You can find this verse everywhere. It’s printed on the back of sports shirts, people wear bracelets with it, and it’s quoted often. But have you ever stopped to really think about what that verse is saying? I think Bible stories and verses like this one that we’ve grown up hearing often go right over our heads after hearing it for the hundredth time. We say, “Oh, yeah, I’ve already memorized that verse.” But have you studied and searched for God’s meaning in it?
The meaning of Philippians 4:13 hit me during the Karen Kingsbury Beach Party last year. Karen Kingsbury is my favorite author and role model as a writer. During the long weekend, she and numerous other people spoke about life, faith, and love, and one of the verses Karen Kingsbury talked about was this one.
After hearing many people talk about God, life, and faith, the magnitude of this verse finally hit me. I can do anything through Christ who gives me strength. Did you read that carefully? You can do anything through Christ! You and I don’t have to let fear hold us back when we are following Christ. We don’t have to hide because of insecurities or doubt. God will give us the strength we need to do what He has planned for us.
Think about Moses when God appeared to him through the burning bush. God said to Moses, “…I will send you to Pharaoh, so that you may bring My people, the sons of Israel out of Egypt.” (Ex. 3:10) Moses was probably terrified. He had 5 different excuses or objections why he couldn’t be the one God used to free the Israelites. (Ex. 3-4)
When Moses said, “Who am I, that I should go to Pharaoh, and that I should bring the sons of Israel out of Egypt?” (Ex. 3:11), God promised to be with Moses. God doesn’t call us to be missionaries or talk to the new kid in school and then wish us luck. He is right there with us the whole time, giving us strength and courage.
And when Moses said, “Please, Lord, I have never been eloquent, neither recently not in time past, nor since You have spoken to Your servant; for I am slow of speech and slow of tongue.” (Ex. 4:10), God said He would teach Moses what to say.
God used Moses to lead an estimated 2 million Israelites out of slavery in Egypt.
Just like God promised to be with Moses, He promises to be with us too. He may not show up in a burning bush or have us part the sea, but He does tell us to share His word with everyone (Matthew 28:18-20). He may call you to lead a Bible Study, head up a fundraiser, or pass up a chance to hang out with friends when your big test is due. He calls us to strive to be more like Him and serve in the big and small areas of life.
“I can do all things through Christ who gives me strength.” – Philippians 4:13
No matter what God may be telling you to do, you can take hope in knowing that He will never leave you, and there is nothing He can’t do through you.
I want to encourage you to read Moses’ story, or anyone who was afraid and God used to do great things, and think about how that applies to us. He is the same God today as He was then. His promises are still true.
Now, that doesn’t mean He will completely take away our fear. I’ve trusted God to get me through things I knew He wanted me to do, but I was still scared. My fear was a great reminder to rely on God and not myself. It reminded me that there was nothing I could do; it was all what God was doing, because without Him I wouldn’t have made it through.
What is God asking you to do in your life right now? Are you letting fear hold you back, or are you going to trust God to carry out His plan through you?
Your Sister in Christ,