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Whatever God called him to do, God would supply everything he needed to do it.

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I am ready for anything through the strength of the one who lives within me. (paraphrase)

Paying a piano teacher for lessons and sitting in front of the ivory keys doesn’t mean you can play the keyboard. You have to practice. And, paying a membership to a fitness center doesn’t make you fit. You have to go and workout. When Paul says, “I can do all things,” he’s not saying God gives him a blank check to do whatever he wants. Paul devotedly, to the point of intense suffering, engages passionately in God’s will, spreading the gospel and building up the church. He has the confident assurance that no matter what circumstance he finds himself in, heaven’s resources are abundantly available.

The context of this verse reminds us that Paul knows good times and the extreme bad times. Sometimes he has food, a roof over his head, money in the bank, and sometimes he doesn’t. His confidence wasn’t affected by his circumstances, because if blessings came his way, he could enjoy them, and if bad times came, he could deal with it. Why? Because he learned through the power of Jesus Christ that he could face whatever came his way. He had access to the everlasting strength of Jesus Christ. Paul had confidence that whatever God called him to do, God would supply everything he needed to do it. In all things given to him by God’s will, he continued to be strong by the one who infused Christ’s power into him.

God’s grace has no limit. Jesus love has no measure. The spirit’s presence has no boundary. God’s power is supreme and his provisions will never be depleted! Paul’s confidence comes from this. When Paul uses the Greek word ischuo, “I can,” he claims the strength of Christ. Paul learns that when God commands something, he enables. You have access, like Paul, to the same power and strength available in Christ Jesus. You can, like Paul, learn to walk in this confidence each day. Let’s thank God for his present provision and learn to step forward – every moment of every day – knowing there is more of God’s strength available than we think. There is nothing in your life to small for his attention. Nothing too great for God to accomplish when you live in Christ. Begin your day by filling in these blanks as a prayer for God’s strength: I can (fill in the blank) , God will (fill in the blank).

 

Now to him who is able to do
far more abundantly than all that we ask or think,
according to the power at work within us,
to him be glory in the church
and in Christ Jesus throughout all generations,
forever and ever. Amen.
-Ephesians 3:20-21

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By Donna Burns

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