I can do it!
Phil 4:13 “I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me.”
When we look all around us we see many failed marriages, failed relationships and failed lives. Many have failed to realise their full potential. Prisons, grave sites, and high courts of the land, all testify of many failures in this life. It is no surprise that many have come to believe that they can’t be able to make success of life or anything that they touch.
There is nothing as debilitating as telling yourself that you can’t. Our background, our upbringing and our past experiences could have taught us that we can’t. Offcourse some of us have being told time and again that we can’t and then we ended up believing that indeed we can’t. In some cases we have seen many around us (including those that we hold in high regard) failing over and over again, and then we start believing that we also can’t. Sometimes it is the difficult circumstances that we find ourselves in that convinces us that we can’t.
The writer of the text above starts by using the personal pronoun “I”. It is easy to talk about what others should do, or what group of us should do, but it is much harder to commit one self. As much as Christ died for us all, when it comes to salvation we are saved as individuals. Jesus must not end up just as the saviour of the world; He must become my and your personal saviour. Therefore, we need to learn to stand, and where necessary, stand alone for Jesus. I need to learn to come to Jesus like someone many years ago, saying, “…Not my mother, not my father, But it’s me, oh Lord, Standing in the need of prayer.”
The apostle goes beyond the personal pronoun and says “I can”. Success begins when we start believing that we can; the idea that one can is a liberating one. In fact, the first audience of these words are our own brain cells. I can! The emancipation of our minds is the key that unlocks the future. It sets the mind on the path of success. I can! When I believe that I can then I will also believe in others and know that they too can. Numerous failures should not tempt us to believe that we can’t. After you have tried and failed and tried and failed, like Edison, just believe that you have just discovered a number of ways that does not work, but you must still believe that you can.
The apostle does not just say he can, but he says, “I can do”. There are many who can think, can talk, can criticise, but Paul says “I can do”. I can do things, I can perform some duties, I can achieve something of worth. I can do. I go beyond the theoretical and move into the practical. There are many who died with brilliant ideas that were never translated into action. We have many theoretical Christians, people who are Christians in their minds but fail to practice Christianity. Someone once said that love is verb, it is not good enough to know that you love someone, love, to really be worth something must move into the gear of doing.
But not only does the apostle says “I can do”, He says “I can do all things”. Obviously “all” covers a lot of things, in fact it covers everything. I can do each and every thing that needs to be done.
- I can be caring, helpful and kind.
- I can be a good father, mother, son, mother-in-law, etc.
- I can love my wife, I can submit to my husband,
I can do it, yes, I can!
- I can be faithful to my marriage vows and trustworthy.
- I can break the chains of habits, weaknesses and the sin that so easily beset me.
- I can be a virgin until marriage.
I can do it, yes, I can!
- I can be a successful businessperson (through blessings not bribes).
- I can be a successful professional and reach to the top (and still remain humble and God fearing)
- I can overcome enemies within (flesh) and those without.
I can do it, yes, I can!
The question that we then ask Paul is what is the secret of your success? Why are you able to do that which many are failing to do?
The answer is: “through Christ who strengthens me”. The fact is that by myself I will not be able to make it, there is no way I can do it. By myself I will not only fail, but it is impossible for me to do it. However, it is good to know that, that which is impossible for man is possible with God. I can, through Christ who strengthens me. It is only through Christ who gives me (His) strength. When I look at myself I don’t know how I am going to make it, but when I look at the cross, I don’t know how I can’t make it. Thank God for Calvary. I can, yes, I can! I can do it, Yes, through Him who strengthens me!
Therefore, the apostle starts by using this personal pronoun “I”, in times past Joshua spoke for himself and his family, but there are times when we need to stand individually for ourselves. I might not be very sure of what my family will do, but I know what “I” will do. As the song says “… though no one joins me still ‘I’ will follow”