Thursday, March 18, 2010

I Can Do All Things

Faster than a speeding bullet!
More powerful than a locomotive!
Able to leap tall buildings in a single bound!

I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me. (Philippians 4:13)

It's a verse we hear a lot. It's often used to encourage us to try harder, to persevere, to set our hearts and minds to solving a problem. After all, I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me. And God wants us to succeed, right?

But I can't run a 3-minute mile. And I can't carry 500# on my back. And I can't jump over the fire station. And I never will, no matter how hard I try, no matter how diligently I work at improving myself, and no matter how long I persevere. There are limits on what I can do. I can't survive on 4-6 hours of sleep a night, even if I think it would give me an extra 3-4 hours per day to clean house and grade schoolwork. I can't run an exemplary, rigorously academic, individualized educational program for six different people and keep house and cook and stay sane. I can't keep up on current events and be involved in community events if I'm going to do the work set before me.


So what does that verse mean, then?

Pastor said it's not a theology of glory verse; it's not about accomplishing all sorts of tasks to our heart's content; it's not about "succeeding." Look at where Paul tells us that he can "do all things." He's talking about being satisfied with Christ's forgiveness and his preaching, no matter what earthly circumstances he's living in. So, ultimately, being able to "do all things" has a lot more to do with
living in faith in a loving Savior even when things are not agreeable
than it has to do with
changing circumstances so that they are agreeable.

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