difficult tasks. He reminds us that whatever situation the Lord had placed us in, He will sustain us by His strength. Paul says that he has learned the secret of living in every situation, whether it is “plenty” or in “lack”. That secret is to lean on God’s strength to do all that God has destined you to do.
“All things” does not give you permission to go through life unguided and at every whim hoping the Lord will bless the mess you’ve gotten yourself into. The caveat to accessing the power in Philippians 4:13 is that it must be a situation, circumstance, or task led by God. If God tells you to do it, you can do it by His strength. If God did not tell you to do it, well then…you are making your burden heavier than it needs to be.
Our current lives are filled, minute by minute, scheduled endlessly with “stuff” that we need to do or simply want to do. We can get so busy doing “all things” that we forget that “everything” is not important to do right now. Prioritize what needs to be done in your life. How do you do that?
Seek Direction Daily
“Wake and Pray.”
The most important step in doing “all things” is that you must know what God has asked you to do each day of your life. We ask God for “daily bread” not just to eat but for instruction on what to do. If we are doing what God has asked us to do, then He will certainly strengthen us to do it.
Make Two Lists
Have a “To Do” list and a “Today” list.
Lists help you get things done. Habakkuk 2:2 tells us to write the vision and make it plain. Whether you use a phone app, a planner, or a post-it note, write down what you need to accomplish. There are two lists that you should have: a “to do” list and a “today” list. Every day move things from your “to do” list to your “today” list. You work from your “today” list. You plan from your “to do” list.
If God did not give you a “yes’ in step one (Seek Direction) then you cannot give a yes to anyone else. Remember that “No” is a complete sentence. It does not require subjects, predicates or excuses. Just Say No. Don’t clutter your life with things God has not asked you to do.
Philippians 4:13 gives us the courage and power to take on the tasks that God has given us because we know that we don’t have to do “everything” we just have to do “all things through Christ who gives us strength.”