You Can Do All Things But Not Everything

May 3, 2013

“I can do all things through Christ who gives me strength!” What an inspiring verse to those who have their hope in the Lord! It was first penned by the apostle Paul as he encouraged the Philippians that whether things went well or not for him, he’d be alright. “God’s got this” was essentially his point.

Unfortunately though, I think we may have misinterpreted this verse to some degree these two thousand years later.

All Things

“I can do all things through Christ who gives me strength,” we may say as we embark on another venture in life. We can add another thing to our schedule. We can reach for another opportunity. We can seek to accomplish more. We can strive for yet another endeavor to try our hand at. No worries! I can do all things through God’s strength.

God can do anything, yes. And we can say that if God is with us then there really are no limits to what God could do through us. So, in a sense, yes, God can do all things through you as He gives you strength. But let’s just be fair to the text so that we can hopefully have fair expectations and goals for our lives.

This verse is not Paul saying: “Grab at everything you can possibly do and try to do it all. Go have a heyday with all of life’s opportunities and God will let you do everything.” In fact, Paul knew well that when you say “yes” to some things you are having to say “no” to other things. Paul couldn’t do everything. Paul knew that there were some things that he was incapable of doing because we see him writing other churches saying that he wished he could see them again. Apparently he couldn’t do that because of what he was doing.

If you remember the context, what Paul is saying is that whether things end up going well or not for him he doesn’t much care. Worry is a wasted use of the Christian’s mind because ultimately we trust that God can use good for His glory as easily as He can use what seems to be tragic.

So I’m sorry to say you may not be able to do everything. There will be some things God may call you to do and He will give you the gifts to be able to do them. But then there will be other things He won’t. This verse doesn’t promise us that we’ll all golf like Tiger, dunk like Jordan, preach like Graham, think like Einstein, paint like Michelangelo, or make it big like Jobs. We may not be able to do it all, but we can rest assured if we rest in Jesus that He’ll make sure we’re taken care of no matter what. Good or bad, you can do all things, can face all things, can weather all storms and enjoy all the mountaintops that you get to experience – all because God strengthens you!

So don’t go trying to do everything, but feel free to do all things in confidence that He goes with You!