Philippians 4:13 – I can do all things through Him who strengthens me.
A man stood on the dock and looked at a boat. “I believe that this boat is my way to the other side.” His friend stood with him for several minutes. Finally he asked, “Are you going to get in the boat?” “No”, the man replied. “Are you going to untie the boat?” “Hadn’t planned on it.” Clearly a little frustrated, his friend asked, “Do you have any intention of even starting the motor?” “None whatsoever,” was the reply. After a few more minutes, the man again said, “I believe that this boat is my way to the other side.” His friend replied, “I believe it can be the way, but you have to cooperate and at least get in the boat.”
People quote Philippians 4:13. Many, who know no other verses, can whip this one out at a moments notice. But, like our friend above, what they’re really saying is that they have no intention of making any effort whatsoever. They may as well be saying, “Christ can do all things and my part is to let Him.”
I agree that Christ can do all things! But that’s not what the verse says. It says I can do all things. Christ does the strengthening. Christ adds the courage. Christ adds the wisdom. Christ adds the discernment. All of this strengthens me for the “thing” at hand.
I often speak with people about calling. Like our friend on the dock, they’re simply waiting around for God to call, answer, perform, report back, and let them know how it all turned out. But, God doesn’t work like that. God calls. It isn’t until we answer that the connection is made. We don’t receive based on calling. We receive based on the connection made through our faithful answer.
Answering the call creates a spiritual connection through which flows strength, courage, wisdom, discernment, blessings, sensitivity to the help of others, and the list goes on. It is a list as infinite as the power of our God, but we must answer.
The power to effect change in this world is not found in the calling. It is found in the connection made by the answering. We can do all things through Christ who strengthens us, but we must be willing to faithfully answer.