1 Cor. 1:29 π Gal. 1:16 π Phlp. 4:12; 2nd π Phlp. 4:13; 2nd; 3rd; 4th π Phlp. 4:14; 2nd; 3rd
“I can do all (these) things through Christ who strengthens me.” ( Phlp. 4:13; top )
Many strong-willed, born-again, immature Christians use this verse as a justification for doing their own thing and accomplishing their own carnal desires, without the explicit directions and timing of the Spirit of God.
You can be doing the will of God in a particular situation one day, and a week later, in a comparable situation, you would be doing the opposite of God's will.
Without using the verses on either side of verse 13 , mainly 12 and 14 , you cannot totally understand God’s intent for verse 13 (top).
Paul says in verse 12 that he as a mature Christian had learned to be content with every situation he had gone through, including:
- His thorn and imprisonments.
- His body weakness.
- His beatings.
- Perils from false brethren.
- Being stoned with stones.
- Beaten with rods.
- Being shipwrecked.
- Perils from heathen, etc., etc.
Through these and many more undesirable situations, Paul said he could cope even as he suffered from hunger and being near death. He also said he could cope with abundance, which never turned his mind from doing the will of God, nor influenced his surrendered lifestyle.
In verses 13 and 14 , he explains, “Even though I went through these many unholy situations and struggles, I was able to survive them, because Christ strengthened me in every instance.”
In verse 14 (top), Paul says he is thankful that these Philippians had shared as members of the body of Christ in his difficulties through prayer and fasting; further, he said, “I am only sufficient through Christ’s sufficiency.” It was nothing of himself. The emphasis was never, “I can do it.”
If many Christians of today had gone through even a few of these difficult trials, they would have rebuked themselves right out of a chance to glorify God, and rebuked themselves right out of a trial.
The key to Paul’s great stature in Christ was Paul only doing the will of his Heavenly Father, and his continual seeking to walk as his Savior had walked, in total obedience to the Father.
Paul didn’t confer with flesh and blood ( Gal. 1:16; top ); today we have numerous Christian leaders, and in many instances pulling in opposite directions, with their individual proposals, all without the total counsel of God. Some even willingly will counsel us, for a slight fee.
Conclusion: Paul did all the things that Jesus asked him to do (not what Paul desired to do). Jesus supplied the physical and spiritual strength to do them, and also God gave him more faith when his faith wore thin, and brought him through with scars, hurts and heartaches, and yet all these glorified Him who sent him.
It was all God, from start to finish!
“That no flesh should glory in His (God’s) presence.” ( 1 Cor. 1:29; top )
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