Strength For Today. 02/12/2014 (Morning thought)

Philippians 4: 13  "I can do all things through Christ which strengtheneth me".

This passage of scripture reminds us of a very important factor in the lives of all those who choose to serve God. Note well it did not say that we can do some things, but rather "all things" through Christ. This means there is no situation, no aspiration, and no expectation, that cannot be realized or resolved, once we put our trust in God. When Christ strengthens us, we are given supernatural power to accomplish supernatural things, because we believe in a supernatural God. This then means that our expectations and our dreams should not be just average, but should instead reflect the fact that we trust in the Omnipotent power of God. Too often we set a very low threshold for what we expect Christ to do in and through us. But our expectations should always be commensurate with the power invested in Christ, and that's why the Apostle sums it all up by saying  "I can do all things through Christ which strengtheneth me".

Now folks, this scripture is often confined to the spiritual realm in the minds of many Christians, but according to the Bible, it also includes the physical realm too. This fact is what the apostle Paul was alluding to when he penned the following verses. Let's read:

Hebrews 11:32  And what shall I more say? for the time would fail me to tell of Gedeon, and of Barak, and of Samson, and of Jephthae; of David also, and Samuel, and of the prophets:  33 Who through faith subdued kingdoms, wrought righteousness, obtained promises, stopped the mouths of lions.  34 Quenched the violence of fire, escaped the edge of the sword, out of weakness were made strong, waxed valiant in fight, turned to flight the armies of the aliens.

A striking example of what the Apostle is referring to can be found in the experiences of David, while he was yet a lad. As a young shepherd, he was entrusted with the responsibility of keeping his father's sheep safe from marauding bands of robbers, and also from the wild, ferocious beasts which roamed the Judean plains. David's own experiences testify to the fact that when the Bible says "all things " in Philippians 4, it means "all things". Let's read:

1st Samuel 17:34  And David said unto Saul, Thy servant kept his father's sheep, and there came a lion, and a bear, and took a lamb out of the flock:  35 And I went out after him, and smote him, and delivered it out of his mouth: and when he arose against me, I caught him by his beard, and smote him, and slew him.  36 Thy servant slew both the lion and the bear: and this uncircumcised Philistine shall be as one of them, seeing he hath defied the armies of the living God.  37 David said moreover, The Lord that delivered me out of the paw of the lion, and out of the paw of the bear, he will deliver me out of the hand of this Philistine. And Saul said unto David, Go, and the Lord be with thee.

It was the supernatural power of God working in and through David, why he was able to perform such supernatural feats, and therefore, based on what he had previously experienced of the power of Christ, his expectations of what God can do were significantly increased, as evidenced by his courage and confidence in the upcoming battle with the giant, Goliath. Let's read:

1st Samuel 17:43  And the Philistine said unto David, Am I a dog, that thou comest to me with staves? And the Philistine cursed David by his gods.  44 And the Philistine said to David, Come to me, and I will give thy flesh unto the fowls of the air, and to the beasts of the field. 45 Then said David to the Philistine, Thou comest to me with a sword, and with a spear, and with a shield: but I come to thee in the name of the Lord of hosts, the God of the armies of Israel, whom thou hast defied.  46 This day will the Lord deliver thee into mine hand; and I will smite thee, and take thine head from thee; and I will give the carcases of the host of the Philistines this day unto the fowls of the air, and to the wild beasts of the earth; that all the earth may know that there is a God in Israel.  47 And all this assembly shall know that the Lord saveth not with sword and spear: for the battle is the Lord's, and he will give you into our hands.

This history of David's experiences contain critically important lessons for the Christian. What we are able to accomplish, whether it be spiritually, physically, or intellectually, is not based primarily on our own strength, talents, or potential. It is based first and foremost on the power of Christ operating in and through us. It is therefore very, very important for us to never lose sight of that fact, in all of the successes The Lord may grant to us. It's never by might nor by power, but by the omnipotent power of Christ granted to all who trust in His strength. And so we submit for our due consideration, today and always, the following passages of scripture which encapsulate the truths embodied in the experiences of David's successes. These verses also contain promises which should be remembered, as God takes each Christian from one level of success to the next. Let's read:

25 Thy shoes shall be iron and brass; and as thy days, so shall thy strength be.  26 There is none like unto the God of Jeshurun, who rideth upon the heaven in thy help, and in his excellency on the sky.  27 The eternal God is thy refuge, and underneath are the everlasting arms: and he shall thrust out the enemy from before thee; and shall say, Destroy them.

May The Lord grant us the strength to meet and overcome all of life's challenges both now and forever. God bless!