We always quote a place in the Bible when faced with a very hard situation or something we don’t like! We might be about writing a very tough exam and then we relieve ourselves with quoting Philippians 4:13 which says “I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me.” And we forget it says “through Christ which strengthens us!” What if Christ isn’t strengthening you in that area? Truth is that Christ came for a reason, He never came to get you to pass your exams! Before Jesus came, people have been passing exams, people have been making money and living luxurious lives.
So, Jesus didn’t come to give you more money. It was not part of His mission statement. His mission statement in John 10:10 says “I have come that they may have life, and have it to the full.” If I should brand the ministry of Jesus and give it a name, I’d call it “FULL LIFE MINISTRIES”. The life that Jesus came to give is not the earthly kind of life but God’s life!
It is okay to make money and be successful on earth, a mere grant can give you that! Government funding and support can do that and crowdfunding can give you some decent amount of money to be successful in your earthly career! You may not need God to achieve these ones because they are things not beyond your ability to do. God already blessed you with those abilities even before you knew about it.
We quote this beautiful verse when we are set out to do something we may not have prepared for! Don’t get me wrong, I am not saying God cannot make you succeed in money; He does that so well and can break all protocols to make you rich if He wants! However, that isn’t the general case. He can do it but He might not do it because He wants everyone to be responsible. God will not spoon-feed you just like He won’t force His gift of salvation down your throat. So, as much as it sounds amazing that you can do all things through Christ, Paul was not saying “I could make more money through Christ.” He was rather pointing out that the life supplied to him in Christ can be lived in Christ.
Paul was not saying “I can fornicate through Christ who gives me strength!” Christ does not give you the strength to fornicate! Paul was not talking about doing everything because Christ doesn’t supply you the strength to do everything! God gives gift to men, they are unique, from the same Spirit but may not be the same! Christ doesn’t give you the strength to eat your food and therefore you can eat your food without any added strength. To understand what Paul was writing, we will need to read in context so that we can see what the Holy Spirit wanted us to know.
He wrote this “I am not saying this out of need, for I have learned to be content regardless of my circumstances. I know how to live humbly, and I know how to abound. I am accustomed to any and every situation—to being filled and being hungry, to having plenty and having need. I can do all things through Christ who gives me strength.” Philippians 4:11-13″
Paul was talking about perseverance! He was talking about being contented and this is chiefly about manifesting the fruit of the Spirit! In other words, Paul was saying “even if hunger comes in the course of ministry, I can bear it through Christ! Even if I don’t get that job, I can be patient! Even if I don’t get that apartment or have the kind of success I have envisioned for myself, I can bear it through Christ that strengthens me!”
The “all things” that we can do through Christ is simply the manifestation of the fruit of the Spirit and fulfilling the task of ministry given to us. If it is about money, you needn’t quote that verse to make money. Knowing what to do and when to do it is enough to make you successful financially; it is an idea God has already given to men and it is part of that gift of God which is without repentance but the “all things” Paul wrote about doesn’t apply outside our life in Christ.
God has empowered us by the Holy Spirit to live Godly lives, He has empowered us to live for His sake and shine like lights. As much as the world is in a rush to make money, God wants us to be patient and be content with what we have, knowing that He cares about us and will bless the works of our hands.
There are certain people who live among peers who have made so much money and so much fame. At times, living among such people when you haven’t made money like they would mount pressure on you. In the part of the world where I live currently, I am surrounded by internet fraudsters who make money by tricking people. Some of them drive cars and live luxurious lives and certain times the flesh throws up a question “but these boys aren’t better than you when it comes to being creative. Why not do what they do and make your own money?” It is in this kind of situation that we can smile, stir our confidence in God and declare “I can do all things through Christ who gives me strength! I can persevere and live a more honourable life through Christ who gives me strength! I can live without giving to the pressures of this life through Christ who gives me strength.
Another important thing we need to note is that Paul didn’t just rose up and said: “well, I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me!” He said earlier “I have learned to be content regardless of my circumstances.” There is always a place of learning the character of the Spirit, there is always a place to learn to be content with what you have. For some months, I’d say I haven’t had the best that I wanted, I haven’t achieved much that I had wanted to achieve, I had every human reason to throw myself to the flow and yell “I am tired of this life!” But sometimes in those ugly situations, God wants us to learn contentment. I know that about myself because for some months I have lived in absolute contentment and peace! I don’t go about complaining to people and announcing how it has been for me. No! I am learning to relax and not allow the wants of life get the best of me.
When you are going through certain addictions, you can learn to subject your body to the leading of the Spirit! When you are out to learn these things, the Holy Spirit is out to teach you and help you walk through it! Therefore, in the areas where your flesh is supposed to be weak, you can declare to yourself as a reminder and encouragement of continuation in the school of the Spirit that you can do all things including subduing the flesh, overcoming that addiction and learning to live a patient and humble life through Christ who gives you strength.
God bless you
~ George O.N