Philippians 4:13 says, “I am able to do all things through Him who strengthens me.”
People love to quote this verse. They want to know that they can do anything. That’s how we’re raised in this world. “I want you to know, little Victoria, that you can do anything you set your mind to.” When we get older, it becomes, “You can do anything, don’t let anyone tell you differently.” And then when we find we can’t actually do it, it’s finally, “Don’t worry, Victoria. God will help you.”
We like being told we’re capable. But the hard pill to swallow is we aren’t. We aren’t capable. We can’t do it. Paul wasn’t saying in Philippians that he can do anything, God’s just giving him the power, he’s saying God is telling him what to do and giving him all the energy, strength, and courage to do what He’s call him to do.
Let’s look at Philippians 2:13, “For it is [not your strength, but it is] God who is effectively at work in you, both to will and to work [that is, strengthening, energizing, and creating in you the longing and the ability to fulfill your purpose] for His good pleasure.”
What does that verse highlight? It shows us that it’s not about our dreams that we set out to conquer. It doesn’t say that we can do anything we set our minds to. It says God gives us the desire and the power to do HIS will. I know I’m getting nit-picky here, but this is so, so important. We cannot do it on our own. We will lose our focus, become prideful, strain ourselves, and fail somewhere along the way. We need God. We need Him for direction, we need Him for motivation, we need Him for execution, and we need Him to work our failures out for His good and His glory.
When you wake up in the morning, don’t make your list for the day and ask God to help you get your list done. Instead, ask Him to write your list and direct you. Ask Him for the desire to accomplish what He’s asked you to do. Then ask for the strength to follow through. It’s not about you. It’s all about Him.