Great and Unsearchable Things

Things the Lord gives me, and then I write them.

Sunday, August 11, 2013

He Gives Me Strength

     Sometimes I think that the Scripture, "I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me," should read, "All the things that I am able to do and deal with,  is because of the strength Christ provides me." The Scripture in this case is talking about being able to live in poverty, as Paul was at this time.  Paul is saying that he can deal with it by Christ's strength alone.
     I have thought, with the way it is written, that it was saying we should be able to do all things if we rely on the strength of Christ. Because of the limitations that I have, and the resulting not being able to do all things, I felt that either I wasn't depending on Him fully to explain my lack, or that the Scripture didn't mean what I thought it did at all.
    As said before, Paul was talking about specific situations when he made this statement. In the context of Scripture, he is saying "Don't worry about me. Christ will hold me up," as he wrote it to the Philippians when they had wanted to give to him because of his lack. He was emphasizing that it is Christ  alone that he depends on, and at the same time he didn't want to negate their kindness.
     I've noticed that we make far-reaching interpretations involving a Scripture that creates a broad stroke of understanding or a universal principle when in reality, it just has a specific focus, or is for a particular situation. I think it is true in this case.
     I have done this with many Scriptures, this one included. By thinking it means that I should be able to do all things, so when I am inadequate or fall short, I fall short again, and have felt bad about it. I must not be relying on Christ's strength, I have reasoned falsely.
     But now, I am seeing it differently. I am seeing that Paul was speaking of those times when  you are living in want, (as he was in this case) and he is saying that he is able to deal with it because of Christ, who gets him through. Ultimately, he is saying that Christ will take care of him. Now, this is a true overarching principle indeed.
     Learning my limitations has proven to be helpful to me. Many times, God wants us involved in setting boundaries because of them. If perhaps, we get easily stressed in certain areas, and feel we can't do something, He has given us our will to say, "no," as a means of protection.The strength to say "no" for many people requires as much dependence on Christ, as being able to cope with things adequately. I am finding that lately He is having me assert myself, and in this way, He is strengthening my will, which has in the past been weak. I'm not talking about being strong willed against God, but in being strong willed in the things of God. And, taking advantage of the will He gives us to say, "no" is one of those things.


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