by Dr. Paul Chappell
“I can do all things through Christ which strengtheneth me.”
The key to every great man or woman God has used has been a complete dependence on God.
A sign was once seen in a textile mill that stated “When your thread becomes tangled, call the foreman.” One day a lady who was newer to the mill found her thread tangled in the machinery. Not wanting to look incompetent and thinking the foreman would think badly of her, she sought to untangle the mess herself. But after several minutes of struggling with the thread, she gave up and reluctantly called the foreman. When the foreman saw the mess, he asked what she had done. “I did the best I could do,” she told him. The foreman replied, “No, the best you could do would have been to call me.”
Have you ever been in a situation where you had done “the best you could do” yet things only seemed to get worse? The key to success in our Christian life is a complete dependence upon God. Only when we realize that we cannot do anything on our own but are dependent upon God can we see Him work mightily through our lives.
Philippians 4:13 is a great verse to claim in the midst of overwhelming circumstances. When you feel like you can’t do something or when God asks you to attempt something great for Him, Paul’s reminder helps encourage Christians that we can do all things through Christ.
The key to Paul’s claim are two words-“Through Christ.” On our own, we can do nothing. We are mere human beings, no better than anyone else. Yet through Christ, we have all the powers of Heaven on our side.
Imagine if Moses had tried to part the Red Sea in his own strength. The Egyptians would have recaptured the trapped Israelites. Or what if Noah had tried to survive the flood on his own? He would have suffered the same fate as the rest of those who rejected God’s salvation. What if Elijah tried to call down fire from Heaven without God’s help? He would have put on no better display than the prophets of Baal. The key to every great man or woman God has used has been a complete dependence on God.
“Through Christ”-it is the essence of the Christian life. We cannot save souls; we must witness through Christ’s power. We cannot resist temptation; we must rely on God’s strength. We cannot live faithful lives; we must daily seek God’s help. We can do nothing on our own, but through Christ, we can do anything.
What is it God has called you to do? Plant a church, teach a Sunday school class, witness to a friend, or simply live a godly life. Realize that you cannot do any of those things in your own strength. Sure, you can gather finances and build a building, but will God work in that building? Maybe you can prepare and eloquently present a lesson, but will your class members walk away changed? And you can walk a friend through the Gospel message, but only through the Holy Spirit’s working will they accept Christ. In order for God to work through you, you must admit your helplessness and realize it can only be done through Christ.
Have you become self-sufficient lately? Going through the motions of Christianity for a while can create a routine or self-centered view of Christianity-“I know what to do. I can do it on my own.” In reality, you can do nothing on your own. It is only through Christ that you are even saved. Take time right now to realize your complete dependence on God and seek Him for help. Before you step foot in a classroom, break ground on your church building, or take someone through the Gospel, take time to call upon Christ for strength and help. Remember that through dependence on God, anything can be done.