I Can Do All Things

By Pastor Teck Uy

When faced with challenges, believers are not without hope. In fact, they appropriate for themselves the very words of the apostle Paul in his letter to the Philippians which says “I can do all this through him (Christ) who gives me strength” (Phil. 4:13). Can they indeed do all things? These words of the apostle Paul do not make one a superman nor encourage anyone to rely on their own strength to face life’s challenges. Instead, they point to the Lord Jesus Christ as the source of our strength and victory. He said these words after having gone through many difficulties in life and yet survived them all. He said, “I know what it is to be in need, and I know what it is to have plenty. I have learned the secret of being content in any and every situation, whether well fed or hungry, whether living in plenty or in want” (Phil. 4:12).

For us to be able to do all things as the apostle did, we need to acknowledge our own inadequacies. If we do things based on our own strength, we will fail. God will only help and empower those who trust and depend on him. The apostle Paul learned this truth when he had to struggle with a thorn in his flesh. As he struggled, he understood that he only needed the grace of God to overcome it. He then concluded, “Therefore I will boast all the more gladly about my weaknesses, so that Christ’s power may rest on me. That is why, for Christ’s sake, I delight in weaknesses, in insults, in hardships, in persecutions, in difficulties. For when I am weak, then I am strong” (2 Cor. 12:9-10).

One good example of a man who acknowledged his inadequacies and was used by God in a powerful way is Gideon. When God called him to deliver Israel from the hands of their enemies, he did not accept the assignment in pride. Instead, he assessed his position in the eyes of the Lord and in his own eyes and said, “Pardon me, my lord but how can I save Israel? My clan is the weakest in Manasseh, and I am the least in my family” (Judges 6:15). He understood from the outset that it will not be an easy job to deliver Israel. He needed more than the help of his family and his clan. And for that response, the Lord said, “I will be with you, and you will strike down all the Midianites, leaving none alive” (v. 16).

When the Lord fights the battle for us, he does not need much strength from us. He only needs our cooperation and obedience. But how many exactly does the Lord need to save a nation? When Gideon called the people to arms, thirty two thousand responded. While Gideon was glad to have this support, the Lord was not. The Lord said, “You have too many men. I cannot deliver Midian into their hands, or Israel would boast against me, ‘My own strength has saved me’” (Judges 7:2). Through a process of elimination, the Lord drastically reduced their number to three hundred. With only three hundred fighters, Israel resoundingly won over the vast army of their enemy. The Lord fought the battle on their behalf.

The other thing that we need to do to be able to do all things is to lean on the Lord. In the case of King Solomon who was an achiever, he was able to do all things because he relied on the Lord. He said, “Trust in the LORD with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding; in all your ways submit to him, and he will make your paths straight” (Prov. 3:5-6). We have the tendency to trust in ourselves and be self-confident. But many have eventually realized that it is not what they have or what they are capable to do that matters. It is our trust in the Lord that counts in the end. Therefore, we need to develop complete trust and faith in the Lord.

As far as Jesus is concerned, we need to learn from him so that we can do all things. He said, “Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you and learn from me, for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls” (Matt. 11:28-29). The teachings of Jesus are revolutionary and transforming. In order to prosper, he said that if we give, it will be given to us. We have to sow in order to reap. Also, we do not deal with our enemies the way the world deals with theirs – they kill their enemies. Jesus said that we love our enemies – if they are hungry we feed them, and if they are thirsty we give them a drink. By doing this, we can fully conquer them because they will soon be our friends.

Therefore, we need to acknowledge our own weaknesses for us to be able to do all things. This will then cause us to rely or lean fully on Jesus. And not being able to do anything good on our own, we also need to learn from him who is able to do exceedingly abundantly above all that we ask and think. Hallelujah!